Thursday, 31 December 2009

Jan Schaffer - The Chinese (1974)

For me this is "Jan Schaffers" best album with excellent progresssive jazz-rock styled guitar driven instrumentals with that Swedish sound and on accasion some oriental flourishes which goes nicely with the cover artwork.

He's most noted for being a backing guitarist for "Abba". A very talented player. Checkout the excellent live versions of "Fillins Mignon" and one of my favourite songs on the the album "Th Chinese" below.


A1   Halkans Affair

A2   No Registration

A3   Marbles

A4   Titus

B1   The Chinese

B2   Harvest Machine

B3   Daniel Sover

B4   Fillet Mignon

B5   Air Mattress

Janne Schaffer - Fillins Mignon live 74

Janne Schaffer - The Chinese live 74

Tuesday, 29 December 2009

Heldon - Stand By (1979)

Heldon's best album! This just seems to tick all the right boxes, musically. It's certainly there most accessible work  and brings to fruition, to my mind at least, there facination with intense and hypnotic electro rhythms awash with "Richard Pinhas's" searing soaring guitar.

This album is much more sequencer driven too and better for it! You will find more than a hint of "King Crimson" and "Tangerine Dream" but quite different to either of those as these guys have always had a atyle of there own.

 Heldons masterwork!


Heldon - Stand By (2/2)

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Bolero (21:44)
...1 Apprehension
...2 Bolero proprement dit
...3 Recognition
...4 Repetition
...5 Rote Armee Fraktion
...6 Production
...7 Distribution
...8 Deterrioration
2. Une Drole de Journee (3:59)
3. Stand By (14:04)

Total Time: 39:47

Line-up / Musicians
- Richard Pinhas / guitar, Moog, Polymoog, vocoder, electronics
- Patrick Gauthier / Mini-Moog, piano, Polymoog, keyboards
- Francois Auger / percussion, Kolossal percussive
- Didier Batard / bass
- Klaus Blasquiz / voices
- Didier Badez / sequencer

Download mp3

Sunday, 27 December 2009

Magma - Udu Wudu (1976)

This album is very different from the masterpiece, Mekanik Destruciw Kommandoh. The operatic vocals are not as prevalent on this album, although all lyrics are still in Kobaian. This was in fact my first Magma purchase, and I can safely say that this release got me interested in the rest of the discography. The musicianship and uniqueness is all there. Vander and company create a truly great work.

The album itself starts out with the title track, "Udu Wudu." This is probably one of my favorite Magma compositions because it is so different than the other things they have done. It is very ethnic, upbeat, and most definitely catchy. The next track, "Weidjore," recalls the earlier Magma style. The excellent musicianship is ever-present on this track. "Troller Tranz" is again much like earlier MDK period Magma. It has a haunting effect and some of the trademark Magma operatic vocal parts with some synth parts thrown in to the mix.

The next track, "Soleil D'Ork," is probably the most forgettable track on the album. However, it's not bad by any means, but a little repetitive. "Zombies" is another "ghost dance" and is similar to the other one on the album ("Troller Tranz"). However, it is a little more forgettable than "Troller Tranz." The last track is definitely the highlight of the entire album. "De Futura" is one of the best tracks in all of Magma's catelogue. It has a haunting affect much like the other tracks on the album with the signature sound of Top's bass and Vander's incredible drumming with various keyboards and effects thrown in. In the end, this track really does the album justice, making it a must for every Magma or Zeuhl fan.

