Thursday 31 July 2014

Dominique Guiot - L'univers de la mer from France 1979

There are two versions of this album, I much prefer the second cover which came later.  Both are French releases.  What an amazingly beautiful and surreal cover painting, as I always like to say, deserving of being in a museum rather than on an utterly forgotten LP...  Credit: photo de recto, J. Wyrs.  A confusing (and unhelpful?) note, since it's a painting on the recto.

The artist reminds me a great deal of Didier Bonin, posted on the old prognotfrog by myself, and the rips are again by our wonderful friend pollux, who does a professional job of cleaning up these records.

His later albums were quite disappointing to me, as you can see, he went on to library records.  The next one, La dame a la licorne, is much too simple and medieval for my tastes.  Incidentally, have you seen the tapestry series in the Cluny Museum, Paris, from which this title is based?  That medieval museum is simply a shockingly outstanding place to visit.

Again, consider how the beautiful first track, Wind Surf Ballad, should have been a radio hit back in the day, but most definitely, wasn't...

Wednesday 30 July 2014

Mosaik (1982, from Sweden, not to be confused with French and German Mosaic/k)

Apparently it was posted on prognotfrog, and a reupload was requested... More information can be found here on discogs.

Originally posted by munju:

"It seems Sweden's Atlas never had a very easy time of it, only releasing one album in their six-year history, 1979's Blå Vardag. Ad Perpetuam Memoriam's mid-'90s CD reissue includes several bonus tracks, including one by the post-Atlas outfit, Mosaik, formed by all of Atlas minus one of their two keyboard players, Björn Nielsen. Mosaik is a surprisingly progressive album for the time, although as Isildurs Bane proved, progressive rock didn't completely die out in Sweden in the '80s, though it really wasn't looking too well for a while. Mosaik's a bit of a mixed bag, going from gentle acoustic opener, Återfunnen, through the piano and sax duet Önnestad to the rather overlong Rhodes and MiniMoog jazz workout Re-Båpp, although overall, the band kept the quality pretty high.

A1. Återfunnen (1:49)
A2. Björnstorp (6:16)
A3. Kirstens rum (8:47)
A4. Tiden bara går (3:28)
A5. Önnestad (4:02)
A6. Ett oskrivet blad (4:06)

B1. Pappa har gått vilse (3:40)
B2. Re-Båpp (14:03)
B3. Trio (4:27)
B4. Mosaik: Gul, röd, orange (5:05)

- Dan Bornemark Sång
- Erik Björn Nielsen Orgel
- Hans Annellsson Gitarr
- Janne Persson Gitarr, flöjt, piano, bas
- Karl Witting Sång
- Micke Pinotti Trummor
- Peter Nilsson Sax
- Tomas Gunnarsson Violin, trummor
- Ulf Hedlund Bas"

Note that both French (Ultimatum, 1978) and German bands (No. 1, 77) of the same name are highly recommended, particularly the former, which was released to CD with some really wonderful bonus tracks that are as good as the original album (although as usual they did not improve on the cover).

Tomorrow I will be back with more new material hopefully, including the continuation of the Jordi Sabates story, a lossless version of some old rips requested, and more US fusion which is so amazingly tasty when unknown!

Thursday 24 July 2014

More 1982 USA: Fred Taylor's Court of Circe -- another brilliant lost fusion masterpiece from the vaults....

Another masterpiece discovered ex nihilo by my friend... how indebted I must be...
And notice the beauty of the geometric cover drawing (by one Barbara Kuhne) which suggests the mathematics of perspective, a fascinating topic in its own right.

All the compositions are by Fred Taylor, who is actually a percussionist.  No other credits for him on this database, which is sad.  He must have done much more and someone is probably liable to correct me here.

