Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Mario Millo - 1979 - Epic III

Mario Millo 
Epic III

01. Life in Our Hands
02. Mary's Theme
03. Quest Theme
04. Harlequin and Columbine (Waltz Theme)
05. Castaway
06. Sogno D'amore (Love in Dreams)
07. Epic III
   a. The Journey
   b. Valley of Music
   c. Musical Passages
   d. Spectrum of Instruments
   e. Wisdom Teacher
   f. Home-Coming
   g. Captured Moments
   h. Retrospect
08. Rebeca (Bonus)

- Mario Millo / all instruments
- Jackie Orszaczky / bass
- Greg Tell / drums
- Peter Kenny / keyboards
- Mark Kennedy / percussion, drums
- David Glyde / saxophones
- Ric Herbert / harmony vocal, choir
- Safanya and Ian Stuart / choir
- Cos Russo / Fender Rhodes
- Laura Chistlett / flute

Tracks 1 to 7 recorded at Windchase Sound, Seven Hills, Sydney, Australia, March/May , 1979

Born to Italian parents in 1955, Mario Millo is an Australian guitar virtuoso, mostly known for his performances with Sebastian Hardie and its reincarnation Windchase from mid- to late-70's.After the disbanding of Windchase Millo collaborated with Jon English for the soundtrack of the TV series ''Against the wind''.In 1979 Millo released on Polydor Records his debut solo album ''Epic III''.On this album Millo is helped among others by ex-Bakery/Syrius bassist Jackie Orszáczky and ex-Spectrum/Ayers Rock drummer Mark Kennedy.The album opens with the Progressive/Fusion 14-min. self-titled epic, where Millo shows off his clear Camel-esque influences with his excellent virtuosic playing, supported by the funky bass lines of Orszaczky and the electric piano of keyboardist Peter Kenny, while at moments he uses the folk notes of his mandolin, actually the first instrument he ever got in hand at the age of five.''Life in Our Hands'' reminds a lot of Millo's days with Sebastian Hardie,Melodic Rock with a memorable chorus, fairly commercial but not cheesy at all, while ''Mary's theme'' is absolutely fabulous with a mix of Symphonic and Canterbury-Fusion style close to Camel and fantastic chords by Millo.''Quest Theme'' is dominated by synths, acoustic guitars, flutes and choirs, creating a pastoral Symohonic Rock experience, but ''Harlequin and Columbine'' is absolutely dull, male and female vocals are blended with dated cinematic orchestrated music, a track totally out of place.The short ''Castaway'' is again in Progressive/Fusion realms with nice guitar work, while ''Sogno D'amore'' closes the album's original version in a very Camel-esque mood with bluesy guitars and orchestrated strings.Millo prooved that he can stand alone easily, delivering a series of outstanding performances on ''Epic III'', though the album is not coherent as a whole and has a light commercial vibe in a couple of tracks.Still,the man belongs to the first league of Progressive Rock guitarists and deserves some more recognition.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Various Artists - 1969 - Music from Free Creek

Various Artists
Music from Free Creek

01. Cissy Strut
02. Freedom Jazz Dance
03. Sympathy For The Devil
04. Mother Nature's Son
05. Road Song
06. Lay Lady Lay
07. Hey Jude
08. He Darked The Sun
09. Earl's Shuffle
10. Getting Back To Molly
11. Cherrypicker
12. Kilpatrick's Disaster
13. Girl From Ipanema
14. No One Knows
15. Living Like A Fool
16. Working In A Coalmine
17. Big City Woman
18. On The Rebound

The recordings, made in 1969, were released in 1973 in England as CADS 101 by Charisma Records and in the U.S. by Buddah Records, as a two-record set. The material was re-released by Charisma in 1976, as Summit Meeting. It was released on CD by Lake Eerie Records in 2002, and re-released by the same company in 2006. The 2006 CD states on its inlay card Digitally Remastered, but there is no other information to support this claim - the CD states only 1973 as production date, with 2006 added as a copyright date.

The Eric Clapton ("King Cool") Session

1. No One Knows
Guitar - Eric Clapton (as "King Cool")
Lead Vocal - Eric Mercury
Organ - Dr. John
Piano - Moogy Klingman
Bass - Stu Woods
Drums - Richard Crooks
The Free Creek Horns* & the Free Creek singers

2. Road Song
Lead Guitar - Eric Clapton
Piano - Dr. John
Lead Vocals - Tom Cosgrove and Buzzy Linhart
Organ - Moogy Klingman
Rhythm Guitar - Delaney Bramlett
Bass - Stu Woods
Drums - Richard Crooks

3. Getting Back To Molly
Guitars - Eric Clapton (1st solo), Dr. John (2nd solo)
Lead Vocal - Earle Doude
Harmonica - Moogy Klingman
Free Creeks Singers*

The Jeff Beck ("A.N. Other") Session

1. Cissy Strut
Guitars - Jeff Beck (1st solo), Todd Rundgren (2nd solo)
Organ - Moogy Klingman
Bass - Stu Woods
Drums - Roy Markowitz
The Free Creek Horns

2. Big City Woman
Guitar - Jeff Beck
Piano - Moogy Klingman
Bass - Stu Woods
Drums - Roy Markowitz
Lead Vocal - Tommy Cosgrove

3. Cherrypicker
Guitars - Jeff Beck, Todd Rundgren
Organ - Moogy Klingman
Bass - Stu Woods
Drums - Roy Markowitz

4. Working in a Coalmine
Guitar - Jeff Beck
Organ - Moogy Klingman, Bob Smith
Bass - Stu Woods
Drums - Roy Markowitz

The Keith Emerson Session

1. Freedom Jazz Dance
Hammond Organ - Keith Emerson
Guitar - Buzzy Feiten
Drums - Mitch Mitchell
Piano - Moogy Klingman
Bass - Chuck Rainey

2. On the Rebound
Piano - Keith Emerson
Guitar - Buzzy Feiten
Bass - Chuck Rainey
Drums - Mitch Mitchell
Occasional Voice - Geri Miller

3. Mother Nature's Son
Piano - Keith Emerson
Acoustic Guitar - Carol Hunter
Oboe - Lou Delgato
String Bass - Richard Davis

The Harvey Mandel Session

1. Sympathy for the Devil
Lead Guitar - Harvey Mandel
Rhythm Guitar - Jack Wilkens
Organ - Moogy Klingman
Piano - Jimmy Greenspoon
Bass - Larry Taylor
Violin - Larry Packer
Drums - Fito de la Parra
Congas - Billy Chesboro
Bongos - Didymus

2. Earl's Shuffle
Lead Guitar - Harvey Mandel
Pedal Steel Guitar - Red Rhodes
Organ - Jimmy Greenspoon
Bass - Larry Taylor
Drums - Fito de la Parra

3. The Girl from Ipanema
Lead Guitar - Harvey Mandel
Pedal Steel Guitar - Red Rhodes
Bass - Larry Taylor
Drums - Fito de la Parra
Shakers - Didymus
Wood Blocks - Earle Doud

Odds & Sods

1. Hey Jude
Lead Guitar - Buzzy Feiten
Organ - Moogy Klingman
Drums - Mitch Mitchell
Bass - Richard Davis
Rhythm Guitar - Elliot Randall
The Free Creek Horns

2. Lay Lady Lay
Flutes - Joe Farrell (solo), Chris Wood
Piano - Moogy Klingman
Guitar - Doug Rodriguez
Bass - Stu Woods
Drums - Roy Markowitz

3. Kilpatrick's Defeat
Lead Vocal - Timmy Harrison
Guitars - Carol Hunter and Buzzy Feiten
Bass - Stu Woods

The Linda Ronstadt Session

1. Living Like a Fool
Lead Vocal - Linda Ronstadt
Guitar - Bernie Leadon
Pedal Steel Guitar - Red Rhodes
Piano - Jimmy Greenspoon
Bass - John London
Drums - John Ware

2. He Darked the Sun
Lead Vocal - Linda Ronstadt
Guitar - Bernie Leadon
Pedal Steel Guitar - Red Rhodes
Piano - Jimmy Greenspoon
Bass - John London
Drums - John Ware
Violin - Chris Darrow

The Free Creek Horns are:
Lou Delgato
Bobby Keller
Meco Monardo
Tom Malone
Lew Soloff
Alan Rubin
Bill Chase

The Free Creek Singers are:
Valerie Simpson
Maretha Stewart
Hilda Harris

Other Credits and Particulars

Music from Free Creek was recorded and mixed in New York City at The Record Plant, June, July & August, 1969

Produced by Earle Doud and Tom Flye
Executive Producer and Musical Director: Moogy Klingman
Engineers: Tony Bongiovi and Jack Hunt
Additional mixes: Keith Emerson and Neil Slaven
Album cover painting by Ronchetti and Day
Album cover design: Hipgnosis

I don't know what was the genesis of this project. The liner notes on the CD and the original vinyl release provide two seemingly preposterous sounding scenarios as to what happened, but one is really true. Sessions like these were commonplace and may have been an offshoot of the plethora of festivals and the feeling of music being the common bond, that good music will come out of these sessions, using musicians from very disparate backgrounds (rock, country, blues, big band, pop - all on the same track). Kinda like what the original idea of progressive rock was intended to be. But, these recordings should not be construed as making this a progressive rock record.

