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Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Group 1850, Netherlands




Group 1850 - Live. Release: 1973 Orange. Recorded: 1969 concert.
Group 1850 - Polyandri. 1974 Rubber.
Group 1850 - Live on Tour. 1976 Rubber. Recorded: 1973 concert.

"Polyandri" is primarily an instrumental album and features an array of sounds from complex prog rock compositions to simple bluesy workouts onto trippy psych organ based excursions similar to their first 2 LP's. Sounds more like a 1970 album rather than 1974. The 2 live albums are very much in the spirit of their studio releases, and feature a lot of original interpretations, making them essential. All of these have been booted.

Also, even though the reissue of "Paradise Now" is legit, we could certainly use an upgrade. Only "Agemo's Trip to Mother Earth" has been done properly to date (on Pseudonym).

Priority: 2

Monday, June 29, 2009

George Hirota, Japan


George Hirota - Sahasurara. 1976 King.

Fascinating fusion / progressive / avant rock hybrid with indigenous tribal Japanese elements. Lots of flute, chanting / manic vocals, acoustic and fuzz guitar, piano, vibes, and a variety of percussion. Strays a bit towards the avant-garde, ala JA Caesar, during the middle of Side 2. Very unique album. Definitely in need of a CD reissue. Hirota isn't exactly an unknown (later he was known in fusion circles as Joji Hirota, and released a few albums under that name), and King Records is still a very active label. Not sure why this one is still sitting in the vaults? And it's a total unknown. Took me nearly 12 years to finally hear it (and I now own the LP).

Priority: 2

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Igra Staklenih Perli, Serbia




Igra Staklenih Perli - Soft Explosion Live. Recorded 1978. Released 1993 Kalemegdan.
Igra Staklenih Perli - Inner Flow. Recorded 1978. Released 1993 Kalemegdan.
Igra Staklenih Perli - Drives. Recorded 1977. Released 1994 Kalemegdan.

"Soft Explosion Live" is basically a live version of their 1979 debut album. "Inner Flow" contains various recordings (live and studio) taken from 1976 to 1978. "Drives" is their most freaked out album, and is culled from roughly 5 hours of recorded private tapes called "Triple Live Numbers 1-3". All are from prior to their first actual studio album, and thus more similar to their early Pink Floyd improvisational style. Apparently some of the "Triple Live" tapes are still missing, and there was talk (back in 1994 that is) of releasing more material from these sessions. Obviously that was put on hold, as I write this 14 years later. All of these archival releases were reissued on LP with excellent sound and covers. In particular, the "Drives" cover is simply amazing, and could be rated amongst the best album covers of the 1970s. Since the Brazilian label Rock Symphony licensed the Tako's from Kalemegdan, I would presume it's only a matter of time before these albums are licensed by some enterprising CD label. Unfortunately Kalemegdan never did reissue the actual RTB albums back in the day, though the parent label RTB PGP of Serbia did finally reissue them on CD in 2008.

Priority: 2

Incidentally, the only legit CD version of the first two studio Igra Staklenih Perli's, came out in Serbia. If your cover doesn't look like the below, you're in possession of a bootleg (which were numerous prior to this reissue).

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Legend, USA


Legend - From the Fjords. 1979 Empire.

Connecticut based group whose sole album is truly a "legend" amongst early heavy rock collectors. You'll find scant evidence of music like this on the open market, especially from this era. What is today known as epic heavy metal, Legend were pioneers of a style that didn't find its audience until 20 years later. If you're a fan of early Manilla Road ("Invasion", "Metal", "Crystal Logic" or the archival "Mark of the Beast"), then by all means seek this one out. Long, involved, semi-complex tracks with fantasy imagery is what you'll find here. And very heavy for 1979. So a little out of scope for the CDRWL, but too good to ignore.

Rockadrome (formerly Monster) had claimed their intention to reissue on CD - though it's been a few years since that announcement. Originals are a small fortune in the 4 digit range.

Priority: 2

Friday, June 26, 2009

Mosaik, Germany


Mosaik - No.1. 1977 private.

Mosaik are yet one more fusion group from Germany. There were so many great bands from that era in Germany, and we’re just now learning about many of them. Kraan and Embryo were the knowns. If you really were into the scene, you may have learned about Missus Beastly, Moira and Munju, possibly even Aera. Through CD reissues, we then learn about bands like Morpheus, Frob and Skyline. And still we find out the surface is just being scratched. Ceddo, Nanu Urwerk, Sun, Syncrises, Surgery and many more keep bubbling up. For my ears, Mosaik is in the top tier of these groups. The guitar work is superb (like Frob) and there’s some really nice melodic sax playing throughout. They’re clearly informed by bands like Soft Machine and Passport, but add their own ingredients. Another group that hopefully Garden of Delights or Long Hair gets to in the near future.

