miércoles, 11 de mayo de 2016

MANDRA GORA LIGHSHOW SOCIETY - Beyond The Mushroom Gate [GER psychedelic 1999]




Originally released in 1999 (reviewed by Scott Heller in AI #8), Mandra Gora Lightshow Society's Beyond The Mushroam Gate has been reissued by the U.S. based Liquid Sound label with 20 minutes of bonus material including a 15 jam with Nik Turner at the 12th German Hawkwind meeting and a cover of Pink Floyd's "Point Me At The Sky". For the uninitiated, the band play a cosmic blend of Doors styled 60's psychedelia and mind melting space rock. On this album the band consists of Anders Becker on vocals, organs, and Wurlitzer E-Piano, Willem Kucharzik on vocals and guitars, Martin König on drums and percussion, Willi Dammeier on effects, plus guests on sax and vocals.

The album opens with the fantastic "I Don't Want To Rewind The Time". An intro of saxophone and trippy guitars meander about and build tension until nearly the 4 minute mark when the full band launches into song. The organ lays down a great Ray Manzarek styled groove, the guitars are searing, and all of this occurs within a rumbling spaced out stew of looped and bubbling paisley sounds. Definitely one of the best cosmic psychedelic songs I've heard in a long time. The great sounds of the 60's are here but Mandragora Lightshow Society inject a much more spaced element to the music than most of their influences.
 
"Der Hieronimus Bosch Trip" and "Magic Rushroom" are similar extended instrumental tracks. "Der Hieronimus Bosch Trip" begins with an intro of metallic chords, freaky looped guitar patterns, and totally spaced out synths. The drums soon start to bash and the organ kicks in with screaming extended notes. This is much darker then most of the other tracks on the album. It's almost orchestral in it's continual buildup and that kept me on the edge of my seat waiting for the band to launch into something. This is a track that just continually "happens" rather than attempting to travel anywhere in particular. Intense... freaky... love it. "Magic Rushroom" has a similar extended buildup. The sound of cars zooming by sets the theme of traveling down a highway. The cars are in a rush, while the music is trippy, floating, and heavily spaced. There's a bit of a "song" injected at one point, sort of an old Barrett-era Pink Floyd feel, but this is brief and for the most part the tune just trips down the cosmic highway and the listener can simply enjoy the ride and the view. "Floating At The Gates Of Dawn" is a nice flowing 15-minute psychedelic jam embellished by Nik Turner's flute. It must have sounded great at the festival where this was recorded

Among the shorter psychedelic songs is "Unknown Gem", which has a 60's flower power pop feel, but all the crazed sounds are ever-present making this a totally spaced affair. Rising and falling waves of phased space flood up and down, left and right, and pulsate in the center of the brain. "Perpetuum Morality" is similar with great trippy guitar licks. "The Graduation" has a driving drumbeat I liked, a crowd of voice samples, and what I'd swear is a ping-pong ball popping back and forth. "A Common Race" is the track that most reminded me of a Doors styled jam, but the guitars are far more cosmic. 

In summary... HIGHEST RECOMMENDATION! Mandra Gora Lightshow Society excel at both well written pop-psychedelia and mind blowing cosmic instrumental work. The production and mix is right on the mark, making for a headphones experience that will keep you coming back for more.

From Aural Innovations #15

Mandra 

NOT MOVING - Flash On You [ITA garage 1988]


We’re in the mid-eighties and the underground scene in Italy can boast a large number of bands with an international profile. Above all stands a five-piece band that could easily come from Berlin, London or Los Angeles thanks to their style, look and the raw energy of their live shows. Instead they come from Piacenza, Italy, they're called Not Moving and since their debut in 1982, they’ve already published a couple of singles (Strange Dolls and Movin' Over), two EP's ("Black'n'Wild" and "Jesus Loves His Children") and an album ("Sinnermen"). They play a strange and fascinating blend of punk, garage, swamp blues and dark surf. Many people consider them to be the Italian version of bands like The Cramps or Gun Club. In 1988, just one year after the release of the "Jesus Loves His Children" EP, Not Moving sign up again with Electric Eye, the indie label that first discovered and made them nationally and internationally known, to release the new LP "Flash On You". 

