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Monday, December 17, 2012

News: Garden of Delights reissues the Pancake - No Illusions album!

Today we learned that Pancake's "No Illusions" has been released on CD by the great Garden of Delights label. They had announced long ago their intention to reissue this album. In typical Garden of Delights fashion, first they removed it from consideration, and as we reported earlier this year, put it back on the docket. And now it has been released - ahead of other anticipated reissues like Sunbird's "Zagara" and Missus Beastly's "Space Guerillas". A quirky label for sure, but despite these eccentricities, there still is no better reissue concern today.

We featured "No Illusions" about 3 years ago. This link includes that review plus the re-listing news earlier this year. For my money, this is the best of their 3 albums, and is a most welcome reissue.

Official blurb says this: "The group from Winnenden near Stuttgart started as Nyrvana Pancake and released a very good psychedelic 7" single in 1973. In 1974, they shortened their band name into Pancake, and instead of psychedelia they now played symphonic rock. The first Pancake LP, "Roxy elephant", was released in 1975, and the second one, "Out of the ashes", appeared in 1977. The band later veered away from their symphonic style as the people lost interest in this kind of music at the time. Their third and last LP, "No illusions" from the end of 1979, is thus somewhat coarser and tougher than its two predecessors. There was now a female singer for the first time in Pancake's history, in addition to some other changes in line-up. The CD edition on Garden of Delights includes six bonus tracks and has a booklet of 32 pages."

For LP fans, Garden of Delights continues to plunder their own back catalog, with announcements that Siddharta and Missus Beastly's debut will be coming out on vinyl shortly.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

News: The Fents albums available on CD-R via the band

We recently heard from The Fents' keyboardist Adam Holzman, who informs the CDRWL that both "The Fents" rare EP and "First Offense" are available as a CD-R straight from the band. As you know, the CDRWL doesn't count CD-R's as fully realized CDs, but since they come from the band direct, we will always alert you to these opportunities. At least they're legit! And many times, such as this case, they are done with great care.

Adam says: "The CD-R's are burned directly from my master pro-tools file individually, so the audio is very clean. Folks can email me about this at adamhjaneg@aol.com." More details can be found at www.adamholzman.com

Monday, December 3, 2012

News: Silberbart to be reissued on CD by Long Hair!!

Well, I think it is anyway. Via Shiny Beast's weekly newsletter, it mentioned that an LP reissue is coming out. But when you drill down to their site, they also mention it will be reissued on CD as well (not sure why they didn't advertise it). Complicating matters further, they are reissuing two other albums on LP (Dull Knife and Midnight Circus), and those do not appear to be coming out on CD. It does make sense to me, though - as the other two albums have already come out on CD (legit)! But this will the very first legit reissue of Silberbart on CD, fortunately eradicating the need to own or buy the Germanofake reissue. And, for me personally, I'm glad to see this one come out on LP as well. I'll buy both. I did own the original once, but it had one of those annoying BB-hole cutouts. I probably should have kept it anyway. Now originals have become extremely expensive, and I've been unwilling to shell out for it. Release date has been set for December 15.

As you know, the CDRWL is a huge Long Hair label supporter, so this is great news for us. Here's the label's description: "First official reissue of this legendary collector's item,  recorded by a heavy progressive underground power trio from Hamburg. The album contained just four songs, 'Chub Chub Cherry' (a short and heavy rock song sounding like a more freaky Cream), 'Brain Brain' (16 minutes of acid drenched nightmares, continuously shifting tempo in amphetamine-driven mayhem), 'God' (a much more melodic composition with powerful guitar arrangement, sounding like Black Sabbath meets Hendrix and collectively going paranoid) and 'Head Tear Of The Drunken Sun' (the closing piece that offers 12 minutes of hazardous power trio pyrotechnics). This is an extreme album in many ways: the raw power, the cranky vocals, the restless arrangements, and of course that ugly silver gnome on the front of the sleeve. Includes many rare photos and the story of Silberbart as told by leader Hajo Teschner. Fans of '70s prog, psych and kraut rock will love this album." Though I have to disagree with them on the "ugly" comment. It's way too cool for that.

Our Silberbart feature can be found here, where I appropriately beat myself up for selling the original 17 years ago.

As for the other albums: Dull Knife was reissued by Second Battle in 1994, but has become fodder for pirates in the last decade or so. I sold the CD years ago, but I recall the album as being pretty dull blues rock. I'll probably pull out the CD-R for a fresh listen just in case my tastes have changed.

Midnight Circus is a cherished album for me - having lucked into an original LP copy in the 1980s. Musically, it's a decent folk rock album with one monster Krautrock/folk track called 'November Church'. As such, I never bothered to supplement the LP with the CD. This CD came out on CMP (City Music Productions) in 2003. CMP had rights to the Bellaphon catalog - and reissued most of the important progressive albums from the label at that time.

So if you're curious about either, you will now have a chance to buy LP reissues of both for a fraction of the price.

But for me, the gem of this announcement is the Silberbart CD/LP reissue news!

Friday, November 23, 2012

News: Alain Eckert's sole album to be reissued in 2013!

According to an interview in DPRP with Soleil Zeuhl label founder Alain Lebon, it appears The Alain Eckert Quartet album will be reissued in March of 2013. Excellent news!

We featured Alain Eckert almost exactly 3 years ago today.

Monday, November 12, 2012

News: Toshiyuki Miyama & New Herd - Tsuchi No Ne (Nippon Densetsu No Naka No Shijou) to be released in December!

Thanks to a comment from a reader, we learned that Toshiyuki Miyama & New Herd's "Tsuchi No Ne (Nippon Densetsu No Naka No Shijou)" album will be reissued by Nippon Columbia and released on December 5th.

More info here

Here's our feature for the album. This was one of the AC's amazing finds.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

News: Rockadrome to reissue Icecross in early 2013

In news that is a bit out of scope for the CDRWL, but highly interesting to me all the same, is Rockadrome's announcement that they will reissue Icecross' sole album, first issued in 1973. There are a couple of boots floating about on this title, so it's nice to see the album finally receive an authentic CD (& LP) reissue.  I first stumbled across an original of this Icelandic album way back in 1988. I had no idea what it was, but it looked cool! For me, it's one of the all-time great hard rock albums - with doomy lyrics, ominous compositions, raw electric guitar and speedy drumming. This album was at least 7 years ahead of its time - perhaps even more when considering the retro rock movement of the last 15 years. I'll be buying the CD reissue as soon as it's available.

Friday, November 2, 2012

News: Strawberry Rain to reissue Leong Lau's "Dragon Man"!

In the "oh wow!" category, comes this exciting announcement from Strawberry Rain. We have indirect (3rd party) contact with the label, but it appears to me they are quickly establishing themselves as the Canadian Shadoks - a label dedicated to reissuing the rarest albums from some of the world's most exotic locations (Zambia, Nigeria, Thailand, Iran). But today's post centers around Australian Leong Lau, one of the CDRWL's top discoveries of 2010! The label, according to their website, promises that liner notes will be from Lau himself. Outstanding news. Our review of both Lau albums here. "Dragon Man" is definitely the only one of the two that needs a reissue IMO.

In addition to this - the debut album by Rictus will be available later this month! I've updated the post with more info from the label.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

News: Eastworld to reissue first two Storm (Sweden) albums

Thanks to a tip from Laser Ken, we learned yesterday that the first two Storm albums from Sweden will be coming out on the Eastworld label. For those who enjoy the humorous bits of Frank Zappa and Samla Mammas Manna, then Storm will be right up your alley! These guys are way too silly for me, and I just realized that I hadn't bothered to add them to the main list. I remember when I first obtained the LP of "Stormwarning", and plopped the needle down on Side 1 - I thought I'd discovered a new monster! It's really good. Unfortunately it doesn't maintain that momentum. A lot of my friends seem to enjoy this album more than myself, so this will no doubt be met with much enthusiasm. The cover of "Storm at the Top" represents their mindset quite well I think.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

News: Joy Unlimited's Instrumental Impressions now on CD!

