Saturday, February 24, 2007
Hansadutta Swami Vision LP Krishna Rock Part 5
Hansadutta Swami has/had at least 2 records. "The Vision" is a pretty disjointed experience. His voice has an unsettling kind of manic edge to it as he warbles sort of atonally and with minimal regard to the songs rhythm about all the troubles of life in the material world. I saw this record compared to Syd Barrett and it does have an unhinged element to it but it reminded me more of Manson than Barrett. It did grow on me over time.
Have not heard the other I think "self-titled" LP. Some countryish guitar and piano appear. A little harmonica. This really has a country rock kind of feel to it. Recorded around 1979 in the Berkely area.
Most lyrics are composed by Hansadutta and cram a lot of thoughts into the songs. Krishna influence is obvious, but his "poetic" take on modern life and illusion.
There is perhaps a nod to later krishna rockers Shelter with the song "think before you drink". I had hoped for a lyrical level more akin to Dan Higgs, but it was not to be. The warble in his voice on the country waltz "Oh sraagrati Vaisnava Soul" makes him sound like Gram Parsons gone completely around the bend. He opens up side 2 with a an upbeat "you'rs so wise" with lyrics like "I thought I was God/but I'm less than a dog/I will sit at your door/Taking scraps from your floor" you know it's a good time.
Hansadutta got himself in a far amount of trouble with the Krishnas and the law, and I am conflicted about his impact on life and ISKON, but this is a tale of Krishna Records and clearly he was down to make them. He still has a website, but doesn't seem to be selling these records.