Monday, May 29, 2006

Alright it's Folk Music Week again, just like I threatened. Er, promised! No Rock and Roll, no progressive rock, psychedelic rock, or krautrock. Just folky-type stuff. Great stuff all around though, hope everybody finds at least one thing this week that they like.

John Martyn - The Road To Ruin (1970)

'The Road To Ruin', John and Beverley Martyn's second studio album, released in 1970 was the follow up to the couple's excellent alternative folk-jazz styled debut album released earlier that year. Many listeners think of John Martyn, the solo artist but reality is that before that, he and his wife Beverley put together two excellent and often overlooked albums. These ultimately kick-started John Martyn's career and allowed him to be more noticed when he began his solo work.

'The Road To Ruin' is quite simply a brilliant album from start to finish. John Martyn himself didn't think this album was as good as their first effort, saying it lacked spontaneity but in my opinion, this album is far superior to their Stormbringer debut. Aside from being husband and wife, John and Beverley Martyn were an excellent match as musicians too. Beverley Martyn has a brilliant voice, it has a unique flow to it. Sadly she never really did any solo work herself after this - her voice is so, so underrated. John Martyn himself is an excellent musician. His guitar playing is first rate, as are his jazzy performances on the piano. His singing on this album is much clearer than in later works where he adopts a more drawling style. There's great incorporation of other instruments on the album such as the saxophone which works very well. Also, the backing musicians which feature in part on this album were those who were to form the nucleus of John Martyn's solo work instrumentation.

The 9 tracks on the album are an excellent mix of folk and jazz styles. 'Primrose Hill' opens with a great piano sequence before Beverley sings the lyrics serenely, with the saxophone cleverly intertwined into her words. 'Parcels' has a style to it which would characterise much of John Martyn's later work, with his characterful acoustic guitar playing. 'Auntie Aviator' is a 6 minute masterpiece and in my opinion is the best on the album. Beverley Martyn sings about flying through the sky and you literally feel as though you are when you listen to it. 'New Day' makes a relaxing acoustic track with a great flute charcterising the track, John Martyn sings this one. 'Give Us A Ring' is much more mellow in its style but it has a great chorus to it with John and Beverley harmonising. 'Sorry to be so long' is much more upbeat with a real jazzy style and is followed by 'Tree Green', more reflective where John Martyn sings about time passing by. 'Say What You Can' is another jazzy track, with a killer piano part and plenty of vocals with real presence from Beverley. 'Road To Ruin' is a great finisher. John Martyn starts this one off very thoughtfully but it progresses in a much more brighter section with a great climax.

'The Road To Ruin' is a classic which many people will not be simply aware of. Its a shame the couple couldn't do any more albums but sadly pressure from John's record company for him to go solo, his drug addiction and subsequent divorce from Beverley prevented this. This is a great album which will not disappoint you - its really relaxing to listen to after a long, hard day. (


Gurnemanz - No Rays Of Noise (1977)

This is an awesome album of progressive folk-rock from German group Gurnemanz. Very much in the style of UK folk-rock ala Fairport Convention or Spriguns, singer Manuela Schmitz has an amazing voice and could give Sandy Denny a run for the money!The male vocalist, Lukas W.Scheel, has got a real Fairport-y delivery also. The musicianship is stellar and the songs, whether sung in English or German, are great. The version of John Barleycorn is one of the best I've heard. Not to be missed by anyone who likes the music of Fairport Convention, Steeleye Span, or Mandy Morton/Spriguns.

Part 1 Part 2

Caedmon - Caedmon's Hymn (1978)

Precious little information about this obscure Irish folk-rock group is available. All I could find was this blurb from the label, Kissing Spell: "Caedmon's privately issued 1978 LP, has since it's rediscovery in 1992, been established as an expensive collectors item, rated as the best folk-rock album ever made, perhaps 2nd only to “Mellow Candle”. The sublime sound of Caedmon results from an unusual blend of styles, the fragile female vocals, admirable use of tension and atmosphere, savage fuzz-guitar, art rock leanings - everything from exquisite understatement to frantic show-off musicianship - a classic, by golly!".


Hank Williams - Beyond The Sunset (1963)

Collecting together all of Hank Williams' recordings done under the name of Luke the Drifter, this is the most preachy, weepy, maudlin album you will ever hear! My God. Little boys' funerals. Alcoholism. Heartbreak. Songs to dead relatives. There is something definitely a little spine tingling, listening to Hank Williams talking and preaching above a churchy organ. You really have to hear this. Well if you're a Hank Williams fan anyway.