Thanks goes to Heavyrock for this one!

Priority: 2

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Ohr Musik, England


Ohr Musik - s/t. 1997 Prescription Drug.

Some of the best retro Krautrock ever made, and is the best album on the label along with the second Quad. Ohr Musik also has a followup release called "Friction Burns", which is even better, and that one was released only on CD (a MUST BUY!). It's doubtful the 99 copy only LP issues of the Prescription Drug series will ever see the light of day, as the master tapes were purposely destroyed (supposedly). But it's still possible to take from a clean LP and add bonus tracks, etc.. Will be interesting to see.

This is one of only two that I own from the series (the other being Quad 2). At least I own the best two IMO. Mother Yod is a close third and I just missed winning that one recently (March 2011).

Priority: 2

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

News: Picap reissues Jazz rock bands Barcelona Traction, Blay Tritono and Musica Urbana

The following jazz rock and jazz funk albums have been reissued by Picap of Spain. The first two, I believe, have never been reissued prior.

Barcelona Traction - s/t. 1975
Blay Tritono - Clot 20. 1976
Musica Urbana - s/t. 1975 (repress)

Probe 10, USA ***REISSUED***



Probe 10 - There is a Universe. 1975 Blue Universe

*** Reissued by Lion in 2015

Moved to UMR

Priority: 1

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Ram, USA


Ram - Where? (In Conclusion). 1972 Polydor.

I never included this album in the original CD Reissue Wishlist, but Mike McLatchey and I were talking about the album yesterday, and it made me think we all could use a better reissue at the very least. The Akarma issue is barebones, with no info, and is taken from vinyl.

For many years, since I first bought the LP in the late 1980s, I've felt that Ram is one of America's more unheralded progressive rock albums. The first two tracks are straight ahead rockers, almost like Rare Earth or similar US street rock groups. But the last two tracks on Side 1, and especially the 25 minute side long suite 'Aza', show a remarkable progression.

'Aza' is fascinating, as it sounds like synthesizers, or even mellotron, are the dominant instruments. But on a careful listen, you can hear they are using saxes, flutes and contact mics to emulate the synthesized sounds. The electric guitar and fuzz bass are blistering on this track. I find it hard to believe a creative band like Ram doesn't have other similar sounding tracks sitting in a vault somewhere. Can you imagine a CD reissue with one or two extra epics like 'Aza'? For me, that could raise Ram to the very best the US ever put out, especially from the early 1970s.

In researching the group on the Internet, there's very little info. Apparently they're from New York (that may not be the case either - as all we know is the LP was recorded there), and one of the members showed up in a later incarnation of Hot Tuna (maybe).

Any former Ram band members, producers out there who would like to get in touch with me and set the record straight? Anyone out there know more about this group? I sure would like to know more.

Wikipedia says this: "Ram is a musical group that was based in New York City in the United States and was active in the early 1970s. Band members included brothers John and Ralph DeMartino as well as Bob Steeler who later played with Hot Tuna. Many reports state that a mellotron was the instrument used for the spatial and electronic effects of Ram's music. Actually, they were the result of electronic flute and in some cases, tenor alto and soprano saxophones (sometimes played 2 at a time) by John DeMartino. The band produced one album on Polydor in 1972 entitled Where? (In Conclusion). "

Fuzz, Acid & Flowers - American Garage, Psychedelic & Hippie Rock 1964-1975 says: "This heavy progressive album by a New York progressive outfit is becoming rare and in demand. It consists of five long tracks (one occupies the whole of one side). The music's full of complex arrangements, with lots of mellotron and flute as well as some vicious guitar leads."

Band members:

Dennis Carbone - Piano, Tambourine, Vocals
John Demartino - Sax, Flute, Clarinet
Ralph Demartino - Guitar, Vocals
Michael Rodriguez - Bass, Vocals
Steeler - Drums (As it states above, the prevailing opinion is this is Bob Steeler, but maybe not?)

Priority: 1

Monday, June 22, 2009

Rodan, USA


Rodan - s/t. 1974 Pandora.

Super horn rock album, that absolutely kills on most of the 12 short tracks. There are a couple of bluesy moves and at least one James Brown styled funker, but mostly this just rips from start to finish. The kind of album you wish all horn rockers were. Smoking guitar and great brass charts. The rhythm section never stops. California based group was actually known as MAX, and toured extensively with groups like Malo and Tower of Power. Album sports a fantastic drawing on the cover.

