Friday, 16 September 2011

***Skydog- Just Want To Make You Happy (1974 Vibrant & uplifting US Hard Prog Psych)***

"First re-release ever taken from the master tapes of this insanely rare LP from Georgia made in 1974 in an edition of 100. Wild & psychotic hippie progressive rock mixed with incredible heavy fuzz psychedelic jammers. Monstrous orgies between the guitar and Hammond organ and you can also find heavy eastern tunes woven in the long guitars jams."

Michael Sweat - Guitar - Vocal
Tommy Gordon Landsahw - Vocal, Rythm Guitar
Gary Elmore - Bass
Jimi Hughes - Organ Hammond
Johnny Parish Landshaw - Drum

01. Luck In Your Life 10:40
02. North Georgia Carnival Blues 05:37
03. Ali Sahd 07:02
04. Just Want to Make You Happy 09:46
05. Innocent-Eyed Lady 12:37
06. Israeli-Arabic Sun 5:55
07. Ali Sahd (Alt. Version) 6:32
08. Just Want To Make You Happy (Alt. Version) 8:5809. The Mood Is On 6:03


Sunday, 11 September 2011

***Omar Khorshid - Guitar El Chark (Psychedelic,Egyptian Belly-Dance World music '73-'77 compilation 2010)***

Omar Khorshid is one of the greatest middle eastern electric guitarists, with a tone like spun gold and the chops to shred with the best of them. Born in Egypt, he cut his teeth in the underground rock clubs of Cairo in the 1960s. Eventually, he ended up working with the cream of the Egyptian musical crop, playing in the bands of such legendary figures as Oum Kalthoum, Abdel Halim Hafez, and Mohammed Abdel Wahab. Through his work with these singers, Khorshid introduced Western-style electric guitar into traditional Arab music.

But Khorshid was more than just a groundbreaking guitarist, he was also a bona fide movie star and soundtrack composer. He spent much of the 1970s in Lebanon and Syria and released a slew of wonderful music from blazing reverb-saturated versions of middle eastern classics to weird western lounge tunes. He died in a car accident in 1981 at the tender age of 36 shortly after his return to Egypt and the release his most acclaimed film, The Fortuneteller.

In recent years there’s been a minor surge of interest in Khorshid’s music in the West, but the music has been somewhat hard to come by. One of his most notable fans is Sun City Girls founder and eminently venerable guitarist Sir Richard Bishop. Bishop’s last album, The Freak of Araby, with its eccentric surf guitar along the Nile sound, bears Khorshid’s unmistakable (and thoroughly acknowledged) influence.

Until this welcome 2xLP set on Alan Bishop’s Sublime Frequencies label, Khorshid’s music has not been easy to find outside of Egypt, Lebanon and Syria. Guitar El Chark collects instrumental recordings that Khorshid made in Beirut from 1973-1977, which was one of the most prolific and creative periods of his short career. The collection centers on music by Arabic composers, ranging from traditional songs to tunes by contemporary songwriters like Nour al Malah and Khorshid himself. The playing is peerless: Khorshid’s reverb-mad middle eastern surf guitar mixed with intricate hand percussion, serpentine accordion and sci-fi synth sounds. Some of the finest moments come when Khorshid lets loose on the Moog, injecting a singularly alien glow over the proceedings — this is perhaps most notable on the scintillatingly propulsive title track. But even on a more straightforwardly sensuous song like "Habitaty (My Beloved)," Khorshid’s guitar work is out of this world.

My one quibble with this excellent collection is that it presents a unnecessarily narrow picture of Khorshid’s work by not including any non-arabic covers, a few of which, such as his cover of the Gershon Kingsley chestnut "Pop Corn," are truly inspired.

