Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Area - 1979 - Event '76

Event '76

01. Caos IInd part (20:15)
02. Caos IInd part (9:18)
03. Event '76 (9:27)

- Patrizio Fariselli / prepared piano
- Steve Lacy / soprano sax
- Paul Litton / percussions
- Demetrio Stratos / vocals
- Paolo Tofani / guitar, Tcherapnin synthesizer

This live album called Event 76' is just a concert made with pure musical improvisation... Approach with this warning in mind!

Area - 1978 - 1978 Gli Dei Se Ne Vanno, Gli Arrabbiati Restano!

1978 Gli Dei Se Ne Vanno, Gli Arrabbiati Restano!

01. Il Bandito Del Deserto(3:13)
02. Interno Con Figure E Luci (4:07)
03. Return From Workuta (3:02)
04. Guardati Dal Mese Vicino All'Aprile! (5:12)
05. Hommage À Violette Nozières (3:18)
06. Ici On Dance! (3:27)
07. Acrostico In Memoria Di Laio (6:12)
08. "FFF" (Festa, Farina e Forca) (3:49)
09. Vodka Cola (7:27)

- Giulio Capiozzo / drums, vibraphone, percussion
- Patrizio Fariselli / piano, organ, electric piano, synthesizer ARP Odyssey, Pro-Sploist
- Ares Tavolazzi / electric & acoustic bass, acoustic guitar, mandola, trombone, pocket trumpet,
- Demetrio Stratos / vocal, organ, electric & acoustic piano, ocarina

After it had debuted, the message by Area might have had the will of adamant always consistently. A young person at that time and the fan supported the music character of Area and the message. It is said that most fans were able to sing the song of Area though it is the irregular melody and diversity of the rhythm.

A political shade of meaning and the message of the anti-establishment kept enchanting the fan and the listener to some degree partially of the taste of Area. However, a music character of Area and an overwhelming technology might also wait for the aspect and it be also true in the music character to have kept always maintaining the excellent condition.

This album is the last work as the band to which Demetrio Stratos was on the register as the result. And, some respects will be enumerated when talking by thinking about this album.

Existence of CRAMPS label that supports the activity after Area debuts. CRAMPS that was offering a lot of wonderful bands besides Area almost lost the function of course in 1978. It is an album announced in this album after it transfers the register to ASCOLTO. If the situation of an activity of Area at that time was considered, this album might have had the role that was able to be caught for them as one turning point.

And, guitar player's Gianpaolo Tofani might have been hoped for because it had the form of the performance with strong more acoustic part because the band had already seceded. As for it, the part where the music character in addition to the theme that they had consistently had had been gradually refined might have been included.

Of course, the existence of Area might have been absolute as one of the bands that pulled the 80 year for the listener and the fan. However, June 18, 1979 became an impact day for not only the fan of Area but also the market of music. It is said that the ambition of Demetrio Stratos until dying always moved in an advanced part. After announcing this album, Area actually dares the tour. It is said that Demetrio Stratos will schedule it to secede the band after the tour and to concentrate on the activity of Solo. However, the plan will be lost as a result by the death of Demetrio Stratos. And, Area also rapidly shrank the activity.

An avant-garde who can listen in an initial work in addition to their political messages and an avant-garde part develop further and reach this album at last. The fact that this album carried everything before one the market of the music of Italy remains as an evaluation, too. This album had also to consider the fact that acquired the prize of the critic of second following "Crac" announced in 1975 because it unified it and to have received one the top for Area. All the height of the overwhelming power of expression and technology is surely expressed by this album.

"Il Bandito Del Deserto" is a tune that involves the overwhelming might. There might be the album's arranging the element of the music of Bulgaria and the sphere of Arab first for the composition of their albums comparing it a lot. This tune will take pride in overwhelming composition power in the flow. The band dashes attended with a complete melody by 11/8 rhythms in union. Sound of decoration with wind instrument. And, the line of Bass that completely pulls the tune. The song in close relation to the composition of the refined tune is powerful. And, the processing of the melody by the part of Coda might be splendid.

The atmosphere of the music of Arabia where it gets on 11/8 rhythms twines round "Interno Con Figure E Luci" well. The scat of Demetrio Stratos in close relation to the melody of the marimba that Giulio Capiozzo performs produces racial atmosphere. The tune progresses as the element of Jazz Rock and the part of Solo of the keyboard twining at the same time as with diversity as a form of the performance. A good flow of Bass and a complex composition are splendidly expressed.

As for "Return From Workuta", a fantastic expression of the voice by Demetrio Stratos and the obbligati of the keyboard are impressive. It is said that Demetrio Stratos acquired "Throat-Singing" as one of the methods of expressing the song. The expression of a fantastic line by Bass and the continued voice might be splendid.

The theme round which a complex rhythm twines from SE of the siren of Intro with the melody appears in "Guardati Dal Mese Vicino All'Aprile". The performance of the band that emphasizes an acoustic part continues a good flow. Part of guitar and scat. The sense of relief and the dash feeling are kept. The flow that rushes into the part of Free Jazz from the part of the repeated theme might be calculated well as a composition, too. The route of the avant-garde whom they consistently had is exactly refined and expressed.

As for "Hommage A Violette Nozieres", pastoral original atmosphere of the music of Italy is expressed well. However, the content of an irregular composition of the rhythm and a little extreme lyrics might be one of the expressions of them. The performance of a bright melody and the band that twines with 7/4 rhythms in which it listens in the part of Intro after repeating 8/4 rhythms expands the width of the composition of this album. The idea of the tune composed 7/4 rhythms and 8/in quadruple time is also splendid each other.

"Ici On Dance" has the start of the multiple structure of the voice with the atmosphere of Bulgaria Voice. It is ..original composition that is.. finished though it has the becoming it rhythm in basically subjects four rhythms by twining of 10/8. Part where original melody that is twines from line of Bass. Flow of good Groove performed as much as possible. A dash feeling and a mysterious melody are the music for them.

"Acrostico In Memoria Di Laio" is a flow of ensemble of the band that produces a part of the complex melody repeated from the part of Intro of 16/15 rhythms with an overwhelming keyboard and complete Groove. Part of dash feeling in close relation to bright melody of acoustic piano. And, the part of complete Solo of the keyboard in close relation to the obbligati of the wind instrument might create one space. The progress of Chord will excite the listener. A peculiar talking about Demetrio Stratos that twines while continuing Groove completely demonstrates power of expression.

As for "FFF", a flow, a piano, and Bass expression of feelings with a good organ combine from Solo of the drum that moves freely. The melody will call impression as much as possible. Playing piano Trio it in close relation to the rhythm that combines 4/4 rhythms with 3/4 rhythms has the element of complete Jazz Rock. The technology and the idea of the performance are overwhelming though the song doesn't appear.

"Vodka Cola" is a tension of 11 rhythms from the theme that repeats the rhythm of 7 and 10 by the song. And, it is partial of the performance that produces the anacatesthesia. The performance of the band accelerates gradually. The flow that the part of original composition and POP is taken to the melody with the tension might be splendid.