For me the standout is the Elegy subtitled To the Memory of Dayle Bates, composed by Craig Lawrence and Ron Madden, which is reproduced here:

At the bottom the following blurb:

"Fred Taylor is a native of Spokane, Wash.  His first musical interests were the piano compositions of Bartok and the jazz of Brubeck. [Ed. - no surprise here!]  These influences led to several years of classical piano training, until his sudden discovery of percussion at age 11.  In addition to a thorough study of perc., theory, and arranging in high school and college, Fred gained an extensive profess. backgrnd in symph. music, jazz improv., and all forms of popular music, his varied experiences include Country Western with Ferlin Husky and Jerry Hegarty, R and B, Soul and Rock with the Ink Spots, Tickled pink, and the Shakers, variety shows with Pete Barbutti, Tony Visco and Dick Fisher, and jazz with the Cozzetti-Gemmill Quartet [recommended as well! -Ed.], jazzdance and his own innovative groups, incl. Sanctuary.  Fred is currently freelancing and doing studio work in the Seattle area, where he lives with his wife Kathy and two cats Muthoo and Chicken.

Court of Circe is the first in a series of new music from Fred and his friends-- Enjoy!

Dedicated with love to flutterby..."

So there you go.  The composition as well as the arrangement is stunning, you will agree...  How sad there was no second album from this astonishingly talented crew...  was the music simply too good?

Rick Bishop's Mister Hide (USA 1982)

Now back to the great American tradition of furious guitar fusion.  This is a totally unknown album, undeservedly so, although when I glanced at RYM I saw the mighty osurec was well ahead of us on this.  There are definitely throwaway tracks though, namely, the standards that make up half of side 2 (which were written by Miles Davis).  The compositions by Rick are astonishing though, for the most part.  The music recalls Tony Palkovic, Tony DuPuis, note how the green cover of "Every Moment" is now blue here.

Here's the wonderfully brilliant ST A2 track:

Please enjoy this great slice of summer fusion!  Perfect to listen to next to a barbecue and beer...

Wednesday 23 July 2014

E. Illin and G. Heinz - Mixed Shorties, Music for Television, Film, Radio, Brull CBW 669 (from 1976)

As you can see, the first side is all from Heinz and most of the second too.  Eugene Illin only appears in the last three tracks, and he was the reason I purchased this of course, on the strength of the great compositions he provided for the Drama in Rhythm library LP.  The bio from discogs says:

" Czechoslovak composer and saxophonist. 
Born 2 November 1924 in Biskupice pri Dunaji (former Czechoslovakia), died 12 March 1985 in West Berlin, West Germany. "

Notice that Heinz is more of a straightforward composer.
This would be one that would fit well in the dusty shelf blog, perhaps it already appeared in there once?

Sunday 20 July 2014

Sandoz' Pay Attention from 1971, released as12 inch in 1995, and again in 2012

I think we can all agree the retro look of the first album cover is clearly superior.

From the above you can see that the original recording, which was made in 1971 for sure since it has that raw edgy High Tide / Gnidrolog insane sound to it, was not highly popular.  Why not?  It featured completely out-there riffs and poetry that is a little bit like today's death metal, that is, almost meaninglessly beautiful crazy-talk.  Below I will try to transcribe the gorgeous poem "Apple Core Machine" -- the title doesn't tell you what the song is really about, in a wonderful piece of artistic subtlety, only the second line, which is "Man core machine" reveals that the lyrics are basically lunatic ranting.  And it also reminds me of another crazy guitarist/composer, the hugely underrated Karlos P. Steinblast who did the magnificent Hard Rock Vol. 1.

Moving on to the first track, Apple Core Machine.

Musically, what I love is that the riffs keep changing abruptly...

"Apple core machine, man core machine.
Suck out the heart and drink it on the spot (?)
Suck out the spot and drink it dry (?)"

Blue mist, I hate to see you shiver,
we sent a lot of freaks down the river today.

You missed-- I'm here to deliver,
the one and only relaxation given today.

When you get home you can say
Sandoz took you away..."

Don't hide your youth from your brothers
or you'll wind up wanking in hell with the others.

We can see you, behind that skin,
let us in, let us in
go on in and soil the sin, 
let us in..."

I don't know about you, but this to me is pure poetry-- crazy poetry-- but still poetry.

