Peter Frohmader - Musik Aus Dem Schattenreich (1981)
Michael from France sent this to me, and it is just as the title says "Music From The Darkness". A couple of the early tracks feature crashing guitar chords, pounding drums, and weird, pulsing, cyclic electronic sounds. The last track features some tasty bass. The balance of the material is strictly electronic, evoking the coldness of deep space, or the moon rising over the pyramids. Or just a bad, bad feeling, a feeling of ominous dread. Hard to describe, I don't think anything I've heard is comparable to this. I have a feeling that if classic Amon Düül II and Magma got together and they all had the same bad trip, this music sounds like something they might come up with. Dark and eerie, I think this probably needs more than one listen to really get it.
Stoneground - Stoneground (1971)
How about something a little more upbeat? My god that last one was spooky! This great hippie band featured the voice, guitar, and songwriting skills of former Beau Brummel Sal Valentino. But he was only one voice. This band of Bay Area hipsters had four female singers, and no less that six different lead vocalists on the ten tracks on this album. The photo on the back cover shows about a dozen people on stage! Every song is great, whether it is gospel rock, funk, R & B, power ballad, whatever. My favorite track is a Sal Valentino tune, "Colonel Chicken Fry". No wait, it's the cover of Rev. Gary Davis' "Great Change Since I've been Born". Maybe "Looking For You"! Well like I said they're all great. If you like 70's West Coast hippie music, this is a forgotten gem.
Anyone's Daughter - Adonis (1979)
"I have been a big fan of this act for some time now and still rank them as one of my all time favorite prog acts. Anyone's Daughter mix gentle vocal harmonies with some superb progressive rock elements. Uwe Karpa adds some beautiful and tasty guitar leads which seem to blend to perfection with Harald Bareth's bass and lead vocal. Anyone's Daughter offer both English and German lp's and Adonis happens to be one they elected to sing in English . Although Adonis does certainly contain a rather awesome amount of great progressive moments, the major highlight still remains the title epic track "ADONIS" (27 mins). Musicianship is very high here and Anyone's Daughter are very easy to listen to and get into....the music is sophisticated but remains very much in control and many different moods swings. At times I get a very strong underground German feel to the music which I love. To this day Harald's voice still remains one of my all time favorites and the music of Anyone's Daughter is essential in your collection....Highly required and is very intelligent music..." (Wonderful World Of Progressive Rock)
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Precursor band to the German group "Schicke, Fuhrs, Frohling", this awesome symphonic rock was recorded in 1974 and wasn't released until just a few years ago. The music is similar to that done by SFF, if you haven't heard them, think maybe a combination of King Crimson/Van Der Graaf Generator. Four l-o-n-g tracks coming in at just over an hour, loads of Mellotron, Hammond organ & Moog, and brilliant guitar solos from Heinz Fröhling. No overly long solos, all the instruments combine to give great jam-oriented, atmospheric soundscapes.
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Frumpy - All Will Be Changed (1970)
Thanks to Henri from Brazil for copying this CD for me so I could rip it at 320. Not what you would really call krautrock, this is nonetheless an amazing album of early 70's progressive rock. Very unusual for the day in that there are no guitars. Except for the 2 bonus tracks, where we find Thomas Kretschmer, guitarist from the 8 Days in April album. Also on board from the 8 Days in April album are the fantastic singer Inga Rumpf and the amazing keyboardist Jean-Jacques Kravetz. Frumpy's attempt to blend soul, blues, and rock with some classical motifs into a progressive stew was entirely successful. The shorter tunes bring to mind maybe the bluesier side of Spooky Tooth, if they had a brilliant female vocalist. This is an all around great album.
