LATE 60S/70S INSPIRATIONS 
review page 8

reissues :
Rock Island ('70/'10)
Billy Green (& Gravediggers) : "Stone" ('74/'10)
Julius Victor ('69/'10)
Tully ('69/'10) (linked)
Dragon ('76/'10)
Univeria Zekt ('10)
SRC ('68/'70,'69/'10)
Lothar and The Hand People ('68/'10)
V.A. : "Psychedelic Phinland" ('67-'74/'06)
V.A.:"Psychedelic Guitars"/The Mind Expanders ('68,'67/'11)
V.A. : "More Psychedelic Guitars / The Underground ('67/'10)
V.A. : "Compendium Records" ('76,'77/'10)

grading : * ok ** g  ***vg ****perf *****no better example than this: must-have heard
with additional ° some tracks better  ; with ' possibly better for some (viewpoints)

Love Rec.  V.A. Psychedelic Phinland -2CD- (FIN,1967-1974,re.2006)**°°

Love Records was one of the labels in Finland involved with the changes of the times in Finland. Like in Denmark (hippie movement), and somewhat in Scandinavia (more jazz-rock/freaky long tracks) also Finland adapted their own more sparsely spread weird and freak-out movement. What the compilation showed was not the immediate going for the kill, but some moments where serious non-serious music crossed a border. But these are also the least attractive moments of sing-a longs and parodies with the standards. Much more interesting and really convincing were the psychrock freakouts with heavy fuzz, bluesy or a few times jazzy jams and wild screams, from pop to heavier Americanised rock, shown on several tracks on CD1 (including WigmamCharliesBaby GrandmothersApollo, Hector,.. besides a different, eastern folk improvisation by Pekka Streng). I very much loved the post Pink Floyd inspiration of Blues Section. I also chose for airplay the spiritual-psychedelic intro by Topmost.

The second album shows a different side. The psych-folk freaks sounds as if this was predating the Finnish freak-folk movements of today, in a more primitive and unstructured way. Very interesting here were Those Lovely Hula Hands, a band who only released two singles and of which two tracks and a rewarding unreleased live track was included. The early tracks reminded me a bit of the Swedish Algärnas Trädgard. Appe Vanajas was involved in this as well as in the band The Sperm, also included. Comparable to Those Lovely Hula Hands as folk psych hippies were Kruununhaan Dynamo with an excerpt of a recording where the band jams thinking they are stoned native Indian singers with hand percussion and flute, and Skiött of which two long tracks were added, of which the first is less interesting musically, but of which the second is more enjoyable and interesting as a tripped out tribalistic amateuristic hippie jam. Also included on the second CD were two more avant-garde experiments with exaggerated space effect vibrating reverb and guitar, endlessly stretched and taking its time, again a bit too nowhere land and primitive to sound really ground breaking, while historically and locally they made a statement.
Alone for the rather complete recordings of Those Lovely Hula Hands this second CD is already worth checking out.

Audio : Charlies : "Taiteen Kritiikista", Pekka Streng :  "Olen Erilainen", Pekka Airaksinen :  
"Fos 2" ; Sikiot : "Trippin' Together" ; Video : Blues Section : “Cherry Cup-cake Twist” 

Info : http://www.phinnweb.org/early/psychedelicphinland.html
Label entry : http://www.lovemusic.fi/julkaisut/869
Other reviews : http://www.dustedmagazine.com/reviews/3444
&  http://www.terrascope.co.uk/Reviews/Reviews_March07.htm#PsychFin
http://www.digitalisindustries.com/foxyd/reviews.php?which=2058
http://www.tinymixtapes.com/music-review/various-artists-love-psychedelic-phinland
http://www.magnaphonemagazine.com/issue3/lostclassic/indexLostClassic2.html#phinland
http://www.outsideleft.com/main.php?updateID=821

Blues Section:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blues_Section
The Sperm : http://myrecordcollection.org/artists/sperm/spermpage.html
Appe Vanajas : http://myrecordcollection.org/artists/appe/appepage.html
Those Lovely Hula Hands discography on : http://www.bluesnews.fi/suomiblues_t.htm

Gear Fab Rec.  V.A. More Psychedelic Guitars / 
The Underground : Psychedelic Visions (US,1967,re.2010)*°

The kind of records you most often should barely risk more than a few dollars for the original LP's are instrumental albums, easy listening records, library records and exploitation records. Never the less discoveries on them can be surprising and a good DJ can find treasures in the trash, especially to reuse them in a dance context. But I can hardly understand how almost any of these albums despite their fine moments are rereleased, except as compilation of best of, or when people with a true vision were behind it, which is hardly the case.
Here you have two such albums on one, of each around only 25 minutes.  