One of the band members has started his own label called Digital Cellars, and there's a chance this obscurity will be reissued eventually.

March 2011: Still no word on the Rodan album. And an original copy just went for over $1K on ebay. I guess I won't be getting this one anytime soon.

Thanks again goes to Heavyrock for this one!

Priority: 2

Sunday, June 21, 2009

News: Wounded Bird to reissue Stardrive soon

Stradrive's 1974 self-titled album, sometimes known as "Stardrive featuring Robert Mason" will be coming out soon on the Wounded Bird label.

News: Luc Henrion's "Galerie" out in September????

Luc Henrion's highly regarded 1977 album "Galerie" will be reissued on September 15, with many bonus tracks.

March 2011 update: Well, scratch that. Never happened. False alarm from Mauro at Mellow.

January 2013 update: And, now, it has finally been reissued.

Kaleidoskop, Germany


Kaleidoskop - s/t. 1974 Lava.

At the crossroad of jazz and rock, with emphasis on the latter. Sax, flute and organ lead the solo parade (there are no less than 3 full time winds players). Some inventive compositions, and the progressive rock element comes out in the unison playing, which at times is complex. Occasionally I hear same period Missus Beastly, though Kaleidoskop are definitely more jazz oriented. Side 2 features a lengthy suite, utilizing Eastern scales, that is quite interesting, if not overly inspired. Overall a good jazz rock album, that I'm sure would do well as a CD reissue, especially amongst the more adventurous jazzers out there.

Thanks to Midwest Mike for this one (our first of many from Mike that we will feature on the blog)!

Priority: 3

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Captain Marryat, Scotland *** REISSUED ***



**** CD REISSUED by Shadoks, Nov. 2009 ****

Captain Marryat - s/t. 1974 Thor.

Probably the most celebrated album of the last few years, at least from a rare collectors viewpoint. Out of the blue, Captain Marryat's sole album found its way onto ebay, and was fetching sums over $3,000. And then another one showed up and went for a similar price. The rumor mill went wild. Some said it was a ponzi scheme, hyped up nonsense. Others said they were fakes, made in Eastern Europe by a newer group who pressed only a handful of albums, to meet demand. There's precedent for such skepticism, such as when the ridiculous "Psi-Fi" albums surfaced (Pyramid, Galactic Explorers, etc...). But legitimate collectors were convinced it was real. It just seemed unreal an album like this could remain so unknown, as late as 2009. But from all accounts, as more information found its way to the fore, that it is indeed a legitimate album.

The mad scramble began for musicologists and music researchers (like me) on where can we hear a copy. I wasn't going to blow 3 grand on it, but certainly someone could find a CD-R of it? Well the problem was solved in a different way. We now have a legit LP reissue from Shadoks for all to hear. And they usually follow up with a CD reissue a couple of years later (pressed in the US even), so we should be set eventually. But since it's still not on CD, it goes in this list.

So is it worthy of the hype and price? Of course not. Is it good? Absolutely. In fact, I'm pleasantly surprised by the quality of the album. I really thought it would be average at best. But not so. It screams the era in which it was released. It's naive, it's honest, it's well played, and it's memorable. Nice melodies, and surprisingly strong vocals. Long sections are set aside for guitar (nice fuzz tone) and organ jams. And they are also very well executed.

It's somewhat comforting to know there might still be an unknown treasure out there to unearth.

Priority: 2

Friday, June 19, 2009

News: ProgQuebec to reissue the Sloche albums in September!!

This is an announcement we've been waiting on for some time. Congratulations to Sean and the whole ProgQuebec team. Great news!

"Today, ProgQuebec signed a licensing agreement with Sony Music Canada to reissue the two albums by Quebec-based 1970s symphonic fusion artists Sloche. This agreement is the culmination of close to four years of communication with various groups within Sony in an effort to make a legal, high-quality reissue of these essential progressive rock albums a reality. Both albums, 1975's "J'un Oeil" and 1976's "Stadaconé", will be released on September 15th 2009 and will be available at the 2009 edition of the FMPM.

Originally released on the now defunct label RCA, the masters for these two albums have been located in Sony's archives, and the reissues will be remastered from these tapes. This is ProgQuebec's first licensing agreement with Sony, and follows the 2007 licensed reissues of the Morse Code and early Maneige catalogs from EMI.

