Wednesday, October 3, 2007

V.A. - Psychedelic Disaster Whirl (1986)

Side 1
1. The Plague - The Face Of Time
2. Perpetual Motion Workshop - Won't Come Down
3. The Quiet Jungle - Everything
4. Last Knight - Shadow Of Fear
5. The Human Expression - Optical Sound
6. Thee Sixpence - In The Building
7. Children Of The Night - World Of Tears
8. Twentieth Century Zoo - You Don't Remember

Long ago released psych comp and one of the genre's classic ones. As the cover states: Guranteed Free of Flower Power! Blow Your Mind!

Side 2
1. Scorpio Tube - Yellow Listen
2. The Inexpensive Handmade Look - What Good Is Up
3. The Starlites - I Can't See You
4. Perpetual Motion Workshop - Infiltrate Your Mind
5. The Story Tellers - Cry With Me
6. The Caretakers Of Deception - Cuttin' Grass
7. The Boy Blues - Coming Down To You
8. The Strange Fate - Hold Me Baby

V.A. - Shapes And Sounds : Orange And Red Beams (From The BBC Archives 1967-1969 (2006)

`Shapes And Sounds' offers seventeen performances taped in BBC studios between 1967 and 1969 for radio shows such as `Top Gear' and Saturday Club', as well as some of the weekly Radio 1 programmes. This release, on both LP and CD, features six bands, all of whom will be familiar to collectors of psychedelia and pop of the period, some of which are lauded as being amongst the most rated groups of their time. For many pride of place will go to Kaleidoscope, as `Shapes And Sounds' features two tracks that are missing from the BBC's Transcription Service archive. Thanks to the recent discovery of a transcription disc, Top Sounds are privileged to offer a choice version of the band's most contagious single `Jenny Artichoke', as well as a stupendous rendition of the `Faintly Blowing' cut `Music'. Also thought lost and making their debut on record and CD are three splendid tracks by Tomorrow featuring Keith West, sourced from two editions of `Top Gear' in October 1967 and February 1968. Included are excellent renditions of `Blow Up',`Colonel Brown' and `Real Life Permanent Dream'. `Shapes And Sounds' also offers the four remaining Timebox session tracks from the Beeb archives, which include an admirable slice of blue eyed soul in their cover of the Young Rascals' `A Girl Like You', which the band never recorded outside of the BBC. The Montanas' selections feature a superior rendering of `A Step In The Right Direction' , as well as some cracking Moby Grape covers and a Kenny Lynch / Mort Schuman penned `You're Never Gonna Get My Lovin'. Of all these numbers from their repertoire, only `A Step In The Right Direction' ever appeared on a single. Gentle Influence impress with their BBC only cover of Curtis Mayfield's `You've Been Cheatin', as well as a very good version of their last single `Always Be A Part Of My Living'. The Spectrum offer a fuzz guitar spiked performance of `Headin' For A heatwave' which is more virile and much more atmospheric than the 45 version, and they enthusiastically rip through a Beeb only take of the Artwoods favourite `I Take What I Want'.
The sound quality is absolutely superb throughout, with nearly every track sourced from original BBC Transcription records and though few of the tracks on the collection needed much enhancement at all, all have been professionally restored and mastered. The presentation is immaculate and the CD has a twenty four page booklet packed with illustrations, band histories and listings of all their known BBC sessions. All the selections on this release were specially recorded for the BBC during the late 1960s and in many cases are better than the familiar released versions, and appear here on CD and vinyl for the first time. All copies are hand numbered and `Shapes And Sounds' is a legitimate limited edition release, licensed from the BBC with the blessing / co-operation of no less than nineteen band members.

1. Jenny Artichoke - Kaleidoscope
2. You've Been Cheatin' - Gentle Influence
3. Hey Grandma - Montanas
4. Beggin' - Timebox
5. Headin' For A Heatwave - Spectrum
6. Colonel Brown - Tomorrow & Keith West
7. Stay There - Timebox
8. Step In The Right Direction - Montanas
9. Blow Up - Tomorrow & Keith West
10. Girl Like You - Timebox
11. You're Never Going To Get My Lovin' - Montanas
12. Real Life Permanent Dream - Tomorrow & Keith West
13. Music - Kaleidoscope
14. Omaha - Montanas
15. I Take What I Want - Spectrum
16. Yellow Van - Timebox
17. Always Be A Part Of My Living - Gentle Influence

V.A. - A History Of Garage & Frat Bands In Memphis Vol. 1 (1960 - 1975)

