Thursday, May 5, 2016

An Douar Bras - 1979 - Le Joueur De Lune

An Douar Bras
Le Joueur De Lune

01. Ar Voreirion
02. Oiseau Coquillage
03. Je Vais Partir
04. Incandescence
05. Le Joueur De Lune
06. Gavotte De Ben Hy Tie
07. La Dame Brune
08. Bulles
09. Fleurs

Roselyne Graindepice (vocals, hurdy gurdy, recorder, guitar, dulcimer)
Richard Graindepice (guitar, tin whistle, zither, bombarde, vocals)
Patrick (keyboards, synthesizer, guitar, bass, vocals)
Didier (drums, percussion, vocals)

Superb private French electric folk progressive with fuzz guitar, keys and flute. Like Sourdeline with male and female vocals. FOC

Amonite - 1979 - Première


01. Première 1:38
02. Les P'tis Papiers 2:57
03. Le Roc Qui Boit 3:44
04. Elles ? 6:07
05. L'auberge Rouge 3:56
06. Souveraine 3:35
07. Beau Biat 3:01
08. Ballade Médiévale Sur Un Manche 3:28

Electric Guitar, Acoustic Guitar, Flute, Vocals – Dominique Meslier
Guitar, Psaltery, Drums – Didier Dubreuil
Metallophone – Thierry Chatry
Photography – Bernard Deuss
Piano, Organ, Flute – Jean-Pierre Sandillon
Recorded By – Michel Demily

Folk Rock band, for which little is known.Amonite came from France and consisted of Dominique Meslier on flutes, guitars and voices, Didier Dubreuil on guitars, psaltery and drums, Thierry Chatry on metallophone and Jean-Pierre Sandillon on piano, organ, and flute.They recorded their debut ''Premiere-Folk evolutif'' somewhere in Poitiers, but apparently no date was printed on the album.This was a private release, which some critics place it around 1979, with a fifth member appearing on the front cover, reputedly it was the band's producer Michel Demily. Soundwise this rare LP is deeply grounded in Folk Rock territories with a strange, fairytale atmosphere and lots of sensitive, romantic passages with poetic French lyrics.However the album has little to do with Breton Folk movement, having often a singer/singwriter atmosphere, based on acoustic guitars, piano and an intense lyricism.The few narrations, surrounded by drums and piano often remind the folkier and more emotional side of Ange.The lack of significant electric passages though grounds Amonite's album strongly on the Folk fields.While the mood is quite sensitive, the music is very much laid-back with no true dynamics and the pastoral passages often sound too minimalistic.The longer cut ''Elles?'' is definitely an accomplished composition, featuring Ange-like dramatic organs with a smooth electric solo after the middle, while the constant presence of Psych-tinged drumming and the deep voice of Meslier make this one a beautiful piece of Progressive Folk Rock.Unfortunately the rest of the album is good but not fully convincing with a few adventurous and captivating moments.There is no need to say this was the only release of Amonite, moreover all of the members are yet to be indicated in any further music developments.Their producer Michel Demily appeared many years later as the sound engineer of Taal on their ''Mister Green'' allbum.

Alpha III - 1974 - Spectro

Alpha III 

01. Momentos Do Universo (4:05)
02. Reverberes Ao Spectro (4:51)
03. Meson K (4:36)
04. Casa Branca (5:03)
05. Lince Negro (5:29)
06. Molécula (5:11)
07. Dança Das Pirâmides (7:10)
08. Requiém (2:47)

- Amyr Cantúsio Jr. / keyboards
- Duppermel Jr. / percussion
- Adilson Samuel / drums
- Mario Jorge / bass

Amir Cantusio Jr. was born to Italian parents in 1957 in Campinas, Sao Paulo, Brazil and studied piano and violin at the age of 5.He developed his musical skills as a multi-instrumentalist at the conservatory of Sao Paulo.Known as the leader of the Alpha III project, his first band was actually Spectro in the mid-70's along with percussionist Duppermel Jr., a singer named Arp Odyssey (!), drummer Adilson Samuel and bassist Mario Jorge.These 20-min. recordings were released in 2002 by Medusa Records in a limited number of CD's.The first four tracks are straightly taken from the Spectro days and saw a band playing in a typical keyboard-driven Symphonic Rock style.Despite the mediocre sound and mix, Spectro seem to have been a talented act with Cantusio Jr. as their undisputed leader.Their musicianship is heavily influenced by the likes of Rick Wakeman and Emerson, Lake & Palmer. with superb keyboard work and pounding rhythmic parts, based on Cantusio's organ leads, atmospheric synthesizers and Classical-inspired passages.The atmosphere constantly turns from a romantic and dramatic mood to a virtuosic face and keeps the listener from the very first to the last minute.This would have been even greater if the production quality wasn't that low.The next four compositions are all arranged and performed by Cantusio Jr. himself, the use of synthesizers is stronger now and the style seems like a cross between Symphonic Rock and Electronic Prog.With the heavy use of voice effects, samplers and electronic ambiences the sound now is even more diverse and dramatic, the programming is good and the music still remains inspired, showing the fine talent of Cantusio Jr. in composition.The album still remains very rare nowadays, having yet to see a reissue by a major label.However it definitely deserves this, being far more than just a historical document of Amir Cantusio's early days as a musician, containing some great moments of organ-led Symphonic Rock mixed with some great electronics.