Clannad - Clannad 2 (1974)

Here on their second long player, Clannad 2, the family band from Ireland's county Donegal is at their finest. Anchored by the lovely haunting vocals and harp of Maire Ni Bhraonian, with deft backing instrumentation and harmony from her two brothers and twin uncles, Clannad makes deliciously mournful folk rock of traditional tunes. While synthesized New Age territory has become their stock in trade through the group's evolution, the band's early sound puts them in the beloved peer group with the likes of Planxty, Fairport Convention, the Incredible String Band, and Steeleye Span. Whistles, electric piano, mandolin, and guitars form the framework for 11 stunning pieces, sung in Irish and complemented by surprisingly tasteful flute leads. Clannad 2, highly recommended, is gently psychedelic Britfolk with a dark medieval undercurrent. (Paige La


Bob Dylan - The Emmet Grogan Acetates (1963-1965)

This is a great sounding boot of outtakes from the sessions for "The Times They Are a-Changin", "Another Side of Bob Dylan", and "Bringing It All Back Home". Not really much more to be said I guess - it's Bob Dylan!


Ralph Stanley & The Clinch Mountain Boys - Live 1969

Recorded at Watermelon Park, Berryville, VA, this is a great show featuring some bluegrass classics like "Man of Constant Sorrow", "Pretty Polly", "Hills of Roan County" and on and on, seventeen tunes in all. For fans of the high lonesome sound.

Clinch Mountain Boys:

Larry Sparks - guitar
Curly Ray Cline - fiddle
Ed Ferris - bass
Lonnie Bolen - guitar


John Prine - Diamonds In The Rough (1972)

The fireworks that accompanied the appearance of John Prine's 1971 debut cast a long shadow over its deceptively modest follow-up.Diamonds in the Rough admittedly isn't as laden with contemporary folk standards in the making as its predecessor, but it stands with 1978's Bruised Orange as one of Prine's most unified collections. Working in an acoustic setting, the raw-voiced wordsmith explores a melancholy milieu with "The Torch Singer," "Souvenirs," and "Rocky Mountain Time." "Everybody" recounts a conversation with a down-to-earth Almighty while "Billy the Bum" and "Take the Star Out of the Window" focus respectively on a local character and a weary Vietnam vet. Those are all excellent songs, but Diamonds in the Rough's strength lies less in the tunes themselves than in how sympathetically they're performed and sequenced. (Steven


Richard & Linda Thompson - Before Joe Could Pull The Trigger

This bootleg contains the original tracks of "Shoot Out The Lights", recorded with producer Gerry Rafferty. Richard was disappointed in the results and scrapped the project, recording the album again, starting from scratch, with new producer Joe Boyd. Richard and Linda sometimes swap vocal parts, different instruments are used, lyrics are changed sometimes. A very interesting album that also includes some demo versions and unreleased tracks as bonus material. Every Richard Thompson fan needs this one!

Part 1 Part 2

Steeleye Span - Hark! The Village Wait (1970)

Originally released by British RCA, this debut album by Steeleye Span's original lineup -- Ashley Hutchings (bass), Tim Hart (electric guitar, electric dulcimer, banjo, harmonium, vocals), Maddy Prior (vocals, banjo), Terry Woods (mandola, mandolin, electric guitar, vocals), and Gay Woods (vocals, concertina, bodhran) -- barely made it out the door before Gay and Terry Woods exited. This was probably the best singing edition of Steeleye Span, with Gay Woods and Maddy Prior melding beautifully on tracks like "Dark-Eyed Sailor" and "My Johnnie Was a Shoemaker," and Terry Woods adding some realistic coarseness on "The Hills of Greenmore." The sound is fully electric here (with superb playing on the epic "Lowlands of Holland"), if not as aggressive as later albums -- Hart, Hutchings, and Woods comprise a good core band, and Gerry Conway and Fairport Convention's Dave Mattacks sit in on drums. (Bruce Eder, All Music Guide)


OK that's it for this week!

Sunday, May 21, 2006

All kinds of great music this week, regular old Rock and Roll, experimental, progressive rock, psychedelic rock, and krautrock!