“More psychedellic guitars” as it is already misspelled is clearly exploitation at its toughest. There are no credits of musicians, of tracks, of inspirations or whatever? Probably the studio gave a few musicians a few hours in studio to improvise on more or less but not too recognizable tunes, paid for the performance, where the band also played like a late night combo in a casino. Definitely the inspirations dig from the Twang guitars areas, (while passing it) from Shadows and Ventures successes, and this also sounds like a more or less clone of a Shadows alike group but more adapted into a later area, like the late sixties, while still playing the good old a go go rolla, lick’a rollie, jazzy, bluesy whatever sounds smoozy. Never surprising, but always recognizable. A bit forgettable. But not too bad after all.
At times a bit better but also worse and suffering from similar perspectives, with its own effect, is the second album, “Psychedelic Visions : The Underground”, which uses recognizable attractive psych and garage elements from the time, and obviously from their points of view and interests towards annoying and almost tasteless combinations. Here this concept of exploitation goes deeper into garage, westcoast and psych as ever heard before in exploitation series, with a good voice for some of the garage singing, and played for most part by a relatively good band too. But they seem to have been paid to record as quickly as possible, and often they also play hurriedly, and with moments of indifference or combinations of something tasteless with something attractive. Again we have recognizable riffs, tunes effects. Sometimes I really wonder if the band didn’t hate some of the songs they were playing. There’s for instance an awful version of “Greensleeves” credited as “Mindjammer” turned into psych garage twang with kitschy tastless effect and straight rhythms. Also used as a song is “Tobaco Road”, also a bit garage-like and almost like an exotic band played by foreigners, as foreigners to their own music. The band most often plays like a combo on a cruise ship, playing what they have been paid to do, but while looking overseas, and now and theunable to help or control themselves from adding freaking out points because one of the guys got drunk. It remains hard to know whether they even enjoyed themselves really or just couldn’t help but showing some talent now and then. The indifference to the tunes leads more often to the local trips, while as if still not caring enough if this was for a moment to remember or not. They were just being paid and did their job. 

Label listing : http://gearfab.swiftsite.com/Catalog_List/Catalog_List/catalog_242.html
Description on http://www.dustygroove.com/...

Gear Fab Rec.  Unknown Psychedelic Guitars (US,1968) / 
The Mind Expanders : What's Happening ? (US,1967,re.2011)***

Here are reissued two albums in the exploited psych series, both with a somewhat different approach. “Psychedelic guitars” is the exploitation idea of the upcoming, more psychedelic guitars but then introduced for a generation that is one step behind and keeps all its roots in rock’n roll. This recreates the older generation styles in a lighter, yes even danceable form for the late 60s. It is light consumable and very pleasant. God knows who were behind this recording of electric guitar, rhythm accents guitar, bass and drums.

The second album by the Mindexpanders is a totally different approach. It is also exploitation and with a certain lightness, as usual, it makes use of some ideas that are considered progressive or psychedelic as something exotic, as if this is a new kind of exotic record.  Used is a lot of Moog, elements of psychedelia, a few pop hit rhythm reminders and even classical music (Moussorgsky’s “Pictures At An Exhibition” is exploited in an almost foolish way with moog and such in one track and in the collage there’s fast classical piano) and one collage mix. It is unclear which musicians were behind this, but 101 Strings come to mind. I only could find out that it was produced by Charles Grean, composer of “Quentin’s Theme” from the TV series “Dark Shadows”. Instruments being used include a Panther Combo Organ, ondoline, chromatic tom-toms, Hohner melodica, Chinese bell tree, harpsichord, autoharp, kazoos, 'electric guitar with squawk box'... and two ashtrays.  The liner notes on the CD reveal only a little bit more of the individual tracks of this record. Made for lightly consumed fun. I could use the first record for a DJ dance evening, the second for personal amusement.

PS. I assume the LP with the title “What's happening!” instead of “What's happening?” with a different cover still is another album but I am not sure. If anyone knows, please tell me.