Air Condition - 1981 - Behind the Scenes

Air Condition 
Behind the Scenes

01. Free Again
02. Night Train
03. Telephone Line
04. How Can It Be Right
05. Snobby People
06. Echo's So Bad
07. In The Heart Of The Night
08. Behind The Scenes

Recorded At – Tonstudio Langendreer

Bass Guitar – Markus Lücke
Drums, Percussion – Joachim Gerber
Guitar – Michael Wolters
Keyboards, Synthesizer [Moogs] – Ralf Kleinermanns
Vocals, Guitar, Acoustic Guitar – Theo Bücker

Rare Krautrock with Jazzy influences... No info about these guys whatsoever... anyone know more?

Age - 1982 - Dimensions


01. Day-Fly 3:26
02. Bruoscella 2:40
03. First Light 2:46
04. Cascade 2:42
05. Mysterious Call 2:12
06. Escape 1:47
07. Night and Day 3:24
08. Ballade 1:50
09. Dimensions 13:50
10. Meadows 3:12
11. So Long 1:25

Drums, Percussion – Marc Vachaudez
Synthesizer – Emmanuel D'Heayere, Guy Vachaudez
Music Composed, Performed, Produced By Age. Recorded and Mastered at Multitrack Studio, Tournai, April 1982.

Relatively harmless three-piece band (two on synthesizers and one on drums) from Belgium who released two albums in the early 1980's. Dimensions is their second effort and contains nothing more than ten throwaway electronic instrumentals. I would be overly generous to compare this to early 1980's Tangerine Dream but stylistically that's what Age are shooting for. Sweet and saccharine (more like what T.D would become later in the decade). However it must be said that the addition of real drums saves this from a complete waste of time. Good for sampling and little else. It does, however, sport a nice fantasy cover.

Age - 1980 - Landscapes


01. Hymalaya 2:31
02. Symfonieën 5:40
03. Landscape 5:31
04. Electronics 3:38
05. La Corde D'Argent 9:13
06. Plage 4:41
07. Ritmo 3:45

Emmanuël D'Haeyer (synthesizers)
Guy Vachaudez (synthesizers)
Marc Vachaudez (drums, percussion)

Recorded By, Mastered By – Herreman Jacques

Very rare album from Belgium, obscure and underground but known to the real collector. GAMM label, excellent 80's synth electronic avant-garde. Pretty hard to find on ebay these days, expect to pay somewhere between 35 to 40 euros for a mint copy. SOmehow I always loved the fresh sound of this album.

A New Place to Live - 1972 - A New Place to Live

A New Place to Live 
A New Place to Live

01. A New Place To Live 6:40
02. Go Away From Here 2:28
03. Summertime In The Winter 3:14
04. Standing On The Edge Of An Island 3:43
05. When You Wake Up In The Morning 3:15
06. The Dream Stage 7:25
07. Easy Does It 2:03
08. The Moon Tune 2:49
09. Oh This Jailhouse 7:04

Artwork – Nancy Wagner
Conductor, Producer, Written-By – Bob John Gallo (tracks: A1-A5,B1,B2,B4)
Guitar – Richard Zito
Narrator [Poems Recited] – John Zacherly
Vocals – Joey Carbone

Yes, this one's credited to A New Place To Live, but for all intents and purposes it's a Robert John Gallo release with studio backing from singer Joey Carbon and guitarist Richard Zito of Sounds of Modification fame.   As an added bonus, radio/television personality John Zacherly  recited the poetic segments.   Written, arranged, conducted, and produced by Gallo 1972's "A New Place To Live" was also  released on Gallo's Mandala label.  Quite an industrious guy !!!