- Dusted

These performances exhibit all the wonderful possibilities of playing authentic late 20th-century Middle Eastern and belly dance music on what is considered primarily a Western instrument. All facets of Khorshid's musical genius are on display here. Many of the selections, intentionally or not, have a strong psychedelic aspect to them, especially the mind-blowing title track, "Hebbina Hebbina," "Ah Ya Zaman," "Kariaat El Fengan," "Sidi Mansour" (the Middle Eastern "Interstellar Overdrive"?), "Raqset El Fada," and the ethereal "Taksim Sanat Alfeyn." A distinct science fiction element can be heard on the final two tracks, as the respective translations of their titles -"Dance of Space" and "Music of the Year 2000" - would suggest. Other pieces such as "Wadil Muluk" and "Rahbaniyat" are showcases for Khorshid's lightning fingers, while "Sabirine" practically drips with reverb. "Ommil Habiba," "Raksat El Kheyl," "Solenzara," "Habibaty," and "Warakat Ya Nassib" display the more laid back and sensitive side of the guitarist, and what they lack in pyrotechnics they more than make up for with exquisiteness. "Arrabia'h" and "Enta Omri" rank as the most purely Middle Eastern-sounding numbers, especially with the "Cifte Telli" section in the latter. The instrumentation throughout this album typically consists of Khorshid on guitar, an electric keyboard, synthesizer or accordion player, and one or more percussionists on hand drums. The synth work occasionally gets a little out of hand on certain tracks that at times border on Middle Eastern disco, but this is a very minor quibble on what is otherwise a consistently extraordinary listening experience.

1. Guitar El Chark (Guitar of the Orient)
2. Wadil Muluk (Valley of the Kings)
3. Sabirine
4. Ommil Habiba (Mother, My Dearest)
5. Hebbina Hebbina (Love Us Like We Love You)
6. Rahbaniyat (Rahbani Variations)
7. Ah Ya Zaman (For Old Time's Sake)
8. Kariaat El Fengan (Fortune Teller)
9. Arrabia'h (The Spring)
10. Sidi Mansour (Master Monsour)
11. Raksat El Kheyl (Dance of the Horses)
12. Solenzara
13. Enta Omri (You Are My Life)
14. Habibaty (My Beloved)
15. Raqset El Fada (Dance of Space)
16. Warakat Ya Nassib (Lottery Ticket)
17. Taksim Sanat Alfeyn (Music of the Year 2000)
18. Record Company Promo Spot


Friday, 9 September 2011

***The Fallen Angels -It's a Long Way Down (1968 USA West Coast Psych)-GORGEOUS!!***

The second LP is one of the ultimate examples of the East Coast psych sound; moody, intricate, with a peculiar intensity. A long time favorite of late 60s collectors and no wonder as it has the makings of a masterpiece. Hard to pinpoint really, but some parts are like a high-brow Common People, others like a folkrock Mandrake Memorial. Arrangements and songwriting are most impressive, with "A Horn Playing On My Thin Wall" being a personal favorite. Often compared to the equally rare Morning Dew LP but this is deeper and more original. The Sgt Pepper of DC, though of course much better! A German original pressing exists. (lysergia)

1. Poor Old Man (3:45)
2. A Horn Playng On My Thin Wall (4:23)
3. Something New You Can Hide In (3:59)
4. Tell You A Story (:22)
5. Silent Garden (1:54)
6. Look To The Sun (3:46)
7. One Of The Few Ones Left (2:50)
8. I Really Love My Mother (1:07)
9. Look At The Wind (4:04)
10. Didn't I? (2:55)
11. It's A Long Way Down (2:45)
12. I'll Drive You From My Mind (4:19)


**You may also like Eden's Children

Thursday, 8 September 2011

****Tea and Symphony -An Asylum For The Musically Insane (1969 UK Psychedelic Prog-folk)****

This amazing thing about the Archives is that you get a fair amount of albums in all sub- genres that rank from the strange , obscure all the way to the frankly bizarre. And all genre considered , one of the more bizarre is the aptly titled debut from this trio. This record dates from 69 ( on the great progressive label Harvest) and is a perfect example (almost a textbook case) of acid-folk but with such a twist of bizarre that it must rank into the folk-prog sub-genre , which has its own share of bizarrerie. Wrapped in a superb psych drawing ( a bit in the style of Beatles 's Yellow Submarine) gatefold sleeve with a no-less superb inside artwork , this uncanny and baroque oeuvre is really a lost gem, one of those rare 24 carrat stuff that only comes so often.