Construction of consistent theme that part technical performance and men had of doing. This album where everything is almost expressed in their works might be the top that Area surely reached at last.

Area - 1976 - Maledetti (Maudits)

Maledetti (Maudits)

01. Evaporazione (1:45)
02. Diforisma urbano (6:18)
03. Gerontocrazia (7:30)
04. Scum (6:30)
05. Il massacro di Brandeburgo numero tre in sol maggiore (2:20)
06. Giro, giro, tondo (5:55)
07. Caos (parte seconda) (9:00)

- Giulio Capiozzo / drums, percussion
- Patrizio Fariselli / piano, electric piano, bass clarinett, synthesizer, percussion
- Ares Tavolazzi / electric & acoustic bass, trombone
- Paolo Tofani / guitar, synthesizer, flute, tcherepnin
- Demetrio Stratos / vocal, organ, cembalo, steel drum, percussion

- Eugenio Colombo / kazumba
- Hugh Bullen / bass
- Walter Calloni / drums
- Steve Lacy / soprano sax
- Anton Arze & Jose Arze / txalaparta
- Paul Lytton / percussion
- Paolo Salvi / cello
- Giorgio Garulli / contrabass

Area's fourth studio effort is yet another masterpiece in their recording catalogue, standing out as the most solid showcase for their musical ideology so far. "Maledetti" is a bit stronger than their second gem "Caution Radiation Area" and, in some ways, much bolder. After a less aggressive and less demanding "Crac!", the band seemed now decided to lift off from where "Caution" stood and take their radical artistic attitude to its most mature expression - and so they did! The bizarre-beyond-words Stratos soliloquy that kicks off the album should prepare the listener for the deconstructive feast that's about to take place: the whispers, fractured stammering, dubious articulations and final shout that fill the speech of 'Evaporazione' are an urgent invitation to leave the boundaries of modern rational thought behind and les ourselves be transported to more fundamental roots of our lives. A lovely invitation that is immediately segued into the funky-oriented jazzy splendour of 'Diaforisma Urbano', whose optimistic flavours properly convey the need to face a new era of real freedom without fear or regrets: it is in our hands to transform our contemporary life into something we are to command instead of something out of our hands and above our heads. 'Gerontocrazia' is one of the most captivating Area pieces ever (in fact, it is perhaps my all-time favourite Area track). It sort of encapsulates the musical ideology that Area had been thoroughly outlining and establishing in their studio recordings and live concerts for years: Stratos' vocal lunacy (one of his best performances ever), the Eastern-like melodic lines, the bold use of dissonance, the energetic jazzy rhythm section. all these elements are stunningly epitomized in the sonic tour-de-force that is comprised in 'Gerontocrazia'. Compared to the band's previous three albums, it is a fact that Fariselli's interventions on synth and grand and electric pianos are more featured in the mix: the ultra free-jazzy 'Scum' and the prototypical 'Giro, Giro, Tondo' are clear showcases for that factor. Sandwiched between the two there is a string quartet rendition of the main motif of Bach's 'Branderbuger Concerto No. 3' - Fariselli wrote this wicked arrangements, which incorporates some originally added countermelodies and a final dissonant section. This massacre is a symbol of the band's urge to eliminate the ghosts of the past and instill an absolute faith in the future into the listener's heart. Meanwhile, all throughout the album, it has been noticeable that Tofani's guitar adventures have been sounding less prominently, although they still work as a very important asset in Area's sound. Anyway, eventually those adventures are shown in full frontal in the extremely deconstructed 'Caos (Parte Seconda)', a 9-minute musical event formed by a highly loose set of improvised, disturbing sonic fragments on guitar, synth, piano, percussion, soprano sax. and of course, Stratos' vocal deliriums. At times psychopathologically ethereal, at times simply nightmarish, this concrete tour-de- force is designed to disturb those who want to be disturbed and annoy those who are not in touch with the band's artistic spirit. The occasional presence of a guest on sax may remind us somewhat of the band's debut album, in which the sax was such an important instrument: also, the presence of guests on bass, drums and percussion allows the band to enrich their jazz leanings as a result of the intimate interaction with other performers alien to the band's official line-up. Since this is Area's last studio effort with guitarist Tofani as a member, I can only conclude that this is a brilliant testament of his inventive input for Italy's 70s avant-garde scene. "Maledetti' is a masterpiece!

Area - 1975 - Crac!


01. L'elefante bianco (4:33)
02. La mela di Odessa (6:27)
03. Megalopoli (7:53)
04. Nervi scoperti (6:35)
05. Gioia e rivoluzione (4:40)
06. Implosion (5:00)
07. Area 5 (2:09)

- Giulio Capiozzo / drums and percussion
- Patrizio Fariselli / electric & acoustic pianos, bass clarinet, percussion, synths
- Demetrio Stratos / vocals, organ, percussion
- Ares Tavolazzi / electric & acoustic basses, trombone
- Paolo Tofani / electric guitar, synths, flute

"Crac!" is the third studio effort by that glorious avant-garde ensemble from Italy named Area.This work not only follows in the robust, challenging vein of its masterful predecessor "Caution Radiation Area", but it also replicates its intensity and modernistic inventiveness. On the other hand, it is fair to note down that the level of extravagant madness is not as pronounced as on the aforesaid album (or the next one "Maledetti", another Área masterpiece that we are not reviewing at this moment). One detail we can notice is that the ever bizarre Demetrio Stratos actually "bothers" to sing, that is, use his voice to elaborate defined melodic lines through a song's development. The first case is the opener 'L'Elefante Bianco', in which the lead vocal and piano enter at unison and display an exciting, playful motif full of Southern Mediterranean and Turkish nuances (some relatedness with the previous album's opener 'Cometa Rossa' can be traced as well). The second case is 'Gioia e Rivoluzione', which portrays a gentle, acoustic sonic architecture very much akin to the standardized hippy protest song: the subject of freedom regained after the demise of a dictatorship is worked on with a calculated folkish naivety. Curiously, the Tarzan-like vocal interventions are used subtly as to add colour (as apposed to disturbance) to the repeated final chorus. But hey, this is an Area album, and as such, it is mandatory that it contains a large amount of jazz-rock and psychedelically driven elements of experimentation in a prog context. 'La Mela di Odessa (1920)' and 'Megalopoli' are two intricate sonic journeys equally nurtured by energy and insolence, influenced by Mahavishnu Orchestra and aiming for a delirious refurbishment of the usual concepts of jazz-fusion. Actually, I have the impression that the rhythmic duo bears a more powerful feel than on the previous album (the bassist that debuted in the "Caution" album feels evidently at home here). Guitarists Tofani is more deeply involved than ever before in the exploration of synthesized enhancements for his lead guitar - the guitar phrases that he throws in on 'Megalopoli' are weird beyond words. Tofani uses his ARP synthesizer sensibly in order to preserve a creative tension in the sounds delivered over the complex rhythmic structures. Stratos' Hammond chops settle in freely, augmenting the band's global power. Being less aggressive than the two aforesaid pieces, 'Nervi Scorpeti' finds Fariselli initially assuming the leading role with an amazing electric piano solo, in this way preparing the stage for the moment in which Tofani will make his McLaguhlin-meets-Fripp flourishes, using effectively his guitar as a provider of tension combined with eeriness. Less aggressive, indeed, but equally brilliant. Let me reiterate how effective the rhythm duo is - a special mention has to go to Capiozzo, whose rolls and other sundry drumming tricks are almost humanly impossible, especially in those passages of tracks 2 and 3 where things get flashy and flaming. Some of these racks feel actually short: sometimes I surprise myself mentally cursing the moment in which the fade-out arrives to interrupt what could have been a magical expansion. 'Area 5' is the album's brief epilogue, an exercise on musique concrete based on craftily calculated alternations of vocal, guitar, piano, bass and drum - a Dadaistic thing, Area-style purely. General balance: "Crac!" is a typically Area-esque effort, not as radically evolving as the preceding album or the follow-up, but essential for the prog collector and convenient for the Area neophyte (either this one or the debut album "Arbeit Macht Frei").