For "Psychedelic Guitars see http://blog.wfmu.org/freeform/2010/05/blogpost-13.html
http://glorifytheturd.com/?p=2234
For the Mindexpanders release see http://rateyourmusic.com/...

Label info : http://gearfab.swiftsite.com/Catalog_List/Catalog_List/catalog_254.html
This compilation is descrbed on http://forcedexposure.com/... & http://clearspot.nl/...

top right & left : Those Lovely Hula Hands
Gear Fab Rec.                Rock Island (US,1970,re.2010)****

Sometimes it is a bit more hard to understand why some band makes it and others don’t. Obviously someone must have noticed their talents, because several members of the band would later go on to play with Paul McCartney. At the stage of Rock Island they surely showed technical abilities, a convincing psych-rock grooviness, good guitar riffs, also interesting riffs on electric bass, tight drumming, acid Hammond organ and an occasional jazzy piano, nice vocal harmonies, tendencies to hard (blues)rock with screaming power lead vocals. Here and there some hints to other bands or recognisable riffs can be noticed. The last, longest track is worthy of an extra mention for its trippy acid bluesrock organ and electric guitar solos. The band was thought to be from Chicago but they were actually from the Philadelphia area. Actually, the roots where the band gave up, the liner notes say, lies in the Kent State University massacre by the Ohio National Guard. Many of their gigs were cancelled and with no alternatives left. Two members in 1972 then recorded with two musicians another album under the name of Rain (on Project 3 records). 

Label : http://gearfab.swiftsite.com/
Info on band : http://geosound.org/rock-island.htm

Review of LP : http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=10:k9fwxqyhldfe
http://7-floor.blogspot.com/2008/09/rock-island-rock-island-1970.html

Finders Keepers Rec.   (Billy Green) "Stone" (AUS,1974,re.2010)****

“Stone” is the first Australian biker movie, a thriller which as a first serious follow-up after examples like the US movie “Hells Angels on Wheels” or the UK movie “Psychomania”. This Australian movie for different reasons was seen as an inspiration for Mad Max, taking with them some of the crew involved (the “Toecutter” figure for instance). I have only seen the trailer, so I can’t say much about the movie, but there’s a thick booklet included with all you might want to know. 

The soundtrack itself, led by Billy Green with the best of Melbourne’s musicians out of jazz, blues-rock and classical milieu (for the horn section). This included for instance Barry Sullivan (from blues-rock combo Chain and before that from Wild Cherries), jazz composer Peter Jones, some banjo played by ex-Thunderbird’s guitarist Charles Gauld (later an arranger for Brian May) and some catchier songs by Doug Parkinson who used some Dylan Thomas lyrics in one song, together with guitarist Billy Green from In Focus, and some sax workouts by former Freddy Hubbard and Johnny Dankworth arranger Col Loughnan (Ayres Rock) to name a few.

The soundtrack has some pretty unusual tracks which were more avant-garde compared to the Aussie rock scene, like the intro mixing a strange and weird electronic effects with voice and didgeridoo and congas, driving up the sense of suspense immediately. Another strange moment was when a horn solo leads, with one continuous electric guitar note in the background with some clicking echoes near the end of the soundtrack. Then we have several tracks with the obvious choice of bluesrock/psychblues with wilder electric guitar and organ, which feels inspired by the moments. The sudden classical arrangement on “Cosmic Funeral” turning into a jazzy/rockier mode later on (2 violins, drums, bass) adds a surreal strangeness to the whole setting. Then in between different psychblues moments we also have a few meditative electrified guitar and banjo pickings, an exotic meditation giving again a different aspect to the concept. From the ‘Songs of Stone’ section, I need to mention the female spoken intro and powervoice rocker sung by Jeannie Lewis, previously unreleased, but with progressive ideas of arrangement it is better that it was included. Also added was a movie fragment with spoken word with percussive accents, and a trailer intro with impressive voice of an introduction, peeping wheels, roaring motors, and the bluesrock band accompanying the suspense. With so many people involved in this concept, there was plenty of spontaneity and inspired musical inspiration involved, making this music alone an imaginative source of material. 

Label info & audio : http://www.finderskeepersrecords.com/discog_fkr031.html
Info on movie : http://www.grindhousedatabase.com/index.php/Stone
http://infini-tropolis.com/reviews/stone.html
Posters on http://www.critcononline.com/stone_1973.htm here & here & here
Trailer movie on http://www.youtube.com/...
Description CD/LP on http://www.moviegrooves.com/... & on http://www.dustygroove.com/...
http://www.piccadillyrecords.com/...
Review & audio : http://www.boomkat.com/... ; more audio on http://www.rushhour.nl/...
Other review on http://www.dustedmagazine.com/reviews/5620
& on http://www.aquariusrecords.org/ (search for Billy Green)

LP cover
CD cover
Gear Fab Rec.   Julius Victor : From The Nest (US,1969,re.2010)****

 This lesser known band from the New York area made this sole album produced by jazz musician Ahmad Jamal in 1969. It was an organ driven rock band with a convincing emotional rock singer, in a way I have heard it equally convincing before by some known bands which at the moment I cannot recall, but it was something in between Uriah Heep and Arthur brown which might give you an idea of its format and sound. This band goes beyond rock and blues with a heavy soulful rock vibe which has theatrical descriptive power. There's one small joke song, a kitschy barrol organ traditional (again, where's my memory when I need it) with the singer freaking out with country screams. And there's a convincing longer organ/bass led improvisation on “Fall of Days”. The concluding track is less surprising bluesy rocker but with a good electric guitar solo and fine breaks with organ that compensate fully for it. A great album which for its convincing sound should be listed amongst similar sounding greats of around the same period.

Audio track on http://www.wretch.cc/blog/rockmaniac/11446216

LP info : http://www.progarchives.com/forum/...
http://www.alexgitlin.com/npp2/juliusvictor.htm
Short description on http://www.shinybeast.nl/catalog/view.php?item_id=344948

Label : http://gearfab.swiftsite.com

Golden Pavilion                              Dragon -LP- (B,1976,re.2010)****

Dragon started actually as Burning Light founded in 1967 and was led by singer/guitar-player Jean Vanaise with his brother George and some friends, with several line up changes during its history. The band were braking out of the pop and party circuit with something more serious, under stimulants of ie.the alternative Belgian rock festival in Coq Sur Mer where most progressive minded bands had played (Irish Coffee, Lagger Blues Machine, and Arkham). According to the biography I have read the band must have had an influence and interest in bands like Pink Floyd,Golden Earring (which you can hear in the way some song elements were made) or Iron Butterfly, with a strong attention to the instrumental part of them, as their strongest point, a reference. In that way somehow the mellotron and keyboards with different guitars including fuzz guitar succeed to dominate the underlying atmosphere like an anchor of attraction besides other elements like the rocker song tracks, in such a way and with progressive ideas the Dragon album succeed to keep the association strong for me to recall progressive bands with moody use of mellotron like the Canadian Harmonium or the Swedish Bo Hansson for instance. Dragon of course also has these other elements in the rock songs too, buried partly in heavy bluesrock without ever coming to it. They used to have a strong singer who left for Zaire, so that's perhaps how the repertoire changed towards a more instrumental, progressive direction. Live they used coloured slides, smoke machines and they wore masks on stage since 1973 in a theatrical fashion like Arthur Brown perhaps. When Lagger Blues Machine keyboard player/saxophonist came to the band in 1976 they felt the opportunity to expand with new possibilities, a promising line-up (having also Jean-Pierre Houx on trumpet & trombone, Bernard Callaert or Jean Vanaise on bass, Jean-Pierre again on second keyboards and Christian Duponcheel on saxophone or guitar). 

The record was privately released in 1500 pieces (reissues after the original never had that many copies), which was a lot at the time because in Belgium there was still too little interest for more serious music except in some places of mostly the French part perhaps, the Belgian pop form of punk happen to have much more direct impact on public life. The album had been recorded at the 16-track studio Acorn in London in 5 days with the help of sound engineer Colin Bateman and some help from EMI to cut the record. For the recording they changed their name to Dragon.

The first track immediately is keyboards dominated, a fastly played melodic introduction (the Iron Butterfly influence ?) with a small sequenced element, which turns rather quickly into a more rhythmical pop-groove atmosphere, with a rhythmic theme repetition like Brainticket's Cottonwoodhill but into a slower and much more poppy rhythm, with fuzz guitar solos added and more keyboard layers. “Lucifer” is the first rockier track rooted in bluesy improvisation, slowly developing with thoughtful changes out of a sea shore imitating atmosphere, and developing a groove. The very short song which comes out of this is somewhat forgettable, the groove and fuzz guitars with organ makes up for that and it gives a theatrical song image, before a slower improvisation on buzzing organ and flute. This became a beautiful instrumental moody atmosphere, a total change within the song, from which another part appears with harmony vocals and hazing wordless singing, a skyscraping mood, with slow fuzz solos behind. With a small progressive break the band returns once more to rock singing, possibly directing once more towards an Arthur Brown's sort of theatricality again. “Leave me with tears” after that is a rather catchy ballad with beautiful vocal harmonies, with a bit of nice organ with lots of dominating emotional fuzz guitar led arrangements, which include a bit of Pink Floyd-alike piano, some mellotron in the background, some acoustic guitar, besides some small parts of arrangements with vibraphone. “Gone In The Wind” directs another song into poprock primitiveness, while jazzy piano and mellotron arrangements transform the mood, and psychedelic guitars and the refrain with post-60s harmony vocals are able to uplift all elements well into the concept once more. “In The Blue” starts with an electronic music experimental intro, followed by an addition of heavily echoing guitar strums and a few vibraphone-alike sounds, as the intro of the next track, which brings us to a new slower moody passage. This part is led by keyboards including mellotron with guitar pickings which are carrying rhythmically a trumpet solo on top. More and more improvised keyboards then are added. This nice long and stretched mood is also broken for a new intro led by the not too good singer, but with nice harmony vocals and a convincing progressively rocking band with attractive organ and fuzz. Again this is rewarding and convincing through its totality. Last track has a vibraphone and whispery voice intro, returning once more to the beautiful sound of the mellotron with strummed amplified guitar, a slow progression with a head-spinning nature, leading to a last song with an attractive melody, beautifully arranged with lots of psych organ, and some successful fuzz, a bit of mellotron. A convincing long ending with psychedelic evolution, with increasing theatrical aspects with a few screams here and there, and with rhythmical breaks, and with a growing heaviness in the electric guitars. 

The album fits well with the English examples, still is different and rooted in something that grew out of some of the examples in mind and perhaps the group's past repertoire too. The growing out and the progressive transformations in this musical process have a rewarding effect because all necessary elements that wind the combination together were surely successfully cooperatively tight, to keep the attention in the album enjoyable through its most attractive and well processing elements. Therefore, this still is a very good album.

Soon-after this studio effort the band did a second recording called “Kalahen”, an album with some great moments too. Christian Duponcheel and Jean-Pierre Houx later joined the rock group Alcool, which later became Graffiti. 

The gatefold cover with artwork and heavy vinyl as a physical presentation makes you wish people would not have forgotten the charm of vinyl. Only 400 copies, so be quick.

Label entry on http://www.golden-pavilion.com/
Description : http://www.clear-spot.nl/catalog/view.php?item_id=342405
Info on band : http://www.belgianmetalhistory.be/html/bands/dragon/dragon.html

Golden Pavilion    Univeria Zekt : "The Unnamables" -LP- (F,1971,re.2010)****°

Although this is the early Magma band the first side shows nothing of the Magma style (or the so called Zeuhl style). This is a more public friendly version of the band's abilities, at first mostly as a different entry to introduce their band to a still unprepared public. Much more this is a progressive rock album with a wider range than that moods, adapting soulful pop-rock elements and more mainstream trumpet arrangements. The album builds up with the addition of moody instrumentals, flute or trumpet led. The intro itself has Canterbury-like elements with heavy electric guitar, but also kept compact and accessible. Near the last track of the A side the drums catch itself up no longer following its restricted rhythm and therefore also enables the sax to go wilder. This reminds me of this wonderful must-have-seen movie fragment of Magma playing in this church*, while priests are attending until the band in a disciplinary way go berserk (showing also what a good band they are)**. The second side also has a poppy melody on trumpet, but we know already by looking at the LP this is going to be a longer track. Quickly you can feel the drum with jazzy piano pushing this further rather quickly, increasing the tempo and changing the atmosphere likewise, making the brass elements scream here and there, while the rhythm power becomes mind-blending. And it doesn't stop there. Even more quick rhythms, more beautiful jazz piano, and more hysteria of the brass section individuals while keeping up with the ritual, until nothing can't be added any more and the bass and drums remains left only to invent some ending. So the track returns to a marching rhythm with drummer Christian Vander screaming first with a shrill very high voice in his esoteric language***, then very low, until the track ends with a few hard breaths. Brilliant. The last long track is also early Magma style. Acoustic guitar with some accompaniment leads the track, in a softer way compared to most Magma while the same foundations remains recognisable, the composition builds up its song. Further on some interesting complex rhythm changes occur before closing with a bit more of an open ending. A very good album which prepared the listener carefully and consciously into Magma's territory around misleading pop-rock associations which are only part of a bigger concept until the listener is hooked enough, the band is ready to add something a bit more expressive, that around that stage of familiarisation, will be no longer that much challenging.

