Tuesday, June 5, 2012

SIX by the great Bruce Haack

Long Story Short: Haack made craze electronic music for kids from the 60's till the 80's. His stuff is extremely hard to find. He made a ton of records. They're all experimental and forward thinking and they don't treat kids like little dum-dums.  You can buy some stuff on re-issue, like The Way-Out Record For Children and Funky Doodle - but the latter is a Japanese import.  I think a big re-issue push is coming but you never know with these things.  Even the stuff that wasn't purely for kids always had a kids-can-and-should-listen-to-this vibe.  Haack was also pro-active in trying to break down how he was making electronic music and what the machines he used were and how they worked.

"Bored of Education" is off his 1981 album Bite, which features the 13-year-old vocal stylings of Ed Harvey.

"Punching Bag" is an instrumental off of the 1971 album Together.  It shows kids that there are positive and acceptable ways to let out aggression.  No need to beat up on the nerd next door.

"Party Machine" was made in affiliation with Russell Simmons and Def Jam in 1982, very near to Haack's death.  It's got an early Soul Sonic Force, good-disco style (as opposed to a bad-disco style which is MOST-DISCO). Party Machine kills. It reminds me of the theme song to Galaxy High, a cartoon from the 80's.  This was released in 2008 on Haackula, the album Haack made in 1977 but was held back due to "darker content".  Um - this is 8 minutes long, rap 12" stylee.

"Child Psychologist" is another one off Bite, sung by Ed Harvey.

"Clap Your Hands" is a more traditional kids jam, with vocals by Esther Nelson, Haack's longtime collaborator.  It's off their first record from 1967, Sing Dance and Listen, which you can still buy on cassette from educator supply spots.  This is an EXTREMELY HIGH-QUALITY children's song, with sound textures, slight off-tempo shifts, and a very purposeful hook melody.

"Maybe This Song" is also off of Together.  It's sweet, heart-breaking and shows that Haack could have made something more like a Beatles thing -- but he did the crazy stuff he did instead, which is way better for us and our kids.

B.H. is probably best known for his LP The Electric Lucifer, but music-heads are always talking about that so just look it up.  I think you can buy that.