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Sunday, April 26, 2015

News: Zanov's In Course of Time now on CD!

Some of you will remember at  the end of last year our announcement that Zanov was looking into reissuing his back catalog. And he was looking for Facebook Likes. I guess he got enough of them, because we have our first CD! "In Course of Time" is his 3rd and final album from the original run. Furthering the good news, the Dutch label Groove Unlimited has placed it on their imprint. Given that they are the most respected and largest of the electronic music labels/mail order houses, this can only be a good thing for Zanov, as hopefully he'll be encouraged to reissue the first two albums as well. Thanks to Gnosis Mike for the tip on this!

Saturday, April 25, 2015

News: Charlies archival Jail Sessions to be reissued by Shadoks in May

Shadoks continues to mine the great late 60s/early 70s Finnish hard rock / progressive band Charlies. This title, as per Shadoks protocol, had been released on LP already earlier in the year. This particular album is getting a fast track to CD without the usual 2 to 3 year waiting period. It appears to contain 4 additional tracks not found on the LP. I haven't heard the album yet, and didn't find any reliable reviews, but the label hype sheet does sound intriguing for certain: "After 'Musiikkia Elokuvasta Julisteiden Liimaajat' and 'Buttocks' here we have our 3rd release by the great Finnish band CHARLIES. This album was recorded in 1969 and 1970 in Charlies rehearsal room, an 'drunk tank' at the local jail, since Kari Lehtinen's father (later on known simply by the nickname ”Pitkä”) was the local police officer, so the band could use this room for playing and recording. After Charlies got the 1969 Julisteiden Liimaajat album done, and even though they got a lot of positive feedback from it, they never thought the final product sounded right. Pitkä (bass) and Eero (guitars) spent a lot of time considering how to deliver a much harder sounding album as a follow-up, representing the true Charlies spirit. They got the chance to make a new album, one that would be released by the famous Love Records label. The result again was only as good as the budget resources provided. Although in the end, the album Buttocks gained a good, hard reputation, they were never content with it. One night Pitkä said: ”Eero, we should have made our album from your tapes, the result would have been much different.” So the recording your hear now are those tapes the band was very happy with. Much heavier in sound, amazing electric guitar, 100% pure heavy underground sound. After 45 years this Charlies album comes out as the band wanted it to sound like with many alternative versions of songs from the Buttocks album and unknown songs as well. 100% pure Charlies!"

Friday, April 24, 2015

Nariyuki Shimamoto, Japan

Nariyuki Shimamoto - Prelude To... 198? Private

And the second rarity in this week's batch from The AC...

"Early 80s (there's no date listed on the LP, but I'm guessing it's from around 1982, based on the sound and style) progressive electronic obscurity from Japan. Ghostly synths, weirdly effected vocals and a little acoustic guitar create a mysterious atmosphere, although it's all a bit insubstantial and light on thematic development. Gets kind of repetitive by the end of the album, as a seemingly endless synth wash stretches off to the horizon. Closest comparison would be some of the obscure cassette-only releases by Osiris from the same period."

And while I haven't heard these Osiris cassettes, I did once own the LP (documented elsewhere here), and take away the wild fuzz guitar, and that's exactly what you get here. It's primarily an early 80s styled electronic musik album with polyphonic synthesizers, and completely lacking in heavy analog tones. Picking up a later Earthstar sound here, given the cool vocal effects. This latter element propelling the album to its greatest heights.

Priority: none

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Nimbus, Germany

Nimbus - s/t. 1980 private

And now it's time for our weekly review of the AC's latest archeological finds. Of all the albums in his latest dig, I have to say Nimbus (Germany) is one that I keep hearing about, but never have actually heard. Its reputation is stellar, so does it live up to the "hype" as it were? I use the term hype carefully, but I fear to say that there are many out there who do, in fact, hype this one to me. As in "buy my CD-R... now!" (I don't buy or trade CD-Rs, but that doesn't seem to stop the solicitors of such).  And one can't possibly have a deep dive expedition without at least one Kraut Fusion album, now can we?

Let's check in with The AC and see what his lab results produced: "Yet another instrumental progressive fusion rarity from the vast German private press scene. But this one's a cut above the norm, with excellent compositions spiced with a healthy does of progressive rock, keeping things interesting all the way through. The keyboard work in particular stands out. Unfortunately, the sound could do with some cleaning up, which makes a reissue all the more necessary. This is certainly in the top tier for this style, so hopefully one of the German labels will step up to the plate someday."

And as usual, The AC's findings are as accurate as a DNA sample. One of the more frustrating aspects about this release is finding information on it. Try looking for Nimbus (1980 Germany) on the internet or any online discography. Oh, I tried all my database tricks I picked up as a professional DBA in the 90s, but not much relevant showed up in any event. Too generic I'm afraid.

The music is as The AC describes, a highly melodic instrumental jazz rock album, with guitar and keyboards in the lead. Bands like Surgery, Mosaik, Moira, and Profil are all good guideposts here, and all just as obscure as hell too (though at least the former did get reissued by Garden of Delights - and one we bought immediately).

And speaking of GoD, this album has their name all over it. Clearly one for their digital archival machine. And, just as the AC notes, a sound cleanup probably will take this one up a full point.

Priority: 3

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

News: Fractal to reissue 3rd and 4th Sonorhc albums

Thanks to reader Gal, we learned this morning of this imminent CD reissue that is due on April 27. Amazonia is an archival album, released here for the first time. Both of these albums will be presented on one CD.

Label says: "Good news from the Sonorhc’s « space shuttle » ! After the two first albums « Purf » (1972) and « Outrelande » (1982) released last year, Fractal records deliver now the second volume of the expedition with the third and the fourth album of the band : « Portes d’Orient (East Gates) » (1984) and « Amazonia » (1985) again on CD, perfectly remastered and in the same concept « two albums in one ».

