Monday, July 6, 2009

Ramases - Intro

Ramases (born Martin Raphael) was a central heating salesman from Britain who suddenly quit his job, believing he was the reincarnation of the Egyptian pharaoh (funny how he never specified which one) and started a musical career, releasing two albums in the 1970s. Now, one might expect that his music would be lo-fi and "outsider" as hell, but Ramases has a wonderful voice, it's actually really well produced (the first album featured a backing band made up of future members of 10cc) and very interesting; in some ways, it's reminiscent of both late 60's psych-folk and the progressive rock that was popular at the time. Unfortunately, his second album was his last, and he would eventually commit suicide (there's not a whole lot of information about him, and I'm not even sure of the timeframe of his death; Wikipedia says it was in 1978, but other places say it was in the 1990's). Any fan of outsider music would do well to track his albums down; they're a lot more expertly-crafted than other stuff in that genre, but no less fascinating for that fact.

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