I think that this is a great starting point for someone interested in Zeuhl. The album is much tamer than MDK and thus much easier to get in to. So, I think that this album deserves four stars because, while still an excellent listen, it does not stand up to the masterpiece standard set by Mekanik Destructiw Kommandoh

Songs / Tracks Listing

Side 1: 
1. Üdü Wüdü (4:10)
2. Weidorje (4:30)
3. Troller Tanz (Ghost Dance)(3:40)
4. Soleil d'Ork (ORK' Sun)(3:50)
5. Zombies (Ghost Dance)(4:10)
Side 2:
6. De Futura (18:00)
Bonus Track on Seventh CD:
7. Ementeht Re (extrait no. 2) (3:12)

Total Time: 42:22

Line-up / Musicians

- Christian Vander / percussion, vocals, piano, keyboards, drums

- Jannik Top / bass, Brass arrangements, vocals, synthesizer
- Klaus Blasquiz / vocals
- Stella Vander / vocals
- "Lisa" / vocals
- Lucille Cullaz / vocals
- Catherine Szpira / vocals
- Pierre Dutour / trumpet
- Alain Hatot / saxophone, flutes
- Bernard Paganotti / bass, vocals, percussion
- Patrick Gauthier / keyboards
- Michel Graillier / keyboards
- Benoît Widemann / keyboards

Electric Orange - Cyberdelic (1996)

Somewhat of a disjointed album musically with far too many dissparate styles on offer, but does contain some hidden jewels for the Krautrocker.

Not on a par with later works such as "Morbius" but still worth a listen though!

Songs / Tracks Listing 1. Cyberdelic/Unaffected Fruit (5:06)
2. A Vaporized Dance (6:42)
3. Funny in the Bathroom (5:52)
4. Kirschen (4:51)
5. Sweet Absurd (8:54)
6. B-Movie (5:42)
7. Steal No Egg (4:35)
8. Mother's Cake (8:12)
9. Tartisma Zemini (7:21)
10. She-Wah (7:04)
11. More End/Cyberdelic (8:50)

Total Time: 73:09

Line-up / Musicians - Dirk Bittner / vocals, voices, Leslie, guitars, trumpet, Darbuka
- Dirk Jan Müller / Hammond, farfisa, rhodes, synths, samples, Leslie, tapes, loops, Mellotron, drums, bass

Guest musicians
- Robert / bass (3,7)
- Joost / drums (3,8)
- Tunay / guitar (1,3,7,8)

Monday, 21 December 2009

Kraan - Live (1975)

I personally, don't think Kraan sounded better on a live album than this one. This is an amazing album and for anyone not familiar with this band this is probably the best introduction to them.

Not only do we have an excellent recording but the bass of "Helmut Hattler" and the rhythm guitar work of "Peter Wolbrandt" is very spectacular, as are the other members too. There's a brilliant version of "Kraan Arabia" which is as always a favourite, and many more great versions of there more familiar songs.

Essential Live Krautrock album!


Songs / Tracks Listing

Record one (39:17):
1. Jerk of Life (5:09)
2. Nam Nam (15:09)
3. Holiday am Matterhorn including Gipfelsturm (12:59)
4. Sarahs Ritt durch den Schwarzwald (6:00)

Record two (38:29):
5. Andy Nogger (3:30)
6. Andy Nogger - Gutter King (6:59)
7. Hallo Ja Ja, I don't know (10:18)
8. Lonesome Liftboy (5:12)
9. Kraan Arabia (12:30)

Total Time: 77:46

Line-up / Musicians
- Jan Fride / drums
- Helmut Hattler / bass
- Johannes Pappert / Alto saxophone
- Peter Wolbrandt / guitar, vocals

Kraan - Jerk Of Life

Sunday, 20 December 2009

Ozric Tentacles - Erpland (1990)

Not much more need to be said of this band .....except i still think this was there finest CD and the first i ever heard by them.

One of the few CD's i bought on the look of the striking cover and nothing else. I never looked back since.

The first song "Eternal Wheel" is a real stormer and just about sums everything up about what this band is about. Full on spacey rhythms / psychedelia and high flying guitar.

Not much has changed since this album, and some may critisize them of churning out the same stuff time and time again, but what they do do, is some of the finest psychedelic spacerock around .