Area - 1975 - Are(A)zione


01. Luglio, agosto, settembre (5:41)
02. La mela di Odessa (11:05)
03. Cometa rossa (6:00)
04. Are(A)zione (15:00)
05. L'Internazionale (4:00)

- Giulio Capiozzo / drums and percussion
- Patrizio Fariselli / electric & acoustic pianos, bass clarinet, percussion, synths
- Demetrio Stratos / vocals, organ, percussion
- Ares Tavolazzi / electric & acoustic basses, trombone, pocket trumpet
- Paolo Tofani / electric guitar, synths

Beautiful if occasionally strange and silly performance from one of Italy's very best symphonic jazz-rock ensembles tearing off a taut and upbeat set at the Festa Proletaria in Milan, 1975. The five-piece find just the right blend of hot jazz lines, Baroque refrains and playful juxtaposition of musical themes. Not quite in the same technical league as, say, D.F.A., but for their time Area were exemplary of the better and more interesting groups in the endless tracts of fusion outfits. They also stretched out into folk, experimental mood-setting, and seem here to want to be a part of the audience as much as play for them.

The moaning of Demetrio Stratos will scare some off immediately but they'll miss the jumping start of 'Luglio,Agosto,Settembre', a festive number sounding much like ethnic dance music. But in place of flutes and balalaikas are the killer guitars of Paolo Tofani and synths of Patrizio Fariselli as they warm things up. 11-minute 'La mela di Odessa' gets kooky, switches to a competent drum solo by Guilio Capiozzo followed by a sweet synth/organ/guitar interplay with odd rhythms and tense jazz energy as these guys show what good all round players they truly are. Zappa nuttiness ensues as someone eats an apple for nearly a minute and we get a chance to stretch our legs, walk around, watch people dance, drink a beer and have a thoroughly good time. 'Taps' is jokingly thrown into the mix and Stratos' slightly grating rant before 'Cometa Rossa', a rippin' fusion bit rich with synth and drum fireworks. The deep jam of the title track sweeps us up or allows us to keep wandering, our choice. Either way, it is terrific jazz rock with a feel only attained at a live, open-air event as this. A swirling chimera of electric organ, more weird voices, and Tavolazzi's loyal upright bass takes the lead for awhile. 'L'Internazionale' closes things on a troubled contrast in flavors and socio-political statement.

If Colosseum ll and Von Zamla had a child out of wedlock, it might sound something like this. A fine starter for the rest of the Area catalog.

Area - 1974 - Caution Radiation Area

Caution Radiation Area

01. Cometa Rossa (4:00)
02. ZYG (Crescita zero) (5:27)
03. Brujo (8:02)
04. Mirage (10:27)
05. Lobotomia (4:23)

- Giulio Capiozzo / drums, percusion
- Patrizio Fariselli / piano, electric piano, bass clarinet, synthesizer
- Ares Tavolazzi / bass, trombone, contarabass
- Paolo Tofani / guitar, flute synthesizer

 With their new quintet format (including the entry of bassist Ares Tavolazzi) Area managed to consolidate their radical avant-garde approach to jazz-rock and achieve a more powerful ensemble sound: the result was properly incarnated in their genius second album "Caution Radiation Area", a manifesto of bold inventiveness and sheer energy. Their explosive mixture of Weather Report/Mahavishnu Orchestra-inspired fusion, psychedelia, free jazz, North Africa/Middle East folk and concrete chamber comes to a more cohesive and challenging fruition than in their already excellent debut album. The opener 'Cometa Rossa' serves as the beginner's perfect introduction to both the band's artistic ideology and legendary Demetrio Stratos' unique vocal style: basically, it is a rocky-edged jazz fusion number that includes a deliciously extravagant sung interlude, during which, the instrumentation comes down to a more subtle ground. It is not only the effective melodic lines and the amazing interplay between all five musicians that will leave the aware listener stunned; just pay attention to Capiozzo and Tavolazzi's masterful functioning as a rhythm section alone, as a clear example of the band's combined technical talent and energetic fire - their input should leave the listener speechless while listening to the entire album (or almost). The next two tracks explore the jazz-psychedelia-folk stuff even further: since the vocal parts are decreased, the room for instrumental pyrotechnics gets properly expanded. Tofani is an authentic guitar visionary: to some degree influenced by Fripp, he manages to go to bizarre places of his own with his peculiarly atonal guitar soloing, which in many passages is processed through synthesizer-based effects. Meanwhile, Fariselli provides a solid foundation on both electric and grand pianos in order to build a bridge between Tofani and the rhythm duo; his melodic input is mostly provided on his synth solos. Stratos is not only the Tarzan-meets-mental hospital patient singer; he also provides some effective organ harmonies and countermelodies, as well as some percussive extras. The 10+ minute 'MIRage? Mirage' is the longest track in the album, leaving enough room for the succession of diverse motifs and extended jams, taking the band's peculiar penchant for surprise. Tavolazzi's performance on double bass - delivered with exquisite panache - provides the track a sense of focus among all the sonic insanity that his partners indulge into with unhidden gall and total enthusiasm. Somewhere in the drastically minimalistic interlude, a few chords on harpsichord (courtesy of Stratos) appear floating by, adding some bizarrely delicate colours to the moment's tapestry: even delicacy can be disturbing. 'Lobotomia' is the closing number, an exercise on electronic experimentalism designed to ultimately lobotomize the captive listener (or even displease the unsatisfied one a bit more for a bit longer) so that they can focus on their own organic reaction: it is not a piece to be enjoyed or hated, it is a piece that seeks to provoke some fireworks in the listener's flesh, now that their reason has succumbed to the powers of post-modernist ideology. This closure is actually the finish line of a musical race that Area had started with an idea in mind: let's drop off everything we knew about beauty and search for something else, something essentially inscrutable in music. Inscrutable as it is for sure, it is also clear to me, according to my particular experience, that this album is a genuine prog masterpiece - from their own avant-garde island, Area forged a supreme work in 70s Italian prog.