It's the last album made by the band's original line-up: Lilith (voice), Dome La Muerte (guitar), Tony Face (drums), Maria Severine (keyboards). During the recordings, in fact, bassist and founding member Dany D. would leave the band to move to Germany, to be replaced by Milo, an old friend of the group with whom they complete the album. The air you breathe in the studio is not exactly the calmest: personal frictions between the band's members have already emerged. Nevertheless, Not Moving churn out such a powerful record, full of musical nuances that no one can imagine an imminent break up. When "Flash On You" reaches the stores, it is presented in a beautiful cover that shows the group crouched on a bed: Dome holds a giant shell containing the sacred sage of the Native American Indians, to whom the album is dedicated.


Musically speaking, it's Not Moving’s most direct and "sunny" long playing record: their aggressive and imaginative rock'n'roll shows itself openly in a handful of songs where emotional stress is no longer restrained, and energy and creativity are left free to run wild.


From the unrecognizable cover of Sniff’n’The Tears' Driver's Seat (significantly superior to the original), to the hendrixian medley A Pray For Jimi (that gently slips into the instrumental Visions), the tracks take a winding and intriguing path where songs of great impact - Looking For A Vision, Dog Day, Stupid Girl, the beautiful Love Train - are mixed with slower and more introspective tunes (Sweet Beat Angel, I Stopped Yawning). In addition to the nine tracks originally released on the album, this long-awaited reissue also sports three unreleased songs that see the light for the very first time: Sad Country, Honey and Flies, Fool In The Jungle: tunes that give a glimpse of the musical developments that could have been. After the release of "Flash On You" and the subsequent tour, Not Moving implode: Tony and Lilith leave to pursue other dreams, while Dome and Maria (with different line-ups) continue to use the band's name for a while. After all is said and done, it's in these fantastic vinyl grooves that you can hear the real final cut of what, arguably, can be considered the greatest Italian rock band of the Eighties.

Roberto Calabrò
Author of "Eighties Colours. Garage, beat e psichedelia nell’Italia degli anni Ottanta"


Flash

viernes, 8 de abril de 2016

THE BACKWARDS - Eerie Thoughts Collection pt. 3 Plus [ITA psychedelic 1989-1993] 2013 Area Pirata


The Backwards are one of the best kept secrets of the '80s Italian underground. They were from Genoa, a large city but not close to the major centers of underground music in Italy at the time such as Torino, Florence and Rome. The band was the brainchild of a young medical student by the name of Pierpaolo Rizzo. The sound was a combination of Syd Barrett fronting Pink Floyd, the Electric Prunes and the Church all at the same time.
In other words, catchy songs with tremolo-laden fuzz guitars and trippy vocals.

Eerie Thoughts Collection Pt 3 was their first album released in 1990, which makes up the first 16 tracks of this CD. Their first demo tape, released in 1989, a year before their first LP, was known as Real Life Permanent Dream and included songs originally recorded by some of their idols such as the Creation, the Byrds, Chocolate Watchband and Robyn Hitchcock. 


They make up tracks 17-26, and are a great mix of originals and cover tunes by the above mentioned bands. The final four tracks are taken from their 1992 Delerium Records cassette album Or So It Seems, and their unreleased 1993 LP The Ocean Inside


Backwards

lunes, 4 de abril de 2016

Liars - Mindscrewer 1988 [Italy garage psychedelic]


'Mindscrewer' Lp recorded at Magic Frog Studio (Brescia) from 18 th April to 4 th May 1988. Released by Tramite, a small indie-label from Brescia run by Jean Luc Stote and Guido Biagi, the album contains a handful of inspired and brilliant songs. It's a record of acid and visionary psychedelia, full of dreamy and sometimes dynamic sonic solutions with the three musicians taking turns at the microphone, thus enriching its musical spectrum.

