Sunday, February 14, 2016

Tee & Company - 1978 - Spanish Flower

Tee & Company
1978
Spanish Flower



01. A Tree Frog
02. Spanish Flower

Nobuyoshi Ino — acoustic & electric basses, cello
Hideto Kanai — bass, maracas
Masayuki Takayanagi — acoustic & electric guitars, 12-string guitar
Masaru Imada — piano
Kenji Mori — soprano saxophone, flute, bass clarinet
Takao Uematsu — tenor saxophone, bass clarinet
Hiroshi Murakami — drums
Yuji Imamura — percussion

Tee & Company - 1978 - Sonnet

Tee & Company 
1978 
Sonnet




01. Sonnet
02. Combo ‘77

Kenji Mori — soprano/tenor saxophones
Takao Uematsu — tenor saxophone
Masaru Imada — piano, electric piano
Masayuki Takayanagi — electric guitar
Nobuyoshi Ino — acoustic & electric basses
Hideto Kanai — acoustic & electric basses
Hiroshi Murakami — drums
Yuji Imamura — percussion



The "Tee" here is Takashi Fujii – who doesn't play on the record, but instead arranged with the group – and produced the record with the really deep, complex sound we've come to love on 70s releases from the Three Blind Mice label! The group has a relatively spiritual approach right from the start – almost free, but more soulfully directed overall, and definitely with the sense of poetry you'd expect from the title! Takao Uematso serves up some great tenor sax, and Kenji Mori plays both soprano and tenor – in a group that also features Masaru Imada on electric and acoustic piano, Masayuki Takayanagi on guitar, and Hiroshi Murakomi on drums. Both tracks are long – and titles include "Combo 77" and "Sonnet"

Tee & Company - 1978 - Dragon Garden

Tee & Company
1978
Dragon Garden
 



01. Dragon Garden
02. Our Foolish
03. Mort
04. End Of November


Kenji Mori — flute, alto flute, bass clarinet
Takao Uematsu — tenor saxophone
Masaru Imada — electric piano
Masayuki Takayanagi — electric guitar
Nobuyoshi Ino — acoustic & electric basses, cello
Hideto Kanai — acoustic & electric basses, maracas
Hiroshi Murakami — drums, snare drum, bass tom-tom
Yuji Imamura — percussion


Sounds beyond compare – one of those really special 70s sessions from the Japanese Three Blind Mice label – put together in a way that almost seems to be a genre unto itself! The group here have a keen understanding of advances in free jazz and fusion, but work with a deeper spiritual undercurrent and a great sense of sound (shaped by producer Takashi "Tee" Fujii) – so that their individual instrumental elements flow together in rich new ways that are sometimes subtle, sometimes quite righteous! The lineup shifts a bit from track to track – and the set features xcellent work on flute and bass clarinet from Kenji Mori, electric piano from Masaru Imada, tenor from Takao Uematsu, and bass and cello from Nobuyoshi Ino. Titles include "End Of November", "Mort", "Our Foolish", and "Dragon Garden".

Sway - 1973 - Sway

Sway 
1973 
Sway
 


01. Sway
02. Bartokiana
03. Mad
04. Sweeten
05. Canon

Sante Palumbo — piano, electric piano
Hugo Heredia — alto/tenor saxophones, flute
Sergio Farina — guitar
Marco Ratti — bass, double bass
Lino Liguori — drums, percussion


Led by pianist Sante Palumbo, Sway is an excellent album heavily influenced by early 70s Miles Davis, even without the presence of trumpet. Throughout, the album features wah wah guitar rhythms and tribal drumming. The first side is a bit looser, with some shrieky sax, drum solos and some piano noise bits. But Side 2 contains 'Mad' which is absolutely sublime. The sax is traded in for flute, there's an actual melody line carried throughout, and the guitar fuzzes out some wonderful solos. CPT (Cipiti) is the same label that released the rare debut by Le Groupe X.

Spacecraft - 1978 - Paradoxe

Spacecraft 
1978 
Paradoxe


01. Lumiere De Lune (3:44)
02. Cosmic Wheel (10:32)
03. Chromatique One's (5:10)
04. Harabizant (9:37)
05. Ananda (2:48)
06. Surface (6:42)

Bonus track:
7. Pays De Glace (11:50)

- Yvan Coaquette / guitar
- John Livengood / machines



Paradox is the first and only album by a largely unknown French guitar/synth duo called Spacecraft, and the music on this album is a psyche-tronic mess. I'd put this somewhere between the loudest krautrock and the noisiest prog electronic.

The synth and electronic effects on this album are extremely bright and punchy in the mix, which makes for a slightly abrasive but very powerful kind of spacey feel when coupled with the echoing/hypnotizing psychedelic effects in the background. But, unlike most of the spacey electronic albums, this album sounds less like the atmosphere of space and more like the congested atmosphere from inside a spacecraft looking outwards toward the stars and planets. This sound is achieved from the electronics sounding very mechanical but within the context of a spacey atmosphere, whereas most prog electronic groups seem to do either one or the other.

The addition of the manipulated guitar gives this album a strong krautrock flavor as well, and I'm not sure if I'm correct but the guitar playing sounds to be mostly improvised. It's all done very well, but it does sound a bit German to me. Not that sounding German is bad, but I kind of hoped for something uniquely French, considering that the guitarist of this project was also a member of Clearlight (which sounds uniquely French, in my opinion). Of course, there is no France in outer space, or a Germany for that matter. The purpose of the electronic and krautrock genres were initially to create music that sounded like it was from the depths of space. With that in mind, this album definitely succeeds, and it is a very wonderful album of noisy, congested, mechanical space music.

Solis Lacus - 1975 - Solis Lacus

Solis Lacus
1975 
Solis Lacus

01. Utopic Cities
02. Peace Please
03. Open Air
04. Little Green Man
05. Sea Of Tranquillity
06. Remake

- Richard Rousselet / trumpet, flugelhorn, percussion
- Robert Jeanne / tenor & soprano saxophone
- Michel Herr / piano, Fender Rhodes electric piano
- Nick Kletchkovsky / electric bass
- Bruno Castellucci / drums, percussion (1,3,4,5)
- Félix Simtaine / drums (2,6)



SOLIS LACUS was the first group that that featured renowned Belgian pianist Michel HERR and the group shared members Richard ROUSSELE and Nicolas KLETCHKWOWSKY with another more famous jazz rock band from Belgium, PLACEBO (with whom they regularly shared the stage with). In that vein, music of SOLIS LACUS can be compared with PLACEBO and with the sound of Herbie HANCOCK's Headhunters which displayed similiar jazz funk style.

Solis Lacus existed around the same time as Marc Moulin’s Placebo, they shared stages and even a few members. The renowned Belgian pianist Michel Herr, who is said to have introduced electric jazz in the 70’s in Europe, led the band. The release has a very consistent flow and is compared to Nucleus or as being the European counterpart to sound experimentations of Herbie Hancock's Headhunters or to the best albums of the CTI label such as Freddie Hubbard. Closer in sound it is to jazzrock and even more, to several of Canterbury jazzrock albums, also due to its use of Rhodes piano (Soft Machine, Quiet Sun,..). The drumming is relaxed but very complex and incorporates many ideas without ever appearing to the foreground, also the bass lines can be melodious but only add sophistication to the sound, where especially the electric piano and trumpet, sometimes with duet harmonies (trumpets or trumpet/sax) that lead the evolutions. The fifth track starts more quietly with an echoing keyboards foundations, shortly some Latin drumming is added before taking us back to the general jazzfusion/jazzrock style. The last, uptempo track has a more complex melody in Canterbury style (outside the smooth jazziness), still holding the flow strongly. 

MORE PHOTOS

Roberto Cacciapaglia - 1974 - Sonanze

Roberto Cacciapaglia 
1974 
Sonanze



Sonanze / Sonances
01. 1st Movement    4:27
02. 2nd Movement    4:12
03. 3rd Movement    2:56
04. 4th Movement    1:23
05. 5th Movement    3:47
06. 6th Movement    3:26
07. 7th Movement    2:26
08. 8th Movement    1:52
09. 9th Movement    4:30
10. 10th Movement    3:54

Otherworks
11. Skywaves    3:23
12. Electric Avenues    8:02
13. Birds Over Prague    1:00
14. Floating Clouds    2:28
15. Gongs    2:27
16. Mother And Cousin    3:00
17. Winds And Gong    3:04
18. Moog Sequence    2:16
19. Roxanne    5:56
20. Metal Windows    0:43
21. Slow Steps    4:20
22. Manuela    1:52
23. Rob Tiger    1:12
24. Sub-Electronic    1:54
25. Original Gongs    3:02

Clarinet – Luciano Tessari (tracks: 1 to 10)
Composed By, Conductor, Performer, Producer, Remastered By, Piano, Guitar, Synthesizer [Moog, VCS3, Synthi A], Harpsichord, Organ, Vibraphone, Liner Notes [Original, Reissue] – Roberto Cacciapaglia
Horns – Alfredo Arcobelli (tracks: 1 to 10), Giuseppe Ferreri (tracks: 1 to 10), Giuseppe Merli (tracks: 1 to 10)
Oboe – Mario Arcari (tracks: 1 to 10)
Piano – Luciano Bianco (tracks: 1 to 10)
Strings – Elsa Parravicini (tracks: 1 to 10), Franco Rossi (2) (tracks: 1 to 10), Gianni Berlendis (tracks: 1 to 10), Giuseppe Cantoni (tracks: 1 to 10), Marco Ravasio (tracks: 1 to 10)
Timpani [Kettledrums] – Walter Morelli (tracks: 1 to 10)
Trombone – Bruno Ferrari (2) (tracks: 1 to 10), Giuseppe Mauri (tracks: 1 to 10)
Vocals – Elfriede Demetz (tracks: 1 to 10), Francesco Maria Minghinelli (tracks: 1 to 10)

Recorded in Milan 1972 - Cologne 1974.
Tracks 1 to 10 were originally released in 1974.



