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Friday, January 16, 2015

News: Esoteric to reissue Burnin' Red Ivanhoe's WWW album

I don't typically announce reissues of albums that have already been reissued before, but I make exceptions where I see fit. And Burnin' Red Ivanhoe's "WWW" has been forever off the shelves. It was reissued by Repertoire in 1992, and that version is tough to source. No worries now, as Esoteric will have this out in March, and no doubt will include some historical notes, photos, etc... I'll definitely be picking this one up as soon as it becomes available.

One housekeeping note. There is now a title and cover for The Fields announcement we made a week ago. I'm too lazy to link it in.... just go down a couple of posts :-)

Thursday, January 15, 2015

News: Soul Jazz to reissue archival recordings from Popol Vuh

Thanks to a tip from Gnosis Mike, we learned about this new set of archival recordings from the great Florian Fricke. Soul Jazz plans to release this on March 16th under the title "Kailash" (a few places below spell it Kailish, but it appears Kailash is correct).

Label says: "The posthumous collection serves as an informal career retrospective, largely comprised of solo piano recordings made by Popol Vuh's Florian Fricke. Present are sketches which led to influential early works by the krautrock band (such as Hosianna Mantra) as well as unreleased improvisations and recordings found after Fricke passed away. The material spans from 1972 through 1989.

Fricke, who soundtracked four films for director Werner Herzog, made three films of his own over the course of his career. The 1995 documentary Kailish gives the collection its name and is included on DVD for the first time. The movie was made in collaboration with original Popol Vuh member and filmmaker Frank Fiedler and documents the duo's ascent of the holiest mountain in Asia, known as Kailish or "The Throne Of The Gods." An audio version of Fricke's soundtrack is included.

Tracklist:
CD 1 - Piano Recordings 01. Spirit Of Peace 1 02. Spirit Of Peace 2 03. Spirit Of Peace 3 04. Mahayana (Karuna) 05. The Heart 06. Earth View 07. Moses 08. Garden Of Pythagoras

CD 2 Kailash – Pilgrimage To The Throne Of Gods (Original Soundtrack) 01. West Tibet - Land Of The Nomads 02. The Garden Morya 03. Manasarowar – The Turquoise Lake 04. Nomads Move 05. Last Village 06. West Face – Place Of Death 07. The Kora – Ritual Circuit Of The Sacred Mountain 08. Valley Of The Gods 09. Buddah’s Footprint 10. Transhimalaya

DVD Kailash – Pilgrimage To The Throne Of Gods"

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Mark Pierson Band, USA

Mark Pierson Band - Songs for the Sirens. 1976 Gothic

Mark Pierson is one of a seemingly endless number of folks to consider use of the generic rainbow album cover. The kind of sleeve you expect to find at Goodwill for 10 cents fronting the "The Megachurch All-Stars Sing The Osmonds" (with one tube of toothpaste included!). And yet here we are again with another splendid AC discovery. A quick look around the webosphere demonstrates this one is rare as hen's teeth. Nope - I couldn't find one for myself, so it's open season folks. And when one does get found, look out - high dollars are on their way. If your local Salvation Army has a copy - run and get it now. Because it has been discovered.

The AC modestly describes this as: "Unusual and extremely obscure jazz-rock effort from this Worcester, Massachusetts based ensemble. Flute and lightly amplified jazz guitar lead the way through a mostly tuneful set of tracks (no free jazz freak outs here). An introspective, almost melancholy tone defines this album, which won't knock your socks off with its energy or virtuosity, but is engaging and appealing on its own terms." All of which is agreeable from my vantage point - I found this album to be an extremely pleasant piece of music. And there's an underground experimentalism found here that gives off a whiff of Ohr era Krautrockian glory. Perhaps the abundance of flute plays a major role in this perception. We tend to forget that many of the original German underground rockers had a jazz background before entering the studio stoned out of their frickin' minds. Now - to be clear - this is a straight up instrumental jazz rock album in the mold of MPS moreso than a Kosmische Musik freakout session. But one that is wonderfully underproduced which gives it that underground garage feel. All considered, I dug this one tremendously, and would line up for a CD reissue should one ever surface. Doubtful, but hey, we've seen more obscure stuff get reissued now haven't we?

Priority: 2

Friday, January 9, 2015

News: Esoteric to issue archival second album by Fields

Excellent news here!

Over at PE, Vicky Powell made the following announcement: "Esoteric will be releasing a "never released" second album from the artist "Fields" , a follow up to the self titled album. This album had been consigned to the vaults and will be released on Esoteric in March 2015."

Other tidbits include:

"Line up is: Graham Field organ; Frank Farrell vocals and lead guitar; Andy McCullock drums"

"Mark (Powell) thinks this is at least as good as the first, maybe better. I know Sid Smith who is doing notes really likes it too , having now heard it."