As a band who claim to be « without leader », Sonorhc is a collective with variable line-up as shows this reissue : four musicians (Youval Micenmacher, Laurent Cokelaere, Pierre Buffenoir, Jean-François Gaël) on « Portes d’Orient » and only two for « Amazonia » despite this one could be saw as almost entirely composed by Jean-François Gaël alone, inevitably one the of major force in their ranks. Jean-François Gaël is born in Paris in 1938. He worked as guitarist, composer or arranger with : Hélène Martin, Francesca Solleville, Marc Ogeret, Marcel Mouloudji, Jean Ferrat, Colette Magny, Catherine Sauvage, Henri Gougaud, Antoine Tomé, Mama Béa and with poets : Jacques Prévert, Louis Aragon, Eugène Guillevic, René Char, Pierre Seghers... Theses collaborations will find success five times for the «Grand Prix du Disque de l’Académie Charles Cros» award. He worked at the GRM in 1965, at the GMEB in Bourges in 1985 and at the IRCAM in 1995. He now composed film soundtrack for cinema and TV in his own studio.

So, here is finally reissued and for the first time after thirty years (yeah !) two sounds library records. Title name for each will transport you immediately in the right place: don’t need to move, the space shuttle travel for you ! With 32 tracks in total and with the adequate instrumentation for both albums : « Portes d’Orient » is a stunning meditative ethnic musical trip for guitars, bass, drum, percussions, moog, duduk, flute, guembri, arghoul, woodblock, hurdy gurdy… Overall it reminds the famous Agitation Free first album « Malesch » without the « rock » side but adding the « spiritual » side of Peter Michael Hamel works. « Portes d’Orient » is a very scarce album nowadays and almost impossible to find now in original vinyl LP. « Amazonia » use more synths but also many others ethnics instruments making this one a relaxing and melodic album in a reverie jungle mood. Jean-François Gaël done three trips in the Wayanas tribe in Amazonia and he also worked at that time for the french serie TV « Carnets de l’Aventure » and then brings together all his « amazonia » themes for this album. The patterns are diverses and united, going from Bernard Parmegiani’s electroacoustic side (« Passoula ») to Francis Bebey’s « psychedelic » sanza (« Sanza Sun »), Jorge Reyes’s ambiant ritual (« A Ouanary ») or Steve Roach’s tribal works (« Pakira »)… Two hidden lost gems made in France finally dig up ! Sonorhc go back in time (the space shuttle show you the correct sense of the reading : from the right to the left) and explore the consciousness !

NB :

- (1) : « Portes d’Orient » from 1984, is the real third album of the GROUP Sonorhc, and it should be NOT credited only to the duo : « Jean François Gaël - Pierre Buffenoir » (it’s an error) : there were no artists name printed indeed on the original cover album, but the Sonorhc logo appears well on the camel saddle in the drawing made by Jean Pierre Lamerand at that time.

« Amazonia » is a complete unreleased album recorded in 1985, never published before, and again with a front cover made again and at that time (!) by Jean-Pierre Lamerand.

- (2) : The album « K’an » (1993) became in that way the fifth album of Sonorhc.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

The West Coast Workshop, USA

The West Coast Workshop - The Wizard Of Oz And Other Trans Love Trips. 1967 Capitol

This one came up via the CD-R revisit project and is being promoted from the main list. I've had this one a long time, having been fed a copy by my old friend ProgCzar about a decade ago. Like many major label US psych albums, this title remains elusive for legit reissues. There is at least one pirate of this album, so watch out!

The West Coast Workshop is one of the better exploitation albums you can hear. It's primarily orchestrated pop music geared for a mature adult crowd. That is until they break into these cool long jams featuring flute, tablas/hand percussion, and sitars. In the end, you have a "psychedelic" version of the original soundtrack + a handful of originals. Get hip man. Solid. As one online zine (Scram) states it's "easy listening gone horribly awry". Well said.

Priority: none

Monday, April 20, 2015

News: Two jazz titles of interest: Caldera - Dreamer / Lloyd McNeill - Tanner Suite now on CD

Gnosis Mike informed me a few weeks ago of the Caldera, and I'm just now getting around to it. We're both fans of the Latin jazz rock / funk / pop ensemble from New York. I even enjoy their more commercially oriented Earth Wind and Fire styled albums (especially on Sky Islands). Dreamer is considered by many as one of their best, if not the best, despite being their 4th and final album. It's the only one I haven't heard to date. The CD is pressed by Capitol of Japan, but is currently available at a domestic price (here in the States anyway). According to the various discography sites, they had also pressed a CD of this title back in 1990, but it was rare as hen's teeth, I'm sure, before this repress.

The second scan shows Lloyd McNeill, an artist that I've done a poor job of covering in the past. Not sure why, as I'm a huge fan of the jazz flautist, who plays with an incredible spiritual passion. Though truth be told, the music is on the margins of what we cover here. Tanner Suite is definitely not the place to start though. It's more sparse, and academic as it were. I do highly recommend the other two "Asha" releases that have already been reissued in the last 5 years: Asha 1 (1969) and especially Asha 3: Washington Suite (1970). These CDs on Universal Sound are with direct involvement of McNeill, and are well worth exploring. McNeill returned in the mid 70s with 3 fine flute jazz albums, slightly updated for the times (though McNeill was always his own person with his own sound), and those remain without a CD reissue. Ultimately I'll give them a feature here on the CDRWL.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

News: Maloo All About the Things reissued on Made in Germany

And here's the second notice from Grant. I have to admit this is one announcement I flat out missed. I saw it - oh yes I did - and just ignored it. Not sure why, as Maloo is in the main list (notes below), though I never gave it a feature. It's been a long time since I heard the album and it was in the stacks for the CD-R revisit project. The good news is, if I find it more agreeable than prior, now I can buy the CD from the always excellent Made in Germany label!