For the most part, the music here has a laid back feel. The musicians are certainly of high caliber, but seemed to have been invited to do a jam session. There is not much polish here and that is the attraction to this release. You have nice vocals by Linda Ronstadt during her country phase of her career. You have credible performances by Keith Emerson, Todd Rundgren, Harvey Mandel, Doctor John, Delaney Bramlett and Jeff Beck with the pseudonym of A.N. Other.

This is a great release to just kick back and listen to. It is not music to take seriously or to analyze. It is pleasant music to enjoy and that may be the whole reason for this music when originally released - just enjoy it.

Given the pedigree of talent, you would have thought that this record would have been heavily marketed. It wasn't for whatever reason and quickly found it's way to the cut-out bins, where I found my copy. Don't wait till that happens again. It went out of print quickly and it may do it again just as quick.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Het Pandorra Ensemble - 1978 - III

Het Pandorra Ensemble

01 Door mekaar (10:33)
02 Kanon pittoresk (11:11)
03 Ritme 7000 (2:35)
04 Drei (4:58)
05 Karotten (15:27)
06 Improv 'Stille Willie' (6:41)
07 Kanonjam-pedaal kwijt (2:04)
08 Improv 'Rockin' Rollie' (8:19)
09 Kaas! (12:00)
10 Oude & Spaanse Kaas (1:30)
11 Karrottentokkel (2:42)
12 Die Sterveloze Melodie (1:33)

Gert-Jan Blom (bass)
Roland Brunt (flute)
Jean Eble (drums)
Dolf Planteijdt [aka Dolf] (guitar)
Wouter Planteijdt (guitar)
Wilfrid Snellens (drums)

This album was recorded in 1978, Released in 1979, and in 1980 copies were given away with the political magazine "Gramschap" (10th edition)

Tracks 1 - 6: Original Album, Mixed By Dolf and Wouter Planteijdt & Sasa Tozzi, Exterveen 1978.
Tracks 6 - 8: Unreleased Outtakes, Mixed By Dolf and Wouter Planteijdt, Amsterdam 2011.
Tracks 9 - 12: Recorded live on September 30, 1978, in Alpha, Beverwijk on 2-track 1/4" reel-to-reel. Restored by Dolf Planteijdt. Amsterdam 2011.

It's a bit hard to believe this music is from 1978. Where the album lands is somewhere between progressive rock(with some mild jazz influence and avant-garde sympathy) and post-punk. There're some problems with consistency, since the middle section has some shorter stuff(also mellower) that should've been shorter(pun-intended). My favorite off this unusual album is the first track.

From the openings chords i can hear clear Canterbury influences, reminiscent of National Health's albums from the same year. These moments are abruptly disrupted in a manner which almost remind me of unplugging a cable. What ensues are like the existential hesitations of the likes of Joy Division, with the melancholic melody on the back while the bass-line keeps soloing away; creating an atmosphere of anxious preoccupation that lasts quite a while; until it eventually ends with a King Crimson'like guitar wail that sounds like smashing a mirror. They've contrasted the melodic aspect of post-punk/jazz with King Crimson's fuzzed paranoia(two guitarists btw), and this combination is working like a charm - abandoning the old prog redundancy - the band is already embracing the future. There's material for you math-rock geeks as well. Check out the crazy, jazzy section and the end of the second track, all of these strange stops-accelerations and often dissonant, distorted chords coalesced with their melodic counterpart. Excellent production as well - their great bass player is always audible in the mix and the dynamic drum fills are even better. I'm very surprised to hear such a strong mix from an obscure band.

A very interesting album for that year, give them a shot if you'd like to have a vague idea how a progressive Robert Fripp would've sounded in 78'. The reissue has some great bonus material as well.

This CD reissue on Modulus (USA) is a beautifully packaged gatefold mini-LP, with incredible sound, tons of bonus material, a history, photos, etc... A stunning package - as gorgeous as any Japanese mini-LP. It's worth noting that the original is a single sleeve, so this is an improvement in that category as well.

What's even more amazing, is the bonus tracks are even better! Same style of improvised melodic dissonance (how's that for an oxymoron), but perhaps a bit more focused than the album proper. Rare is the case where the bonus tracks exceed the original product.

Ma Banlieue Flasque - 1979 - Ma Banlieue Flasque

Ma Banlieue Flasque
Ma Banlieue Flasque

01. 13'20 d'happiness 10:20
02. N.S.K. 7:00
03. H.B.H.V. 5:10
04. Aller-retour Les Grésillons 7:55
05. Un soir 5:00

Philippe Maugars (guitar, vocals)
Marc Ledevedec (guitar)
Philippe Botta (flute, saxophone)
Loïc Gautier (bass)
Christian "Chypo" Cheype (drums, vocals)

A French quintet playing varied music reminiscent of Zappa's humoristic style, Moving Geltaine Plates and Komintern and genres such as fusion, Canterbury, with a dash of craziness and fooling around. The mix end result makes this a very enjoyable listen. This is why this will appeal to fans of jazz-rock, RIO, Canterbury and to those who like their music to travel between all those.

The lineup consists of Philippe Maugars on guitar and vocals, Marc Ledevedec on guitar, Loic Gautier on bass, Christian "Chypo" Cheype on drumms and vocals, and Philippe Botta on flute and saxophone. The vocals themselves are sometimes sang and sometimes more in a narrative style and always playful or with good mood.
They only released one s/t album in 1979 and there were rumors of Musea re-issuing it in 2005, but nothing came out of it, but it is worth to be on the lookout for it.

Good humor, cheerful atmosphere, uplifting and amusing. That can pretty much sum this up but still not give it proper credit for the band’s creativeness.
It would seem they were having fun while recording this. I can picture them smiling while playing this. The singer sounds as if he’s about to laugh at certain points, and the different vocals he’s employing, some of them deliberately odd and squeaky, emphasize the good mood and humour embedded in this album. Not only the vocals and lyrics, but the music itself tells you that this album is about goofiness, having a good time, and enjoying the tunes, and not at the expense of the music. This attitude towards the music, not entirely bereft of the theatrical aspect that I often hear in French rock-progressif though not as prominent, reminds me a but of the deliberate foolishness of Komintern’s Le Bal Du Rat Mort and of course one can hear the Zappa-esque characteristics and influences as well. Moreover, the first track is called 13’20 d’happiness; what more evidence do you need?
But don’t think the humor comes at the expense of the music; not at all. There are fabulous melodies, great rhythm and good musicianship and instrumentation. The sax and flute bring a nice contrast to the frisky guitars which seem to have a ball. There is good variation in terms of style; from rock forms (whether progressive or not) to fusion, avant-rock/experimental and even some blues thrown in there and the ever present French charm and theatrical style. It is happy, joyous and fun - A great listening experience. It may not be the most original, but the way they mix all their influences is efficient.

While not a straightforward avant-rock album, this is quite the experimental album that would please listeners of avant-rock/RIO and also those who like Jazz-rock and Canterbury or alternatively fans of Frank Zappa, Komintern, Moving Gelatine Plates and other like-minded eccentric, experimental and humorous bands and musicians.

Protocol has it, if a band exults a work till the point of artistry (and, to embrace the warm idea, produces a splendid spark of progressive rock), that band is either rare and obscure, either a popular group with a very unusual and unexpected release - it can also have a special sound or rather contemplate an overdoze of a musical vision, fit a peculiar/particular frame of styles or swipe the floor with the competition.
Ma Banlieue Flasque is typical for the first category (in each case). However of a rare goody, an atypical flavor, an insensible grandeur and an unspectacular energy their music would appear, it is still a well-spotted, heavy, curious and upside-down trendy act, close to perfect for those who see in prog rock a hobby of sizes, a real treat and a place for pure art trying to be born out of rock. Their fizzy and snappy moment is not even part of prog rock's beginning cult, but rather of its ending years of classic jubilation, performing with much of the expanded, vulturous, emphasized or honest progressiveness, while a second style of post-modern sounds or strange jamming is also part of their view. There's only one album to prove their worthiness, and despite that the rock quintet didn't start nor ended their rock life with it, everything focuses on the album and how it can enchant. Ma Banlieue Flasque pretty much play all their cards with this short one-off project.

Even if a rather bolted choice of heavy music, Ma Banlieue Flasque is yet far from a mash of emotions and unbearable rock, the same thing going for the pleasure of listening what looks like a more critic-oriented composition. Admirable, at least for me, is that the influence taken from the RIO/Avant classic courses (apparently Zappa was a great inspiration and a musician to be improvised for them) doesn't trim the feeling of a prog rock classic beat, meaning, on one hand, that there are other artists doing a more extorted or impossible to describe art out of their music (most being RIO-ists or crazy Zeuhlists), and that, on the other hand, a few elements (like the ragged dark-bass tone or the cool-headed improvisation of symphonic, art rock, avant and jazzy chords) keep the album's special warmth inside the culture of pure and artistic, only dependent on difficulty and curiosity rock. For such a reason the links with Gentle Giant or Van der Graaf Generator sound promising, even if it doesn't mean a proper comparison. The music is, essentially, a lot freer and unbounded upon listening, it only stays of a fuzzy virtuosity.

