lunes, 15 de abril de 2019

SMALL WORLD - Slight Detour [UK revival mod 1980-85] 1999 Detour Records DRCD 019

This double album takes you through their recording career from 1980 to 1985.

Small World were at the forefront of the 80s Mod revival scene, the music press loved them (Sounds dedicated a whole page to them), fans adored them and there’s no doubt that Small World went down as one of the best Mod Bands of the era. At the height of Small World's Career, their fan club topped over 600 members.  Following a brief reformation in the Summer of 1998 playing live at the Untouchables Brighton Mod rally, Small World recently appeared at the Massive Mods Mayday event on the May Bank Holiday of 1999 at the Forum London.

Small World

SOURCE FAMILY - The Source Family [USA psychedelic 2013] Drag City DC559CD

Drag City has been committed to releasing unheard music by Father Yod & the Source Family's various musical incarnations since the issue of 2008's Songs from the Source. They continued with 2009's Magnificence in the Memory (curated by No-Neck Blues Band's Dave Nuss) and the double-LP-only The Thought Adjusters in 2012. In other words, when it came to issuing a soundtrack for the stellar Jodi Wille/Maria Demopoulos documentary The Source Family, the label was a logical choice. Nuss and Wille compiled and sequenced this 14-track collection of tracks from various bands that recorded during the wildly creative 1973-1974 period and that resulted, reportedly, in over 60 albums' worth of material. (Nowhere near that many were ever released, but we can hope!) While most of the music here is listed under the Ya Ho Wa 13 or Father Yod & the Spirit of 76 names, the material chosen showcases the contributions of a wide range of Source Family members. It is compiled from a host of recordings, including those previously issued by Drag City. Highlights include the stellar edited version of the rock jam "Man the Messiah," with its Aquarian-age gospel chorus backed by Farfisa organ, wah-wah electric guitars, walloping drums, and piano. The two Source Family chants included here are brief but compelling, because they weren't necessarily meant to be heard outside the community. They also contrast beautifully with one another as well as the rest of these tracks. "Chant 10" is stripped to the bone, haunting and near reverential, while the Yod-led "Chant 2" is forceful, to the point of being nearly martial. There are better-known selections here too, such as edited versions of "I'm Gonna Take You Home," "Contraction," "Kahoutek," and of course, "Penetration," that are skillfully placed near the end of the set to create momentum. While there are certainly more focused introductions to the many aspects of the Source Family's music that have appeared over the years, this soundtrack presents the widest array of it on a single disc. 

Source Family

MARKHEIM - Markheim [Switzerland psychedelic 1972] 2018 Shadoks Music 196

To most people still unknow this LP by the Swiss band Markheim was recorded in Venice, Italy 1972.
Markheim was formed in 1972 by Andreas Wyden and dissolved the same year in lack of money, leaving some curious demo tapes behind. These guys lived in Paradiso,
in the canton of Ticino (the italian speaking part of Switzerland). Andreas Wyden and drummer Enzo Geninazza are swiss but I have no information about pianist Phillip
Reeves and guitarist Trevor Thoms. The band traveled to Venice during summer 72 in order to record their freshly composed songs.
The the demo tapes were later on remastered by the poet Dubravko Pusek from Lugano who also financed the whole project ! All tracks and lyrics were composed by Andreas Wyden.

The music itself is a mix of crazy progressive, folk and psych rock. Some tracks are rather experimental as well with a progressive touch. A very well produced studio recording.

10 demos of a hidden treasure from Switzerland, released in 1991 on a private label in for the first “ever” in a tiny edition of 200 LP´s.


sábado, 13 de abril de 2019

SUNLIGHT SKY SAXON & THE DRAGONSLAYERS - Breakin' Through The Doors [USA garage 1990] Elephant Records, Tapes & Videos SKY 01

The 1990 CD-only Breakin’ Through The Doors (subtitled In The Beginning) by Sunlight Sky Saxon [sic] and the Dragonslayers features Sky and his concurrent band covering several old Seeds songs, plus a couple non-Seeds nuggets. 

Behind Sky are his longtime musical partner Mars Bonfire (whose name is rendered as ‘Mars Bon Fire’) on keyboards, Gary Stern on bass, Paul Schofield on drums, and Tom Azevedo — under the pseudonym Magician Atomic — on guitar.

The sound of the Dragonslayers on Breakin’ Through The Doors is 1960s-garage with a slightly modern sophistication; the lead guitar is very distorted but mixed low while Mr. Bon Fire’s prominent day-glo keyboards dance loopily. The rhythm section of Gary and Paul is especially tight, and Gary’s bass is both melodic and understated. Sky Saxon sounds generally very excited throughout. (Rumors and tales of the psychonaut’s manic drug intake of this period don’t seem all that unbelievable).