Thanks to a tip from our friend Lev, we learned today that the very obscure music library album by Joy Unlimited has been reissued (in fact, it was released yesterday!). I haven't personally heard this album, and given that it's all instrumental, it's presumably quite a bit different from the band's proper albums (which have been dutifully reissued - mostly by the excellent Garden of Delights label). According to Lev it's a typical film music album with sketches of songs at varying tempos and beats. Therefore, the album has been highly collectable amongst the DJ crowd who treasure rare vintage recordings such as this. The reissuing label is Sonorama Records, a label that caters to this particular genre.

The website Underground Hiphop (See? I told you we're pretty far off course here!) says this about "Instrumental Impressions": "Lost classic for the collectors of Italian Library Funk: One of the most sought after cult LPs on the tiny Devega label from Milan, produced in 1972 for license purposes only. The German progressive band "Joy Unlimited" plays a terrific mixture of funk 'n'soul , jazz, psych rock and Latin moods, with clever arrangements and perfect grooves. 12 excellently produced soundtracks for an imaginary film of the counterculture, including many cool DJ spins like "Parabolica", "Soul Gravy", "Jamara" or "Blue Box", spiced with killer breaks & electronic effects. First LP & CD release of their famous "unofficial" album, carefully remastered and with the original cover design.

Many original records with Italian Library Music are among the most sought-after collector's items of the jazz, funk and soundtrack fans today. They were produced by minor labels during the 1960s and 70s in small editions for license purposes only. One of these worldwide hunted cult albums from Italy is called "Instrumental Impressions" and appeared on the obscure Devega label from Milan in 1972. The rare LP was recorded by the legendary German progressive band "Joy Unlimited" from Mannheim, which caused quite a sensation with their mix of psychedelic rock, funk, soul and pop.

"Instrumental Impressions" features twelve excellent tracks of jazz-funk, psych rock and Latin music, with clever arrangements and perfect grooves. Frantic horns and flute lines, wah-wah guitars, psychedelic organ, Latin rhythms and jazzy saxophone or vibes develop a true kaleidoscope of varied retro sounds. The band plays music for an imaginary film of the counterculture, spiced with "killer breaks" and electronic effects."

Thursday, October 25, 2012

News: Long Hair to release Missus Beastly 1974 archival SWF album!

Now this is the kind of announcement that gets my blood pumping! The always-great Long Hair label plans on issuing a new SWF album, this time by one of the CDRWL's all-time favorite bands: Missus Beastly! For over a decade, Long Hair has successfully mined the SWF archives and they've proven over and over what a treasure trove it is.  Let's just hope that one day they issue the brilliant Tortilla Flat SWF session, one of the most stunning recordings I've ever heard.

From my perspective, there is some cause for concern here. Why? Because Garden of Delights a few years back also released a 1974 live concert from Missus Beastly titled "Bremen 1974", with the added drool-factor of Eddy Marron (Dzyan, Vita Nova) on guitar. Unfortunately it ended up being way too improvisational for my tastes, and much of it was a snooze fest. I was extremely disappointed, especially given the premise (or promise).

My big hope here is that the SWF Sessions are generally more composed than a typical live setting, and it appears this is the same line-up as the sublime 1974 Nova label album. On the hype sheet (see below), it does refer to the "band's great talent for improvisations", so this could go either way. I'm going to be optimistic and hope this is a killer!

Label says: "Recorded early 1974 at the SWF-Studio in Baden-Baden, Germany by the same line-up, which recorded at the same time the 2nd Missus Beastly album. Improved versions of older titles and some new titles prove the bands great talent for improvisations. Brilliant sound of brilliant tunes played by refined musicians. This kind of instrumental krautjazzrock is timeless. The musical orientation of the new Missus Beastly rather followed afro-american than European music traditions, but influenced by that certain Krautrock feel. Great music by a great band. Digitally remastered from original master tape. Comes with informative booklet and rare photos (vinyl-version with insert). Also on vinyl. Don’t miss it."

Look for a November release.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

News: Tamarisk CD coming soon!

I've been sitting on this news for about a week, but we've received word from the band themselves via the NWOBPR Yahoo group that a CD (entitled "Frozen in Time") will hopefully be released sometime in November to celebrate Tamarisk's 30th anniversary. From what I can gather, this will include all of their studio recordings (including the two cassettes we featured nearly 3 years ago), plus maybe some live material "if the quality is good enough" as they say. So this is excellent news for fans of the original NWOBPR movement (which includes moi). I'll be a first day buyer!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

More News regarding the Baba Scholae CD release

All of this news is courtesy of Jean-Yves Labat. The album will indeed be released on October 10th as announced. And as you can see we now have cover art to share.

And he has indicated that there will an LP press sometime in the future (no other details provided).

I was also asked for a track listing, and here it is:

1. 1984 –Melancolia Street
2. Half Day
3. Will Meant Ciment
4. Julius
5. La chasse au serpent à la flûte
6. Go down sunset
7. Telegram
8. Song My (My Lai)
9. Kaleidoscope
10. Keep it 'rythmique'
11. Just like George
12. White bird
13. She's an Indian in minor
14. Song for a new connection
15. L'œil du maître

Here are more details as well as a direct link to buy the CD.

As well, the album was recently reissued on vinyl (July 2013). Details here.

If this all sounds good, please consider buying this one to support the effort!

Saturday, October 6, 2012

News: Baba Scholae (1969 France/England) will be issued in October!

There's no cover for this one yet (well, that I'm privy to anyway), but look for the release on October 10th (internationally on November 20th).

Baba Scholae is a legendary psychedelic/early progressive rock band from England that included one Jean-Yves Labat on keyboards. Labat is better known as M Frog, the synthesist and keyboard maestro on Todd Rungren's early Utopia albums. As well, he had a solo album under the name M Frog. And as it turns out, Baba Scholae was even given consideration to be released on Bearsville Records back in the day. Labat also went on to release two electronic albums in the late 1970s that coincidentally SF provided for me, and I had heard only a couple of weeks ago. There's been a lot of synchronicity regarding this release, I'll tell you that.

There's a fascinating history of Labat weaved into the review of the M Frog album on the verbose and highly informative Book of Seth (Head Heritage), that I would encourage everyone to visit. Especially note the visit to Uganda and Idi Amin!

I had been fed a digital copy of the Baba Scholae album about 6 months ago, but just didn't get around to listening to it until this week. One reason is I couldn't find any info (initially) on the album itself, which makes me suspicious (fake albums are more common than you would think). 

And the reason I didn't find anything out is this album was never released!

So I did a bit of inquiry, and one of the kind souls on the Psychedelica Yahoo chat board provided me contact info for Jean-Yves Labat, and a couple of subsequent back and forth e-mails confirms the date as October 10th for release. The international distribution is set for November 20th. At this point it's CD only, but I've asked about an LP reissue as well. We'll see...

Ad Vitam is Labat's own label and is distributed by Harmonia Mundi. Due to that, this is a CD that is likely to be widely available - but a different distribution channel than most of us are accustomed to.

Consider me a first day buyer!

UMR review here

Thursday, October 4, 2012

News: Acintya now on CD?(!)

I formed it in the phrase of a question (thank you Alex Trebek) because I had no idea it never was on CD. No one ever wrote in to correct me (well, they probably did, but I wasn't paying attention). I bought the Musea LP when it came out in 1989 (the original is from 1978). Over time, I decided it was one I could part with. So I never really thought about the album again. And besides I figured every Musea reissue LP had eventually come out on CD. Right? So when I saw today that this was the "first CD reissue", I said to myself - that can't be correct. Can it? Well... it is. What an oversight on my part.

