Monday, October 22, 2007

Happy Monday!!

Chris Bell - I Am The Cosmos (1992)
Chris Bell was a founding member of Big Star who unfortunately died in 1978 while recording his first solo album. This album then is basically a collection of a couple single sides, demos, and whatnot. Awesome sensitive, depressed, melodic 1970's singer-songwriter stuff with a few rockers thrown in the mix.

High VBR w/scans Download

Klaus Schulze - Moondawn (1976)
Klaus Schulze with an array of synthesizers and a drummer, Harold Grosskopf, lay out two long tracks of spacey, cosmic, sonic soundscapes. One of Schulze's best, according to some reviewers.

Bitrate 320 w/covers Part 1 Part 2

Made In Germany - Made In Germany (1971)
Made In Germany was a band with a split personality! A lot of the tracks here are very good three-minute pop songs, while there are a few longer tracks, like the nine-and-a half minutes long "Man In History" that are great early 70's progressive rock. Singer Rita Peuker had a great strong Teutonic voice. They shoulda stuck with the prog material I think!

Bitrate 320 w/covers Part 1 Part 2

Moebius, Neumeier, Engler - Other Places (1996)
I just picked this up in a used CD store yesterday and haven't really checked it out, but what I've heard seems to be pretty cool. Anyway, this is Dieter Moebius (Cluster), Mani Neumeier (Guru Guru) and Jürgen Engler (Die Krupps), nine tracks improvised in the studio with no overdubbing.

High VBR w/scans Part 1 Part 2

Paul Kossoff - Live At Croydon Fairfield Halls (1975)
This turned out to be the last concert for Mr. Kossoff and his band Back Street Crawler. He died the following spring of a drug overdose. Great playing from a rock legend.

Bitrate 256 w/covers Part 1 Part 2


The Sons Of Champlin - The Sons (1969)

One of the more obscure groups of the late 60's San Francisco ballroom scene, their sound is based on the Hammond B-3 organ and a prominent horn section, making their sound distinctly different from their Bay Area cohorts. They were a "Musician's Band", meaning that their releases were well received by other musicians, but really didn't connect with too many music buyers. The shorter songs are sometimes introspective and low-key, and the longer songs have the complex structures and time signature changes that one associates with progressive rock. This is their second album and probably does suffer a bit from 'sophomore slump', as all the songs were written for the album, as opposed to their first release, where they had been playing the material for a long time live. Regardless, they knew where the groove was and had no trouble getting there.


Electric Sandwich - Electric Sandwich (1972)

No historical information is known about Electric Sandwich, though they are reputedly ex-Vinegar. Typical of many Krautrock bands of the era, they drew on a wide range of influences: jazz, blues, psychedelia, etc., and moulded their own fusion with that typically cosmic yet powerful edge. Their sole album is oddly balanced, opening with the lengthy Xhol/Kollektiv-like instrumental "China" with excellent electric sax, and thereafter establishing a more unique brand of song fronted by a gruff vocalist, in a blues and jazz accented progressive blend. Really, every track on the album is different, though a recognisable Electric Sandwich style does ride throughout.


Epidermis - Genius Of Original Force (1977)

The songs on this release from German band Epidermis have multipart vocals, and occasional instrumental counterpoint, so they’re often compared to Gentle Giant. But their music is a lot darker and less refined than typical Gentle Giant, and I can imagine lots of people who like Gentle Giant not liking Epidermis at all, and some people who don’t like Gentle Giant liking Epidermis.

The lyrics are about the creation of the universe by God. Though the band is German and the lyrics are all in English, they’re actually only rarely bad, and accents are barely noticeable. I really like them since they’re so unique, both in topic and style. Instrumentally, the band has a lot of interplay, but not a lot of variation in their sounds or style. The keyboardist sticks almost exclusively to clavinet, the guitarist and bassist both have their own sounds they stick to as well. There are several passages with vibes or acoustic guitar though, all of which are played pretty well. Typically the compositions are centered around riffs played on the guitars and/or keyboards, few of which are very complex, but each bandmember frequently plays their own lines, and it all seems carefully thought-out in advance even if it’s not always professionally–executed.