Finding information in English about this reissue has proven tough. But from what I can gather, this is a 2 CD set of related artists. Spaces of Reflection is from 1976, and is a new title to me. It appears to be a free jazz album if the notes below hold true. And predates 1977's Maloo effort. With trusty aid Google Translate by my side, I will attempt to decipher the label's hype sheet, and edit accordingly:


The duo with Bernd Töberg (g) and Michael Kullick (dr), was throughout this creative period (1974 - 1976) strongly influenced by the 'Coltranschen freedom' (ED: We'll guess this means John Coltrane here). With this particular style of jazz, to make the total improvisation as the heart of their work, it was the exceptional duo's first time to explore further a random harmony instrument. The high art of improvisation, and the dense congenial interplay of guitar and drums, that comes along thematically most melodic and rhythmic, has been able to unite in a progressive fashion, modern jazz, rock, blues and free improvisation itself.


By mid-1976, however, the duo had taken on a musical change. Because the new works were now composed with complex issues and an extended functional harmony, and did not want to play again and again to the absolute power limit, the duo has been extended by a bassist for a new trio named 'Maloo'. With Wolf Struck on double bass, the new songs could now be played much more relaxed. With the addition of another electronic instrument (Moog Synthesizer), it was possible to insert the new compositions with advanced sound textures to create even more space for the artists. The album was produced by REINHOLD HEIL who at that time studied at an engineer school in Berlin. He was a member of the jazz-rock band BAKMAK and went to NINA HAGEN BAND and SPLIFF later.

CD 1 – Spaces Of Reflection:
1. India 08:25
2. Voodoo 11:50
3. Funkline 03:35
4. Turn Around 09:24
5. Impressions 05:57

CD 1 Total: 39:11

CD 2 – All About The Things:
1. Lenthe 12:26
2. Jordan 05:04
3. Bolus 05:04
4. Nightmare 10:42
5. Samba De Linthe 02:04
6. Nightingale Waltz 07:56

CD 2 Total: 38:16"

My own notes on Maloo stated (again, it's been a few years, so I do want to hear it again): "All instrumental light jazzy rock. Rhythms are pure jazz while the guitarist noodles away with a slight amplified tone. At times, I was strangely reminded of Harmonia's "Deluxe", though Maloo are entirely different genre wise. It's just the way the guitarist meanders about, similar to how Rother would do on occasion. Not a great album by any means, but one worth a listen or two if you appreciate jazz guitar with a rock edge."

News: Easy Chair reissued on World in Sound

OK, time to take a break from the rarities until later in the week and catch up on some news and CD-R revisits. CDRWL reader Grant has informed us of a couple of relevant reissues that have come about recently. First off is this extreme rarity from Seattle circa 1968 reissued by the high quality World in Sound label of Germany. Easy Chair was recorded on one side and featured only 3 songs totaling 20 minutes. There's no bonus tracks here, so consider this a mini-CD as it were. I've not heard of the band or album prior to this announcement. (4/21/15 update: I did listen to it on YouTube last night, and I have to say it is really good. Somber stretched-out blues psych. It's sadly too short, so a CD may be superfluous, but I'll buy one if the right price comes along).

Label says: "Long expected and now re-issued (with remastered sound) for the first time! Easy Chair's 1968 one-sided album, with a running time of 20 minutes, is one of the most sought-after US North-West psych-underground records of all time. Original copies have been sold for over 1.000 US$. Justly remembered as psychedelic rock pioneers, they crammed an amazing career into only one year of activity. Easy Chair performed with the Yardbirds, Cream and the Mothers of Invention. Their epic West Coast blues features the unique chemistry of psychedelic guitar leads, fluid lines and hypnotic chording. By the end of 1968 they caught the attention of Zappa's crew and signed a record contract with Bizarre Records. Unfortunately Easy Chair broke up too soon, though multi-instrumentalist Jeff Simmons, together with drummer Al Malosky, recorded the 'Naked Angels' soundtrack (re-released by WIS in 2008). After releasing his solo album 'Lucille Has Messed my Mind up' in 1969, Jeff joined The Mothers."

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Akira Ishikawa & His Count Buffalos, Japan

Akira Ishikawa & His Count Buffalos - African Rock. 1971 Dan

This is not my first run in with Akira Ishikawa & His Count Buffalos, as Shadoks reissued their (next?) album Uganda (1972) on LP and Tiliqua followed up with a CD reissue a couple of years after that (mentioned in the AC's notes as well). I found the album a disappointment, as it was primarily African percussion with a few cool Mizutani freakouts, but honestly it sounded as a late addition, and didn't fit the album as a whole. I'm about 10 minutes in here, and I have to say they reissued the wrong album. So far, this is great.

Time to check the archaeology dig notes from the AC to get his impressions: "Akira Ishikawa's travels to Africa and subsequent fixation on fusing African music with modern jazz and rock is well documented, but unfortunately several of his more interesting LPs that came out during this particular period are not. First there was the avant-garde free-jazz freakout "Impression of Africa - 'Uganda'" (unrelated to the later well-known "Uganda" album), a commercially unreleased 1970 live supersession arranged by Masahiko Sato and performed by the combined forces of Akira Ishikawa & Count Buffalos, Toshiyuki Miyama & New Herd, and the Terumasa Hino Quintet. Only a couple of test press copies of this are known to exist (Columbia seemingly deemed it "too extreme" and refused to release it), making it perhaps Japan's rarest and most valuable experimental jazz LP. Interestingly, if you read the liners of the original "Primitive Community" LP, it's actually mentioned there as a "shocking" introduction to the Africa-meets-jazz/rock concept in Japan. But more relevant to the album being reviewed here was "Power Rock With Drums - The Road to Kilimanjaro" (1971, Canyon), credited to Ishikawa, but aside from his drumming actually performed by the Freedom Unity and composed (partially) by Hiromasa Suzuki. This latter name is perhaps the key point here, as although the second side of "Power Rock..." consists of nothing but pop/jazz covers, the first side features two lengthy and more interesting Suzuki pieces fusing African music and progressive jazz-rock. This seems to have laid the groundwork for "African Rock", released later the same year, for although it's credited to and performed by Ishikawa and his Count Buffalos band, all but one of the pieces were actually written by Suzuki once again. 

