Monday, November 21, 2005

OK it's Monday again! Well it is where I live anyway. Maybe I have something for you to download this week.

Alcatraz - Vampire State Building (1971)

The German band Alcatraz recorded only one largely instrumental, jazz-rock progressive improvisational album. "But, what an album they left behind! Their music featured fuzzed guitars and effects overdose in a heavy and bluesy over-the-top Krautrock. Though barely known, Alcatraz were remarkable in that they bridged and mixed together genres that no one else did. In fact, they pulled out all the stops to come up with one of the finest slabs of eccentric heady Krautrock. It's a masterpiece beyond doubt". (Crack In The Cosmic Egg review)


CWT - The Hundredweight (1973)

Though released on Germany's Kuckuk label (home of Armaggedon and Out Of Focus), CWT was a British act whose only album was produced by Rolling Stones manager Andrew Loog Oldham. This is some serious butt-kickin' early 70's rock complete with a driving brass section. Heavy riffs, rough, aggressive vocals, with the brass arrangements having an almost Motown-like groove at times, and brilliant lead guitar all centered around a solid rhythm section, what's not to like?


Kin Ping Meh - Kin Ping Meh (1971)

German band Kin Ping Meh's first album is an accessible combination of hard-driving progressive rock, slow blues, and ballads, sometimes with a Beatles-y vibe going on. Produced by Achim Reichel and engineered by Connie Plank, this is a quality production all the way. The first cut 'Fairy Tales' is a 10 minute long masterpiece of driving organ and guitar workouts, though some of the rest of the material may not appeal to prog fans. But if early 70's German rock does it for you, you should get this.


Steel Mill - Green Eyed God (1972)

Steel Mill's only album is guitar-driven hard rock with some progressive tendencies, and there is a lot of interaction between electric guitar, flute, and sax. Somehow it reminds of Blodwyn Pig, maybe a little Audience. The title track is superb, starting with a gentle, exotic-sounding flute, then a few vocal verses before the roof caves in and it becomes a hard rocking monster. The rest of the album is pretty good too!


Hotlegs - Thinks: School Stinks (1971)

This is the album by the group that did "Neanderthal Man", one of the biggest hits of 1970. The same personnel would become 10cc a couple years later, and whatever charm, whatever excitement fans found in Godley & Creme's later work is already present here. The album bombed, possibly because only one other track was anything similar to the big hit. If you like 10cc at all you should get this. Even if you don't actually it's definitely worth a listen.


The Cosmic Jokers - The Cosmic Jokers (1974)

The Cosmic Jokers were the Krautrock supergroup that never was, most of the musicians (Manuel Gottsching and Klaus Schulze from Ash Ra Tempel, and Jurgen Dollase and Harald Grosskopf from Wallenstein) didn't even know they were in the band until the albums started showing up in record stores. Recorded at acid parties in Dieter Dierk's studio under the instigation of producers Rolf Ulrich Kaiser (the Malcolm McClaren of the Krautrock scene) and his girl friend Gille Lettman, and then engineered down by Dieter Dierks, these were an attempt to harness the Ash Ra Tempel cosmic vibe into something more accessible to the masses. The first two albums (this is the first one) with their side-long grooves of cosmic mostly instrumental riffing are the best, the ultimate in trippy space rock.


Cozmic Corridors - Cozmic Corridors (1974)

Moody and abstract, this is minimalist, stripped down German cosmic electronics, with some spoken female vocals in German.
This is very avante-garde...and spacy! Maybe spooky. Definitely worth a download.


Jimi Hendrix - Raw Blues

This two-disc bootleg is a monster download, coming in at 200Megs, but is worth getting simply because this is some of the coolest Jimi Hendrix you will ever hear.!

Part 1 Part 2 Part 3

DIY: Punk, Power Pop and New Wave (1976-1983)

This is my Garage Sale/Thrift Store/Bargain Bin Find Of The Week©!. It's a promo sampler of a series by Rhino Records from 1992, that had volumes featuring different kinds of Punk and New Wave music. 23 tracks, well 22 really, of stuff from the Sex Pistols to the Weirdos, Buzzcocks, Eddie and the Hot Rods, Rubinoos, etc. etc.


Well OK that's it for this week. Need some feedback folks, or I'm gonna lose interest in this. Did you like something, hate something, what??!!

Monday, November 14, 2005

Hi everybody -

I Drive - I Drive (1972)
I Drive was one of many British groups that played the club circuit in Germany to make a living, and recorded their only album there. Though they were picked up by a former Beatles manager, the album failed due to a lack of promotion and lousy distribution, and the band broke up. Which was too bad because the music is top notch, on a par with the music of the big acts of the day like Atomic Rooster, Budgie, Deep Purple just to name a few. The album contains some brutal rock, some softer material, great production, great vocals and brilliant musicianship. Disc one is the album from 1972, disc 2 contains demos and whatnot from 1969-1972.

Part 1 Part 2

Embryo - Bremen 1971
The German band Embryo performed on 9/23/1971 at the Leibnizplatz High School in Bremen and the gig was recorded by Radio Bremen and broadcast in the series “Jazz Live“. This was just after the release of their second album, "Embryo's Rache" (Embryo's Revenge). The material is experimental psych/prog rock/jazz, but not nearly as jazzy as some of their later material, which is OK by me. The album consists of four tracks, and for me the highlight is the 26 minute long "SpainYes, Franco Finished", which got the group banned from Spain! This is some real tasty stuff, which you will like a lot.