Various Artists - Downer-Rock Genocide

"This is the ultimate and definitive anthology of ultra-heavy early 70's downer-rock, excavated from the depths of the UK Underground. What is downer-rock? Well, its later genres are better known- grunge, heavy metal, thrash, but downer stands out as the earliest incarnation of hard guitar in minor keys, the fore-runner of these latermodes. 'Downer-Rock Genocide' is a potent mix of rare, live and previously unreleased recordings assembled alongside various classic cuts culled from the archives. Amongst those featured are Vertigo riff-merchants Clear Blue Sky with 2 mega-rare tracks that pre-date their first LP. Ludicrously obscure recordings like that by one-time Black Sabbath openers Egor, who weigh in with a dark 8 minute frenzied overload, just have to be heard to be believed. Pre-Judas Priest doomsters The Flying Hat Band, get in on the action with a couple of fiercely heavy scorchers, whilst legendary outfit Writing on the Wall, Iron Maiden and Bram Stoker provide further sounds of torment and woe. Of course this collection would not be complete without a contribution from Tony Iommi's discovery Necromandus. Plus tracks by Slowbone, Red Dirt, Iron Claw, Monument & Bum. 16 menacing tracks in all."

Part 1 Part 2

Ego On The Rocks - Acid In Wounderland (1980)

Early Eloy members Jurgen Rosenthal (also ex-Scorpions) and Detlev Schmidtchen combined talents in 1979 in what I consider simply to be an amazing album all the way through. Rosenthal & Schmidtchen broke ways with Frank Bornemann and Eloy after recording "Silent Cries & Mighty Echoes" and immediately began writing and recording what they considered more "creative" and "progressive" music. "Acid In Wounderland" is full of great space atmospheres combined with loads of loop and tape effects, acid like guitar solos, bass trance like grooves and loads of electronic keyboard accents. Without a question this album will take your brain into the wonderful world of deep space. The fine folks at Second Battle have found an additonal 35 minutes of unreleased EGO which includes a wickedly wonderful 20 min epic space journey called "Once In Africa". I can not say enough about this album and will recommend this to all lovers of electronic space psychedelia. (James Unger

Part 1 Part 2

Angus MacLise - The Invasion Of Thunderbolt Pagoda (1968-1972)

Thanks to schoub for this one!

The best available recorded documentation of MacLise's work has imperfect fidelity and sketchy details about the five tracks, recorded between 1968 and 1972. It does, however, reveal multiple facets of the percussionist's adventurous music, and firmly establishes him as a significant force in experimental sound in projects not at all related to the Velvet Underground. The most powerful and ambitious of the five cuts is the 39-minute title song, an improvised soundtrack to Ira Cohen's avant-garde film of the same name. MacLise's polyrhythmic hand drum anchors a spooky, hypnotic piece in which organ, tanpura (both played by his wife Hetty MacLise), flute, guitar, dulcimer, and disturbing vocal chants ebb and subside like a Halloween dream soundscape. Although it's not detailed in the liner notes, ghostly reverb seems to be employed on both the flute and vocals, adding to a otherworldly ambience in which psychedelia, shamanistic rhythm, avant-garde drone, and Indian music weave shifting prisms around each other. The other four selections are a real mixed bag, in the best sense of that expression. "Shortwave-India" is a one-minute blast of radio static and white noise; "Heavenly Blue Pt. 4 & 5," credited to the Universal Mutant Repertory Company, is another combination of drum and drone that puts a greater accent on Indian and Asian music influences; and "Blastitude" is a more rhythmic construction that might remind some listeners of Moroccan trance music, with periodic unascribed orgiastic yelps and sighs. The concluding "Humming in the Night Skull," featuring MacLise on song bells, Hetty MacLise on harmonium, and others on flute and guitar, is a soothing combination of tones (punctuated by a couple of baby cries), demonstrating that Angus was not entirely devoted to angst. (Richie Unterberger, All Music Guide)


Günter Schickert - Samtvogel (1974)

A pioneer of the echo-guitar, a multi-instrumental talent and innovator of his own unique echo-rock, Günter has been long active on the Berlin scene, from the 60's in free-jazz, then fronting many bands, and also playing in concert with Klaus Schulze. He's one of the most prolific, yet least known of Krautrock musicians. His debut LP, the groundbreaking SAMTVOGEL (originally self-produced and promptly reissued on Brain) treated the guitar as a mass multi-channel sequencer, with layer upon layer of surging cycling melodies and rhythms, spiralling on in a most complex and carefully crafted manner. A kind of cosmic Krautrock with a dark otherworldly feel. (The Crack In The Cosmic Egg)


Zarathustra - Zarathustra (1971)

Thanks to Henri for this one.