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The West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band - Part 1 (1967)
"Though none of their five albums or two singles managed to dent the national music charts, the WCPAEB were just as much a part of LA’s 60's scene as cherry coke or miniskirts. Although the records didn’t get much exposure, they are regarded by many as low-key classics of LA pop/rock. Part One, their first album for a major label, is a great sample of what West Coast rock was all about in 1967. The album finds the music scene and reflectively, the band, in a period of transition from the well-crafted harmony pop of the Beach Boys to the new “consciously underground” psychedelic rock of the Doors. Particularly reflective of the former group’s influence is the fine vocal harmonies on songs like “1906,” “Here’s Where You Belong,” and “Transparent Day.” The last song especially is an example of the well-produced, AM-friendly pop/rock the group was capable of. At the same time however, the group lived up to their name by being experimental. “I Won’t Hurt You” features a heartbeat which serves as percussion, unusual lyrical images, and slightly insecure vocals which lead the listener to question the singer’s sincerity. Likewise, the band’s cover of Zappa’s “Help I’m a Rock” naturally couldn’t not be experimental, though perhaps the WCPAEB’s version lacks the lunacy and earnestness which made the original disturbing and funny at the same time. “Shifting Sands” is a dreamy, melodic song complete with fine distorted lead guitar runs which add a mystical quality to what was once a simple country song. Other songs on the album are straight-ahead sophisticated pop pieces, such as the “Morning Dew” rip-off “Will You Walk with Me” and the sharp “If You Want This Love.” Much of the album is folk-rock, with chiming electric guitars and distant, McGuinn-esque vocals. Part One is good, and interesting. The group manages to try new things musically while maintaining interest and pop credibility." (Kurt Sampsel www.RockMuse.com)
I posted Virus' first album, "Revelation" last September, and "Thoughts" is their second release and it is somewhat different, now they are playing a wild bluesy hard rock owing more to Deep Purple or Frumpy than Pink Floyd. There is also now a rough and ready sounding female vocalist named Elga Blask. Even though the style has changed some, and there seems to be no documentation of exactly who the personnel are on this second album, this is still a legendary album by a legendary German band. Simply a brilliant slice of 70's hard rock with a psychedelic edge, and should be heard by everybody who likes rock and roll!
Only release by Chil, who were from Switzerland and that's about all I was able to find out about this thing. I already knew that it had probably the worst title for an album in the history of music. Rhubarby?? Must be a translation thing or something, although they sing in English. Anyway don't let the awful album title stop you from downloading this unique slab of music. I don't really know how to describe the material, one website said it was recorded for 'soundtrack use', and it does have a soundtracky, other-worldly feeling to it. When I say 'other worldly' I don't mean space-rock. Ethereal and drugged-out sounding! This was so intriguing I burned it right away so I could hear it on my stereo. I hardly ever do that anymore.
Leviathan - Leviathan (1974)
Excellent early 70's prog in the early Genesis vein!! Originally released on London Records in 1974, this is heavy progressive American rock at it`s best, strongly influenced by English prog of the same period. Far as homegrown prog bands went (with a couple exceptions), 1970's America was the home of the brave but doomed. Leviathan was one act that actually managed to get one proper album release before disappearing, probably to secure to themselves and their posterity the blessings of not starving to death. Not as derivative of big-name British acts as most of their contemporaries, Leviathan`s release instead demonstrates how much more blurred the line between heavy metal and progressive rock had already become in the Colonies than in the Old Blighty. "the synthesis of old-style heavy guitar and Mellotron as displayed here is quite novel and charming - certainly enough to make this album worthwhile. Those into heavy prog in the old sense of the word, without thrash riffs, neo-classical shredding or double bass drum havoc, should definitely investigate this one." (notlame.com)
Fusion Orchestra - Skeleton In Armour (1973)
"Formed in the early seventies, Fusion Orchestra were an unfortunately short-lived progressive jazz/rock outfit of immense potential. Joining the exceptionally talented Jill Saward on vocals, keyboards, flute, guitar and synthesizer, were guitarists Stan Land and Colin Dawson, bassist Dave Cowell and drummer Dave Bell. This is one of the finest bands to have ever come out of the UK, and their sole album release is an absolute masterpiece of sophisticated compositions with stunning female vocals and superb musicianship. When the band split, the members would fade into obscurity, with only Saward surfacing a number of years later as a backing singer in UK pop/jazz outfit Shakatak. She went on to become a fully fledged member of the band, playing keyboards and flute, and, of course, singing, much the same as she did when she was a member of Fusion Orchestra." (dinosaurdays.co.za)