Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Pulsar - Pollen (1975)

One of the great French Prog bands was PULSAR who brought symphonia and space together to create some of the most enduring music of the 70's. Pretty clear FLOYD influences on this album who also acted as quite a catalyst for PULSAR in fact over the years. ''Pollen'' was the first album PULSAR officially released and represents a true milestone in French progressive rock. ''Pollen'' ebbs and flows with some fantastic analog symphonic passages, delicate flute and addictive acoustic/electric guitar, bass and drum interplay. PULSAR Pollen music reviews and MP3 ( Review from

Songs / Tracks Listing
1. Pulsar (3:00)
2. Apaisement (7:30)
3. Puzzle / Omen (8:00)
4. Le cheval de Syllogie (7:00)
5. Pollen (13:05)

Total Time: 38:35

Line-up / Musicians
- Victor Bosch / drums, percussion
- Gilbert Gandil / guitars, vocals
- Roland Richard / flute, strings
- Jacques Roman / keyboards, synths
- Philippe Roman / bass, vocals
- Carmel Williams / Voice

Pulsar - Pollen (1975)

Pulsar - Apaisement

Pulsar - Cheval de Syllogie 1975

Download mp3

Saturday, 26 March 2011

Akineton Retard - Akineton Ao Vio (2005)

I think, at the moment is the best album of the band were you can see them improvising, they play all the first album "AKINETON RETARD" without the last song"Aquelarre Satiri Sarnaz", the most part of the second "AKRANANIA" album, a very good selection of their third album "21 CANAPES" and a new song called "CANSANCIO" wich is a master pice. AKINETÓN RETARD Akinetón Ao Vivo music review by The letters ( Review from

Songs / Tracks Listing
CD 1
1. Morricoleman (3:50)
2. Primogenia Satiria (10:24)
3. Pilotos de Califont (2:00)
4. Blues en Re (8:51)
5. Viaje a Erlebnis (3:48)
6. Cansancio (9:58)
7. Pana Fanal (1:45)
8. Mamut y Milodones (4:58)
9. Copenhaguen Schtorba (8:27)

CD 2
1. Survector (4:19)
2. Potenzia (4:04)
3. Senorita depresión (2:48)
4. Cocodrilos con Martini (2:58)
5. Akinefrón (4:18)
6. Cadencia Urmana (5:24)
7. Hawai (3:29)
8. Oruro's (2:12)
9. Fana Papal y el Monsenor Smegma Nazzi (0:43)
10. Nimboestrato (3:30)
11. Gansos, patos y gallinas (9:39)
12. Dementia Absorbant (8:38)

Total Time: 106:03
Live, released in 2005

Songs / Tracks Listing
CD 1 (54:01)
1. Morricoleman (3:50)
2. Primogenia Satiria (10:24)
3. Pilotos de Califont (2:00)
4. Blues en Re (8:51)
5. Viaje a Erlebnis (3:48)
6. Cansancio (9:58)
7. Pana Fanal (1:45)
8. Mamut y Milodones (4:58)
9. Copenhaguen Schtorba (8:27)

CD 2 (52:02)
1. Survector (4:19)
2. Potenzia (4:04)
3. Senorita depresión (2:48)
4. Cocodrilos con Martini (2:58)
5. Akinefrón (4:18)
6. Cadencia Urmana (5:24)
7. Hawai (3:29)
8. Oruro's (2:12)
9. Fana Papal y el Monsenor Smegma Nazzi (0:43)
10. Nimboestrato (3:30)
11. Gansos, patos y gallinas (9:39)
12. Dementia Absorbant (8:38)

Total Time: 106:03
Line-up / Musicians
- Bolshek Tradib / drums
- Edén Ocsarrak / Soprano & Tenor saxophone, vocals
- Estratos Akrias / Soprano & Tenor saxophone, vocals
- Lectra Celdrëj / electric bass
- Tanderal Anfurness / electric guitar, vocals

Akineton Retard - Mamut y Milodones

Akinetón Retard - Presentcion AO VIVO

Friday, 25 March 2011

SoLaRiS - Reflections Of Medusa (2011)

