Monday, 22 February 2010

Brainticket - Cottonwood Hill (1971)

One of the ultimate krautrock/psychedelic classics ever.

Braintickets debut album is one unbelievably psychedelic tripped out affair with the three part "Brainticket" being the highlight. Radical and experimental for the most part the music does however sport many Krautrock moves in Guru Guru, Grobbshcnitt vein, but this does have a unique sound of it's own , and incidentally is superbly recorded for the time.

Definitely one for the more adventurous listener. ESSENTIAL!

Download mp3

Songs / Tracks Listing 1. Black Sand (4:05)
2. Places Of Light (4:06)
3. Brainticket Part I (8:21)
4. Brainticket Part I [Conclusion] (4:36)
5. Brainticket Part II (13:14)

Line-up / Musicians - Ron Bryer / guitar
- Werner Fröhlich / bass
- Helmuth Kolbe / keyboards
- Cosimo Lampis / drums
- Dawn Muir / vocals
- Wolfgang Paap / percussion
- Werni Prahlach / bass
- Joel Vandroogenbroeck / keyboards, flute, vocals

Brainticket - Places of Light

Brainticket - Black Sand

Alusa Fallax - Intorno Alla Mia Cattiva Educazone (1974)

With tracks comprising mostly of just one long suite , here is another excellent band and album from the 70's Italian scene, who unfortunately created, only this, there sole album.

With rich instrumentation from flutes to acoustic guitars and mellotron there's plenty to enjoy here, especially if your into bands like PFM , Yes, Pink floyd etc. Guitars and keyboards particularly shine and Oh!  the vocals are really good too!

Line-up / Musicians
- Guido Gabet / guitar
- Massimino Paretti / keyboards
- Guido Cirla / bass
- Duty Cirla / percussion, vocals
- Mario Cirla / saxophon, flut

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Soliloquio (2:58)
2. Non Fatemi Caso (4:28)
3. Intorno Alla Mia Cattiva Educazione (4:13)
4. Fuori di me,Dentro di me (3:03)
5. Riflessioni Al Tramonto (3:04)
6. Il Peso Delle Tradizioni (1:40)
7. Carta Carbone (3:36)
8. Perchè Ho Venduto Il Mio Sangue (1:43)
9. Per Iniziare Una Vita (4:20)
10. E' Oggi (3:05)
11. E' Così Poco Quel Che Conosco (2:32)
12. Ciò Che Nasce Con Me8 (4:12)
13. Splendida sensazione (5:45)

Total Time: 44:39

Alusa Fallax - Carta Carbone

Alusa Fallax - Non Fatemi Caso & Intorno Alla Mia Cattiva Educaz

Sunday, 14 February 2010

Universal Totem Orchestra - Rituale Alieno (1999)

In my opinion "Universal Totem Orchestra" ( an offshoot of "Runaway Totem" ) are one of, if not THE best progressive / zeuhl bands of our time. This there first album is a masterwork and although not quite as classic as there recent masterpiece "The Magus", which is more firmly zeuhl styled, this is still quite brilliant!!

With superb operatic vocals, both male and female, here we have an incredible display of twists and turns where the vocals are enchanting one minute and devilish the next. Metal guitars , cello, pulsing bass / loud synth and weird vocal chants soar into at times an unholy medeaevil and out of this world experience which leaves one utterly enthralled after every listen. Indeed this is the kind of challenging music which definitely deserves repeated listens to catch all the nuances. My only qualm is that the second track is not quite as well recorded as the other tracks and is a tad too long.

A fantastic album and ESSENTIAL to Zeuhl devotees.

Rituale Alieno

Songs / Tracks Listing
 1. Pane Astrale (4:33) 
2. Saturno (21:38) 
3. Il viaggio di Elric (13:06) 
4. Ipernatura del tempo centrale (9:16) 
5. Antichi occhi ciechi (8:53) 
6. Meccanica superiore (9:10) 

Line-up / Musicians
- Ann Torres Fraile / vocals

- UTO Giorgio Golin / drums
- Dauno Giuseppe Buttiglione / basses
- Marco Zanfei / keyboards

Additional musicians:
- Marco Mauro / lead guitar (2 to 5)
- Marcello De Angelis / lead guitar (6)
- Giuseppe Saiani / guitars (2 to 4, 6)
- Giuliano Eccher / guitars, viola (3)
- Francesco Ciech / violoncello (1)
- Antonio Fedeli / saxophone (2 & 4)
- Gianni Nicolini / tabla (3 & 4)
- Giacomo Plotegher / keyboards (2 & 6)
+ 7 additional vocalists: Francesco Festi, Marco Festi, Simone Albino, Lucio Zandonati, Pietro Maini, Enzo Battisti, Giuliano Lott

Saturday, 13 February 2010

Runaway Totem - Manu Menes (2009)

Just three long tracks here which to say the least are all quite extraordinary - from this Italian outfits latest album.