In the second track check out halfway through when the bassist plays his background notes in dissonant seconds-- yes, really! something I've never heard before, i.e. he plays both D and E simultaneously for an entire verse, when he should only be playing the E. Were they all stoned at the time?  Yeah probably, where else does such creative genius come from?

One other thing I want to mention.  That first track really reminds me a lot of Kurt's Insecticide album, which came 20 years later (e.g., Hairspray Queen which can be heard here on youtube).  The mix of poetry and insane riffs is identical.  What a shame Kurt couldn't maintain the no-holds-barred experimental stuff that we hear on occasion, like the 12-minute coda to "Something in the Way" and in fact this to him was the greatest reason for depression, that he had to sell out instead of remaining true to himself as a poet and musician.  Would he have been happier in the end living in utter oblivion like John Goodsall?  I guess that too is hard to believe...

Which reminds me of my earlier comments regarding Karlos Steinblast... 
Would you believe an  anon. commentator tracked him down?  Check out the amazing note from this anon.:

I think I found "Karlos P Steinblast": his true name is Karl F. Stein (see: I seems he had additional music published as Karl Stein in the 80's. 

I also think that this is the same gentlemen, here:

He is still based in Carbondale, Illinois and active as an evangelist, claiming to be able to heal people (see his youtube videos).

The good news is that he again makes music, which you can listen to at this page:

Some of it is actually quite good (some cheesy synths and drum computer), and his voice and style is recognizable. Lyrics are religious, but the music interesting.

In his bio he says he has been a musician for a long time, but does not refer to "Karlos P Steinblast" at all. In the bio you find on the "indieheaven" site, he describes how he started preaching during gigs instead of playing the music, and that was a problem for his carrer (and the carrer of his fellow musicians).

Anyway I think this all gives new meaning to the comment on the LP cover: "Special thanks to .... for time, energy, friendship and psychiatric help." 

From my point of view it is a little sad, but as they say: there is a fine line between genius and insanity. We owe some very creative work to people who are sensitive, nonconformist, but also unstable.

And I beg you to listen to those christian samples folks, because once you hear that voice-- if you know Hard Rock Vol. 1-- you will understand what I mean when I say this is the same guy, no doubt about it!

What a wonderful, and all so-American ending to this story-- the crazy guitarman who became a big preacher in South Illinois...

Saturday 19 July 2014

Björgvin Gíslason's 1977 Öræfarokk

This album is am absolute masterpiece (to me) of progressive songwriting with that typical nordic touch of melancholy, along the lines of the earlier Frank Robson that I recently posted.

First of all notice the man's discography and presence in famous icelandic groups Náttúra, and Pelican.  (Not that I'm crazy at all about the latter group, but Nattura did make a progressive masterpiece that everyone should be familiar with here.)  In his solo works, clearly he decided to go for FM radio hits with just enough progressiveness to make me (and hopefully others) delighted.

The track "Doll in a Dream" surely should have been a staple of FM radio back in the seventies.  The middle passage that goes into progressive territory really reminds me a lot of the great Chris Braun's Foreign Lady with its absolutely incredible cover photo...

And the way he belts out the lyrics at the end, for the final verse, just gives me the chills each time.

" She's a doll, dressed in red, with a blue ribbon, in her hair,
she sits there so quietly, silently staring at me, 
blue eyes shining as she holds out her hand--  a little doll.
Do you look at me, with eyes full of sorrows, 
have your dreams been denied in your mind?
-- A little doll..."

Very Very beautiful.  Who is the woman he's talking about? or is it really a doll, that he is imagining watching him?  we don't know.  Would love to hear some input from the artist about this song...

The next song ("Ef pu getur") which recalls the over-played "Play that funky music loud" or whatever it's called, should have replaced that big hit on the radio playlist, it's a heckuva lot better in my opinion.  This particular song is marred by an unpronounceable and incomprehensible icelandic title, however.  So it surely wouldn't have played well in Atlanta, Georgia.  Memo to you European musicians for next time.  On the other hand, when has any European hit made it big on American radio?