Upon first spinning this compilation, listeners will be struck by the audio quality. Certainly, the raw, grainy tone of garage rock is to be embraced, but the quality of the actual production here is definitely not up to industry standards. It's clear that these selections come straight from vinyl sources, and not master recordings. But you have to put that aside for a variety of factors. For one, the overwhelming majority of these tunes are not available elsewhere on cd. Secondly, it is highly possible that the master tapes for these records have either been destroyed or lost over the last 30+ years. Keep in mind too that these hail from small local labels of the era.
With all of that said, once the music is actually moving the molecules around in your room, you will easily overlook
the sonic shortcomings of the recordings presented here. Each track is a gem, and as a whole, the compilation presents fifteen unique, yet consistent-sounding songs spanning 15 years. A track by track analysis isn't necessary, although I will say that The Yo-Yo's take on Billy Joe Royal's "Leaning On You" is nothing short of a masterpiece. That track alone makes this a worthwhile purchase (and admittedly, was my personal motivation for seeking it out). My only real complaint is that, clocking in at 33 minutes, the second volume could have easily been placed on the same disc. (

Ever heard of the Yo-Yo's? How about Shadden and the King Lears? Unless you were a rock & roll fan in Memphis in the 1960s, or you're a collector of obscure records, the answer is probably no. For every band that made it big during that era, there were countless others whose tour itinerary extended no further than the local rollerrinks and VFW halls. Success was relative; of course, most budding musicians harbored secret (or not so secret) hopes that picking up a guitar would be a ticket to stardom, but if the extent of their success meant making a good record or two, meeting girls, and being popular around town, that worked as well. As a rule, garage bands were less concerned with breaking new musical ground than with playing in the styles that made them want to form a band in the first place. The Memphis scene was strongly influenced by the soulful sounds of Stax Records; compared to other regions, there were fewer psychedelic bands and cranked up Marshall amps (as the local studio engineers didn't have much experience in recording such equipment). A History Of Garage & Frat Bands In Memphis 1960-1975 serves up fifteen bursts of youthful enthusiasm, and it's a great survey of the local talent. The Yo-Yo's "Leaning On You" is a catchy slice of blue-eyed soul; The Changin' Tymes' "Blue Music Box" sports a killer fuzzbox sound; "Uptight, Tonight," courtesy of Flash & The Casuals, is what energetic frat rock was all about; and The Castels' "Save A Chance" reminds that American singers were adopting thick, faux-Brit accents long before Joey Ramone and Bob Pollard. There's an accompanying book (sold separately) entitled Playing For A Piece Of The Door, which provides exhaustive documentation on the bands featured on the disc, as well as many, many others (making one wish that Shangri-La had been a bit more generous with the CD, which clocks in at just under 34 minutes). With a non-hierarchal eye, it gives histories of the acts who broke nationally (The Box Tops, Big Star, Sam The Sham & The Pharaohs) alongside those who released a sole 45 and dispersed when it was time to go to college. As it's a straightforward, alphabetized look at the groups, with discographies, photos, and personnel listings, it'll be of primary interest to hardcore collectors of the original records and those were present at the time, but the CD should appeal to anyone who wants to hear more of the music that the Nuggets compilations specialize in. (James Lindbloom)

1. Uptight, Tonight - Flash And The Casuals
2. Rising Mercury Twist - LeSabres Listen
3. Ain't Goin' No Where - Danny Burk And The Invaders
4. Can't Find A Way - Joe Frank And The Knights
5. I Tell No Lies - The Escapades Listen
6. Seven Little Numbers - The Rapids
7. Leaning On You - The Yo-Yo's
8. Ain't Got You - The Jades Listen
9. Possibility - The Coachmen Listen
10. The Mysterians - Jimmy Tarbutton And The Memphis Sound
11. Land Of Soul - The Rapscallions
12. All I Want Is You - Shadden And The King Lears
13. Blue Music Box - The Changin' Tymes
14. Save A Chance - The Castels Listen
15. These Windows - The Village Sound

V.A.- A History of Garage & Frat Bands in Memphis Vol. 2 (1960 - 1975)

1. Don't Send Me No Flowers - The Breakers
2. Geraldine - Ole Miss Downbeats
3. Shady Lady - The Shades
4. Your Love - The Percussions
5. Please, Please Little Girl - The Merits
6. Little Girls Were Made To Love - The Scepters
7. I Need Your Lovin' - The Chasers
8. Move It, Groove It - The Ponees
9. Stormy Weather - Tommy Burk & The Counts
10. Back For More - Lawson & Four More
11. Going Out Of My Mind - Ricky & The Rainbows
12. Condition Red - The Goodees
13. I Wanna Be - Memphis Nomads
14. Sally's Got A Good Thing - Village Sound
15. Warm City Baby - Honey Jug
16. Blue Green - Los Angeles Smog Division