The title is set to be "Contrasts - From Urban Roar to Country Peace" 

Zeljko Kovacevic / Toranj 77, Croatia

Zeljko Kovacevic / Toranj 77 - Miting. 1980 RTB

Here's the second in the latest series from The AC. Since they were on the same CD-R, I heard this along with the Jayar three times straight without any context. For certain, this one caught my fancy a bit more than Jayar. A fine period piece.

"Saxophonist Kovacevic leads his group through a mixture of spacey, funky and more aggressive tracks in this fusion outing that typifies the style of the era. Unfortunately, the sound quality and pressing are not exactly state of the art here, somewhat dampening the experience. Still, it's an enjoyable album for genre fans, heavily influenced by the usual suspects (Weather Report and Return to Forever in particular) and possessing that certain eastern European jazz-rock flair." 

As always, The AC nails it. There's an infectious groove the band catches on occasion, and it's just at the point they seem ready to leap into an amazing sequence, they hop backwards into a pedestrian jazz styled motif. It's a bit frustrating, and it definitely keeps this one from the high echelons. Still, it would seem a quality reissue may scrub off the grime on this one. As we've learned, many of the Eastern European albums were meticulously recorded, only to be released on cheap vinyl, that ultimately sounds muddy. Would be interesting to know if this one follows a similar pattern. One I'd buy for sure, if a legit version surfaced.

Priority: 3

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Jayar, USA

Jayar - Foreign Soil. 1980 Windlord

We heard from The AC in the Fall of last year, and he sent in a few albums, that I've taken forever to preview. But I finally had a chance to listen to a couple that I'll be featuring here.

The AC informs us: "Jayar was the stage name of guitarist/vocalist Jesse Boleyn, who recorded this album (with a full backing band) in Santa Barbara, California. What we have here is a mixture of singer-songwriter, folk-psych and progressive rock, with an atmosphere somewhat reflective of the late hippie/early new age subculture that permeated California from the mid 70s through the very early 80s. Frankly, it can be hard to keep a straight face through all of the plaintive guitar strumming and quavering, overwrought vocals spinning tales of magical wizards and alien abduction/invasion (a major concern of Mr. Boleyn at the time, it would seem), but there are a few moments of interest, especially in the handful more overtly progressive tracks. "R.E.M." in particular is effective, with its synths, psych-tinged guitar soloing and female vocals. A bit silly overall, but worth a spin for US underground completists."

I listened to this 3 times before actually reading his own synopsis, and I had hoped he would have a review similar to the above. There's a clear Yes like sound to the synthesizers and acoustic guitar chord structures, played over a strange vocal tone, almost like Johnny Cash in its earnestness - as sung by David Gates (Bread). But with varying high and low pitches. There's a bit of a Broadway Play feel to it all. It's a very odd album, though interesting for certain. For a US underground completest is a great way to summarize here. Of which I'm afraid both of us tend to be. No need for a reissue, but a mild curiosity piece for those similar amongst us.

Priority: none

Friday, January 2, 2015

News: Michal Urbaniak Group's "Inactin" now out on CD

Two News items in two days! Perhaps we'll have 365 reissues this year? Haha, actually I'd been sitting on this one for a week. Reader Achim informed me of this reissue which we had in the main list under the "Gnosis Mike" section. These are albums I hadn't heard personally, but were recommended for reissue. The general consensus is this is a very good violin driven early jazz rock album.

The CD comes from the UBX label of New York City, which turns out to be run by Urbaniak himself. Apparently the CD also includes a booklet with liner notes describing the making of the album. This is one I'm sure to investigate for my own collection.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

News: Gebärväterli's sole album out on CD!!


Happy New Year everyone! I did not expect we'd start the year off with great news, but here we are. While doing some weekly searches, I came across this wonderful news! At first, I was uncertain of its origin, but it turns out the band is still active, and looks to be released in conjunction with a store in Nuremberg. The first photo shows that it comes in a fine digi-pak and with two bonus tracks totaling over 25 minutes.

What a great way to start out the new year! Our feature here.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

News: Zanov to begin reissuing back catalog!

More good news coming at the end of the year (and thanks to my readers for the heads up here). According to Zanov's Facebook page, he will begin a reissue campaign starting with his third album from 1983 called "In Course of Time". Zanov posts: "As I have many requests to release my vynils albums on CDs, I have started a project to remaster and release a limited edition of "In Course of Time", first quarter of 2015. If you are interested, please like this message. It will help me to decide how many I should manufacture.". So there you go. I've somewhat shunned Facebook over the years, so I do ask those of you who have an account, to run over there and "Like it". It's for a good cause! :-)

Of course, all of this activity is due to the return to the studio for Zanov. Today we have a dual posting with Under the Radar, to celebrate his first new album in 31 years!

Friday, December 26, 2014

Crystal Circus, USA (archival)

Crystal Circus - untitled. 1968 All-American

Here's another title that comes from the CD-R revisit project. I had started to enter this into the CDRWL about a month ago, when I began to discover that the album had never actually been released. After some research, it turns out I was correct. So like the Cathedral "Epilogue"album, this will be another archival release that we're requesting a CD for.

