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The CD Reissue Wish List blog has been discontinued as of October 2015, as it had served its initial purpose.

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Friday, April 29, 2011

News: Laurence Vanay albums to come out on Lion!!!



December 8, 2013 update: The Vanay albums have been released!

As if yesterday's news wasn't big enough, I heard from Vincent (Lion Productions' owner) last night who informed me that the first two Vanay albums are coming out on both CD and LP! The CD will be a mini-LP sleeve and will contain many bonus tracks (perhaps from the mythical last 2 albums, or from the Magic Slows album - I'm not sure yet). No date has been given for release. These are Priority 1's for me, especially Galaxies, an album of pure genius. Our feature of her albums here.

Vincent says: "I've just signed a contract with Jacqueline Thibault to reissue "Galaxies" and "Evening Colours" (at least), both (mini-LP sleeve) CD versions with plentiful bonus tracks; both LP versions as straight-up LP reissues (I think). I'm still sorting through the many CDs of music she sent to me before we determine what exactly will be included on my re-releases."

With news of Rock Joint Biwa, Het Pandorra Ensemble and Laurence Vanay, April has proven to be one of the most exciting months in years concerning reissues! Let's hope it continues.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

News: Modulus to reissue Het Pandorra Ensemble!!


Wow - big news today! I've been sitting on this for awhile now, and I'm glad it's now official.

Before getting into the first release, the naming contest is officially over. The Laser's Edge new limited reissue series will be called Modulus. Congratulations to the poster that named it!

And Modulus' first reissue is a Priority 2 for us. This is a very auspicious beginning for the label, and we can only hope more will appear as time goes on. The fact the first reissue is a rare and obscure Dutch group proves that Modulus will not be a US only label. Here's our post on the album.

Ken states: "The first planned release that we have contracted for is Het Pandorra Ensemble "III". It will feature the original 1978 release plus assorted unreleased bonus tracks (still being sorted out by Dolph Planteijdt). Bob Katz will handle the mastering from the original analog tapes. It will be a strictly limited edition of 500 copies. Since this is not going through normal distribution channels. I have not established an exact release date but I hope to have it available sometime during the early part of the Summer."

Ken's shared with me some other potential reissues, and they're all exciting possibilities!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

New blog: Under the Radar CDs


This is an idea I've had in the back of my mind for awhile. Basically a similar blog style to this, but featuring either obscure progressive rock CDs of the past - or - newer bands that are receiving very little press and I think deserve more notice.

For a more detailed explanation and to see the first album featured - the blog is now up and running!

And don't worry, we still have plenty more albums to add to the CDRWL!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Floyd Hunchback Group, Switzerland


Floyd Hunchback Group - s/t. 1978 Sunrise.

Yet another obscure Swiss band to feature. My first couple of listens last summer didn't convince me to list it separately. As I hear this again after about a 9 month break, I think it crosses the line into what I tend to enjoy. In fact, this is one I'd like to have on CD for myself, thus I bumped it up to a priority 3.

Floyd Hunchback Group is a tough album to describe. You can tell they're jazzers, and the typical late 70's fusion elements are all out in force (Rhodes, sax, funky bass). But they have this mean streak too, and some of the gymnastic rhythms, coupled with Moog and guitar solos, point to a love for complex instrumental progressive rock. The drumming is quite exceptional. Strangely I'm hearing more of a mid 70's Eastern European sound here, as found in bands like Fermata or SBB.

Priority: 3

Friday, April 22, 2011

News: Karthago Live at The Roxy reissued by Made in Germany


And a followup to the last post, Made in Germany also plans to reissue Karthago's Live at the Roxy (1976) as a 2 CD set. Just like the "Victor" album, this one did get pressed by the parent Bacillus label back in the late 1980s. Looks like MiG cut a deal to get these back into the market. I'm sure they will do a great job as always, and will be the desired end product to own. Even though Karthago are typically labeled a Krautrock band, they're in reality more a plain US styled rock n roll group. I have a couple of friends that are huge fans of the group, so I know this will be a much welcome reissue for many.