This song is unusual insofar as the verse is clearly in something like 7/8ths time which is what gives it that odd lilting sound.  As well, the chorus going from tonic of G up to A flat is really a little shocking.  Notice the gorgeous syncopation the cymbals accomplish there too.  I really love those funky guitar licks-- who doesn't??

Please enjoy this remarkable gift from my friend, and notice the selling price on discogs (300 dollars)...

Friday 18 July 2014

Sho Kubota with Takahashi and Tokyo Union Orchestra's September Steps (Japan,1978)

Another brilliant and wonderful installment from another friend, not the preceding post's one, but another I am equally highly indebted to after this many years of exchanging tips and rips on wonderful stuff.  And this one is rare as hell too!

The track "Birth from our mother" is absolutely out of this world outstanding, a homerun out of the ballpark of musical accomplishment...

Tuesday 15 July 2014

October Country's Open Window from 1969 (Peter Schickele, Stanley Walden, Robert Dennis) + multiple reups (Concept, Chameleon, Changes, Romantic Warrior, Dugrenot Boomerang, Berlin Fusion)

By permission from October Country...

"Well my friend, 
here's a sweet summer treat that I'm very happy to finally share with everyone 
(and a significant upgrade to the tired old crappy-sounding rip that's been recycled everywhere)

by The Open Window (Peter Schickele, Stanley Walden & Robert Dennis)
1969 on Vanguard ...and still never released on cd anywhere
Ripped from my excellent condition LP and Strongly Recommended to all!

1. Wild Bill Hickock Rides Again
2. At the Wedding
3. 4:00 A.M., June; The Sky Was Green
4. Soldier's Song, From The Last War, For The Next
5. The Girl From Tarentum
6. Italian Symphony
7. Piece By The New Guy
8. Piano Concerto No.1 In G Major
9. The Priests Of The Raven Of Dawn
10. Curtain Call ("Circus")

...from the back cover:

Happily, the boundaries are shifting.

The Open Window has been described by reviewers as a chamber-rock-jazz trio, a pop-classical ensemble, and a folk-rock-raga group, and all the names fit, except that they leave out the honky-tonk piano rolls and Russian chants. 

These three musicians take it all apart, and when they put it back together again, it's something new: a batch of songs, non-songs, and sort-of-songs ----- music that will engage your mind and your toe and anything else you leave exposed to it.

...some of the songs have footnotes in parentheses, here's the important ones:

2. At The Wedding (A large one, with all the relatives, some of whom come from as far away as Odessa and Brest-Litovsk)
4. Soldier's Song, From The Last War, For The Next
(The words were made up by German soldiers retreating from Russia during World War II)
[lyrics translated: It's all over, It's all gone, Three years in Russia, And nothing makes any sense.]
5. The Girl From Tarentum (Lyrics by Gaiuss Naeveus, translated by Jack Lindsay)
9. The Priests Of The Raven Of Dawn (William Blake's poem "London" was written in the 1790's, but there's no need to update it, or to pretend that its not about, say, New York. The refrain is taken from "The Marriage Of Heaven And Hell")

Our warmest thanks to the friends and acquaintances of 
Wild Bill Hickock. 

Enjoy my friends! 
Happy summer good vibrations to you :) "

My personal favourite track and the most progressive composition, the Italian Symphony:

Many thanks to October Country for introducing me to this insanely creative piece of music, from the far-back year of 1969, a lifetime ago for me.

"It truly is one of my favorites. Love those Juilliard renegades mixed with the real West Coast freak scene, how can it get any better?! "

Sunday 13 July 2014

Australian Arena, year unknown, probably 1976?

A bad rip was circulating for a long time here and required an upgrade, as is the case so often.

This is a brilliant progressive jazz-rock album that was discovered some years ago.  It reappeared not too recently on boxes of toys.  I sincerely thank that man who first found this little gem, as we know it must be a man, not a woman.  Notice how expensive the record sells for on discogs.  Therefore I must also thank the friend who gave me permission to share this with you.  Thank god for those folks who help me in this long adventure!