German band Zarathustra stole their name from philosopher Frederich Nietzsche but their sound came from somewhere completely else. Zarathustra were a five-piece energetic heavy progressive rock band who took the Uriah Heep - Deep Purple organ led sounds and mixed in heavy guitar drum and bass interplay. With the aggressive vocals of Ernst Herzner, this album leaves little to question and lands as a straight forward heavy krautrock album with lots of expanded instrumentation and arrangements. Overall a fine album full of nice dark and deep organ grinds and emotive vocals. (James Unger


Electric Mud - Electric Mud (1971)

A mysterious early Krautrock band, of whom we know nothing historically. And, despite a most odd name, Electric Mud were quite extraordinary, radical, dark and intensely psychedelic. Strongly Teutonic, with German lyrics, stylistically akin to Eulenspygel, Drosselbart, or early Tomorrow's Gift, with a gloomy atmosphere, lots of organ, heavy guitars and riffing. An obscure classic for fans of psychedelic Krautrock sounds. (The Crack In The Cosmic Egg)


Staff Carpenborg And The Electric Corona - Fantastic Party (1970)

Thanks to Ryan for this rarity!

A few tracks from this have appeared on a couple well-regarded krautrock compilation albums, but most people I'm sure have never heard the entire record. This is obviously some kind of exploitation album, the cover features a group of 60's swingers and the line in German "A Dance Album For The Hot Hours" or something similar. My advice would be to not break this out at a party unless you want everyone to leave, and stay well away from anyone who is able to dance to this. Exploitation or not, the music is oddly compelling, a kind of free-form beatnik-y jazz, sometimes rhythmic, sometimes not, with spoken parts sounding a lot like a beat-era poetry reading from some 60's movie. I really would be out of my depth trying to describe this any further, and unfortunately there seems to be no information anywhere about Mr. Carpenborg, you really have to hear it for yourself! (First-rate vinyl rip bitrate 128)


Gila - Nightworks (1972)

Although this album was never officially released at the time, this should be the second Gila album and even if only played as a radio broadcast, all of the tracks were brand new and not available on their other two albums. We can thank once again the great label Garden Of Delights for releasing officially this great album out to the public. Unfortunately this is not a studio album, so the sound is not perfect, but it is rather good given the conditions and the complicated story of the tapes.

This album is a real gem if you enjoy psych/prog rock and confirms Gila’s reputation as the German Pink Floyd (much more than Eloy will ever be), but by Floyd, one should understand the pre-DSOTM period. Yes we are dealing with mid-tempo tracks allowing for great mood swing and many semi-improvised instrumental interplay while the lyrics are generally open enough to allow flexibility. Most of the tracks have a feeling as if they were the extended versions of Floyd’s More soundtrack and you could easily glide through the skies with a doobie at your disposal.

After this record, Veit will form Popol Vuh , but will come back with Fichelscher and Florian Fricke to record the following concept album Wounded Knee about the organized massacre of Amerindians. In the mean time this posthumous release is fo be seen as a full-fledged Gila album and right on par with the historical two albums. A must for psycheads and Krautheads. (Sean Trane


Colosseum - Daughter Of Time (1970)

A concept album loosely based on man's fascination and allure for war throughout the ages, Daughter of Time contains all the elements required to create a pure progressive rock album. Joining David Greenslade and Chris Farlowe is Louis Cennamo from Renaissance, who plucks away at the bass guitar with a heavy hand. A multitude of instruments combine to create a... More brilliant melange of music on every one of the eight songs. Vibrant spurts of trombone, trumpet, and flute are driven to the height of each song, which gives way to some implements of jazz fusion. Rich organ and vibraphone can be heard in behind "Three Score and Ten Amen" and "Take Me Back to Doomsday" adding to the melancholy theme. Countering this are beautiful string arrangements made up of violin, viola, and cello used effectively to conjure up mood, and doing an excellent job. Even a flügelhorn is blared from time to time on top of the accentuated drums. A spoken word passage from Dick Heckstall-Smith creates an eerie aura, as his voice echoes on about the coming of the apocalypse. Colosseum's music works extremely well in that it builds suspense and reels the listener into the songs. As far as the lyrics go, they're stark and foreboding and have a mediaeval taste to them, coinciding with the music perfectly.


OK that's it for this week. Think I'll do another Folk Music Week, probably next Monday. See you then.

Monday, May 15, 2006

OK here we are again! Many many thanks to Ryan for uploading that Staff Carpenborg album! This week I'm looking for another that has never been on CD - "Spuren" by Talix, 1970 Germany. If you can help us out with this one you will join the pantheon of 8 Days In April gods!! Thanks also to all who helped out otherwise last week!