News: Rigoni / Schoenherz reissued by Made in Germany


Made in Germany appears to be the successor to the InsideOut.de reissue series that started last decade. They're slowly adding more and more interesting titles. Last year they surprised us with the 3 CD set by Niagara. Now we learn that MiG is reissuing the epic double LP by Rigoni / Schoenherz. This is not the first time for the album to find itself on CD, as it was reissued by the parent label Bacillus in the late 1980s, but it's been OOP forever. To be perfectly honest, I never cared for this Austrian album much personally. But I know many of you will be pleased to see this.

Label says: "Before Richard Schönherz became famous as creator of the "Rilke" - and "Hesse" projects, in 1975 he created - along with Manuel Rigoni - the concept work "Victor".

"Victor" is still considered a milestone of prog-rock, a concept album that creates the balance between orchestrated classic and sophisticated rock in a unique way.

With the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the Vienna Academy Chamber Choir, musicians such as the recently deceased Kurt Hauenstein (Supermax), Harry Stojka, Achim Buchstab or Johan Daansers, "Victor" became a cinematic masterpiece about the power of youth and a plea for deference to authority, war and cruelty.

Partly recorded and mixed in the legendary Abbey Road Studios, "Victor" still is a timeless work that is worth exploring.

The MIG-new edition contains the complete, extensive booklet of the vinyl edition and has been lovingly remastered.

TRACKLISTING:

The Invitation
The Head Of The Circus Sings For His Beloved Audience
Who Is Victor
Victor's Song For Himself
Victor's Song For His Father
Where Is Victor
Victor's Dream
Victor's Song For The White Man
The Song Of Life

CREDITS:
Produced by Peter Hauke
All lyrics, music and arrangements by
Manuel Rigoni and Richard Schoenherz
Symphonic Orchestra composed and arranged
by Richard Schoenherz, dedicated to Sonja

Recorded at
Abbey Road Studios, Chipping Norton Studio, AIR Studios England, Europa Sound Studio, Germany Austrophon Studio, Vienna

Engineered by
Peter Bown, Barry Hammond, Fred Schreier, Hartmut Pfannmüller, Steve Nye, Gregor Hornacek, Wolfgang Engel

Remixed at
Abbey Road Studios, Advision Studios, AIR Studios
Remixing engineers
Peter Bown, Dec O'Doherty, Peter Henderson

Personel
Richard Schoenherz - keyboards, lead vocals
Manuel Rigoni - drums, percussion
Kurt Hauenstein - bass, lead vocals on "Song Of Life"
Harry Stojka - guitars
Achim Buchstab - lead vocals on "Who Is Victor" and "Where Is Victor"
Johan Daansen - guitars
Peter Wolf - ARP on "The Invitation"
The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Wiener Akademie Kammerchor

Cover Art by Karl Strnad
Photographs by Kurt Waldert and Karl Strnad "

Lear, Switzerland


Lear - Swiss Rock History Vol. 1. recorded: 1969-1979 released: 1996 Blue Moon.

Later archival release, but so far still only on LP. Swiss based female vocal lead hard psych / progressive rock album. Lots of great fuzz guitar and organ leads. The classic European progressive take on Jefferson Airplane and Janis Joplin. File next to Circus 2000, Sandrose and Goliath. A really good album, though some of the recordings are a bit rough, especially the live material towards the end (last 4 tracks).

As an aside, there were 3 releases in this Swiss Rock History series. Vol. 2 is the pedestrian rock album by Exit (which was also reissued by Black Rills on LP, but never on CD). Vol. 3 is by a band called Taurus (not related to the Dutch Taurus presumably), and one I've still not heard.

Priority: 2

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Emerald Web, USA


Emerald Web - Dragon Wings And Wizard Tales. 1979 Stargate.

Nice mix of sequencer based electronic music, fluttering flute, airy female voice and acoustic/electric guitar. Excellent atmospheres and even a few heavy rocked out moments towards the end that are well placed to add some much needed spice. A quite varied album, that needs a few listens to appreciate.

