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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.

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."