I'm not sure if maybe the most exciting aspect of this is that Musea may be getting into reissues again? Of course, they already did the LP, so the upfront work would be minimal. But still, we can hope! France has dozens of great albums yet to see a CD issue (that are spread throughout this blog). And Musea, in my mind, remains the Godfather of progressive rock reissues, and set the high standard other labels still aspire to.

I think I'm going to buy this CD. I did like it, it was just getting lost in the weeds of my collection at the time I sold the LP.

Musea says this about the album: "Keyboardist Philippe De CANCK's group recorded one sole album in 1978, "La Cité Des Dieux Oubliés" in 1978. The two long tracks making the vinyl, not to mention the opening-track "Adyane", are enlightened by the use of solemn and majestic keyboards, including the organ of Saint-Nicolas-De-Port's famous basillica. These parts are cleverly completed by an inspired violin, played by Philippe CLEESE. Somewhere in the tradition of the Frence neo-classic Progressive rock, the art of ACINTYA may recall the complex and elaborated themes courtesy of WAPASSOU, for instance. A quarter of a century after having reissued it in vinyl, the Musea label now delivers its digital version. This CD edition ends up with two extra-tracks, captured during one of the first rehearsals by the band in the year 1976. Musea also found a live performance in its treasure vault, captured live at Nancy's Salle Poirel, January 12th, 1979. Here's the only opportunity to listen to two tracks of the album plus three unreleased ones, played with organ, synthesizers, piano and Mellotron. Now reduced to a trio without violin, the band relies on a strong rhythm section. "In Live" is an unique document for a group gone much too soon... Not to be missed !"

Saturday, September 29, 2012

News: Panko (Musik) coming soon on Garden of Delights!

WOO-HOO!! A quick glance over to the Coming Soon list at Garden of Delights shows they are to reissue this album (recorded in 1971 but originally released on cassette in 1983) - officially titled "Weil es so Schön Perlt". We first learned of its existence from Eric over at Mutant Sounds, and added it to the CDRWL back in June of 2009.

We had even mentioned back then: "This would be perfect for a Garden of Delights reissue, especially if the master tapes are still around and could be cleaned up." Could GoD be peeking over at the CDRWL? We have zero evidence that they know of this blog, but whatever the case, we'll be delusional here and take .00001% of the credit.

This is super news, and yet another piece of the grand Krautrock puzzle will eventually be filled in. As always with GoD, remember that albums can sometimes sit for 5+ years on their Coming Soon list. But they are very good about eventually getting them out!

They also will reissue the first two Virus albums. And while both of those have been out on CD legit for many years, these will most certainly be the definitive editions to own. I'll probably consider upgrading. Also for vinyl fiends, they are also planning to reissue "Revelation" on LP as well.

News: Firyuza may be reissued soon on Melodia!

This news comes courtesy of our friend Lev from Russia, and I'll quote what he wrote in Progressive Ears this week: "Earlier this year Melodia celebrated its 50th anniversary. Coinciding with that, they announced that they are going to reissue 50 most wanted items from their catalog. Mind you, this includes audioplays, children's tales and other stuff like that, because having been basically the only music label in the entire country for a good quarter of the century, they naturally had a very eclectic roster of releases. But anyway, three separate polls were run to determine which albums are going to be rereleased. As a music critic, I participated in the critic's poll and added the Firyuza album to a list of works that were put to vote. And lo and behold, it made it into a final top 50 after all votes were counted!" 

Outstanding news and nice to see folks we know adding some influence!

Here's our feature on Firyuza.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Mick Clarke, England

Mick Clarke - Games. 1978 Blubber Lips (Germany)

Another quality album sent in from our friend SF. Clarke's sole work is a fine electronic album in the Klaus Schulze tradition. There are two major breaks from the norm though, and both feature guitarist John Carrick. First is the 'Walls of Night', where Carrick lays down some vicious electric leads over the Moog sequencer runs - in the Richard Pinhas or Edgar Froese tradition. And on 'Time is Now', he adds acoustic accompaniment to great effect. These two additions add greatly to this otherwise standard one man electronic musician show.

Album was recorded in Newcastle, lending credence that Clarke is an English musician. It's anyone's guess how he ended up on the Heidelberg based Blubber Lips label (Pancake, Chameleon, Steve Robinson, etc...).

This is a good one for Berlin School electronic fans.

Priority: 3

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Kyaldan, France

Kyaldan - Breiz. 1978 Arfolk.

Here's another one from our good friend SF. Kyaldan is basically Breton folk meets electric rock. Some of this album, especially early on in, reminds me of Rush oddly enough (?!). I don't use Rush as a reference much. A very interesting album, though probably a bit too Celtic folk oriented for my personal taste. If what I said above excites your imagination, then you're a good candidate for checking this one out!

SF states it better than I when he says: "Housed in a beautiful gatefold cover on the Arfolk label, Kyaldan explores traditional Breton/Celtic themes like the Dead, Merlin the Fishermen lost at sea...What makes this record special to me is the unique blend of vocals harmonies and the electric treatment of Breton Folk along with a powerful rhythm section. I have always been fond of synths mixed with acoustics and this album falls right in my sweet spot.
It is mostly sung in French with two English songs and the title track Breiz in Breton. All listed as original compositions. Kyaldan is a family outfit backed with a core of strong musicians."

Thanks again SF!

Here's a Kyaldan tribute page. Thanks John!

Priority: none

Friday, September 7, 2012

Jack Hammond, USA

Jack Hammond - Open the Doors. 1980 private
The Jack Hammond Group - A Fatal Beauty. 1982 Fatal Beauty Records

Chicago based guitarist Jack Hammond debuted with Open the Doors, an eclectic album with an anachronistic 1960s blues/psychedelic feel on some tracks, which is highly unusual for 1980. As well he seems to have adopted, or been a disciple of, John Fahey's American Primitive style of country blues finger picking. His second album expounded upon his rock aesthetic for a very enjoyable double album.

A Fatal Beauty moved to UMR

Priority: 3

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Life, England

Life - Life After Death. 1974 Polydor.

There are so many bands out there with the name Life, it's near impossible to keep up. I thought I'd heard them all, but MM had sent this one in this past Spring, and it was one Life that had escaped me.

Side 1 is pretty much all good times rock n' roll with honky tonk piano and party-time themes. But even on these tracks, Life throws in some sophisticated organ breaks and even a little flute. Side 2 dumps the easy life, and focuses more on their serious side. Here, Life demonstrates a strong early Uriah Heep influence. Organ dominates the sound, and there's quite a bit more thought injected into these compositions. Tough album to evaluate. I could go Priority 3 based on Side 2, but probably will keep at None, as the first side is pretty weak IMO.

There's a newly pressed CD out there that just arrived on the market, but honestly it looks dubious to me. I'm more than willing to be proven wrong. Just send me the hard data.

Priority: none

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Après la Pluie, France

Après la Pluie - La Célèbre Ascension Abyssale de Joseph Celsius. 1978 De Plein Vent

Following on yesterday's notes about Theatre Aleph, I figured I should post this album that I had made a reference to - one that MM had sent in a couple of years ago. These are all a bit out my normal scope, but I know there are fans out there. Some exposure is better than none.

Apparently this album is a full story represented in song. As such, it can be unbearably vocal heavy. Lead and sung by Roger Lombardot, the album on the surface at least, has some resemblance to Ange or Mona Lisa or perhaps even La Saga de Ragnar Lodbrock. In fact he wrote the lyrics for at least one Ange track, so the comparison is more than cursory. But the lack of instrumental breaks takes away any chance that non-French speakers will come out with anything but a Parisian Sunday-Morning-Comic-Book reading. Strangely enough, there is some mellotron interspersed that might endure the odd specialist to the album.

Priority: none

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Theatre Aleph, France

Theatre Aleph - La Nuit Suspendue. 1982 Kiosque d'Orphee

This one comes courtesy of our friend SF. He had sent me a batch of rare French albums in the late Spring, so its high time I get some of these out there!