The Florida based duo of Kat Epple and Bob Stohl went on to record a few more albums, though supposedly in the new age genre. I remember seeing these 80's albums back then and avoided like the plague, but I haven't heard them to be fair. For now, I'll presume these later albums to be out of scope for our list. But their debut album is definitely cool.

Priority: 3

Monday, April 18, 2011

Trocarn, Switzerland


Trocarn - s/t. 1977 Studiovox.

One of our readers suggested I give this one a closer spin, and so I did (a good suggestion I might add!).

Trocarn play in that charming, but hopelessly low budget, maudlin, French progressive folk genre. Epic but somewhat confused. Towards the end of the album, we're presented with a loud burst of fuzz guitar, coupled with the freaky fast complex changes. It appears the band possessed tons of pent-up anger and went nuts at the end. More of that interspersed throughout would have made for a monster album. One has to think there is more of that sound in a canister somewhere. From the French section of Suisse. File next to Emeraude, Subversion and Alpha Centauri. I also have to think a newly remastered CD taken from the masters could do wonders for an album like this, and maybe take some of the "low budget" aspects off of it.

Priority: 3

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Dragon, New Zealand


Dragon - Scented Gardens for the Blind. 1976 Vertigo.

Same situation as yesterday's Mackenzie Theory post. I've been waiting for this one for two years (in 2009 they reissued Dragon's "Universal Radio" and pre-announced this one for 2010), and I'm most excited about what Aztec will do with the sound on it. Like the album yesterday, I have the original LP (which is featured predominantly on my wall since the cover is absolutely stunning), but Aztec typically does a great job of mastering.

Dragon are one of the premier, if not the premier, New Zealand symphonic rock acts. Very similar to other Australasian bands like Sebastian Hardie or Ragnarok. Also Ireland's Fruupp comes to mind here as well. Personally I think this is Dragon's best album by a long shot.

Priority: 2

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Mackenzie Theory, Australia


Mackenzie Theory - Bon Voyage. 1974 Mushroom.

I've delayed the posting of this one long enough. It was pre-announced to be reissued by Aztec in 2009 along with the second pressing of "Out of the Blue" (which was first put on CD by the original label Mushroom, before they went out of business). Aztec no longer publishes their coming soon list (or I couldn't find it), and so I'm not sure if this is still on their docket or not. Exact same dilemma as with the much anticipated reissue of Dragon's second album "Scented Garden's For the Blind".

Mackenzie Theory are an excellent fusion band lead by electric viola and guitar, similar to a slightly stripped down Mahavishnu Orchestra. "Bon Voyage" is a bit more jammy than the debut. Four long tracks.

Priority: 3

Friday, April 15, 2011

Granicus, USA


Granicus - s/t. 1973 RCA.

Like Polyphony, this album has been bootlegged so much on CD, it's completely understandable why most folks think this one is already out legit on CD. According to multiple sources, it was due for reissue in 2001, with bonus tracks, but the label (Rewind) went out of business before release. And it still remains in that state. Ugh.

Granicus are a Cleveland, OH based hard rock group. Probably the single best example from the US to attempt a Led Zeppelin like raucous electric blues sound. Has a Midwest America sensibility and directness as found in other bands from the region (Poobah for example), but otherwise Page and company is definitely the influence here. Mellotron and acoustic guitar touches combined with Robert Plant styled high pitched vocals puts this album somewhere between Zeppelin's "IV" and "Houses of the Holy". This is essential for hard rock fans, especially those who like a little adventurous progressive compositions mixed in.

Priority: 2

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Earwacks, USA


Earwacks - Distances. 1981 private.

As promised in the Eardance review about 10 days ago (my, how the time flies), I finally found the Earwacks album after digging around for awhile.