V.A. - Visit To The Spaceship Factory (2007)

A batch of lost psych prog tunes from the early 70s -- with spiraling guitars, chugging rhythms and otherworldly jams from the UK scene -- and great little compilation on Nick Saloman's Psychic Circle label! The tunes were cut in the years between the psych heyday and the complicated prog sounds of the later 70s -- many with the catchy, freewheeling groove of the former and the metallic crunch and lumbering qualities of the latter -- all in all, a really great batch of spacey rockers that you have likely never heard before! 20 tracks in all: "Why Not Tonight" by Treetops, "Greenfields" by Mousetrap, "That Don't Help Me None" by Deadwood, "So Come On" by Jericho, "Tadpole" by Incredible Hog, "Spirit Of Joy" by Kingdom Come, "Sarabande" by Beggars Opera, "Bring It On Home" by Strange Fox, "So You Wanna Know" by Sunchariot, "Nervous Shakin'" by Kansas Hook and more! (dustygroove)

1. Treetops / Why Not Tonight 3:19
2. Mousetrap / Greenfields 2:47
3. Deadwood / That Don't Help Me None 4:05
4. Fuzzy Duck / Just Look Around You 3:58
5. Jericho / So Come On 3:57
6. Incredible Hog / Tadpole 3:32
7. Mouse / It's Happening To Me And You 2:52
8. Helter Skelter / I Need You 2:30
9. Beggars Opera / Sarabande 4:28
10. Kingdom Come / Spirit Of Joy 3:26
11. Little Big Horn / Just A Game 4:19
12. Strange Fox / Bring It On Home 3:20
13. Onyx / Air 4:00
14. Spontaneous Combustion / Spaceship 3:20
15. UFO / Evil 3:36
16. Sheephouse / Ladder 3:22
17. Pussy / Ska Child 3:06
18. Axe / People Come, People Go 3:05
19. Sunchariot / Do You Wanna Know 4:09
20. Kansas Hook / Nervous Shakin' 3:12

Mark Fry - Dreaming With Alice (1972)

This album was originally recorded in Italy and England during 1972 by an almost unknown artist who is now a mystery. The album was only ever released in Italy and was almost entirely unknown in the UK and elsewhere around the world. Like many albums after a limited release it receded to a forgotten back page of musical history. It was in the late 1990s that Akarma Records in Italy reissued the album on CD with the original sleeve on the evocative cover.

When we read of an album being labeled 'psychedelic folk' it is often a dubious use of the term and a listener may be at a loss to find the elusive element of psychedelia. However there can be no such doubt with regard to this album which is a defining masterpiece of the style.

From the cover it is clear that this album seeks to fuse the whimsical text and graphics with a deep sense of the rural and with the tarot styled cards elements of folk low magic are also implied. The back cover shows some kind of pagan princess or holy woman in a trance like state and inside we see a young woman asleep. With such an evocative cover the scene is set for something special and for once here is an album that lives up to it's fusion of the surreal, rural and magical.

The whole album seems to be about sharing some kind of surreal psychedelic dream with Alice from the Alice Through The Looking Glass book. This book had like the nonsense wordplay of Lear been a defining influence on British psychedelic culture, linking the new mental expansion with a quaint gentle surreal element. Throughout the album minute long miniature songs explore these dreams and visions carrying on the 'Dreaming With Alice' theme and eventually submerging it in echo, fuzzed wah wah guitar and backwards tapes. From the first version of this onwards we immediately experience something strange, a little one verse song with just acoustic guitar and heavily processed, echoed vocals that seem distant, removed and emotionally disconnected. The first lyrics we hear start as it then continues.

