miércoles, 11 de mayo de 2016
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
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.
Author of "Eighties Colours. Garage, beat e psichedelia nell’Italia degli anni Ottanta"