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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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Saturday, May 30, 2015

Elohim, France

Elohim - A l'Aube du Verseau. 1975 Philips

Another one from Thursday night's CD-R revisit program. Had this in the main list, and it's one that has grown on me over time. It's much more progressive than it appears on initial impact.

Screwball rock / folk / progressive album that is part theatrical, part glee club, part hippy dippy mysticism. Dual male/female vocals dominate the proceedings, but this isn't a traditional folk album by any stretch of the imagination. The instrumental sections definitely come off the bench in relief, but are creative enough to warrant a few listens. If you're looking for something entirely unique, this may fit the bill. Different Elohim than the 1983 neo prog group, which was reissued by Musea years ago.

Priority: 3

Friday, May 29, 2015

Nya Ljudbolaget, Sweden

Nya Ljudbolaget - s/t. 1981 MNW

This title came up via the CD-R revisit project. Not a favorite style of mine, but I know many of you would like to see this one reissued.

Very much a product of the Swedish Progg (note spelling) MNW label, Nya Ljudbolaget carries a blend of late era Archimedes Badkar, along with Arbete och Fritid and Samla Mammas Manna - the latter two each featuring representatives on the album. One track is even called 'Ramlösa mammas fritid', a giveaway if there ever was one. In effect, it's a world music / jazz hybrid, where India and the Middle East meets the West via the avant garde. Features some fine flute, hand percussion, and cello amongst the usual melodic and free blow saxophone/trumpet. Vocals are sung in the always lovely Swedish tongue. Albums like this tend to rate well, but personally I find them somewhat academic and highbrow. I prefer some dirt with my music. All the same, a pleasant listen, especially if inclined towards the genres and bands mentioned above.

Priority: none

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Agharta, Canada

Agharta - s/t. 1980 Jam

While on the topic of obscure fusion, let's cover off on this one that Midwest Mike sent me years ago. It's been in the main list since then, but I do think it's worthy of its own feature. On reflection, it's a fine album, falling just a smidge onto the other side of the Priority fence.

Agharta's sole album can be summarized as a light and breezy instrumental fusion work with piano and various woodwinds (sax, clarinet, flute). Lead by keyboardist Jacques Mignault (and released on his own label) with the help of other local Quebec jazz musicians, most notably Michael Seguin. Very much a product of its day, with strong overtones of same era Weather Report and Spyro Gyra. The flute, piano, and odd electronic piece give it a warmth perhaps missing in similar type efforts. Well done for the style. Neat cover art.

Quick update: The AC commented that he remembered this one being reissued on CD. And he found a couple of (expensive) copies on Amazon. It appears to have been solely distributed through CD Baby from 2006. And many of those were just CD-R's, so we're not sure if this was factory pressed or not, since it's long gone (and not mentioned on any of the discography sites). So we'll leave the post as is for now.

Priority: none

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Bellvista, USA

Bellvista - The Painter. 1982 En Route Records

Next up from the AC's latest expose. This one impressed me enough, that I went ahead and secured the LP right away. The AC says: "Boston area fusion band's only LP, and it's a good one. Intelligent compositions with plenty of nice keyboard and guitar work. The electric guitar soloing in particular gives a nicely contrasting aggressive edge to the mostly melodic proceedings, going into full-on psychedelic mode on the lengthy final track. Recommended to genre fans. Guitarist Peter Calo released a solo album on the same label the following year, but much of it is more pop/vocal oriented."

No doubt The Painter is "of the era", with its sunny disposition, and proto smooth jazz sounds. The opener 'Once Upon a Fantasy' displays there might be more to this than a tropical vacation, as guitarist Peter Calo turns up the fuzz a bit. From there it's a bit of cruise ship lounging, and perhaps even a little acoustic light world music via the Steve Tibbetts channel. All of that is well and good, but do we get that payoff track? Oh yes, we DO! And as the AC notes, it's the finale title track that delivers it - a blistering 9 minute psychedelic guitar fronted fusion number that is guaranteed to have you digging through collection looking for your Love Devotion Surrender album. Well, no Larry Young on organ of course, and cheesy period synthesizers are in full force instead. But for 1982, that ain't bad right?

