June 01, 2008

JW Farquhar - The Formal Female (Shadoks, 1972)...

The Formal Female was recorded by Farquhar at home in his apartment in Philadelphia in 1972. He played all the instruments. In an effort to keep out alla the street noise and gunshots he sealed up all of his windows with foam and locked himself in. The whole arc of the album's concept seems to be based around a lambasting of womankind as a result of the fallout from a recently terminated ten year marriage. Whether it's a case of sour grapes or a genuine outcry against the materialistic nature of the woman during that time period of 1972 as Farquhar himself claims isn't immediately any clearer for listening to the record but either way it's a fascinating slice of ambitious, primitively lo-fi private press psych with an extreme lonesome/marginalised edge and some great fuzz and F/X. There are points where he gets into a whole schizophrenic exchange between two characters, one of whom talks in a weird fucked-up cartoon monster style, that almost makes you think of James Ferraro's Lamborghini Crystal broadcasts but the rest of the album is just great basement/loner jams with a huge fucking chip on their shoulder, just the way we like em. Another great one rescued from oblivion by Shadoks.



  1. This is some great tracks! Thankyou se much for this post!

  2. great description! and a good chance farquhar is my cousin. guessing he'd have been around 30 in 1972 and around the time he got divorced.

    pretty sure he continued to compose for several more decades and is close to 70, now. he comes from a very musical famly of pianists (dating back to silent film days) and jazz enthusiasts like his father, my father & myself.

  3. That review has actually been lifted from Volcanic Tongue, it was written by David Keenan although there's no credit to him...

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