The opening track is a hard to classify track meandering between a few styles (even developping for a few second into the Greensleeves theme) , but staus unfocused enough to destabilize the unwarned listener , but if experienced enough to get him ready for what comes up next. The second track delves into the frozen depths of demon worlds and chilly tales , freezing you to death, only to bring you back to reality with a barroom sing-along tune. Sometimes takes a plunge back into the bizarre and oblique world just left before , reminding the proghead of the insane world of Comus , and warning you of dangers soon to come in your affective life.

Maybe my mind is another sombre affair with a voice that sometimes rings like Family's Roger Chapman and might just be the highlight of the first side. This first side ends into a blues , probably the low point on the album , but this might be up for debate because they are equally at ease into this style as well!The second side is clearly the better one , and it is the succession of a few masterful "songs" like those that make an album a real classic. Terror In My Soul is just as scarry and terrorizing as Comus's Drip Drip , with its sinister flute underlining a superbly tense acoustic guitar strumming. Comes next is a superb adaptation of Fred Neil's Travelling Shoes , and if it was not for the vocals , you'd swear you'be on the Traffic debut album with its delightful pastoral/hippy imagery. Outstanding and astounding! The next track , aptly titled Winter returns to the chilly athmospheres with a haunting cello in the background and bizarre noises evoking stressed and chilled birds calls . The closing track starts out on a harpsichord and flute intro to diverge back into the madness we have now grown accustomed to (we had no choice unless getting locked in forever into the Musically Insane Asylum), but soon we waltz into a great swingy jazz tune to plunge into deep madness (almost free jazz) forever as they apologize for their mischief just accomplished.

Guess what , even if you are not insane , you might want to get a room into this asylum/hotel , where you might just never leave but not really want to check out either, to mis-quote our dear Maani!! Another one of those pearls that I will fight for all progheads to investigate just like I did for Comus , Spirogyra and recently Jan Dukes De Grey. Flabbergasting masterpiece even if I do not give the fifth star. - Review by Sean Trane -


1. Armchair Theatre (3:55)
2. Feel How So Cool The Wind (3:19)
3. Sometime (4:16)
4. Maybe My Mind (With Egg)(3:44)
5. The Come On (4:32)
6. Terror In My Soul (6:08)
7. Travelling Shoes (4:27)
8. Winter (3:19)
9. Nothing Will Come To Nothing (6:15)

- Dave Clempson ('Clem') / guitar
- Jeff Daw / flute, guitar, vocals
- Gus Dudgeon / drums
- James Langston / guitar, vocals, woodwinds
- Nigel Phillips / keyboards, vocals, percussion
- Bob Lamb / drums


Saturday, 3 September 2011

***Pearls Before Swine -One Nation Underground (1967)Folk-Psych***

"...the Red's for the blood we lose; the White's for the gauze they use to cover burned-out blackened men; the rest is for the bodies numb and Blue."

Contemporary Neo-Folksters such as Espers and Charalambides owe much to Pearls Before Swine, whose leader, Tom Rapp, played a major role in inventing the template for psychedelia married to a folk aesthetic. As such, Rapp's definition of the term "folk music" was far more wide-ranging and far less in love with tradition than that of the typical protest singers of the early sixties. On One Nation Underground, he weaves together an eclectic array of elements including farfisa, acid-rock, and singer-songwriter melancholia to create something that still sounds original 44 years later. "Another Time," reportedly his very first song, is an achingly beautiful acoustic ballad about the aftermath of an escape from death, and one wonders if The Doors might have been familiar with "Morning Songs," with its electric organ, martial percussion, and sitar-miming banjo picking. Sadly under-appreciated, this debut, like all the Pearls Before Swine albums that followed it, certainly deserves the stature of a lost classic.