Priority: 3

Friday, May 22, 2015

Natdamperen, Denmark

Natdamperen - s/t. 1975 Abel

This one came up on the CD-R revisit project last night. I only had a rating for it, but no notes nor was it in the main CDRWL. So I remedied that...

Ugh. What a mess of an album. Some of it is horrific, and some of it is sublime. Perfect for an archival release, as long as I get to choose the tracks of course....

Let's start out positive: 'Cabana In' and 'Cabana Out' could have easily been on an Embryo album from this era, with its deep jazz funk groove and wah wah guitar providing the base.

Then there's the band's lengthy namesake track - straight from Furtive Pearl era Secret Oyster, with blistering bumble bee guitar, fuzzed out Rhodes piano, and especially the blotted sax layered on top of it all.

And now it's time for the.... BAD. The album opens with the incredibly insipid 'Lille', which sounds like a cross between television advertising music and The Benny Hill Show. This obnoxious sound is carried further on the tracks 'På gaden' and 'Malstrømmen'. 'Kniven' is a smooth jazz throwaway, whereas the closer sounds like a drunken requiem composed for a wake.

Mixed bag here, so proceed with caution. But 17 minutes of high quality jazz rock music that just can't be ignored.


Priority: none
 
It should be noted that Natdamperen went on to release two other albums, but with one of them named Boogieman Eats Frikadeller, and considering the above review, I think I can pass unless someone convinces me different.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

PBX, USA

PBX - Milktoast Repose/Gangplank. 1978 Collage Records

What we have today more or less equates to a 45 RPM single. But the music here, as The AC so perfectly articulates below, is brilliant. And it looks like there might be movement towards a full archival release! Let's hope so - because if all the music sounds as to what I heard, we are looking at the next Yezda Urfa, which was the band that leaped to my mind anyway!

"Bay Area (Los Gatos) prog band who's only release was sadly this obscure EP. Usually, I wouldn't submit an EP quite this short (around 11 minutes total) for inclusion here, as it would be tough to reissue without additional archival material, but in this case we already know that such material does indeed exist. And what wonderful news that is, as I can say without risking hyperbole that this release is amongst the strongest ever recorded by a progressive rock band in the United States. The usual ultra-complex Yes/Gentle Giant-isms of the US underground prog scene are here in full force, but the real difference is that this is more guitar-driven (no keyboards here at all, surprisingly) and ferocious than the usual suspects, with heavy elements of mid 70s Crimson and even some classic Mahavishnu stylings on display. The guitar absolutely rips through the solos (especially on side 2) and the drumming is flat-out world class, in the Billy Cobham/Furio Chirico mold. Vocals are surprisingly smooth and melodic for an underground US act, giving it an almost British touch at times. Just jaw-dropping stuff, really. It's nothing short of a tragedy that they never recorded a full studio album, but as I mentioned above, there is some good news to report. Guitarist/band leader Peter McKibben (who is still musically active) has been contacted and had this to say:

"PBX was a crazy band, trying to make a mark in the Bay Area (SF) music scene when punk and New Wave were starting to become popular. Probably wasn't the right time for a progressive jazz/rock outfit to try to get noticed, but we were having fun, so we didn't care. We actually played on some punk/wave shows, opening up for Pearl Harbor and the Explosions and the Dead Kennedy's (they hated us).

I just found an old cassette from 1978 of PBX playing outdoors in Sproul Plaza at UC Berkeley. On the other side of this cassette, is a live recording of PBX playing at a weird dive called the "I Café"...I believe Pearl Harbor played after us on that occasion. Anyway, a longtime friend of the band knows an engineer who's been converting cassette recordings to cd. I don't know what kind of condition the tape is in, but he's going to try and make the transfer"


Let's hope it all works out and that a proper reissue/archival release can be arranged, because I can't imagine any prog fan would be disappointed with what I've heard so far."


Priority: 2  (Being conservative here given that we only have a small sample, and what remains is a live concert (no idea how professional it was recorded). Obviously if all the music is as above, this is an easy Priority 1!)