One of my recent albums which is totally FREE to listen to and download at JAMENDO

Highly imaginative, well executed psy/electronic/rock/ambient fusion. At times can be both beautiful and menacing - it inspires a real journey through one's emotional strata. Very good use of intrumental elements throughout: it's impossible to predict what's coming next, and that keeps it fresh, but the whole still makes sense once you reach the end.
Download this album for free: Reflections Of Medusa - Jamendo

As usual,a deep music,psychedelic sounds,and a
real Spiritual dimension!
Download this album for free: Reflections Of Medusa - Jamendo

Song/Track Listing

1 Reflections Of Medusa
2 Medusa

 Line Up / Musicians
 SoLaRiS - Keys, occasional Guitar and loop manipulations.


Thursday, 24 March 2011

Mahavishnu Orchestra - Birds Of Fire (1973)

How does one better perfection? How could MO possibly top their incredible Inner Mounting Flame debut album? Well for one, they didn't know that it couldn't be bettered and for two, they actually did it by fiddling and twiddling the tiny imperfections and an increase tightness as they were now well acquainted with each other after pulling 300 concerts over two years, whereas for TIMF, MO had been together a matter of weeks. So in the early fall of 72 came out Birds Of Fire with an outstanding artwork halfway between Rothko and Folon and incendiary music to match both the cover and the title. With an unchanged line-up, MO was now soaring so high that the air is getting thin.

Unlike the debut who had only one track under the 5 minute-mark, Birds Of Fire is made of a myriad of shorter tracks with the just two well over that same 5 minute-mark. One of those being the opening title track that sets the standard even higher than Meeting did on TIMF, with Hammer and McLaughlin trading riffs and links over a wild rhythm section, which violinist Goodman choose to accompany to great affects. This track is most likely imbedded in the vast majority of 40-something western music fans' subconscious mind, because it sounds familiar to almost everyone. A slower Miles Beyond (obviously dedicated to the man with the horn) crescendoes slowly until a huge riff takes the track upside down and once there, only Hammer and Goodman are keeping it alive until Mc and Cob come to the rescue and bring it back on its toes. An amazing trick that shouldn't let anyone

The rest of the tracks on the first side are short thingies insuring quick changes, starting with Celestial Terrestrial Commuting, which obviously influenced Steve Hillage's early solo works (Fish Rising to Open), Sapphire Bullets being just an electronic frenzy. A Spanish piano and guitar duo introducing a Flamenco ambiance where Mc's fiery guitar goes to extreme, while Laird's bass provide plenty of underlying drama and the needle lifts off another Meeting motif reworking, this time called Hope.

The monstrous 10-mins One World (an oldie from the Lifetime days) opens up the flipside, first gently under Cobham4S gentle drive morphing into a martial beat and bringing the track up to 200 MPH, with Hammer, Mc and Goodman trading licks, motifs and soloing away, before Cobham takes a solo (even if he's the best in the world, it's still a boring solo, no matter how overstretched it is) and thankfully closing up the track with some powerful instrumental interplay. Sanctuary is a slow-developing track, opening on Goodman's uber-absolute violin than the rest of the musicians slowly entering the track, in full restraint, the listener can hear the quintet containing their energies to avoid exploding and respect the superb track. Open Country joy is often a bit overlooked, with its pastoral violin line, then a slight explosion before bringing us to one of the world's best album endings: Resolution, which starts on a solemn martial chill-inducing crescendoing track bringing the tension to a max allowable (Goodman's violin is incredibly efficient at this) before the burst.. Which will never come as the track ends and the needle lifts off, leaving us to imagine the explosion of molten volcanic rock in fusion. What a bunch of bloody teasers

Well, MO managed to perfect perfection, and they probably did it without being aware of the feat and actually rushing it up. Indeed the album was done between two tours and most members think they could've twiddled a few more knobs and refined the compositions to better it further still. As can be heard in One World, the three soloists where in a very competitive environment and the egos where now acting up a bit, although in this album it remains at a healthy level.