We frequently speak of the late 1970s Midwest progressive rock sound on the CDRWL, and the St. Louis based Earwacks would seem an obvious candidate. But it's really not. There's no bid for AOR airplay here. This is truly private press land - an oddball album that is more 1960s in spirit and early-1970s in sound. The shelf date for this kind of music had expired a full ten years before its release. I could see this as a pointed retro album from the late 90s or 2000's, but have absolutely no idea where the inspiration came from in 1981? A scattered mixture of pop, rock (and both styles decidedly non-1980s sounding) and epic progressive rock (with mellotron, flute, sax and fuzz guitar).

Not too many albums with mellotron that you won't find on the Planet Mellotron site, but here's one. BTW, a copy just sold for all of $11 and change back in February (I wasn't looking for it, but I should have been!). Way too obscure this one.

Based on a comment from ProgCzar, I visited their website, where apparently you can get this on CD. Many times when a band does this, they mean an on-demand CD-R, but sometimes it really is a pressed CD. Anyone know?

Priority: none

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Jenghiz Khan, Belgium


Jenghiz Khan - Well Cut. 1971 Barclay.

It was in the late 1980's that I first began to trade with dealers from around the world. And Jenghiz Khan was one of the first albums I traded for, and it cost me some rare gems (at least for what I had to offer at the time). "A psychedelic progressive masterpiece from Belgium." I don't think I could have been more disappointed. In fact, I thought it was terrible and I'd just been taken to the cleaners. An early lesson for me in "dealer hype". See my definition of hype in the Passenger (UK) entry. Anyway, looking back on it, I can see where Jenghiz Khan would be popular with a certain fan base. So no way would I call it hype today. And it's aged a bit better for me, but no chance would I froth about it either.

Jenghiz Khan are a fairly typical early 70s hard rock / blues rock band with organ and guitar leads, and half-way decent English vocals. Very ordinary songwriting. Somewhat like the UK blues rock scene ala Ashkan and Elias Hulk, but far more inconsistent. Last track, clocking in at 10 minutes, is the clear winner of the bunch.

There are at least 3 bootlegs of this album. So the demand is there.

Priority: none

Saturday, April 9, 2011

News: Shadoks reissues O Bando from Brazil


Interesting new batch of CDs and LPs from Shadoks. As usual with the deep divers at Shadoks, not all is relevant to our site, but I cherry picked a few out. Since this is the CDRWL, we'll start with the shiny thing.

I haven't heard O Bando prior, but in typical Shadoks fashion, it appears they reissued it on LP first. As you'll see below, I generally try to seek some of these vinyl albums out as well, but I just missed this title altogether. The label says:

O Bando was recorded in 1969 in São Paulo by 5 guys and a beautiful singer Marisa Fossa. The production was state of the art hosted by the 3 top producer of Brazil. For 1969 it was recorded in Scatena studios in São Paulo with 8 channels equipment which was the best you can get at this time. The music has sophisticated brass arrangements very much like the same level as US bands Chicago Transit Authority, The Flock and Blood Sweat & Tears with the charm and rhythms of Brazil Exotics. If you like the album by Liverpool this one would be for you. A real summer record, should make the stoned Psychedelic listener move his hips and dance or at least nod their feet. Great guitars, smashing vocals, Samba rhythm, horns, tons of effects, a real trip to Brazilian underground music. One of the best!

Perhaps even more interesting is their new lineup of obscure LPs. I don't usually call these out, since that's not the purpose of our list, but what the heck - I'm already here. And there's a good chance all of these will see a CD reissue from the label sometime in the future. The Eugene Carnan (band name, not person) in particular could be promising, especially if it lives up to the groups its being compared to. I also included the second Bump LP, which was part of their last batch of releases. I didn't care much for the first album by them, but this sounds more interesting - on paper at least.

Label descriptions below:



Here is a great surprise for us. An unknown UK album with such a great musical potential. Musically it is a very powerful guitar dominated underground rock such as Black Sabbath, Blue Cheer, Dark or Grannie. The rarety factor is way above all those other rare UK album, which stay in low pressings of 99 copies and 15-20 such as Dark. This one has been pressed only 4 times ever. In September 1971 Eugene Carnan entered a UK-wide competition for “Best New Band” run by the famous Melody Maker magazine, they recorded the album in 1972 and took it to London to Eden Studios for a demo pressing and cut 4 acetates. Eugene Carnan a 3 piece band are from Sheffield, UK with guitar & vocals, bass and drums. All own composition. A killer album from beginning to end.



