Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Atlas - 1977 - Atlas


01. Hey, Man!
02. Pasteboard
03. Skybird, Fly
04. Necessity
05. Ain’t No Sunshine
06. Play It Cool
07. Rhode Island
08. We Are Happy
09. Let’s Not Believe

Reinhard Ploil — vocals
Reinhard Kühne — electric guitar
Helmut Pichler — bass
Hannes Seidl — electric piano, clavinet
Franz Berka — tenor saxophone
Gereon Wolter — trombone
Helmut Plattner — trumpet
Joe Rauter — trumpet
Thomas Böröcz — drums, congas, percussion, strings

Recorded 1977 at Gorilla Studios, Vienna
Original LP released in small amounts only on the Austrian Bacillus Label/ Bellaphon Records.

… through the international compendiums, websites, fanzines and collector`s circles within the last 10 years, while a recently resurfaced copy of the original vinyl pressing finally sold for hundreds of Dollars on ebay. Here is one of the untraceable records to prove, that funk & soul music has no geographical restrictions and knows no bounds. It presents some unknown Austrian musicians who saddled up with funk & soul but have never ridden before. The result is a stunning quality album, that takes you on an exciting ride and reflects the soul of every involved musician, even topped by unbelievable soulful vocals! Maybe these Austrian guys just liked it and knew how to “do their thing”... ask any advanced groove collector or funk DJ which album he rates and among the names you will usually find “Atlas”.

What kind of cover artwork has been chosen for their debut album! LP-sleeves usually picture shapely beauties who are trifle more nice-looking than this front cover painting by E.F. Wondrusch. Opinions differ if this strange eye-catcher could be one of the reasons for weak sales of the album and a complete disorientation of the band after its original release on Bacillus Records/ Bellaphon Austria only. Another sad example for a group of musicians and producers who never received the recognition that they deserve. Sound Engineers and producers Ernie Seuberth, Rudi Sykora and Joe Ofenböck set up their machines at Gorilla Studios and used AKG equipment for the recording sessions and their timeless remix supervision. The master tape was stored in the vaults of Bellaphon Austria, where it has been rediscovered upon the Sonorama request for re-release.

“Atlas” – the album - opens up with “Hey Man!”, built on incredible brass sounds, dubby reverb effects combined with howling guitar riffs and the bluesy voice of Reinhard Ploil. Then a phased drum solo opens up the track “Pasteboard” ... catapulting the listener into jam heaven with stunning parts of slide trombone and fender rhodes work. The soft voice of Reinhard on “Ain`t No Sunshine” is combined with dreamy fender piano and light horns to turn the Bill Withers classic into one of the finest versions ever. The singer also impresses listeners on the self penned ballads “Skybird, Fly” and “Let`s Not Believe”, while “Necessity” is a wicked funk track, that made this particular LP a classic among DJs and rare groove afficionados. “Play It Cool” is the most catchy blue-eyed soul song on the record and should have rotated on the radio for months, but why there were no programmers to discover, that all of the cuts on this vanished longplayer are cool?

Drummer and percussionist Thomas Böröcz was the only band member to reach a certain amount of fame in Austrian music history as the permanent drummer for Austrian pop singer Falco in the 80s. All other secure facts about the band members of “Atlas” are rumours until today and are waiting to be investigated. Their original record company did not keep any infos or photos about this excellent but short-lived formation in their archives so that all documents seemed to have vanished. Now this untraceable jazz funk gem is available for your ears by simply touching the button on your CD player or dropping a pick-up arm to the vinyl. Here is the one and only mysterious and genius-like album by “Atlas”.Enjoy!



  2. Thanks very much!