Ah, I can hear you already clamoring to get to your keyboard and write me a note. "No, Tom, you're wrong about this one. I've seen it and it has a title!" And indeed you have, I would respond. Which is why I hadn't even thought about the album much until last month. The working title of the album is "In Relation to Our Times", and it was released/named by Akarma.... for the first time ever in 2001. Dare I need say more? There is a demo copy that they got their hands on - and released it, without anything else other than a noisy tape and a nice cover. As far as I know this wasn't even pressed on wax initially. And if it was, no more than a handful were pressed. There's never been one for sale that I've ever seen in 25 years of pouring over rare catalogs.

Of course if the music wasn't very interesting, none of this would matter to me. But it is! Crystal Circus is one of the very rare bands from the 60's that really does remind one of Strawberry Alarm Clock (and both bands are from the Los Angeles area). As we've noted before, many dealers try in vain to make comparisons to the great SAC, only to have one scratching their head later and asking "Have you actually listened in full to"Incense and Peppermints" or "Wake Up... It's Tomorrow" before?". Crystal Circus has that same type of vibe, with wonderful harmonies, 60s sunshine naivete, and some great psych rock moments sprinkled throughout. Of course, it's not even close to the peaks of SAC, but anything within range of that great band is worthy of a proper issue.

Priority: 3

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

News: Avalanche coming out on CD from Guerssen!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wow.

It's Christmas Eve. It was already a festive evening, and I was off to bed... when I saw a little blurb come across the computer. NO WAY! Years and years and years of hoping this one would come out, but the band had always resisted. And now, it is official. I even bought an original LP at top market prices presuming it never would get a reissue. I suppose at this point, I probably never will sell that LP, but I can't wait to get this one on CD (and for vinyl heads, it is also getting pressed on wax).

Guerssen says: "Absolute masterpiece when talking about progressive / psychedelic folk-rock from Europe. Dutch band Avalanche was formed in the early 70s and recorded their only album in 1979. “Perseverance kills our game” was released as a private edition of 500 copies, which were only distributed among friends and relatives. Despite being a home-made project (the album was recorded in just one day!) the result was stunning. Totally early 70s sounding electric folk-rock with flute, piano, bass, drums, and killer fuzz guitar. Mostly instrumental with a few vocals in English. It alternates delicate acoustic passages with devastating fuzz leads, sounding like Fairport Convention jamming with early Ash Ra Tempel. The album closes with an extended 11 minute track on which guitar player Daan Slaman starts playing leads like a madman, creating layers and layers of liquid acid-fuzz guitar. It has to be heard to be believed! First ever LP / CD reissue, done in cooperation with the original band members. Insert / booklet with rare photos and liner notes by Richard Allen. Carefully remastered from original vinyl (the masters were destroyed long ago) using state-of-the-art equipment, resulting in stunning sound quality." 

This was one of our Priority 1's... Perhaps the best Christmas present for many of us, eh? :-)

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Rudy Perrone, USA

Rudy Perrone - Oceans of Art. 1981 Heartstring Music

Here's one that goes under the heading of "oversight". I've had this on cassette, and later CD-R, for as long as I've been dubbing such things. In fact, this is on the same CD-R as the Cathedral - Epilog that I featured a few months back. That would be CDR #1 in my catalog. LOL.

In any case, I recently bought the LP (what you see above). It's a very rare album and the vinyl is near mint. And you can see the cover - a VG I would say.

Rudy Perrone was the original guitarist for Cathedral, and not surprisingly the music possesses some of the same sophisticated progressive rock you would expect. Of course, this being 1981, there are plenty of nods towards more current trends, and a bit of AOR as well. The music is lighter, with acoustic guitar playing a major role. A very good album that improves with each listen.

Priority: 2

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Aurora Borealis with Mitch DeMatoff, USA

Aurora Borealis with Mitch DeMatoff - s/t. 1982 Red Hot

Here's one I've been sitting on for a looooong time. The AC sent me a CD-R all the way back in April of 2012! Once I heard it, I set about obtaining my own LP. As we learned from Landress-Hart, once an album gets into the CDRWL, the value can rise significantly. Not all albums of course, but ones like Aurora Borealis do! So I didn't want to miss out, because I quite enjoyed the music. I found one immediately, but the seller never responded. Then came the summer, and buying LPs here in Texas is extremely risky due to the oppressive heat (if the package gets any extended exposure to the sun, the vinyl will warp quickly). So I decided to wait until the Fall (still in 2012). And then.... I forgot all about it! The AC reminded me once again about it recently, and this time I did secure the album (in fact, it's the photo above). So onto the music....

The AC described it to me as: "Obscure fusion platter from this (presumably) Los Angeles based group led by keyboardist DeMatoff. Largely excellent high-flying instrumental fusion in the classic RTF mold. The last couple of tracks in particular are absolutely blazing, one of which features a guest spot by Bunny Brunel. Strongly recommended to fans of stuff like Proteus, Spaces, Apprentice, etc.". And really that's all there is to say. I could throw in perhaps Child's Play as another reference, an album we featured recently here. As well as Momentum, Genre, and others of its ilk. It's on the border of fusion and progressive rock. It starts more in a typical early 80s jazz rock mode, but as The AC notes, it really picks up from there. There's some smokin' guitar leads here!