Area - 1973 - Arbeit Macht Frei

Arbeit Macht Frei

01. Luglio, Agosto, Settembre (Nero) (4:27)
02. Arbeit Macht Frei (7:56)
03. Consapevolezza (6:06)
04. Le Labbra Del Tempo (6:00)
05. 240 Chilometri Da Smirne (5:10)
06. L'Abbattimento Dello Zeppelin (6:45)

- Demetrio Stratos / vocals, organ, still drums
- Patrick Djivas / bass
- Patrizio Fariselli / pianos
- Gianpaolo Tofani / guitars, VCS-3
- Giulio Capiozzo / drums, percussion
- Victor Edouard ('Eddie') Busnello / sax, bass clarinet, flutes

Undoubtedly one of the more adventurous, AREA were also a very important band on the seventies Italian prog scene, their first three albums in particular come highly recommended and essential listening to anyone discovering the RPI genre.

The band formed in 1972 stabilizing with a line-up of superb musicians for their debut album featuring ex I RIBELLI vocalist Demetrio Stratos, ex I CALIFFI guitarist Paulo Tofani, bassist Patrick Djivas (later to join PFM), drummer Giulio Capiozzo, keyboardist Patrizio Fariselli and on sax, flute and clarinet Victor Busnello. "Arbeit Macht Frei" (work will make your free) was released on Cramps records in 1973 and is a very accomplished debut by anyone's standards featuring an exciting blend jazz, rock and prog with Arabian and Greek (Stratos was Greek) influences along with a touch of the Avant. The bands lyrics show a politically left wing stance and Stratos was already displaying his inventive vocal style, using it as an instrument much of the time rather than in the traditional sense, something he would develop to further extremes on future albums (including solo work).

By 1974, when their second album "Caution Radiation Area" was released, Djivas had jumped ship for PFM being replaced by Ares Tavolazzi and Busnello also left but was not replaced. It's a harder listen than the debut leaning more towards the avant with a heavier emphasis on free jazz, once again the musicianship is exemplary and features some incredibly powerful moments. In comparison "Crac!" released in 1975 whilst still displaying the same inventive mix of styles was more accessible and is an ideal early port of call to the uninitiated. That year also saw the release of their first live album "Are(A)zione".

Two further studio albums followed where the band continued to expand their musical palette, "Maledetti" released in 1976 where the band used a host of other musicians to help out and "1978 Gli Dei Se Ne Vanno, Gli Arrabbiati Restano". By this point Tofani had left the band. It would also prove to be the last album to feature Stratos who sadly died of cancer in 1979 at the age of only 35.

The three remaining musicians attempted to continue bringing in some outside help in the brass department for the all instrumental album "Tic & Tac". Clearly Stratos was a talent too big to replace. Drummer Capiozzo continued in the eighties with a band called AREA II, but was the only original member, leaning more towards the pure jazz elements. He was reunited with Fariselli for one more AREA album, "Chernobyl 7991" released in 1996.

Whilst certainly not typical of the RPI genre AREA nevertheless remain an outstanding example of the inventive Italian prog scene. Not for the faint-hearted but for those looking for something more adventurous will find AREA a highly rewarding listening experience.

With more energy than Mahavishnu Orchestra and more edge than most of the RPI scene, Area's "Arbeit Macht Frei" is a must-listen - one that puts less accomplished groups back into perspective.

Note that this album is not exclusively for fusion-heads - this reviewer certainly isn't one of them - as it rarely slips into jazz variation downtime, preferring to steadily apply pressure to the listener's ears. When jazz is the focus, this reviewer is reminded of bands such as Soft Machine or Herbie Hancock's Mwandishi and features similar instrumentation; however, instead of extending into the jazz note horizon, "Arbeit Macht Frei" features several moments where strong rock grooves emerge from the funk - the beauty of it all is that this always occurs just before the sax versus electric piano motif would become taxing on the patience.

Let's not skip over Mr. Stratos' voice - it'd be a reviewer's crime to do so, thereby skipping a perfect chance to use the word "bleating" with a positive connotation! For the man is a vocal contortionist with style and with fierce power of delivery - think Banco's Di Giacomo with less of a theatrical edge but more passion, coupled with a little fringe Patton activity (it'd be interesting to know whether Mike Patton is indeed a fan of Area.)

A few notes about the individual tracks without lapsing into analysis; "Settiembre" is partially built around a dancing, ethnic melody line, perhaps inspired by the traditional music of greece; the title track starts experimentally but locks into a jazz-rock groove without compare; "Consapevolazza" is smooth and pensive and features a sax part that to this reviewer's mind mimics Mr. Stratos' singular vocal style; "Le Labbra del Tempo" changes things up with an intro that has a similar furious "everyone play the theme in unison!" feel as KC's legendary "21st Century Schizoid Man"; "240 Chilometri da Smirne" is your alloted semi-improv jazz expedition to put you in the mood for "L'Abbattimento delio Zeppelin", which is a dark and stormy fusion skree featuring the versatile voice of Mr. Stratos in the role of instrumentation - if there are lyrics to be beheld during this song, they are whispered, ranted and piped out, falsetto. It's an urgent, desperate and avant-garde way to end an album but this is no mistake, as from here Area just get more and more peculiar.

If you like what I've described then I urge you to listen to "Arbeit Macht Frei" for yourself as it shouldn't disappoint - the musicians involved have taste and class and are performing world-worthy compositions with glee and at times, a terrible ferocity.

Thirsty Moon - 2011 - Lunar Orbit

Thirsty Moon
Lunar Orbit (Live At Stagge's Hotel 1976)

01. Cloud Sky (9:30)
02. Rainbow (7:50)
03. Riding The Rain (6:14)
04. Music (10:50)
05. Dreaming (7:32)
06. Sudwind (6:03)
07. Crickets Don't Cry (8:44)
08. Lord Of Lightning (4:16)
09. Third Stone From The Sun (12:20)

- Jürgen Drogies / guitar, vocals, tapes
- Norbert Drogies / bass
- Rainer Neumann: saxophon
- Serge Weber / keyboards
- Junior Weerasinghe / drums

Sireena Records (Sireena 2085). Digipack. Recorded live at Stagge's Hotel, Osterholz-Scharmbeck (near Bremen) on April 2nd, 1976. Tape digitalization & mastering by Hans Dethlof. Liner notes written by Jürgen Drogies. Reissue produced by Tom Redecker.

Very good album of more mainstream-sounding fusion from a stabilized line-up (who were soon to record "A Real Good Time"). Mostly instrumential, with great jams, this features a rock solid rhythm section, a full-time sax player again, as well as a full-time keyboard player. The first song does have a nice phased fuzz guitar solo that reminds me of the famous solo on Yellow Sunshine from the first album.