1. Another Time (3:03)
2. Playmate (2:19)
3. Ballad to an Amber Lady (5:14)
4. (Oh Dear) Miss Morse (1:54)
5. Drop Out! (4:04)
6. Morning Song (4:06)
7. Regions of May (3:27)
8. Uncle John (2:54)
9. I Shall Not Care (5:20)
10. The Surrealist Waltz (3:29)


***Flat Earth Society -Waleeco- 1968 US Psychedelia***

The Flat Earth Society were a Boston, MA group formed by Jack Kerivan (piano, organ, vocals), Phil Dubuque (rhythm guitar, recorder, lead vocals), Rick Doyle (lead guitar, tambourine, vocals), Curt Girard (drums), and Paul Carter (bass , vocals).
Among the crown jewels of sought after 1960’s american psychedelic records The Flat Earth Society’s "Waleeco" is a legendary album that more than lives up to its reputation. Recorded in 1968 for of all things a candy bar manufacturer (Waleeco being the name of the said confection) the album was only made available to candy fiends that sent in a few wrappers and $1.50. anyone lucky enough to take advantage of that offer obtained a beautiful psychedelic rock/pop masterpiece that took in everything from dreamy West Coast styled acid rock, laid back acoustic folk, driving garage psych rock and full on trippy psychedelia.

Track Listings
1. Feelin' Much Better - Flat Earth Society
2. Midnight Hour - Flat Earth Society
3. I'm So Happy - Flat Earth Society
4. When You're There - Flat Earth Society
5. Four & Twenty Miles - Flat Earth Society
6. Prelude For The Town Monk - Flat Earth Society
7. Shadows - Flat Earth Society
8. Dark Street Downtown - Flat Earth Society
9. Portrait In Grey - Flat Earth Society
10. In My Window - Flat Earth Society
11. Satori - Flat Earth Society


***Damin Eih, A.L.K & Brother Clark - Never Mind (1973 US super-mystical Psychedelia)***

This was described years ago in a catalog as Gandalf the Grey meets the Moody Blues. I can still not think of a better comparison than this. This is a unique and magical LP of enchanting songs with haunting melodies and harmonies backed by an elaborate and equally haunting instrumentation, led by superb (though not flashy) guitar work. Dreamy and hypnotic, an excellent mixture of folk and psych sounds,, every song is winner.

On many hardcore psych collectors' Top 10 lists (including one via Patrick Lundborg's Acid Archives book), this insanely rare and impossible-to-describe 1973 brain-fryer from Minneapolis is utterly soaked with mystic, thoroughly-dosed higher key psychedelia -- think Zerfas meets Bobb Trimble, but you're still nowhere near the lysergic laboratory. Damin Eih rambled off to India to clear his head after leaving behind this lone, legendary offering, never to be heard from again. Painstakingly and spectacularly re-mastered from two virgin copies of the original vinyl (the master tapes have long since disappeared), this treasure is now rescued from the deepest catacombs of psychedelic fatso obscurity for all to hear.

* Damin Eih - guitars, lead vocals, synthesizer, piano
* A.L.K. (A.L. Katzner) - percussion, piano, vocals, guitar
* Brother Clark (Clark Dircz) - bass, guitar, piano, chinese chimes
1 Tourniquet 2:17
2 Sing A Different Song 4:17
3 Take Off Your Eyes 5:40
4 Soft Margins 4:45
5 Thundermice 3:52
6 Monday Morning Prayer 0:38
7 Gone 4:40
8 Marching Together 3:36
9 Kathryn At Night 3:391
0 Party Hats & Olive Spats 3:24
11 Return Naked 1:57.


Thursday, 1 September 2011

***Egg - Egg (1970 uk mix of jazz, psychedelia, rock and fusion)***

Organ / piano, bass guitar, and drums. Add occasional vocals and tone generator and that's it! Obviously not much rocking expected from that ensemble - for goodness sake, just three people and no guitars?