As a side note, regarding the egos, Mc had been recording his collab with buddy Carlos Santana and taking with him Cobham, eventually touring to promote the Love Devotion Supreme album, hand coming within hours of missing the opening the first concert of MO's tour of Japan, thus being under-rehearsed for a while and creating much bad vibes for the next six months before the group implodes, taking in the abyss the recording sessions of their next album >> see Lost Trident and Nothingness reviews for more details. MAHAVISHNU ORCHESTRA Birds of Fire music reviews and MP3 (Review from

Songs / Tracks Listing
1. Birds of Fire (5:41)
2. Miles Beyond (Miles Davis) (4:39)
3. Celestial Terrestrial Commuters (2:53)
4. Sapphire Bullets of Pure Love (0:22)
5. Thousand Island Park (3:19)
6. Hope (1:55)
7. One Word (9:54)
8. Sanctuary (5:01)
9. Open Country Joy (3:52)
10. Resolution (2:08)

Total Time: 39:48
Line-up / Musicians - John McLaughlin / guitar
- Jerry Goodman / violin
- Jan Hammer / piano
- Rick Laird / bass
- Billy Cobham / drums

Passport - Garden Of Eden (1979)

This is the first album I heard by Passport, although I didn't hear it until 1987. Not having the history of the band, I was able to judge it on its rather substantial merits. This is an album that blends light jazz and progressive rock with a commercial savvy. It might not have great appeal to elite fans of either genre, but should provide lasting pleasures for the rest of us.

The album starts with a big bang, which is also the title of the lively and bouncy opening instrumental. Next is the title track, and the jewel of the album. It begins with dreamy saxes that eventually accompany the gentle vocals before some great moog playing kicks off the main event. Here with the merest and briefest strum, vocalist/guitarist Kevin Mulligan creates an infectious rhythm guitar base that chugs away as a third member of the rhythm section, to which his considerable lead prowess is then placed on display. This awesome song contains just the right mixture of repetition, soloing and improvisation, not to mention a killer melody and sympathetic lyrics. Doldinger's sax takes over near the end to bring about the fadeout in a flourish. For some reason, here and in other parts of the album, I am reminded of Caravan as well as Camel during its Caravan-esque phase, which would have been around the same time as this release.

"Snake" describes the meandering way of Doldinger's work in this languid instrumental that is a great choice for the end of a tough day. Then another strong and lively vocal tune, "Gates of Paradise", a bit jazzier than "Garden of Eden" , and one that purists might have paid more attention to if it didn't have the vocals. The end to the song is very much of its time, almost sounding like something out of a concurrent BeeGees album. "Dreamware" continues this theme but without the voice, and with Doldinger cranking out an engaging sax theme that holds the piece together around impressive soloing by Mulligan. "Good Earth Smile" is the closest thing to a ballad on the album, and reminds me of something like "Starlight Ride" or "Rainbow's End" from Camel, only less focused. Then its back to the late 70s sound with the closer, "Children's Dance".

For myself, I would tend to round up to 5 stars for this album, but in the interests of listeners who might not be amused by some of the commercial concessions made by Passport on this release, I will round down. Highly recommended work of virtuosity and just plain fun. PASSPORT Garden Of Eden music reviews and MP3 ( Review from

Songs / Tracks Listing 1. Big bang (3:53)
2. Garden of Eden: (8:51)
a) Dawn 1:54
b) Light I 1:53
c) Light II 5:04
3. Snake (4:49)
4. Gates of paradise (3:47)
5. Dreamware (5:00)
6. Good Earth smile (5:04)
7. Children's dance (3:39)

Line-up / Musicians
- Klaus Doldinger / saxophones, keyboards, clarinet
- Willy Ketzer / drums, percussion
- Kevin Mulligan / guitar, vocals
- Dieter Petereit / bass
- Hendrik Schaper / keyboards

Guest musicians:
- Kathy Bartney / vocals (4-6)
- Horst Ramthor / harp (2a)

Klaus Doldinger & Passport - Dreamware

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Gentle Giant - The Missing Piece (1977)