Thirsty Moon - 2006 - I'll Be Back - Live '75

Thirsty Moon
I'll Be Back - Live '75

01. Black Clouds (9:50)
02. Rainbow (4:52)
03. Südwind (5:46)
04. Music (15:39)
05. Dreaming (7:14)
06. Don't Boogie Along The Bullshit Train (4:32)
07. Speak For Yourself (5:08)
08. Volcano (8:44)
09. Big City (10:50)

- Gert Lueken / vocals, keyboards
- Heinz Sander / bass
- Jürgen Drogies / guitars, vocals, synthesizers
- Norbert Drogies / drums, percussion

The tapes of this 1975 concert in Bremen have been rediscovered by the Drogies brothers in 2006! They only had a tape recorder and no mixer to capture the songs at that time. The sound quality is good though, with some unavoidable exceptions, for example the vocals. Here you can listen to one of the last performances before the band split up for the second time. The album title is an allusion to their second effort 'You'll never come back'.

THIRSTY MOON is celebrating good rock music, very jazzy and funky, also relaxed with the first songs. All musicians are having qualities but for me especially the excellent guitar work is remarkable. Speak for yourself is a good example for that, taken from the studio album 'Blitz' which had been released not long ago. Other exceptional songs are Black Clouds with thunder and rain from a tape and Music which contains the mandatory drum solo by Norbert Drogies. Volcano appears with a fantastic Krautrock/psychedelic interlude and the closing Big City develops to a great jam with some squeaky keys.

Thirsty Moon - 1981 - Starchaser

Thirsty Moon

01. Lovers on the run (5:57)
02. Who's gonna save the world (10:45)
03. The seals (4:50)
04. Do you believe in flying saucers (11:00)
05. Road to freedom (6:34)
06. Starchaser (2:52)

- Jürgen Drogies / guitars, keyboards
- Norbert Drogies / drums, bass
- Hans Werner Ranwig / vocals
- Junior Werasinghe / vocals, drums

Thirsty Moon - 1976 - A real good time

Thirsty Moon
A real good time

01. The end of the TV programme
02. On a Saturday night
03. A real good time
04. Talk of the town
05. Candles
06. Cloud Sky
07. Sundance
08. Burn It Down
09. Distant Stars
10. Song For Sandy
11. Dreaming

- Jürgen Drogies / guitars, vocals, synthesizers
- Norbert Drogies / drums, percussion, bass
- Rainer Neumann / saxophone
- Serge Weber / piano, clavinet, synthesizers

 Forth album of this little known band from Germany. Another album with intresting and funy cover art A real good time from 1976 is another worthy album. This time no more lenghty pieces, all are under 6 min and in some parts they sound little, just little more mainstream as on You'lll never... Jazz rock with brass passages and here and there some progressive elements added, a good combination but I think the album sounds date it in some parts, like on On a Saturday night , a bland and dull piece, totaly forgetable. The music begun really to move with A real good time , Cloudy Sky or Sundance, quite good pieces that incapsulates everything Thirsty Moon has good to offer in thet period. Maybe not as solid as You'll Never Come Back but defintly worth checking out. 3 solid stars, nothing more or less. One of the bands that somehow gone unnoticed when talking about german bands from the'70s.

Thirsty Moon - 1975 - Blitz

Thirsty Moon

01. Lord of lightning (3:40)
02. Riding in the rain (3:11)
03. Magic moon (4:37)
04. It was love (3:13)
05. Speak for yourself (2:50)
06. Südwind (3:47)
07. Rainbow (5:06)
08. The jungle of your mind (7:24)
09. Crickets don't cry (5:11)

Bonus Tracks
10. Clouds
11. I'll Sing Your Song
12. Caught

- Jürgen Drogies / guitar, percussion
- Norbert Drogies / drums
- Michael Kobs / keyboards
- Harald Konietzko / bass, acoustic guitar, vocals
- Erwin Noack / percussion
- Willi Pape / saxophone, flute
- Sigfried Pisalla / guitar, vocals
- Hans Werner Ranwig / keyboards, backing vocals

A rather different album than their previous two, Blitz is a much rockier effort and was not released on the legendary Metronome section of the Brain label and it is again graced with a doubtful taste cartoon artwork by Gil Funccius. By this time, the group had been annexed by the Drogies brothers (have you checked to see I was not joking? ;-), and it sure sounds like it.

Indeed this is almost hard rock with the lead guitar and drums splattered all over it, and the whole thing is not far from a disco beat, having lost all of its previous subtleties. Even if there are still some spacey effects, they sound quite kitsch on this simple instrumental funk rock. As four out of five tracks of the opening side fit this description, only the slower It Was Love differs, but that does not make this slow ballad any more interesting. A real downer after their previous two albums.

After an equally forgetful Sûdwind, the flipside does raise this album's level to a more acceptable overall level with the charming Rainbow (filled with keyboards) and the lengthy upbeat Jungle Of Your Mind (but "marred" with a very lengthy Hawkwind-esque drum/percussion duo. in 76) and the excellent Crickets Don't Cry with finally some decent interplay, inspired tempo changes and brilliant execution.

Thirsty Moon - 1974 - You'll Never Come Back

Thirsty Moon
You'll Never Come Back

01. I See You (7:18)
02. Trash Man (14:27)
03. Tune In (5:00)
04. You'll Never Come Back (12:34)
05. Das Fest Der Völker (5:05)

Bonus track on LongHair CD release
06. Music (12:00)

- Jürgen Drogies / guitar, percussion
- Norbert Drogies/ drums
- Michael Kobs / keyboards
- Harald Konietzko / bass, acoustic guitar, vocals
- Erwin Noack / percussion
- Willi Pape / woodwinds

TM's second album is definitely titled as risqué, mostly due to its title and rather ugly semi-erotic cartoon artwork, but the music proves the title wrong. Lead by the Drogies brothers (I'm serious, check it out for yourself ;-) this psych-jazz-rock septet has a very Krautrock feeling and can be assimilated to Kraan crossing Release Music Orchestra to remain in their German homeland. Indeed, there is a definite spacey-psychey attitude in their music, fitting well the legendary Metronome section of the Brain label. This album builds on the relative successful airplay of the debut, and was even better received by the specialized press

The opening side is a killer with only two lengthy tracks allowing for tons of interplay, solos, plenty of tempo changes and embellishments of all sorts. The 14-min+ Trash Man is really enthralling and suffers no lengths or over-long soloing tirades. The opening I See You was in the same register as well, with some good light improvisations. Some percussions can add some Latino influences, but I find it relatively minor and it's hardly over-powering. Pape's sax and flute bring out the jazz out of the group and exposes it to the forefront.

On the flipside, after the very fusionesque Tune In, we are clearly waiting for the monster 12-min+ title track, which starts out very slowly, almost cosmic, slowly moving across the galaxy, powered by a Fender Rhodes engine to the dissonant, almost free-jazz realm (avoiding its black hole, though ;-) then by activating the saxophone booster gliding and grooving to its great j-r destination. The closing Das Fest is just as beautiful, starting slowly, evolving to a quiet peaceful groove before exiting on a fade-out. The remastered version of this album on the Long Hair label offers a 12-mins bonus track called Music, which is slightly different (but not much) than the rest of the album as it develops into a raga, and features some plaintive vocals to remind us of the Indian subcontinent.