The first track:

Mention must also be made of the cover, with its brilliantly cartoonish paranoid feeling.  It's credited to a Mike Cambridge.  Incidentally, all compositions are by a certain Ted White, the woodwinds and sax player.  And notice that he played on the amazing jazz-rock album "Stratusphunk" which I shared back in pnf days.

Saturday 12 July 2014

VA - Drama in Rhythm 1971 [Library]

First of all I would like to thank our old pnf friend Maestro for permission to use this record, which is his purchase.  The whole rip is in fact a group effort with the help of another pnf friend, pollux, to whom we give credit for the amazing clean-up job and repairing the cover scans to a pristine condition.

I am utterly amazed sometimes by the quality of composition on these library records.  Why did these composers write such brilliant material for merely occasional, nonce use, in some forgotten movie or TV show?  But clearly that is the purpose of our resuscitation, to help people hear some of these fantastic compositions from the past that really don't deserve to be forgotten...

There are a few composers here in the limelight, including R. Wilhelm, J. Haider (the famous German bandleader I presume?), R. Christoph, and E. Illin (who really stands out for me with his abstract modern works).  Illin is this guy, I presume?

Here is some more information on this record.  Maestro himself is an expert on this topic and can detail us more on the fascinating history of these records, and C. Brull Ltd. in particular.  I will open the floor up to his comments now, and thank him again for his impressive generosity and kindness.

As well, I know he is requested some missing entries in this series which I urge him to mention.

A wonderful selection from youtube:

Sunday 6 July 2014

A. R. Luciani - Eventi (Italy, 1978)

A very Mahleresque, sometime baroque, purely orchestral entry from this master of library music whose discography I will try sporadically to complete.  Note that a large no. of these have already been ripped, albeit poorly, for mp3 listening, which I appreciate since it allows us to decide whether spending 50-100 dollars on a record is a waste or not.  Specifically I became interested in his music when I heard the shockingly gorgeous "Leggenda del lago" on the Aspetti della Natura collaboration with Melchiori which I will reproduce here for those who don't know it:

I was always puzzled as to whether this particular song was used as a soundtrack theme on a movie somewhere, and if so, where exactly, maybe someone out there knows and can clarify.  It will always remind me personally of driving through the North of Italy when we decided to stop to see the gorgeous Castle Scaliger on Lake Garda.  At the end of a little peninsula there stretching into the lake like a finger are the ruins of an immense roman villa which I ran through quickly as we were in a rush to get to Milan.  I will never forget the beauty of those ruins on the lake and the sadness of loss it represents.  The pictures you can see here don't quite do it justice, particularly with regards to the extended scope of them, but you can see why the song reminds me of this trip.

Evidently some of these library LPs are still quite rare, like the interestingly titled "Allarme Ecologico" which I hope will not be too pricey if and when it turns up, considering I have just returned from a long sojourn on a road trip to the beach where my family spent a lot of money, not just on toys for the children and toys for my wife (like her Louboutin shoes).  Expecting it to be cheap to stay near the ocean proved overoptimistic of course, as I found the concentration of tempting amusement parks and arcades too much for my young kids who were attracted like moths to outdoor lights (as always it was father moth who got most burned there in monetary terms) to the loud sounds and stuffed animals that broke after one day's handling and the rides they were far too scared to enjoy but which nonetheless cost plenty of money for a few tears and an anxiety attack-- maybe next time I can just feed my kids coffee and cigarettes till they get a much cheaper panic attack?  And of course no family holiday is complete without my wife going shopping to those damned outlet malls in the United States where you can easily spend thousands of dollars on the basis that you're saving money by getting great deals, and I have to listen to my wife saying each time "I'm just looking in this store!!" each look of course costing me a few hundred dollars, after a few hours, I'm begging her to stop looking, those looks are just too expensive-- like the way a porn star needs constant plastic surgery maybe... I guess that's what being married is all about... daddy better work hard and overtime too when he gets home and stop buying those expensive records...

Here's a really beautiful track: