The NoMen and The Blue Zeta Giant Puppies
I Hear A New World 10" - strange fish twelve Release Date: The 16th Dream of Dr. Sardonicus Festival
Yes! This is a strange record, I meant it to be. I wanted to create a picture in music of what could be up there in outer space.
With each month that passes some new and strange thing happens and there’s no doubt that within months some new scientific discovery will be made that will speed up means of exploring and colonising the moon. I find each new development exciting and fascinating. I can already see and hear in my imagination from the studies I have made on outer space what wonderful sights and sounds are in store for us.
JOE MEEK FROM THE ORIGINAL LINEAR NOTES
Joe Meek's bizarre 1959 concept EP, lovingly destroyed by The NoMen, with a little help from the Blue Giant Zeta Puppies.
The first pop concept album? The seminal work of the UK's Brian Wilson? The outsider record that set the world on fire (when no-one was listening)? Pinky and Perky in Outer Space?
Nearly 60 years on, Joe Meek's 'I Hear A New World' is probably easier to talk about than listen to - if it's an off-the-wall, naive/kitch sound collage today, it must have been beyond words when it was first released in 1959.
Whatever you think of it as a musical experience, it was a remarkable moment in pop music
When I heard from the Zeta Puppies' Tom Woodger that the NoMen were lovingly recreating (or destroying, as they put it) Joe's astral adventure, I wanted to know more...and when The NoMen gave Fruits de Mer the chance to be involved in its release on vinyl, there was no doubt about it.
Released in partnership with Topplers Records and quite possibly the strangest release we've ever been involved in - - 'I Hear A New World' is a natural for FdM's 'strange fish' label - surely, none more strange than this?
We'll have about 80 copies at the 16th Dream and..er..that's it really
now I'll hand over to the people who did all the work on this record...
Robert George Meek - A Tribute
As a child “Telstar” was the first psychedelic record I heard, possibly the first ever made. It painted pictures in my mind.
Fast forward to a Tokyo record store… A very expensive Joe Meek record looks at me from the rack. I could either eat for two weeks or buy the record; I chose the latter! It flies thousands of miles home with me to be devoured and it sustains my soul.
Fast forward again… Allan NoMan slips me a copy of I Hear A New World… One 4-track recorder, lots of imagination and a Holloway Road bedsit ... magical sounds!
No landladies were harmed during the recording of this tribute to Joe Meek!
When I started to dig deep into the world of sixties psychedelic music the name of Joe Meek kept cropping up. The romantic notion of his DIY recordings pushing the limits of technology in a London flat appealed to me as did the dark and dangerous mystique of him being a murderer who took his own life! I read about his famous unreleased sci-fi album “I Hear a New World” and it fired my imagination but, in those pre internet days, there was no way I could hear it but, on a record buying trip to London in 1991, I saw it on CD in Tower Records and snapped it up. I read the sleeve notes with delight on the train home and I couldn’t wait to hear the album. My anticipation was at fever point as I slipped the disc into the player and a low rocket engine rumbled from speaker to speaker. Then it all went wrong! Pinky & Perky started singing! Worse than that, some of the songs sounded as though The Wurzles were backing Pinky & Perky with Rolf Harris on the Stylophone!!! To say I was disappointed was an understatement...
In the years to follow I played the record to everyone who dropped by my flat, more as a comedy conversation piece than as a serious piece of music, but eventually it won a place in my heart and if I ever see a Pinky & Perky album in a charity shop, I snap it up!
1959 The Angry Red Planet is in the cinema, Dan Dare is in The Eagle, Quatermass and the Pit is on the telly, and in Arundel Gardens, North London, a young recording engineer turned producer, is dreaming of outer space...
I Hear A New World was a brilliantly mad idea, a concept album about life in outer space, recorded in a London flat, in STEREO, at a time when most mainstream studios were only just begining to consider leaving the safe pastures of good old mono. In fact exactly how Meek managed to mix his stereo extravaganza is still a mystery. It catches Joe Meek finally shaking free of the conservative establishment of the studio system, bursting with ideas and confidence as he paints us a surreal, technicolour universe. A Weird and Wonderful 'picture in sound' of a future that never came.
For a bunch of reasons the 'Zeta Puppies attempts to recreate this slice of sublime aural madness got no further than a cover of "Love Dance of The Saroos" recorded for a session we did for The Pete Jackson Show on Dandelion Radio; a new mix of which appears here with guest NoMen (The Blue Giant NoMen?), so it fell to our good friends, the mighty The NoMen to pick up the torch and carry on to complete this tribute... and it fell into good hands!
Tom Woodger, The Blue Giant Zeta Puppies
The title track was recorded at Topplers Studio on Tuesday 29th December 2015 by Allan, Billy, Brian & George NoMan. The backing tracks and vocal overdubs on 'Love Dance' were also recorded that night. Guitar, acoustic bass, kazoo, stylophone, swanee whistles and other strange overdubs were done in November 2017.
The recordings were assembled, mixed and mastered by Allan Henry at Topplers Records in December 2017.