First of all notice how bizarrely atrocious the original cover was:
And it seems this album was reissued in 1973 with a much improved and groovy cover:
And this is the 2005 reissue from Spain, shockingly, perhaps the best cover art of the three:
Returning to the reviewing portion of the show for a moment, I wanted to rave a bit about this astonishing little pearl discovered by my friend the Grand Nebula. First of all read what this seller from discogs has to say about it.
"Weird and obscure as they come. In 1972 arranger William S.Fischer lands in the basque country and produces some funky reinterpretations of popular basque folklore songs and dances, all around the theme of witchery and covens (Akelarre). As crazy and weird as it may sound, this Lp is virtually unheard of in collector’s circles. How the musical director for Atlantic Records and arranger for Wilson Pickett, Roberta Flack, Les McCann, Eugene McDaniels, Herbie Mann and countless others got involved with this project is up to everyone’s guess.
However what he comes up with is really astounding, a funky as hell workout which will get you screaming for more. Killer go-go psych soul which defies categorisation: tight rhythm section, open drum breaks,funky as Hell guitar leads, groovy flute, weird electronic sound effects and moog bits (most likely courtesy
of Walter E.Sear, who gets a mention in the original liners) alternate with more stylish moments; think Terry Callier or Blaxpotation Soundtracks of the era like Marvin Gaye's Troubleman and even some fusion styled groovers. Fans of his funky jazz rock cum electronics masterpiece "Circles" (released by the Embryo’s
label in 1970 and feaured on Mojo’s "50 Most Out There Albums of All Time" list won’t be deceived, for he shows here the same masterful sense of groove and orchestration but in a more danceable, not so avant-garde context. An unknown record that deserves to be brought back to life in this limited, hand-numbered reissue of 500 copies."
What you may not trust in this description like me because of the salesmanship is that this is a formidably enjoyable record, not only for the progressive / library fan, but also for those out there and I know they are legion who love the funky breaks and groovy beats and so on. And for those who are familiar with (and love!) the masterpiece avant-fusion album "Circles" from 1970 (and released to CD in 2003) this is indeed the same composer involved here, as I found out much to my shock. I say this because the style is so utterly different. If anyone knows about his 1973 album called "Omen" described as avant-garde, experimental, please mention in comments below.
Notice the alternative release info on discogs from 1973, incidentally. It seems on examining the tracklists they left out 2 songs off the reissue. (Which is what I have available to me.) Anyone know about those two missing tracks????
You can hear a few samples on youtube, thanks to the uploader (s):
The first track which is very representative: Bat Bi Hiru Lau
Guera De (ignore this link if you hate ads on youtube like I do)
Please note that this would not at all be qualified as an expensive vinyl thanks to the reissue. Fantastic album anyhow, strongly recommended.
In attempting to find William S. Fischer's picture (which does grace the cover of Circles), how tragic is it to see that wiki doesn't have him...