Well like so many of their Cantebury compats, these guys didn't read the memo and they created some ground breaking stuff.

In fact the notes on the original LP read: The music on this LP is not dancing music, but basically music for listening to.

It is harmonically and rhythmically complex, designed to be as original as possible within the confines of the instrumental lineup; so it's pretty demanding on the listener's attention.

Originally released in 1970, Egg took influences from such diverse genres as jazz, psychedelia, rock and fusion, but probably most important, from classical music - and Brahms, Stravinsky and Grieg are directly and indirectly represented here.

And Egg in turn gave their own influences to a number of other Cantebury acts of the early '70s.

Egg was Dave Stewart on keys and tones, Mont Campbell on bass and understated but very competent vocals, and Clive Brooks on drums.

They were hatched from Uriel in 1969, after they'd lost their guitar player, Steve Hillage to his university studies.

Later, Stewart and Hillage would form Khan, and Stewart would move into the realms of Hatfield and Ayers and Campbell would join him in National Health.

The family tree of the Cantebury scene is a complex web, and we won't try to unravel it here. Suffice it to say that this was one of the more influential if underrated acts of prog's golden age.

The music generated by this small lineup was heavily dependent on Stewart's organ and Campbell's bass - both of which were applied with flair and imagination - but all three artists were credited with various compositions.

There's a lot of avant garde generation of weird and spacey tones, but the rest is an entertaining example of several budding progressive genres taking their first baby-steps.

The English sense of humor is present in many songs, although the lyrics tend toward the spaced out rather than the poetic. "The Song Of McGillicudie The Pusillanimous (or Don't Worry James, Your Socks Are Hanging In The Coal Cellar With Thomas)" could almost have come off an album by The Doors.

And yes, that's the song's name! "I Will Be Absorbed" comes the closest to a prog 'song' in the traditional sense of the word. Symphony No. 2 is a 5-part 22-minute early-day-avant-garde attempt at a modern-era classic, in a similar vein to many of the Keith Emerson pieces that would come later.

Honors for the all-round favorite, however, go to "Seven Is A Jolly Good Time" which is a bonus track here and wasn't on the original record. By 'good time' they're taking a stab at the fixation with odd time signatures. These excerpts from lyrics tell it all:

I used to play in four time when I was very small...
...I started writing songs in all the rhythms I could find - Like five...
...Seven is a jolly good time, seven is a jolly good time...
...I found it hard to follow, my foot became confused...
...I gathered all the notes up and jumped 'em through a hoop - As in eleven

And of course, the song's actual time signatures follow the suggestions in the lyrics - 7/4, 11/4, etc.

The CD reviewed here was wonderfully remastered from the original tapes, and the Eclectic Discs reissue includes three bonus tracks, including both sides of the band's only single and "Third Movement" has at last been restored in its rightful place as an integral part of the now fully extended "Symphony No. 2".

So - the confines of the instrumental lineup of bass, drums and keys really didn't do much to stifle Egg's creativity. Come to think of it, the same lineup was used effectively by The Nice and ELP.

Who knows, that restricted lineup may have been the very challenge that spurred them to produce the influential music that would become one of the foundation stones of modern-day prog (by Duncan Glenday from

Track List:
01."Bulb" – 0:09
02."While Growing My Hair" – 4:02
03."I Will Be Absorbed" – 5:12
04."Fugue In D Minor" (Bach) – 2:49
05."They Laughed When I Sat Down At The Piano…" – 1:21
06."The Song Of McGillicudie The Pusillanimous (or don't worry James, your socks are hanging in the coal cellar with Thomas)" – 5:10
07."Boilk" – 1:03

"Symphony No. 2"
08."First Movement" – 5:47
09."Second Movement" – 6:17
10."Blane" – 5:28
11."Third Movement" (previously unreleased) – 3:10
12."Fourth Movement" – 3:13