Sloche is one of the best-loved 1970s groups from Quebec, having created two albums of exceptional quality inspired by symphonic rock, in particular Gentle Giant, and jazz fusion. The line-up that recorded these two albums was virtually a complete turn-over of the original Sloche line-up, driven by a relentless search for superior musicianship by the conservatory-trained keyboardist Rejean Yacola. While their instrumentals can be compared to groups such as Finch or Gentle Giant, the atmospheric vocal passages on the first album also bring to mind other Quebec groups such as Opus 5 or Morse Code.

Sloche has been one of the most hotly requested progressive rock reissues from any part of the world for over a decade, and has been our top priority for a while. For years, the only way to get this album was to find it on vinyl, or buy unauthorized knockoff pirate releases. It will be one of ProgQuebec's proudest moments when properly licensed and high quality editions of these CDs are finally available. And after 30 years, the members of Sloche will finally start getting paid for their work again.

ProgQuebec also hopes this will be the start of a fruitful relationship with Sony Music Canada, who have the rights to a number of excellent projects that have been largely forgotten by the mainstream markets but are beloved to progressive fans. We intend to pursue further collaborations with Sony Music Canada going forward.

Thank you to everyone who has waited patiently and held off on buying bootleg versions while we pursued this through the proper channels. It has taken a long time to get to this point and we are very excited about it. "

News: Ruphus - Flying Colours has been reissued!

Pan Records, the high quality, but slow releasing Norwegian concern, has reissued Ruphus' 1978 jazz fusion album "Flying Colours".

Sunbirds, Germany *** REISSUED ***



Sunbirds - s/t. 1971 BASF.
Sunbirds - Zagara. 1972 Polydor.


These are both on Garden of Delights coming soon list. They have been for many years, but so was Ibliss which did finally come out in 2009 - so hopefully these will follow soon! In the meantime, while waiting, I did pick up an original LP of the first. Such a great album!

Sunbirds are perhaps the ultimate soundtrack for your next autobahn excursion. We're talking open top BMW convertible, hot megababe sitting next to you, hairspray, loads of mascara and thigh high white go-go boots - with 4 inch heels. Oh really, you have no idea what I'm talking about? Go over to your cable TV and find some independent channel that has some feature at 3:00 in the morning with a name like Weird Ass Euro Theater. Catch a flick like “The Girl on a Motorcycle” and you're there.... BABY! Must be a European production, even a soft core flick will suffice. Put on the Sunbirds, kick back, relax and drift into your inner vertigo. Extra points if you have shag carpet and wood paneled walls....

Musically the Sunbirds' albums can best be qualified as "flute groovers". That is to say, they are seasoned in the jazz idiom, but also wanted to venture into the psychedelic sounds of the day. Chris Hinze, Lloyd McNeill, and Bjorn J:Son Lindh did this too. But the Sunbirds also had that Krautrock thing going on, and you know they were hip to Wolfgang Dauner, Association P.C. and the whole gang at MPS Records. Plenty of wild fuzz guitar and electric piano. Especially on the first album, the Sunbirds could have easily fit on the Brain label, and may have had they come around a year or two later. File next to your T. Yokota and the Beat Generation record. Of course you have that...

*** First Sunbirds reissued by Garden of Delights in June 2011 ***
*** Zagara reissued by Garden of Delights in June of 2015 ***

Priority: 2

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Tortilla Flat, Germany


Tortilla Flat - Für ein ¾ Stündchen. 1974 private.

I bought this LP from a well known German dealer in the 1990s. Comes in a cheap folder cover.

Review below originally published in Gnosis on March 30, 2001

In the early 1970s, there were plenty of German bands playing an exciting blend of psychedelic, cosmic rock, and free jazz. There was another movement that played music which was later to be known as Industrial with its metronomic, rigid rhythms and fuzzy sounding instruments. All of the above are generally tagged with the all encompassing Krautrock tag. However, there was a much smaller group of bands in Germany that took to the Canterbury sound, a complex, highly melodic and jazzy approach to music that was popular in England at that time. Brainstorm, Tomorrow's Gift on Goodbye Future and, to a lesser extent, Missus Beastly were proteges of this style. Tortilla Flat falls into this latter group, though with a Continental slant very similar to the Dutch group Supersister.

Tortilla Flat's sole album is an instrumental exercise in superb jazz composition combined with tight rhythms and driving rock guitar. Tortilla Flat were a six-piece with flute, electric and acoustic guitar, bass/fuzz bass, drums, percussion, and electric piano. The primary lead instrument here is the flute, with plenty of room given to the Rhodes piano and biting fuzz guitar, while the melodies are bouncy and playful, recalling Supersister's 1970 masterpiece Present From Nancy. The sole difference is that Tortilla Flat is a bit more jazzy and less psychedelic than their proteges from next door. This fact probably has more to do with the styles of the year 1975 than anything else. The seven tracks on display feature plenty of room for improvisational jamming over complex rhythms while the compositions are memorable and, at times, beautiful.