" La Nuit Suspendue" is a theater play set to music. So a bit of a slog if you don't speak French, though there is some wonderful piano, string synthesizer and flute here to enjoy. References include Après la Pluie, Chene Noir, J.A. Seazer, and even Mike Oldfield.

SF further adds: "I was drawn to this record for the cover and also the mythical label...Kiosque d'Orphee who brought us many wonderful obscurities such as Didier Bocquet, Jean Luc Hamonet, Orval, Emeraude, Kennlisch and Rictus to name a few. I had seen it on want lists as well so when I came across it, I bought it.

I did not know what to expect when I put it on. I had done some research and found out that Theatre Aleph was a group of performers started by Oscar Castro in the late sixties in Chile, who was imprisoned in the seventies by the Pinochet government and later exiled in Paris where he created La Nuit Suspendue a stage play put in music by Desiderio Arenas. The play was recognized with an award in 1982. As for the record itself, there's not a lot of information to be found.

Listening to it I found the record original and was quite taken by the play and the different actors coming in and out adding layers upon layers, I have always been partial to concept albums and narrated text on music...this was no exception. I know I am not doing the record justice so you will just have to listen to it and decide for yourself :)"

Thanks SF!

Priority: none

Sunday, August 26, 2012

News: Rise Above Relics to reissue Horse, Bran and Fusion Orchestra

Thanks to a note from Laser Ken via the label's newsletter, it looks Rise Above Relics is ready to reenter the reissue market fray after a couple of years off.

Of the 3 prominent reissues announced, only Fusion Orchestra has been released prior. However it was through the "common copy" Asian markets like EMI (Japan) and Si-Wan (Korea). These are entirely legit and from master tapes, but lack the kind of retrospective history and bonus materials that a specialist label like Rise Above will most assuredly give us. I have the Japanese mini-LP and original LP, but most likely will add this version to the collection and own all 3. It's a great album with a great cover, so it's worth owning the extra copies.

I've never featured Horse on the CDRWL, though they are in the main list. They seemed rather an ordinary hard rock group to me, but reading reviews on RYM demonstrates that fans of the genre consider them well above average. Since I only have a cheap CD-R, perhaps a well researched and great sounding CD will change my view. That wouldn't be the first time. And this will be the first ever legitimate reissue of the album.

Brân (note diacritic) is a very obscure Welsh folk rock band from the mid 1970s. This isn't within my interest area, but I know many of you out there are dedicated fans, and I'm rather certain this will be met with great anticipation, especially given they haven't been reissued prior in any form. I'm not sure which (or all) of the 3 albums will be released, but my guess would be a full set on 2 CDs. That's purely speculation on my part.

Welcome back Rise Above Relics!

Friday, August 24, 2012

News: William Sheller's "Lux Aeterna" released on Omni

Thanks to readers Mio and Gal, we learned of this reissue. Now this isn't the first reissue of the album (despite the advert you see below from the label), and I own the original CD which was pressed by CBS France many years ago (and distributed primarily to Japan).  It was certainly one of the rarer CDs in my collection. But no more! And this version looks to be a huge improvement on the "single card" jewel box CBS CD.

Review added to UMR

I haven't run into the Omni label of Australia before, but they have a sterling reputation. Here's what they say about the album: "Written in 1970 and released in 1972, William Sheller’s Parisian Love In/Freak Out “Lux Aeterna” is a psychedelic mass of staggering beauty and dexterity. Composed to celebrate the marriage of a dear friend, the LP’s twin themes of spiritual and global union are mirrored in its grand orchestral and choral arrangements, rock drums, fuzz/flanged guitars and gurgling stratospheric analogue synthesis.

This renowned and treasured rarity was originally issued in miniscule amounts and is officially reissued for the first ever time. Remastered with stunning depth and clarity from the original master tapes and presented with exclusive liner notes, rare photos and a swathe of rare 45 only tracks (including the sitar-fuelled/beat driven score for the 1969 film “Erotissimo”).

*Remastered from the original CBS mastertapes 2012.
*19 track CD. All original recordings.
*20 page full colour booklet with exclusive liner notes and rare photos.
*Includes the staggeringly beautiful concept LP reissued for the very first time anywhere! Plus a swathe of rare 45 only and original film score tracks!

1. Introit (3.22)
2. Ave Frater, Rosae Et Aurae (4.25)
3. Opus Magnum - Part 1 (2.47)
4. Opus Magnum - Part 2 (3.10)
5. Lux Aeterna (1.30)
6. Sous Le Signe Des Poissons (5.57)
7. Hare Krishna (6.22)
8. Sous Le Signe Du Verseau (6.41)

10. Generissimo (1.49)
11. Excitissimo (1.16)
12. Erotissimo (4.20)
13. My Year Is A Day* (3.06)
14. Lands Of Shadow (2.54)
15. Couleurs (2.12)
16. Le 4 Saisons (3.45)
17. Leslie Simone (2.52)
18. Adieu Kathy (2.19)
19. She Opened The Door (3.01)
20. Living East Dreaming West (3.21)

All the above tracks (except*) were released on CBS Records (France) (1968-1972)
Tracks 1-8 from the CBS LP 65030 (1972)
Tracks 10-12 from the CBS O.S.T 45 EP “Erotissimo” 4231 (1969)
Track 13 from the Arabella/CBS 45 3330 (1967/1968) (released as “Les Irrésistibles”)
Licensed courtesy of Jean Eckian
Track 14 from the CBS 45 3600 (1968) (released as “Les Irrésistibles”)
Licensed courtesy of Jean Eckian
Tracks 15-16 from the CBS 45 3451 (1968)
Tracks 17-18 from the CBS 45 4564 (1969)
Tracks 19-20 from the CBS 45 4810 (1970)

Original CBS/Arabella Recordings
Produced by William Sheller and Jean Eckian

Track 9 is two minutes of intentional silence to separate the original album programme from the (markedly different) extra tracks

(P) Originally Recorded 1967-1970. All Rights (except 13/14) Reserved By SONY MUSIC ENTERTAINMENT

Executive in charge of CD reissue: David Thrussell
Layout and design: David K. Landis for Shake It Loose Graphics
Remastered 2012 by Alvin Lucia at The Iron Mountain Analogue Facility

All titles (except 13/14) licensed courtesy of SONY MUSIC ENTERTAINMENT (AUSTRALIA) PTY LIMITED
This compilation (P) + (C) The Omni Recording Corporation 2012"

Saturday, August 18, 2012

News: FM (Canada) albums coming soon on Esoteric

According to an announcement on Progressiveears, Esoteric plans on reissuing the first 4 FM albums plus other live material. Other than "Black Noise", I don't believe any of these have been on CD until now. They also announced Happy the Man, though those albums have been available for many years.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

News: Aztec Records is back up and running!

Thank goodness for this. Back in April we learned that Aztec had gone bankrupt. Some new investors have arrived, and Australia's best CD reissue label is again in business. It remains to be seen if they continue reissuing their more progressive oriented titles. But we're cautiously optimistic.

According to their website: "Aztec Music, the Melbourne based music distributor which has been releasing, distributing and importing music since the late-nineties, has been acquired by a consortium of strategic investors led by Paul Dainty. The consortium assumes immediate ownership of Aztec’s suite of assets (including a vast catalogue of DVDs, CDs and LPs) after the business was placed into receivership in March 2012. The news was announced via a joint statement today.

“Aztec Music has left an indelible mark on the Australian music scene. The new team looks forward to continuing the tradition through the reissue of classic Australian albums and the importation of rare and highly collectible compilations from overseas”, said Paul Dainty.

Gryphon Entertainment will handle distribution. Gryphon Entertainment Managing Director, Glenn Elliot, is also delighted to be supporting the new direction for Aztec, commenting: "Gryphon Entertainment is excited to be associated with Aztec whose passion and expertise sets it apart as a proudly Australian brand".

