Sunday, November 24, 2013

J W Farquhar - The Formal Female (1973 us, remarkable strange fuzzy psych folk rock, Shadoks release)

Here’s an odd brew of a record, rescued by Shadoks from the oblivion of 1972 Philadelphia. JW Farquhar was undergoing a brutal divorce when he barricaded himself in his apartment and recorded this one-man assault on the female race.

The sound is similar to the Stone Harbour album in its grim murk, from out of which Farquhar conjures moments of intense psychedelic queasiness. The style is a curious mixture of psych, blues, folk and funk overlaid with a weird vocal that ranges from a grizzly mumble to put-on weirdo voices.

The fuzzy, tuneless burp through the Wedding March that closes the first track leaves you with no doubt as to Farquhar’s views on his ex-wife and womanhood in general. The misanthropy and misogyny present in every track might leave a lot of people cold, but personally I found it a bitter pleasure. Not one I’d recommend to everyone but if you like that dark, raw basement sound, then this is the one for you.
by Austin Matthews

All tracks were recorded by JW Jarquhar in 1972. The songs on The Formal Female were written as an outcry against the materialistic nature of the woman during that time period in 1972. Many will tell you it is still that way. JW had recently extricated himself from a 10 year marriage and the words from this experience fit the lyrics on the album still. During that time he lived by himself in a 3rd floor apartment in Philadelphia. It was a street with a lot of traffic.

Car horns, busses, police sirens, fire engines, screams, and sometimes even gunshots filled the airwaves. For this reason he sealed up the windows and any other openings with sound-proofing foam. This was necessary because his music was recorded in there. JW was the instrumentalist; rhythm guitar, lead guitar, drums, vocals, and bass. However he could not play them all at once, so he purchased a four track simulsync Teac recorder... professional version. 

This allowed him to record on one track and then play it back and separately record on a second, third, and fourth track. The original tracks were recorded at 15 IPS. A final mix was then made in stereo with yet a fifth overdub, when needed. At that time other effects were limited. It is amazing electric fuzz album full of effects and it's a masterpiece such as D.R. Hooker. 
1. Formal Female - 11:57
2. Want Machine - 11:16
3. My Bundle Of Joy - 9:21
4. Where Have You Been - 6:09
5. Mansions - 7:02
Words and Music by JW Farquhar

*JW Farquhar - Vocals, Harmonica, Rhythm Guitar, Pedal Bass
*Riffery Lowknut - Fender Bass
*Slash Mullethead - Percusions
*Callust Likfinker - Lead Guitar

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