We are always on the look out for interesting releases here at Flea Market Funk, and today’s feature is just that. You may or may not know of Alan Watts, one of the most important interpreters of Eastern philosophy. If you aren’t familiar, Figure & Ground has you covered with this very special 10″ vinyl release to celebrate his 100th birthday. Teaming up with New York based musician Jas Walton, they’ve put out a four song EP combining Watts’ early seminar sessions and the original music of Walton. Watts, a Zen author and philosopher began broadcasting in the 50’s in The Bay Area. His soothing, British accented voice was soon heard throughout the country via public talks, recordings, books, and more. As these talks unfolded, his son Mark would capture hundreds of hours of these talks on a tape recorder. Revisiting these in 2004, he would release Out of Your Mind: Essential Listening from the Alan Watts Audio Archives. It was these recordings that Walton heard and was inspired to set the voice of Alan Watts to his music in 2014.
“Alan Watts talks with such a great cadence and natural sing-songy rhythm; there’s
freedom in his phrasing from a strictly phonetic point of view. It is mostly just so captivating and feels good to
listen to.”- Jas Walton on Alan Watts
Face The Facts is a collaboration with the Alan Watts Audio Archive and is co-curated by Henry “Sandy” Jacobs. Jacobs has produced Watts’ early psychedelic records on the MEA label. This record is the debut release for Figure & Ground, and is slated to drop on May 19th. The four song EP features four original tracks by Walton, who samples Watts’ seminars on irrational fear of death, the notion of our ego, and the nonsense of Lewis Carroll. Featuring a reverseboard cover LP jacket, plus an 8 page booklet of rare photos and interviews, this will be one for the record collection. A digital download of the EP is also included. We’ve been fans of releases like this for a long time. One of our favorites is Spare Ass Annie and Other Tales, which paired up William S. Burroughs spoken word and the music of The Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy. This Watts record is definitely in the same area, not just jazzed up, boom bap back beats, but really in a different ball park. Each of these four tunes have their own personality: the airy, moody “Aperture”, the deep bass of “Sound of the Rain”, the upbeat, synth filled “Face The Facts”, and after hours vibe of “What About The Background”. Four different vibes commanded by the words of one man. Watts’ voice is soothing, captivating, and relaxing on its own. Add the music of the talented Jas Walton, and you’ve got something special. Plus it’s a 10″ record, so that sweetens the pot just a bit. When is the last time you bought a ten inch? May can not come quick enough. Count us in on this one.
Hear audio samples and pre-order the record here.