Aztec Music stalwart Ted Lethborg, who will head up the new operation, is excited about the future: "To get a second chance to continue the preservation of Australia's rich musical heritage (via the Aztec Music reissue label) is an unexpected and welcome surprise. We are all looking forward to both working towards resurrecting the label and continuing our unique music importing model.""

Sunday, August 5, 2012

News: Mike Selesia's "Flavor" reissued!

I didn't see this one coming. But the Shout! label of Japan (distributed by Universal), via their "Deep Jazz Reality" series, have uncovered this obscure gem from Fresno, California and released it on CD as a mini-LP.

This was one of our Priority 2's, so a much welcome reissue indeed!

We featured Mike Selesia almost exactly 2 years ago.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

News: Mellotronen releases archival Panta Rei album

Somehow I missed this release (titled "The Naked Truth") from April. Or did I? All I can find is this album has been released on LP, and of course that's not the focus of this site. However, here is the original advert for it, as found on progg.se (with the help of Google Translate):

"New live album with the Uppsala group PANTA REI
Their psychedelic LP from 1973 is still one of the most sought after LPs from the 70s. Mellotronen has now published five songs recorded live in Kummelnäs of 1973 with a nice 8-page mini book of the same elegant style as Asoka, Sabu Martinez disks, etc. Some 100 unique pictures and lots of information including interviews.
LP LTD. 500 copies!
Also available on CD"

So there it is - a CD. Not that I can find one for sale. Probably it will come along soon. Note the slight differences in the cover art to the original.

What is with this title anyway? There are so many reissues of the 1973 album, and still NOT ONE legitimate CD of the debut. There's a legit LP (Golden Pavilion) and a pile, and I mean a pile, of pirate CD editions. And now we get what looks like a very interesting archival release from the same era. So why not a legit CD version of the album to go with this? I'm just grateful to own the original LP.

Our original feature of the album is here.
Perhaps the best news out of this is that Mellotronen is still releasing archival albums!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

News: Sensations' Fix to release a 2 CD archival album

Thanks to a note from Wayside Steve on Progressive Ears, we learned that Sensations' Fix plans on issuing a 2 CD set called "Music is Painting in the Air". The release date is set for September 24th.

Here's the press release: "Music Is Painting In the Air is a collection of new mixes and unheard music from Sensations' Fix's prolific output between 1974 and 1977. Revered as one of the great articulations of progressive music, Music Is Painting In the Air offers guide posts to those familiar with Sensations' Fix's amorphous catalog and an approachable primer to those just journeying on the sensational trip.

The story of Sensations' Fix begins - and never quite ends - with Franco Falsini. Born in Florence, Italy in 1948, Falsini became a teenage rock 'n' roll convert through a steady supply of 45s sent home by his London-based sister. Following his sister's footsteps to swinging 60s London, Falsini put his love of music into practice, fronting a space blues trio that riffed its way from the UK back to Italy in a Ford Transit.

Falsini became smitten by Vinnie Sherman, an American woman working as a waitress at a nightclub in Florence where Falsini was holding down a residency. The newlywed lovers made their way to Alexandria, Virginia in the summer of 1969. Arriving on August 15th, the first day of Woodstock, a spirit of freedom filled Falsini and fueled his creative proclivity.

Falsini blazed a trail for home recording that has impressed upon inward resourcing and reflecting musicians and DIY enthusiasts in the decades since. A technology stalwart, Falsini employed a floor model MiniMoog and a tricked-out Teac 4-track machine to transform the Virginia basement of the house shared with Sherman into a cosmic conduit and launch pad for Sensations' Fix.

The reach for space from a personal place is nowhere more apparent than on Fragments of Light, early basement recordings solicited by Falsini as deal demos and surprisingly flipped into the first of six Sensations' Fix albums released over the next five years. The up-close fidelity of Fragments - coupled with Falsini's emotive guitar leads and sparse, sentimental vocals - creates a private quality that separates the album from other extravagant progressive rock productions contemporary to its 1974 release.

Relocating back to Italy on the heels of Fragments' release, Falsini, alongside drummer Keith Edwards and bassist Richard Ursillo (both American expats), charged through another two Sensations' Fix albums, Portable Madness in 1974 and Finest Finger in 1976, and a stunning solo album Cold Nose (Naso Fredo) in 1975. Without marketing or tour support to expose Sensations' Fix to a wider European audience, Falsini and his band of psychedelic renegades left Italy for the golden shores of California and their possible salvation. In 1977, Sensations' Fix released Vision's Fugitive on an independent label and fulfilled their major label obligation shortly after with Boxes Paradise.

Falsini spent the next couple decades between New York City and Paris, creatively contentedly creating above par electro-pop (The Antennas) before returning to Florence to launch the Interactive Test dance music label. Meanwhile, the legend of Sensations' Fix grew. On his 2002 album, The Private Press, DJ Shadow sampled from two Sensations' Fix songs. More recently, Sonic Youth curated a career retrospective titled Sensational Fix at Life Gallery in Saint-Nazaire France.

For Music is Painting in the Air, Falsini and his son Jeyon set forth on a year-long voyage to restore and revisit the original Sensations' Fix analog tapes. Honoring Falsini's tradition of autonomy, this collection, as with the majority of the Sensations' Fix catalog, was mixed solely by Falsini. The sequence is chronologically defiant, encouraging the listener to free associate the recurring themes' origins and immerse in the body of music as its own universe.

Once this celestial body suit is occupied, it becomes apparent why the forward-thinking yet emotionally-accessible quality of Sensations' Fix's music is still finding the universal audience for which its intended. Falsini's disregard for time and insistence on reinvention provides an infinite reach for his music. The end-goal was seemingly unmarketable by the industry then, but perfectly harmonious with a culture constantly evolving now.

Sensations' Fix's Music is Painting in the Air is released September 24th, 2012 on 2xLP, 2xCD, and digital formats. Physical formats come housed in elaborate packaging, including a unique reverse bound record jacket and full color liner notes by Franco Falsini and Joshua da Costa."

A contributor to the site further took a stab at the source of the tracks:

"Just based on song titles, it looks like up to 40 minutes of this material was previously unreleased. But of course, they might have just edited and renamed material from the old albums.

Disc 1

01. Barnhause Effect (4:46) (presumably from "Vision's Fugitives" album)
02. Cold Nose Part 3, 4th Movement (3:23) (presumably from "Cold Nose" album)
03. Leave My Chemistry (3:37) (presumably from "Portable Madness" album)
04. Acudreaming (3:02)
05. Grow On You (4:17) (presumably from "Vision's Fugitives" album)
06. Scraping Delay (1:10)
07. Warped Notions Of A Practical Joke (Instrumental) (1:37) (presumably from "Vision's Fugitives" album)
08. Dark Side of Religion (3:28)
09. Cosmic Saudade (4:39)
10. Cold Nose Part 3, Movement 2 (1:29) (presumably from "Cold Nose" album)
11. Fragments of Light (3:07) (presumably from "Fragments of Light" album)
12. Into The Memory (3:11) (presumably from "Finest Finger" album)
13. Cold Nose Part 3, Movement 5 (1:01) (presumably from "Cold Nose" album)
14. C'e Nessuno (4:02)
15. Map (4:57) (presumably from "Finest Finger" album)
16. Moving Particles (2:24)

Disc 2

01. Cold Nose Part 3, Movement 3 (0:42) (presumably from "Cold Nose" album)
02. Music Is Painting (2:55) (presumably an edit of the track from "Fragments of Light" album)
03. Left Side Of Green (4:12) (presumably from "Finest Finger" album)
04. Chelsea Hotel (Room 625)(2:07) (presumably from "Vision's Fugitives" album)
05. Fix A Water Fountain (Instrumental) (2:31) (presumably from "Vision's Fugitives" album)
06. Leave My Chemistry (3:36)
07. Overflowing Ashtrays (1:13) (presumably from "Vision's Fugitives" album)
08. Strangelands (1:54)
09. Cold Nose Story (4:03) (presumably from "Cold Nose" album)
10. Slow Motion Movie (1:59)
11. Fortune Teller (1:43) (presumably from "Vision's Fugitives" album)
12. Fortune Teller Coda (2:43) (presumably from "Vision's Fugitives" album)
13. Crossing Berlin (5:14)
14. Darkside 1 & 3 (3:06)
15. Darkside 2 (3:30) "

Looks interesting to me!