Part 1__Part 2

Eloy - Eloy (1971)
Eloy is one of the most famous German bands, known the world over for their Floyd-inspired brand of space rock. This is their first album, recorded by a short-lived line-up, and the band had not yet found their signature melodic style. But that is neither here nor there, as this is a compelling slice of 70's underground German rock, with tons of percussion and some great guitar solos and edgy vocals. Eloy fans probably don't think too highly of this album, but it is a first-rate example of hard progressive rock.

Part 1 Part 2

Motherlight - Bobak, Jons, Malone (1970)
I could find out almost nothing about this album, other than it is "legendary" and a "highly sought-after rarity". This is a sterling example of early 70's British psychedelic/progressive rock, with wispy vocals, ethereal keyboards, and great lashings of fuzzed-out guitar leads. My impression is that it was a studio project and not an album by a working band. Whatever, it's great stuff!

New Files! Bitrate 320!!

Armaggedon - Armaggedon - (1970)
""Why didn't this group record more than just one album? Their self-titled album is a heavy progressive masterpiece with excellent, Hendrix-influenced guitar work and vocals by Frank Diez. Armageddon was the start of his long and impressive career. Their album had six tracks, and two of them were cover versions. Most impressive was the 10 minute version of Jeff Beck Group's "Rice Pudding". This track had some of the greatest heavy guitar riffing to appear on a German record. Their version of Spooky Tooth's "Better By You, Better Than Me" was also competent enough. In addition, both Frank Diez and Manfred Galatik wrote great songs, as typified by the tracks "People Talking" and "Open". Michael Nurnberg and Jurgen Lorenzen provided a strong backing. Armageddon's album has rocketed in price during recent years, due to the ever increasing interest. However, demand for the group was poor way back in 1970, and Armaggedon soon broke up." (Cosmic Dreams At Play)


Ralph Stanley - Christmas Time With Ralph Stanley (1993)
Col. Ralph Stanley was one-half of bluegrass pioneers "The Stanley Brothers" and this is a Christmas album for those that enjoy the "High Lonesome" sound. Beautiful harmonies, great songs, brilliant playing this is a classic Christmas album - if you like this kind of music!


OK then! See you next week. As usual, comments are appreciated.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Wow another week has passed! Hope this past week was a good one for everybody.

Felt - Felt (1971)
Superb turn of the decade rock from Alabama USA. Melodic Floyd-like progressive flourishes but with blistering acid guitar, soulful vocals and shimmering keyboards. Crashing riffs and peaceful waves abound. I was hooked from the opening bars of the beautiful "Look At The Sun" and this thing held my attention until the very end. How can somebody make an album this good and just disappear? Were they chewed up by a heartless music industry, was there a personal tragedy, or, artistic vision realized, did they just move on?


German Oak - German Oak (1972)
Recorded in a WWII Air-Raid Shelter in order to get a better feeling of what it must have been like to have been a German soldier during the European Invasion of 1944, this brilliant instrumental psychedelic recording by a five man group from Dusseldorf tries to capture in sound what it must have been like. From the liner notes: "As we played down there in the old bunker, suddenly a strange atmosphere began to work. The ghosts of the past whispered. There has been fear, desperation - but also hope. Maybe you will feel such impressions too, by listening carefully". This is truly a great album!

Bitrate 320 w/scans Part 1 Part 2

Dom - Edge Of Time (1970)
Supposedly recorded after a two-day acid trip, Dom's only album is a real voyage into space. This is one of those great albums that is difficult to describe. It is a hypnotic and ecstatic blend of space rock, eccentric hippie folk and Eastern mantra, constructed of intricate suites dripping with lysergic inspiration and sublime revelation. If you are going to burn this, consider leaving off track 9. This "bonus track" is from 1998 and doesn't fit in at all with the rest of the material.


Bang - Bang (1971)
OK here's some good old-fashioned hard rock. Bang was from Pennsylvania USA and obviously loved their Black Sabbath albums. Also their Cream, Hendrix and Zeppelin records. I don't know too much about these guys but I know one thing for sure - this album kicks ass!! If you like vintage rock you need this.


Pesky Gee - Exclamation Mark (1969)
Released in 1969, British group Pesky Gee's only album is a jazzy, heavy progressive rock album with loads of keyboards and female vocals. There's a lengthy version of Donovan's "Season Of the Witch" as well as a covers of "Piece Of My Heart" "Dharma for One" and "Born To Be Wild". After this album they changed their name to Black Widow!


Various Artists - Rig Rock Juke Box (1992)

Here's my Garage Sale/Thrift Store/Bargain Bin Find Of The Week. This is a compilation of artists appearing on the "Diesel Only" record label. I also got a companion to this, "Rig Rock Truck Stop". I actually really like some of this stuff, especially tracks by Gwil Owens, The Blue Chieftains and Go To Blazes. This is bar-band country music, filtered maybe through a punk rock sensibility.


OK that's all folks.