This review was originally posted on the first Toorak Times web site where publications ceased on that site in March 2017.
The old site will be permanently closed in 2020 and these reviews are being re-published in order to preserve them on the current Toorak Times/Tagg site.
This is number thirty three in the series of albums I’m featuring as part of an on-going retrospective of vinyl albums in my personal collection.
The series is called, “Cream of The Crate”, and they represent vinyl albums that I believe are of significant musical value, either because of their rarity, because they represent the best of a style or styles of music or because their is something unique about the group or the music.
The album TRANCEFORMER was released as a double album with a ‘gate fold’ cover, on the Independent “Fission*Chips” label – (FNC-002), in 1981, subsequent to Geoff Krozier’s untimely and accidental death.
The graphic on the album label is reproduced on the album, and that is where all label information is obtained.
So, I must put my hand up to the claim of ‘vested interest’, because I was closely associated with this “Man of Mystery & Madness” – the late, great Australian ‘Magi/
Majician’/Alchemist/THE Joker in the Pack, my friend, Geof Krozier.
Born as Geofrey Thomas Crozier, he variously to himself as Jeff Crozier, Geoff Crozier and Geof Krozier.
He died on the 17th May 1981, and the link to his full story (as previously published in the Toorak Times) is provided at the end of this record review.
The album “Tranceformer” features the vocals and lyrics (probably stories would be most apt) by Geof and, the music of The Generator, aka Rainbow Generator – who it appears was Australia’s first true electronic music group.
Formed in 1976, the group consisted of David Labuschagne (then known as David Mow) and myself, with the percussion on this album provided by Bermuda born Keith Casey (ex-Ayers Rock).
The album was produced in a gatefold format with all the graphics assembled by hand and on the left hand-side, primarily from Geof’s own writings.
There were only 399 albums produced, as a limited run – and the original album is now as rare as the proverbial hens teeth’.
When copies can be found, they bring prices of between $250 and $700 Australian.
Recently a CD version was produced because of a demand from overseas for this album.
Being a double album, it has a total of 14 tracks, but of interest is Side 3 where the entire side is taken up by a single track!
On average there is between 16 and 18 minutes per side, and this was done in an attempt to provide a quality audio experience through the vinyl pressing stage.
The quality of the album artwork is quite stunning, and was done in-house. It features collages made up of shots taken around the studio, and the inside left hand cover has pieces of Geof’s writings reproduced, as can be seen in the picture below.
There was one interesting/fascinating small thing that occurred. Somehow, at sometime, between the period of the artwork being developed, and the layout finalised and, the cover being printed, one word dropped off and had to be handwritten back into every copy by David.
Each album was hand numbered.
At the bottom of the right hand cover, is a piece of Geof’s writing where he says:
“My job is to lie to you
Your job is to listen
And make the lies
The word that was lost was “Believable“! (Was this a last practical joke by Geoff?)
The music is an eclectic selection of styles and arrangements that includes very strange tales, such as related on Side 1, in “Khan – Khallili Bazar“.
Here Geof’s story of the the Bazaar is supplemented by The Generators interpretation of the sounds of the ‘creetures’ and happenings as generated through conventional and electronic instrumentation.
I should point out here, that one of the strengths of The Generator music was David’s guitar playing. He used the guitar as the instrument is was meant to be, and then as an instrument it wasn’t meant to be. His unique style resulted in the guitar generating its own ‘electronic’ sounds – very unique.
Keith Casey’s percussion playing on this track is outstanding.
If you enjoy the good old fashioned “Rip throat out, spill ya blood” type music, then “Devil May Care” is the track for you. Here the ominous tones of The Generator mixed with the sometimes terrifying delivery of Krozier, will both fascinate and entertain.
Another great story/ journey type track that is supplemented with some fantastic music by the group, can be found on Side 2 in the piece, “House of the Joker“.
Here you are encouraged to settle back as you journey through the ‘Hairy Thighs of the Colossus of Rhodes’.
House Of The Joker (in part)
Before you judge Geof, and his often bizarre on-stage behaviour, before you judge the Generator’s music, before you judge your fellow man, the group invites you to “Take A Look” (at yourself).
This being the last track on Side 2. It’s an interesting track driven by Geof’s insistent vocals demanding that we all take a bloody good look at ourselves, after all, our environment is a product of our actions. Our actions are a product of who we are – so take a damn good look!
Side 3 (my favorite side of the album), features an ‘Odyssey’ – a 14min 23 second track that entices you, thrills you and bliss’s you as you go through the “Temple of Exotic Delights“. This track features some lovely synth work interspersed with electronics, and percussion.
It’s a journey through the minds of Geof and the Generator.
Side 4 could have easily been my favourite.
It commences with a piece that showcases Geof’s impromptu, and very funny humour. “Feed You To The Sharks” ! What can I possibly say, except listen to it
Feed Ya To The Sharks
Finally, the last track on the fourth side of the album has a live piece that was often used in our shows.
It does give an inkling not only to the ‘mania that was Geof Krozier, but to the power playing that the Generator, who was known for its electronic music, was capable of.
(You) “Paid Your Money“(to see the show, now it’s over, we’re gonna have to pay you to go).
That just about says it all!
Paid Your Money
This is a seriously different album.
It really is unique and I feel comfortable in saying there is nothing like it before or even since it was recorded.
It is certainly not for everyone’s ears and sensibilities! It would never have made the top 500 of any commercial chart! Hell! the music on this album would probably would have caused a furore in some places, had the proposed national tour gone ahead.
So when this album was originally reviewed in 2013 it was the thirty-second anniversary of this wonderfully and seriously bizarre man’s death and I thought it only right to do a retrospective of “Tranceformer” by Krozier and The Generator“.
Should you be interested in reading about his life (mainly on the stage, in Paris, New York and Melbourne, then click on Geoff’s image below to be taken to Geof Krozier – A Majik Story “.
Incidentally, I have provided two video links to a Krozier and The Generator, but if you want more, then you need to click on Geof as well.
Since the review was originally published two events associated with this album have occurred.
Warner Music (Australia) confirmed they were licensing one of the tracks from this album (“House Of The Sun“) for the compilation called, “Amorphous Androgynous ‘A Monstroz Psychedelic Bubble- the Wizards Of Oz’”
Next in 2015 the album Tranceformer was re-released by Finders Keepers records in the UK and while it is a double album, the album labels have been redesigned and it is no longer a gatefold, but it does allow for vinyl collectors to have a copy at a good price.
There are a few videos of Geof on Youtube, the first was produced to promote the album “Tranceformer”, and then this shorter one, but the others can be found at the end of the article referred to above.
Tranceformer promo clip featuring Geof
The Man, The Magik & The Madness
Previous Cream of The Crate Albums:
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