One of the better Krautjazz-rock (if you'll allow me ;-) album around, this easily beats most of Kraan's works past their debut album and their double live album. I suggest the progheads to start with this album (most of their early ones have just received a remastering, some with bonus tracks) and their debut before eventually heading towards their next album Blitz, which is fairly different.

Thirsty Moon - 1972 - Thirsty Moon

Thirsty Moon
Thirsty Moon

01. Morning Sun (5:24)
02. Love Me (3:54)
03. Rooms Behind Your Mind (3:18)
04. Big City (8:31)
05. Yellow Sunshine (21:30)

Bonus track on CD release 2006
06. Life Is A Joke (5:42)

- Jürgen Drogies / guitar, percussion
- Norbert Drogies / drums, percussion
- Michael Kobs / electric piano
- Harald Konietzko / bass, 12-string-guitar, percussion, vocals
- Erwin Noack / congas, percussion
- Willi Pape / saxophone, clarinet, flute, percussion
- Hans Werner Ranwig / organ, percussion, vocals

Much collectible Brain label was somewhat of a specialist in releasing German progressive Jazz-rock in the early 70's. Among which were RELEASE MUSIC ORCHESTRA, CORNUCOPIA, EMERGENCY, and THIRSTY MOON. These guys came from Bremen (south of Hamburg) and their debut was produced by Petersen (ex-IKARUS), giving them a typical instrumental jazz-rock sound of the era.

Debut album from a very typical group that performed a jazz-rock/fusion with that typcal Krautrock spirit, TM's music can be compared to early Doldinger's Passport or Kraan to a spacey Release Music Orchestra (to remain in Germany). Lead by the Drogies brother (guitar and drums respectively), this septet had everything in their handsto make an entertaining JR/F as they introduced some space/cosmische muzieke in it. Released on the verey collectible Metronome section of the Brain label (this would mean the brown label, not the gfreen) with an arresting artwork by artist Gil Funccius, this debut album is one of the better JR/F from their country.

One the opening side, Morning Sun is absolutely delightful and the 9-min+ Big City is a scorcher, both being the essence of TM. The two shorter tracks are also much worthy of the attention. The flipside is made of the sidelong Yellow Sunshine track, which is easily the album's highlight even if there are inevitable lengths and solos.

A very worthy album, just as their second would also be, I recommend starting out with their You'll Never Come Back as it might be a tiny bit more concise, but both are very worthy of every proghead's shelves.

Roger Bunn - 1969 - Piece Of Mind

Roger Bunn
Piece Of Mind

01. Road To The Sun
02. Jac Mool
03. Fantasy In Fiction
04. Jac Mool (slight return)
05. Crystal Tunnel
06. Three White Horses
07. Catatonia
08. Suffering Wheel
09. Guido The Magician
10. Powis Square Child
11. Old Maid Prudence
12. Humble Chortle
13. Jason's Ennui
14. 110o East + 107o North
15. A Weekend In Mandraxia
16. Life is a Circus
17. Falling Ships
18. In the Future
19. Lin-da's Jukebox
20. You and I
21. In love with you babe
22. Up for Grabs

Bunn was a master guitar player and specially a virtuoso on the double bass. Actually he was the first guitar player of Roxy Music. The story goes like this. Brian Ferry asked him to shave his beard and moustache and to dress properly for Roxy’s first tour (We all know Ferry's horrendous sense of fashion and clothing aesthetics). Well, Bunn was an incorrigible rebel and his answer was leaving the band for good.

That's how Bunn faded out of the mainstream music scene and that’s how a legend was born.

A great 'lost' album from the 1960s - we've heard that claim before - but this time it really was an essential and groundbreaking album that got 'lost'. Through replacing the Beatles at the Star Club, Hamburg and after a request to Paul McCartney, Roger Bunn recorded some demos at the Beatles office in London in 1968 and somehow the tapes were sent to Philips Records in Amsterdam. Dutch producer Frans Peters teamed Roger up with arranger Ruud Bos and some fine classical and jazz musicians to record in Holland. All the album songs - including music and lyrics by Roger and John Mackie - were very original and far ahead of anything that was happening in the UK and USA at the time. Remember that in those prehistoric pre-Euromusic days there was little co-operation between countries for projects of this sort. This LP was one of a kind and that's probably the reason the album got lost. Deals were struck for it to be released in Germany and the UK - but both were on labels that gave Piece of Mind minimal or no promotion. We have added seven demos and studio recordings to the set, among them Roger's predictive vision of "In The Future" and the cynical "You and I" which tell of a world of never ending wars and home computers. And "Life Is A Circus", a classic song of its time - recorded - but never released - by David Bowie. Roger tells his own story in the 36-page booklet which includes tales of the musicians he worked with and for in his struggles against the machinations of the powerful big labels and reward organisations of the record industry - both then and now. Piece of Mind is a difficult album to put in a musical bag, with its fusions of jazz, blues and rock - and it is easily seen why Roger's music influences others rather than allows itself to be influenced by anyone. But if you liked the 'Top Gear' sounds of the late 60s and had thoughts of travelling East to Afghanistan along with Roger on the Hippy Trail, you'll like it. And as you take the Coltrane/McCoy Tyneresque "Road To The Sun" you'll wonder why this album never got to be one of John Peel's fave raves.... About the Artist Roger Bunn was hardly ever a household name in music, even at the peak of his career during the last three years of the 1960s. He somehow managed to play with lots of important people and bands, and at major gigs -- and intersected with the early career of David Bowie, as well as playing a role in the founding of such outfits as Roxy Music -- but he only ever got known especially well among musicians, rather than to the public. During the mid-'60s, he worked with a wide array of players, including Graham Bond, Zoot Money, and Joe Harriott, and crossed paths with Jimi Hendrix. By his own account, he also used a massive amount of recreational, often hallucinogenic drugs across the years leading up to the late '60s, which caused a memory lapse on aspects of his life that lasted well into the 1980s. He played with the Ken Stevens dance band and in Marianne Faithfull's backing band, and also lost out to Mick Taylor in a bid to join John Mayall's Bluesbreakers. After a stint playing with the expatriate South African Blue Notes, Bunn ended up working alongside Glenn Sweeney and Dave Tomlin in a trio called Giant Sun Trolley, which played on the same bills as Pink Floyd, Soft Machine, the Crazy World of Arthur Brown, and Procol Harum at the UFO Club. He was, through the trio, part of "The 14 Hour Technicolor Dream," a renowned psychedelic extravaganza.

When I first listened to this album sent by Princess Guadalupe I couldn’t believe what my ears were telling to my brain. Questions started to explode out of my head at a dizzying rate:

> What’s this pop-psych artifact?
> Are these the best arrangements I’ve ever heard in a rock album for a long time?
> Can such an unknown album be this good?
> Jesus! Should I make room in my all time top 100 list for Roger Bunn’s Piece of Mind?