"Did you pass the glass mountain?
Where Salome opened her dress.
Did you see the dolphins feathered fountain?
Oh the King made a bloody mess"

Disconnected and remote it may be but it is also warm and enveloping, a hazy opiate lullaby. It is then quickly on to 'The Witch' weaving guitar with pulsing eastern percussion and sitar topped by flute and the vocals which carry on the heavy processing. This is a darker song which seeks the Witch to cure his loneliness by coming through the window, the sound is heavily psychedelic and gives way to a beautiful ballad which is followed by the innocent childlike 'Roses for Columbus', a song s delicate it almost seems an effort to sing it and considers the discovery of America. Next is 'A Norman Solider' which seems beamed from the twelve century and provides a picture of a fog filled landscape, the solider half seen through grey light. By now the 'Dreaming With Alice' interludes are becoming ever stranger as some kind of inexplicable narrative develops with Cleopatra eating Christmas cake and asking to be called Pyramid Prostitute, however the words are almost beyond meaning becoming a soft tapestry over the soothing music which has you similarly drifting mentally. 'Lute and Flute' is baroque medieval folk that is quite exquisite and similar to Amazing Blondel.

'Down Narrow Streets' roots us back in some kind of memory from the singer's past, it is very moving yet cannot be placed. The guitars weave around each other in layers, the vocals shimmer and glide across the music, as though trying to remember the distant, hazy recesses of childhood. From here we enter the psychedelic epic of 'Mandolin Man' which clearly is meant to be the singer and even has this in the title. This starts as a driving primitive folk rhythm with a fantastic riff, if this had been earlier I'm certain it would have inspired a Jimmy Page adaptation.

'Oh Mystery man, where are you going?
I can see, your eyes are snowing'

The guitar probes and pushes with a circular riff and blues slide soloing over the top, a heavy deep drum beat comes it and it evolves to take in seething wah wah guitar with banks of hugely processes vocals like a heavenly choir, the soloing becomes more frenetic and it achieves a deep heavy folk sound that few have ever achieved.

The final version of 'Dreaming With Alice' is so heavily processed, so 'gone' that the lyrics are all but indecipherable and we end as we began, in thrall to Alice and her entrancing dream.

'And I'm With Alice In Wonderland
Skipping through the rain
Flowered marbles in our hands
as we roll on down the lane
as we laugh on down the lane'
(repeat last line to fade)

Reference points for the album are hard as it is truly unique. Donovan was often as surreal but never as distant, Nick Drake explored acoustic music in a similar way but to far different more personal effect, artists like Steve Tilston were never as extreme. Perhaps it is closest to the modern generation, to such as In Gowan Ring' who merge the psychedelic with a focused distant quality, or Fit and Limo with their genuine sitar folk sound, or Stone Breath with their mystical evocations that beguile and scare in equal parts, or Drekka with their low-fi rumbling darkness. However none are truly close and that is because the artist here is not giving us his personal feelings but connects on a deep more sub-conscious level, with our innate feelings, with the part of ourselves we cannot reach. Whether by drugs, religion or music that was the purpose of psychedelia, to connect with that we cannot grasp in ourselves except through the shortest glimpses of forgotten child hood. In this it provides a defining album that not only in sound, but in it's quest attempts to connect the broken synapses of memory. Inevitably by the end the processing of the music is so extreme that the fragile connection is lost, we cannot find these places in ourselves except in the fragmented transitory illusions of sleep when we once again dream with Alice. (

Trader Horne - Morning Way (1970)

One of the most interesting one-shots of the early '70s, this duo featured Irish multi-instrumentalist Jackie McAuley, who was responsible for some of those great organ lines on Them's early records, and Judy Dyble, who sang on Fairport Convention's first album before being replaced by Sandy Denny in 1968. Their sole LP, Morning Way, is nice if slightly precious British folk-rock with an Olde English, fairy-tale air, and will appeal to fans of the early work of both Donovan and Fairport. ~ Richie Unterberger, All Music Guide

Like many bands before them Trader Horne released an album preceded by a couple of singles, the band promptly broke up and the album sank. Years later it is discovered by collectors and found to be high quality and of interest. The musicians in this band had a pedigree that should not have condemmed the album unfairly. The female singer Judy Dyble had been the original one for Fairport Convention on their first album and Jackie McAuley had been a key member of primal Irish R&B band Them. However here they had both evolved into crafted folk with a production that should have crossed them over to the popular music charts. The songs are folk-pop with psychedelic production touches and like Amazing Blondel are enfused with baroque elements of early music. Harpsicord, xylophone, auto-harp and organ all help this album sound different from many. There is a childlike air to many of the tracks, a fey innocence that is appealing. Some of the tracks have pseudo mystical themes such as the instrumental 'Three Rings for Eleven Kings' however this is never taken too seriously. Each track links to the next with a little short musical segue that provides continuity and reminds of the marvellous uncompleted 'Teenage Opera' by Mark Wirtz. Stand out tracks include 'Morning Way' with it's descending chord sequences and dual vocals and the deeply psychedelic 'The Mutant' with it's treated slightly unsettling vocals. All of the singles are added back to this enjoyable reissued CD which has a sleeve that looks like a Monty Python animation out take. (Mark Coyle)