Sweet Slag - Tracking With Close-Ups (1971)

The rip of this that's floating around in cyberspace has something hinky about it, I must have downloaded about 10 copies before giving up and buying the dang thing! Anyway, this is a real fine piece of jazzy/proggy rock, spearheaded by a brilliant guitarist named Mick Kerensky. I wonder what became of him? Saxophones, clarinet, flute and other instruments fill out the sound along with a pounding rhythm section. The music is brooding and bitter sounding, like they're pissed-off and scared at the same time, it's all very intense. Best track for me is Babyi Ar, inspired I'm sure by the famous poem Babi Yar by Yevtushenko. You really shouldn't miss this one if you like your music relentlessly dark, weird and angry!

Part 1 Part 2

Fat Mattress - Fat Mattress (1969)

Fat Mattress was formed in 1969 by ex-Jimi Hendrix Experience bassist Noel Redding, who switched to guitar and vocals. The album didn't make much of an impression on the buying public at the time, possibly because the music isn't remotely similar to what Redding did with the Experience, but this is really a terrific record, more in the psych/folk vein. The songs, most of them, are just great. Chris Wood of Traffic plays flute on "All Night Drinker", really adding a nice touch. This is stripped-down sixties hippy English rock, no bombast, no pomposity. Best track for me is "Bright New Day", with it's uplifting message and beautiful melody, it should have been a hit.


Jane - Here We Are (1973)

This and their first album [posted 9-29-05-check the archives] are stone classics. Powerful organ and heavy guitar that just scream! It's really space rock, as far as I'm concerned. Not in the Hawkwind way but more in the Pink Floyd way. Great songs, drums that could crush a brick wall and good vocals. The opening track "Redskin" has one of the coolest kraut-grooves I've ever heard. "Out In The Rain" is great. "Moving" is a space rock classic with an organ tone that will shred your speakers. The last three tracks form a sort of "suite" as they are linked together. And they are gems! Even the short and soft "Dandelion" fits the album mood perfectly. This one is a gem! Includes bonus tracks.(


McPhee - McPhee (1972)

An Australian band from Sydney, which played between 1970-72. Their album is a highly-rated heavy progressive offering with demented guitar, wild organ and some beautiful female vocals. As it was released on the independent Violets Holiday label it's now extremely rare. Five of seven cuts are cover versions which don't stray much from the original arrangements and the production quality leaves a fair bit to be desired at times. The covers comprise Spooky Tooth's "The Wrong Time", Neil Young's "Southern Man", Ritchie Haven's "Indian Rope Man" (many of you will know the Julie Driscoll/Brian Auger version), "Superstar" and Lennon/McCartney's "I Am The Walrus". The two originals are Benny Kaika's breezy "Sunday Shuffle" and the final cut, a 10 ½ minute freeform jazz-flavoured instrumental, penned by Tony Joyce, called "Out To Lunch". Interesting! (Dreams Fantasies and Nightmares)


Birth Control - Plastic People (1975)

Plastic People was the 6th release for this German progressive outfit and in my opinion marks a real highlight in progressive rock music. Plastic People offers a highly refined and professional sound, with some absolutely scrumptious musicianship. Electric and complex progressive rock which does really not sound all that underground as so many German 70's acts did. I would slot this album somewhere in the Pink Floyd, Camel, Nektar school of progressive rock. Birth Control are joined here by the 2 lads from Hoelderlin (Christoph Noppeney & Jochen von Grumbkow) who add some sweet cello and viola along the way. Songs are nice and complex and well constructed offering some nice tempo changes and departures into the land of the Plastic People. Instrumentation is clearly a stand out here and I love the keyboard sounds throughout which do not always dominate but instead nicely compliment the rest of the instruments. For those who love nice complex drumming with great musical excursions then this will whet your palate. Plastic People is a very complete album and I would highly recommend this album to all progressive rock fans. (Wonderful World Of Progressive Rock)


Faithful Breath - Fading Beauty (1973)

Boy, reviews are really mixed on this one, with comments ranging from "prog classic" to "embarrassing"! Apparently, German group Faithful Breath went on to become a full-fledged Metal band, but their first two releases are prog, this being their first. Consisting of three long tracks, this is lush, full, symphonic progressive rock with tons of Hammond organ, Mellotron, and guitar-soaked instrumental passages. Ambitious and atmospheric with imaginative lyrics. Judge for yourself, I guess!


Octopus - The Boat Of Thoughts (1976)

Strong debut album by this German quintet, one of the better items on the Sky label. In the continuum of female-fronted prog bands, this one does follow on in the tradition of Frumpy, Ruphus, Joy Unlimited, Earth & Fire and the like. As the title suggests it flows at a mellow pace. It is very thoughtful. Don't expect any guitar pyrotechnics. Put the headphones on and dissolve your mind into dream mode. This record does not have a bad track on it.