Priority: 2

Monday, December 15, 2014

News: Materia Gris reissued on CD from Fonocal

Materia Gris - Ohperra Vida de Beto. 1972 Harvest (Argentina)

This one fell though the cracks mainly because I didn't realize it wasn't on CD already! I had the reissue LP (legit?) for many years and decided to move it out a few years back. And hadn't really thought about the album again. But now we for certain have a legit CD from the respected Fonocal label of Argentina, and they've added a few bonus tracks as well. It's a decent psych influenced / early progressive album. Certainly an album I would buy again if the right opportunity comes along.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Sound Creation, Japan

Sound Creation - Progressive Rock. 1971 Teichiku
Sound Creation - Rock Fantasia. 1972 Teichiku

I've been sitting on "Rock Fantasia" for awhile. This came via a tip from Laser Ken a couple of months ago. I've only heard one side of the album, but it's really quite an amazing side! We've been talking about the early 70s Japanese underground for a few years now on the CDRWL. It's amazing to me just how many treasures there are to be found over there - and they are all ridiculously obscure. In the last few years, we've seen CD reissues of these gems - always limited and expensive. But they've been worth the time, money, and effort for me at least. Perhaps this will be another title we will see? I hope so...

Here is the description that came from the dealer that was selling this (and where I got the sound clip, which is no longer available.... however for the clever amongst you, do a Google search and use the cache feature...).

"The monster Japanese progressive psych LP...!!!! Same series of "S.Tanaka - British Rock Live" LP by Teichiku label. Pink Floyd type progressive rock music. The arranger is Yusuke Hoguchi! He is the leader of People - Ceremony"Buddha meet rock"!! Sound Creation is a secret band. All band member's names are hidden. The inside of the sleeve has liner notes. Even the reviewer of the liner notes does not know it. However, I think the band is same of "Buddha meet rock."...! Because the arranger is Yusuke Hoguchi... If it is right, the guitarist is Kimio Mizutani!!!! This LP is really rare, so Pokora's book does not list this LP yet." 

Well there you have it. When he says "Pink Floyd type progressive rock music", he means "Ummagumma" era. This is the good stuff. Space rock with a psychedelic freakout backdrop provided by no less than the legendary resident freakmeister himself: Kimio Mizutani.

Priority: 1 or 2 (if it's like the track I heard, we'll go Priority 1... but for all I know Side 2 is a choral piece, or children's music, or God knows what. The Japanese albums from this period are crazy like that. Even if that's the case, it's worth a CD for the one side which is over 20 minutes long).

The AC has also chimed in regarding this band with his usual expertise on the Japanese scene: "As you suspected, it was your typical exploitation studio project that was so common at the time in Japan. It was indeed another Yusuke Hoguchi-led session (People, Mannheim Rock Ensemble, etc.), and was actually the second Sound Creation LP. The first one was also released on Teichiku (in '71) and was called (wait for it...) "Progressive Rock"! (scan attached). Anyway, both of these were basically covers/arrangement albums, but given the psychedelic "New Rock" makeover. As you might expect, the side that the dealer featured is the more interesting of the two. And both LPs, while they have their moments, are rather patchy. Other LPs of this ilk that are still not too well-known include the aforementioned "British Rock Live in Japan", a couple of the "Warner Beatniks" LPs featuring Kimio Mizutani and even one or two of the later, lesser-known Love Live Life records. Again, most of this stuff is fun but inconsistent, and not always as shockingly rare/expensive in Japan as certain dealers catering to western collectors make them out to be."

Monday, December 8, 2014

News: Garden of Delights to reissue Panko album soon!

Whew! A bit of relief here. It seemed Germany's best reissue label had disappeared into the ether without notice. This is the first we've heard from them since 2013. We had first announced that the Panko album had been added to their "Coming Soon" list back in Sept of 2012. So this is welcome news - and Panko is something I'm most interested in hearing what they will do with it. I just have a cassette dub (like everyone else I presume), and sonically it's pretty rough. Hopefully we'll see an improvement like we did with the Cosmic Circus tape. The music is outstanding, as would be expected from 1971 Germany. See below for label's description.

In addition to the Panko announcement, they are wrapping up their commitment to reissue Virus' "Thoughts" on CD as well. This will include the two bonus tracks that were also on the Long Hair LP reissue from last year. They're very short, so not worth getting for that alone, but I wouldn't mind upgrading my old Bernhard Mikulski CD from 23 years ago, and checking out their history section (which was also a nice addition to the LH LP).

GoD is also continuing to reissue their back catalog on LP, and they have a few titles selected. One curious one is the first Eela Craig, which they did in conjunction with Amber Soundroom about 10 years ago. I bought that one immediately, and it looked like a great investment, but it appears it may lose its value now with the new reissue (except for those that collect Amber Soundroom reissues I guess....). Oh well, I'm not selling mine in any case.

