Tuesday, July 14, 2009

¡para!helion: >3 (never released material)

Album: >3
Style: high altitude meditations
Improvised and recorded live to two track summer of 1999
Dave- Trumpet, effects, percussion
Jeff - Electric Balilaika, effects
me- African Kettle Drums, Dumbek, Clay Djemba, 1940's wooden field snare, clanks, mic stand gooseneck, booms, crashes, & scrapes.
Chris & co. - Djemba, additional percussion

Of all the music I have posted here at Pen & Mallet, the two ¡para!helion releases are the ones that I personally listen to the most often. I have always chalked that up to the fact that ¡para!helion's music was all improvised. None of the overlearning under a critical ear that goes into creating and perfecting composed songs goes into the creation of improvised music, so, for me, it feels easier to listen to the songs as music, rather than as a product of my ego. In other words, it's easier to let go and hear the songs as songs without being critical of my own performance or wishing I had one more take to move the song closer to the ideal version that I carry around in my head.

Of course, ¡para!helion has been duking it out with Waltz Bop Shop for the most downloaded music at Pen & Mallet, so maybe I like them 'cuz they're good records. Hard to tell.

Anyway, today we have 6 never released songs taken from the Midaq Alley and 3 Miles from Mecca sessions. At the time we put those two releases together, these didn't make the cut primarily due to non-musical issues like less-than-ideal microphone placement, or minor equipment failures. After 10 years not hearing these, I don't find that those issues hurt these tracks much at all, so I thought I would share them.

Several of these tracks include additional players beyond the trio including ¡para!helion's original drummer, Chris (iirc) and a gang of percussionist he brought over for one or two of our night recording sessions. Track's one and two come from the very last ¡para!helion session, with Ghazna being the last song we ever recorded.

All files are available in lossless Flac, Ogg Vorbis as well as Mp3 from the internet archive.

Tracklist (player plays all six tracks):
1) Chabolo
2) Ghazna
3) Bactra
4) Haraiva
5) Lampaka
6) Nagarahara


Dr. Schluss said...

Have I mentioned that I really dig the Para!helion recordings? "3 Miles to Mecca" is often played around the psychedelic household. I've had that earmarked for a post over at the Psychedelic Garage for some time. I'm just, uh, lazy.

icastico said...

Dr. Schluss,

Glad to hear that you like the music. Spread the word...

As for laziness...I have a lot of respect for laziness. It helps keep priorities straight.


NOISEBOX said...

great blog! please check out or maybe add this to your links:

we share same interest in music. thanks and keep up the good work!


Yo, icastico!

I've dl'ed some tastee tracks from this here blog, but somehow??? I've overlooked ¡para!helion...until now that is. If this is what you listen to most, then I'm buying. I'll go back & get the rest (I notice it's available FLAC,etc) ASAP.

Thanks for the heads up, the comments over at NSS, & especially the tunes.


icastico said...


Enjoy. I think there may be enough usable tracks for one more release from ¡para!helion ... stay tuned and I'll keep you in the tunes.

mike-floyd said...

Wll definitly be posted at
Just give me some more time...


icastico said...


No hurry, no stress...it's all about sharing the goodness (or some damned hippy thing)...

You do good work spreading the word. Keep it easy on yourself...just link to the internet archive. No need to re-rip anything.

mike-floyd said...

Posted tody on

Thanks for sharing!

icastico said...

Thanks for spreading the word!

Anonymous said...

Great music, thank you very much

other places to visit