Lead vocalist Jennifer Hensel does have a rather gruff alto voice that won’t be to all tastes, but which is definitely unique, and which suits the music well. This is high-energy prog with a bit of a hard-rock edge. Instrumentally, this relies on heavy interplay from guitarist Pit Hensel (no relation) and keyboardist Werner Littau. Littau’s organ work is the primary force, he also adds lots of spacey Moog synthesizer and a few layers of Mellotron. Of course, the nine-minute title suite is the apex of the music here, but not the only game in town. “The First Flight Of The Owl”, “If You Ask Me” and “We’re Losing Touch” all feature superb stop-on-a-dime changes. (


Gomorrha - I Turned To See Whose Voice It Was (1972)

Another fine album taken from the archives. New rip @ 320.

Doomy and aggressive yet brimming with a cosmic folkiness, this near-masterpiece of psychedelic German rock was released in 1972, marking the high point and the climax of Gomorrha's short career. Dominated by a churchy Hammond organ played by Eberhard Krietsch and the spaced out acid guitars of Ali Claudi and Ad Ochel, the lyrics are suitably bizarre, concerning life, death, religion and visionary dreams with a lot of quoting from the Book of Revelation by English singer Peter Otten. Bassist Mike Eulner and drummer Helmut Pohl anchor some tasty psychedelic jams that are played in the fashion that only the best Krautrockers can pull off. This is a brilliant mix of psychedelic and progressive rock that never gets raunchy or heavy. Head-melting electric guitars, Hammond organ freakouts mingling with quiet acoustic passages and weird lyrics make this an album that should be in any Krautrock fan's collection.


Ok there it is for this week. Later!

Sunday, May 07, 2006

OK Hello!

Missing Link - Nevergreen! (1972)

An unusual band from Munich, blending progressive rock and jazz fusion in a similar way to Pell Mell's blending of rock and classical, in fact there is much in common between these two bands, especially in the song style, though the album NEVERGREEN! is very varied, exploring a different genre with almost every track. Missing Link historically are pretty obscure, although Dieter Miekautsch did later join Missus Beastly and then go on to Embryo. These were one of the lesser known United Artists acts, based in Munich. Nevergreen! was recorded at the Dierks Studio in October 1972. On the seven tracks (plus two bonus tracks) a complex and varied musical style emerged. It included jazz sax riffing ("Sorcery"), some solo piano parts ("Song For Ann"), loud rock outbursts ("Kids Hunting") and matching acoustic guitars ("Spoiled Love"). However, the overall sound is quite jazzy, so the album will appeal most to fans of Embryo, Xhol, Ardo Dombec, Thirsty Moon, etc. Actually, Dieter Miekautsch joined Embryo (also Missus Beastley) after the group's demise in 1973. Drummer Holger Brandt later joined Sahara. The Missing Link album is quite good. (Crack In The Cosmic Egg/Cosmic Dreams At Play)


Temple - Temple (1976)

I like this little album from what was apparently a sub-underground band. They are featured on the "Unknown Deutchland" series, I posted "Krautrock Archive Vol. 1" a while back. Keyboard player is Zeus B. Held, who garnered more attention as a producer later, doing some re-mixes of Gary Numan. The occasional female vocals are from Pauline Fund who is on the "Cozmic Corridors" CD. The male vocals are by "Poseidon". Two pretty frantic electric guitarists are on board, and of course bass and drums. The sound can get pretty cluttered at times, but the music is well done and seems passionately performed. Layers of synthesizers, guitars, percussion solos, distorted vocals, peaceful one track frantic the next, moody and aggressive, what's not to like here?


Tetragon - Nature (1971)

An obscure band, Tetragon originated from Osnabrück in Northern Germany from the Brian Auger inspired Blues Limited. Later, after discovering The Nice, they changed their style and became the organ fronted trio Trikolon, ( I posted their album "Cluster" a couple weeks ago) and upon becoming a quartet by adding a guitarist they changed name to Tetragon! After having toured with their Dutch heroes Ekseption, it's not surprising that Tetragon moved to an ever-more complex classical rock with extensive use of rearranged Bach and other classical themes. The deliberate accent on their blues and psychedelic roots guaranteed a unique twist on the genre, though on their sole album Nature one can detect much of The Nice, Egg and Dutch progressive stylisms. An unknown classic. (The Crack In The Cosmic Egg)

Part 1 Part 2

Black Sabbath - War Pigs

This great sounding bootleg was recorded in Paris, 12 December 1970, and features versions of some of their best early material.