Still no word on the Missus Beastly "Space Guerillas" and Sunbirds "Zagara" reissues that were imminent two years ago. Hopefully they're still on the docket. I would love to get CDs of both of those.

Here's GoD's description of the Panko album: "Panko from West Berlin (not to be confused with the much later East-German band Pankow) musically reminds of Xhol Caravan or the early Embryo. The band mostly played long jazzy instrumental pieces, dominated by flute and alto saxophone, at times interrupted by mainly English vocals and some follies. The band existed from the late sixties 'til the end of 1972. During its active career the group didn't release any material, although they definitely had much potential. In 1983 their drummer (at last) released the cassette 'Weil Es So Schön Perlt'. This tape featured live recordings of good sound quality, dating from June 1971. Now here's a great CD-edition of that tape, enriched with two bonus tracks."

Saturday, December 6, 2014

News: Guerssen to reissue MacArthur's debut album!

Really good news here. We heard from Ben MacArthur recently, via the comment section on this very blog, and he informs us that Guerssen will be reissuing their debut on both CD and LP in the coming months! For years it was presumed the album was from 1973, but about 3 years ago, we were informed it was from 1979. I'll be a first day buyer!

Monday, December 1, 2014

News: Audio Archives releases archival Wooden Lion album

Typical. Nothing interesting for weeks, and in comes at least two interesting releases on the same day (still researching here). I know nothing about this one beyond the hype sheet provided by the label. Sounds good on paper anyway! Label screams:

"One of the rarest previously unreleased heavy psych album from the early '70s UK underground by the original five-piece band. Painstakingly re-mastered from the only surviving acetate, you get long, tripped-out tracks with an early Hawkwind feel, toughened by dark vocals that combine to make this a cosmic-doom classic. Highlights include the atmospheric 'Ice Maiden', the spaced-out 'She Paints Strange Pictures' and their notorious tour de force, the lengthy three-part 'McAlistairess Phantoms'.

Plenty of rare band shots, items of memorabilia and detailed sleeve notes included in this long lost forgotten classic."

News: Pseudonym reissues 1973 Dutch folk pop psych album Mayfly

On the fringes of what the CDRWL typically covers, but I thought many of you would be interested in this announcement. Nice to see Pseudonym pressing on, and we can only hope they'll eventually tackle some of the more obscure Dutch rarities that remain without a CD reissue.

Label says: "Like the insect that gave them their name, the Dutch group Mayfly existed for just a short while before disappearing. In their brief lifespan, though, they recorded one truly magical and timeless album, along with a handful of singles, all beautifully crafted and imbued with beguiling atmospheres and melodies. Formed in the late 60s in the northern coastal town of Bergen, Mayfly recorded their self-titled album for Ariola in 1973, working with Wally Taxs producer Martin Duiser. The album now sees its first ever CD reissue, dynamically remastered from the original master tapes. The original cover artwork has been expanded into a deluxe digipak and booklet featuring rare photos and liners notes by Mike Stax with input from the original band members. The album is an enticing blend of folk-rock and psychedelic pop with shades of the Idle Race, the Kinks, Fairport Convention and the Beatles. This reissue features nine bonus tracks, two demos, the non-LP singles Orphan Girl, Skew-eyed Jimmy, Quite A Surprise & Signed By The Time plus two alternate 45 versions of the groups first single, that jaunty, Ray Davies-inspired Blue Sofa. Folk-rock, Psychedelic Pop. Exclusively restored dynamic 24 bit remastering from the original master tapes. Deluxe digipak gatefold sleeve. 16 page booklet including rare archival photos & memorabilia. Rare archival photos included. Liner Notes by Mike Stax / Ugly Things."

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

News: Nadavati's sole album to be reissued on Soleil Zeuhl soon!

Well this one certainly caught me off guard. We learned from Wayside's mailer today that Nadavati's sole album "Le vent de l'esprit souffle où il veut" will be reissued on CD soon. Certainly not typical fare for the Zeuhl biased label - but an album I'm very grateful they are reissuing and I will be a first day buyer! Our prior feature here.

News: Rudiger Lorenz's "Invisible Voices" reissued on Anthology

Thanks to a note (and photo) from regular contributor Eric, we learned that synthesist Rudiger Lorenz's debut LP from 1983 (who had one cassette prior) "Invisible Voices" has been reissued on CD from the Anthology Recordings label, which is the first time we've come upon the imprint. I admit to being woefully ignorant regarding Lorenz's work, but it's clearly within scope of the CDRWL. I couldn't make heads or tales out of the label's description, but I did find this review online that is more telling: "As rosy-fingered dawn cups Holbeck in its hands and thumbs open the new day's crack, I'm starting another mammoth review-a-thon with the gorgeous new age kosmische sounds of this meditative-yet-bustling reissue from full-time pharmacist/part-time synth wizard Rudiger Lorenz, which originally came out in 1983 (as did I).