Songs / Tracks Listing
1. Eternal Wheel (8:20)

2. Toltec Spring (3:03)
3. Tidal Convergence (7:14)
4. Sunscape (4:02)
5. Mysticum Arabicola (9:14)
6. Cracker Blocks (5:40)
7. The Throbbe (6:21)
8. Erpland (5:32)
9. Valley of a Thousand Thoughts (6:32)
10. Snakepit (3:17)
11. Iscence (4:37)
12. A Gift of Wings (9:46)

Total Time: 73:38

Line-up / Musicians
- Ed Wynne / guitar, synthesizer
- Paul Hankin / percussion
- Merv Pepler / drums
- John Egan / flute, voice
- Roly Wynne / bass
- Joie Hinton / synthesizer, sampling
- Marcus Ethnic / percussion
- Generator John / tea & tambourine
- Steve Everett / sampling
- Tom Brooks / Reggae Bubbles

Ozric Tentacles - Eternal Wheel

Saturday, 19 December 2009

Robert Schroeder - Taste It (2009)

The latest release from one of Germany's finest synthesists.

Way back in 1978 "Schroeder" became friends with "Klaus Schulze" who upon hearing his stuff signed him up to his new "Innovative Communications " label and has since released quite a body of work, also offshoots such as "Universal Avenue".

Unlike many synth players "Schroeder" does have a recognisable style which is probably down to the fact that he builds a lot of his synths himself. One could pigeon hole most of his sound as contemporary romantic, which is certainly in abundance on this release.

Not exactly in the same league as say "Harmonic Ascendant" but as with all his releases there's plenty to enjoy.

"Taste This" sees him in a very melodic and romantic mood with very sci fi sounding ambiences, which is what he really excells at. Check out the songs below!

Friday, 18 December 2009

Black Widow - Return To The Sabbat (1998)

Dating from 1969 this is the demo version of what was to become there later album "Sacrifice".

I was pleasantly surprised by just how good this sounds musically when compared to "Sacrifice" which has always been a favourite.

Somewhat rougher sounding maybe, this demo version manages on the whole though to be fresher with lots of welcome subtle differences, and the vocals by the original singer "Kay Garret" are really splendid. I think i still prefer the later album but this is still great!

More, i guess for the lovers of "Sacrifice".

Well worth the listen though and whichever version you pefer it's still "Black Widows" best album by a mile!

Black Widow - In Ancient Days

Black Widow - Come To The Sabbat

Wednesday, 16 December 2009

Jean Philippe Goude - Aux solitudes (2008)

An absolutely delightfull mostly Chamber Music / Neo Classical styled album from Ex "Magma " keyboard player.

 Darkish in parts yet at other times utterly beatifull  which does recall some "Phillip Glass" "Penguin Cafe Orchestra" and sometimes the subtle piano melodies remind me a little of some of "Tim Story's" earlier works.

 One of the best albums i've heard in this particular style and the operatic vocals are superb.

A must for lovers of more experimental baroque chamber music and piano, this is the type of music which will definitely have you coming back for more of those hidden delights which this album offers in abundance with such rich compositions .......just don't let the album cover put you off which seems a very odd choice of imagery to say the least!



1. I Prolegomena
2. Market Diktat Song
3. Embedded in the slopes
4. Devastated Man
5. It Prolegomena
6. No Hay Camino, Hay Que Caminar
7. In Our Dreams Vanished
8. Prolegomena Ill.
9. The Intranquilité
10. Where words leave us
11. Close Eyes To See
12. The Consumer
13. Madeleine Auf Dem Weg
14. The entertainment venues Ment
15. For Solitudes

Download mp3

Par Lindh Project- Gothic Impressions (1994)

Superb debut album from this Swedish outfit led by multi-instrumentalist Par Lindh.

If your into bands like "Anglagard" "Landberk" and "Anekdoten" then this will be an essential listen.

 With gothic cathedral church organ and rich sweeping analog sounds this is a classic atmospheric 70's progressive classical / rock recreation, culminating with the extraordinary "Night On Bare Mountain". An interpretation of the "Moussorgsky" classical suite which is brilliantly realised.


Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Dresden Lamentation (2:06)
2. The Iconoclast (7:04)
3. Green Meadow Lands (7:24)
4. The Cathedral (19:33)
5. Gunnlev's Round (2:50)
6. Night on Bare Mountain (13:50)

Total Time: 52:54

Line-up / Musicians
- Pär Lindh / keyboards, bass, drums, percussion
- Ralf Glasz / vocals
- Mathias Jonsson / vocals
- Johan Högberg / bass
- Björn Johansson / classical guitar, bassoon, Tinwhistle
- Magdalena Hagberg / vocals
- Anna Holmgren / flute
- Jonas Endgegård / electric guitar
- Mattias Olsson / drums, percussion
- Jocke Ramsell / electric guitar
- Lovisa Stenberg / harp
- Roine Stolt / acoustic guitar
- Camerata Vocalis / choir vocals

Pär Lindh Project - Gothic Impressions - Iconoclast - 1994

Download mp3

Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Eloy - The Challenge ( 2009 )

Thia was the single for the recently realeased new album by Eloy, "Visionary".

Here we have 2 slightly updated and more modern sounding versions of there "Time To Turn" song. Personally i prefer the original which to me had better sung vocals from "Bornemann" and the female backing vocals were better too.......... major dissapointment though when comparing it to the original is the substitution of the slide guitar solo for a much straighter rock one. Having said that these two versions are probably still a good introduction ( for todays radio! )  to this band for anyone not famiiar.

Lastly we have the uplifting "Summernight Symphony" which if it were sung by "David Gilmour" you would think it was one of his numbers.

 Mmmm..... somewhat of a dissapointment all round for us real "Eloy" fans of old which doesn't wet ones appetite to go straight out and get the album.

Check out "The Challenge (Time To Turn Pt 2 ) below and see what YOU think!


Songs / Tracks Listing
1. The Challenge (Time to Turn, Part 2 - Radio Edit) (3:47)
2. The Challenge (Time to Turn, Part 2) (6:46)
3. Summernight Symphony (4:28)

Line-up / Musicians
- Frank Bornemann / lead vocals, guitar
- Michael Gerlach / keyboards
- Hannes Folberth / keyboards
- Klaus-Peter Matziol / bass
- Bodo Schopf / drums, percussion

Download mp3

Goblin Hell - The Very Best Of Goblin Vol. 2

Fantastic second volume compilation of Horror film soundtrack material from "Goblin" 

 The films are not for the squemish nor is the music. A great atmospheric blood curdling progressive collection of 18 tracks with solid bass, drums, guitars, wailing vocals, sequential synths and crashing drums/percussives which makes there sound so unique. It's not all darkness though, there are some splendid lighter moments to enjoy also.

Goblin Suspiria

Goblin "Black Forest"

Monday, 14 December 2009

Steve Hillman - Worlds Beyond ( 1987)

Very rare cassette only release by respected UK synthesist "Steve Hillman" who's greatest works were his early cassette releases.

"Worlds Beyond" should definitely be of interest to "Tangerine Dream" fans , especially the track "Accumulator" where we are treated to some great high flying guitar. On the whole though this is much darker and more atmospheric than "Tangerine Dream" and does have hints, maybe, of a more ambient and flowing "Frohmader".

An excellent realease this one which takes one to darker realms and one of "Hillmans" very best!

Steve Hillman Live at UK Electronica 1988 Part One: Gates of Babylon

Sunday, 13 December 2009

Manfred Wieczorke- Transfer (1987)

First solo album from "Eloy" keyboard player. Lots of really nice synths here which only resembles "Eloy" in parts but has some splendid melodic spacey moments.

1 Andaluz
2 Spirit Of Djema El Fnaa
3 Qued
4 54 Degree
5 Dance
6 Too High

Eloy - Codename Wildgeese (Soundtrack) (1995)

One of "Eloy's" more harder to come by albums. 

