02. Tio minuter (10:29)
03. From Tunis to India in Fullmoon on Testosterone (20:29)
04. India (Slight Return) (13:06)
05. A Glimpse Inside the Glyptotec -66 (6:01)
06. One Quiet Afternoon (in the King's garden) (10:32)
07. Sov gott Rose-Marie (13:18)
08. Skrubba (28:56)
09. Milano (7:57)
10. On How to Live (7:26)
11. Blåslåten (5:41)
- Bo Anders Persson / guitar, vocals
- Torbjörn Abelli / bass
- Thomas Mera Gartz / drums, vocals
- Arne Ericsson / cello, piano
- Thomas Tidholm / saxophone, vocals
- Jakob Sjöholm / guitar, vocals
- Urban Yman / violin
Recorded 1967/68, released 2001
Before to become TRÄD, GRÄS OCH STENAR, this late 60's Swedish musical collective were first known under the name PÄRSON SOUND and then as INTERNATIONAL HARVESTER. They only published one album with the original formation. This band can easily define the Sweden's krautrock sound. Not so far from ÄLGARNAS TRÄDGÅRD and CHARLIE & ESDSOR... A brilliant psych album with buzzing drone-ragas and cavernous free rock improvisations.
Hard to imagine that this albums was written in 1967. Implicitly it prefigures krautrock's druggy eccentricities and the most spacey side of progressive rock. The band integrates in a very authentic and personal way different inspirations from acid folk, eastern tinged improvisations, "droning" minimal hypnosis and "kosmische" instrumentals. All compositions feature trance like effects incorporated in mesmerizing and "primitive" jam sessions. It also include "stoned" vocals. This underground musical travel is an interstellar transport that clearly invokes trance like state. Far away more innovative and avant gardist than the "pseudo" pre-spacey rock circle led by the Pink Floyd. In the vast domain of psychedelic "free" rock and in comparison to Parson Sound, the Pink Floyd are "miniatures". "Parson Sound" is a mind blowing, "apocalyptic" and pioneering effort. A must have for fans of the radical and heavy psych Algarnas Tradgard and Trad Gras Och Stenar. It's time to re-define correctly and with a better justice the genesis of psychedelic space music.
A collection of archive material comprising rehearsals and radio broadcasts never released at the time of recording, this 2001 release is a fascinating document of an otherwise unexposed band creating exciting and innovative material steeped in the experimentations of Terry Riley, and infused with the heady sound of psychedelia that was omnipresent in the 1960s.
It's not as innovative or wide-ranging in creativity as either Pink Floyd or The Soft Machine, though, and certainly, each piece in this collection bar a solo experiment by BoAnders Persson from 1966 follows in the wake of Piper....
The pieces themselves are generally drone and raga-based affairs, rather similar in overall style and concept to Malachi's Holy Music release of 1966, but the overall soundscape has a strong leaning towards a more Heavy Metal style.
Tio minuter (Ten minutes) dates from late September 1967. It's a really simple and extremely loose jam around two chords, with painful, ploddy drumming and heavy metal style fuzzed guitars, going for what some might see as a textural approach, with a violin providing a single-note continuo, like a stripped-back version of It's a Beautiful Day, without the fireworks of David LaFlamme. Every so often, it all kinda comes together like a Hawkwind or Pink Fairies out take. It's a bit like Can, but without the attention to detail in overall layout. There's no doubting the place in the scheme of things, though - this is essentially Krautrock at the inception of the movement, but it lacks any of the sophistication or architecture in arrangement of Pink Floyd, and feels rather dragged out to the timeframe. The change around 6:45 is particularly lugubrious, like Cream on mogadons.
From Tunis to India in Fullmoon (On Testosterone) dates from early 1968. At 20 and a half minutes, it's the second longest piece in this collection, and again, sounds like one of Hawkwinds more anarchic jams, this connection highlighted by the constantly wailing sax.
A continuous bass line drives the fuzzed-out guitars into another texture fest, more coherent than the previous one, but the minimalist changes over continual drones are not dramatically different to what other psychedelic bands had done in the previous year. What is notable, though, is the overall heaviness in texture.
There's a much welcomed breakdown around 11:30, which builds very slowly and chaotically back to the orginal idea - if music with events in is what gets you going, you won't find too much in here.
India (Slight Return) dates from February 1968. It's somewhat out of tune, and an uncomfortable listen as a result. The first few minutes remind me of the early part of Careful with That Axe Eugene - but without the sense of purpose. The purpose here seems to be to wallow in the sonic textures rather than to create artistic music.
A glimpse inside the Glyptotec-66 is a recording of BoAnders Persson which, dating from 1966, is the earliest piece on this collection, and essentially a tape loop experimentation. Again, this is not event-driven music, and is simply an experiment with sonic textures and feedback - but is probably the most effective piece on the album, reminding me of some of Stockhausen's work
One quiet afternoon (in the King's Garden) is the earliest band recording, dating from July 1967, and is the loosest piece of the lot. Again, a simple two-chord jam with breakdowns and minimal textural adjustments, it's in no way as interesting as the Hapshash and the Coloured Coat album, except, perhaps, for the complete dissolution into noise, which may interest fans of noise rock - but it's quite hard to tell from the recording quality how much is intentional noise, and how much is equipment overload.
Sov gott Rose-marie (Parts 1-3: It's only love, Till Indien and Sov gott Rose-marie) is a better quality recording, as it was made for radio broadcast in December 1967. It seems to comprise something along the lines of a pop/rock song driven by the riff to Stepping Stone, underlined when the bass plays in contrary motion. At 2:20, this gives way to the Careful with that Axe Eugene idea used in India (Slight Return), indicating that these two pieces are musically linked. This suite is rounded off with an interesting Krautrock-sounding section with vocal drones continually chanting the title.
Skrubba was recorded live in May 1968, and is a painful half an hour jam that is based on the second idea in Let There Be More Light from Pink Floyd's A Saucerful of Secrets (released in April of that year, so the connection seems more than a co-incidence, particularly since Floyd would have gigged the ideas in the months from late 1967 until the album's release). This has none of the sophisticated construction of Floyd's piece, however, and makes me wonder whether I should upgrade my original rating of that album. This piece is too long by about 25 minutes and adds nothing to music's canon.
Milano also dates from May 1968, and is much more interesting... at first. It's an intense ride - but another jam, this time around one chord. The heavy sonic textures are appealing, but lose their interest quite quickly.
On How to live is a jam from the summer of 1968, and reminds me of the Hapshash and the Coloured Coat album in the use of bongos - but really, that's just a typical feature of psychedelia from this time. The birdsong is an interesting addition, though, and makes for a pleasant if repetitive piece of chill-out music.
Blåslåten is the latest (and most interesting) piece on the album, dating from August 1968. It's driven by busked saxes, with reverb giving a real underground flavour. The rippling accompaniment is a clear connection to the work of Terry Riley, and, despite the drifts out of tune, is probably the best piece on here.