1. Paranoid
2. Hand Of Doom
3. Iron Man
4. N.I.B.
5. Behind The Wall Of Sleep
6. War Pigs
7. Fairies Wear Boots
8. Black Sabbath


Antrobus / The Flying Hat Band (1972 / 1974)

Occasionally I am going to rescue a post from the early days of the blog, back when there wasn't all that much traffic, and give some great albums another shot. I think this was one of the very first albums I posted, now it is at a higher bitrate (256) than the original post

ANTROBUS / THE FLYING HAT BAND (Buried Together) Split-CD: ANTROBUS were formed in early '71 when Britain's heavy progressive rock underground scene was in full flight. The band exsisted for only one year, and they had no real rehearsal place and that's hard to believe while listening to the nine tracks that were never officially released. They are playing at an amazingly high standard and had accomplished song-writing abilities. Like some of their comrades, they are using flute and organ but the songs are more focused on heavy riffs and bluesy vocals. A hard-driving rock approach was adopted but the ability to contrast their sound with classy melodic harmonies is apparent too. And when ANTROBUS were playing hard and heavy, they were just an awesome force. Mixed up with a few sound-effects and a lot of guitarwork, this band had created an effective creepy heavy ass-kickin' sound in their short lifetime. The sound quality isn't high fidelity, but good enough for an enjoyable listening and sometimes I wonder that these recordings are dated from the early 70's, due to their refreshing energy.

The second band on this split-CD is THE FLYING HAT BAND. This was the group where Glen Tipton played, before he left to join Judas Priest. TFHB existed only for a short time and the featured four songs are dated back to '74. The songs are also released here for the very first time, so that one can listen to some ferocious guitar leads and intense riffing. But this band doesn't sound like a Priest forerunner. "Lost Time" is fine acoustic bluesy song, with a slight Latino vibe, while "Reaching for the Stars" got a groovy rhythm-line and the album closes with excessive guitars in "Coming of the Lord". This powerful outfit wasn't around long enough to gain the respect that the energy and drive of their music demanded. They'd got the chance to record an album for a proposed LP on the WWA label and had entered a London studio where they began recording songs. But due to unknown resons, this album was never released. "Buried Together" comes with a very doomy cover-artwork (remember "Die Healing"?) and if you're discovering this disc somewhere then get it. My personal winners are the heavy ANTROBUS, but TFHB have also their highlights. This CD was released by the German re-issue label SPM International, who have also re-released such bands as Groundhogs, Janus, Bodkin, T2 and more, and the English label World Wide Records

Part 1 Part 2

OK that's it then. See you next week

Monday, May 01, 2006

Hi everybody! There's some great stuff this week, and some stuff maybe not as great. Guess that's true every week though. Nevermind.

Groundhogs - 54146 (2001)

This 2 CD compilation features two complete LP's, "Back Against The Wall" from 1988, and "Hogs On The Road", a 2 LP live set from 1987 which has bonus tracks not on the original album. Not the classic Groundhogs line-up, but T.S. McPhee is the Groundhogs. Some great versions of songs from the classic Groundhogs era are on "Hogs On The Road", especially 'Split Part II' and 'Cherry Red', arguably their two best songs ever. If you haven't heard Mr. McPhee before, even if you have, this is a great guitar driven CD. T.S. McPhee is one of the great guitar players.

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Blodwyn Pig - Ahead Rings Out (1969)

Formed by ex-Jethro Tull guitarist Mick Abrahams, Blodwyn Pig's first album does sound a little Tull-like, though without the classical influences, and would have been a logical follow-up to Tull's great "This Was". This is a classic example of British jazzy/bluesy rock. The group had a particularly full sound for a four-piece, because the horn player, Jack Lancaster, would sometimes play two instruments at once. Combined with bassist Andy Pyle's rock solid playing, Ron Berg's inventive drumming, and Abraham's slow-handed guitar playing, this all makes for a great record. Also has one of the great album covers, featuring a pig with headphones on, wearing shades, with a suspicious looking cigarette in it's mouth.


Xhol Caravan - Altena 1969

Great concert from what may be the first band whose music could be called Krautrock. It's hard to believe that this live show happened 37 years ago! My god the energy, creativity and freshness of the music makes it seem contemporary. Well it would if anyone was making music like this nowadays! If you like the jazzy part of the krautrock spectrum, you need to get this thing. It opens with a brilliant 10-minute version of Coltrane's "Olé", then there's 3 shorter pieces, and the balance of the show is a 56-minute long piece called "Freedom Opera". This is experimental jazz-rock at it's best. Only problem I have with this is that it's over 80 minutes long, about 82 minutes. Can anybody steer me to a burner that will let me burn this onto a DVD? I have Nero 6 installed and there doesn't seem to be a way to do it. I think I have in my pile of warez a burner or two that will use 90 minute CDR's, but I don't want to buy a stack of them just to burn one album!