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Manzanita, USA

Manzanita - Pirate Lady. 1979 private

Back to the rare AC stash that was recently sent in. Wow - what a cover! If I had run across this LP at a store, I would have bought it immediately, and asked questions later. So AC, what is it? "San Diego based group's sole release of pleasant instrumental fusion. Melodic sax and electric piano are the main ingredients here. Tends towards the smooth side, but has just enough compositional interest to keep you listening. Another one of those obscure private fusion LPs that boasts surprisingly excellent production values."

I'll admit this one was too jazz-light-fusion for me. Certainly easy to listen to, even though it's not pushing any of my buttons. As we know, though, there's a large audience for this sound, and the AC is zeroed in tight with it, so this is one of those times you probably need to ignore my comments (perhaps good advice in any event). For fans of high quality, yet smooth, fusion.

Priority: none

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

T.C.B., USA

TCB - Open for Business. 1970 Traffic.

And while on the topic of obscure horn rock bands, let's talk about one TCB from New York (supposedly, though details are scant just like with Myrth). I bought a sealed copy a few months ago, having not heard it prior, but knowing it was in the brass rock genre. This TCB is not to be confused with Elvis Presley's backup band who operated from 1969 to 1977. And just like that TCB, this ensemble is indeed an acronym that stands for Taking Care of Business.

Musically it's a mix of soul based horn rock with gruff vocals and bluesy motifs, coupled with a gentle folk side recalling perhaps Michaelangelo of "One Voice Many" fame. Roller rink organ, fuzz guitar, harpsichord, male/female vocals, alto/tenor sax, and trumpet are the primary instruments. The music is very much a sound of its time and recalls other such acts like The Albert, Sod, 4th Cekcion, etc... The band's ace up the sleeve, though, is the 23+ minute closer, which shows TCB stretching out in a jazz rock way. A choppy organ, bass, drums vamp is laid down, and each instrument is allowed some time for a solo including a bit of scat singing. While not exactly groundbreaking, it is unusual to find this much time allocated for such music - especially on what is essentially a pop rock record. A fine album worth investigating, and would make for a nice CD.

Priority: 3

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Myrth, USA

Myrth - s/t. 1969 RCA

Here's a title that would have been certain to be part of the CD-R revisit project, but I bought the LP in the meantime, and thus it gets its debut ahead of that. It's a relatively common album, but finding one without a cut corner, saw cut, or any other such damaging mark proves to be quite a challenge. I finally found one, and in fact the cover above is that copy.

Near the bottom of the main CDRWL post, I have a number of horn rock bands clumped together. These are albums that I haven't featured yet, and perhaps some will never be, as they aren't very good IMO. But Myrth is certainly worth further consideration.

I'd say within the horn rock spectrum, Myrth tracks closest to Ides of March. The vocals are gruff, and the music is hard charging. The horns are tight and well charted. And, yes, there's a commercial slant to some of the material, that is wonderfully offset by more progressive leanings. This is exactly the style of music you'd find on Ides of March's "Vehicle", a much under appreciated album in my eyes. It remains debatable if the horn rock era will ever find a new fan base after its initial run. But if it does, Myrth should be an early consideration. I would be a first day buyer.

I haven't been able to discern where Myrth originated. The album was recorded in Hollywood, and it would seem given the logistics of a large ensemble, that southern California would be the logical source. But I've also found references to Utah and Arizona, that are possible but not conclusive. More great info about the band can be found here, where I queried about the location of the group. As you can see, it remains inconclusive.

Priority: 3

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Pandora, Sweden

Pandora - Measures of Time. 1974 SMA

My experience with Pandora is very similar to the one I have with Apartment One, that we just spoke about last week. For years and years, this was a top curiosity. On the same label as Lotus' debut, an album that I owned and adored - and with descriptions indicating that Measures of Time was a symphonic progressive masterpiece - my curiosity meter was far into the red zone. When my friend Heavyrock secured the LP about a decade ago, he had me come over and we checked it out. We both looked at each other in horror. We thought it was terrible! Fortunately I had him burn me a copy for posterity.

A few years ago, I revisited the title and changed my tune somewhat. It isn't that bad I said to myself, but it still didn't make a huge mark. I didn't promote the title from the main list.