It's a timely reissue, since so many of the current crop of synth explorers are so in thrall to the late '70s/early '80s sound. I've not encountered Lorenz's music before today but it's very impressive - lushly constructed synth meditations full of graceful drones and robotic pulses and softly unfolding melodies that to my ears falls somewhere between contemporaries JD Emmanuel and Tangerine Dream, but more melodically restless than either - in fact the latter's soundtrack work on films like 'Near Dark' often comes to mind because the nine pieces contained here are fairly succinct despite the "new age" nature of the softly trickling synth tones.

I get the feeling that the individual tracks are supposed to evoke the atmospheres of certain places. 'Out of the Past' has some staticky whooshes and a striding melody like Vangelis's beach run music from 'Chariots of Fire', 'New Atlantis' has strange dramatic space-swells, stumbling drum machine and a robotically processed female-voiced monologue. Sometimes the time and place he's trying to evoke is hinted at by the titles, such as the blissful 'Summer with Sonja' or the slightly Kraftwerk-esque 'Flight Over Greenland'. All in all it's a very enjoyable album, full of varied moods, easygoing melodies and vintage synths."

Thursday, September 18, 2014

News: Cybotron's debut to be reissued on Dual Planet

The Cybotron camp is quite active lately, and it was only a matter of time that the debut album would see the light of day. Thanks to a note from CDRWL friend Achim, we learned that Dual Planet intends on reissuing Cybotron's Clear Light of Jupiter debut on both CD and LP in November. Very good news!

The label also tells us to look for "Colossus" next year. The latter had already received a legit CD on the INAK (In-Akustik) label close to 25 years ago (I have it myself) - but the CD is very hard to find these days. However, as I research this title, it turns out to be an incomplete reissue, missing close to 10 full minutes off the original, though it does include a rare single. I never knew that until now! (And I have the original LP too - I should have known better). So the Dual Planet version will most assuredly be the de facto one to own, and I'll be certain to upgrade.

Dual Planet also promises to issue other unreleased material. So plenty of good news coming out of Australia.

Here's the label's description of Cybotron: "Part Man Part Machine, Cybotron was the synthesis of progressive rock and electronic music experimentation. Conceived by pioneers of the Australian electronic underground, Steve Maxwell Von Braund and keyboardist Geoff Green, together they produced a series of mind-altering cosmic albums throughout the 1970s which set the tone for the Minimal wave and electronic post punk scene of early 1980s Melbourne. Part Tangerine Dream, part Ash Ra Tempel, Cybotron channelled the spirit of Krautrock to create their own unique brand of throbbing Komische electronica rivalling the futuristic vision of their German counterparts. Dual Planet present the long awaited reissue of this landmark Australian recording. Issued as an exact replica of the rare 1976 Clear Light Of Jupiter LP, remastered from the original master tapes and includes new liner notes."

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Cathedral, USA (archival)

Cathedral - Epilogue. 1979

One type of album I haven't featured on the CDRWL in the past are archival works (studio / professional live recordings) that have yet to be issued on CD. I don't have too many of these, but the few I do have are mostly excellent. And perhaps other than Tortilla Flat's "1973 SWF Session", Cathedral's follow up to "Stained Glass Stories" is the best of the lot. The sad tale here is that the album was set for release, and then the band backed out. Both Rockadelic and Syn-Phonic had designs for a LP/CD release as far back as 1990. And this was when I was fed an advance copy on cassette (no track titles or album cover). To be clear, what I do have is definitely demo quality (including some rough live material from "Stained Glass Stories"), and maybe that was the issue from the band's perspective. Or perhaps there were higher quality tapes that I wasn't privy too. In either case, the album's release fell though, and I'm forever grateful to have received the crumbs, if that is indeed what this copy is. Musically, one can hear the band tighten the ship a bit from their debut, though it's still what one would call all-out progressive. Sort of like taking Yes' "Close to the Edge" and handing it to Gentle Giant for further arrangement. When the band reformed in 2007, I pointedly asked about this release on a public chat forum. Their response? None. They purposely ignored me. I tried again, but they had no intention of engaging on the topic, so I gave up my quest. I've heard varying accounts as to why the album never saw the light of day, but as you might suspect, it's all of a personal nature. The tragedy in all this is that the music is absolutely brilliant. One does wish they'd all have a few beers, and reconcile. It appears that won't happen though. Tragic, I think, is the appropriate word to apply here.

Priority: 1

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

News: Probe 10 reissue on Lion imminent!

We've announced this prior, but given that it's coming out about 8 months later than expected, it's worth restating. Personally, this is near the top of my CD want list, so I'm quite excited about it. I did manage to pick up the original LP in the last year thanks to Midwest Mike. And the CD is going to be housed in a mini-LP jacket with a color booklet!