The five musicians impress not by a cleansing emotion, but by a staggering energy (called "fooling around" whenever it lacks rigorousness), leaving the music a bit impure, yet more loaded. The thrills of a special sound, like the mellow one created by the saxophone or the flute, alternates with the pressured high strung of the usual instruments, like the firing drums, the serious drums or the well-dozed bass. A bit of the sound and the music is hard to categorize, otherwise there is a lively special approach of music, rock and post-modern tensions. Ledevedec's and Maugars's electric guitar spectacle is one thing, whilst the delicacy of a few acoustic hidden harmonies is touching. The vocals are not stunning (nor too important), but give an air to the rest of the whirlpool jam.

Ma Banlieue Flasque lasts under 40 minutes, with a treacherous and unequal epic being anyway supreme in comparison with the rest of the album (the four pieces left are from light to dissonant and clothed), is intense and creative, and proves a pleasant model in combining the more unusual prog rock with the complex character of an artistic sensibility and the cold ambiance of a dynamic chromatic.

This band's rare pearl isn't perfect, neither sensational (for the masses), but feels a lot like an obscure record with an authentic sound of hard-worked rock. Turning a harsh strip of difficult listening into impressive music, solid art and veracious prog, Ma Banlieue Flasque's fumigating underground realization is, nolens volens.

M.O.T.U.S. - 1972 - Machine Of The Universal Space

Machine Of The Universal Space

01. Let It Get Higher    3:38
02. Summer Song    3:33
03. Ba'Albeck Stone    3:37
04. Out In The Open    3:47
05. Green Star    3:19
06. Tiahnanaco Road    3:07
07. Aledebarente    4:52
08. Mesopotamie Natale    5:38
09. Proxima    2:40

Ian Jelfs - guitar, lead vocal
Michel Coeuriot - organ, keyboards, vocal, percussion
Gilles Papiri - bass guitar, percussion
Philippe Combelle - drums, percussion

 Psych Jazzy Prog (France), Original release 1972. Feat. Ian Jelfs , future member of french prog group "Alice". Prog rock with jazz influences. In some tracks you can here strong influences of early Caravan. Some guitar parts are in style of early Allan Holdsworth playing. Great Hammond organ sounds in classic rock style. Guitar and vocalist play before (with Mell Collins) in legendary Circus band.

M.O.T.U.S. were a French progressive band that had a very English sound, due largely to the fact that they had an English singer in Ian Jelfs (formerly of the UK band Circus). Their material was heavish, with quite a few jazzy chord progressions and guitar parts. To be honest with you, their material was pretty good, but nothing to get all that excited about, and their sound was maybe like a cross between early Caravan (with the organ style) and some of the more "rock-based" Vertigo acts.

The only album from the Frech progressive quartet (inc. one British member) appeared on the market in 1972 (on a small Connection label) and featured English lyrics sung by Ian Jelfs - former guitarist of the UK progressive rock formation Circus (of Mel Collins fame). This rare album will certainly delight the majority of fans of early Caravan, Traffic and Brian Auger's Trinity (circa 1970) - with dominant and powerful Hammond organ sounds; tight rhythm section and impressive, jazzy guitar licks (somewhat similar to Allan Holdsworth and Robert Fripp). This LP doesn't contain any fillers and certainly belongs to the top of the early 70's French progressive rock. This CD has been carefully remastered (from original source) and sounds deliciously!

Masami Kawahara & The Exotic Sounds - 1970 - Ecstasy

Masami Kawahara & The Exotic Sounds

01. Temptation
02. Black Orpheus
03. Taboo
04. Jungle Drums
05. Swahili
06. Man & Woman
07. A Coral Reef Of The Noon
08. Nightingale
09. The Voodoo
10. Flamingo
11. Emiliano Zapato
12. Poinciana

Bass - Masaoki Terakawa
Drums - Akira Ishikawa
Flute, Saxophone - Kosuke Ichihara
Leader - Masami Kawahara
Saxophone - Jake H. Concepcion
Trumpet - Koji Hatori
Vibraphone - Mitsuo Yamashita

Originally released on Columbia Records in March 1970. Sleevenotes contain an interview with Masami Kawahara.

I think the word "exotica" got mistranslated as "erotica" in Japan. That's the only explanation for this record which sounds like a woman getting whipped and spanked with a Les Baxter LP playing in the background.

The Tiliqua label is back, and not soon enough for these ears let me tell you. Since last year's explosion of 1960's classic Japanese porn-star albums I've been so sexually frustrated I've had to spend most pre-work mornings phoning into television helplines to vent my pent-up anger and desire for Japanese starlets with guns, so it comes as something of a relief to see Tiliqua return to this much sought-after blue series. This particular disc comes to us from the very capable stable of Masami Kawahara, not a name which might ring any bells instantly with you - but you might like to know that this was the same insane brain who was behind the very awesome and highly acclaimed Ike Reiko album (still to our mind the best in the Tiliqua catalogue, and now long sold out). So you should know what to expect if you managed to bag that little gem of a release, this is prime quality Japanese porn-jazz, with some Latin-flecked funk edits featuring a very saucy young lady moaning over the top. In the liner notes M.Kawahara reminisces that he doesn't remember who the girl was, but says when she had to moan she was touched or petted on cue - now that sounds like hard work eh? The funniest thing is that some of these tracks are actually totally insane, take the fourth track (it has a name in Kenji so please don't ask me to write it out) for example, all tribal drums and fractured synthesizers as our protagonist comes to a rather violent orgasm (amidst some whooping and chanting from what sounds like a cannibal filled jungle). This is utterly crackers stuff and for crate diggers, people searching for something totally unusual or those of you looking to get past the readers wives section of Razzle, this should be just the ticket. It's like Martin Denny's incredible "Exotica" series, except with some carnal activity going on in the background - how genius. Well I love it, and since we only have limited copies in stock you'd better act quickly if you want to bag one. Oh, and did we mention the gorgeous vinyl-reproduction Japanese packaging? Essential Purchase!

Jean-Jacques Perrey - 1971 - Moog Sensations

Jean-Jacques Perrey
Moog Sensations

01. The Percolator    
02. Moog Sensations    
03. Aérolithe Alpha    
04. Ballet Intersidéral    
05. Borborygmus    
06. One Zéro Zéro    
07. Chronophonie    
08. Coeur Synthétique    
09. Berceuse Pour Un Bébé Robot    
10. Indicatif Spatial    
11. Pizzicato Pour Vénus    
12. One Two Two    
13. Music    
14. La Panthère Cosmique    
15. Soirée Chez Jean-Sebastien    
16. Quand Le Temps Sera Venu    
17. Colonie Céleste    
18. La Tour Pointue    
19. Relaxation    
20. Moogie Boogy

The reissue of this record got only credited to Jean Jacques Perry. The original record ist credited to Pat Prilly, his daughter, who wouldn’t compose but give him ideas and play things on her organ so he gave her credit on those song. Also a legal background (like him signed to another label that time) is possible for giving credits to her.

The moog fad wasn't all-kitsch. This album by the master Jean-Jacques Perrey is definitely outside the range of cheap interpretations on Moog of various genres started by Switched-On Bach. This is full-grown art on Moog, it's still quite "ridiculous" and probably only interesting for fans of Moog, but it consists of all-original compositions - and surprisingly good too. You'd be surprised to hear track 2, "Moog Sensations", sounds a lot like "Percolator" from Emperor Tomato Ketchup, song which is named after track 1 of this album, "The Percolator". Or after an instrument with the same name... Who cares? Anyways, if you're new to Moog music, like myself, you'll find lots of motivating gigs here. Songs like "La Panthere Cosmique" are actually really great!

Jean-Jacques Perrey - 1970 - Moog Indigo

Jean-Jacques Perrey
Moog Indigo

01. Soul City
02. E.V.A.
03. Rose and the Cross
04. Cat in the Night
05. Flight of the Bumblebee
06. Moog Indigo
07. Gossipo Perpetuo
08. Country Rock Polka
09. Elephant Never Forgets
10. 18th Century Puppet
11. Hello, Dolly!
12. Passport to the Future

Moog Indigo is the eighth solo album by electronic music pioneer Jean-Jacques Perrey. It was released in 1970 on Vanguard Records, an independent label. The ninth song, a cover of Beethoven's Turkish March called "The Elephant Never Forgets", was used as the theme song for El Chavo del Ocho.