Now comes the CD-R revisit project, and I really am changing my tune now. If there's ever a justification for this project, it's albums like Pandora that benefit. Of course it's no masterpiece, and I could probably take a negative disposition and continue to maintain the album is worthless. But I'm an optimist by nature, and I found much to enjoy on this listen.

The first track is dubious though, and has much to do with my early frown. It's a direct rip from Uriah Heep's Salisbury, and not at all in touch with the remainder. From there on out, the album switches gears to a semi-progressive rock album. The band they emulate most, and it becomes clear on multiple listens, is Genesis. Now this is interesting actually. The progressive rock world is filled with Genesis imitators, and one could argue that the group was germane to the entire "neo prog" movement of the 1980s. But you'd be hard pressed to find anyone (outside of Italy) imitating Genesis back in 1974, especially from Sweden. The album is vocal heavy, sung in English, and can weigh down the compositions. But there's much happening musically behind the scenes, taking this album up a notch. Guitar, keyboards, and irregular rhythms all make this one an interesting listen. It does require some patience, and it definitely insists on focus, as otherwise it blows by without notice. Speaking from experience of course.

Priority: 3

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Azabu Ongaku Shudan, Japan

Azabu Ongaku Shudan - s/t. 1971 private

And now we arrive at the serious rarity hinted at a few days ago. I tried every database trick in the book, including image recognition and kanji translations, and could not find one thing about this album. As we know with Japanese albums, it's not uncommon for a name to take hold even if it's entirely incorrect. And the AC always give us the correctly translated version, so I thought maybe I'd find an erroneous entry somewhere. But alas, I did not. So it appears we are introducing the world to this most intriguing album. As stated here on the CDRWL before, Japan is the final frontier for super rare / unknown albums from the original psychedelic and progressive rock time frame. Sure... Germany, England, and our own beloved United States seem to still be harboring some undiscovered gems (Metaphysical Animation perhaps the greatest of them all), but it is in Japan where we continue to find the most unknowns. And where we often find the AC doing his deepest exploration.  Before reading one sentence, I started listening to the album. The first track is heavily influenced by 1968 era Chicago Transit Authority, which is a really good thing in my book. Then there's some random messing about in the studio, with some chamber/classical bits, and in comes a guitar freakout - and once again Terry Kath leaped to straight to mind. What is this anyway? Off to the notes I went...

"This large "group" was actually an amateur musical collective from the exclusive Azabu section of Tokyo who recorded this singular document of avant-psych freakout and then dispersed back into the void. Things get underway with a blast of driving brass rock-esque jazzy psych, before some spacey classical flute leads into a weird piano and percussion motif that repeats over and over, starting again just as you think it's finally done. You can tell that they're just trying to mess with your mind at this point. Soft acoustic folk-psych follows, but is disrupted by a noisy outburst and radio speech that is swallowed up in ominous avant-garde piano dissonance. A brief flute interlude precedes a headlong dive into wild garage psych, morphing into a full-on psychedelic jam with organ and absolutely insane fuzz guitar soloing. Quietly, a rising chorus of birdsongs emerges, backing a return to the gentle acoustic folk guitar and flute heard previously. But then, a strange surge of fluttering electronics heralds a chaotic collage of Japanese phone conversation, backed by a sinister electronic dirge. Clattering percussion rises from this seething mass, heralding an onslaught of pounding rhythms, droning horns and destructive psych guitar, with wisps of strange noise and moaning in the raging storm. Abruptly, the haunting acoustic folk psych and flute cut in, ending the chaos in a moment of zen. This is a truly harrowing piece of music, encapsulating the bad acid freakout visions you're glad you never had. Unfortunately, side two can't keep up this kind of all-out delirium, and the group's roots as a large-scale amateur music collective come to the fore, with some strange and inept jazz and folk songs, rambling detuned jazz bass and piano, and even a lengthy late night jazz club jam session. However, a few moments of interest are still lurking within. A couple of somewhat experimental classical piano and flute pieces, and a very Third Ear Band-esque number with percussion, flute and droning strings are the highlights, and the album closes with one final brass rock/orchestral blast with bleeping electronics to come full circle. Privately pressed in micro quantities and still only known to a few hardcore Japanese collectors, this album, while by no means a consistent masterpiece, is still an essential snapshot of authentic psychedelic freakout on the outer fringes of the era's underground scene."