1968 Hollywood, USA. The Churchill Downs recorded 16 great tracks at the studio from famous producer Gary S. Paxton. The band was very young at the time but the musical output was on the highest level you can imagine with a damn good production. How can a band like this not become famous is a mystery. Fantastic compositions, great multi vocal singing, strong guitars, organ, drums, bass, effects, everything you desire to get catchy Underground songs with tons of great ideas in it to make those songs unique and out of bounce and not middle of the road. It is just what we love about the productions of Phil Spector and Andrew Loog Oldham. The Churchill Downs are one of the best US unknown albums among Beauregard Ajax and Public Nuisance. With Don Adey on guitar & vocals, Gary Dalton Stovall guitar & vocals, Dirk Acree bass & vocals, Mick Newton keyboards & vocals, Al Stigler & Fred Darling on drums. If we could go back in time, lets say 40+ years and release this album in 1968 we would have been rich. Why this album was never been pressed is still a mystery. So for the first time ever those great songs made it onto vinyl. We love it.



BUMP 2 (the unreleased second album) was recoded in 1971, just a year later after the debut album, also on Pioneer Records and also produced by Gary A. Rubin. Paul Lupien - organ / George Runyan - bass, vocals / Alan Goldman - guitar / Jerome Charles Greenberg - drums recorded 8 great tracks which never came out so far. We could even use the original artwork. This is a fantastic prog / psychedelic monster LP, a mixture of dreamy organ psych with heavy fuzz bluster, very much like CA Quintet. Ghostly swirly organs, burning rough guitars, sound effects, fuzz/wahwah guitars, trippy lysergic vocals and great melodies. A killer album from start to end.

Friday, April 8, 2011

News: Sony to reissue Rock Joint Biwa and Rock Joint Sitar!!!!



In the WOW!!! category comes this amazing news out of Japan. The Alaskan Connection gave me the heads up 3 days ago (which I saw via my iPhone), and I've been bursting to share, but unfortunately couldn't get to the computer while away for business.

We featured the Rock Joint Biwa album back in December as part of our duo of very rare Japanese albums. This is the album commonly referred to as Fulukotofumi.

Interesting to note that the albums will be issued under the name Hiromasa Suzuki.

Since that post, I have heard parts of the Rock Joint Sitar album (courtesy of a YouTube video that the AC sent me - you can Google for it under the Hiromasa name). It's definitely more in the jazz realm than the Biwa album.

Here's the note the AC sent me. Thanks again for letting me know!

"It turns out that both of the Rock Joint albums are finally being reissued! They're being done by Sony Music, and are due to be released on May 25 at a price of 2100 Yen each. It should be noted that the artist name being used for these is Hiromasa Suzuki or Hiromasa Suzuki Trio. For some reason, the Sony Music Japan site still doesn't have anything up about this, but they've been listed on all the major Japanese retailers now, and I've spoken to a couple of Japanese sources who have confirmed that these are definitely coming. To say these reissues are necessary is an understatement, as the price on the originals has really gotten out of control. I just saw another copy of Rock Joint Sitar go for over $1000, and it was just the regular 2-channel version, and a rather beat-up looking example at that. As I mentioned, pretty much all of the Japanese webshops will be carrying these, but here are the Amazon Japan links just so you can see for yourself:

http://www.amazon.co.jp/ロック・ジョイント琵琶%7E組曲-ふることふみ-鈴木宏昌/dp/B004U7LJW2/ref=sr_1_1?s=music&ie=UTF8& qid=1302052831&sr=1-1

http://www.amazon.co.jp/ロック・ジョイント・シタール%7E組曲-シルクロード-鈴木宏昌トリオ/dp/B004U7LJKE/ref=sr_1_2?s=music& ie=UTF8&qid=1302052931&sr=1-2"