This was obviously a low-budget album, but it’s also an extremely distinctive one - the kind of thing that is easy to find fault with but also very endearing in a lot of ways. I really like it. (dnieper111,


Haboob - Haboob (1971)

This German release is a mixture of jazz-rock, soul, blues, psychedelia, really difficult to pin down. Plus it's not really a German band, the players are Americans or maybe Brits living in Munich. Star of the show is American keyboardist Jimmy Jackson, better known for his appearances on the classic early Amon Düül II albums, and albums by Embryo and Klaus Doldinger's Passport. Jackson plays something called a "Choir Organ", which seems to have been a one of a kind instrument that only he played. Best cut, for me, is the first track "Israfil" a nine minute long affair which probably wouldn't have seemed too out of place one one of the first three Amon Düül II albums. Weirdness prevails throughout the rest of the album, there's bluesy psychedelia, keyboard freak-outs, percussion extravaganzas and an unusual version of "Soldier Boy" by the Shirelles! (Vinyl Rip)


Minotaurus - Fly Away (1978)

Minotaurus were an obscure 70’s band from Germany, who recorded 2 albums with only one ever being released "Fly Away". Inspired by the story of the Mintaurus living in King Minos' Labyrinth on Crete this 6 piece band deliver an album full of organ roaring progressive rock. This album although essentially a symphonic mindmelt does also blend in psych and space dimensions into their sound. Their overall sound is quite rich with a good chunk of mellotron and deep bass lines. Vocals (Peter Scheu) are sung in English and fit the music quite well. Instrumentally this band were amazing with inspiring and pompous keyboard leads, mellotron atmospheres , great guitar , bass and drum interplay. Overall sound carries allusions to Novalis, Marillion and Eloy. (James Unger


OK see you later!!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi GarColga! I'm glad you choose to put up Chris Bell's album on your blog. I don't know if it's still in print, but any fan of Power Pop music should get this...Big Star sorely missed this man's talent.

And though I haven't had the chance to heard all of it, thanks for the "Epidermis - Genius Of Original Force" re-post as well. I'm a BIG Gentle Giant fan and this album has been somewhat of a oddity to us fans.

Ta-Ta for now!


2:32 AM, October 23, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for another bunch of rare gems.
Can you imagine the smile on my face, when I stumbled over an original copy of "Haboob" in the garbage a few years ago? Somebody moved and obviously didn´t like it!
The "choir organ" that you´re talking about seems to be nothing more than heavily processed organ and melotron. Everything on this record including the vocals is processed through distortion, phaser, flanger, delay and every other vintage gadget that you can imagine. And I think that´s what makes this record special. Musically it´s ... well, how shall I put it ... stoned out jams around the great nothing.


3:21 AM, October 23, 2007  
Blogger Roderick Verden said...

Made in Germany?! One more good germany band that i did know it.
Thank you, my friend.

12:01 PM, October 23, 2007  
Blogger Beowulf said...

I've just found your blog again, and have plundered some of your back catalogue, it's good to see that you are still around, I've ben out of it for a while, keep up the good work and thanks for the music

3:39 PM, October 25, 2007  
Blogger radiotinman said...

I already have it, but I wanted to say "Good Call!" on the Chris Bell. Excellent album! Any fan of Big Star or just good pop music should have this. This Mortal Coil cover two of his songs--"You and Your Sister" and "I Am the Cosmos"-- on their album Blood, in case anyone is interested. Ivo Watts-Russell was a huge Big Star/Chilton/Bell Fan. There's your trivia for the day. Lol.

11:37 AM, October 26, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great blog mate!

I've just finished browsing the archives. Found quite a few gems that even me after ten years of kraut/underground research hadn't noticed!

8:46 AM, October 29, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, thanks. I'm really diggin the Guru Guru and was wondering if you had the fourth one (self-titled I think). Thanks.

1:58 PM, October 29, 2007  
Anonymous dr Qi said...

Hi Glen,
Here you'll find Guru Guru's fourth album:

dr Qi

8:02 AM, November 04, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sweet. I was inspired by this blog and a few others and started my own. Come on over for a look. So far, it is all mid-90's noise-rock from Austin, TX, but I will be broading my focus soon.

8:20 AM, November 04, 2007  
Blogger Roderick Verden said...

Epidermis are compared Gentle Giant? No, no, Epidermis are Gentle Giant. hahaha
Thank you my friend

11:22 AM, November 06, 2007  
Blogger human1138 said...

thanks for moondawn. fantastic!

6:54 PM, November 07, 2007  

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