I don't have a cover for this one yet.

Monday, June 25, 2012

News: Made in Germany to reissue Lutz Rahn's (Novalis) solo album

Saw this late last week, and meant to give it some air time. Made in Germany continues to release some interesting obscure material from Germany. I haven't personally heard this album, but I've been told it's a pretty decent electronic styled release. Love the cover!

Also look for the 1980 album by Novalis called "Augenblicke" as well as the 1984 album "Bumarang", both of which are well past their shelf date as far as I'm concerned, though I know a few progressive rock fans that enjoy these - so good news if you're a fan!

The label says this about "Solo Trip":

"By the end of the seventies the band Novalis from Hamburg had to cope with a lot of stress including their charismatic Austrian singer Fred Mühlböck. Creatively as well as commercially the band had reached the height of their career. In 1978, their masterpiece Vielleicht bist du ein Clown? had been released, one year later saw the release of their first and only superb concept album Flossenengel.

At the same time Novalis' keyboardist Lutz Rahn took a Solo Trip (thus title of the longplayer). The album contains elements of classic ambient piano music, vibrant organ loops and idyllic electronic soundscapes. Many a follower of the band was wondering and even feared if this solo trip of the introvert and innovative keyboard virtuoso could be seen as an act to free himself from the shackles of his native band. Even today Rahn is objecting vigorously to this thought by assessing 'This 'coup' solely resulted from my musical curiosity. When we founded Novalis in 1971, my main instrument was the Hammond organ. I wanted to use most of the latest electronic musical instruments that been had developed such as sequencers. These numerous new possibilities had an impact on my song writing and arrangements.' And he adds: 'In the course of events I have developed a certain taste for musical experiments. Aside from working with Novalis I was tempted to pursuit other paths. During these trips I had collected quite a bit of material - but not with the purpose to create a solo album from that. Most of the tracks emerged even earlier, even years before, and not shortly before the release of Solo Trip.'

And on a Solo Trip he went indeed. Except drummer and personal friend Helge Tillman it was Lutz who played all instruments. The fact that there are no vocals on the album does not at all decrease the dynamics and extraordinary versatility of the eight tracks. 'Besides, I am a lousy singer. That's why I left it at that,' Rahn explains with the stoical humour being typical for the North of Germany.

According to Lutz there is no concept behind Solo Trip. 'It is simply a selection of instrumental ideas and thoughts, ideas exciting to me. What's more, I wanted to experiment with my electronic instruments and devices, which used to be state-of-the-art, without having to compromise with some other band members,' he confirms. Solo Trip won high praise, especially from pro keyboardists who compared the production to early works of French sound magician Jean-Michel Jarre or those of the Japanese band Far East Family headed by the most talented keyboard sorcerer Kitaro.

Despite rave reviews Solo Trip remained Lutz Rahn's only solo album. 'I never really intended to be a solo artist,' he explains. 'I was far too dedicated to the band and happy with it. My picture on the album wearing a clown mask which I was able to hide behind certainly summed up a principle of mine.' "

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

News: Franck Dervieux to be reissued by ProgQuebec!

In news we've been waiting to see for some time, ProgQuebec has announced their CD reissue of Franck Dervieux's marvelous 1972 opus "Dimension M". PQ has already reissued most, if not all, the albums associated with Dervieux (Contraction, VEBB, Toubabou, and various solo acts). This is an essential early progressive rock work. One of our Priority 2's, but very close to a priority 1. I'll be a first day buyer.

Here's our original entry.

Great news here!

Monday, June 18, 2012

News: Poliphony to be reissued by Audio Archives

The always interesting Audio Archives has announced their intention to reissue the very rare film library album by Poliphony. This is a surprise choice, but a very welcome one. Poliphony is a fine addition to the CD collection and is one of our Priority 3's.

Here's our original entry for Poliphony, an album I first heard at Heavyrock's place a few years ago.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

News: Serge Bringolf Strave's "Vision" to be reissued soon!

A couple of years ago we first reported this album was to reissued along with Noa. The Noa did get released, but this one was tabled. Until now. Soleil Zeuhl will once again be behind this release, as well as a simultaneous release in Japan from Belle Antique in the mini-LP format. Look for a late July release date. Good news all around.

Monday, June 11, 2012

News: Garden of Delights to release live East of Eden show

I first reported on this title back on April 14th, but we now have a cover and more info, so I'm moving it forward to today.

Continuing with their "Essen" series, Garden of Delights, on their Thors Hammer sub-label, will release a 1970 concert from East of Eden. Like the May Blitz show from this series (which I still haven't heard), I would imagine East of Eden would be a very creative band in live form. For my money, "Mercator Projected" is one of the greatest albums of the 1960's. How's that for a bold statement? But I'm serious here. And 1970's "Snafu" is also fantastic. I'm most interested in how this will turn out.

Further notes on this release: "East of Eden from Bristol in England played elaborate progressive rock with saxophone, violin, and flute. Their only hit, “Jig-a-jig”, ist not typical for their music. The band can look back on a history of eleven long-players, not counted the many compilations. On Thursday, 22nd October 1970, the group performed in the Gruga hall at the third Essen Pop & Blues Festival. The event was recorded semi-professionally by the promoters. The recordings were mastered now in a first-class sound studio with great effort and care. The sound, however, is naturally not as good as that of the studio LPs. The 32-page booklet contains a long band history in German and English, a detailed discography, numerous cover repros as well as a personal retrospective report by Dave Arbus. A must for collectors. It is the first legitimate release of an East of Eden live recording and comes both as CD and as LP."

Gnosis Mike says: "Tom, I think I have a video from East of Eden in 1970 and it's definitely third album mode. I'm not sure how much they toured on Snafu or if they just rejiggered the line up, but there's very little early East of Eden in live form. Unfortunately cuz I'm with ya on the first two."

I should also point out for you vinyl collectors out there, that GoD will also release many of their CDs on LP (Vita Nova, Tyburn Tall, Sunbirds, Sub, Siddhartha, Lightshine, Gila-Bury My Heart). None of them caught my eye personally (you can read about my criteria for buying LP reissues here), but since vinyl is all the rage at the moment, I suspect many will rejoice. I probably would have gone for the Sunbirds, but I already own the original LP of that one. I'm still hoping they'll release the CD of Sunbirds' Zagara this year!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Mandragora, England

Mandragora - Somethink Missing. 1985 private (cassette).
Mandragora - Over the Moon. 1989 private.

Here's a band I've been sitting on for some time. As some of you will recall from last year, we featured many groups from the 1980s UK festival scene. Mandragora has always been one of my favorite acts from that scene, and now I have a chance to report on one of their two releases that are not on CD (courtesy of Midwest Mike). Starting with "Head First" (1991), Mandragora's albums were initially released on CD, and I own them all.

On "Over the Moon", Mandragora display their more song-oriented roots, with vocal-laden tracks and clear nods to hard rock, progressive rock and space rock. Plenty of good riffs (yea, metal heads, riffs) encased in synthesizer waves. What any self-respecting Hawkwind fan would want to hear. Mandragora would become far more diverse after this release, focusing more on their Ozric Tentacles inspired space rock sound.

I just bought a copy of the LP for myself at a decent price. There's a few out there for sale, if you are so inclined.

As of this writing, I have yet to hear the debut cassette.

Priority: 3

Monday, May 28, 2012

News: Catch Up's second and final album to be reissued!

Good news here as this is one of our Priority 2's! We featured this album last summer, so you can read my thoughts of the musical contents there.