News: BTF reissues Robert Genco's "Beyond the Life (Oltre la Vita)"


Midwest Mike wrote in this week to let me know about this title, which I hadn't heard of prior. BTF says this about it:

"1977: was the year in which Italian Progressive Rock was closing its vital cycle, tough there were still two masterpieces of its kind to be released: one is the famous Locanda delle Fate, while the second and was left for too long in the vaults, as it has never been reissued for almost 40 years: we talk of Robert Genco’s “Beyond the life”. Given that the drummer Robert Genco must not be confused with Robert
Genco of 'Genco Puro and co, "Beyond the Life is a wonderful prog rock album, where the drummer blends Italian prog, with an ultra-sophisticated jazz-rock. The influences are kaleidoscopic, with the opening track (Angoscia) that runs through the streets of jazz prog at its best: James Senese and Napoli Centrale, Osanna, but also Perigeo. The title track " Beyond the Life” could almost be described as a tribute to the PFM, while" All recomposes "is prog rock close to Yes and Genesis. The B side is a long suite which summarizes the influences cited before, by adding flavors of Chick Corea, Dedalus, Canzoniere del Lazio, but with an extremely progressive drumming. A gem of rare beauty, finally rediscovered!

Paperlseeve package with extended liner notes. With two bonus tracks!"

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Famous Actors from Out of Town, USA


Famous Actors from Out of Town - F.A.F.O.O.T. FA3574. 1986 private cassette.

And while on the theme of 1980s era avant progressive US groups, might as well throw in Richmond, Virginia's Famous Actors from Out of Town.

Famous Actors from Out of Town is a self-described "improvo-instrumental" group. Exactly the kind of album you'd expect to find on the nearby Cuneiform label. As with any such venture, there are bits that should have been edited out, but there are also plenty of inspired moments as well. Some fine guitar work with tricky and complicated rhythms. I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of this album.

Description below provided by the Free Music Archive - and you can hear the album there as well.

Comprised of former members of the Orthotonics, Idio-Savant, the Tom & Marty Band, House of Freaks, Sparklehorse, Cracker and Gutterball, FAFOOT made ambitiously composed and arranged instrumental music built on two of the city's best drummers working intricately in tandem.

"FA3457" (sic) was a limited-edition, cassette-only release and in 2009 Chris Bopst of the syndicated "Bopst Show" said: "For years I have been looking to secure a digital copy of the cassette tape made by the late, great Richmond instrumental band, The Famous Actors From Out of Town (FAFOOT). I had long ago lost my tape of the group’s one and only release and wanted to get it back into my collection. I contacted one of the group’s drummers, Pippin Barnett and asked him if he had an extra copy of it lying around somewhere. Within 10 minutes of my request, the Art Blakey of Richmond percussion wrote back saying he had a burned CD copy he could give me and after a few more exchanges, he dropped off the CD at one of my places of employment. It was as good as I remembered it. The four-man group consisting of Marty McCavitt on keyboards, Paul Watson on guitar, trumpet & bass and Pippin and Johnny Hott on drums were amazing live and the recording captures their weirdo, late 70’s/early 80’s art, rock, jazz, noise sound pretty well. The 23-year old recording sounds as vibrant today as it did back then."


Priority: none

Monday, April 4, 2011

Eardance, USA


Eardance - Seek Opposites. 1982 Touch.

And the cassette sitting next to the New Cross? Eardance (and ya know I also have an old dub of another US 80s's band called Earwacks, which I'll dig for and feature eventually). Eardance is another band that Jeff turned me onto about 15 years ago.

Of the bands we're featuring in this niche, Chicago's Eardance are the most overtly 1980's King Crimson influenced. Right down to the Chapman Stick while the vocalist sounds exactly like Belew. The primary difference between Eardance and KC is that our featured band today is definitely more jazz influenced, which adds a neat twist to a recognizable sound.