Sky Saxon

lunes, 8 de abril de 2019

FARM - The Innermost Limits Of Pure Fun [USA rock, psychedelic 1969] 2016 Sundazed Music SC6331

Soundtrack to George Greenough's 1968 surf movie written and performed by Dennis Dragon (before the Surf Punks ), his brothers Doug and Daryl, (the Captain before Tennille ), and Denny Aaberg, (before Big Wednesday). Some more info gleaned from the web: The lead guitarist Denny Aaberg was a keen surfer and well known surf writer from Pacific Palisades, while others in the band have been Beach Boys-connected in the 1980s-90s. Ernie Knapp played bass with the Beach Boys for a year or more, while Dennis Dragon did sound work for them. The Dragon brothers hailed from Hollywood and Doug and Dennis (drums and organ on this soundtrack) were brothers to Daryl Dragon of "Captain and Tenille" (Daryl was a friend/collaborator of Dennis Wilson), and Daryl is an additional musician on this soundtrack, which was one of 30 produced by Dennis and Daryl in Dennis's Malibu bedroom. Movie producer George Greenough is a surfing legend for his many films with cameras "on-board" and his surf philosophy. He financed the making of "Pure Fun" entirely from the proceeds of his fishing business.

KING GEORGE DISCOVERY - Peace Of Mind [USA Sweden psych rock 1968] 2011 Shadoks Music 136

King George Discovery's Peace Of Mind, was recorded in Sweden in 1968 with the U.S. musician King George Clemens on guitar & vocals. A close friendship to Jimi Hendrix, who also toured Sweden in 1968, dropped many tracks from the release plan when the band was recording their album, which also came out that year. All tracks that were thought to compete with the music of Jimi Hendrix were not released, until now. A collector from England found the unknown tracks, which were only pressed as a demo LP for the band. What a great find. Some tracks were placed on YouTube and collectors starting raving about this album. The guitar work is amazing -- as psychedelic as it can get. This album is released in cooperation with King George Clemens; one of the most important releases for Shadoks this year, for sure.

martes, 2 de abril de 2019

VVAA - Planet Mod Brit Soul, R&B And Freakbeat From The SHEL TALMY Vaults - 2018 Big Beat CDWIKD 336

Shel Talmy is a name that any discussion of the significant stewards behind British pop’s mid-60s purple period will immediately bring to mind. Were it only for his early supervision of the Who, he would still remain a mod hero. Add the dozens of other records and artists – from best-sellers such as the Kinks to obscurities along the lines of the Mickey Finn – with which he was involved, and his role in bringing forth the most powerful examples of the genre becomes unequivocal. Even a venture that was ostensibly a failure – his bespoke label, Planet Records – has acquired semi-mythical status amongst the mod cognoscenti, thanks in part to its association with Talmy’s great white hope, the Creation.

Rather than recycling the over-familiar, the new “Planet Mod” compilation digs deep into Talmy’s rarely tapped tape vault to uncover many other fabulous examples of a genre that wields considerable influence to this day. The core of 1960s modernist taste was always black America, but in recent decades the voracious appetite of genre practitioners finds not only rock, but home-grown soul and even pop squeezed within mod’s defining parameters. Certainly, several American artists are represented, including two of the acknowledged greats of US R&B. In a scenario that is all too frequent for Talmy, there is also at least one future superstar within the assembled cast. And on the other side of the coin, we have early, unsuccessful yet exciting recordings from two vocalists who would both go on to have massive UK hits in the 1970s and 1980s, albeit with essentially family-friendly fare.

The Thoughts, Untamed, Wild Uncertainty, Tribe, Corduroys and John Lee’s Groundhogs all recorded for Planet, while others such as the Trackers and Pros & Cons were independent productions Talmy farmed out to major labels. There are rare early compositions from Bowie (Kenny Miller’s ‘Take My Tip’) and Bill Wyman (the Preachers’ ‘Goodbye Girl’), while the beans are spilled on mysterious outfits the Total and the Soul Brothers. Several tracks are alternate takes or versions, including a demo version of the New Breed’s sought-after ‘Unto Us’ and a rollicking studio jam by Goldie & the Gingerbreads. Indeed, over half the contents of “Planet Mod” are previously unreleased.

This is the first of several Ace/Big Beat collections drawn from the Shel Talmy archives, with forthcoming volumes focused on his beat and girl group productions. All come with thoroughly loaded booklets that provide unprecedented detail upon this remarkable man’s activities in that magic era. /Alec Palao