Cosmic joker nel blu dipinto di blu. Or: mediterranEurock. It’s not by chance, indeed, that this time the Couriers’ spacecraft is a flying marranzano (the italian for jew’s harp) floating on the cover. After all, there aren’t much italian musicians who had the chance to work at first hand with german krautrock gurus – the only other names which come to my mind are Baffo Banfi from Biglietto per l’inferno, who had a couple of solo albums produced by Klaus Schulze between 1979 and 1981, and Gianna Nannini teaming up with Conny Plank from 1982 until the latter’s death in 1987 for a series of europewide successful records, with Jaki Liebezeit from Can as a session drummer.

In 1974, when Roberto Cacciapaglia entered the studio with Ohr Records founder and cosmic rock éminence grise Rolf Ulrich Kaiser, he was mostly known as the guy who sat behind the keyboards for Battiato’s second album Pollution. Actually, the music which resulted from these sessions – edited and released as Sonanze (“sonances”) the following year – was more or less related with Battiato’s early Seventies works, and somehow recalled the coeval explorations of major kosmische achievers such as Popol Vuh, Tangerine Dream or the same Schulze; neverthless, it retained something unique and inherently personal: a peculiar upward structure, an esthetical rectitude, an almost classical composure which placed it out of the space/acid rock canon, and was likely to be an heritage of Cacciapaglia’s academic training as a composer (he graduated at Milan’s “Giuseppe Verdi” conservatory before joining the phonology research team at RAI – the italian national broadcasting system – and working with the CNR – “national resarch centre” – in Pisa).

To strengthen this impression, we’re having a complete orchestra here gliding its way into the stratosphere by drones and blows, which refer to early XX century atonal tradition, while the manipulation of processed vocals (such as in the 2nd Movement) anticipated the monomanic, mesmerizing Tail of the Tiger by Roberto Laneri’s Prima Materia, providing some gusts of high solar wind. When it comes to post-impressionistic/minimal piano patterns, then, such as in the 3rd Movement, there you find yourself effortlessy climbing a spiral staircase to the stars.

After the exploit of Sonanze (oddly released in Italy through PDU, the label founded by Mina and Augusto Martelli), Roberto Cacciapaglia went on experimenting with contemporary classic music and electronics, studying ancient sacred music and the non-musical power of sound and performing with the most diverse artists and in all kind of environments.

He also worked in the pop music industry as a refined and innovative arranger and producer for the model/actress/singer Ann Steel (in the legendary Ann Steel Album, 1979), Gianna Nannini (G.N., 1981), Giuni Russo (Vox, 1983), Ivan Cattaneo (Bandiera Gialla – “yellow flag” – 1983), Alice (Gioielli rubati – “stolen jewels”, a collection of Franco Battiato’s covers – 1985), and is a successful author of music for commercials.

Ixthuluh - 2014 - Some Chimeras

Ixthuluh 
2014 
Some Chimeras



01. Das Ist Es (2:15)
02. Soft Velvet (6:58)
03. Boring Sunday (8:19)
04. Well-Disposed Lindworm (9:28)
05. Chamberrock Part 1 (8:28)
06. Superpsych (17:49)

- Dita Lasser / guitars, bass (6), vocals
- James Geiblinger / bass (1,2,3)
- Max Wedl / sax, flute, percussion
- Mud Shurko / drums, bass (4,5)



This is typical Ixthuluh food, extended fusion-jams far out. However, and this is surprising, is the fact that the recording quality of this CD is much better than that, what Ixthuluh published 10 years ago. No idea where they unearthed this stuff. The music is not very different from the earlier recordings, but the better sound makes it much more pleasant by listening to these unconventional pieces. Especially Track 4 (the well disposed Lindworm starts like a Pop-Song and develops to fusion underground) and the Chamber Rock session (a wild mixture without any style) I like. This is really wild Kraut. Musically more catchy are the first three tracks, this is more fusion, similar to the first Ixthuluh release "Yes We Are A Jazzband". But more interesting I find the following thren tracks. The endlessly long closing track Superspych goes underground, as if Fat Freddy's Cat does a Zen meditation (10 hours motionless). Anyway, an interesting extension of Ixthuluh, I would not mind if they dig more of this better recorded material.

Ixthuluh - 2006 - This Was, The Craft Of Ixthuluh

Ixthuluh 
2006 
This Was, The Craft Of Ixthuluh
 


01. Medley (11:15)
02. Flowers, Stones and early Morning (10:32)
03. Hell's Jazz (5:22)*
04. Sadly (1:48)*
05. Sleep Song in Rain and Meadow (6:22)
06. So Sad (2:30)
07. Love Pain (2:53)
08. Camel Trophy Through Seven Dirty Puddels (5:56)
09. Sailor's Dream (10:17)
10. Skating in Moonlight (3:54)
11. Desert Nights (10:35)
12. Rock and Work (2:07)

- Dita Lasser / electric & acoustic guitar, e-bass, keyboards, lead vocals
- Ernst Matscheko / drums, percussion, bass, delay, devices
- James Geiblinger / bass
- Max Wedl / saxophone
- Michael Brandstetter / drums
- Adi Nimmerfall / flute, keyboards
- Pez / percussioin
- Werner Katzmair / guitar
- E.P. Kirch / bass, guitar, vocals
Releases information

remastered from the four regular albums
(ex. track* , previously unreleased)


This compilation shows the bow of the musical way the band went through the years' comments Ernst Matscheko who administrates the musical (and spiritual) heritage of the band. 10 tracks were offered from the four regular albums 'Yes, We Are A Jazz Band', 'No Money For A Radio', 'Tea At Two' and 'What's The Name'. Some of them are newly remixed. Additionally we also have two previously unreleased tracks as a 'candy for the hardcore fans'. So at the end the band IXTHULUH presents nearly 75 minutes with improvised music which are standing for a turbulent phase in the 70s. Very experimental and unique according to the situation the band recorded the songs. Well - is it Krautrock from Austria or 'only' Psych? Everybody has to find the right answer on his own.

The album starts with a Medley of excerpts from the first release - very jazz rock oriented jams with a differing sound quality. Flowers, Stones and Early Morning - taken from the second album - is obviously more psych driven and therefore represents a change in the musical direction - my personal favourite. With Hell's jazz and Sadly, the previously unreleased tunes, the band has finally arrived the heavy psych universe. Ambient sounds are following sometimes accompanied by a mysterious psychotic saxophone. Skating in moonlight finally remarks a change to a better sound quality and a more grooving sound back to the jazz rock roots a little bit.

Ixthuluh - 1981 - What's The Name

Ixthuluh
1981
What's The Name


01. In The Bushes (4:56)
02. Start Our Fuzzy Dreams (5:45)
03. Fewa Blues (3:01)
04. Velvet (3:18)
05. Hornet In A Bee's Basket (3:02)
06. Synthetic Heaven (3:35)
07. Visit From Town (6:12)
08. Strings (6:38)
09. Camel Trophy Through Seven Dirty Puddels (5:56)
10. Sailor's Dream (10:17)
11. Skating In Moonlight (3:54)
12. Desert Nights (10:35)
13. Gefudel For The End (1:49)

- Dita Lasser / guitar, bass, keyboard, lead vocals, sounds
- Ernst Matscheko / drums, percussion, bass, delay, sounds
- Adi Nimmerfall / flute, keyboards
- Werner Katzmair / guitar
- E.P. Kirch / bass, guitar, vocals




This album is pleasure and imposition together, you sometimes have the impression that the musicians deride the listener. Anyhow they take no consideration and play a music which is once so blandishing and intuitive like " Sailors Dream " or " Desert Nights " and then, again, rumbling, unpolished and even coarse like in " Hornet in a Bees Basket " or " Camel Trophy Through Seven Dirty Puddel " where you must pay attention that you get no dirty ears.You can nowhere buy this record, the real musical adventurer must download it, the group puts the material entirely into the band's website, but the musical explorer should consider my warnings. An explosive mixture of audible and hardly digestible, 3 stars nevertheless, because it is interesting anyway.

The last album of Ixthuluh leaves a mixed impression. Near some krautrock pearls like "Camel Trophy" or "Gefudel For The End" is also found average. Unfortunately, some absolutely strong pieces also suffer from the bad recording quality, like "Sailor's Dream" or "Velvet".

The album, nevertheless, is altogether certainly worth listening, with pieces which one has never heared before. The band shear yourself a mud (again) around hearing habits and with "Hornet In A Bee's Basket" the listener on a bad test is put.