So, now that we've set the scene, what about the music? Well, thankfully this one is a bulls-eye for what they were attempting. Eight all-original instrumentals (aside from a little "tribal chanting") are featured, and the style can perhaps best be described as a fusion of the better parts of the following year's "Uganda" (think of "Pigmy") with some hints of "Primitive Community", filtered through the psychedelic/progressive jazz-rock stylings that Suzuki would develop over the next two years on his "Rock Joint" albums. The highlight of the album for me is the one-two punch that leads off the second side, "The Earth" featuring some of Mizutani's wildest fuzz soloing ever, followed up by "Love", a darkly mysterious flute and tribal percussion led piece that really nails that "lost in the deep jungle" vibe. An excellent album overall, and hopefully one that will be reissued someday. Confusingly, there was another identically titled "African Rock" LP released in 1972 (this one featuring a close-up of Ishikawa's face on the sleeve), but it consists of nothing but cover tunes and is of much less interest."

If the phrase "Mizutani's wildest fuzz ever" doesn't get your heart started, you may want to consult your doctor. Or your coroner. This album is everything you want in a funk psych jazz rock album - except you almost never do get what you want. It's the perfect blend of sweet grooves, wild psych, and deep funk. Horn charts, flute, tribal drums, and Mizutani psych guitar. What more can you ask for? A really splendid album, that the always deep diving Japanese record companies seem to come through on. It's a matter of patience at this point. But given all the wonderful Japanese reissues we've seen in the last 5 years or so, we can only hope this one will achieve top priority.  I'd be a first day buyer for sure. As for original LP's, well they're predictably expensive - more than I would want to pay for this type of album. I did find a couple of copies out there, if you are so inclined and financially secure.

Priority: 2

Friday, April 17, 2015

Tower of Dreams, USA

Tower of Dreams - s/t. 1981 private (EP)

From the mysterious lands of Japan to the medieval castles of Europe, so goes the AC. Well at least if cool album covers are any indication. But alas, the band is from New Jersey. As the stylus drops, one hears some dark electronics. Oh, this one is going to be good! Let's check the AC's dig notes shall we? "If you were to stumble upon this odd little artifact of the private press heyday, you'd probably be pretty excited, thinking you may have just discovered some lost relic of the US progressive rock underground. Evocative band name and song titles, all instrumental, primitive but cool black and white fantasy artwork, weird comic insert with conceptual track descriptions, etc. A sure fire score, right? Well, "not so fast, my friend!" as a certain sports broadcaster is wont to say. Unusually released on 10" vinyl, this is somewhere between a very short LP and a long EP (around 20 minutes), being the work of New Jersey bassist Gene O'Brien and his backing band. Musically, it's kind of hard to pin down, as it's not really prog, psych or fusion per se. Maybe "atmospheric instrumental rock" will do the trick? It's all very low-key, with just a few flashes of guitar soloing to liven things up, and rhythmically quite straight forward. It seems to be themed on sleep and dreaming, so I guess the overall soporific atmosphere is appropriate. About the only direct comparison I could make would maybe be the most sedate parts of the Bob Bath Band album (similarly instrumental, guitar-oriented, and methodically paced), but even that's a stretch. A puzzling one really, although I can't help but kind of like it. For US underground completists only."

Ah crap. The review is very fair, and it does remind me of those American bands that surfaced in the early 80s when the majors had long pulled out of the progressive market, and anyone with a good connection and a few extra dollars, would get an album pressed. They all have this sort of "dull" sound. Not the music necessarily, but there's just no edge to the instrumentation or production. As The AC notes, I kind of like it too. But honestly, past the cool cover and intriguing comic book, there's not a whole that that pushes this one forward into the tantalizing category. Interestingly enough, a copy sold for all of $2.99 last week on ebay. Not all long lost artifacts have value.

Priority: none

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Akuma No Bansankai, Japan

Akuma No Bansankai - Dinner in Honor of Demon. 1976 Demon Record

Well, then, what a place to start on the dig, eh? Look at that cover. And that title. Oh my, we're a long way from the Japanese progressive rock I grew up with (Fable on the Seven Pillows anyone?). I think digging something like this out of the ground must come with some sort of curse or somethin'. And thus said the Elder "He who shall uncover Dinner in Honor of Demon shall spend eternity with album cover on thy mind". Alright, let's check in on what the AC's notes were while he was excavating this one: "Private press psychedelic/folk-rock anachronism from a group of Hiroshima high school kids that generally sounds more late 60s than mid 70s. The album starts strong with some cool amateur guitar psych, loaded with effects, ancient sounding organ and possessing a decidedly trippy vibe. It's a lengthy album however, and kind of gets bogged down in more standard acoustic guitar/piano driven folk-rock much of the time. Would probably go down well with the private psych/folk collector crowd. Like a number of these obscure amateur/student group private presses from Japan, it's actually a very well-produced album, with cool cover art and a nice booklet."

Hard to argue with his initial findings. It's a bizarre album, that moves seamlessly amongst many styles. Each side's opening with variations of [standard 1940s Asian theme] is a bit silly,, but some of the lounge bits offset by fuzz guitar were very interesting. At times the album is brilliant, with crazy effects and crazier ideas all coming at you randomly and seemingly out of place. While at others, the fast-forward button begins to look appealing (especially on Side 2). One can even hear a proto Pizzicato Five here. Honestly, the album seems more influenced by 1967-68 era Beatles than anything else. So yes, as the AC notes, one could see this going down a storm with the well heeled collector set who already have everything else, but for the rest of us, it remains merely an interesting curio. Perhaps it would serve well as a featured item in a small town museum.

BTW - you will not see the name Akuma No Bansankai anywhere on the internet, but since the AC speaks fluent Japanese, he was able to decipher the cuneiform tablets for us.

