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ARTIST
TITLE
Horizon
FORMAT
CD

LABEL
CATALOG #
ARTYARD 008CD ARTYARD 008CD
GENRE
RELEASE DATE
12/22/2008

"In 1971, in Denmark, at the end of a tour, Sun Ra suddenly decided to take his whole band to Egypt. They had no concerts and no contacts there, but Ra sold some recording rights to Black Lion to pay for the tickets and they flew out. They were stopped at customs and their instruments were temporarily impounded, but they were let through as tourists. Then they booked into a hotel facing the pyramid at Giza. Word got to Hartmut Geerken, then working at the Goethe institute, and he quickly threw a concert together at his house in Heliopolis, for which Brigadier Salah Ragab borrowed army instruments for the Arkestra to play (he was later disciplined for it). Ra's Moog had made it through customs and a Tiger Organ was hired. One of the audience (of 25) booked the band in for a Cairo TV session the following day. Then Ragab persuaded the Ministry of Culture to book a concert at the Balloon Theatre (for another tiny audience: only the first 4 rows were occupied). Two more concerts followed -- at the American University (for the cab fare) and the Versailles Club. They stayed for more than a fortnight, making a film while they were there and finally, by band-members selling various personal items, raised the money to fly home. Horizon (also known as Starwatchers and Sun Ra in Egypt Vol. 2) contains a big chunk of the now legendary Balloon Theatre concert (it burned down soon after their visit, as did the hotel in which the Arkestra stayed while they were in Cairo). The Balloon extract is an uncut block (tracks 1- 4 on the CD) and features a lot of Sun Ra's all-hell-let-loose Moog soloing, as well as a great version of 'Discipline #2.' The rest of Horizon is from the Heliopolis concert, kicking off with an instrumental version of 'Enlightenment' and 'Love In Outer Space,' (neither are on the original LP) segueing slowly into 'Space Is The Place' -- followed by drum orchestra, more Ra soloing on Moog, Tiger Organ and detuned piano (bloops, hoovering, whistles, Concords taking off) leading to a first lurching, then wild, 'Discipline #8.' Two bonus tracks, for the first time restored from the original concert, follow: 'We'll Wait For You' (with June Tyson) and 'The Satellites Are Spinning' -- which ends in full-on percussion. A classic recording of a classic band in great form."