You are here.
Arabic Yodelling (1983)

Click the cover for a larger version

Click any underlined track for a 30-second, 64kbps MP3 sample

1.) Green Candle
2.) Night
3.) Bearded Cats
4.) The Blowflies' Dilemma
5.) Dichotomy Rag
6.) A Critical Dance
7.) Wilf in Builth
8.) Leery Looks (from Father's Books)
9.) Home After Rain
10.) Clean Gender
11.) Vitamin Song
12.) Lonely Rosa
13.) J.P.W.B.C.
14.) Like Some Kous-Kous Western
15.) Nelda Danced at Daybreak
16.) There's a Cap on the Lawn

(Original LP) Side 1: tracks 1-6; Side 2: tracks 7-16

Release Info:

LP: Ralph Records RL-8308 (out of print)
CD: T. E. C. Tones 93082
CD: Reissued in 2015 with bonus content

Renaldo's CD Liner Notes:

More than two years in the making, "Arabic Yodelling" was Renaldo and Ted the Loaf's second release on Ralph issued in 1983. Recorded in a home studio (Sneff's Surgery) on 4 track, the pieces here were constructed using tape manipulation, loops, found sound and conventional instruments, including a keyboard for the first time.

This collection of songs and tunes describes characters, places and covert observations, although not designed to have a preconceived storyline, the songs seem to lend themselves to a picture show of the mind. Each listener is free to wander through this place, creating (or not) their own interpretation. My personal catalogue of images and scenarios would go something like this....

Imagine a frontier scene where pyramids meet a De Chirico cityscape, where sand dunes almost reclaim Main St., where neon-lit nomads, cowboys and carousers mix with dubious characters of the night, totally self-sufficient on the 'Urban Range'. Encounter the Bearded Cats (a sleazy club combo), Lonely Rosa (party guest from hell), Feral Nelda (gross yet graceful) and the little boy, resident in an 'adult shop', who believes mother is boxed and inflatable. Even Joe, hot from the cowboy's conga, makes his appearance as he sets off on a sand counting expedition. So close your eyes, mount your camel and transport yourself to this Vegas of another world -- let your pictures come too!

- Brian 1993


Dave: The title comes from ‘Like Some Kous-Kous Western’. There’s a bit where Brian sings something that sounds vaguely eastern or Arabic and somehow mutates into something like a yodel – I commented that it sounded like Arabic yodelling and that was filed away somewhere for future use.

There’s a lot of other material from this era that was never finished for one reason or another.

1.) Green Candle
Dave: The title comes from a line in the play Pere Ubu by Alfred Jarry – ‘by my green candle’. I’d heard it on an Open University program and it became a phrase we used on dice evenings.
Brian: The lyrics were inspired by the writings of Baudelaire - about the decadent city, it's inhabitants, those who live for it and thrive in it - the 'bon viveurs' and creatures of the night. At the time I was teaching at a school of architecture and Baudelaire's imagery was a point of reference for some students of urban design.

3.) Bearded Cats
Dave: It grew out of something that started from the two of us just playing guitar together. It had a kind of jazzy feel to it and the lyrics grew out of that; the idea of these two guys in some dingy club playing this jazz number. They’re not too hot so ‘every now and then we play a bum chord’. Brian knew a guy who could play violin and he came in one day to record his part long after the track was otherwise finished – I never even met him.

5.) Dichotomy Rag
Dave: This uses something called a fragmenter, which was a loop tape made up of lengths of magnetic tape and leader tape. It was run through a three-head tape deck set on record. The output of this deck fed into another tape recorder, which recorded the output of the first deck. This meant that only the bits of music that fell onto a piece of magnetic tape were recorded and then subsequently recorded onto the second tape deck. So although we were playing continuously only fragments of our playing were recorded. It was just another way to try something new. Once we had this basic track Brian recorded the overdubs, having learnt to play to the backing, something that was beyond me.

7.) Wilf in Builth
Dave: I went on a walking holiday in mid-Wales and on the holiday met someone called Wilf. The holiday ended up in a place called Builth Wells which, most people just call Builth. Builth is actually pronounced ‘bilth’. So ‘Wilf in Bilth’, I just liked the sound of it.

10.) Clean Gender
Dave: ‘Clean Gender’ is an anagram of ‘Green Candle’ and is sort of a reprise.

12.) Lonely Rosa
Dave: The basic track for ‘Lonely Rosa’ started in a similar way to 'Bearded Cats' with a guitar improvisation.

13.) J.P.W.B.C.
Dave: When we were mixing the album I had a short instrumental backing that sounded vaguely Japanese. We’d hired a varispeed tape deck to master the album on and we found that we could slow down the violin part on 'Bearded Cats’ to fit with this Japanese-like backing I’d made. So ‘JPWBC’ simply stands for Japanese piece with Bearded Cats. Or, just pretending we’re Burmese coolies.

14.) Like Some Kous-Kous Western
Dave: The title came from the idea that if you moved a spaghetti western eastwards it would be a cous cous western.

Album artwork original sketches:

Click any of these sketches to view larger versions.


BRIAN POOLE: 12 string acoustic guitar, electric guitar, percussion, Casiotone 202, piano, bowed bouzouki, rababa, mesmer, glockenspiel, thumbpiano, harmonica, kazoo and voice.
DAVE JANSSEN: Clarinet, electric guitar, bouzouki, Casiotone 202, percussion, fragmentor and loops.
with DAVE BAKER: Violin on Bearded Cats and J.P.W.B.C.

Recorded and mixed at home over a protracted period from December 1980 to January 1983.
CD package design: Steven Cerio; Type: Susan Conley
Our appreciation to Gary, Dave and John for occasional equipment loan.

The Hums Do Not Intrude.


Website designed by Alex Wroten