This reissue is coming out in Japan via mini-LP, so it is likely to be expensive. The label is Production Dessinee, which I'm not familiar with, but they apparently have quite a few other releases - all outside our scope (or I think that's the case anyway).

Thanks to Laser Ken for the tip!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Schalk Rock, Germany

Schalk Rock - s/t. 1981 private.

And here's Part 5 and the conclusion of our recent German series. Whereas you may expect to see the cliche "last but not least" phrase, I'm afraid to say this is indeed last.

I had this one on a curiosity list for many years, with not even a hint in finding references to it.  Leave it to the AC to turn this one up on our behalf. He said that this would be a good choice to put up on the CDRWL to serve as a warning. Uh-oh, that's not a good sign. LOL. Of course, the AC was right as usual. It's not terrible or anything, but certainly out of scope for what we're doing here. Schalk Rock is not to be blamed, but rather those that seek to profit from it with dubious descriptions. Though I'm loathe to accuse anyone of ill intent, I'm afraid in this case, there's no other explanation.

Described once in a rare catalog (I won't name names to protect the guilty) as "Early Guru Guru with sax", it comes as no surprise that the entry was mostly hype. Schalk Rock is primarily a straight ahead rock group that employs both guitar, sax and harmonica. Some of the guitar leads feature some cool wah-wah and are definitely the highlights of the album, few as they are. Otherwise, a fairly ordinary German language rock release.

Priority: none

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Blister Chap, Germany

Blister Chap - Goin' In. 1977 Help (Brutkasten).
Blister Chap - Sweet Lilian. 1980 Brutkasten.

Here's part 4 of our series. "Sweet Lilian" is the 3rd and final of the German albums sent in by MM. I haven't heard the debut, but I've been told it's the very first recording for the famous Brutkasten label, though apparently they went by Help originally.

With a moniker of Blister Chap, and a cover that features the male-fantasy-overload of a nice pair of gams* in fishnets holding a half-lit cigarette, one shouldn't expect much more than a good time rock-n-roller right? Well, no, not exactly. Blister Chap surprises everyone here with a sophisticated blend of American styled hard rock, AOR and 70s progressive rock. Lots of clavinet as well for gear heads. Even more complex than a similar band - say Canada's Saga - which is bizarre on first sight. Released on the do-it-yourselfer Brutkasten label - and about par for the course for the imprint. You never know what you're going to get, and this one is quite good honestly. Not Krautrock mind you, defying their heritage, but if this were from the UK, then collectors would have more to crow about I think. File next to the Desiree "Make it With a Smile" album.

Priority: 3

 * - It's long been a goal of mine to put the phrase "nice pair of gams" into the CDRWL. I can scratch that one off the bucket list...

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Zarathustra, Germany

Zarathustra - Also Spielt. 1982 private / TSM.

Here's Part 3 of our series. This one comes courtesy of our friend Tristan Stefan at Prog Not Frog, where you can also obtain a copy of the album for download.

Early on in my collecting career (say, 1985?), I was informed that the early 80s version of Zarathustra was a waste of time, and that the 1971 album by an unrelated band was the only Zarathustra worth seeking out. So when Second Battle reissued the Metronome 1971 album (in 1989), I was all over it, buying the LP re-release the minute it came out. I was happy with the purchase, as it was a decent representative of the Hammond organ rich German culture of the time. And I still own that LP, which I hope to review eventually on UMR.

23 years later, I finally heard the "inferior" 1982 band. Gotta an inside tip for all you out there: I like this one better. SORRY!

This Zarathustra absolutely nails the 80s neo-progressive meets 60s psychedelic sound. If you like the music of similar German bands like Neuschwanstein, Ivory and Sirius with the psychedelic acid guitar of Iskander (another underrated 80s group), then by all means seek this puppy out. Perhaps only the M.L. Bongers Project approaches this mix of Hawkwind meets Genesis. A really great find. Don't miss your chance to hear it, and hopefully a CD reissue label will take a chance on this one! It's a perfect fit for Sireena or Garden of Delights.

Oddly enough, the dramatic guttural English vocalist (well... that's how it sounds!) reminds me of Rob Halford (Judas Priest) circa "Sad Wings of Destiny". And the distorted vocal opening recalls first album Metal Church. Bizarre references I realize.

Tristan Stefan says about the music (he offers plenty of philosophical insights as well):"What we have here is a typical late-seventies / early eighties kraut hard rock private pressing, along the lines of Last Exit, Burning Candle, etc., or the previous Forest album. Some tracks are quite enjoyably hard with driving riffs, there is a lot of variety too, but hampering somewhat is the sound, which seems almost as if it was recorded on a two track mixer."

Priority: 2

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Romantic Warrior, Germany

Romantic Warrior - s/t. 1985 Frog

Here's Pt. 2 of our series. This one also courtesy of MM.

Romantic Warrior are no doubt named after the famous Return to Forever album, though this German band doesn't quite possess the vibrancy of Corea's classic bunch. There's the slick-as-a-butter-dish production, with slap bass, happy rhythm guitar and digital drums. However all is not a loss, as the lead guitar work has a slight bite to it, and there's even a little sitar to break up the monotony. If the term "1985 jazz fusion" doesn't have you fleeing for the exits, then definitely give this one a spin. Otherwise run. Run faraway.

Romantic Warrior went on to release two other albums. It appears their 1986 album "Himalya" is also without a CD issue. And 1988's "Planet" was issued as a CD originally.

Priority: none

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Audite, Germany

Audite - s/t. 1983 private.

Today we start a new series of obscure early 80s German progressive and fusion albums. We have 5 to report on that have arrived via various sources recently. Today's post is courtesy of Midwest Mike and is probably the rarest and most sought after of the bunch.

Audite is a vocal heavy German language album, with a clear affinity for the classic 70s progressive rock sound. Sophisticated arrangements are apparent, and the electric guitar work in particular is exemplary. Synthesizers and even a little flute propel Audite to interesting status. No getting away from the canned early 80s production though. I was most reminded of Anabis' "Wer Will?" album though Anyone's Daughter "Piktors Verwandlungen" also sprang to mind. A good one for aficionados of the 80s German symphonic sound, though a bit of a slog for those looking for more dynamic instrumental input.

Priority: none

Friday, May 18, 2012

Roberto Picchi, Italy

Roberto Picchi - Raggi di Sole. 1977 Fonit-Cetra.

Midwest Mike just sent in a bunch of goodies to consider. Before I get to that stack, here is a surprising album that fell through the cracks.

Picchi's sole work is technically listed as a singer-songwriter album, but with most of the tracks exceeding 7 minutes, you can bet that instrumental progressive rock music is also being employed. Acoustic guitar, violin, piano, sax, flute and hand percussion lead the instrumental parade. Comparisons to the best of Claudio Rocchi, Mauro Pagani and Emilio Locurcio wouldn't be out of place. A late era Fonit-Cetra release, and comes at the tail end of the original Italian progressive rock movement. One of the very few Italian progressive rock albums still not on CD. Features a wonderful gatefold cover. A natural choice for BTF.

Priority: 3

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Cosmic Circus Music, Germany *** REISSUED ***

Cosmic Circus Music - Wiesbaden 1972. private cassette

*** Reissued by Garden of Delights 2013 ***

Moved to UMR

Priority: 2

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

News: World in Sound releases archival Cosmic Dealer album

Here's a surprise announcement. The German label World in Sound can always be counted on to turn up some cool rarities and archival releases, and this certainly looks intriguing! I'll be the first to admit that the 1971 Cosmic Dealer album left me wanting, but I'm most curious how this one will turn out.