In doing further homework on this title, I came across this sale item, for the super cheap price of $820 (the dollar isn't that strong yet): "A Divine Treasure in my home town Hiroshima.
Superb Fuzz Psych Prog Rock Teens from Hiroshima High School.
Include a member Young Genius Yoshihiro Kunimoto who
later became arranger for Jun Togawa, Denki Groove.

Such fame were Teenager Underground Scene in Tokyo.
Miki (Young Char involved), Rotten Peach etc.
This album from Hiroshima. However, this album had
a young genius keyboard player Yoshihiro Kunimoto.
And he managed and made this splendid album.
If they released a thousand copies and many collectors could hear,
this would be in the top ten of Japanese Psych album.
Gee but Pressed only less than 100 copies.Cool Mystic Mona Lisa Art Cover.
Recorded at Demon Record Studio 29th March to 5th May 1976.
They were high school students 17old in those days.
(They were from Hiroshima Kokutaiji High School which
lots football players are graduated.)
Cool Atmosphere in the Whole This Album.
Great Fuzz Psych, Key Prog, Technical Guitar Jam, Tricky Ideas,
Competent Guitar Plays, Outstanding Lunacy Effects etc etc
Also includes Mystic Prog Folky which in Rural Psych Style,
Basement Heavy Psych Hard Rock ala Blues Creation's Druggy Blues Rock,
Also include Day Dream Folky tune in Half Doze "Happy End" Style
with Hypnotic Lyrics. Outstanding Psych Prog Album Totally.

A1 - Super Highway 3:03
A2 - Shinkirou No Machi 4:45 (Town of The Mirage)
A3 - Yume Ni Notte 3:08 (Ride The Dream)
A4 - Wakare 3:17 (Farewell)
A5 - Tokai No Natsu 1:03 (Summer of The City)
A6 - Torikawa Ondo 2:50 (Torikawa Leading)
A7 - Kimi No Tamenara 6:07 (Only For You)

B1 - Dainashi 1:45 (It's Spoiled)
B2 - Chippoke Na Tayori 3:22 (Small Letter)
B3 - Koisuru Kotono Muzukashisa 4:32 (Difficulty of being in Love)
B4 - Oyome-San 2:55 (Bride)
B5 - Furu Ame Ni Tatoete 4:30 (For example, like Rain falls)
B6 - Moon Drops 2:49
B7 - Hoshikuzu Atsumete 4:03 (Collect Stars)
B8 - Dinner in Honor of Demon 2:00

Prod by Yoshihiro Kunimoto, Tomoya Masaki
Engineered by Yoshihiro Kunimoto, Takanori Imada, Shouji Hirata + Demon
Takanori Imada - Lead Vocal
Yoshihiro Kunimoto - Hammond Organ, Synthesizer, Vocals
Masanori Kobayashi - Guitar, Vocals
Tomoya Masaki - Guitar, Vocals
Hitoshi Ninaya - Guitar, Vocals, Chorus
Takuya Ohmura - Guitar, Vocals, Chorus
Shouji Hirata - Guitar, Chorus
Atsushi Kiba - Bass, Chorus
Shigenori Hamaguchi - Drums, Percussion, Guitar, Vocals"

Priority: none

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

New Discoveries are Upon Us

Like the archaeologists who toil away in the Egyptian desert, we too have discovered new and mysterious faces - in the form of rare music yet unheard or unseen by the masses. That most famous of music scientists, The AC, has returned with perhaps his biggest haul yet of unknowns. I took a sneak peak at the stack, and I will just say it is impressive (Including at least one album I never thought I'd hear in my lifetime). Especially after all this time has passed. How does he do it? We'll never know - it is his trade secret.

As well, I've been sitting on a couple of my own LP purchases (similar to Datura and Iliad in that way), and we've heard from old friends like Heavyrock as well in recent weeks. And we have a new friend that we've known for awhile, but has also made some suggestions that require our own personal dig. If that's not enough - the CD-R revisit project will remain on track, and more common albums like Tripsichord, El Tarro de Mostaza, Finchley Boys - to name the most recent activity - will be uncovered as not having legit reissues - a tragedy in of itself.

I don't anticipate going back to daily postings, but I think you will see more activity in the short term as we work through these aural scrolls discovered by the master himself. We are talking back to the Ginga Rale Band and Metaphysical Animation days of yore. I have no idea of the quality of these albums. I know it will be a mix of the good, the decent, and the bad, but as journalists we must discover the truth.

With any luck at all, we should have a new posting ready by Thursday or later in the week.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Tripsichord, USA

Tripsichord - The Tripsichord Music Box. 1970 San Francisco Sound. 1971 Janus

Here's a title I never thought to enter into the CDRWL. I came across it during this week's CD-R revisit project, did some homework, and realized this one is like so many of the classic American psych albums before it - nothing but pirates and shady types. I first heard this album via LP in the late 80s. Yet another one of those awful muffled white label bootleg jobs that held back my musical progress by 5 years. Eventually ended up with a decent cassette dub that now sits on this CD-R. I was all set to buy the CD too when... ugh.

The band is usually known by the title of the album - and it is in fact their original name. They had shortened it by the time of this recording (in 1969) to just Tripsichord. The first copy you see is the actual original and probably sits in the SFMOMA it's so rare. The second copy is the more common one, as the relatively large American label Janus picked up the rights in 1971 and released it all too late for anyone to care by that point. Hence its rarity today.