Well, I haven’t answered these questions yet but I truly hope you help me with them, by listening to this secret jewel that we just got.

These are the words that come to my mind while I listen to it: Jazzy, Orchestral Crooning, Extraordinary Horn Touches, Soul?, Singer-Author, Folk, Bing Crosby on Acid, Smart, Honesty , Beauty, Uplifting , Deep, Blue, Great Voice! What? Who?

The BBC DJ Pete Drummond said about Piece of Mind "It is a wonderful album. It’s far too musical and intelligent to succeed."

In 1969 Bunn entered the studio to record this album with the aid of the Dutch National Orchestra due to the fact that he got a contract from Phillips which is based in Holland. As far as our research has gone that was the last professional thing he did on a recording studio under his own name although he played double and electric bass with dance orchestras, Blues bands and Jazz ensembles as a session man. (Spontaneous Music Ensemble is probably the best known of all these combos)

But his story doesn’t end here. There’s another side of Bunn we need to mention. He spent his life fighting for different Human Rights organizations. Living of sporadic guitar and bass lessons, it seems that he decided to forget stardom and instead he became a rabid defender of the dispossessed and a paladin for the common man. (I haven’t mentioned that Bunn’s father was a highly decorated war hero, so there was a sense of duty and a deep wish of fighting for peace in him)

In the early 90’s he managed to get a cheap old computer that he used to fight Apartheid and Corporate Corruption with all his strength. In 1994 he founded MIHRA – Music Industry Human Rights Association.

The rest of the facts are the matter of legend. Very little has been published of his personal life and his last years.

He died on July 28th , 2005.

After having read his biography I believe he was a giant. Musically and Morally.

These are the things that are worth to get serious about.

Keep Fighting and…

Keep Listening..!!!

Cybotron - 1978 - Colossus


01. Colossus (8:13)
02. Eclipse (10:46)
03. Medusa (7:57)
04. Raga In Asia Minor (15:35)

- Steve Braund / ARP synthesiser, ARP sequencer, Korg synthesiser, processed saxophone
- Colin Butcher / drums, percussion, synthesisers
- Geoff Green / piano, organ, strings, Mellotron, synthesisers

Cybotron might have been something more than just a footnote in musical history, if only:

A) The band had formed in England or America, instead of in the cultural isolation of southern Australia,

B) They didn't share the same name with a popular techno group from Detroit, operating more or less at the same time, and

C) Their career peak hadn't coincided with the violent shift of musical headwinds that capsized so many likeminded outfits at the end of the 1970s.

Too bad, because the band had the potential to make a splash during its all-too brief lifetime, which instead crested on this second album, released in 1978. There's a temptation to brand them as an antipode TANGERINE DREAM, always the yardstick for measuring any musical trio top-heavy with synthesizers. But the aggressive drum work and macho electronic riffing brings their sound closer to the psychedelic space-rock spirit of classic HAWKWIND, right down to the same processed, interstellar sax, played here by bandleader Steve Braund.

It was the unique blend of instruments - synthesizers, heavy drums, and saxophone - that gave their music such a distinctive punch. Steve Braund may have been an expatriate German living Down Under, but unlike the early kosmische pioneers of TANGERINE DREAM his own band was hardly experimental (at least not on this album). The music here is strictly rock, with the bombastic vitality of all those analog synths and sequencers sounding no less appealing (if not quite as fresh) after more than thirty years.

In truth the album has dated less than the band's cheesy sci-fi name and amateur cover art. And in retrospect it's a good thing they never compromised the authority of their strictly instrumental blitzkrieg with singing. I can't imagine the jet-fueled jams of "Eclipse" or "Medusa" being improved by lyrics, but then again a lot of fans were saying the same thing about TANGERINE DREAM before that band's addition of a vocalist for the "Cyclone" album, released the same year as Cybotron's sophomore effort.

The Australian trio will never be remembered as musical innovators. But they succeeded in forging a singular identity for themselves, no small accomplishment in the creative cauldron of the mid-1970s. It may be too late for a complete rediscovery, but I'm reassured to find they haven't been completely forgotten.

[ Consumer postscript. The available digital version of the album - at Amazon and elsewhere - differs from the original vinyl, cutting more than nine minutes off the epic "Raga in Asia Minor" but adding a pair of bonus tracks as compensation: a short remix of the muscular title track, and the TD influenced sequencer space-out of "Ride". The trade-off actually makes the album shorter than it used to be, but still worth searching for. ]

Cybotron - 1976 - Cybotron


01. Arrakis (6:03)
02. Mumbo Jumbo (4:22)
03. Gods Of Norse (4:40)
04. Parameters Of Consciousness (9:24)
05. Sonic Overide (10:06)
  a. Gliding
  b. The Riddle
  c. Answer

- Steve (Maxwell Von) Braund / ARP 2600 synthesiser, Korg 700 synthesiser, electronic percussion, alto saxophone
- Geoff Green / organ, string synthesiser, Korg 700 synthesiser, ARP 2600 synthesiser

CYBOTRON was an experimental electronic music duo formed in Melbourne, Australia, by expatriate German Steve Braund (aka Steve Maxwell Von Braund) and Geoff Green in 1975. The group draws heavily on synthesisers (as would be expected), electronic and acoustic percussion, plus saxophone and played minimalist, repetitive progressive-style electronica in a style that emulated the direction of the 1970's German cosmic sounds.

The name CYBOTRON is derived from a shortening of the name of KLAUS SCHLUZE's "Cyborg" album, a significant influence on Braund, and the use of "tron" as used on the word 'cyclotron'. To Braund the CYBOTRON handle signified half man, half machine. Being a German expat, Braund had been exposed to much of the Krautrock and early electronic rock scene, including the likes of SCHLUZE, CAN, TANGERINE DREAM, ASH RA TEMPLE, AMON DUUL II and the UK's HAWKWIND and PINK FLOYD. The CYBOTRON sound had the duo often referred to as the 'Australian TANGERINE DREAM'.

The initial Braund-Green pairing came on the Braund's 1975 solo work, "Monster Planet", which also featured Gil 'Rats' Matthews (of Billy Thorpe & The Aztecs fame), Jim Keays (of Masters Apprentices) and violinist Harry Vyhnal. "Monster Planet" is credited with being Australia's first electronic rock album. After the completion of "Monster Planet" the CYBOTRON duo was born. (The "Monster Planet" album could be considered as part of the CYBOTRON discography given that both CYBOTRON members contributed to the work.)