Contrary to what some might expect, the title track bears no resemblance to the jazz standard "Mood Indigo"; in any case, the intended pun wouldn't work as "Moog" is a Dutch name hence its vowel sound is quite close to that in the English "vogue"

If you like the early, shinybubbly moog synth sound, you might like this. Don't expect any masterful compositions, however: tracks like Elephant... and Puppet... trade on the novelty of the sounds rather than any satisfying compositional quality. And the absurdity of Hello Dolly and Bumblebee is good for only a single hearing; even the classic EVA wears out its welcome fairly quickly. If you're really keen on Perrey check out the Best Of available on import from the UK

Jean-Jacques Perrey - 1968 - The Amazing New Electronic Pop Sound Of Jean Jacques Perrey

Jean-Jacques Perrey 
The Amazing New Electronic Pop Sound Of Jean Jacques Perrey

01. Mary France
02. The Little Ships
03. Island in Space
04. The Mexican Cactus
05. Porcupine Rock
06. The Little Girl From Mars
07. Mister James Bond
08. Frère Jean Jacques
09. Brazilian Flower
10. In the Heart of a Rose
11. The Minuet of the Robots
12. Four, Three, Two, One
13. Gypsy in Rio

In 1968, the happiest music of all human history was created by a small, balding, middle-aged frenchman called Jean-Jacques Perrey. Now, there's no objective way to measure this but frankly if you disagree you're probably Queen Victoria - and she's dead AND a monarch so her opinion really doesn't count. The Amazing New Electronic Pop Sound of Jean-Jaques Perrey is, surprisingly, an early electronic pop album by the aforementioned, consisting of fairly primitive synthesisers - mainly, I think, the now legendary Moog (it's pronounced like mohg, people!) synthesiser along with an ondioline - and backed by a reasonably traditional band. Although his use of the synthesiser to create cheerful sounds and noises is pretty enchanting, it's the way that the new technology is applied to the music that makes this album shine. The combination of originals and covers of popular tunes are transformed into an odessey of aural delight by Perrey's imaginative use of his instruments.

Here's a little trivia break - isn't it strange that one of his songs (The Little Ships) became something on an internet sensation thanks to the wonderfully goofy short animation Going to the Store?

Pretty much every track on this flight of musical fantasy is an utter joy to listen to, but there are a few real stand-outs that are particularly lovely. Obviously The Little Ships is up there thanks to the bizarre effects throughout the song and the infectious melodies, but tracks like The Little Girl from Mars, Frere Jean-Jaques and Brazilian Flower are all perfect expressions of happiness via music. In every note there is a potential smile, in every song the seed for a good day. This album is the wonder and excitement of a child seeing something new, it's the feeling when the first day of summer really is a wonderful day, it's every heartfelt gift you've ever given or recieved, it's being smiled at by a pretty stranger in a coffee shop - in short, this album could be the soundtrack to everything good, joyous and fun in the world.

Perfection is more or less irrelevant, but happiness isn't, and The Amazing Pop Sound makes me happy every time.

Jean-Jacques Perrey - 1962 - Musique Electronique Du Cosmos

Jean-Jacques Perrey 
Musique Electronique Du Cosmos

01. The Alien Planet
02. In First Orbit
03. Music Of The Planets
04. Space Light
05. Intercelestial Tabulator
06. Mars Reflector
07. Aqua Density
08. Caverns In Deep Sea
09. Cybernauts
10. Saturnian Bird
11. Andromeda Calling
12. The Saturn Ambassador
13. Spatial Blues
14. Barnyard In Orbit
15. Chicken On The Rocks

Jean-Jacques Perrey’s extremely rare 1962 library music album Musique Electronique du Cosmos (only 500 copies were pressed)

What starts off as a fairly standard collection of space soundscapes ( if there is such a thing ) gets progressively weirder and weirder with "Saturnian Bird" and "Barnyard In Orbit" in particular raising eyebrows. Being a Jean-Jacques record there is plenty of electronic experimentation underpinning all the quirkiness and the tracks are kept nice and tight with the longest one clocking in at 2 mins 22 secs. While there isn't anything especially groundbreaking on this 1962 release, I'm sure it will please the fans along with anyone who enjoys a bit of space themed music.

Jean-Jacques Perrey - 1960 - Mr. Ondioline

Jean-Jacques Perrey 
1960 -
Mr. Ondioline

01. Parade des soldats de bois
02. Gavotte des vers luisants
03. Le siffleur et son chien
04. Nola

Enjoy the vacuum tube-y goodness of the Ondioline as demonstrated by its best known ambassador and salesman, the legendary Jean-Jacques Perrey under the guise of his rather sinister looking alter ego Mr. Ondioline from this 1960 French E.P.

Jean-Jacques Perrey (born January 20, 1929, France)

Synthesized sound appears in just about every form of music today, and most of us take for granted how the range of synthetically possible sounds have joined the ranks of instruments. At one point, synthesizers were a big novelty, and folks were amazed at how closely the sound resembled the real thing. Along with several other pioneers, Jean-Jacques Perrey took synthetic sounds from a parlor trick in mimicry to a versatile instrument capable of producing previously unheard sounds, which has developed into the range of genres of electronic music we hear today. With Perrey having just celebrated his 84th birthday, we look back on a career that spans five decades.

Perrey was in medical school when he first met Georges Jenny, inventer of the Ondioline. A precursor to the machinery of today, this proto-synth could emulate the the sounds of several instruments and allowed the player to control the vibrato by physically moving the key surface. This made it possible to truly humanize the sounds, and if played right, became almost indistinguishable from the real thing. And Perrey played it right. So deeply did Perrey believe in the potential of this instrument that he became a sales rep for Jenny and traveled around promoting the Ondioline, largely through demonstrations. These demos, with Perrey playing the piano and the Ondioline simultaneously, became wildly popular and ended up becoming a touring nightclub act in Europe. He eventually brought his act to the US, where he broke the Ondioline to new audiences.

Perrey’s profile rose, and he began working with musicians like Charles Trenet, Django Reinhardt, and, at the height of her career, Edith Piaf. As a big supporter of Perrey’s work, she provided him with recording facilities, which he used to create music by splicing and rearranging sections of tape, a process now known as “sequencing” and conducted on a screen using software. The results were remarkable experiments in yet unheard sounds, and Piaf sent one of these tapes to music contractor Carroll Bratman, who immediately invited Perrey to come to New York. Here, Perrey found a new set of collaborators like percussionist Harry Breuer, Andy Badale, and Billy Goldberg, doing both creative and commercial work. It was when he linked up with Gershon Kingsley that Perrey created the work that truly demonstrated the potential of electronic instruments, and the music that he would be most celebrated for.

At the time, Kingsley was an arranger for Vanguard Records and began working with Perrey’s abstract tape loops, combining them with more conventional musical arrangements of the time. Their first album together, The In Sound From Way Out (1966)(not to be confused with the Beastie Boys album of the same name), made Perrey’s experimentalism a bit more accesible, augmented with Kingsley’s arrangements. Yet, the music palpably broke new ground with the types of sounds included in the compositions—cartoonish bleeps and boops that would become Perrey’s signature. His work with Kingsley influenced his later solo work, maintaining the odd pallet of sounds but also maintaining somewhat of a conventional aesthetic.

Perrey continues to release music and engage in collaborations that keep him with the times, working with artists like Luke Vibert, Dana Countryman, and David Chazam, in recent years.

Breuer & Perrey -1970 - The Happy Moog

Breuer & Perrey
The Happy Moog

01. Space Express
02. Short Circuit
03. Paris 2079
04. In a Latin Moog
05. Moog Foo Young
06. Re-Entry to the Moon
07. Saturn Ski Jump
08. In a Happy Moog
09. Blast-Off Country Style
10. March of the Martians

Harry Breuer
Jean-Jacques Perrey

C'mon get happy.  But can music really isolate "happy", when it means so many different things to different people?  Well sure it can.  Grab a Moog, and imagine Martians have invaded what I think we can all agree when our collective subconscious was most happy - our great-grandparents' childhoods.  Join the oompah parade of old-timey crap like parasols, all-day suckers, unicycles, and cultural stereotypes ("Moog Foo Young", anyone?), and get giddy already.  It's an ongoing, jokey vaudevillian pie-throwing farce - with the punchline in its 1970 liner notes:  "The world needs love, and this Moog Synthesizer can get with the heart and flowers scene like crazy."  Eh?  The senile or the pre-pubescent maybe, but I hope they didn't actually market this to flower children.

Dan Mândrilă - 1980 - Alter Ego

Dan Mândrilă 
Alter Ego

01 - La Sezatoare
02 - Valsul Mariei
03 - Contemplatie
04 - Joc De Doi
05 - Jucarii Pentru Linda
06 - Balada
07 - Sonet
08 - Poveste Veche

Dan Mindrila: Sax
Radu Goldis: Guitar
Nicolae Farcas: Trombone
Ion Baciu Jr.: Keyboards
Idu Barbu: Synthesizer, Strings
Dan Dimitriu: Bass
Marian Toroimac: Drums
Costin Petrescu: Percusion
Bogdan Dimitriu: Piano

Dan Mândrilă  (b. 1938 , Chisinau - died December 31 1992 ) was a saxophonist , clarinetist , band leader and composer Romanian of jazz and pop music . It is considered one of the best Romanian saxophonist of all time.