Even better is the SWF Sessions which I will cover when we get to unreleased albums.

Priority: 1

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

The Viola Crayola, USA


The Viola Crayola - Music: Breathing of Statues. 1974 Fautna.

You know, there are great guitar trio albums and then there's San Antonio's Viola Crayola. This jazzy psych freakout jam album is just remarkable and sounds about 15 years ahead of its time in technique. And fortunately it IS of its era sound-wise. This thing just rips and shreds and wah-wah's until you collapse from exhaustion. The last 2 minute goofball track allows us to see Viola's mentor - Mr. Zappa. If these guys released this in 1991, there would be a monthly feature in Guitar Player for him. Unfortunately, Tony Viola died tragically later in 1974. Album is only about 29 minutes long. A bootleg exists.

Priority: 2

News: Melodiya Ensemble and Certain Lions and Tigers have been reissued

Thanks to long time friend Alex, we just learned of two reissues, buried under other guises.

To quote Alex:

"Certain Lions & Tigers - (El) Soul Condor was re-issued by MPS as a part (CD1) of 4cd box set: Peter Herbolzheimer - "Big Band Man - The MPS & Polydor Studio Recordings." All the compositions go in the proper order. I have also heard about an earlier cd-re-issue with alternative track order. Never seen it though...

Melodiya Jazz Ensemble – Labyrinth was re-issued (in 2004) by Melodia (Russia) as a beginning part of the compilation: George Garanian - "All that Jazz. " "

Thanks Alex!

Sometimes this is how reissues are done. In fact, I was talking with Mike M the other day about the first Smak album, which was reissued in its entirety under the name "Best of Smak".

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Zog, Netherlands


Zog - Do ze Funkie Wiz Me. 1983 Disaster Electronics.

Another chance ebay buy that worked out!

Entirely unique album from post Het Pandorra Ensemble guys. While still very much a product of the 1980s (song structures, vocal style), Zog also possess a strong admiration for 1960s psych and even the early 70s Krautrock pioneers. Some wonderful acid guitar soling belies its 80s heritage. There's also the occassional reference to their fondness for "Red" era King Crimson, featured more prominently in the Pandorra Ensemble days. About the only other album I can think of that sounds like this is Iskander's "Boheme", another oddity from the 80s. Maybe the best way to describe is to call it 1980s psychedelia, and I don't mean neo-psych, if that makes any sense. Over the years, I've come to appreciate Zog's album more and more, perhaps due to its uniqueness. This, Zog's only album, is a live recording. And at 56 minutes, quite a lengthy album for one disc.

Priority: 2

Monday, June 15, 2009

Womega, Belgium


Womega - A Quick Step. 1975 Skruup.

Very interesting release. It's an all-over-the-map type album, but all within the confines of what normally constitutes progressive rock (rather than the usual kitchen sink that represents all facets of music in general). There's pomp, Canterbury, proto, symphonic, fusion, Zappa. Lots of mellotron and flute, in the most unexpected places. Some parts are more simplistic, giving it a radio friendly sound, and then followed by something entirely difficult and complex. Maybe a little too diverse for its own good, but undeniably fascinating!

Priority: 2

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Laurence Vanay, France *** REISSUED ***



Laurence Vanay - Galaxies. 1974 SFP (Societe Francaise de Productions Phonographiques)
Laurence Vanay - Gateway Evening Colours. 1975 Galloway (aka "Evening Colours" 1976 CAM).

December 8, 2013 update: The Vanay albums have been released by Lion Productions

Laurence Vanay is the pseudonym for Jacqueline Thibault, wife of famed French music producer and musician Laurent Thibault. The two albums above are pure genius. Almost all instrumental with gorgeous organ, flute, acoustic/electric guitar. Even a little Zeuhl bass to knock things around. She provides some wordless voice through many of the tracks. And on "Galaxies" occasionally sings in a soft, seductive female manner - all in French of course.

If anyone can help me hear her other three albums, I'd be very grateful. They are:

Maire Mennesson (yet another pseudonym for her) - Magic Slows. 1975 SPF 55.009.

Laurence Vanay - Les Soleils de la Vie. 1978 ???

Laurence Vanay - La Petite Fenetre. 1979 ???

There have been a few false starts on getting these reissued. Apparently Jacqueline is interested, but not sure where the hangups lie.

Priority: 1

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Time, England


Time - s/t. 1975 Buk (BULP 2005) also released in Germany on Buk (17 22536-4).