The quiet "Desert Nights" with Adi Nimmerfalls flutes or Werner Katzmair with "Gefudel For The End" show the strenght of the guest's musicians with whom Ixthuluh has appeared gladly and often.

I individually like the nonorthodox and self-willed "Camel Trophy Through Seven Dirty Puddels" in the best. This is Ixthuluh offroad-sound real how it has aroused enthusiasm live mostly.

And "Start Our Fuzzy Dreams", the real opener of the album ("In The Bushes" is, actually, more a percussions gag than a number) - a journey is worth, too. The group there plays off their strengths with plainest stylistic devices.

Nothing for sound purists, but nice for adventurer.

Ixthuluh - 1980 - Tea At Two

Ixthuluh 
1980 
Tea At Two


01. Welcome, Touch Me (6:28)
02. Sittin` On My Lonely Chair (12:05)
03. Forbidden Fruits (23:53)
04. Steelmill And Animal (1:54)
05. So Sad (2:30)
06. Orange Garden (3:00)
07. Love Pain (2:53)
08. The Long Trail To Gila Bridge (24:30)

- Dita Lasser / guitar, bass, lead vocals, sounds
- Ernst Matscheko / drums, percussion, bass, delay, sounds
- Pez / drums
- Werner Katzmair / guitar
- E.P. Kirch / bass, guitar, vocals
- Max Wedl / saxophone in So Sad


This album is the masterpiece of the group. Ixthuluh has earned a place in the annals of krautrock with this song collection. The album lives from outstanding electric guitars and the play with associated devices like reverb and delay. The extremely unconventional music arises how with Ixthuluh usually, from a largely free teamwork in which the musicians change and serve different instruments. These changes prove a very various album interacting, however, stylistically as a closed unity and appears matching, anyhow. The sketchy music which one knows from the other Ixthuluh albums also exists here, but, nevertheless, the pieces appear little bit more compact and less accidental on this album. The numbers from very quiet, almost meditative guitar electronic sounds, by the way played completely without keyboards, remind of the German sound handicraft enthusiasts from the early krautrock days, while with "The Long Trail To Gila Bridge" an increasingly wild rock piece executes nearly 25 minutes, orientated by no model, and expels Werner Katzmair as a marathon man on the E-guitar. In between shorter songs are found like "Love Pain", a piece that remainds me of the small songs of the early Pink Floyd. The mixture of it proves an album, which leaves me, if it has elapsed finishedly, behind again with a certain astonishment and this lingers. Should not be absent in any Krautrock collection!

Ixthuluh - 1979 - No Money For A Radio

Ixthuluh
1979
No Money For A Radio



01. Rubber Rope To Repose After Storm (6:04)
02. Bass James Lost (2:27)
03. Can Jubilee For A New House (4:54)
04. Slippery Ways To Cows And Fences (4:17)
05. December Snow Night (16:47)
06. Flowers, Stones And Early Morning (11:32)
07. The Orbiters (5:30)
08. Surfin' Boomerangs (8:35)
09. Offroader (3:25)
10. Sleep Song In Rain And Meadow (6:22)
11. Rock And Work (2:07)

- Dita Lasser / guitar, bass, drums, lead vocal
- Max Wedl / saxophone, flute, percussion
- Ernst Matscheko / drums, percussion, bass
- Werner, Gerlinde, Ritschi, u.a. / background vocals, percussion

Guests:
- E.P. Kirch / bass, guitar, vocals
- Pez / percussion
- W. Katzmair / guitar

A three-year break since the anterior debut album have changed the style of the group completely. From the jazzily fusion band a psychedelic krautrock band has become. What remained are the sketchily numbers which sometimes look rather unfinished. But the sound of the band which appears finished and compact already in the following album " Tea At Two " a year ago begins to accept clearly form. Pieces like "Flowers, Stones and Early Morning", "Surfin' Boomerangs" or "Sleep Song" begin to fly and show the group in a new light. And with numbers like "Rock and Work" they show that they also can rock off. The album is no masterpiece certainly, but it shows a group on the way, and generally known the way is the aim. Sure interesting for all which gladly venture forward in musical new territory and enjoy in psychedelic krautrock.

Ixthuluh - 1976 - Yes, We Are A Jazzband

Ixthuluh
1976 
Yes, We Are A Jazzband



01. Wood Cutters (1:08)
02. Themes Cool (6:40)
03. The Drive (1:24)
04. It's Cool (12:48)
05. You Can Be Free (2:37)
06. Yes, We Are A Jazzband (9:09)
07. Black Aschbach (5:00)
08. It Cools So, Jessy (9:36)
09. Konglomerat (6:13)
10. The Ride (3:20)
11. Spring Air (9:30)
12. Dancing In Rain (2:42)
13. Illegal Travel (3:27)
14. Greetings From Cowstable (4:49)

- James Geiblinger / bass
- Dita Lasser / vocals , guitar
- Michael Brandstetter / drums
- Max Wedl / saxes


An Austrian band playing in a Kraut-oriented style.Formed in 1975 in Amstetten they were led by Dita Lasser on guitars/vocals, James Geiblinger on bass, Max Wedl on saxophone and Michael Brandstetter on drums, but the Ixthuluh name, derived from H.P. Lovecraft's ''The call of Cthuluh'', appeared only around April 1976, after the members used Konglomerat, Stoerfaktor and Farmer as alternative options.Recordings from the band's early days (late 75'-early 77') were saved, remastered and offered for free in 2005

The presented material clocks at around 80 minutes and propably comes from one-shot studio rehearsals, as the sounds has this live feeling, but the quality is quite decent.The long tracks are good examples of instrumental Kraut-Jazz Rock in the vein of KRAAN with some ethnic and plenty of psychedelic passages, fairly based on the JOHANNES PAPPERT-like show of saxophonist Max Wedl and the rough, jazzy guitar scratches of Dita Lasser.Nothing to get excited about, but these pieces are typical of the Kraut Rock scene, featuring impressive improvisations, great guitar and sax battles and interesting solos over hypnotic, psychedelic grooves.If you like KRAAN's productions circa 1970-75, you will love Ixthuluh's jazzy executions.Inbetween these extended performances there are several pieces in a more Psychedelic Rock style, some of them feature vocals and the sax is generally absent for a rockier and edgier style.Again the recordings are pretty cool with some jazzy and bluesy influences in the guitar workouts and most of them are driven by sharp lead guitars and frenetic solos, which lack personality, but are performed nonetheless with passion.

The Keith Tippett Group - 1972 - Blueprint

The Keith Tippett Group 
1972
Blueprint



01. Song (9:04)
02. Dance (5:06)
03. Glimpse (4:40)
04. Blues I (4:01)
05. Woodcut (12:47)
06. Blues II (3:11)

Keith Tippett / piano
Roy Babbington / bass
Julie Tippetts / guitar, vocals , recorder , mandolin
Frank Perry / percussion
Keith Bailey / percussion

Produced by Robert Fripp


The relation between King Crimson and Robert Fripp is always consubstantialities. It is a well-known fact. Robert Fripp always pulled King Crimson and it had band leader's role. However, a lot of opinions made that it is Ian McDonald to take charge of a lot of parts of the arrangement and the composition for the music character of King Crimson at the debut this time are asked to listener's opinion.
It destroys and it constructs it to music that King Crimson listened in the debut album exactly. Forward and classics. It is talked as a valuable album that contains the ideal and the reality. However, the ideal and thought as directionality of King Crimson at that time might always contain the part of the revolution and old and be advanced. Tried proceeded band to the next step has already been expressed by "In The Wake Of Poseidon" announced in 1970.

It is said that time when Robert Fripp met Keith Tippett is about 1970. It is said that both confirmed the goodness of a music character each other in "MARQUEE" to which King Crimson performed at that time. Keith Tippett requested the pursuit of the aimed music character of "You Are Here...I Am There" of the album of own group. The part where impression had been received for a music character each other appeared remarkably when "In The Wake Of Poseidon" was performed. It kept revolutionizing it with Music's pursuit in "Lizard" and ..King Crimson.. "Islands" afterwards. However, the fact where King Crimson has the element of Improvisation might not have been able to be made if there was no part of activity and the stimulation of Keith Tippett.

Keith Tippett to contribute to music with high quality in King Crimson has proceeded to the next step with the flow that builds the relation of trust with Robert Fripp. "Keith Tippett Group" of own group might have been established with an original methodology for the field of Jazz and Prog Rock of Britain at that time. And, the creation and the idea that Keith Tippett considers appear remarkably exactly in the work of this group at that time.

Keith Tippett that receives the flow from 1st album of the group that appoints Giorgio Gomelsky known on business of The Yardbirds and Magma and attempts the pursuit of own music character further pursues the development of the music character from "Centipede" further. The pursuit of the music character that arranges an indispensable musician in the field of Jazz/Prog Rock at that time has developed in "Dedicated to You,But You Weren't Listening". And, an original music character that contains the element of Jazz that Keith Tippett thinks about reflects the flow that splendidly exactly catches an age at that time in the work.

Robert Fripp that built the relation of trust was appointed to the producer and the recording was done in this album. And, the overwhelming might and the idea of this album have respect produced as a flow that contains the music character that Keith Tippett exactly creates enough. And, the musician who participated in the recording of the album might also be exactly contributing to the element of this album. The album of Soft Machine is Bass of Roy Babbington widely known. And, the idea that doesn't use the form of the drum. Those parts are done enough by Frank Perry and Keith Bailey. And, appointment and the activity of Julie Driscoll(Tippett) that builds both relations that public and private matters enhanced for Keith Tippett at that time might draw out the music character of this album enough. The element of order in addition to the flow as Free Jazz might exist, too, when talking about the part of the performance of Keith Tippett. The performance where not only an indecent part but also a variegated sound and expression of feelings are had both will offer the listener originality and the charm. It will be able to be said that the part with the performance to feel expression of feelings, thought, and the sense of beauty in addition to the ability to process the space because of the sound will expand the width of the music character of this group.

"Song" is a tune with the element that continues a complete, transparent feeling. The piano consistently continues a beautiful melody. The line of Bass has the action that lifts a piano melody. The performance of Keith Bailey to make good use of the bell and cymbals, etc. also splendidly consistently makes the atmosphere of the tune. The performance that completely processes the space has the flow that may be continued to the end of the tune. The flow that order and the improvisation are had both has succeeded as an idea.

The sound of the guitar that does the mute from the part that looks like the sound in which the glass is beaten twines round "Dance". The melody is done disorder it and has the part of abstract. It is a tune of which the element of the improvisation went out strongly. The scat of enchantment Julie Tippett also considerably contributes to the tune. The performance establishes one flow repeating the improvisation.

"Glimpse" is a tune of which the element of the improvisation went out. The piano and the percussion instrument create one space and reach the peak. It might be ..establishment of the percussion instrument in close relation to the sound of Bass to make good use of the bow.. ..contribution.. worthy. The tune pulls the part that flows further in the space by the group. I will be able to feel the part with expression of feelings and order in the flow of the improvisation.

As for "Blues I", the scat twines round the space that flows quietly. The processing of a consistent space continues the directionality of this album. An experimental element might be a strong tune. It advances as the guitar and the piano have dismantlement and construction.

"Woodcut" has completely decided the element of this album. The flow with the part of the improvisation is pulled by the piano and Recorder and starts. The flow that excludes the sound to the minimum has established an original flow as an idea. Recorder and the piano create the world of an original improvisation. The flow continues long time. The flow that completely processes the space will not advance as a flow of a simple improvisation though it reaches the peak at the end of the tune.

Mandolin of "Blues II" that Julie Tippett performs is impressive. Julie Tippett that played the guitar and Recorder might have contributed to this album very much. And, it had the role to expand the width of the entire composition. The sound of advanced disorder it Mandolin is continued and hurtles through space. The percussion instrument doesn't appear. However, one flow is drawn as a complete improvisation.

The idea to listen in this album one would be attempt and be challenge that Keith Tippett at that time created. And, music to listen in this album shifts further in the form of Trio and develops into "Overy Lodge".

Review by Kazuhiro

The Keith Tippett Group - 1971 - Dedicated To You, But You Weren't Listening

The Keith Tippett Group 
1971
Dedicated To You, But You Weren't Listening




01. This is What Happens (5:45)
02. Thoughts to Geoff (10:19)
03. Green and Orange Night (8:12)
04. Gridal Suite (6:13)
05. Five After Dawn (5:24)
06. Dedicated to You, But You Weren't Listening (0:36)
07. Black Horse (5:53)


- Elton Dean /Alto Saxophone, Saxello
- Neville Whitehead , Roy Babbington / Bass
- Tony Uta / Conga Drums, Cowbell
- Marc Charig / Cornet
- Bryan Spring , Phil Howard , Robert Wyatt / Drums
- Gary Boyle / Guitar
- Keith Tippett / Piano
- Nick Evans / Trombone



With an arresting artwork, depicting a brainchild, on its cover, the KTG managed to climb up from the Phillips generalist label to the Vertigo Swirl prestigious and progressive label, and I can’t think of a better promotion. Line-up wise, Jeff Clyne shares the bass with Roy Babbington and the drums are shared between Wyatt, Brian springs and Phil Howard (who would go on to replace Wyatt in Soft Machine), but on the horns, the Dean/Charig/Evans trio remained. Please note the pun title is from Soft Machine’s “Dedicated To Hugh…..”

The album opens on a conga-driven groovy track that gets its inspiration between the three horn players, but in the background, Keith’s piano is the one thing that makes this piece so rollicking. Followed up by the tough to grasp Thoughts To Geoff, a 10-mins corker that often veers dissonant and improvisational, which strangely enough becomes more fluid and melodic as it unravels. Even young Gary Boyle (out of auger’s trinity) manages to follow this difficult track, which had to faded out to be stopped. In Green & Orange Night Park, McCoy Typpett then shows with all three horns holding the Trane in the station, until Elton pulls his best solo (I would almost add ever in such a fanboy moment) while the other two are providing a descending line behind him that slowly morphs into another lead line, which had to be terminated again by a fade-out. Absolutely flabbergasting and jaw-dropping piece.

The flipside starts on the most difficult Gridal Suite, an Elton Dean improvised piece that he shares well with Phil Howard (just think of side 1 of Soft Machine’s 5 album), this track probably being the low point of the album. Five After Dawn might appear at first to be just as difficult, but it’s not quite the same nature, this one is written and impressionist track, evoking early life movement after the dead of night. After your stupor segued into surprise, it should normally give into joy and eventually glee. The short but sweet reprise of SM’s theme is only a wink, leading us to Black Horse, which is a bit the book-ending of the opening track (both tracks are written by trombonist Nick Evans, a very rhythmic groove with plenty of enthralling horn-section arrangements (a bit ala brass-rock), and it comes complete with a superb guitar solo from future Isotope Gary Boyle.

Not that this second album is that much better than their debut, but it grabbed all of the sunshine, shadowing all of the debut album, which consistently remains more difficult to find. Both are much worth the discovery and are excellent early UK jazz-rock

The Keith Tippett Group - 1970 - You Are Here... I Am There

The Keith Tippett Group 
1970
You Are Here... I Am There


01. This Evening Was Like Last Year (To Sarah)    9:10   
02. I Wish There Was A Nowhere 14:12   
03. Thank You For The Smile (To Wendy And Roger)    2:02    4
04. Three Minutes From An Afternoon In July (To Nick)    4:13   
05. View From Battery Point (To John And Pete)    2:00   
06. Violence    4:00   
07. Stately Dance For Miss Primm 6:51   
08. This Evening Was Like Last Year - Short Version    4:07

Bass – Jeff Clyne
Cornet – Marc Charig
Drums, Glockenspiel – Alan Jackson
Producer, Bells – Giorgio Gomelsky
Saxophone [Alto] – Elton Dean
Trombone – Nick Evans
Written-By, Piano – Keith Tippett



Keith Tippett left Bristol in 1967 and came to prominence in London in the late 1960s with his Sextet and his astonishing 50-piece ensemble Centipede. He is widely recognised as one of the most distinctive and radical pioneers in contemporary jazz today.

From solo performances through a myriad of duos, trios, quartets, sextets and septets to the 21-piece orchestra The Ark and the never-to-be-forgotten Centipede, he has shown a discipline, dedication and creative energy unparalleled in contemporary music in Britain.

Performance, composition, recordings, broadcasts, masterclasses, film scores, workshops and children’s education projects – all of these elements constitute Keith Tippett’s work over the past three decades.

The first time progheads (and the rock world in general heard) the name of Keith Tippett and his unique piano was on the KING CRIMSON single of Cat Food in very early 1970, and it created a shock. Obviously most observers could see that the then-unknown (to most anyway) Keith Tippett was obviously an excellent pianist, but his style left many astounded, but also turning away many. But those intrigued enough, probably sought who this weird guy was. A Bristol-born cornet and pianist, who met in 67 in the BS Music School, Elton Dean, Nick Evans and Mark Charig, forming the Keith Tippett Sextet, that played to some success in London's 100 Jazz Club. . Keith Tippett would also be signalled that year on BLOSSOM TOES' two albums as well as being determinant in the SOFT MACHINE's change of musical direction towards jazz-rock, since the group became a septet, using three of Tippett's collaborators.

Indeed, the names of Mark Charig, Lyn Dobson, Harry Miller, Roy Babbington, Elton Dean and Nick Evans should be familiar to many progheads, yet most of them had their "rock world" start with Keith Tippett and his first group. When his first solo album came out, "You Are here... I Am There" on the Phillips label, it was yet another shock as their awesome jazz-rock was at least on par with MILES DAVIS, HERBIE HANCOCK or IAN CARR's NUCLEUS, and further ahead than was Soft Machine. Funnily enough the KTG inversed their Phillips trajectory to Gracious and XXXX by having their second album on the legendary Vertigo Swirl label, while the debut was on the generic label. Titled "Dedicated To You, But You Were Not Listening" (a Soft Machine tribute), the album was certainly not easier on the ears either.

A good part of Keith Tippett's group would find themselves playing the horns on Crimson's Lizard and even on Islands, despite the presence of Mel Collins, who was alone during the tours to fill the horn dept. This wouldn't be the only collab between Fripp and Tippett as the former also produced the only album of the latter's huge group concept of CENTIPEDE. "Septober Energy" is probably one of the most controversial albums ever, with the group consisting of up to 50 musicians including all of Blossom toes, part of Soft Machine and many jazz-rockers present on the British Isles, even including the amazing JULIE DRISCOLL, whom he would soon marry and her taking the name of her husband, but adding an "s": she'd become known as Julie Tippetts since.

The Keith Tippett Group ceased activity in 71 and Keith's musical endeavours became even more adventurous, as he recorded some really challenging music, with Blue Print (produced by Fripp) and then found OVARY LODGE, a group that recorded two albums, the first again produced by Fripp. The music hesitates between a precursory RIO and written free jazz with improvs and contains again the usual suspects, the second album having wife Julie contributing. Keith would also help her with Julie's superb "Sunset Glow" in 74, recorded again with the usual gang, and somewhat similar and continuous of her "1969" album, still released under her Driscoll name. Since 76 (and still today), apart from appearing on Dean, Charig and other solo albums, Keith has mostly worked on his ARK or on his even more obscure MUJICIAN (sometimes with and sometimes without wife Julie), both of which projects are well into atonal and dissonant free-jazz and well out of focus of this site.

NB: Just as Nucleus would be one of the nursery of musicians that would end up in Soft Machine, the KTG woul have 5 musicians that would later play in SM.


To be honest, this album was my very first taste of the jazz fusion era. Not Miles Davis, not Mahavishnu Orchestra, but this gem. YAH...IAT is heavily overshadowed by Tippett's other work (King Crimson, Centipede, and his other album), and I could never understand why. Looking at the negative ratings, I can assume people expected another "Dedicated To You, But You Weren't Listening" or "Septober Energy". Let me tell you, it's definitely not. To me, this is the British response to Bitches Brew, albeit without the sidelong pieces.

This Evening Was Like Last Year (8.5/10) - Sort of an overture to this album. Quiet and deep strings, rapid-fire drumming, and lots of free jazz near the middle and end.

I Wish There Was A Nowhere (10/10) - A true jazz masterpiece, and the best song of the album. Lots of piano jamming and saxophone solos, with clear divisions. Also the longest song, clocking in at a grand 14 minutes.

Thank You For the Smile (8/10) - A kind of filler, if you ask me. But it's still valid in the album, and sets a different tone for the next side of the record. This track is actually a sadder reworking of the Beatles's famous track "Hey Jude", using the outro as a base.

Three Minutes from an Afternoon in July (6/10) - A single sax note. Seriously. This song does create the feeling of a hot July afternoon, but it kind of stops the flow of the album. The band kind of joins in at the very end, but is too late to save the track.

View From Battery Point (8/10) - Fanfare material. Quiet electric piano, kind of like looking out from Battery Point onto the landscape. Ominous, and really sort of preparation for the next track.

Violence (7.5/10) - A memorable opening melody, and contained throughout. Really does kind of represent a little fight, or as the title says... Violence. Not the best.

Stately Dance for Miss Primm (10/10) - A great closer! Truly grooving, with solos scattered throughout from the whole band. This is the first track I heard from this album, and I fell in love quickly.

This Evening Was Like Last Year [Short Version] (8/10) - The shortened version of the first track. Cuts the crap, but also removes some of the charm.

Hydrus - 1978 - Midnight In Space

Hydrus 
1978
Midnight In Space
 


01. Midnight In Space (5:21)
02. Hibernation (10:13)
03. Earth Calling Space (4:05)
04. Milky Way (6:25)
05. The 2 Planets (6:30)
06. Space Link-up (6:53)


This mystic electronic vinyl artifact from the late 1970's Italy conjures really beautiful nocturnal dreams from the aquatic cerulean of vast cosmos, which I personally felt containing a deeper meaning in its charming abstractions and thematic clues. This hour of midnight in space is introduced from fatalistic piano notes summoning electronic oscillating voices. A vortex of keyboards elevates from the synthesis, revealing wonderful emotional visions from the union of romantic piano and supporting electronics. Slowly progressing melodic theme reminded me slightly the Blade Runner's love theme from Vangelis, swimming gracefully on the ethereal tides of imagination. Bass guitar, cautious presence of drum cymbals and distant voices of lady singer are introduced among the electronic tapestries on the following sequence of hibernation. The composition structure is quite peculiar, as the flow of sounds ceases some points totally. First few minutes after the promises of the starting sequence, and continuing only after a long null void as more purist vintage synthesizer pulsing. The dreamy effects are achieved interestingly by reprising the opening themes via weirdly modulated variations, the note harmonies containing in my opinion some sort of call for awakening from the deep slumber. After another pause a very short progression with drums and guitar appear from the emptiness of unconsciousness. I felt the solution of hiding the conventional rock instrumentation band presence as rare hidden glimpses behind the electronic textures, also this short visitation is soon cleaned away by synthesizer sound projections, returning to the concept from the start of the song, allowing bass guitar and cozy keyboard lines be visited by the distant siren songs and barely present being drums and restrained touches of guitar.

Following scenery reveals our home planet orbiting among the vast gusts of solar winds, tiny technical notes being sent through radio waves to the infinity of cosmos. The signals grow as playful dancing on primitive note harmonics, and the vastness of space is presented as large formless sound presences. The fusion of these elements create a quite abstract tonal installation. Our home galaxy is then portrayed trough shimmering song with oriental melody on the synthesizers, uniting to groovy orchestrated brass-driven lounging, holding the archetypical qualities of 1970's western culture's music. This rhythmic theme emerges and disappears smoothly from the beautiful curves of larger and quite shapeless forms of electric tones. The distant small details and the grand sonic tones mingling together appeared for me as quite unique and fascinating aural innovations, allowing both solemn cosmic visions and also admiration for the musicians left unknown for me for these personal artistic achievements.

On the early Tangerine Dream reminding song for two planets I tried to pursuit further the potential allegorical meanings of the whole album. On the midnight hour at the aether of space, something sleeps in a deep dream, the slumber being molested with invitations for the awaken state, and this agent of signaling being Earth, Gaia, a Woman. The signal of this call voyages trough Milky Way, a celestial causeway noted in every culture's mythologies. The two planets, Woman and a Man woken from the sleep, search union through the call carried via the backbone of the night, cosmic winds leading to this synthesis on "Space Link-Up", concluding the album what I interpreted as the union of human love. This climax reprises the melodic themes from album's beginning with selective usage of amplified rock instruments, and also introducing the presence of male voice upon the electronic fusion sound realm. These planar states are altered on the scene, each waiting patiently their own proper time, and finally escaping to the emptiness of silence beyond the album.

It is possible these thoughts are only my own subjective fantasies, but one pleasant potential on abstract music is the possibility of being able to try to search your own interpretations from the artistic expression. It is also possible to just float on these melodically accessible and exceptionally beautiful sequences without requirements for meanings. This music is arranged to concepts with a manner which at least I have not encountered yet earlier, and caused deep satisfaction and admiration for the creators lost behind the event horizon of memory - a deterministic fate occurring for all of us, and a fact which does not need to be frightful if a solace has been found from existential contemplations of scientific, religious or philosophical nature. In my opinion the invitation for the album's cosmic mysteries are also presented wonderfully on the cover art; the geometrical trinity of logical codex set on the stellar landscape is being approached by the female character, flying gently over mathematical lines like a high jumper glides over the bar on athletic games, just as gently and arousing as the music of this divine album maneuvers upon the cosmic spheres.

This solitary album of Hydrus stands for me as a really precious and rare album full of cosmic sensuality, and also forming a codex for universe's cosmological meaning culminating in the love's union.

Jean Guerin - 1971 - Tacet

Jean Guerin
1971
Tacet


01. Triptik 2 (5:42)
02. Mixage Vert (3:49)
03. Maochat (4:40)
04. Ca Va Lecomte (4:52)
05. BM 37 (1:57)
06. Interminable Hommage À Zaza (4:41)
07. Reflexion 2(5:06)
08. Gaub 71 (8:17)rics

- Jean Guérin / electronics, bass, drums and effects
- Bernard Vitet / Trumpet
- Dieter Guévissler / Double bass
- Jean Paul Rondepierre / Trumpet
- Françoise Achard / Vocals


Founder member of the legendary heavy-acid jazzy collective Ergo Sum, Jean Guérin is a multi-instrumentalist and composer from France. In a relative discretion he published one in solo back in the early 1970. The musical identity is a subtle and original medley of blissed out droning electronica, avant-garde jazz, bizarre cinematic ambiences and electroacoustic experiments. Tacet (1970) has been recently reissued on CD by Elica. Continuously surprising and incorporating a handful of challenging ideas, this release is an absolute must.

This is genuine progressive music in the truest sense of the word. Jean Guérin is a late addition to Prog Archives, and to those of you who feel well-versed in the early French avant-garde scene, I employ you to take a closer look at this marvellous record from 1971. The music here is forerunner to a lot of stuff, pre-dating the whole RIO movement by over a half decade. Originally this was meant for a movie soundtrack, but I honestly think this music deserves to be appreciated in full force - without the add on of moving images. I actually think that would be dangerous, when you are facing this amount of sonic stimuli.

This is Faust at their most electronic experimental, Art Zoyd from the 80s, Flamen Dialis and the Mwandishi band without the groove. Through a strange concoction of trumpet, saxophone, various early synthesizers, double bass, hand drums the odd whispering operatic vocals and bizarre sound effects - Tacet takes you under its wing and dives straight into the unknown. It's highly surreal and wonderfully futuristic. Fumbling around a dark room that measures 4 football fields of "empty" space, it relentlessly comes and goes in pulsating waves of squeaking synth reverberations and nervous brass instruments.

The closest you'll come to this artist sound-wise is probably Igor Wakhévitch, although Guérin incorporates a warmer and jazzier feel. The electronics here sound like birds wandering around picking at the ground in rhythmic sequences. All around these you have the strange embryonic free jazz spectacle of instruments trying to find their way into the beat. Beating around the bush is exactly what this is, now that I think of it! Tireless instruments walking around in a dense fog, now and again giving off the odd sound or trace - as if to say: I'm right here you guys! Swirling around each other like blinded flocks of birds approaching each other like a subtracting vortex of sound - the music somehow comes together to create some of the most original music I have heard in a long while.

This is also a strange strange album, or did I already mention that? Before venturing into a short-lived solo career Guérin was actually a drummer. Bizarrely Tacet has next to nothing gluing it together in terms of rhythms. When they finally decide to appear - they shoot up in the music like muffled bean sprouts - stirring around the sonic motifs rather reluctantly. Other times they work like menacing off- kilter spices on which the ghastly synth shadows perform ritualistic dances of death and darkness. This is what I'd call confused beauty.

If you like your music to sound like it was recorded in a damp cave with dripping water as your sonic wallpaper - oozing around the actual musical content and simultaneously scaring the hell out of your girlfriend, then this album is for you. Most definitely! The watery sound effects as well as these cavernous deep belching droplets of hard hitting fluid - together form an evocative surface on which the shifting moods of jazz play themselves up against. Some tracks here are in fact nothing more than these background effects, and here they are really far away from being just that. Suddenly they grow out of their modulated roles - effervescently transforming into genuine atmospheric music that is unfathomable yet feels so real and compact, that you start wondering whether you can touch it with your bare hands. It's like the middle piece of Pink Floyd's Echoes heavily distorted and highlighted all at the same time.

Tacet is recommended to anyone with but the slightest interest in any of the aforementioned acts, and if you are one of those who investigates the true nature of the early progressive movement and how everything wound up in one big blurry swamp of experimentation - you'll certainly want to check this one out. This is easily one of the most successful true avant-garde releases I have heard in a long time. It throws you into a huge bubble of surrealism where everything is blurry, warped and confusingly beautiful.

Galactic Explorers - 1972 - Epitaph For Venus

Galactic Explorers 
1972 
Epitaph For Venus



01. Lunarscape (17:59)
02. Ethereal Jazz (15:41)
03. Venus Rising (8:08)

- Johannes Lutz / moog, organ
- Holst Seisert / synthesizers, electric piano, effects
- Reinhard Karwatky / synthesizers, percussion, organ


Mindblowing psychoelectronic work with abundant and flowing hypnotic electronic arpeggios (in the genre of Tangerine Dream but less obsessive). The music also features a vast collection of analog synth sounds for some "cosmic", immersive dronescapes. This album announces a turning point in the developpement of progressive electronic music; One of the first "implicit" uses of electronic arppegios in popular music (the reflective, introspective and minimalist "lunarscape"). The result is quite astonshing. It looks like (in a distinctive genre and in a more "simplistic"dimension) to Terry Riley in his extended organ "loops" improvisations (especially in the awesome and trance like "Persian Surgery Dervishes"). "ethereal jazz" investigates abstract electronic loops and rhythms, delivering repetitive "molecular", "atomic" sounds. "Venus Rising" is a dronological investigation with long, linear sytnh chords and a "prehistoric" ambient soundscape. The track ends up with emotional & enigmatic synth chords. A Very organic and stimulating electronic work. I give it 4 starts because it's so closed to the all time classic "Phaedra" (Tangerine Dream). Moreover it was published two years before.

Let's just say that this album really blew me away. Now there's some rumors floating about that this was a '90s London-based fake. The fact that so few copies of the original LP were made and not sold at record outlets doesn't help matters any, with no real solid proof of the album's existence (like a posting of it on the internet). Same goes for all the other titles released on the Pyramid label. The '90s British fakes rumor only came around when these titles were reissued on CD on the Psi-FI label (which was British) in the 1990s, and they didn't come with much more than original album artwork, the tracklisting and personnel listings.

But there's two things making me believe that this is not a hoax: 1: It sounds too authentic to the time period to have been recorded in the 1990s. I am very familiar with the German prog rock, electronic, and Krautrock scene, so this recording is very consistent with those scenes. 2. Galactic Explorers featured Reinhard Karwatky, who, at the time, was also involved in Dzyan, so this is essentially a Dzyan side-project. At least no one disputes the existence of Dzyan. Toby Robinson was the guy behind the Pyramid label, and was also an assistance to Dieter Dierks. Toby also went by the name of The Mad Twiddler and Genius P. Orridge, not to be confused with the coincidentally named Genesis P. Orridge of Throbbing Gristle, whose real name is Neil Andrew Megson. I happen to own original LPs of Birth Control's Plastic People (which features Zeus B. Held, also involved in Temple, another one of those mystery Pyramid releases) and Dzyan's Electric Silence, featuring Reinhard Karwatky, naturally. Both mention Toby Robinson's name, the Birth Control LP also giving him the name of "The Mad Twiddler" and "Genius P. Orridge"). By the way, there were never any autobiographies of Genesis P. Orridge ever residing in Germany and working for Dieter Dierks, so Genesis P. Orridge and Genius P. Orridge were two separate people making me think Neil Andrew Megson (Genesis) named himself after Toby Robinson (Genius).

Galactic Explorers is really nothing like Dzyan, but much closer to Terry Riley's keyboard work like A Rainbow in Curved Air with some early Tangerine Dream, and early Popol Vuh. A lot of the music features this nice pulsing sound that often gives way to some eerie droning sounds. Lots of organ with some synths and electronic effects. I love that 1970s vibe of the album, something I'd seriously doubt I'd detect if this was recorded in 1990s London.

This is truly a great surprise to me, many obscure releases deserve to be that because they aren't that great, or its overhyped. Not this album!

Forty Seven Times It's Own Weight - 1975 - Cumulo Nimbus

Forty Seven Times It's Own Weight 
1975
Cumulo Nimbus
 


01. Weedhopper   
02. March Of The Goober Woobers   
03. 47 Tears   
04. Jig   
05. Halyards   
06. Cumulo Nimbus

Bass – Spencer Starnes
Drums – John Treanor
Piano – Dude Skiles
Saxophone – Paul Ostermayer
Trumpet – Mel Winters


This has been a true collectors item for many years changing hands for silly money (I've been outbid on ebay more times than I care to remember)mainly on the strength of the magnicently titled furiously funky breakbeat and clavinet driven"March of the Goober Woobers".
As you can imagine I was delighted to see it's just been reissued on cd so I snapped one up at Dusty Groove and here it is in its magnificent entirety-all killer no filler!

Funky and free-thinking fusion from the Texas scene of the mid 70s – a great indie album by a group who travelled in the same territory as the soul combo Starcrost! Although American, the work here has some great qualities that remind us of some of the best European fusion from the same time – a sense of soaring, stretching energy – and one that never resorts to too much jamming to carry across its message, and which juxtaposes heavier rhythms with some gentler tunes that really allow the horn parts some wonderful moments! Instrumentation include soprano sax, tenor, trumpet, electric and acoustic piano, and a fair bit of percussion too – all recorded with a great sense of warmth, almost in the mode of some of the best Fantasy Records 70s sessions!

Elektriktus - 1976 - Electronic Mind Waves

Elektriktus 
1976
Electronic Mind Waves


01. Frequencer Departure (7:23)
02. Flying A Day-Break (5:36)
03. First Wave (4:27)
04. Power Hallucination (2:25)
05. Second Wave (5:49)
06. Implosion (5:17)
07. Third Wave (3:42)
08. Flying A Sunset (3:30)
09. Frequencer Arrival (4:26)

- Andrea Centazzo / all instruments


ELEKTRIKTUS have been considered as one of almost forgotten Italian progressive rock project in late 1970s, but currently reappreciated as a cornerstone of Italian progressive electronic scene.

An enthusiastic young musician Andrea CENTAZZO, much immersed into improvised jazz percussion, was in the same time very attracted by the novel electronic music from Germany and England. His enthusiasm could make him purchase his first four track recorder and a couple of primitive analogue keyboards. Andrea got started composing, playing, overdubbing in his studio on the hills of Friuli, just at this moment ELEKTRIKTUS - from the blend of the two words Electronic and Ictus, the name of his first jazz trio - could be born.