Musically it falls squarely into what was popular in San Francisco in the late 60s. More commonly known as the "West Coast Sound". It's a mix of hard edged psych and jangly rural pop songs. The latter has always been a turn off to me, but The Byrds were an enormous influence in those days, and that was the mix they brought forward to great popularity. Tripsichord's needle moves more towards the psychedelic, and features a few great tracks that you want to hear over and over. Enough so, to award it a:

Priority: 3

Monday, March 30, 2015

News: Branco has reissued rare Love album from Japan (1977)

This is actually old news - as in 2013 old. But The AC ran across this one recently and suggested we announce it here for broader exposure. I heard the sample provided, and it does sound quite intriguing, so definitely good advice. Completely unknown to me prior to this. Label states: "The Japanese band LOVE was formed in '71. They had connections to the well known psych acts Far Out and Flower Traveling Band and the music of all these groups is comparable. Love's lone LP was released privately in 1977, in a limited edition. The album includes one live track, recorded in '74 at Japan's main rock event, the 'One Step Festival', which also hosted Yoko One and Shinki Chen. Since Love was from Fukushima, the band and label decided to donate half of all benefits from this CD-release to the victims of the city's nuclear disaster. The CD comes in a gatefold mini-LP sleeve and includes an insert with lyrics and photos, and an OBI."

Saturday, March 28, 2015

News: Jiro Inagaki & Soul Media's "Dosojin" to be reissued in May!

We recently heard from The AC, who brings us this good news: "Jiro Inagaki & Soul Media's "Dosojin" is finally being reissued on CD in Columbia's Deep Jazz Reality series! Now that they've done "By the Red Stream" and "Wandering Birds", this will complete the reissue trifecta of the most interesting (at least from my perspective) Inagaki/Soul Media rarities from the early 70s. The street date is May 20, and it's up on all the Japanese webshops. Here's the Amazon Japan link"

Some of you will recall this to be one of his many great Japanese discoveries over 3 years ago now. We had it as a priority 3. Looking forward to owning this title!

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Datura, France

Datura - Mr Untel. 1982 private

Now here's a title I had on cassette years ago, and it made no mark on me whatsoever. So little in fact, I didn't even have it in the main CDRWL, much less as a separate post. As many of you know, the original list was indeed a personal CD wants inventory, and so I purposely left stuff off like Datura. It was only later I started adding everything that fit within scope, even if it wasn't a personal priority. And Datura is an album I forgot all about. Well, time has passed, and I had a chance to source the original LP at a reasonable price (in fact, the copy you see above). It's probably been 15 years (or longer) since I last heard the album, and my personal perspective has changed quite a bit since then. Not only does this belong in the main list, but it deserves a separate post.

Datura's debut reminds me a lot of early Mona Lisa, especially at the time of L'Escapade. That is to say the music is somewhat straightforward, under produced, and amateurish. But it is undeniably French and very much like Ange (whose album Caricatures is another guidepost here). There are small hints of its early 80s heritage, but the music is rooted in the 70s. There's even quite a bit of mellotron on it (one of the rare such albums not mentioned in Planet Mellotron (yet)). It's not a super album by any means, but it's a good one for fans of the French theatrical style. Not the place to start for those looking to hear this most unique genre. This one is for the deep divers. Of which I'm one, so I'm more predisposed to liking it than perhaps others.

Priority: 3

Sunday, March 1, 2015

News: Aztec reissues Company Caine's debut on CD

Nice to see Aztec still plugging along downunda. This is one of the titles they had on their Coming Soon list for about a year or so. I haven't heard it personally. Looks to be a bit of a fringe piece for the CDRWL, but certainly fits the overall genre.

Label says: "It’s rare to find an album from the early 1970s that has never been officially reissued on CD (ED: Not as rare as we would wish...). A case in point is the legendary 1971 underground milestone from COMPANY CAINE – A Product Of A Broken Reality. This highly regarded artefact is one of the last albums from the glory days of the Australian progressive-psych scene to attain a new lease of life in the modern digital age.

On Digitally Remastered CD for the first time, Aztec presents a Classic Aussie Rock album brimming with the superior and adventurous sounds of Psych-rock, Blues and Avant-jazz. The band recorded A Product Of A Broken Reality at TCS Studios, Melbourne in July 1971 and it was originally issued on the Generation label in November 1971. Only a rock scene as rich and diverse as that which proliferated in Australia at the time could have produced an album of such varied moods and exploratory styles.

Alongside the likes of celebrated entities such as Spectrum, Kahvas Jute and Blackfeather, the name Company Caine continues to fire the imagination of progressive-psych aficionados around the world. Original and rare vinyl copies of A Product Of A Broken Reality are highly sought after and can fetch high prices on the international collector market.

The story of Company Caine is based around delightfully eccentric singer / song writer Gulliver Smith and nimble fingered guitarist Russell Smith who formed the band in March 1970. Gulliver had started his career in the 1960s as Little Gulliver, recording R&B singles for the In label. Russell came out of the Melbourne blues scene and alongside Gulliver and the other important early member, multi-instrumentalist Jeremy Noone, set out to create a band that played purely original material. Several line-ups came and went before the band broke up at the end of 1972.

A Product Of A Broken Reality included the sprightly single ‘Trixie Stonewallʼs Wayward Home For Young Women’, with the rest of the album ranging from pastoral moments such as ‘It’s Up To You’ and ‘Woman With Reason’ to the spacey sounds of the 10-minute ‘Symptoms’ and on to the head-spinning, Avant-jazz leanings of the unhinged ‘The Day Superman Got Busted’. Included on the CD are six bonus tracks: the 1972 single ‘Dear Carolyn’ / ‘Now I’m Together’ and live sessions from 1971.

Package Contents

Packaged in a deluxe 6 panel Digi-Pak. Digitally remastered by Gil Matthews, with a 20 page colour booklet and liner notes by Ian McFarlane, it's a must-have for fans of Classic Aussie Rock."

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Iliad, USA

Iliad - Distances. 1976 Northern Lights
Iliad - Sapphire House. 1978 Northern Lights

Here's another band I'm promoting from the main list. I recently secured an original LP, and after a fresh listen, felt the contents within warrant a mention.

Lead by keyboardist Sandy Owen, Los Angeles based Iliad present a fairly mellow and relaxed symphonic progressive album. At times the tranquil piano and flute give off a proto New Age feel. Features a couple of rockin' rave-ups, as well as an extended jazzy improvisation on the familiar Beatles chestnut Norwegian Wood. The mixed classical-progressive-jazz-new age style recalls Minnesota's Sailor (1974) in many places. Two groups from completely different regions drawing a somewhat similar musical conclusion.