This version of Magma featured the vocalist of the French prog band Ero Sum (the Mexican born Lionel Ledissez) on one track, as well as Cuban trumpetist Tito Puentes.

* in 'Jean Yanne Moi Y En A Vouloir Des Sous', 1972.
** video fragment here 
*** the self-invented kobaïa.

Label entry on http://www.golden-pavilion.com/

Other reviews : http://www.progarchives.com/album.asp?id=10107
http://www.progarchives.com/Review.asp?id=291962
Description on http://gnosis2000.net/reviews/magma.htm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Unnamables
http://www.shinybeast.nl/catalog/view.php?item_id=345271










Microwerks     SRC (US,1968,re.2010)****

The great quality of SRC on this album is how they clearly emerged from the 60s with a strong British influence, with controlled harmony vocals and song lead strength, while they expanded this too into 70s progressive territories, stretching the length of the songs a little with carefully arranged and added electric fuzz and organ. These fuzz guitars tend to be heavy and the songs at times rockier too with something of the road runner raw rural and biker motor aspect of some other American bands, while SRC keeps this controlled and balanced from within. In that way the fuzz guitars add a sort of emotionality which works like an inner colouring strength of progression to the benefit of the lead structures. The contrasts in characters of the band members with the musical elements in a challenging mix makes the band's debut so interesting.

Audio : "Black Sheep", "Onesimpletask", "Exile", "Interval"
Homepage : http://www.srcwebsite.com/
Band info : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SRC_(band)
http://www.furious.com/perfect/src.html
http://musictravellers.blogspot.com/2006/10/src-1968-adrian-michigan.html
Homepage : http://www.srcwebsite.com/ & Robin Dale page on http://www.robinhoodshow.com/
Descriptions on http://www.ccmusic.com/... & with audio on http://www.cduniverse.com/...  
next album ->

Microwerks        SRC : Milestones (US,1969,re.2010)*°°

With a slight line up change, the second album leaves much of the British influence behind to go partly for the more  heavy sound with a more primitive arranging and hardly any harmonized singing, replaced by something more obvious. These songs are more direct and the arrangements are more jammed and feel more improvised, with less worked out attention than before. Just one track tends to repeat a post-60s ballad-sort of atmosphere but without the creative contrast of the debute. Then we also have a progressive rock rework of “In The Hall of the Mountain King” from Edvard Grieg, a version with organ lead, paired with a rather interesting idea of a rock version of the “Bolero”from Ravel (not mentioned) dominated by electric guitars. 

As a collection of songs this second album works for the largest part well enough to be enjoyable, but then it misses something of real creative challenge and thorough care of the first LP. One of the last tracks "Up all night" for instance is hardly enjoyable. The conclusion with "The Angel Song" referring to Grieg once more (not sure the reason this time) makes up for this lesser song a bit, with a longer and more progressively sounding song track with a spoken word tale intro.

Homepage : http://www.srcwebsite.com/ with details : here

Microwerkspresenting...Lothar and The Hand People (US,1968,re.2010)****°

Lothar and The Hand People is one of those bands that I and perhaps many more people overlooked a bit but they were pretty much amongst the pioneers of using electronic gear into their music, along with Fifty Foot Hose (1966) and Silver Apples (1969) which I prefer to put together in that sense. While Fifty Foot Hose were entirely experimental in their approach, Silver Apples adapted the electronics completely, Lothar and The People's debut provided a careful preparation track by track before introducing a few track with these ideas. 

Basically they were rooted in a Beatlesque fashion of tastful pop music, with a few more British than American flavours. The mix of their instruments however puts them into a different category a bit from the start. The instruments are so clearly recorded and mixed in separately, only the lead vocals have closer harmonies, the music sounds already from the start a bit more experimental in a rawer sense, while leaving the tasty pop and folk-rock ballads song dominate. 
The electronica at first is only used for very short introductions, only later longer tracks with tape loop manipulation and moog are added. But the songs themselves can have something strange within a few recognisable patterns too.

