Monday, 30 November 2009

Group 1850 -Agemo's Trip to Mother Earth (1968)

Group 1850 is an interesting, if sometimes exasperating, late-'60s Dutch band who ranks among the most accomplished and original Continental rock acts of the era, though they made little impression in English-speaking territories. Starting as a more or less conventional beat band in the mid-'60s, they had taken a turn for the more psychedelic and bizarre by 1967. Determined to drive into the heart of the psychedelic beast, their songs (performed in English) are quite eclectic for the era, shifting from doom-laden tempos with growling vocals to sunny, utopian passages with breezy harmonies.

"Agemo's Trip to Mother Earth" was one of the most ambitious psychedelic albums to emerge from continental Europe in the late '60s. The LP's nominal concept was, like many early such endeavors, obscure, involving something like the journey of Agemo from a paradise-like planet to the more chaotic imperfection of Earth.

Musically, the record owes a lot to late-'60s British psychedelia (particularly of the Pink Floyd school), with hints of the onset of progressive rock in its less-conventional passages. Although plenty of melodic shifts, celestial organ, wiggling distorted guitar, harmony vocals, Gregorian chant-like singing, Mothers of Invention-like horns, beatific respites (on "Reborn"), and general freakiness entertainingly convey the exploration of new psychic territory, it ultimately lacks the lyrical and musical cogency of, say, late-'60s Pink Floyd. At times the bold weirdness gets self-indulgent, throwing in phased drum soloing, solemnly intoned spoken female romantic exclamations, and multilingual murmuring.

01 Steel Sings
02 Little Fly
03 I Put My Hands On Your Shoulder
04 You Did It Too Hard
05 A Point In This Life
06 Refound
07 Reborn
08 I Know (Bonus Track)
09 I Want More (Bonus Track)
10 Mother No Head (Bonus Track)
11 Ever Ever Green (Bonus Track)
12 Zero (Bonus Track)
13 Frozen Mind (Bonus Track)
14 We Love Life (Bonus Track)
15 Mother No Head (French Version) (Bonus Track)
16 Mother No Head (Instrumental) (Bonus Track)

Peter Sjardin - guitar, flute, keyboards
Daniƫl Van Bergen - guitar
Ruud Van Buren - bass
Beer Klaasse - drums

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psychelatte said...

Good fun Dutch Psych obscurity!!

Anonymous said...

hey, thanks for posting this, just heard a track off the lp on youtube and went to search for the lp... looking forward to hearing it ... the second LP looks interesting too, gonna have a look round your blog and see what else you got here, thanks :)