Graduated from the Conservatory "Porumbescu" of Bucharest, Mândrila joined Electrecord Orchestra in 1963. With this orchestra toured the GDR, FRG, Finland, Sweden, Poland etc.. He participated in festivals in Ploiesti, Sibiu, Prague, San Sebastian, etc.. In 1970 he was elected member of the East European All Stars Big Band.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Jean-Pierre Decerf & Mike Baroty - 1977 - Publipot& Mike Baroty - 1977 - Publipot

Jean-Pierre Decerf & Mike Baroty

01. The Sea Spell    2:30
02. Gladsome Moments    2:15
03. Phantasm In The Night    2:25
04. The Conquering Heroes Goes On    1:50
05. A Sidereal Form    2:25
06. Eternal Beyond    3:05
07. Brain Project    3:10
08. Musing On Children    1:55
09. The Madman Run Around    2:45
10. Brazilian Ballad    2:20

Still in the year 1977, Decerf released another album on CAM (this time with M. Baroty as his collaborator), entitled Publipot.  It is an outrageous, dizzying delight in the same vein as the previous two, and no less great.  Publipot is amazing.

The opening track, "Sea Spell", is another in Decerf's series of seaside sublimities – and one of the very best at that, innocent, nostalgic, and utterly mysterious, with its rolling waves, burbling sound effects, and building harpsichords.  Every other track is a knockout (except perhaps the clownish "Musing on Children", which is still very good).  I won't go over them all, but I'll single out a few: "Gladsome Moments" is another riff on the "Black Safari" structure, a little less distinguished than the other two but still great.   "Phantasm in the Night" is pretty amazing; I don't want to seem unimaginative, but it actually really does sound the way Phantasm looks, at least at the film's best moments – sort of a baroque, other-dimensional horrorscape.  "Brain Project", is about what you'd expect at this point, big synth washes, pastoral seaside evocations, and stubby little organ notes counterpointing long eerie ones.  It's wonderful.

The closer is "Brazilian Ballad", one of my all-time favorite tracks, a transcendent piece where Decerf's compositional and aesthetic tendencies (at their best here) are brilliantly juxtaposed against a weird Brazilian rhythmic structure.  The result is a surprisingly affecting, wistful composition full of beauty and nostalgia and deep undercurrents of melancholy.

Jean-Pierre Decerf & Gérard Zajd - 1977 - Out of the Way

Jean-Pierre Decerf & Gérard Zajd 
Out of the Way

01. Sight on the Sea
02. Spatial Feeling
03. Make Believe Advance
04. Reaching Infinite
05. Throbbing Number
06. Black Safari
07. Dreams in the Wind
08. Funkadelic Again
09. Fourth Level
10. On the Tenter
11. Static Man

Jean-Pierre Decerf: Keyboards
Gerard Zajid: Guitars

The same year 1977, Decerf did another LP (in collaboration with Gérard Zajd, at least for all but two tracks) for the CAM label called Out of the Way.  I don't know which came first (I've heard it was this one, in fact, but I can't be sure), but there's substantial overlap between the two.  Out of the Way opens with "Sight on the Sea", followed by "Spatial Feeling", and also features "Dreams on the Wind" and, yes, "Black Safari."  So the deck is stacked in its favor from the get-go, but it's not just another LP with those great tracks on it.  It's essential in its own right, and every track is a winner.  "Make Believe Advance" is another great slab of Hansson-esque psych (it would fit right in on his Lord of the Rings album); "Reaching Infinite" recycles the rhythm from "Black Safari" for a more sci-fi colored iteration and ends up sounding like unusually good video game music, but with a really unexpected, awesome surf guitar; "Funkadelic Again" is another superb drum-machine&psych guitar workout; "Fourth Level" is synth with a glaring spaceship gleam until it's interrupted, as though by Flash Gordon's more earthy Earth-ways, by a gritty guitar solo; and "On the Tenter" and "Static Man" are slightly unhinged little cityscapes, overcaffeinated slices of demented movie music.  It's one of the absolute best LPs in the Library universe.

Magical Ring - 1977 - Light Flight - More and More

Magical Ring 
Light Flight - More and More

01. Light Flight 3:22
02. Fire Zone 3:55
03. Sight on the Sea 2:29
04. Dreams in the Wind 2:13
05. Spatial Feeling 3:56
06. More and More 3:27
07. No Words 3:25
08. Black Safari 3:14
09. Wakemania 2:59
10. Touch as Much 2:38

Jean-Pierre Decerf: Keyboards
Gerard Zajid: Guitars

Produced for Chicago 2000 & Pema Music
Recorded at J.P. DECERF private studio and mixed at: OLYMPIC SOUND STUDIOS - London.

Like a lot of the Library Records, especially ones that have no reissues, there is little to no information about this album, its context and the artists or musicians themselves.
What we do know is that this is a French release led by Keyboard/Moog player Jean-Pierre Decerf, who is renowned amongst experimental/electronic music fans, for his spacey, Kraut-Rock style electronic mixes.
Along side Decerf, guitarist Gerard Zajid, who has teamed up with Decerf on previous releases, plays a Progressive Rock style guitar (similar to that of Dave Gilmour). A great blend of exciting electric guitars meets the spacey sounds of the moog/keyboards makes this a very rich and engaging listen.

Though, still an obscurity of sorts, its one of the more well known Library Records released from this period. Though the music is fantastic, ’Light, Flight and More and More’ is probably quite memorable because of the lovely cover art on the sleeve too.

The the deeper you venture into the disorienting world Library music, the more you start to recognize particular names beginning to emerge from the vague mists of anonymity, pseudonymity, and mystery.  Jean-Pierre Decerf is one such figure whose name begins to call attention to itself through repetition and excellence.  Once his name is in your head as "one to look out for," his ouvre reveals a pattern of distinguished and sublime works.  Some of the best music in the Library canon belongs to Decerf, but despite this, I confess I know very little of the man; but such is often the case with these subterranean wizards, these luminaries without awards, these marvelous librarians.

Today we'll have a look at some of Decerf's better LPs, starting with the delightful Light Flight/More and More, a Chicago 2000-label Library record credited to "Magical Ring." Somewhat uniquely, Light Flight/More and More seems to adopt a vague impression of a 1970's prog/psych album (hence the fake-ish band name).  Decerf is credited as the composer of all the tracks here, with an additional collaborator or two (from a stable of six total) listed for each one as well.  While it's not exactly a true psych concept album, it actually does pull off something of a cohesive effect, making it one of those special Library efforts that insists on its album-ness (rather than serving as a repository of grab-bag selections for you to sift and pick from), and truly rewards a straight-through listen.   Of course, it helps that all the compositions have Decerf's distinctive stamp, and that they're almost uniformly excellent.

The album opens with the truly unique and odd "Light Flight", a very Decerf-y synthscape with a lumbering Pink Floyd bassline (straight from Meddle, really) and some basic gnarly electric guitar, all ruled over by a deep intoning voice, vampyrically delivering lines like "Yet, in such a brand new discovery, my mind aches... it lingers through the night... the earth and the mysteries of a brand new GALAXY."  This befuddling vocal figure is backed up by Deep Purple-esque rock-harmonizing, painting vague apocalypticisms of "visions of white horses" and other such things (most of which I can't make out at all).  It's a great, almost hilarious, opener; and perhaps not so surprisingly, it's actually a lot better and weirder than most of whatever it's pastiching or drawing its influences from.  One of the greatest pleasures of Library music is the way it seems to present dimension-X versions of fairly conventional music idioms, weird dark mirrors of the familiar.  "Light Flight" sounds like someone shot Uriah Heep through a wormhole and just recorded whatever doppelgangers came back out again.

The next track is "Fire Zone", a very krauty drum machine/ripping guitar duet with an unmistakable "movie music" vibe (quite similar to Irmin Schmidt's Filmmusik).  "Sight on the Sea" follows; an absolute masterpiece in my opinion, one of those truly great Library miniatures that's so arresting, evocative, and compositionally immaculate that it's sort of like gazing into a painting (Caspar Friedrich's foggy seascapes come indelibly to mind).  "Dreams in the Wind" continues the incredibly strong vein begun by "Sight on the Sea", reintroducing the guitar sound while maintaining the enigmatic foggy sound-vistas and aquatic synthesizer burbles.  It doesn't stop there: "Spatial Feeling" is good until it reveals its true purpose of greatness and engages a heart-in-your-throat swelling finale that actually lasts the majority of its runtime (the build-and-repitition of this track reminds me a lot of Sun Araw's repetition-laden avant-psychscapes). "More and More" goes back to that Meddlesome bassline and repeats "Light Flight" as a wonderful instrumental.  "No Words" is actually just so-so, sort of a pastoral whiff... but it sets the stage for one of the greatest single tracks in the whole history of Library.

"Black Safari" is a monster.  A legend, a Jabberwock.  Opening with a deeply artificial sounding collage of animal sounds (they may very well be real animal recordings, they just sound like warped plastic), a devastating drum&drum-machine rhythm skitters onto the scene and then takes off with mechanical determination, with you along for the ride.  Synthesized bird/monkey squalls-and-calls surround you as organ and guitar take turns making the safari increasingly threatening and alien.  This track is an unimaginable treasure, an aesthetic triumph for its genre.  It's followed by "Wakemania", a very enjoyable bit of cinematic organ&guitar psych in manner highly reminiscent of Bo Hansson (though presumably intended as an homage to Rick Wakeman, who was rarely this straightforward or enjoyable, at least when working for himself).  The whole deliriously enjoyable affair comes to an end with a bit of slightly soulful, entirely bizarre, sexy funk-psych in "Touch as Much."  Here, the deep-voiced singer of the opener returns to growl in an Arthur Brown-meets-Isaac Hayes croon: "Touch... as much.  As much as lust... Keep yourself loose... as loose as the wind."

