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Thursday, September 29, 2011

News: Belle Antique to reissue Old Man & The Sea


More exciting news out of Japan! As some of you may recall, I featured this album earlier this year, only to find out it was reissued legit - except hardly anyone knew about it. Belle Antique is the house label for Marquee, so I checked with my friend and Gnosis colleague Nobuhisa - who tell us: "We are going for the original mix + we'd have the bonus track appeared on the legit CD. According to the band, the original master is gone, so this will be from a clean copy of the original vinyl. Tommy Hansen has done the mastering." That works for me! And Old Man & the Sea is the perfect album for a mini-LP. The original LP is a typically great early 70s major label package - with a cool gatefold cover.

So unless you own the very obscure Dunk label version (which most of us never saw even when it was released), the Belle Antique version is the way to go!

Updated post: Genshi Kyodotai

Nobuhisa has provided some more great news concerning the Think label that is reissuing the Genshi-Kyodotai.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

News: Garden of Delights releases archival Guildenstern


Garden of Delights comes up with what looks like another archival winner! Between them and Long Hair (and others like Sireena), the pot seems endless. I hope so anyway.

Label says: "Guildenstern were founded in the Hessian town of Rüsselsheim in the spring of 1976 and played some keyboard-dominated progressive rock in the style of bands like early Genesis, early Yes, Camel, or Eloy. The band didn't release anything, but some recordings with a satisfactory sound quality have been preserved: eight tracks recorded in the rehearsal room, as well as three pieces from their rock opera "Life's a stage", recorded live in Flörsheim on September 29th, 1979. They are now to be heard on the Guildenstern CD. All tracks - most of them instrumentals - were written by the artists themselves. Some of them are played on a doubleneck 12-string guitar. Guildenstern keyboarder Bernd Scholl has meanwhile released a lot of LPs and CDs with electronic music and has become one of the leading planetarium musicians in Germany."

GoD also reissued Embryo's "Bad Heads and Bad Cats", which was previously done about 10 years ago on Disconforme. They included the same 17 minute bonus track + added an excellent track from the 1975 Vlotho festival, which we wrote about in the UMR last year. I'll definitely pick up this version eventually, though it won't be a high priority as the Disconforme version that I own is quite excellent as well.

Monday, September 19, 2011

News: Genshi-Kyodotai coming out on CD!!!!!!!


First it was the startling announcement that the Rock Joint albums were coming out (on Sony). Then came the amazing news that the Laurence Vanay albums will be on CD & LP (On Lion - early next year most likely). Then Ken Golden of The Laser's Edge starting a new label called Modulus and the first album will be none other than Het Pandorra Ensemble. Followed by Garden of Delights releasing their best reissues in years with the debut by Sunbirds and Missus Beastly's 3rd album. Then the jaw dropper that the first Eider Stellaire is finally coming out on CD.

It has been an incredible year for truly obscure albums getting the legal digital treatment.

But this has to take the cake.

Holy cow. It was only last December that this album was still shrouded in mystery, only whispered about in the dark walls of a Knights Templar monastery. Then came Heavy Rock's tape that I used for my blog entry, closely followed by Toshiaki Yokota himself uploading it (see Prog Not Frog for more details). And now it will be made available to all. Of course, Japanese presses like this are tough to get as they aren't carried by the usually progressive rock suppliers. You can usually obtain CDs such as this from HMV or Amazon Japan. And sometimes Dusty Groove can bring them over stateside. We'll see. Street date has been set for October.

Nobuhisa of Marquee tells me "It is planned to come out from THINK label. They mainly deal with reissue of Japanese Jazz obscurities, and for most case the actual pressing are done by the major labels that still own the right for them (like Wounded Bird or Esoteric) so they should be totally legit."

A wealth of riches I tell ya.

9/29/2011 update:

Nobuhisa has provided even more fantastic information. Thanks again!!

Website for the label is here.


"The Think! Label is part of the Disk Union group and they operate under their Jazz division.

Along with Genshi-Kyodotai, they would release

Tousha, Suiho : Yugen No Sekai
* a major rarity that features Noh-Kan and Shinobue (sort of Japanese traditional Flute and recorder) player Tousha collaborating with an electric Jazz / Rock band (Inomata Akira and Sound Unlimited).
Mizutani Kimio plays the guitar. An ambitious record that contains side long suite titled "Concerto For Shino Flute & Rock Band: 1st Movement - 2nd Movement - 3rd Movement" though not totally successful.

and other two titles which I haven't heard.

Sato Masahiko Trio : Transformation 69/71
Freedom Unity : Something

Sato would be Straight Jazz with Free leaning (I've heard few of his albums from the same period / similar personnel). Have no idea on how the Freedom Unity sounds like."

I've said it before and I'll say it again here - Japan is harboring the most undiscovered music from the 1970s.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

News: Esoteric to reissue The Norman Haines Band Den of Iniquity in October!