The slightly more punkish “Machines” for instance seems to have percussion by a dozen spoons, sounds more late 70s/early 80s than 60s. Somewhere a Woody woodpecker theme appears, and a mum-and-dad-annoying post-garage song is added with annoying lyrics repeating the words “sex and violence”. There are more acoustic ballads and an occasional more psychedelic electric guitar riff. 

I love the way in which the album is built up. That way the few more experimental tracks are nothing else but, like the liner notes state as well, a sort of what was “Evolution n°9” for the Beatles, a track coincidingly released that same month. The use of moog on the album had something accidental of inspirations, the synthsizer was borrowed for the occasion from producer Robert Margouleff. The theremin the band already used since 1965 on stage. 

An album worth discovering.

Audio : "It Comes on Anyhow
Homepage : http://www.lotharandthehandpeople.com/
& audio on http://www.myspace.com/lotharandthehandpeople
Band info : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lothar_and_the_Hand_People
http://www.thereminworld.com/band.asp?b=103
http://www.techwebsound.com/playlistdetail.cfm?next=324

Plastic Strip PressV.A. : Compendium Records (VAR,1976-1977,re.2010)****'
-Norway's First Progressive Record Store and Label 1974-1977-

Compendium Records was a Nordic record label that should be remembered not only for its share of interest in the Canterbury music scene with a few unique releases from this scene for the Scandinavian market, but also for its further influence on the Swedish progressive jazz-rock scene. The introduction describes how this all started as a hippie enterprise with English import records. They had a huge admiration for Soft Machine's “Three”, and had many occasions of meetings circling more often around this album. One thing led to the other and at some stage they were able to invite and record Henry Cow, which they saw at that time as a renewed challenge and energy coming from the soft Machine's own musical earthquake in the music scene. In that time the band had not only Dagmar Krause but also Robert Wyatt here and there on vocals. They got permission for this double LP worth of live material, with the Oslo concert as being only one part of it. This was the first of ten records which were working against the tsunami of an anti-difficult music stream of punk music, still surviving for a considerable time. Almost every release had something of the jazz-rock / Jazz-fusion / Canterbury scene, Henry Cow's track sounding as the most experimental one of all (the last track of the album), a track with a special exploration in free music with edges towards jazz but evolving towards something of new contemporary classical, a flute improvisation with piano, before a weird electric guitars and electronic and percussion oscillation with additional vocals and crazed screams by Dagmar Krause at their most experimental. This leads again to a near-classical slightly cacaphonic tuning-in hypnosis ending with oscillating wind instruments with new near-classical improvisations coming forth from this, an over 28 minute track which is included in its completeness.

The most “normal” jazz is a recording with the Norwegian jazz singer Karin Krog when she teamed up with Archie Shepp. The recording itself done only on one evening. The track shows a perfect psychological combination of music improvisation with different layers of separate personalities swimming with its own interpretations of themes of its own strength with a subtle respect and response, in tune with the song with its contribution. But the label also managed to have soft Machine off-shoots on their label. Firstly we have the (Hugh) Hopper/(Elton) Dean, (Keith)Tippett/(and Joe) Gallivan LP, improvised jazz-rock into a complex rhythm, a somewhat crazed sax. And then we also have Hugh Hopper with its “Tunity Box” (reissued by now by Cuneiform records), sounding more improvised too. Joe Gallivan was also featured a few more times, like on the Intercontinental Express, another progressive jazz-fusion band with a funky element, a jammed element and a more recognisable theme, and on a Trio album with Charkles Austin and Voices, an oddity with near-classical voices contributing, improvised like, unfortunately taken from an often played vinyl source. Also Norway had its own jazz-fusion band with jazz-rock influence called Blow Out. And Mirage was a lesser known fitting improvising band from London. The label owners/organisers also had their own bands released, to start with the already mentioned prog-fusion minded Intercontinental Express, but also Vanessa, a band with similar interests. Also a bit different from this is Saluki which is a mixture of funk with a progressive and jazz-rock influence, especially in the interpretation of the drumming.

A near 79 minute CD which gives pretty much an idea of the label's scope and passionate musical interests.

Info : http://compendiumrecords.wordpress.com/ with this release here
Label : http://www.plasticstrip.no/ with this release here

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