This is one of the best there is.  A Library masterpiece in no uncertain terms, full of psych, synth, exoticism, and all-around greatness.

Kleptomania - 1971 - Elephants Lost

Elephants Lost

101. Intro   
102. Improve   
103. Moonchild   
104. Stop   
105. Eligie   
106. Thema   
107. Gardens   
108. Travel   
109. Intrude   
110. Visit For Above   
111. Divertimentos   

Bonus Tracks:

112. Sign On My Head   
113. From The Beginning   
114. The Band   

201. Short Stories   
202. So You Want To Be A Rock And Roll Star   
203. Hope   
204. Sunday Morning   
205. Funky   
206. No Way Out Of Here   
207. Grand-Leez   
208. Neuroses
singles a's & b's    209. Kep Woman   
210. Out Of A Nightmare   
211. I've Got My Woman By My Side   
212. Lovely Day   
213. Mean Old Man   
214. Back To The Country   
215. Rock'n Roll   
216. Don't Tell Lies   
217. Time Is Money   
218. Just A Little Minute To Go

Charlie Deraedemaeker (bass)
Wim Hombergen (guitar, vocals)
Roger Wollaert (drums)
Dany Lademacher (guitar, vocals)

Flame Music Publishers: Lademacher Hombergen Raedemaeker Wolaert
In 1979 this record (originally recorded in 1971) was released in Netherlands without the consent of the band in a very small quantity.
This is the original Dutch released private pressing LP on the Flame label. as mentioned in Hans Pokora 2001 (page 36).
Original release plain white cover with loose title strip.
The Music Emporium CD reissue contains their 1971 album + 5 singles from 1969 to 1975 + 11 unreleased tracks from 1972-1973-1974.

One of the better albums from Belgium in the 70's.

Herman Brood became very popular in Holland at the end of the 70's, one part was pumped up media hysteria and one part were his ''live'' shows. He played in every shithole in Holland and  as a result of the   extensive touring he gained chart-succes. Danny Lademacher [guitarist Kleptomania] was part of his band. As a result of the attention in the Dutch media a demo-tape once sent to FLAME Records, was given to a recordshop owner  who in the past had released a 45 under the name of ''Bag'' on  FLAME Records.

He was impressed by the demo and deceided to press a bootleg LP , It went for sale under the counter in his recordshop. He hoped to sell them quickly but it took more than 10 years to sell them.
I ferquently visited his shop in those years because  critics who wrote for music magazines dumped their promo/advandced albums there and he sold them for bargain prices. Just as he got rid of the boots in the early 90's , Internet/Ebay started  and he saw the demand for the album rising. But he had none left ! This album (1972) was only released as a very hard to find bootleg (300 pressings) (1979)
due to a failure of the record company.

Their music can best be described as a sound close to Led Zeppelin , Byrds (Younger Than Yesterday period) and Montrose.  Included are Moonchild , Mean Old Man,Kept Woman, Rock and Roll...and yes...a Byrds cover: So you wanna be a rock and roll star...This very limited edition has the whole album plus 4 singles,b-sides , demos and unreleased tracks too.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Surgery - 1980 - Übermorgen


01. Intro (4:47)
02. Kernein (3:04)
03. Adios G. F. (6:00)
04. Vurz Im Morgengrauen (6:38)
05. Intro Reprise (0:44)
06. Paulchen Panther (2:51)
07. Pisa (6:16)
08. On My Way To Übermorgen (5:08)
09. Sieben Plus Bossa (8:07)

Bonus-Tracks on 2010 Re-Release:
10. Sir Jerry (5:24)
11. Alter Narr, Was Nun? (4:38)
12. Feeling Good (3:30)
13. Katerfrühstück (4:36)
14. Schmalzer (3:46)
15. Amazonien, Teil 1 (1:40)
16. Heiter Bis Wolkig (2:31)
17. Amazonien, Teil 2 (3:36)
18. Rush Hour In Madrid (3:07)
19. Schmetterling (3:46)

- Alfred Gaudschun / congas, percussion
- Rüdiger Freitag / drums
- Jörg-Peter Podlasly / drums, congas, timpani, percussion
- Udo Custodis / tenor saxophone
- Thomas Miebs / organ, electric piano, acoustic piano, tenor saxophone
- Udo Fuellhaas / bass
- Herbert Klinger / guitar

Germans Surgery evolved out of the ashes of the Torageru band, when their guitarist Gerd Gitza died in a car accident.So a change of name was needed along with a few member changes and Surgery from the city of Marl were born in 1976.The politics of the band included taking part in the local Vest-Rock festival in consecutive years, competing with big local names such as Trilogy, Rousseau, Franz K., eventually winning it in 1979.By the start of the 80's they had expanded the line-up to a 7-piece core with three drummers/percussionists (!), Alfred Gaudschun, Jörg-Peter Podlasly and Rüdiger Freitag, along with keyboardist Thomas Miebs, guitarist Herbert "Herbie" Klinger, bassist Udo Fuellhaas and saxophonist Udo Custodis from Join In.During the same year comes out their only LP ''Übermorgen'' (Yregrus Records), a nice oddity of the Kraut Jazz Fusion scene due to the strong presence of drumming.The sound is a mix of devastating and loose 70's-style German Jazz Rock and airy Latin Fusion, the organ and fiery guitars next to the melodic sax and heavy percussion were blended in a convincing way and the result was an album mixing the dynamics and free spirit of the German Rock scene with thr softer side of Fusion and the tropical gene of Latin roots.Cool interplays, breezy melodies and some stretched solos are the album's guiding forces.After some line-up changes the band's story came to an end in the summer of 82' due to the departure of leader and main composer Herbert Klinger, who was attracted to Free Jazz, deciding to dedicate himself to this music level.Garden of Delights reissue contains no less than 10 bonus tracks from both the pre- and post-''Übermorgen'' periods.

Syncrisis - 1982 - Sunny Crisis

Sunny Crisis

01. Aperman's Jungle Dance (3:46)
02. Groovin' To Mr. L. (6:07)
03. Olé Mc (4:18)
04. Don't Cry, Shout! (4:05)
05. A Taste Of Happiness (4:13)
06. Nostromo (3:18)
07. Darbangha (5:19)
08. Reflections In Your Eyes (4:18)
09. Droppin'-Out-Intermezzo (1:24)
10. Red Baron (4:27)
11. Out Of Mind (2:26)

- Titus Köstler / guitar
- Peter Frodl / bass
- Uwe Holzwarth / drums
- Edgar Müller / electric piano, mini Moog synthesizer

Obscure progressive/jazz rock band from Germany with 2 albums under their belt with second one from 1982 named Sunny crisis being the most intresting one. Led by excellent guitarist Titus Kostler who has some amazing moments here, I really don't know why this musician is so unknown, really he has some fantastic guitar solos and arrangements , just to be checked Darbangha for example, superb piece that shows how great this band was and with all that totally unknown to larger public. Jazz rock melted very efficient with progressive moves, nice keybords and drums, overall a pretty decent even great release. Furious guitar parts but very intresting combined with keyboards and superb bass lines make from this album a little treasure in this field. Never realeased on CD so far, and is a damn shame because maybe that way they had a far more exposure. Very good album that needs to be discovered or re discovered by many listners as possible. The album doesn't have weak moments only highlights, the side B being the most intresting one with plenty of excellent passages that will please both progressive rock and jazz rock fans alike.

Syncrisis - 1981 - Reflections in Musical Power

Reflections in Musical Power 

01. Just a happy time
02. Kamala
03. Reflections
   a) Wait a minute - a drum solo
   b) Katharsis
04. Daydreams
05. Bata Mata Moone Taboo
06. Mata Dalam, for the inside looking man
07. One Hope
08. Sweet nights

- Titus Köstler - Guitar
- Edgar Müller - Electric piano and mini-moog synthetizer
- Peter Frodi - Bass
- Uwe Holzwarth - Drums
Special guest:
- Armin Keller - Congas and timbales (1 and 8)

Short-lived German Jazz-Rock act with a light proggy flavor.Syncrisis were located somewhere in South Germany and led by drummer Uwe Holzwarth, guitarist Titus Köstler, bassist Peter Frodi and keyboardist Edgar Müller.Their first album ''Reflections in Musical Power'' was recorded at the so called Syncrisis-Studios (reputedly Holzwarth's basement) and released in 1981 as a private press.

The album is a very cool mix of fiery Prog/Fusion with tropical Jazz-Rock, always presented with a very positive and pleasant aura.The musicianship is all instrumental, including some superb guitar work by Köstler, somewhere between the styles of SANTANA and MARIO MILLO, filled with nice grooves and breezy solos.Edgar Müller, the man behind the keyboards, does a great job too.His electric piano lines have a strong CHICK COREA flavor, what are even more incredible are his breaking moog synths flights, which are really inspired.The rhythm section is quite strong as well and the album is characterized by the great number of interesting melodies, jazzy interplays and professional solos.