I have the catalog numbers here so you, the reader, have a slight chance of finding this album (good luck in searching for Time and Buk).

Full review over at UMR.

What a great album. Very complex for the time and place. Somewhat like Yes' "Relayer" crossed with "Power and the Glory" Gentle Giant (you won't see me use these type of mainstream comparisons much, because they rarely apply - but they do in this case!). And the vocalist reminds me quite a bit of the guy from Flash, or maybe even Yezda Urfa (and the complexity of the music too on the latter). I also hear a little Fruupp and Jonesy here too. This is one of the last great major label British albums not on CD (OK, maybe Buk wasn't major, but they were definitely a AAA minor league label).

This would be a perfect fit for Esoteric and an album many would love, I think, if they had a chance to hear it.

Priority: 1

Friday, June 12, 2009

Saino, France


Saino - s/t. 1982 private.

There was a time in the 1980s and early 90s when Musea had all of these great private French LPs for cheap. I bought many, including this gem. It's just too bad they didn't subsequently reissue it on CD. It's one of the better albums in the style.

Far superior to most instrumental fusion albums coming from Europe during this time, Saino provides much more firepower than expected, plus the melodic content is very high - keeping this from a cold technical academic exercise. Five piece group that employs both a lead and rhythm guitar, which seems to be the magic formula that propels Saino's music forward. Apparently they have a second album, though it isn't touted as high.

Priority: 2

Thursday, June 11, 2009

News: Sony of Belgium to release the Kandahar albums!

Well as unbelievable as it sounds, Sony Music of Belgium (I didn't even know Sony had a special division in Belgium?) has reissued the first two Kandahar albums "Long Live the Sliced Ham" and "In the Court of Catherine Squeezer". Kandahar were a Belgian group influenced by Zappa and Canterbury, somewhat like Supersister and Pazop, though perhaps more zany like Dr. Dopo Jam. I need to listen to these again!

Recreation, Belgium




Recreation - Don't Open. 1971 Triangle. Issued with a different, and better, cover on Bellaphon (the second one displayed here).
Recreation - Music or Not Music. 1972 Barclay.

I recently bought the LP of Music or Not Music. A cover like that needs to be owned! I only have a CD-R of Don't Open.

The debut by this Belgian trio is a kick – somewhere between the avant space psych of Group 1850, the rigid metronomics of Egg and exploito organ-led covers of classic psych tracks. Great fuzz bass and go-go organ sounds throughout. For “Music or Not Music”, the music takes a decidedly creative turn while adding guitar to the mix. An all-over-the-map type release, totaling 15 tracks, that reminds me some of Aphrodite’s Child’s “666” album, minus the pop songs. The quirkiness and overall demeanor recall some of the earlier work by Supersister. Like the debut, this is entirely instrumental.

Pseudonym would have done this a few years ago - would love to see a label like Musea tackle it. Or even Esoteric!

Priority: 1 (for Music or Not Music)

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Quad, England



Quad - 2. 1997 Acme Prescription Drug

One of a handful of entries here that I first heard courtesy of my old radio and Gnosis colleague Craig.

Quad 2 starts with an Indian stringed instrument that sets the tone (or drone) while tribal drums and acid guitar slowly float the listener away. Lots of mellotron and acoustic guitar. One of the most blissfully tranced out Krautrock albums since Dom's "Edge of Time".

Their debut LP album has been reissued, but it remains to be seen if any of the limited Drug series will ever see the light of day on CD.

March 2011 update: I bought an original on ebay this month. The cover shot that is going around and what is posted on RYM is incorrect. I've left that one here, and included the actual item I purchased.

Priority: 1

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Claudio Dentes, Italy ***REISSUED***


*** June 2010 update: This album is part of Vol. 5 of Universal's Italian Progressive Rock Box sets ***
Claudio Dentes - Pantarei. 1978 Mirto.

Generally solo artists from Italy during this era were singer-songwriter focused, but Dentes is primarily a multi-instrumentalist, and he puts his talent towards creating a strong instrumental work (though there are some sparse vocals). At times, "Pantarei" reaches the space rock heights of Franco Falsini's "Cold Nose". I'm most reminded of this when I hear the electric guitar, which is super compressed and fuzzed out. While certainly not an Italian prog rock classic, Dentes' album is not one to overlook and is worth seeking out for a listen or two.