World in Sound states: "This is the second previously unreleased album by the Dutch psychedelic hard rock band Cosmic Dealer. Their first album "Crystallization" from 1971 is an outstanding and rare masterpiece for all psych collectors and for sure one of the best Euro-Underground rock albums of the 70s. In 1971 the band was shortly disband but found together in 1973 with a few line-up changes but kept the same musical intention: heavy psychedelic, progressive and guitar driven hard rock, with catchy song writing, a few US-Westcoast flashes but also extended instrumental jam excursions. This album contains 6 songs which were recorded in 1973, plus 3 demos from 1971 and as bonustracks there are 4 live cuts also from 1971 including the title track from their debut Crystallization. The CD with a total running time of 68 mins contains a 12 p. booklet with lots of photos and linernotes and is carefully re-mastered to catch the real spirit of the beautiful and intense music. Definitely a must-have piece for all 60s psych freaks!"

News: Wounded Bird releases second Eleventh House album!

Following on the announcement of Lighthouse, I think most of you will be even more excited that the second Eleventh House album is finally coming out on CD. This album has alluded the digital treatment so far, whereas the first album has been released at least twice.

Review added to UMR

Label advertises: "Larry Coryell is best known as one of the original jazz-fusion guitarists of the 1970s. He is still making excellent albums to this day. He has issued solo albums, along with collaborations with John McLaughlin and other fusion-jazz luminaries. He also headed up the highly praised fusion group The Eleventh House. This group featured drummer Alphonse Mouzon and keyboardist Mike Mandel. One of the most requested fusion albums for CD reissue has been Level One. This album is now making its worldwide CD debut!" 

Again we call on Dusty Groove to give their imitable review: "A really heavily-jamming album from Larry Coryell's Eleventh House group – certainly to be expected, given that the lineup includes John Lee on bass, Mike Mandel on keyboards, and Alphonse Mouzon on drums! The sound has plenty of rock-fusion touches – and Coryell's guitar is searing, but a bit more mainstream than before – certainly not slick, but just jamming like a range of other similar players from the same time. Titles include "Nyctaphobia", "That's The Joint", "Struttin With Sunshine", "The Other Side", and "Some Greasy Stuff"."

News: Wounded Bird releases first Lighthouse album

And today we have three more interesting CD announcements that warrant mention.

Wounded Bird is always a label worth watching. Even though their releases tend to be old school early 90's styled bare bones jewel cases (like One Way from the days of yore), they are at least legit and usually straight from the master tapes.

About two years ago we announced that the first 3 Lighthouse albums were coming out on a label called Bandiera. I never saw anything further on that. Not sure if they didn't get issued, or if the label wasn't legit. No matter now, as this release is for certain worth tracking down.

The label says: "Lighthouse was a rock group from Toronto, Canada that issued a number of fine albums in the late 1960s and early 1970s. The group was headed up by drummer Skip Prokop. Their music was in the style of the horn bands of that era. Their most popular album was their self-titled very first album, Lighthouse, which was issued on RCA Records in 1969. Our CD reissue features two bonus tracks." 

Dusty Groove adds: "The first record by Lighthouse – a strange band that's always incredibly hard to peg, but who have a sound that we always end up liking a lot! The group mix together folk rock styles with a touch of soul and funk – going for some nice grooves that build up from lots of drum work and airy vocal production, touched here by lots of horns, in a style that's a bit like Blood Sweat & Tears, but a lot lot cooler! This first album is something of a landmark in the jazz/rock vein – and titles include "Never Say Goodbye", "Follow The Stars", "Mountain Man", "Whatever Forever", "Marsha, Marsha", and a great cover of "Eight Miles High". This CD version from Wounded Bird has 2 bonus tracks: "If There Was A Time (Single Version)" and "Eight Miles High (Single Version)".

Monday, May 14, 2012

News: Rocket to reissue Farout "Further Out"

The always interesting Rocket Records of Finland has a new reissue that is relevant to CDRWL fans. Rocket is a Finnish-only specialist label, and progressive rock is but one of many styles they reissue. They probably reissue 20 to 25 albums a year, in a variety of different indigenous musical forms. So it's always fun when they cover off on some of the classic Finnish progressive rock scene. I keep hoping they'll take on Nimbus and Sepi Kuu one day!

I haven't heard this Farout album, though it's on the same label (Kompass) as Scapa Flow, that  Rocket incidentally reissued a couple of years back.

There's one review on RYM from Tiliar where he states: "It's a Finnish Jazz-Rock band but their sound is a bit different from the other Finnish Jazz-Rock bands which we maybe know them. this album is completely instrumental and full of Moog and Hammond playing with a hint of progressive nuances. although I'm not the great fan of Jazz-Rock but it's really great and pleasant."

Sounds good to me!

News: Lion releases archival Rotomagus from France

This weekend I did a quick scan of our favorite labels and came up with a couple of news items.

This one caught my eye from Lion Productions, a label who is quickly becoming a favorite (not to mention that they will release 2 Laurence Vanay albums and Probe 10 within the next couple of years!).

Rotomagus looks to be a bit out of scope, but anytime I see the words "Chico Magnetic Band", I must take a closer look. Even if in this case the reference is peripheral.

CD is available as of last week. LP is due in June.

Label says: "ROTOMAGUS "The Sky Turns Red: Complete Anthology" There’s no way to know why CBS Records unceremoniously dumped Rotomagus and the Chico Magnetic Band after one single apiece; suffice to say that decision was a poor one, as both bands have (quite rightly) developed a cult-like following over the years. All in all, the artistic trajectory of Rotomagus was peculiar: they started out as a harmony pop-psych band, shifted through a brief Jimi Hendrix-ian interlude (‘The Sky Turns Red’), straight into a Vanilla Fudge groove; they then went down in flames as a hair-raising monolithic heavy rock power trio. On Julian Cope’s excellent Head Heritage web-site, the Seth Man raves about Rotomagus thus: "The first time I heard this track (‘Fighting Cock’), I did not freak out. I merely walked into a nearby closet and screamed my head off for a minute solid, beat the floor and ripped my t-shirt... then I cowered when it hit me: this thing came out in 1971? Before "Raw Power"?! I just lost my mind... The only thing that predates this monster in terms of being a full-on amassing of all things heavy are all the many key points on Sir Lord Baltimore’s "Kingdom Come" LP and THAT’S it, brother." French magazine Rock & Folk was succinct: "Rotomagus create an emotional music, violent, even aggressive." Violent. Aggressive. Intense. On this disc we bring you the entire output of Rotomagus, including an album-length demo from 1971, the band’s tumultuous, thunderous swansong, recorded as a super jam (live with no overdubs). Our Lion Productions and Martyrs of Pop edition of Rotomagus comes replete with a bi-lingual 32-page booklet, with the entirety of the Seth Man’s article on the band, plus the band’s history in both English and French, printed on FSC recycled, chlorine-free, 100% post-consumer fiber paper, manufactured using biogas energy. Hard to believe this is all pre-1971, as much of the demo is not just proto punk but proto hardcore—with enough fiery attitude to make you want to scream along. The vocals are wild, while the guitar riffs and grinds and approaches a Stooges via Motorhead apocalyptic grandeur. Amazing! 

CD Track List: the unreleased demo (39:41): 1. Laureline; 2. Little Green Man; 3. Fighting Cock; 4. The Sky Turns Red; 5. Runnin’ For Life; 6. I Dig Life; 7. Shout Now; 8. Hello the Binaries; 9. The Flufluting Flatmul. the singles: 10. Le Haut du Pavé (2:48) (Polydor 66 664-A); 11. Nevada (2:40) (Polydor 66 664-B); 12. Eros (2:20) (CBS FR-4997-A); 13. Madame Wanda (3:26) (CBS FR-4997-B); 14. Fighting Cock (3:34) (Butterfly BS 007-A); 15. The Sky Turns Red (2:57) (Butterfly BS 007-B); 16. Laureline (2:22); 17. Porquoi les Hommes (2:29) 

CD edition catalogue number: LION 660 UPC: 778578066024 (CD) 2xLP edition catalogue number: LION LP-121 UPC: 778578312114 (2xLP)"