The whole Sixties universe is explored in this incredible journey of a thousand colors: from the light and shade of Tulips Of Harlem to the imaginative energy that flows in She's Crumblin'Down; from the garage-psychedelic mixture of Dumb Generation to the rock'n'roll driving of You Shock My Heart through the kaleidoscope of lysergic numbers such as It Gets Wasted and Fire Illusion . 


In between there are three great covers: Nazz's Wildwood Blooze, Kim Fowley's Bubblegum , and the Frantics' Her And Her Mountain.


Liars

viernes, 1 de abril de 2016

NO STRANGE - Cristalli Sognanti [ITA psychedelic 2011]


No Strange is an Italian rock group influenced by psychedelic music that combined elements of rock and cosmic music. It was formed in Turin in 1980 by Salvatore Ursus D'Urso and Alberto Ezzu.
At the beginning they play a kind of comedy Punk and they are called NoStrani, but soon they turn to a psych sound and release a demo called 'Rainbow' in 1983 and another one in 1984 called 'Lisergic tomahawk' attached to the Roller Coaster 's fanzine.


At this point the band start their collaboration with Giulio Tedeschi, boss of the Toast Records.
In 1985 No Strange release with his label, their great debut album simply called 'No Strange' (known as 'Trasparenze e Suoni' as well). Their sound is something absolutely original and they take part in the Neo psychedelic Italian scene whose interest was in the sound but also in the air-cut and clothes of British and American bands of 60s and 70s. No Strange benchmarks included the first Pink Floyd, Brainticket, Soft Machine and Third Ear Band but mainly the early works of Tangerine Dream, Ash Ra Tempel and Popol Vuh, with whom they shared a common musical and spiritual quest.


One year later they release a single "White bird"/"Fiori risplendenti" and then in 1987 they record their second album 'L'Universo' and in the meantime they give a song for the historical compilation 'Eighties Colours' made by Electric Eye Records and are involved in a double Lp compilation called 'Oracolo' recording an entire live side!
Away from any kind of 'revival' they prefer to create a new original sound even inspired from the late 60s and the early 70s. This will be confirmed again from their third album 'Flora di romi' released in 1991.
No Strange start to work on this album from 1988 with a different line up made from Laura Tommasi (winds), Paolo Avataneo (bass guitar), Sandro Becchis (guitar), Pino Molinari (keyboards), Lucio Molinari (percussions) and Ursus (vocals). Artistic production and arranging will be made by Alberto Ezzu.

In 1992 the band has a long break, except for a mini album released in 1998 called 'Medusa' and played from Ursus,Tony D'Urso (Ursus brother's) and Fabio Maffia at the keyboards... Until 2008, when Ursus and Alberto Ezzu decide to reform No Strange along with Pino Molinari, Lucio Molinari, Tony D'Urso and Paolo Avataneo. That's a mix of the many line ups the band got in the 80s. Later Rosalba Guastella join them as choralist.
And finally, nowadays, they record this a fresh and dreamy sound, moody original new album!



No Strange

martes, 15 de marzo de 2016

THE PARASITES OF THE WESTERN WORLD - Substrata [USA 1980] Match Box MB 1004


Rare US experimental psychedelic rock 1980 Private Press. 

Terry Censky and Patrick Burke are The Parasites of The Western World.

Substrata


EFFERVESCENT ELEPHANTS - From the end to the beginning [ITA psychedelic] 2010 Psych-Out Records PO-CD002

This cd includes songs from the most significant tapes of the band recorded from 1990 back to the 80’s .It’s about recordings that were created in a garage and they suffered from the damage of time. There are even some tracks which were lost in the band’s archives but that confirm the Effervescent Elephants as one of the best groups of Italian neo psychedelia.

Effervescent Elephants