This is a stripped down line up of "Eloy" with the guitar/ keyboard and bass player only.

I remember seeing this film many years ago, a second rate action/ war film really, with an international cast....not so the music though....if you like your "Eloy" with lots of synths and a straighter space rock approach ( like Metromania but on the whole without the heaviness ) then this is for you i would say, and not half as bad as some might think....just my opinion. It has the trademark "Eloy" synth sounds for sure.

 I find this a most enjoyable album personally.

"Destiny" Mono version

Songs / Tracks Listing
1. Patrol (2:47)
2. Hongkong Theme I (3:32)
3. Hit And Run (1:38)
4. Queen Of Rock'n'Roll (2:36)
5. Destiny (4:34)
6. Discovery (0:50)
7. Juke-Box (1:58)
8. Deadlock (1:30)
9. Cha-Shoen (3:35)
10. Sabotage (1:20)
11. On The Edge (3:30)
12. A Long Goodbye (2:13)
13. Face To Face (1:47)
14. A Moment Decides (2:07)
15. Revenge (1:13)
16. Hongkong Theme II (1:07)

Total Time: 33:30

Line-up / Musicians
Original soundtrack recording to the movie starring:
- Lewis Collins / Ernest Borgnine / Lee Van Cleef / Klaus Kinski

Performers include:
- Hannes Arkona / Hannes Folberth / Klaus-Peter Matziol / J. Nemec-Bolek

Download mp3

Peter Frohmader - Jules Verne Cycle (1987)

Another cassette only release from "Frohmader" featuring just two long works inspired by the great French Sci fi writer "Jules Verne".

 Nautilus is particularly evocative of "Captain Nemo's" submarine ..... all bubbling with churning  pistons and machine engines gradually going out of control ...........a fantastic sonic painting here!

Download mp3

Saturday, 12 December 2009

Manuel Gottsching - Inventions For Electric Guitar (1975)

Legendary guitarist and founder member of "Ashra Tempel" and later "Ashra" goes solo, with a groundbreaking foray into echo guitar manipulations with elements of trance and minimalism, which he was to explore even further on "E2-E4".
 These are seminal works on the whole and gems of the genre.

It's amazing to think that one guitar player created this great album. I have heard Ash Ra Tempel's/Manuel Gottsching's material in the past, but this album is my first actual purchase. IT seems to me that this album is fairly underrated by most proggers. Most of the criticism I hear towards the album is negative. I think that for what it is worth, this is a great album.

Manuel Gottsching is a guitar wizard. He creates passages in the compositions that flow from one to another. The sound is very electronic obviously and quite spacey. The pieces also seem to put the listener in some sort of hypnotic phase or trance. It is hard to pick a favorite track on this album because the whole is very solid and made up of only three long compositions.

This album may seem like a bore for some, but to me, it is an excellent listen. Sure, it is relaxing and can easily induce sleep, but some of the best music is like that. Take, for instance, Brian Eno. Much of his ambient work puts me to sleep (that is, when I am tired!!!), but these pieces still show how great he is at composing and creating musical sketches. In this case, I recommend this album to someone looking for a hidden electronic music gem. It is truly amazing that one guy played all this stuff.

It's an excellent addition to any prog lover's collection as long as they know what they are getting into before they go out in get it. They might actually enjoy it. While not a masterpice, this album still deserves four stars and is strongly recommended!!!( Review from

Songs / Tracks Listing
1. Echo Waves (17:45)
2. Quasarsphere (6:34)
3. Pluralis (21:36)

Total Time: 45:55
Line-up / Musicians
- Manuel Göttsching / guitars only

Download Inventions for Electric Guitar

Manuel Göttsching - Quasarsphere

Manuel Göttsching, performs "more INVENTIONS FOR ELECTRIC GUITAR" - Echo Waves @METAMORPHOSE2010

Manuel Göttsching, performs "more INVENTIONS FOR ELECTRIC GUITAR" - Pluralis @METAMORPHOSE2010
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