Friday, April 03, 2009

Miles Davis - Agharta

Some nice screenshots of the vinyl lp versions of Miles Davis' Agharta. This is actually the Japanese release, which has a different cover from the American version. The live double-lp was actually the first of two concerts on the same day in February, 1975, in Japan. The afternoon concert became Agharta, and was released in the States in 1976. The evening concert became Pangaea, and was released only in Japan.

I don't know about you, but that really amazes me. Not only the fact that two monster albums are culled from the same venue, but from the very same day. This says something about Miles Davis' drive, his sheer mad pursuit of his musical vision and his damned stubborn determination to spread it to the masses. It's one thing to expect a live album from your last tour. But three double albums in less than two years? All while two more studio albums, both double albums, are released to the public?

For an artist who, by all appearances, had gone completely bonkers, Miles Davis sure had a lot to say. Right up until the end, he was desperately trying to get the word out. I wonder who his audience was by that time? Who was he aiming his music for? Perhaps nobody but himself. He had delved so far and explored so deep that nobody in his time could have understood.

In my mind, these final four albums of Miles fusion era - what I loosely call his "voodoo funk-metal" phase - are like time capsules. The Seventies Generation wasn't the true, intended audience. This heavy futuristic music wasn't meant for them. It might not even be meant for my generation. This music seems to direct itself to the future, still in the distance.

These four albums - Get Up With It, Dark Magus, Agharta, Pangaea - are waiting for a future date to be unleashed. Somewhere, in one of the major cities, there's going to be a group of 15, 16, 17-year-olds. And they're going to listen to these albums and get it. It's going to blow their minds clear open, and they're going to be the first ones to completely understand everything Miles Davis was about. It won't be like the '70s crowd, which was baffled and freaked out, or even my crowd, which can only grasp it in bits and parts. This part sounds like Radiohead, that part sounds like PE, that part sounds like Sonic Youth, yadda yadda.

When that day arrives, those kids are going to pick up instruments and start bands. And they're going to start a revolution. Trust me on this one. It's going to happen. It might even happen to you.

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