Priority: none

Monday, June 8, 2009

Panko Musik, Germany *** REISSUED ***


Panko Musik - Weiles So Schon Perlt. Released on cassette in 1983 (1971 recording)

*** Reissued by Garden of Delights Dec 2014 ***

Out of nowhere (OK, actually old Gnosis colleague Eric at Mutant Sounds) comes this obscure Krautrock tape, that reminds me most of the Erna Schmidt archival release from Garden of Delights. Also the first album of Thirsty Moon, especially their 'Yellow Sunshine' opus. Guitar, sax, flute, fuzz bass, German narration, and echoed voices. It screams 1971 Germany. Would've probably slipped into the black hole of time, save a cassette release from the former drummer back in 1983. There was no audience for this in 1983! The recording quality is a bit rough - not sure if this is a later generation tape, or if it's just the source.

This would be perfect for a Garden of Delights reissue, especially if the master tapes are still around and could be cleaned up.

Priority: 2

Sunday, June 7, 2009

News: Sireena to begin reissuing albums from Sky Records!

It was bound to happen sooner or later, but it looks like the very German label Sireena (that is to say, they don't bother describing anything in English) have begun to license the more progressive rock leaning albums from the classic post Brain label, Sky Records.

In the next couple of months look for Octopus' classic "The Boat of Thoughts", both Shaa Khan albums, Bullfrog's "High in Spirits", and the Harlis album.

UMR review of Shaa Khan

Perhaps Sireena will be the label that finally penetrates the Schneeball label?

October, USA



October - s/t. 1979 Charisma Sound Studios.
October - After the Fall. 1980 private.

I bought the first LP from Greg Syn-Phonic back in the early 90s. "After the Fall" remains as probably the single rarest US progressive rock album, with supposedly only 25 pressed, each with a hand painted watercolor cover. I can honestly say that in all the years I've been collecting, I've never seen one actually for sale. CDRWL benefactor Heavyrock paid dearly for one, and it's a site to behold. And that's where my CD-R is burned from.

October are a Detroit, Michigan area based progressive band. Their sound is a unique combination of symphonic prog rock with a pronounced fusion flair, probably due to the abundance of electric violin. The vocals have that late 1970s "private press voice" that is found on many albums from America during this time. Strangely, the vocals remind me a bit of the guy from Babylon, though not quite as Gabriel-esque. "After the Fall" is more symphonic rock oriented, and a bit looser in structure. Long passages are reserved for jamming and other instrumental experiments. Both albums have stood the test of time well.

Neither have been reissued legitimately on CD to date, though bootlegs abound. Greg Walker did tell me he has the masters, so we just need to arm-twist him into releasing them! I'm flying to Utah now to do just that :-)

Priority: 2

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Maajun, France


Maajun - Vivre La Mort Du Vieux Monde. 1971 Vogue.

As I've stated in a couple of places already, two words that go so well together are Wacky and French. Mix in 1971 and Underground Rock and you have the perfect Champagne Cocktail. There's the expected juxtapositions that match the anguished French tantrums with the delicate flute, the heavy electric guitar with the spacey voice, the menacing violin with the soft acoustic guitar, the screeching sax with the chanting monks. Well, we could go all day here. It's what you would expect from an album that translates more or less to "Long Live the Death of the Old World". This unabashed creativeness defines the time and place. Makes you almost want to riot at La Sorbonne, just as a raison d'etre. VDGG fans, listen for the French Peter Hammill-like vocals interspersed throughout here.


The group slightly changed its name to Mahjun on subsequent albums.

If we're lucky, perhaps Musea will crank up the reissue machine and get onto this one!

Priority: 1

Friday, June 5, 2009

Pascal Languirand, Canada




Pascal Languirand - Minos. 1978 Kebec
Pascal Languirand - De Harmonia Universalia. 1980 Minos. 1980 Polydor (France)
Pascal Languirand - Vivre Ici Maintenant. 1981 Minos

Pascal Languirand is sort of the Richard Pinhas of Quebec. A one man show of dark electronics (primarily Moog) and searing electric guitar. He's a bit more cosmic than Heldon, which calls to mind Klaus Schulze. And he often uses wordless voice that reminds me of Franco Falsini. On "Minos" there's also a trippy folk number with French vocals that I find highly appealing in this setting. "De Harmonia Universalia" is quite similar, a bit less foreboding and more cosmic than its predecessor, with no drop-off in overall quality. The trio is completed by "Vivre Ici Maintenant", and again, perhaps surprisingly, there is no noticeable drop-off in the quality. Here, Languirand takes us a bit further East while adding some acoustic percussive elements. Album could be considered an anachronism considering the late date.