This is news I've been waiting on for some time. Vicky had told me well over 3 years ago that they were waiting "for clearance" to reissue this gem. And it makes sense, of course, that Esoteric would reissue it since they had already tackled the Locomotive album, a group that Haines played in. Even though the album had been reissued legit prior, on the very obscure Shoestring label in the early 90s, I never saw a copy of it - even back then. So now we will all have a chance to own this excellent album!

Esoteric says: "Esoteric Recordings are pleased to announce a new remastered edition of the 1971 album by THE NORMAN HAINES BAND, the legendary "DEN OF INIQUITY". Soon after recording the iconic album "WE ARE EVERYTHING YOU SEE" with his band LOCOMOTIVE, Norman departed the group to found this heavier outfit. Joining the keyboard player were guitarist NEIL CLARK, bassist ANDY HUGHES and drummer JIMMY SKIDMORE. One of the most sought after releases of the Progressive Rock era, "DEN OF INIQUITY" was the only album recorded by the band and was a dark and heavy affair with superb compositions that included a reworked version of "Mr. ARMAGEDDON" (previously recorded by LOCOMOTIVE), the excellent title track and the epic thirteen minute long 'RABBITS'. Issued on EMI's Parlophone imprint in 1971, the album was available for a few short months before being deleted. An excellent keyboard dominated Progressive Rock album, this Esoteric reissue has been re-mastered from the original master tapes and includes six bonus tracks, taken from the singles issued by Parlophone and the rare track 'I REALLY NEED A FRIEND'. The reissue also includes the single version of 'RABBITS', previously unreleased on CD."

We featured this album a couple of years ago.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Window, USA


Window - The Empyreal Ballet. 1978 Cottage Records.

So here's one I've been wanting to post about forever. I had a cassette of it from long ago, but without info. Usually a simple Google search will find me an album cover and other data. Except in this case, it was as if the album didn't exist. I couldn't find anything about it anywhere. I asked Midwest Mike, The Alaskan Connection and others, but no one seemed to know anything about it. When that happens, I begin to question the tape markings. Was it mislabeled? Was it ever actually released? Did I get a demo album way back when?

Then, about 2 weeks ago, I received a note out of the blue asking if I was interested in knowing more about the album (it's in the main list and I was asking for info). Of course I said yes! But that trail seemed to go cold as I never heard back - until today, but he had already sold it! On a whim, I decided to Google it again - and lo and behold - there it was, sold on ebay just 3 days ago! So I have to figure it was the same gentleman. That's pure speculation, but whatever, the ebay auction had photos and some info! So thank you to the ebay seller (blind-boy-records) - and if it's the same person who contacted me - thanks again!

So it appears Window are a San Francisco / Bay Area based group, and they released this one very good progressive rock album. Honestly, I was certain I was going to find out the band were from Illinois or Missouri, because it does indeed have that Midwest progressive rock sound, especially apparent in the vocal sections. The mix of complex progressive rock, piano jazz-rock and AOR FM radio ambition only cements the comparison. Excellent electric / acoustic guitar work, flute, tuned percussion, with a horn section and complex rhythms is what you'll find on "Empyreal Ballet". Curiously for a band of its type, there are no keyboards (beyond the piano of course).

Priority: 2

Friday, September 9, 2011

Notice: Ragnarok (NZ) albums available on CD-R

As regular readers of the CDRWL know, we don't count CD-R's as completely reissued albums. However, that doesn't stop us from letting you know about them! Going forward, I will only announce CD-R's if the band themselves are releasing it in this format.

A tip from an anonymous reader earlier this week pointed me to a Youtube with an e-mail address on how to order their "CD". That lead me to a friendly discussion with Ragnarok member Andre Jayet. I made a few suggestions on having their album pressed by a quality and honest label, and so we'll see if that ever comes to fruition.

But in the meantime, if you would like to obtain legitimate homemade CD-R's, here's the instructions on how to do so:

"The CD’s are CD-R. (Ragnarok, Nooks and Ragnarok Live). There are some liner notes inside. The bonus tracks can be found on the live CD-R.

There is a Facebook page (Ragnarok New Zealand) Where you will find unpublished pics, info, comments and some video.

Orders for the CD-R’s are taken from this email site (ragnarok.nz@gmail.com).

Each CD-R is $NZ20.00 plus post’n’package."


We featured Ragnarok about a year ago.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

News: Modulus to release Randy Roos "Mistral"!


While we await the first reissue on the Modulus (Laser's Edge) label - Het Pandorra Ensemble - we now have official word on the second release: Former Luna guitarist Randy Roos "Mistral" album. Regular readers of the CDRWL will note that Midwest Mike had actually sent me the LP of this excellent fusion album last winter. And here it is already on CD!

We featured the album back in February.
Excellent news for American fusion fans, who like a little progressive rock thrown into the mix! Another excellent choice for a reissue from Ken.