This is one of those albums that really strikes a chord because of the time and place. Truly a group stretching the boundaries of what was known - very much a product of 1971, an era when this mentality was the norm rather than the exception. The highs go really high here, and so the corresponding down time is more tolerable. Because there's some serious payoff action to witness. Always a hallmark of an album worth repeated listens. And, as such, I christen this a:

Priority: 3

Friday, May 8, 2015

Zone Time, Japan

Zone Time - s/t. 1976 private

So here's the first of two albums we are introducing to the world (this week, that is...) - or at least I think we are! Of the two, this one is definitely more mundane (relatively speaking), but still worthy of discovery. Tomorrow we have a real humdinger. (Note that the term "humdinger" has now officially been sighted in the CDRWL). The AC tells us: "Very obscure private press LP by a group of Keio University students. An extremely long (almost 55 minutes) and well-produced album that's all over the map musically, from keyboard driven semi-prog to ultra-heavy guitar psych/hard rock, soft rock, crooning balladry, etc. It's like they took every idea from the early/mid 70s rock scene that they could think of and tried to cram it in here. Quite inconsistent obviously, but with some real moments of interest. The guitar work stands out in particular, with some excellent psych and hard rock style soloing. Sort of fascinating, but it will probably try your patience by the end. Beautiful cover art, and comes with a nice booklet."

Can't add much to this. A diversified album, with an obvious background of the great acts of the day, perhaps once again The Beatles being a primary influence here, despite the late date. It is indeed more 70s rock than 60s psych, but in effect, the kitchen sink mentality is at play here. And do I hear some Peter Frampton in these grooves? Why I think I do! 55 minutes is an extraordinary length for the era. Perhaps too much so.

Priority: none

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Updated post: Everfriend

And now we continue our journey through the AC's latest excavation experience. We will be introducing two super rare albums, perhaps for the first time to the world at large, right here in the next couple of days! In the meantime, we have this far more pedestrian (though no less rare) entry, as noted by The AC himself. Who knew Everfriend had a 3rd album? Did Everfriend know that Everfriend had a third album? These are the questions that puzzle the great minds of our time.

You can read the update here.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

News: Collusion to be reissued on Audio Archives

I'll be honest and state upfront that a lot of these Audio Archives discoveries of the past few years have been disappointing. I actually thought this was another archival release, but it appears to have been released in 1971 on the SRT label. Guessing SRT to be some sort of custom pressing plant, similar to our own RPC. In any case, I couldn't find any evidence of the original vinyl, have never seen one for sale, and it hasn't been on ebay before. Which means little of course, just data points.

Having said all of that with a pall of doom, I do have to admit this album looks to be intriguing. It certainly reads that way in any case. We'll keep an open mind, and hope to be pleasantly surprised.

Label says: "Reissued on compact disc, this is a genuine prog rock obscurity from 1971, originally released in a tiny run on the custom SRT label. Collusion was a Dagenham-based six piece with twin guitars and interwoven male/female vocals as the main ingredients. Expect hard-edged prog-rock with tasty folk and jazz elements. This engaging CD features seven original tracks with the stunning 'Bluebirds' and the epic 'Sweetbread Line' as the undisputed highlights. The CD is presented with a special poster sleeve offering rare pics and memorabilia. There also are extensive sleeve notes and a band history by singer Tony Davison, plus an additional comment by their manager and esteemed promoter Darrol Edwards."

Monday, May 4, 2015

Cruciferius, France

Cruciferius - A Nice Way of Life. 1970 Barclay

My history with Cruciferius is a similar tale to Alpha Ralpha, in that it's an album I was familiar with - had somewhat of a mediocre impression - and completely forgot about it. Like a lot of people, I was drawn to this title due to the Magma connection, in particular one Bernard Paganotti. I had a chance to hear this album in the late 80s, and it didn't sound anything like Magma. Therefore it isn't any good! What? Ah, the impetuousness of youth! As I ran across the name recently, I realized I didn't even have a copy of it. But YouTube does, and I heard it in full for the first time objectively. And what you find is a band with similar influences to Magma at this time. A mix of jazz, pop, and psych, exploring the boundaries of rock during this era. It's not a common sound for France, though one can find similarities in groups such as Alice, Eden Rose, Frantz, Iris,and yes, even Magma's sprawling 2LP double set. And the side group Univeria Zekt. So while not a jaw dropper, it's a fine historical piece well worth a CD reissue, especially if some relevant bonus tracks can be found.