Bonus Tracks
13."Seven Is A Jolly Good Time" – 2:48
14."You Are All Princes" – 3:45

*Dave Stewart - organ, piano, tone generator
*Mont Campbell - bass, vocals
*Clive Brooks - drums


***Eden's Children - Eden's Children/Sure Looks Real (1968/69 us, psychedelic rock, bosstown sound, 2006 remaster, two albums - MP3 320k)***

In the dark depths of the Bosstown Sound backlash it would be hard to champion your scene amidst charges of 'plastic' and 'lame'. This was the time we threw Eden's Children in their face. Their album was released just after the initial brouhaha so they wern't lumped in with the other groups as much. When they were they held their own.

Eden's Children were on ABC records produced by heavy hitter Bob Theile and they even sounded a little different than the rest. They were more gritty. Still psychedelic they were closer to Hendrix than the Grateful Dead. They were top of the heap for many locals as illustrated in the poll I have included in the radio broadcast on the main page. Their first LP is self-titled Eden's Children and is another album that was always played at parties. Packed with good songs and playing, it never flags.

The Children were a three piece group. All were very good players. Larry Kiley the bass player and Jimmy Sturman the drummer were a constantly interesting rhythm section. The main songwriter/singer was Richard 'Sham' Schamach who was also a great guitar player. If you put on the second Eden's Children album, you first hear the song Sure Looks Real It sounds similiar to the songs on the first album but as the album progresses it seems like something is wrong. This reminds me of what happened to the second Spinach album (although their case was much worse).

You have all the elements of the first album but the sound has been eviscerated. It's flat and thin even though the playing is just fine. I throw the blame here on the engineers at ABC. In this case they seem like they don't know how to record a rock group. The bass has no punch at all even though Kiley is playing just fine.The guitar tone on Things Gone Wrong solo is so bad that the person responsible should spend time in a Donald Rumsfeld run prison. It's not a wash out and a dedicated listener will hear good songs and playing minus a punchy group sound.

Eden's Children never got the attention that they deserved. Alan White over at the NEMS site says that Richard 'Sham' Schamach was on the radar at some point claiming to have a live tape that he was going to release. Well, Sham, please before we all die, get it out.
-The Boston Sound

Eden's Children
1. Knocked Out - 3:16
2. Goodbye Girl - 3:20
3. If She’s Right - 2:34
4. I Wonder Why - 3:29
5. Stone Fox - 3:05
6. My Bad Habit - 2:22
7. Just Let Go - 7:43
8. Out Where The Light Fish Live - 5:05
9. Don’t Tell Me - 4:48
Sure Looks Real
10.Sure Looks Real - 4:29
11.Toasted (Larry Kiley) - 2:05
12.Spirit Call - 2:44
13.Come When I Call - 3:44
14.Awakening - 2:08
15.The Clock’s Imagination - 2:54
16.Things Gone Wrong - 4:06
17.Wings (Larry Kiley) - 2:40
18.Call It Design - 3:20
19.Invitation - 3:36
20.Echoes - 2:20
All songs written by Richard 'Sham' Schamach, except where noted.

Eden's Children
*Richard "Sham" Schamach - Vocals, Guitar
*Larry Kiley - Bass
*Jimmy Sturman - Drums


Elizabeth - Elizabeth (1968 US Psych)

Enjoyable trip through East Coast psych reminiscent of the 2nd Fallen Angels LP.

- Steve Weingart (lead guitar, harp, organ, vocals),
- Bob Patterson (guitar, vocals),
- Jim Dahme (guitar, flute, vocals),
- Steve Bruno (organ, bass), and
- Hank Ransome (drums).

01. Not That Kind Of Guy
02. Mary Anne
03. Dissimilitude
04. Similitude
05. You Should Be More Careful
06. The World's For Free
07. Fields Of Home
08. Alarm Rings Five
09. Lady L
10. When All Else Fails