CYBOTRON's eponymous debut album, released in 1976, featured the Braund-Green pairing, and added Gil Matthews as drummer (and recording engineer). Composition on "Cybotron" was undertaken by both Braund and Green. The second album, "Colossus" - arguably the peak for CYBOTRON - was released in 1978. For "Colossus" the drumming duties were passed on the Colin Butcher, who also brought additional percussion and synthesiser skills to the table. (Gil Matthews remained involved as the engineer.) For "Colossus" all compositions are credited to Geoff Green alone, a shift from the debut album. "Colossus" sold quite well in Europe and the USA (although poorly in Australia). It looked like CYBOTRON may have been about to make an impact on the international scene with "Colossus", however interest faded as quickly as it had risen. For the third (and ultimately final) album, "Implosion", Green had departed the group. Butcher had vacated the drumming seat before the release of "Colossus" so Braund re-enlisted Matthews on drums and additional synthesisers. The CYBOTRON sound was altered further by adding bass player Mark Jones. Braund has composition credits for all tracks for "Implosion" and openly admits he was pursuing a more commercial sound with this 1980 release. A fourth CYBOTRON album - with the working name of "Abbey Moor" - was commenced in 1981, however it was never completed. Five tracks from the "Abbey Moor" recordings appear as bonus tracks on the 2005 Aztec Music re-issue of "Implosion". There is also a semi-bootleg live album of a 3ZZ (Melbourne radio station) radio show, released in either 1977 or 1979 (depending on the resource), with the name "Saturday Night Live".

Despite a reasonably strong and consistent output of recorded works - five albums in all from 1975 to 1980 (when the Braund debut and the 3ZZ recording are taken into account) - CYBOTRON remained relatively obscure, really known only to those in the electronic music circles. CYBOTRON did experience a mini-renaissance of sorts when a Detroit electro-pop group hit the scene in 1980 using the CYBOTRON name (which Braund had not been able to register overseas). Fans of the Detroit group were lead to the Australian group's work by the shared name, with new fans being won out of the confusion.

There have been rumours of a reforming of CYBOTRON around since 2002, plus the release of a live album from a tour supporting Split Enz though nothing has happened on either front to date.

Professor Fuddle's Fantastic Fairy Tale Machine - 1973 - Professor Fuddle's Fantastic Fairy Tale Machine

Professor Fuddle's Fantastic Fairy Tale Machine
Professor Fuddle's Fantastic Fairy Tale Machine

01. Professor Fuddle's Fantastic Fairy Tale Machine - 3:00
02. Rain's My Name - 2:05
03. Witch's Chant - 2:08
04. Philomel - 2:40
05. Dancing Master's Jig - 1:42
06. Indigo Evening - 2:43
07. Counting Comparison - 2:37
08. Sonnet Song - 2:45
09. The Opera Cracks The Bell - 1:53

Mickey Andrews (Dobro, guitar)
Paul Bradbury (vocals)
Bruce Ley (Moog synthesizer, piano)
Don Paveling (bass), Jim Pecchia (guitar)
Gary Tiller (vocals, drums, percussion)

The « Fuddle album was inspired following an idea by Alan Ball, who went on to join the Canada Arts Council. Alan had the idea of writing a play than explain, to children, how computers work. Nowadays, of course, children toil adults how computers work, but such was not the way of the world back in 1971 Personal computers had not been invented. Computers were, in tact, huge complex machines, taking up entire floors of space, in places like universities.

Teams of “programmers” operated these humming contraptions, feeding the machinery with cards on which data was “computed” by perforating, or piercing, the cards with strategically olaced holes. But in digress. The story of the play is a 1070's fairy tale, set in a fishing hamlet in Newfoundland ('New-fun-Land'), Canada's most easterly island province. Jeff, a young boy of about 12. visits his uncle, Professor Fuddle, who has acquired an old union hall in the hamlet, in which to build his experimental 'computer'.

The opening tune introduces and animates the huge machine, which takes up the entire width of the stage. As Jeff arrives, the professor is seated before the machine's controls at centre stage. He is testing the machine's capability to produce 'holographs' of storybook characters. Snow White appears from the machine's 'good' side, hiding from a wicked queen in a haunted forest, singing the LP's second song. 'Rain's my name', and dreamily dancing to the computer's generated music of Philomel, from Shakespeare's 'Macbeth'. Snow White's 'Seven Dwarfs' arc produced from the computer's 'good' side, during song 5, as 'dancing masters', local wooden dolls, normally suspended on sticks (the amchine appears to have absorbed the local culture).

From the 'evil' side of the computer, ghosts of mermaids from seagoing mythology, haunt the witch into recanting her ways, via the song 'The opera cracks the bell'. As forgetful old professors might do, Professor Fuddle has forgotten to 'teach' it to count - a major flaw, the audience learns, when two huge actors appear as the 'dancing masters', supposedly portraying the 'Seven Dwarfs'. So, Jeff and his assembled characters encourage the audience to help them program, or 'teach' the computer to count, and to 'learn' tho difference between 'big' and 'small', by singing the 'Count Comprison Song'. Songs 'Indigo Evening' and 'Sonnet Song (Plenylunios)' add mood and moral purpose to the plot, as presentations for younger minds were supposed to do, back in the 1970's.

The witch's 'evil bell' cracks, to the tune 'The Opera Cracks The Bell', and the spell of her thousand year reign of evil is broken. The play, staged at the St. John's Arts & Culture Center as its Christmas presentation, was a success, according to the next day's reviews. Alan's play wont on to be included in a Collage of Canadian Children's Plays. Following which, every child around the world over the age of three learned to make computers sing and talk, and we adults slunk back to our caves. The rest, as they say, is History. And so is this forgotten LP.

Borealis - 1972 - Sons Of The Sea

Sons Of The Sea

01. In The End - 2:30
02. Broke - 3:14
03. Sons Of The Sea - 3:49
04. Higher - 3:23
05. Another Boy - 5:06
06. Business - 4:42
07. The Politician - 3:28
08. Old Age - 3:00
09. Tomorrow Morning - 5:17
10.Lucky Day - 3:06

Paul Bradbury - Vocals, Organ
Wayne Sturge - Guitar, Vocals
Mark Bradbury - Bass, Vocals
David Hillier - Drums

Recorded in Ontario Canada, March 1970 and originally released on Audat 477-9025/6 in 1972.

Audar Records produced the Borealis In July 1972. It was the first rock album recorded in the Atlantic provinces. The record company was kind of expecting the usual country or folk materials, normal during that time, but we had other things in mind, although we did not mislead them. Song 1, "In the end". made the Top Ten for two months in St. Johns, Newfoundland.

However, a lack of promotion by the hand members, who thought record companies did such duties, soon consigned this LP to collector's shelves and bargain bins in Woolworth deportment stores. Nevertheless, for many years the hand relieved (CAPAC cheques of varying amounts, indicating repeated airplay someplaces, somewhere in Canada. "business", song one on side two was a funky sendup of local business practices, as experienced by the band, it was thought to be the most worthy, as satire. and was designated to be the first "single". Instead, the record company pressed it has to be the "B" side, with "In the end” as the "A" side.

The company then mastered the LP with "In the end" as song one, side one, perhaps because it was the least jarring to the region's many country fans. The album was recorded the night before Borealis opened for the famed Lighthouse band. The recording company's timetable would not be overthrown by a group of young musicians who professed So be opening for a supergroup the next day! And so, a weekend passed, I remember most of it the ports when 1 was awake. It was worth every second!