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Fleetwood Mac - Kiln House (1970)

This might be my favorite vintage Fleetwood Mac album, and it's a great rip @ 320 bitrate. I just had to pass it along. I like Peter Green as much as the next guy, but there's something about this version of Fleetwood Mac with Danny Kirwan and Jeremy Spencer at the helm that really does it for me. Post-Peter Green and pre-Buckingham/Nicks, the music is bluesy, rootsy, and rockin' - every song is great. Also the cover art is beautiful, done by Christine Perfect, who would later become Christine McVie.


Can - Future Days And Past Nights (1975)

Thanks to my friend schoub from France for this one. Terrific bootleg recorded from the soundboard during a concert at the University of Essex, May 17th, 1975. Classic Can line-up doing six pieces - 'Chain Reaction', 'Bel Air', 'Dizzy Dizzy', 'Pinch Of Sky', 'One More Night' and 'Meadowsweet'. Bitrate 160.


Jeronimo - Jeronimo (1971)

Somebody requested this a long time ago, and I'll be honest, it's not really my cup of tea, although it will definitely appeal to some. This is standard early 70's hard rock, and to my ears it is very ordinary, with not much to recommend it. It appears to be highly thought of though by collectors of German rock, so maybe you should download it just to see if I'm full of crap!


Ram - Where? (In Conclusion) (1972)

"Ram is yet another band in those long line of nameless bands that made one awesome album and then vanished into smoke. Almost nothing is known about these guys. Presumably (from their name and album design) there is some preoccupation with the zodiac and astrology. The songs themselves are a blend of spacey psychedelia and hard-rock: with these guys it is not uncommon to blend saxophone or flute solos with power chords. The opening track, "The Want In You" is an excellent rock song moved along by a catchy sax riff. "Stoned Silence" has an almost siren-like vocal moved along by some funk riffs and a pretty decent guitar solo. "Odyssey" is a softer, more esoteric instrumental that features a nice flute workout. "The Mother's Day Song" is my favorite track. It's a wicked, down and dirty rock song: hard rock, blues and Hendrix (!) are all influences on this track. The last song, "Aza" is what pushes these guys over into progressive rock territory. It is a side-long suite about a spiritual journey for enlightenment. It begins with `Spiral Paths', very seductively with soft sax and flute solos intertwined around an almost whispery vocal beckoning the listener to venture out into the stars; then with `Bound' it practically leaps into a loud crashing bass and guitar duet; "Peril and Fearer" is the hard-rock section of the suite that features chaotic, almost Robert Fripp-like soloing while the same vocal-sax motif is repeated in the background; the final part, `Where? (In Conclusion)'-the title track-tries to evoke an out there feeling with some phased vocals, a disjointed sax solo, and another loud bass workout, and builds to a conclusion that wouldn't have sounded out of place had there been a Funkadelic/Sun-Ra collaboration album. In all, Where? is an album that is worth every bit the while to listen to. They just don't make good rock like this anymore." (devil doll, review)


Second Coming - The Second Coming (1970)

Doinada from Norway sent this to me a while back, and he did a nice job of ripping the LP and photographing the cover. I never heard of this band, and the guy from "Fuzz, Acid & Flowers" really slagged it, calling it "below-par horn-rock". Whatever. It sounds pretty good to me, though there's not anything psych/prog about it. Horn rock in the vein of "The Ides of March" - both bands share Chicago as a home town. The Second Coming apparently migrated to San Francisco, where they were active in the 'Second Generation' scene. All in all, not the greatest album ever, but worth a download if you like horn rock. As far as I can tell this has never made it to CD, so thanks again to Doinada for this rarity.


Richard Thompson - Henry The Human Fly (1972)

This is one you don't see around too much. Supposedly it was the worst-selling album ever on the Island Records label when it was released! This is Richard Thompson's first solo release after quitting Fairport Convention, and it's maybe one of his best albums. Great songwriting, weird songs, brilliant guitar playing.
Hey I gotta cut this short - getting some work done on the house & I need to move the computer.


Zippo Zetterlink - In The Poor Sun... (1971)

Sorry - crunched for time. Use Google to see about this one!! I will tell you it's crude, weird, & German. Maybe that's all you need to know LOL!!


OK then. I hope there will be no major complications with my floors and I will be able to post next Monday. Have a nice week!!