BLACK SUN ENSEMBLE - ST . VOL 2 - Transparent Seagrass Blue LPLion
“The music here still sounds as gorgeous to me as it did when I first stumbled across it. The magnificent weight of Jesus’ guitar work is always a surprise. From the midst of the most gently-drawn sand waves, he rises with his scimitar gleaming black in the hot desert sun to fulfill a mission whose orders only he can hear. What more could you ask for? I mean, really?" —Byron Coley
Lion’s second volume of the Black Sun Ensemble’s recordings for their classic first album contains an alternate version of that album, including the tracks from the Camera Obscura label CD (c. the year 2000) version of that album — well, sort of.
When sifting through the masters while preparing the Lion reissue of the real, actual first Black Sun Ensemble album — as issued in 1985 on Pyknotic — it became clear that many of the original LP tracks were also on the Camera Obscura CD release, but under the wrong names. Others were present, but in versions which differed from the Pyknotic LP versions — and again, under the wrong names. So, for example, ‘Mayan Dance’ on the CD is actually the same theme as the Pyknotic LP ‘Heart of the Sky’, but not the same take. Here’s the kicker: some of the tracks on the Camera Obscura CD share a name with a track from the Pyknotic LP, but are in fact completely new recordings, with no comparable on that original LP. ‘Blue Thunder’, ‘Red Ocean,’ and ‘Mandolin Winds’ are three such compositions. This means that there are basically two quite different ‘Blue Thunder’s written by Jesus; two utterly different ‘Red Ocean’s; and two absolutely not-the-same ‘Mandolin Winds’ too.
As a result, there are two separate Lion LP releases of Black Sun Ensemble’s debut recordings: volume one (LION LP-193) with a black cover, as per the original, is just that: the original 1985 Pyknotic LP reissued for the first time. This second LP (LION LP-194), with a white cover, contains alternates and new tracks, as released on the CD reissue of BSE’s debut. We felt it was important to keep the Pyknotic LP separate, to do justice to the original vision Jesus Acedo had when he self-released that music, and (eventually) found a segment of the world very willing to embrace it. But the other variations of that music are equally excellent and important, thus this second, separate LP for those gems.
"When people ask me why it takes so long to put together a reissue, I think back to releases like this one. I always say that reissues have a life of their own. You can’t force them. They come along when they are ready. I’m glad that the totality of the Black Sun Ensemble's debut is finally ready to be heard again, and in some semblance of order. I don’t really know any other LP quite like it.” — the Lion
•Comes with an 8-page booklet, with notes by Byron Coley, BSE bassist Mike Glidewell, Rich Hopkins (songwriter, Sidewinder, and founder of San Jacinto Records), and a reproduction of a poetry volume by BSE’s Jesus Acedo.
150x hand-numbered copies on Transparent Seagrass Blue vinyl