Priority: 3

Sunday, April 3, 2011

New Cross, USA


New Cross - s/t. 1986 private (EP)

Special thanks goes to Prog Not Frog for reminding me of this long gone title from California. In the mid-1980's this album was featured in all of the progressive rock catalogs of the day (yes, there were a few back then). But being an EP length, I wasn't interested at the time. A few years later, my buddy Jeff brought his copy over and from that point on, I've admired the album. I took a cassette dub and that's where it remained: Buried in my tape drawer and somewhat forgotten. About a decade after first hearing the record, drummer Mike Ezzo became one of our earliest raters on Gnosis. And through that we learned of his other project, Rain of Thought. Mike was kind enough to send me a CD, and it's quite excellent and highly recommended (Greg Walker at Syn-Phonic still has copies for only $11 - definitely pick one up!)

King Crimson was the only major left standing in the 1980s (or at least they were smart enough to pack it in during the tumultuous late 70s, only to reemerge stronger than before), so it's not too surprising that they were the major influence on a lot of bands during this lost period of progressive rock. As we saw with yesterday's Regressive Aid, and you'll note with the band we feature tomorrow, Crimson truly did hold court back then. New Cross is probably closest to Ixt Adux, in that they mix contemporary Discipline era KC with the more aggressive sounds of "Red". However, unlike Ixt Adux, there's no leftover VDGG traces. It would be heartening to know if there was more high quality recorded material from New Cross, as a full CD would be highly satisfying.

Priority: 3

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Regressive Aid, USA




Regressive Aid – Why Settle For Less When You Can Regress? 1981 Rhesus
Regressive Aid – Effects on Exposed People. 1983 Rhesus

Special thanks goes to Lady Gnosis for turning me onto this unknown progressive rock group from New Jersey.

Back in February we featured a Japanese band called Nishin, and Regressive Aid reminds me quite a bit of their album "Dai Dai". The early 80's sound is very apparent here, from the use of digital technology to the fast punkish pace of the music. There's no mistaking the "Discipline" era Crimson influence, though Regressive Aid appears to have drawn the same conclusion as Fripp rather than just following the master. The EP, which is just over 10 minutes long (4 songs), is pretty rough sounding. By the time of Effects, itself a very short album clocking in just under 30 minutes, the Crimson influence is more apparent and the production values are of a high quality. Another group that came along later, but also reminds me of Regressive Aid, is the Virginia-based Famous Actors From Out of Town.

Priority: 3

Friday, April 1, 2011

Archimedes Badkar, Sweden



Archimedes Badkar - Badrock För Barn I Alla Åldrar. 1975 MNW
Archimedes Badkar – II. 1976 MNW

Here's a band I figured would already have their albums out on CD. I admit to procrastinating a bit on this entry for that reason. MNW is still around, and every once in awhile they'll toss out a CD reissue bone to keep the dogs from barking too loud. Archimedes Badkar's third album, the overtly titled "Tre", was reissued a few years back. For me, it's the weakest of the three albums (but still good), though I know many folks disagree with my assessment.

For their first album, Archimedes Badkar could be considered an alternative to Kebnekaise. Whereas the latter mixed Swedish folk with blues and psych rock, Archimedes Badkar took the folk music through the jazz rock blender. It's a fascinating fusion, and the ethnic components are out front, so they're quite serious about it. The cover of Big Boy in space reminds me of the first Austin Powers movie. I doubt they had Big Boy's in Sweden in 1974, so a bizarre sight indeed. Comes with a cool multi-page newspaper of lyrics and a postcard! There is a bootleg CD of this title.

On the double LP second album, Archimedes Badkar moves from Swedish folk to that of India and Tibet (though the homeland still is featured). Here the jazz and rock components are toned down a bit. But with two albums to stretch over, the band has plenty of time to explore the various different creative avenues they set out for themselves. Archimedes Badkar were four years ahead of Embryo's landmark double LP "Embryo's Reise" for this kind of European jazz fusion east-west sound. The second LP of the set goes for broke and the listener will experience a more experimental sound with hit and miss results.

Priority: 2 (for the debut)