While not adding anything new to the endless list of Jazz/Fusion acts worldwide, Syncrisis' ''Reflections in Musical Power'' is an album full of nice surprises ans well-executed material, I think it definitely worths its money if a copy reaches your hands.Strongly recommended.

Kashmir - 1979 - Alarme!


01. Desert Bleu 3:27
02. Je Suis... 3:16
03. Alarme! 3:08
04. Linear 7:04
05. Far Away 4:44
06. Slowly 3:35
07. 6 H 30 4:20
08. Go! 10:13

Patrice Guenat (vocals, keyboards)
Henry Dubelly (vocals)

Late-70's Swiss duo, established by keyboardist/vocalist Patrice Guenat and Henry Dubelly, who sung and was also tha main composer of the group.They recorded their debut ''Alarme!'' at the Mountain Studio in Montreux, mixed by David Richards (sound engineer for Queen, David Bowie, Yes).The album was released in 1979 on Kiswell in several European countries, later it was released under the title ''Je suis'' only for the Swiss market.

Pitty that the production of the album is rather questionable, because ''Alarme!'' is a very good Electronic Rock album with strong influences by TANGERINE DREAM and JEAN MICHEL JARRE.Quite a bit of cosmic electronics, soaring synthesizers and pounding drums dominate most of the tracks, which contain also a fair amount of symphonic breaks, creating a grandiose and beautiful atmosphere.''Go!'' is propably the best example of Kashmir's style, a long and sonic Progressive Electronic piece of music with outlandish synths, nice choirs, Classical influences around the middle and heavy percussions, excellent work indeed.But there are also hints from more Classic Prog stylings in ''Alarme!''.The long ''Linear'' is characterized by some spacey synthesizers, psychedelic vocals, light organs and and good guitar solos, reminding a lot of PULSAR.''Far Away'' has a nice mellotron-flute and Avant-Garde piano lines, offering a sinister and unique atmosphere.''6 H 30'' contains excellent vocals and some very nervous synthesizers along with soft drumming to recall again PULSAR's sound.

One the most underrated gems of Progressive Electronic Music.Atmospheric, cinematic, highly symphonic and emotional music all the way.Strongly recommended.

Känguru - 1981 - Känguru


01. You're Not My Sacred Cow     5:20
02. Titti Fritti     4:04
03. Caramba Hey     3:02
04. Coco (Der Schrottspecht)     3:51
05. No Question     4:13
06. Ein Schönes Haus Im Garten     6:02
07. Atlantique     4:05
08. Witness     5:28
09. Nora Flora     4:35

Bass Guitar – Anselm Kluge
Drums – Olav Gustafsson
Guitar – Peter Weihe
Producer – Achim Gunske
Synthesizer – Claus-Robert Kruse

This group from experienced musicians, hailing from Hamburg, was brn out of the ashes of another Jazz/Fusion act, To Be.When guitarist Peter Weihe dissolved To Be in 1980, he had the chance to meet again with his former bandmate and keyboardist Claus-Robert Kruse.The two musicians gave birth to Kangueru, surrounded by drummer Olav Gustafsson and bassist Anselm Kluge.They recorded their debut in their hometown, at the Try Harder Studio, with Herb Geller as a guest on sax and flutes, a musician formerly known for working with Brave New World, Lucifer's Friend and Satin Whale.The self-titled debut was released in 1981 on the obscure Pingo label, re-released a year later on Marifon.

This group played typical, 80's Jazz/Fusion akin to SURGERY and SYNCRISIS, minus the strong Kraut influences, while you should add a fair dose of funky elements in their all instrumental proposal.Pleasant music with pretty solid guitar work, including bluesy and Rock'n'Roll stylings between the furious grooves and the jazzy solos, and some fantastic keyboard work, performed mainly on synthesizers.The atmosphere goes from Lounge atmospheres to smoky, guitar-led Fusion with a decent synth background, featuring nice breaks and a consistent rhythm section, while Geller provides a nice depth with his careful sax and flute parts.All tracks obtain a happy feeling due to the playful, naughty guitar and piano tunes, expect a couple of them to sound as standard 80's products with a cheap production and a rather bland, radio-friendly approach.But there are also a couple of killer cuts in here, like the balanced opener ''You're not my sacred cow'', which soon escapes from the funky intro to offer a synth-based Fusion with nice sax and guitar as supporting instruments, while ''Ein schoenes haus im gruenen'' contains some of the best guitar hooks and solos in a Latin style, performed by the very talented Peter Weihe.

Breezy and dreamy Jazz/Fusion for all fans of delightful, instrumental music.Avoid if you search for complex arrangements or extreme solos, this one is based on tight plays and melodic structures for all lovers of good music.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Cassiber - 2012 - The Way It Was

The Way It Was

01.This Was The Way It Was
02. Archways    
03. A Screaming    
04. They Have Begun To Move    
05. 2:00 In The Morning    
06. Todo Dia    
07. It's Never Quiet    
08. Six Rays    
09. Prisoner Chorus 1
10. Prisoner Chorus 2
11. Oh No    
12. I Was Old When I Was Young    
13. Disk Not Responding    
14. Gut
15. Crusoe's Landing
16. Miracolo    
17. Our Colourful Culture    
18. In A Room    
19. Not Me    

Drums, Performer [Objects], Electronics [Realtime Electronic Processing], Liner Notes – Chris Cutler
Guitar – Rene Lussier* (tracks: 15)
Keyboards [Polyphonic And Sampling], Violin [Chinese], Guitar, Voice – Heiner Goebbels
Saxophone, Electronics – Dietmar Diesner (tracks: 3)
Voice, Guitar, Keyboards [Sampling], Tenor Saxophone – Christoph Anders

Subtitled 'Live Recordings And Studio Sketches 1985-1992'

Edition of 1000. Released ahead of Cassiber 30th Anniversary Box Set; this release is intended to form part of the Box Set once it is released.

The title is as appropriate as it is aphoristic. This is as convincing, and as inclusive, a single-disc representation of Cassiber as we are likely to hear. Yet, as with even the most lovingly chosen appelations, it says very little about content. Cassiber (the name means "A message smuggled out of prison") did indeed tear down some metaphorical walls, and the group's technological and musical innovations pervade these 19 studio and live tracks, recorded between 1986 and 1989.

By the earliest of these forays, Alfred Harth had parted company with the original duo of Heiner Goebbels and Christoph Anders, who had been joined in 1982 by Chris Cutler. The trio, supplemented by guest appearances, remained intact until 1992, and we are now invited to dig into further fruits of this fertile phase. To place much of the music into neatly carved boxes is simultaneously easy and overwhelmingly frustrating, as the group was working to radicalize the music from the inside. The title track obviously throws down a funky vibe in the typically gated reverb of the time, but within the first thirty seconds, there is a nearly complete breakdown as guitar-driven industrosplatter creeps in, usurping all except a shaker and the thumping bass. Even the stuttering beat and wide stereo spectrum of this little gem places it beyond the pale in any commercial radio-friendly environment. Similarly, "Six Rays" draws on a harsh updating of early 1980s "New Wave" sounds, but the constantly morphing harmonies and guitar scree deny it access to that world, totally leaving aside the charged lyrical content.

Then, there is the visionary music that fits nowhere; raw shock is still engendered by the cinematic "A Screaming," a study in stark contrasts with bleak doubled vocals decrying the apocalyptic message. We are also privy to the dismemberment of Beethoven's third symphony before "Crusoe's Landing" launches into its metered whirlwind, leading directly into the chants and hums of the haunting "Miracolo."

As with the Henry Cow, Art Bears and Faust boxes, Bob Drake's work on these archival recordings is stunning. He exposes detail but never sacrifices clarity or impact in the process. If this disc is any indication, the forthcoming Cassiber box will be another jewel in RéR's crown.

Cassiber - 1988 - A Face We All Know

A Face We All Know

01. This was the way it was (0:52)
02. Remember (2:52)
03. Old Gods (0:27)
04. 2 'o clock in the morning (2:37)
05. Philosophy (1) (0:07)
06. Gut (3:46)
07. Start the show (3:03)
08. A screaming comes across the sky (3:12)
09. They go in under archways (4:12)
10. They have begun to move (3:33)
11. Time gets faster (0:28)
12. It's never quiet (2:25)
13. Philosophy (2) (0:05)
14. A screaming holds (1:57)
15. Philosophy (3) (0:32)
16. I was old (3:54)
17. The way it was (5:06)
18. To move (2:54)

- Christoph Anders /singing, sampling keyboard, guitar
- Chris Cutler / drums, electrics, voice
- Heiner Goebbels / keyboards, sampling, guitar on 16, bass, computer work

Plot conceived and original text written July 1988 in St. John's, Newfoundland.
Recorded 28th November to 7th December 1988, mixed 19th to 21st October 1989 at the Electronic Music Studio of the Akademie Der Künste Der DDR, Berlin.
Assembled 1st to 3rd September 1990 in Heiner's basement in Frankfurt.

Playful and reminds me of The Science Group, with psychedelic semi-distant shouting and samples, reminding me of Fred Frith and some Swedish psychedelic bands like Älgarnas Trädgård and Ur Kaos. There's a Dvouletá Fáma sample in the end of "Start the Show". There's also some other samples, so... it's a bit annoying too, now that it's lending. Also, the shouting gets a bit boring.

Cassiber - 1986 - Perfect Worlds

Perfect Worlds

01. Dust and Ashes (2:03)
02. Crusoe's Landing (4:34)
03. Miracolo (4:53)
04. Prometheus (4:51)
05. Sleep Armed (2:15)
06. In a Room (4:56)
07. Todo dia (2:35)
08. Orphee's Mirror (5:02)
09. I tried to reach you (1:59)

- Christoph Anders /singing, sampling keyboard, guitar
- Chris Cutler / drums, electrics, voice
- Heiner Goebbels / keyboards, sampling, guitar on 1,6, bass, computer work

As Far all output of Cassiber is exceptional, this one is my personal favorite. Ugly Beauty of Music and absolutely demented lyrics about isolation , anxiety of Human Race in whole makes this jam one take breathing. This is first album without participating of Alfred Harth. Pity such great talent leave project, but some advantages thankfully appeared. Last three pals were obligated to reinvent upproach and sound is overtly stripped down more concentrated on the story. The most outstanding tracks are In A Room with absurdist lyrics in the vein of late Samuel Beckett and of course last powerful anthem I Try To Reach You, wich become permanent closer in Cassiber concerts. Anyway it is one of kind outing!

Cassiber - 1984 - Beauty And The Beast

Beauty And The Beast

01. Six Rays (4:09)
02. Robert (5:02)
03. Last Call (3:02)
04. Ach, heile mich (6:35)
05. Haruspices (1:54)
06. Under New Management (5:29)
07. Vengeance is Dancing (2:19)
08. In einer Minute (4:32)
09. Und ich werde nicht mehr sehen (3:01)
10. Trendre La Lune Avec Les Dents (4:16)
11. At Last I Am Free (3:47)
12. Time Running Out (5:29)

- Chris Cutler / drums
- Heiner Goebbels / violin, piano
- Christoph Anders / vocals, guitars
- Alfred Harth / saxophone

 Cassiber's debut album was originally intended to be a one-off, but shortly after its release they were invited to play at the Frankfurt Jazz Festival and further live work followed. A couple of years after Man or Monkey they recorded Beauty and the Beast, which was created using the same methodology as before - improvised composition - but their experience as a performing band had made a difference to their music; on this occasion there was a greater sense of coherence both within the individual pieces and across the album as a whole.

As on their previous outing the album featured a mixture of instrumental and vocal tracks, although on this occasion Chris Cutler's texts were not used as extensively as before. The use of electronics was also more prominent this time around, with cassette recorded voices woven into the fabric of several tracks. Robert, the second track, features a brief snippet of Captain Beefheart reciting The Dust Blows Forward, while elsewhere the vocals seem to have been recorded from German news broadcasts, and for the most part this technique is very effective; on later albums Cassiber would use samplers and electronics even more prominently. Two cover versions are included: Und Ich Werde Nicht Mehr Sehen is a Hans Eisler piece, while At Last I Am Free is a song by Chic that was also covered by Robert Wyatt on Nothing Can Stop Us. At Last I Am Free is one of the album's highlights and manages to be faithful to the spirit of the original but also has the same uncompromising RIO sound as the rest of the album. The more 'free' improvisations veer into some decidedly abstract territory, but the album is sequenced so that they are contrasted with more accessible pieces and many of the tracks segue into each other, creating a constantly shifting mood. There are also moments of real beauty, particularly from Goebell's piano and Harth's saxophone, although any lyrical passages are brief and there is usually something loud, discordant or disturbing to provide contrast.

Beauty & the Beast is an uncompromising piece of work, but it has stood the test of time rather better than Man or Monkey. It's interesting to compare it with Skeleton Crew's debut album, which was released at around the same time and which also made extensive use of taped vocals. Both are very much products of their time, RIO meeting post punk experimentalism, and both see former members of Henry Cow engaging with new developments in music and remaining progressive in the truest sense of the word. If you like one, you'll probably like the other; Beauty & the Beast can be recommended to anybody who likes 80s avant rock and indeed to anybody inclined to try something adventurous for a change.

Cassiber - 1982 - Man Or Monkey

Man Or Monkey

01. Not Me (3:38)
02. Red Shadow (3:50)
03. Chor der Gefangenen (4:51)
04. Our Colourful Culture (3:05)
05. O Cure Me (5:54)
06. This Core (4:20)
07. Man or Monkey (16:39)
08. Django vergibt (3:10)
09. Die Verunreinigung des Flusses ist gerade noch ertraeglich (6:38)
10. Sag mir wo die Blumen sind (2:41)

- Chris Cutler / drums
- Heiner Goebbels / violin, piano
- Christoph Anders / vocals, guitars
- Alfred Harth / saxophone

All songs and instrumental pieces were improvised.

Sides A and B: Our idea was to go to the studio with only a body of texts to use if, where and when Christoph was moved (except for the words to "Our Colourful Culture", which were written specially in response to the music already recorded), but to improvise all structures and arrangements; in other words to produce instant collective compositions and arrangements.

All the tracks on these records are essentially live recordings. (There are a few overdubs on sides A and B, edits on A1 and A3, B1 and D1).

Sides C and D: All the music except D2 was recorded direct onto halftrack master.

Recorded between 5th and 16th August 1982 at Sunrise Studios (CH-9533 Kirchberg) (except "Man Or Monkey", which is a live recording made direct on-to half-track master and simultaneously mixed).

An experimental, jazz and electronic trio in the tradition of Henry COW, CASSIBER came to life in the early 80's when COW's own drummer Chris Cutler got together with two Frankfurt musicians, namely composer Heiner Goebbels on violin and piano, and sampler extraordinaire Christoph Anders on vocals and guitars. Alfred Harth later joined them on sax for a couple of albums and then (the late) Masami Shinoda took over sax duties during a memorable live performance in Tokyo in 1992.

CASSIBER's music is fractured, complex and very difficult to get into. Mostly improvised (except for a few lyrics they kept on hand for inspiration), their material consists of sampled mayhem, free jazz, industrial noise, declaimed vocals (Christoph Ander's vocals are truly an acquired taste), newsreel clips and the likes. The rare unity they attained with their third album in 1988, "A Face We All Know", makes it their most powerful release to date and is considered their masterpiece (its theme is about the collapse of the Berlin Wall). The double album "Cassiber - Live in Tokyo" is a true farewell documentary: disk one captures the band's only visit to Japan and their very last concert together, featuring guest saxophonist Masami Shinoda who died soon after. Disk two is a radical reworking/remixing of the same material by Otomo Yoshida & Ground Zero that make it sound like an entirely different album altogether.

Cassiber's debut offering was an odd affair in more ways than one. It was originally released as two 45 rpm 12" discs, with each side of the album having a playing time of 12 - 16 minutes. Was it a double mini album, a double ep or what? Once you got past the unconventional format the music itself was unusual even by RIO standards; Chris Cutler had never played with the other 3 musicians before, and the idea was to improvise songs and compositions - only the lyrics (by Cutler) were written before the recording began. The results were often dazzling, although Cassiber would go on to achieve greater things.

The instrumentation on this occasion was largely acoustic and relatively conventional; guitar/vocal, piano/violin, sax/trombone and drums with only occasional bursts of the electronics which would be a more prominent feature of their later albums. Tracks 1 - 6, which took up disc 1, are relatively accessible and feature most of the album's vocals. Christoph Anders does not sing the lyrics so much as declaim them, and in some cases it sounds like he's reading them aloud for the first time, although somehow this fits quite nicely with the general aesthetic of the music. As Sean Trane mentioned in his review the stand out is probably Our Colourful Culture, which was set to music which had already been composed. It tears along at a frantic pace and is oddly reminiscent of some of Robert Wyatt's more uptempo numbers - perhaps it's the jazzy piano and feverish drumming. The second half of the album is mostly instrumental (none of Cutler's lyrics are used) and moves deep into the free improvisation side of RIO that Henry Cow and Zammla Mammaz Manna explored a few years previously. These pieces are sometimes hard work, especially the 16 minute title track, but there are moments which make it worth persevering with, especially Django vergibt and Die Verunreinigung des Flusses ist gerade noch ertraeglich which were on side 4 of the vinyl original; Die Verunreinigung... in particular features some wonderfully expressive sax from Harth.

Man or Monkey ultimately promises a little more than it actually delivers, but even without the dense and difficult title track there is still a vinyl album's worth of good and occasionally inspired 80s RIO with some superb playing. The unorthodox, improvisation based approach was always going to be risky, and it's a testimony to the skill of all concerned that so much of the resulting music worked so well. Good, but non essential - newcomers would be better advised to start with Beauty & the Beast.