According to Owen's website, the album release is clearly set to 1976 (there's absolutely no date to be found anywhere on the LP proper).

I haven't heard Sapphire House to date, but it appears to be of a similar mindset to Distances. Owen states: "This was the second album released by Iliad on our own label, Northern Lights Records. As in our first album, Distances, this album displays a wide variety of styles and moods: from jazz to rock to New Age. As with Distances, this LP was distributed only in Los Angeles."

Priority: 3

Friday, February 20, 2015

El Tarro de Mostaza, Mexico

El Tarro de Mostaza - s/t. 1970 Capitol

This title came up in last night's CD-R session. The second photo shows an LP reissue from the late 90s, and this was my introduction to the album. Throughout the 90s I wheeled and dealed records from/to all over the place. I was far less discerning back then on topics such as authentic reissues and the like. I've always enjoyed this record, but I did eventually ditch this reissue, since as foreshadowed, it wasn't legit. Maybe I should have kept it for reference, but I was doing some thinning about 7-8 years ago, and most of the boots got... well, the boot. So I moved it to a CD-R, and it came up last night after many years of not hearing it.

Not sure why I never bothered to research this title for the CDRWL, but of course as you've no doubt figured out already - it's nothing but pirates on this island. Both for CDs and LPs. I wasn't even sure there was an original. But, yes, the first photo is an authentic one, and they are very pricey. And it's on a major label no less.

Lot of misinformation about this title, but deep in the bowels of the internet (yea, I don't recommend you go there often either), I found a Spanish language interview (from a local Veracruz newspaper!). And with the ever trusty help of Google translate, I was able to discern a few interesting facts. The album was actually recorded in 1968, but not released until two years later. Apparently it was a "happening sound in", and the band was forced to play for hours on end, with no chance to sleep, eat, bio breaks, etc... Obviously not a pleasant experience for the participants. The name of the band was Los Sonidos (The Sounds), but the producers (rightly I think) suggested that the moniker was boring. And so the band arbitrarily picked Mustard Jar because it was both solid and hard (ummm... sure.... ok). I also found a little nugget that Spain's Guerssen has (or had) been in hot pursuit. The article goes back to 2009, and Guerssen is one of the best - if not THE best - reissue label today. So if they can't get it done, not sure anyone else could - legitimately of course.

Musically, the album consists of two distinct sides. One is a lengthy jam with killer organ (really old stock too - like a Farfisa) and guitars. The other side is more psychedelic pop, but you're never too far away from a blistering acid guitar solo. For 1968 Mexico, this was really quite a pioneering effort. And well worth a reissue. Hopefully Guerssen will succeed.

Priority: 3

Monday, February 16, 2015

Finchley Boys, USA

Finchley Boys - Everlasting Tributes. 1972 Golden Throat (recordings from 1968-69)

Another CD-R revisit that exposed that there hasn't been a legit CD reissue to date. Pirates have owned this title for years. As is often the case in the last few years, there does at least exist a legit LP reissue, this time from Anazitisi of Greece (2011). As the band says on their Facebook page:

"Over the years, there have been several legitimate requests to re-release Everlasting Tributes and last year the band agreed to allow a re-mastered vinyl release on ANAZITISI Records in Europe. A surviving ¼ track ¼” inch tape copy of the album master tape was found and transferred to digital by Garrett. These songs and three additional songs were sent to Greece along with photos and artwork.
Nick and his team at ANAZITISI put together a great package for the first and ONLY official re- release of any Finchley Boys material. The audio tracks were re-mastered to sound better than ever. The artwork was put together into a 12 page full color booklet.

In addition, an extremely small number of super-deluxe edition “bag sets” were put together. These included colored vinyl albums, a T-Shirt, reproduction of posters and additional items. ANAZITISI sent a few to the US for each the band members and a few to market. 

The Finchley Boys have added items from the 2010 reunion concert to the Greek sets and through Parasol Records are offering a complete release of all official Finchley Boys products to date. There will be 2 maybe 3 sets available, so take advantage of this limited offer that Parasol Records has on ebay."

So there you have it. An enterprising and hustling Greek label has done the hard work here, and makes one scratch their head on where the US labels are. My hats off to the Anazitisi team!

And still no CD unfortunately.

Finchley Boys were from the great college town of Champaign, Illinois, and were yet another great representative of the Midwest rust-belt sound of the late 60s and early 70s. This is definitely not progressive rock, and falls on the margins of typical CDRWL fare, but for those who enjoy that rough and tumble heavy fuzz blues / hard rock sound with raw vocals, Finchley Boys delivers the goods in fine fashion.

Priority: 3

Friday, February 13, 2015

News: Soleil Zeuhl to reissue Altais EP + archival material from predecessor Apsara!

Soleil Zeuhl label owner Alain had a teaser announcement on his website a couple of months back, that they were going to reissue some unreleased material from a "late 70s Zeuhl" band. Well, the news has now come to light. And here's the announcement after CDRWL contributor TheH correctly answered the quiz!:

"Bravo! This is indeed ALTAÏS. That band has a unique story : it was born on the ashes of another zeuhl band named APSARA who split when 2 of its members left for joining another zeuhl band, then named GORGONUS. Very quickly afterwards, GORGONUS will be renamed .... SHUB NIGGURATH...! On the other side, the remaining members of Apsara, renamed the band ALTAÏS.
Our issue will gather the official ALTAÏS maxi (3 tracks, 14 minutes - 1 track already available on Musea's comp. "Enneade") + the sole studio track ever recorded by APSARA (10 minutes, never released) + live APSARA tracks (40 minutes).

The complete story of the 3 bands will be detailed into a booklet written by Calyx. 