1. Jenny May
2. Children Of Care
3. Three Rings For Eleven Kings
4. Growing Man
5. Down And Out Blues
6. Mixed Up Kind
7. Better Than Today
8. In My Loneliness
9. Sheena
10. Mutant
11. Morning Way
12. Velvet To Atone
13. Luke That Never Was
14. Here Comes The Rain
15. Goodby Mercy Kelly

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Lambert & Nuttycombe - At Home (1970)

Dennis Lambert and Craig Nuttycombe had been on the fringes of LA's music scene for some time, including stints with bands such as the East Side Kids and the West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band, when they decided to proceed as a duo. This 1970 release was recorded live at the home they shared in Sausalito, California, and co-produced by David Anderle (The Doors, Love), Chad Stuart (Chad and Jeremy) and Glyn Johns (the Beatles, the Rolling Stones). A mellow collection of self-penned ballads that showcases their superb vocal harmonies and subtle guitar interplay, it has attracted a major cult following over the years. Though they gigged widely in California, Lambert's heroin addiction made it hard for them to break nationally and they parted after recording one further album in 1973.

1. Morning
2. Time
3. Bird Song
4. My Own Beat
5. Something On My Mind
6. Mouse
7. Ode To Drugan
8. Putting Myself Together Again
9. Mr. Bojangles
10. Country Song
11. Heaven Knows (Where I've Been)
12. Clover


Monday, October 1, 2007

V.A. - Folk Is Not A Four Letter Word Vol.2 (2006)

Folk Is Not A Four Letter Word 2" is the fifth release from Delay 68 Records and the follow up to the critically acclaimed best seller first volume, and its sequel 'Prog Is Not A Four Letter Word'. Featuring a few old faces and a host of undiscovered talent from home and abroad, this brilliant compilation picks up where volume one left off and promises to be even better! Once again compiled by, and featuring original artwork and sleevenotes from Andy Votel (Twisted Nerve/BMusic), this compilation is brought you by the Finders Keepers Records team, responsible for bringing you Welsh Rare Beat, and Jean Claude Vannier's 'L'Enfant Aassassin Des Mouches'. (

1. Carol Batton - Intro
2. Midsommar - Balladen Om Belfast
3. Y Triban - A Night In The City
4. These Trails - Of Broken Links
5. Chuck & Mary Perrin - Flying
6. Jan & Lorraine - Number 33
7. Elly & Rikkert - Heksenkring
8. Susan Christie - Paint A Lady
9. Paul Parrish - Dialogue Of Wind And Lover
10. Emmanuelle Parrenin - Apres Londee
11. Naomi - How Do?
12. Parchment - Son Of God
13. Alexis Korner & CCS - Sunrise
14. Woody Simmons - Grey Today
15. Vainica Doble - Dime Felix
16. 11.59 - The Waters Of Babylon
17. Midwinter - Maids And Gentlemen
18. Pentangle - I Saw An Angel
19. Sibylle Baier - Softly
20. Turid - Song
21. Turid - På Tredje Dagen Uppståndna

V.A. - Bearded Ladies (2007)

Effervescent songbird Jane Weaver has joined forces with Finders Keepers to produce a B-Music certified canon of femme-folk, laden with finger picked meandering melodies, ethereal harmonies and wistful psychedelic leanings.
This bespoke globe-trotting decade spanning collection traces a line between the acid soaked protest rumblings of yesteryear and the forward looking/backward facing revivalists of today, as luminaries such as Wendy & Bonnie, Bonnie Dobson, Heather Jones and Susan Christie rub shoulders with the current cream of female songsmithery including Emma Tricca, Magphai, and Cate Le Bon.


1. Speck Mountain - Hey-Moon
2. Wendy & Bonnie - Paisley Window Pane
3. Magpahi - Horses
4. Emma Tricca - Martin and Me
5. Selda - Gesi Baglari
6. Lispector - Peachtree Street
7. Bonnie Dobson - Milk & Honey
8. Turid - LŒt Mig Se Dig
9. Heather Jones - Coli Laith
10. Lights - Branches Low mp3
11. Susan Christie - Rainy Day
12. Jane Weaver - All These Rivers
13. Brigitte Fontaine - Le Goudron
14. Heaven and Earth - Refuge
15. Cate Le Bon - Disappear