First off we have a percussion and piano based piece set to the ticking of a clock, which does have some passages reminiscent of early Art Zoyd with the bass pulses and heavy piano stabs. Some odd vocals also enter and there's some rather atmospheric ambient sections which appear on all three tracks in places. This first piece is the least musical of the three but does have it's moments for anyone into the zeuhl style and who likes a challenging listen.

The other two legthy pieces are more accesssible and progressive, which once again have some great ambient sections and more melodic vocal passages with hints of King Crimson in the guitar department. All very interesting and quite impressive.

I've not as yet heard the earlier albums by this band ( Andromeda is supposed to be there best! ) but this album is certainly worthy of me, or you checking them out if your not familiar. I also understand these are linked in a small way to that other great Italian band "Universal Totem Orchestra!

Songs / Tracks Listing
1. Alle Sorgenti di Kronos (24:28)
2. Aevum (21:38)
Tempo Alato
Il Tempo cos'è?
3. Phi-Ur (26:20)
L'Essere e il Non Essere
La Liberazione
Abbandono in Manu

Line-up / Musicians - Cahal De Bêtêl / vocals, guitars, synthguitars, piano, keyboards, synthesizer, atmosphere noise
- Tipheret / drums, percussions, gamelan, piano, keyboards, voice
- Dauno Giuseppe Buttiglione / telluric bass
- Issirias Moira Dusatti / vocals

Runaway Totem - Tempus Fugiens?

Friday, 12 February 2010

Porcupine Tree - On The Sunday Of Life (1991)

Quite different to there later releases, "On The Sunday Of Life" is sometimes a long and sprawling unfocused affair with quirky and catchy songs amidst the more atmospheric pieces. Having said that though, this is the more progressive Porcupine Tree of yesteryear with little gems in there such as "Radioactive Toy" "Music For The Head" and "It Will Rain for A Million Years"

Besides some of it's faults this album is much more highly recommended for the more progressive rock minded.

On the Sunday of Life
Line-up / Musicians
Steven Wilson / guitar, vocals, keyboards, programming
John Marshall / Drums (3)
Solomon St. Jemain (Malcolm Stocks) / Additional guitar and voice (14)
Master Timothy Masters / Oboe
Songs / Tracks Listing 1. Music for the head (2:42)
2. Jupiter island (6:12)
3. Third eye surfer (2:50)
4. On the Sunday of life... (2:07)
5. The nostalgia factory (7:28)
6. Space transmission (2:59)
7. Message from a self-destructive turnip (0:27)
8. Radioactive toy (10:00)
9. Nine cats (3:53)
10. Hymn (1:14)
11. Footprints (5:56)
12. Linton Samuel Dawson (3:04)
13. And the swallows dance above the sun (4:05)
14. Queen quotes Crowley (3:48)
15. No luck with rabbits (0:46)
16. Begonia seduction scene (2:14)
17. The long silence (5:05)
18. It will rain for a million years (10:51)

Porcupine Tree - Jupiter Island

Porcupine Tree - Nine Cats

Monday, 1 February 2010

Chac Mool - Suenos de Metal (1981)

Chac Mools second album, and i personally think it's an improvement on there first, but on the whole both are most enjoyable progressive rock albums from Mexico in the 80's.

The one thing the second album definitely improves upon the first , is, in my opinion,  in the vocal department.

Lots of nice touches of folk, hispanic, ethnic, symphonic and spacerock can be heard.

 Checkout below "Kandahar" which actually reminds me of some Eloy except for the vocals.......replace them with Borneman though, and this is a very similar spacerock with Klaus Pete Matziol type bass playing too. Another great song in similar Eloy style, albeit much more symphonic is the closer "Sombras de la Noche".

Great album then mostly, with the only low point being "Libertad". Surprisingly there's one song where the flute melody is almost Jethro Tull.... Living In The Past.......interesting!  All in alll both albums are well worth a listen and better than some might think.

Chac Mool is the name given to a type of Pre-Columbian Mesoamerican stone statue

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Paranoia (4:34)
2. Kandahar (6:54)
3. Brillo de luna (4:45)
4. Que buena razon (3:51)
5. Libertad (4:04)
6. Sombras de la noche (9:30)

Total Time: 33:38
Line-up / Musicians
- Carlos Alvarado / keyboards
- Mauricio Bieletto / lead vocals
- Carlos Castro / drums, percussion
- Jorge Reyes / guitars, flute, backing vocals
- Armando Suarez / bass

Chac Mool - Kandahar

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