In short, it's gonna be the early days of Shub Niggurath and its short-lived twin band (Altaïs)"

First day buyer here! I thought Altais to be an 80s band, so I guessed incorrectly (and we're now finding out that Apsara existed between 1981 to 1983, so the hint turned out to be misleading based on incorrect data initially provided by the band).

Thursday, February 12, 2015

The Growing Concern, USA

The Growing Concern - s/t. 1968 Mainstream

This one came from the same CD-R revisit evening as The Aggregation and Thunder & Roses. Yes, it was quite a productive evening... it's just taking me forever to get time to publish my thoughts here.

Now this title does possess one legit CD and that would be the Japanese P-Vine version from 2008. As it turns out, Sony bought the rights to the Mainstream catalog for reissue in the early 90s. But it doesn't appear they did much with it. At some point, P-Vine licensed this title from local countrymen Sony. Perhaps someone over here knew it came out, but I certainly missed it. But I wasn't really looking for The Growing Concern at the time either. Because of its scarcity, and high import cost, the CD hardly met the demand, and barely put a dent in the pirate ships that continue to dominate this recording. It's clear there's a need for a larger press from a quality reissue label. So here we are listing it in the CDRWL for the first time.

As for the music, if you ever wondered what it would be like if the Mamas and the Papas were a more hard edged psychedelic band like Jefferson Airplane, then Chicago based The Growing Concern will provide you that answer. They have both the fantastic dual male/female harmony vocals, as well as the sandpaper acid guitar sounds. It's more based in pop than Airplane, but it still qualifies as blue ribbon psychedelic. A well done record, and one that would benefit nicely from a quality reissue.

Priority: 3

Saturday, February 7, 2015

News: Rocket Records to reissue Sepi Kuu in April!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Oh my heart be still! We had Avalanche on Christmas Eve, and now while "doing the rounds" as it were, I've discovered Rocket Records will reissue this 1980 masterpiece on April 3rd!! I first heard this record in 1993 on a backpacking trip which included Helsinki. I was absolutely blown away on first listen. I'm somewhat in the minority on this one I think. Which is puzzling to my little peanut brain at least. But for me, this is a Priority 1 - as intense an album as one can find from the time and place. And they'll be prying the original from my cold dead fingers. It was, in fact, a gift from one of the gentleman I met that day. And he sadly passed near 20 years ago. So perhaps there is a ray of light coming from him today.

March 1 update: We also recently learned that Shadoks will be reissuing this on LP  as well.

News: Rudiger Lorenz's Southland to be reissued by Bureau B in April

I'll be honest and state I've never heard a single Lorenz album. However, many readers of this site are big fans of 70s and 80s electronic music - as am I obviously. So I'm trying to stay ahead of the curve here, and I think many will be thrilled to see this. I believe this is Lorenz's 3rd album, and first time on CD. Label says: "Rüdiger Lorenz was a pharmacist by trade. He produced and marketed a total of eighteen electronic music albums until his death in the year 2000. As only a few hundred copies of each were circulated, Lorenz's works remained largely unknown. Our reissue will change that! "Southland", originally released in 1984, is stylistically between the new Düsseldorf School (Ata Tak/Pyrolator) and the old Berlin School (Tangerine Dream, Klaus Schulze)"

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Thunder and Roses, USA

Thunder and Roses - King of the Black Sunrise. 1969 United Artists

It's time to promote this title from the main list. This came from the same CD-R revisit listening session as The Aggregation. I'm beginning to appreciate this album more than ever.

King of the Black Sunrise, now that's a cool title, eh? Thunder and Roses were a Philly based band who's stock in trade is what is commonly known as "heavy psych". The primary drivers here are Cream and Jimi Hendrix, and for those that love distorted heavy blues rock, then Thunder and Roses will scratch that itch for the most part. There are some weak spots to be found though, such as the country rock song, and their sleepy version of Hendrix's "Red House". But when they crank up the pace and start kickin' out the jams as it were, then this one is primo. Worth a legit CD for sure. Pirates, naturally enough, own these waters to date.

Priority: 3

Saturday, January 31, 2015

The Surprise Package, USA

The Surprise Package - Free Up. 1968 LHI

I was reminded of this title as I was researching The Aggregation two nights ago. The Surprise Package were also on Lee Hazlewood's label. I bought the album in the late 80s but sold it about 10 years after that. And completely forgot about it. And like The Aggregation, pirate editions abound, so time to enter into the CDRWL. Since I don't possess any copy of this album, off to YouTube I went for a refresher. And it's what I recalled. A varied "kitchen sink" type of psych album on one side, and a side long jam on the other. The jam itself features some great psych guitar, Iron Butterfly styled organ, and the song itself reminds me of Rare Earth. But of course it has an insufferably long drum solo to take a nap to. Not a bad album (I probably should have kept it), but one that doesn't need a reissue unless there's some superb archival material sitting in the vaults.

Priority: none

Friday, January 30, 2015

The Aggregation, USA

The Aggregation - Mind Odyssey. 1968 LHI

This one came up via the CD-R revisit project. I hit a few psych titles last night that are in need of a legit CD reissue, or at the very least, one that isn't 20 years OOP. So I'll be getting these into the CDRWL the next few days (some are in the main list already).

I had a bit of fun last night with my notes on this title (might have been the Sixpoint Hi-Res I was enjoying), but it would be nice to hear a clean master tape version of this - especially if there are any additional bonus tracks to add. This album just screams late 60's sunny Southern Californian goodness.

Notes: It's pure fantasy of course: Industry veteran Lee Hazelwood signs up Disneyland's resident psychedelic group The Aggregation. A band that makes their daily bread by playing to the kiddos wired on ICEE's and Cotton Candy. This is tripped out music for the family from Topeka who experience a literal trip to Oz.

Since Hollywood already made an insufferably cute square movie about Mary Poppins - how about "Saving Mr. Mind Odyssey", with Tom Hanks taking a tab and costarring Kate Upton in a Laugh-In era outfit with white thigh high go-go boots. No plot necessary. I'm first in line.

Priority: 3

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.

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"