Here's a couple of reviews for the album: "This masterpiece crawled up my spine like a kundalini snake and proceeded to take the top of my head off. Probe 10 are unquestionably linked to a very specifically American form of proto-prog-into-jazz-rock synthesis of the precise sort Elektra Records used to specialize in, from Tim Buckley's Starsailor to David Stoughton's Transformer. Toss in trumpet fanfare laden acid psych straight out of the C.A. Quintet songbook, the riotously melodic and dense brassy arrangements of McLuhan... and...well...hold on to your hookahs!" -Mutant Sounds 

"Unique jazz-rock album with major space-rock vibes. You have to love the way the bass counters the effects-laden guitar solos and heavy fuzz. Considering how many loner folk and hard rock private press albums came from the same time period, discovering something this ambitious and unusual is a real kick. Most of the time, it sounds like the world's best exploito-jazz record, Herb Alpert filtered through Pink Floyd and Quiet Sun." -Acid Archives

For my own deranged review, see my UMR entry.

Monday, September 1, 2014

News: Havenstreet's very rare album "The End of the Line" to be reissued on Sommor

News coming out of Spain is that Sommor Records will be reissuing the very obscure 1977 album from Havenstreet. This was one of those albums, that after first hearing about it, I turned every stone over looking for a copy. Finally I got a chance to hear it in 2005 at Meister Dirk's pad. What a disappointment. Of course I'd been told it was a Canterbury like record, so my expectations were not set properly. It's not Canterbury at all (except maybe the vocals which vaguely recall Richard Sinclair). But it is a folk rock album - and that genre has many fans. So I think this title will be well received by those who love obscure folk rock. I've heard many people praise this record, beyond collectors looking to profit. I had this one only in the main list prior.

This double CD will feature two unknown cassette releases as well as rehearsals for the album proper and a lost 4th album from 1979. These collectively will be known by the title "Perspectives".

This is the CDRWL's first encounter with the Sommor label, but it appears they are in the Guerssen circle. All looks above board to me. Here's the label's description:

"The genesis of Havenstreet goes back to 1969, when Phil Ridgway and Jeff Vinter played in The Gas, an experimental psychedelic band heavily influenced by Barrett-era Pink Floyd. The two friends started to write songs their own songs, ending up as a folk duo. With the offer to record some of their material at a friend’s studio, they recruited more musical friends…so Havenstreet was born. The influences had expanded now to bands and artists such as Peter Hammill, Strawbs, Traffic, Procol Harum, Stackridge, Keith Tippett, Bert Jansch…In the early-mid 70s they recorded a couple of albums which circulated as private cassettes among friends and relatives. In 1977, Havenstreet released “The End Of The Line”, a self-released album in a private edition of 250 copies. It was collection of very English songs with evocative, literate lyrics and a stunning progressive folk-rock sound. It featured one of the earliest known tributes to Syd Barrett on the song “When the madcap meets the world”. 

This expanded double set reissue of Havenstreet’s sought after album includes: 

*The original “The End of the Line” album from 1977. 

*A new album called “Perspectives” which presents the best tracks from the privately pressed cassettes The Autumn Wind (1974) and Transition (1976) plus rehearsal recordings for The End of the Line (1975/1976) and previously unreleased recordings for the group’s projected fourth album (1979), which was never completed. These amazing tracks range from electric acid-folk to Barrett-esque psych-pop, pastoral folk and Caravan styled prog-rock. 

*16-page LP-sized booklet with photos and detailed liner notes. Remastered from the original master tapes. 

“Attractive songs combine with relaxed, amateurish male vocals and intricate lyrics to form a coherent work with a clear personality. Stylistically it’s reminiscent of melodic, rural-prog-rock like Caravan or Hatfield & The North, with occasional flute and sax ornaments. A few tunes with full guitar-rock setting betray a possible Richard Thompson influence”- Patrick Lundborg (Galactic Ramble) 

“…Combining the back-to-basics acoustic feel of the nu-folk generation with a swirly, psychedelic vibe, ”The End of the Line” could actually be an album that was made in 2014. But this album was privately released in 1977. Now finally remastered and brought into the present, the retrospective feeling is amplified and should appeal greatly to fans of 70s folk and progressive music. This reissue is a must have even for the lucky few who own an original copy of the album as it comes with a bonus disc, ”Perspectives”, that compiles non-LP tracks from 1974-79. The quality of the extra material shines through…” – Michael Bjorn (Strange Days Magazine) 

Tracklist: THE END OF THE LINE: German Castles - When The Madcap Meets the World - Old Ways and Schooldays - Music in the Night - Suspended Animation - The H.S.B Song - Yesterday Was Summer – Rain - The Castle - Out of the Fireglow - The Keeper of the Tower - The Photograph - After Time 

PERSPECTIVES: Aftermath - Falling Leaves In Autumn - Fat Old Engine - Family Laughter - Just An Illusion – Klok – Damascus – Grasshopper - Your Not Being There - The Ballroom Of Despair – Aftersong - Village Vespers"

Monday, August 11, 2014

Update: Fireballet reissues to obtain release in the US on Inner Knot

Much more information has surfaced regarding the reissues of Fireballet since we last reported on it. Thanks to a note from TheH this morning, and a further discussion with Laser Ken, we have learned that the Fireballet albums will be coming out in the US in September on the King Crimson specialist label Inner Knot. And, as it turns out, band member Jim Cuomo's wife runs Inner Knot, so now it's all making sense. As far as production goes, it was remastered by Larry Fast, so it should sound fantastic.