These albums are still relatively easy to find on ebay. The first one being the most difficult. Hopefully ProgQuebec will take these on, as they'd probably sell relative well. There is a compilation disc that features some of the music above, but would be nice to see the albums come out in full.As it turns out the confusion here lies in the fact that De Harmonia Universalia was issued in France with the name "De Harmonia Universalia - Minos", and it finally becomes clear to me that this subtitle has created confusion in the marketplace. RYM lists this as a compilation from 1993, indicating it's a reissue of the first two albums. But that's simply not the case.

Priority: 2

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Kraftwerk - Organisation, Germany





Organisation - Tone Float. 1970 RCA.
Kraftwerk - s/t. 1971 Philips.
Kraftwerk - II. 1972 Philips.
Kraftwerk - Ralf and Florian. 1973 Philips.

Other than maybe Tim Buckley, this has to be the single most recognized name in the entire CD Reissue Wishlist. The first Kraftwerk and the Organisation album are practically the invention of the term Krautrock as we know it. "II" and "Ralf & Florian" begin down the metronomic man-machine path that made Kraftwerk so famous. These are the experimental albums before they hit the big time.

These guys are too powerful to let record execs bully them, so it appears it is they alone who do not want anyone to get their paws on them. Which is why all of these have thrived in the bootleg market. That's a shame.

Priority: 1 (based on Organisation and the first Kraftwerk album)

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Del Jones' Positive Vibes, USA



Del Jones' Positive Vibes - s/t (psych mix). 1972 Hikeka.

Long time Dallas friend Mark T introduced me to this album in 2003, and it's one of the best personal discoveries in the last 15 years. I found the reissue LP shortly thereafter.

The single most intense Black America album ever. Basically Del Jones is the Philadelphia ghetto version of the Berlin based Cosmic Couriers clan. Intense does not even begin to describe this album. The anger that comes through will melt your mind. And all the freaked out vocals, wah wah guitar, flute and heavy rhythms will make you grab for your Ash Ra Tempel albums and hold on tight. Given the economic conditions of the housing projects of the early 1970s, it's surprising more albums didn't seep through like this. 'Cold Turkey' has some of the most anguished freaked out madness since John L. on 'Flowers Must Die' from Ash Ra Tempel's "Schwingungen"!

Like Velvert Turner, Del Jones released two versions of the same album: A "soul" mix and a "psych" mix. The soul mix is available on CD and appears legit. The psych mix has only been reissued on LP so far, and did involve Del Jones, so we'll consider that legit. But no one has issued it on CD to date. The soul mix is not that much different really - there's an additional horn section and some of the guitar work has been moved into the background. It's still a monster and highly recommended. On both albums, there are a couple of throw away soul numbers that are fortunately short - but most of the album will fry your brain!

Priority: 1

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Ibis, Sweden

Ibis - s/t. 1974 Grammofonverket - Europa Film.

I think this is the first album I'm featuring that was from a stack of very rare imports (all new) I bought in 1987-1988 at a record store in Dallas called VVV. Most of them have already been reissued (mainly Italian, French and Spanish albums - and I fortunately kept most of the original LPs), and in fact this may be the only one that hasn't. I can't think of any others off the top (July 2014 update: Nevermind, here are a few more from that store in the 80s, and all in the CDRWL somewhere: Both Renaud albums, Tomorrow's Gift "Goodbye Future", Verto "Krig/Volubilis", and Alain Markusfeld "Desert Noir". And the German Ibliss album was reissued somewhat recently).

Ibis features a load of ring modulator electric piano similar to The Fourth Way or Love Cry Want combined with fantastic guitar leads to accompany the occasional Swedish melody. Berits Halsband would be another obscure reference, though they don't have the deep trance like effect as they do. A couple of trips to the tuneless weeds is the only thing keeping this from a total monster album. Highly recommended.

Hoping for Mellotronen, Subliminal Sounds, or Transubstans to take on this one. It's a goodie.

Priority: 2

Monday, June 1, 2009

Hades, Norway


Hades - s/t. 1992 Colours (1974 recording)

I bought this and its sister LP, St. Helena, when they were first released. I sold them a few years later because they are so short in duration it hardly seemed worth it. Today I would have kept them anyway. At least until a CD arrived. So all I have is a CD-R at the moment.

This archival live album (soundboard quality) reminds me a lot of Osanna's "L'Uomo", which in itself was a strong play on the early Jethro Tull sound. Another way to say blues based heavy rock with aggressive, stuttered flute as the lead instrument. Many time changes also point to the Osanna way of doing things. The Norwegian vocals recall the unique Scandinavian flair found in bands like Host or Trettioariga Kriget. Great fuzz guitar leads as well. Short album (under 25 minutes), but great all the way through.

It would be nice to pair Hades with the archival St. Helena album, that was also under 25 minutes.

Priority: 3