ELEKTRIKTUS is the project of one Andrea Centazzo who hails from Italy. "Electronic Mind Waves" was released in 1976. In the liner notes he talks about the times in the early to mid seventies not only in Italy but across Europe where there was this cultural revolution going on. It was a time of riots and extreme political tension.There were bombings and terrorism and in this climate bands would show their support for the left by playing Jazz or Avant- garde music. Certainly the lyrics were also a way to show support as well.They were not going to conform.Andrea immersed himself in all of this between 1973-1977. While he was a free Jazz percussionist he had a great admiration for the Electronics movement, especially with what was going on in Germany. With the money he had earned from being a musician he bought one of the first four track recorders and a couple of primitive analogue keyboards. In the silence of his own studio on the hills of Friuli he started composing, playing and overdubbing. ELEKTRIKTUS was born.The name is a combination of the name of his free Jazz trio (ICTUS) and the word electronic. He talks about the joy he felt in being able to express himself with a new media like the synthesizer.

"Frequencer Departure" is really only one of two tracks where the sequencer is prominant. In fact i'd wondered what i'd got myself into after listening to this first track. It starts off with a door slamming then a car starting and leaving then the sequncers come in and absolutely dominate in a way I hadn't heard before. It does settle right down after 3 minutes as spacey sounds take over and hover.Very atmospheric to the end. "Flying A Day- Break" has these pulsating sounds as these twitterings join in.Some bass guitar also joins in then percussion as it builds. "First Wave" has a dark and eerie vibe to it. Sounds echo before 2 minutes then that earlier soundscape returns as contrasts continue. Great track !

"Power Hallucination" has a good beat to it as spacey sounds and synths help out. A definite favourite. "Second Wave" has this beat with spacey synths.This is the third straight track that is absolutely fantastic. And they keep coming with "Implosion" where we get these spacey sounds that come in waves. "Third Wave" starts with a beat as the synths blow in sounding almost like orchestral strings. "Flying A Sunset" has these almost sparse sequencer sounds but not really in a rhythm as a somewhat dark and spacey atmosphere joins in.That car is back as it pulls up and is shut off as the door is open and closed. "Freequencer Arrival" is the dreamy and spacey closing number.

This was a pleasant surprise to say the least. Love the cover art as well.

Takehisa Kosugi - 1975 - Catch-Wave

Takehisa Kosugi
1975
Catch-Wave


01. Mano Dharma (26:32)
02. Wave Code (22:27)

- Takehisa Kosugi / violin, voice, radio, oscillators



Takehisa Kosugi is an inter-media artist and performer who started his career back in the 60's in Tokyo. With his first band "Group Ongaku"(free anarchist-conceptual improvisations)he was introduced to the Fluxus avant garde movement. During the 70's he was a member of the mystical psychedelic droning rock band "Taj Mahal Travellers". He co-founded the band in 1969. Since the end of the 70's until now he has released several solo albums and commissioned works for events, sound installations. His album "Catch Wave" (1975)is an absolute progressive masterpiece, bringing Takehisa Kosugi's musial talent on territories usually reserved to Kosmic Krautrock.

Takehisa Kosugi - the main member of the mystical and psychedelic Taj Mahal Travellers came up with the goods big style on this release.
Kosugi formed the Japanese equivalent of the Fluxus movement in the early 60's with his 'Group Ongaku' and later went on to create one of my all time favourite bands 'The Taj Mahal Travellers' who would release three brilliant albums in the early 70's. Catch Wave delivers in a similar style.

This completely solo album continues his previous experiments with electronically processed violin using what I imagine must have been pretty expensive equipment back in'75. There are no drums, guitars or bass present, just a swirling melee of highly distorted strings and oscillators creating one of the most unique sounds I've heard.

Track two "Wave Code" introduces vocals into the equation, but they're no ordinary vocals - being subjected to the same incredible distortions as the violin.

Sounding like the best Kosmische Kraut and similar in some respects to Klaus Schulze's 'Irrlicht', only more refined, spacious and less claustrophobic. It's the kind of music you'd expect to hear on a planet orbiting Sirius.

An incredibly fresh sounding recording that hasn't dated one iota which is amazing considering it's now 36 years old.

One of those rare albums of a rather brilliant nature, 1975's 'Catch Wave' found the experimental Japanese electric-violinist Takehisa Kosugi going it alone after his five year stint as head of the similarly-intoned Taj Mahal Travellers. Nicely described by one critic as 'existensial drone music', Kosugi's work both with-and-without group has always been of a very spartan and experimental nature, and about as far from conventional forms of rock & pop as one can really get. A similar touchstone could be the synthesized soundscapes of Klaus Schulze's 1970's albums or the earlier electro- moans of Terry Riley and Steve Reich, yet somehow Kosugi transcends even these stylistic boundaries; truly, there is nothing quite like 'Catch Wave'. Rare is the album that simply cannot be stopped or paused, even for a miscrosecond, yet the quivering, rolling and vibrating strains of Kosugi's phaser-laced violins simply transfix you and take hold, drifting seamlessly along a single unbroken line for what seems like a blissful eternity. Very much like a certain psychotropic experience musicians and artists are known to enjoy, 'Catch Wave' is a pure and dramatic experience of a deeply transcendental nature. Quite extraordinary, utterly engrossing and all consuming.

Various Artists - 1973 - Oz Days Live

Various Artists 
1973
Oz Days Live



01. Miyako Ochi - Part 1 (2:19)
02. Miyako Ochi - Part 2 (2:44)
03. Miyako Ochi - Part 3 (4:57)
04. Acid Seven - Part 4 (4:39)
05. Acid Seven - Part 5 (5:20)
06. Acid Seven - Part 6 (7:09)
07. Minami Masato - Part 7 (2:21)
08. Minami Masato - Part 8 (5:07)
09. Minami Masato - Part 9 (3:48)
10. Minami Masato - Part 10 (8:06)
11. Taj Mahal Travellers - Part 1 (22:35)
12. Les Rallizes Denudes - Part 2 (1:37)
13. Les Rallizes Denudes - Part 3 (7:13)
14. Les Rallizes Denudes - Part 4 (5:06)
15. Les Rallizes Denudes - Part 5 (9:47)


This album is absolutely mindbowing and a productive explosion of weird haunted sounds created by violins, electronic psych dynamics. The two parts are largely improvised and catch the essence of the moment, highly inspired and mystically powerful. The intense assemblage, superposition of sounds work perfectly to offer a huge freak out jam. Ambiences are rather abstract and immersive, revealing a surprising dialectic between Dadaist, surreal motifs (with reminiscences from Fluxus sound installations, happenings), always moving minimalist abrasive / ethereal drones for voices, amplified acoustic instruments and bizarre percussions. Among the coolest weirdest things offered in 70's psych rock and surely the most original Japanese musical association from that era (beyond the kraut rocking Far East Family Band and others). This is devastating "poetical" music against all sort of conformism.

Taj Mahal Travellers - 1998 - Live Stokholm July, 1971

Taj Mahal Travellers
1998 
Live Stokholm July, 1971



101. Live '71, Part One (58:36)

201. Live '71, Part Two (50:43)

- Ryo Loike / electronic contrabass, suntool, harmonia & sheet iron
- Yukio Tsuchiya / vibraphone, suntool
- Michihiro Kimura / electronic guitar & percussion



Recorded on July 1 and 9, 1971 in the geodesic dome at the Utopia & Visions 1871-1981 exhibition at the Moderna Museet in Stockholm, Takehisa Kosugi's Taj Mahal Travellers were the premiere Japanese experimental rock band of the 1970s. The band, heavily influenced by Fluxus, used electronic effects and a host of unusual instruments to create a series of improvised drones. Kosugi went on to become the music director for the Merce Cunningham Dance Company

This album is a discorporated, cerebral dance whose rhythm sounds like six weather Gods emulating the cover of Deep Purple's Fireball by zooming around Silverstone circuit just inches above the track, each urging himself on by making engine noises: 'Eee-oww-urghh-ow!!!!!!!' Opening with Ryo Koike's horizontally played bowed double bass, it's my fave of Taj Mahal Travellers' three releases, better even than the obstinate medication of the first official LP July 15, 1972, because there's twice as much of it.

Meditatively, it's extremely useful too: at the entrance portals of this live record, Ryo Koike uses his bass to invoke phlegm phantoms and cranny demons from the butt walls of Cronosian caverns; conjuring a sound as Biblical as Conrad Schnitzler's bizarre bowed cello on T. Dream's Electronic Meditation. Gradually, hesitatingly, almost imperceptibly, a violin theme installs itself, establishing over the next quarter of an hour clop-clopping hooves of hollow rhythm that conjure up the image of frustrated pastoralists driving their reluctant donkeys around the highest and most precipitous cliff edges, as their valuable cargoes sway and shudder and threaten to come untied at any moment.

Recorded a full year before their first official LP, I think this in concert album is a far better and more confident shamanic statement, for this Stockholm recording melded together all six group members in such a way that no single musician rises from the primal soup long enough to establish his singular muse. The vocal effects are truly stunning, evoking everything from comb-and-paper voices playing Zeus in the sixty-metre deep Dhikhtean Antron to braying cartoon coyotes laughing to their deaths.

Taj Mahal Travellers - 1975 - August 1974

Taj Mahal Travellers
1975
August 1974


101. I
102. II

201. III
202. IV

- Takehisa Kosugi / electric violin, harmonica, voice
- Ryo Koike / electric double bass, suntool, voice
- Yukio Tsuchiya / bass tuba, percussion
- Seiji Nagai / trumpet, synthesizer, timpani
- Michihiro Kimura / voice, percussion, mandoline
- Tokyo Hasegawa / voice, percussion
- Kinji Hayashi / electronics

Guest musician:
- Hirokazu Sato / percussion, voice

Recorded Live On August 19th, 1974 At The Nippon Columbia Studio No.1 In Tokyo, Japan.