Priority: 3

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Apartment One, Netherlands

Apartment One - Open House. 1970 Pink Elephant

I first came across this title around 1990 or so from a Dutch catalog, circled it, and then never saw it again. Ever. Over time, it became one of my top curiosities. And then about 10 years ago, it was pretty much the top curiosity. Not long after that, I was fed a CD-R copy, and of course disappointment ensued. Just as in my experience at the beginning with this album, I totally forgot about it. Until the CD-R revisit project unearthed it again. There's been an entry on the main list of course, but now we're giving the album its own page.

Apartment 1 (or Apartment One as noted on the label itself) is a straightforward late psych / early hard rock record. Sounds more like what was happening with their fellow countrymen in the 1960s Dutch scene with albums from Cosmic Dealer, The Outsiders, and Q65. Plenty of excellent fuzz guitar and soloing to enjoy here. All on top of some splendid older organ sounds. The opening tracks on each side are instrumental, and represent the best material on the album. The vocals are in machismo English - with a gospel tinge. As such, it reminds me of the vast bone yard of US post psych albums from 1970 on labels like Paramount, ABC, Verve, Rare Earth, and Mercury.

Priority: none

Friday, May 1, 2015

News: Wolfgang Dauner Group's Rischkas Soul coming soon on Long Hair!

Big news today! The great German reissue label Long Hair is releasing the much wanted Rischkas Soul on CD and LP soon. I was wondering if Dauner would ever get to his (IMO) best title. Now we know he will!

Label says: "For the first time on CD and Vinyl reissue Dauners famous release 'Rischkas Soul'! Recorded in November, 1969 and first released as a so called private pressing the recordings had a second release nearly three years later on famous German label Brain (1016, 1972). Dauner with his strong sidemen Sigi Schwab, guitar and Eberhard Weber, bass and cello with two drummers (Braceful and Wittich) played cool jazz fusion with fluiding organ play from Dauner, sometimes heavy, sometimes dreamy and psychedelic guitar eruptions from master of guitar Sigi Schwab, tuneful and melodic and mostly straight on rhythms. CD and LP come with informative booklet/ insert and liner notes from Wolfgang Dauner himself. A must have!"

And since I have that Brain label LP copy, I'll probably just get the CD this time. But if you don't have the LP, it's worth getting for the gatefold artwork!

Phrydderichs Phaelda, Germany

Phrydderichs Phaelda - Bruch=Stuecke. 1975 private

Phrydderichs Phaelda, well.... you know it's something that should be given full attention! So exactly what do we have here AC?

"This group hailed from the town of Dinslaken, and apparently the odd name was a play on their pianist/group leader's, Friedrich Schepers. It seems that he was a music teacher in the area, and the rest of the group consisted of students from his school. Musically, this is a nice instrumental jazz rock set, driven by electric piano, jazzy guitar and a dextrous rhythm section. Angular but melodic, with a few compositional twists and turns to keep the interest level up. Quite well-recorded for a small local private press, too. It should be noted that this album was actually recorded and released in 1975, not 1981 as is usually listed."

So... as the AC said, it's a nice instrumental jazz rock set. Keyword here is jazz.... followed well behind by rock. Overall, this is inoffensive music that is sure to please all, and wow nobody. Sounds like a US album too, not even a small hint of its German heritage. Not Krautrock, Kraut fusion, or even sauerkraut. Instrumental music lead by lightly amplified guitar, electric piano, and a tight rhythm section. As far as jazz music goes though, this is a mighty fine listen, and flows by with much ease and comfort. A good one for a late night drive down the interstate. Professional to a fault, and well recorded as the AC notes above. I'd buy one if a CD came along.

Priority: 3