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Parson Sound

May 1, 2008 by garry

Parson Sound was an obscure Swedish rock band that existed for barely an eyeblink back in the late 1960s, creating a beautiful ruckus for a brief two-year period during the peak moments of the psychedelic era in 1967-1968. They blended elements of krautrock, psych, Terry Riley-influenced minimalism and the Velvet Underground into some of the most hazy, mesmerizing, pleasurable and extended jams ever to grace the cosmos. We're talking jams that could and would gently and effortlessy coalesce into the most hypnotizing drones or blurry clouds of cacophony imaginable. Members of Parson Sound went on to form other outfits called International Harvester in 1968 (later shortened to Harvester) and Trad, Gras och Stenar (Trees, Grass and Stones) in 1969. Some of their albums are well worth delving into, as well.

Timeframe: Pre-Altamont.

Public Impact: Amazingly, Parson Sound never released any records during their heyday, so their public impact could only be felt in a live setting in Sweden. (They once played at an Andy Warhol art show in Stockholm, and opened for the Doors.) But, miraculously, their archival material--consisting of studio and live recordings in various stages of corroded lo-fidelity--was finally issued for the first time ever as a 2-CD set in 2001. This ultra-amazing document quickly became a staple of bedroom psych heads everywhere. Today, you can easily buy single tracks or the whole shebang on mp3 over at Anthology Recordings, or acquire the discs at Aquarius or Amazon. For a taste, I so highly urge you to visit this MySpace page and listen to the track "India Slight Return." You'll be glad ya did!


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