This double CD reissues the legendary Tokyo improvisational group's Columbia LP from 1974. Like European experimental ensembles A.M.M. and M.E.V., Taj Mahal Travellers were dedicated to sonic experiments beyond categories of free jazz or avant-garde, and throughout the '60s and early '70s challenged musical norms the world over. Lead by Fluxus member and avant-garde composer Takehisa Kosugi, the ensemble featured instrumentalists Kyo Koike, Yukio Tsuchiya, Beiji Nagai, Tokio Hasegaw, Kinji Hayashi, and Hirokeszu Sato. The group adapted traditional instruments and electronics, yet saw no hierarchy in what could and couldn't be adapted into their battery of experimental instruments. Any number of devices were employed in making this massive and noisy drone piece. Recorded live in the studio, this music adapts methods from avant-garde, electro-acoustic, and ethnic music, and often takes the form of magnificent clouds of treated acoustic sound. The double-CD length is a compelling and thorough retrospective of the group, who recorded just two albums in the '70s. A vital and influential document of the Japanese avant-garde this was a hallowed artifact of the underground for many years. Made available in retrospect, it gives an insight into the early beginnings of an improvisational style which would be of incredible significance to the experimental music of later years.

Originally issued as a double LP with each of the 4 tracks being roughly the same length as the side of a record, August 1974 presents the Taj Mahal Travellers at their most sophisticated. Although their stunning cosmic music was always improvised, the band, formed in 1969 by "six meta-music creators and one electronic engineer" played regularly throughout Japan and eventually found their way to Europe where they met up with avant-garde musicians such as Don Cherry. 1974 would be the band's last official release as they went their separate ways the following year with all but Takehisa Kosugi, leaving music behind them. Each track is distinct from the others, with several beginning with clearly-defined structure before departing into the realms of the abstract, with violin, harmonica, bass, tuba, trumpet and mandolin dueting in a subliminal and obscure manner. "Voices" both subhuman and supernatural, resonate with a universal inner voice.

The Japanese answer to Tangerine Dream's "Zeit". As the most famous German album, it's made of four tracks, one per side of about 20 minutes. The difference is that Taj-Mahal Travellers didn't spend their time in finding exciting title tracks. They are just "Side A" to "Side D".

Very spacey sounds, minimalistic but not dissonant as many psychedelia. So if psychedelia and space rock are two different things, they belong mainly to the second.

Listening to Side A you can imagine astronauts exploring a cave on an outer planet, or an abandoned starship encountered in the deep space. It's a music that could fit very well as soundtrack of a SciFi Thriller movie. Better than "Birth of Liquid Plejades". Something similar to a sitar, God knows what instrument it is, reminds us of the band's name. Also the percussions in the second part of the track add some indo flavours. Close to the end, some elephants or other wild animals scream in the jungle. We have suddenly been transported from Space to Earth, or at least on a planet full of wildlife.

Side B is spacey again. The "elephants" are still present, but the keyboards countinue their travel in the deep space. A string instrument, probably a mandolin takes the role of giving the rhythm if it can be called rhythm. It's a very unusual way to use a mandolin. The other sounds are mainly electronic plus something similar to a didgeridoo (electronic of course). Again, they remind me to Zeit.

Side C opens very low-volume, with percussions still in indian style but with "violins" and bells, too. there are positive sensations. It's like waking up before the day becomes too warm. The Asian flavour permeates the music. Closing my eyes I can see the Indo river flowing...well I didn't take anything, I just like creating mental images when the music is evocative. The bells have also a bit of "Barong" so instead of the Indo it could be a temple in the island of Bali. Then we move north to Tibet. It's like viewing postcards of the Far East. Sometimes it becomes a bit more chaotic, but still very evocative.

Side D starts with didgeridoo and voices, that means electronic sounds, with some percussive noises which lie low in the background. Edgar Froese's "Aqua" is a good reference. This is the base to which sometimes a keyboard adds and removes sounds. We are looking for small variations on a repetitive base. Going to the end, the repetitive base is replaced by percussions and a wind instrument. Here it comes back from space again and fits into psychedelia, but just for a while. The final part of this suite is very Floydian and reminds me to the minimalistic parts of Intertellar Overdrive, Saucerful of Secrets, or also some parts of "More".

Taj Mahal Travellers - 1972 - July 15, 1972

Taj Mahal Travellers 
1972
July 15, 1972





01. The Taj-Mahal Travellers Between 6:20-6:46P.M. (25:36)
02. The Taj-Mahal Travellers Between 7:03-7:15P.M. (11:15)
03. The Taj-Mahal Travellers Between 7:50-8:05P.M. (13:05)

- Takehisa Kosugi / electric violin, harmonica, voice
- Ryo Koike / electric double bass, suntool, voice
- Yukio Tsuchiya / bass tuba, percussion
- Seiji Nagai / trumpet, synthesizer, timpani
- Michihiro Kimura / voice, percussion, mandoline
- Tokio Hasegawa / voice, percussion
- Kinji Hayashi / electronicsa

Notes: This album was recorded at Sohgetsu Hall, Tokyo, Japan, July, 1972.

Michihiro Kimura's credit is actually listed as "electronic quiter".

Originally released on LP by CBS/Sony Inc. [Japan] as catalog number SOLM 1. This is an official reissue sanctioned by Takehisa Kosugi.



Formed by the contemporary "fluxus" artist Takehisa Kosugi, the musical project Taj-Mahal Travellers started various musical improvisations at the end of the 60s. Their two studio albums, respectively published in 1972 and 1974 present a vast collection of sonic interferences, electro-drones and massive spacey/psych improvisations. A pioneering Japanese band with a rather ephemeral career. Since the 70s, Takehisa Kosugi has pursued his career in numerous electro-acoustic essays. His work is closed to 20th avant garde composers (David Tudor, Morton Subotnick...) with some reminiscences from Klaus Schulze and Conrad Schnitzler.

Takehisa Kosugi was a hippie who become an avant-garde composer. Born in Tokyo in 1938, he graduated in 1962 at the Tokyo University of Arts, and then founded the Japanese equivalent of the Fluxus movement, called Group Ongaku, a group devoted to improvisation and multi-media performances. In 1969 he formed the Taj Mahal Travellers, a psychedelic rock group that played lengthy improvised jams that can be summarized in three principles: a far Eastern approach to music as a living organism, an intense electronic processing of instruments and voices, and a semi-mathematical overlapping of frequencies. Basically: La Monte Young on acid. Kosugi mainly played violin. He was on the road with this group between 1971 and 1972, traveling in a Volkswagen minibus from Holland to the Taj Mahal itself. Two albums were made out of that experience: one of them this release

And together the 7 dwarves put their heads together and conjured up an idea on how to construct monumentally colossal and intricate architecture through sound. Working together like small bees, they managed to create an unparalleled string of albums by releasing musical pheromones in the air, seducing and enticing their fellow compatriots to take part in whatever honey-dripping invisible triangular cathedral of the day. And like all bees, the fruit of the labour - the meaning of it all - was to be(e) and fly and build and buzz along with the hive...

Throwing all reviewing manners out the window is probably the best way to go about writing about an album like this anyway...... Imagine a busy beehive trying to perform Tangerine Dream's Zeit inside a huge castle of reverberating iron. That's Taj Mahal Travellers for you! Or maybe a floating sand dune elliptically crashing into an electric signal....on repeat and in different octaves.

The 7 dwarves never go for the easy way out, or maybe they do because it's the only way they can work together? I honestly don't know, but it sure is a thrilling thing to witness. The music is free - completely improvised, as all their other records are. Slow drones that edge their way forth like a bare bellied Sleepy squishing on his stomach through jello and fine sand. Unreal wind instruments like wailing trumpets that sound so frail and longing, you could swear you were listening to a mother elephant mourning the passing of Dumbo and his little mouse friend. A bass tuba that raaaaaws on like a deep pulsating wall of blackness - foxtrotting through the night with the ominous and, at the same time, gentle electronics that have a way of sneaking up on you like shadows from a moving car - the city ninjas.

Over and under this fabulous structure, you get the violin sorcery. Yet another thing that moves in mysterious ways as the good Bono says, only here it moves entirely differently than what you'd expect such a nostalgic and classic instrument to do. It slithers, writhes, drones - creates elliptic circles of sound that never really sound like a violin. It's everything but actually, and come to think of it, the violin itself is probably the best advocate for all the dwarves playing. It deceives you....tricks you into thinking that it's something else. A wonderful kind of betrayal that flusters your senses and makes belief out of everything around it. All of this music is a sweet deceptive veil dropped softly and poignantly on your ears.

Take this out among the stars and watch the universe zoom in on you. Watch them dwarves build pyramid upon pyramid....drifting and floating on the cool winter night. They sparkle and shimmer in the moonlight and make you feel as if you're witnessing things you can't and at some future time will have immense difficulty in explaining to folks who don't believe in the magic power of music that builds structures out of air and can grab you by the throat and heart and soul all at once.