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Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Rob Thomsett, Australia *** REISSUED ***


Rob Thomsett - Yaraandoo. 1975 private

*** Reissued by Now Again, More info to come....

I've been hinting at this for days now - but here's the first of 3 brilliant (IMO) albums I'm going to be reporting on. Of the 3, this will be the most recognized due to an LP reissue, though I think this title is sailing way below the radar. I find it amazing that there's still so many great albums yet undiscovered (or barely discovered) - even though there are dozens of folks just like myself looking under every rock for a new treasure.

Thanks again goes to the AC for tipping me to this one. He sent along a digital copy and informed me that there's a legit LP reissue (on Roundtable from Australia). I bought one immediately after hearing the album (you can purchase it from Dusty Groove - though they're temporarily out of stock). I wouldn't mess around too long with it - if any of what is said below tickles your fancy, and you still have a turntable setup, then by all means race out and buy one now!

But being that this is a CD reissue wishlist, we're obviously calling for a reissue in a more convenient format. It's pretty apparent the LP is taken from an original vinyl copy, and there's only 100 of those in existence. And given that Mr. Thomsett himself authorized this release, then one has to presume the masters are nowhere to be found.

OK - onto the music. I'd like to type out some of the liners from the LP reissue. If this doesn't get you going, not sure anything else we say will. I wish I could write like this! "Australia's burnt landscape is sketched in hypnotic washes of Moog oscillations, Bamboo flutes and tape delay. The 40,000 year-old sound of antediluvian Aboriginal folklore is channeled through Mellotron, dilatory jazz guitar solos, and Avant cross rhythms, all symbolizing the harsh and isolated landscape of rural Australia. Yaraandoo is a bold sound exploration never attempted this adventurously again with this country." Wow!

The AC further adds: "Fascinating and somewhat unique psychedelic/progressive jazz-rock artifact from down under. Originally released as a tiny run of 100 copies with handmade covers, and finally reissued last year by small Australian label The Roundtable. Unfortunately, it's an LP only reissue, and while it does include a nice insert, I'd much prefer to see a proper CD version with more extensive liner notes, photos, etc. In any case, this one is certainly deserving of wider exposure. It's a short album (barely topping 30 minutes), but the interconnected suite of tracks flow together seamlessly on both sides, being a sort of concept album based on ancient aboriginal "dreamtime" mythology. It's highly evocative and dripping with the hazy, surreal atmospheres of the Australian outback. Flutes, percussion, droning synthesizer and mellotron, and of course Thomsett's excellent guitar-work make for a very pleasing sound overall, despite the somewhat primitive nature of the recording. Thomsett actually returned to this work years later and released a new, re-recorded version of it on CD in 2004. While obviously not at the same level as the original, it's still quite good in its own right and is well worth tracking down if you enjoy this LP."

In regards to this 2004 CD, I have one on the way to me now so I can compare for myself. And, as the AC points out, the only flaw of the original is it's too short. I could have easily digested 45-60 minutes of this!

Dusty Groove writes: "A strange, cool and stylistic boundary busting set from Australian jazz rock guitar player Rob Thomsett! Yaraandoo is a 1975 set inspired by Aboriginal folklore. It has some spare, dryly wispy bits of percussion and bamboo flute that feels that gives it that feel – but Thomsett also brings in some loose, proggy and jazzy rock dynamics with heavy drums and electric guitar, some improvisational jazz inspired passages, plus some tape delay and other effects."

This is one trippy album, I'll tell you that. And there's some Canterbury like grooves mixed in here too and you'll hear a couple of Nucleus / Soft Machine style runs. One thing to note - Thomsett assembles no less than 9 people to play on this album. This isn't a private bedroom affair, but a full scale psychedelic work. This is one of those six dimension type albums that I love so much. The real-deal freaky underground. You'll recognize the pioneering field tapes of Agitation Free's Malesch and the otherworldly-ness of Algarnas Tradgard. For my tastes, this album is genius.

Priority: 1

1 comment:

spacefreak said...

Excellent album indeed and one of the most welcoming reissues of the latest years.