The official blurb on Facebook says: "We here at Inner Knot are proud & excited to announce the long awaited release dates for Fireballet's "Night On Bald Mountain"… newly remastered by Larry Fast… August 25th for Japan & Sept 16th in the USA… stay tuned for info on when to pre-order!"

We also have learned that the band was unsatisfied with the "Two, Too" cover (if I said that was understandable, it would be a gross understatement I think), and so expect new artwork for that as well.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

News: Both Storm (Spain) albums reissued by Arabiand


Achim also let us know that both Storm albums have been reissued in a double CD set known as "Lost in Time" on the Arabiand Rock label. I was following the label intently for awhile, but it seemed they had stopped activity. So it's nice to see they are still in the game. This CD has been co-released by Musea as well.

The first Storm album was reissued by Lost Vinyl nearly 20 years ago, but the second never did get reissued. I've had "El Dia de la Tormenta" in the main list for some time thanks to Midwest Mike's CD-R contribution a few years back. I held it back from its own post since it's a bit out of range for this list (more of a straight forward hard rock album), though it's more progressive than the debut actually.

News: Atmospheres / Clive Stevens now on CD

I had a few folks mention this one to me - including Gnosis Mike and Achim - while I was on vacation these past two weeks. I flat out just wasn't aware of this title, though it's obviously more well known amongst fusion fans, and as you can see by the label above, it's loaded with marquee talent.

The label is ESC who specializes in fusion. Their advert for the album goes on to say: "Saxman / keyboard player Clive Stevens from Bristol, England, was among the earliest to explore the nexus of jazzrock and electric jazz in his two 1974 albums. And both releases, “Atmospheres” and “Voyage to Uranus” have stood the test of time. “Atmospheres” was finished in one day with no rehearsals in New York City. This was a super session of the highest level with bassist Rick Laird and drummer Billy Cobham's only recording together outside John Mclaughlin's Mahavishnu Orchestra.

The world class guitarists Steve Khan and John Abercrombie feeding off of each others' incredible talent, Ralph Towner on electric piano/ring modulator in awesome form and Harry Wilkinson added later on percussion.

The raw power of the session was electric, beyond belief. So don't expect to hear something mellow, this is dark, sometimes scary music for those late nights. Still compelling after all these year, something like a blast from the past.

“Atmospheres” is being re-released now after 40 years, first time on CD. Some of the compositions came from Clive’s original band in London called "CAPARIUS"."

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Roland Hollinger, France

Roland Hollinger - Bardo Thodol. 1978 Scorpios

Here's another one from the CD-R revisit project that is being promoted from the main list.

The term Bardo Thodol is more commonly recognized as The Tibetan Book of the Dead. Wikipedia summarizes as thus: "The Tibetan text describes, and is intended to guide one through, the experiences that the consciousness has after death, during the interval between death and the next rebirth. This interval is known in Tibetan as the bardo. The text also includes chapters on the signs of death, and rituals to undertake when death is closing in, or has taken place." So it's safe to assume the album shouldn't be played for laughs... As such, Roland Hollinger's debut album is primarily a haunting and dark electronic music that befits the solemn subject. Some accent instruments pop up here and there like guitar, piano, saxophone, and percussion - but primarily "Bardo Thodol" is a pretty bleak work as you might expect. I would say this is a logical companion to the two Jean-Baptiste Barriere albums from the same era. It's an album worthy of discovery, thus a CD reissue would be nice, especially for an album with these kind of dynamics.

Priority: 3

Hollinger has at least 4 other albums according to RYM (and 6 from Discogs), of which I know nothing about.

Monday, July 14, 2014

News: Fireballet's two albums to be reissued on CD finally! (but there's a but... of course there is)


Thanks to a comment from TheH, we've learned that these two star crossed albums will finally have ended years of absence on the (legal) CD market! Good news right?

Well maybe.

They are being done by Belle Antique of Japan. So there is good news in that these are legit. And they will be housed in the best possible album cover (their mini-LP jackets are superbly made). There is more possible good news that they may sound awesome. Or... they may not. Belle Antique's record is mixed on this front when they are the first to market, and that's because they don't do their own mastering - or at least they don't typically do their own mastering. Meaning they are reliant on the source provided them. Sometimes great (Old Man & The Sea, Speed Limit), sometimes not (Aquarelle, Eloiteron). I wasn't able to find any corroborating evidence on this reissue to research, but I know the source of the news to be valid. I'll buy it anyway and find out - and report back to the UMR site.

They should be available next month. The first album will feature 3 bonus tracks and "Two, Too", will feature... well duh... 2.