A concept piece seemingly based on American psychic Edgar Cayce and a bizarre mixture of ecological concerns, history, religion, social commentary, and probably way too many illicit substances, the album sported one of the strangest plotlines I've come across. To quote the liner notes:  "Due to recent occurrences in the world, I would like to bring your attention to my concept album " A New Place To Live".  Written by Robert John Gallo more than two year ago.  Its meaning and significance take on a frightening yet truthful aspect now that the earthquakes and other disturbing occurrence of nature have begun."  Some of you will swear I'm makin' this stuff up. I'm not and I've gone to the extra step of embedded the song-by-song liner note comments along with my own thoughts:

- "Side one opens briefly with the poem 'A New Place To Live' depicting the creation of this planet and how it will destroy itself."  The title track opened up with a nice atmospheric instrumental section, before shifting over to an extended spoken word segment.  Backed by some tacky sound effects (ticking clock, theremin, explosions), John Zacherly managed to somehow keep a straight face while setting the stage for what was to come.   It actually sounded a bit like Captain T. Kirk spouting some sort of campy Federation manifesto.   The song ended with a rock-cum-progressive tinged segment.
- "We move to the first cut which is about the prophet Edgar Cayce who made the prediction many year ago of a disruption in the San Gabriel Mountains - which did occur recently.  The prophet is attempting to warn the people about this disaster but had no success."  Say what you will about this project, Joey Carbone had a nice voice and managed to get through the pop-tinged 'Go Away From Here' with his dignity intact.  One of the most accessible and enjoyable tracks on the album.
- "The next tune takes place at the present time along the Eastern Coast of the United States.  The song 'Summertime In The Winter' is self explanatory."   Kicked along by some tasty Rich Zito acoustic guitar and another poppy Carbone vocal, 'Summertime In The Winter' blended another highly commercial melody with some of the album's darkest lyrics.  
- "The fourth cut on this side reminds us of the Atlantis legend - that when the end came only a few people were mart enough to escape via the sea route thus bringing 'Standing On The Edge Of An Island' into focus."   Okay, I'll admit that I never would have gotten than message out of this bouncy slice of cocktail jazz tinged pop.  
- "The last song is about the pollution problem (which we are all aware of) and how the atmosphere, because it is so full of garbage is cutting off our only supply of heat and light; the sun.  End of side one."    Okay, the message may have lacked a bit of subllty, but 'When You Wake Up In The Morning' had a good heart, some biting Zito fuzz guitar, and a bouncy bubblegum-ish melody that would have let you overlook other shortcomings were it not for the totally unnecessary country segment that popped up in the middle of the tune.  
- "Side two begins with 'The Dream Poem'  the state in which Edgar Cayce and man originally derived all their basic thoughts.   The Dream Poem shows how most occurrences in dreams actually do come to pass.  In relation to our story one subject has a nightmare about the "end" which he feels is relevant and soon to come."   Zacherly's back with another extended spoken word segment that ends in what I'd imagine sounds like a bad acid trip, complete with trippy sound effects, echoy vocal snippets, and other goofy touches.   Curiously the track listing doesn't even show this track.  
- "The first song to follow the poem 'The Dream Stage'  is the part of man's life when he is awake yet not concious."  I won't comment on the lyrical content (it is what it is), but musically this one offered up a cool slice of '60 pop-psych influences.   One of my picks for stand out performance.
- "The second cut 'Easy Does It' explains the idea of an escape route or pattern to those who do believe."   Had it been recorded for a conventional album, 'Easy Does It' probably wouldn't have made much of an impression, but here the combination of pop hook, Greek-flavored instrumentation (wonder if Zito was actually playing a balakaika ...)  
- "The third tune suggests the Moon as a possible escape spot - thus 'The Moon Tune'."   Showcasing Zito's fuzz guitar, 'The Moon Tune' was another sterling pop tune, marred by some truly goofy lyrics.   I can only hope that Carbone was paid well for his efforts.   This one would have sounded good on the Carbone-Zito "Snowball" album.  
- Now we leave what is so far fact and continue without frightening sojourn into realism.  The people finally put our prophet in jail because he is the cause of mass confusion among the world's population.  In this selection 'To the Jailhouse' he sees the end clearly and exclaims "When these walls come tumbling down, then I'll be free !  Yes, I'll be free."   Another nice pop tune with a bouncy country tinge that would have been far better had it been written and recorded a straightforward pop tune.
- "Following the jailhouse scene is the prayer to the heavens.  It seems that when all else fails we always look up to God - as a last resort.  But it is too late for the prophet (who was actually a messenger of a sort  from the heavens), and his warning have gone by unheeded.  Thus all prayers go unheard as the thunder starts and the end begins.  The earth crumbles; armies fighting; mass confusion.  All of which is occurring presently.  The end is evident and out prophet who had somehow hoped to save the old world is now hoping to find a new and pure world - a new place to live.  'Finali (Oh Dear God)' was another track that didn't show on the track listing.  It started out sounding like a Gregorian chant and ended with another Zacherly spoken word segment and a slew of backward tapes and sound effects.   Not exactly the most cheerful ending you could have imagined.

I own a couple of Gallo's solo albums and this one is unlike any of those other releases.   This one is simply so strange that it almost qualifies as a classic ...   image an aural version of  Edward D. Wood' Planet 9  From Outer Space.  At the same time, several of these song were remarkably catchy and commercial.  Released as part of a more conventional album, they could have attracted considerable commercial attention.