Now, it must be said, I'm inclined to love just about anything Gentle Giant ever released or even breathed on. Thus, with the following praise in mind, unprepared fans of the band's earlier work may get to this album, and a song like "I'm Turning Around," and laugh their pants off. This would be an unfortunate reaction. Okay, so there is definitely a shift in direction evident on this album -- there are less overtly "proggy" songs, more purely rocking songs, and a general lifting of the intense burden of creating "yet another insane experimental masterpiece!!!" that every album preceding seemed to bear. That said, what this album ends up doing is expressing the band's musical personalities in an especially direct fashion that will delight the true Gentle Giant fan, and they will especially treasure this music. "As Old As You're Young" is one of my favorite GG songs, with an uplifting and magical vibe that seems to me to be so essentially Kerry Minnear. "Memories of Old Days" is absolutely spellbinding, featuring layers of shimmering acoustic guitar and electric piano that fill the air with an almost palpable melancholy. "For Nobody" is a balls-out prog charger that leaves no doubt that the boys could never lose their edge. It's all the more remarkable to me that this is all contained in one album with such gems as the aforementioned ballad (!) "I'm Turning Around." If you've already been convinced of Gentle Giant's previous albums, don't entertain any doubt about this one -- there's nothing but goods to be found. GENTLE GIANT The Missing Piece music reviews and MP3 ( Review from

Songs / Tracks Listing
1. Two Weeks In Spain (3:00)
2. I'm Turning Around (3:54)
3. Betcha Thought We Couldn't Do It (2:20)
4. Who Do You Think You Are? (3:33)
5. Mountain Time (3:19)
6. As Old As You're Young (4:19)
7. Memories Of Old Days (7:15)
8. Winning (4:12)
9. For Nobody (4:00)

Total Time: 35:52
Line-up / Musicians
- Gary Green / guitars
- Kerry Minnear / keyboards
- Derek Shulman / vocals, saxes
- Ray Shulman / bass, violin
- John Weathers / drums


Gentle Giant - as old as you're young

Gentle Giant - Betcha Thought We Couldn't Do It - with Lyrics

Monday, 21 March 2011

Djam Karet - Burning The Hard City ( 1991 )

Burning the Hard City" is one of the hottest and fiercest musical works ever in the history of prog rock, and definitely, a cornerstone in the development of Djam Karet's sound, mostly, their rockier side. The sounds displayed in the repertoire's riffs, atmospheres, leads, rhythms and moods could literally burn any hard city around. Even though their recording history was still in its early stages, you can tell that these guys have come to know each other pretty well, since they seem to think with one mind while preserving each individual input's integrity. Well, the general sound displayed all throughout this album is so loud and ballsy that it may seem hard to notice for the first listens, but if you pay a closer attention, you will feel it clearly. This albums is mostly a catalogue of musical intelligence worked out from the more aggressive side of the band's artistic ideology. 'At the Mountains of Madness' is a top-notch opener, built on the solid management of the main motifs and its further expansions. Alongside the two guitars' solos and riffs, which seem to echo the distant cries of lost souls in limbo, the rhythm duo of Oken Jr. and Osborne reveals itself as an immaculately cohesive unit. 'Province 19: The Visage of War' goes to more animalistic places, closely related to prog-metal to a degree, but also related to vintage psychedelia and experimental jazz- rock. The reiteration of the main motif and the addition of guitar textures as controlled solos serves as an efficient tension provider, a tension that only makes the motif's inherent darkness turn a bit darker yet. The rhythm section is, once again, the main responsible of variations and extra colors among the sonic storm created by the two guitars. I have read in some e-zines that this track is a bit too repetitive, but I find it effective and one of the most powerful tracks in the album... and in their history, as well. As a counterpart, 'Feast of Ashes' offers an exercise in languid, reflective moods, albeit not exempted of tension: only this time it appears in a more subtle fashion, like a hybrid between mid-70s PF and standardized space-rock. 'Grooming the Psychosis' brings a moderately joyful cadence based on jazz-rock nuances, until the hard rock thing takes main control from minute 4 ½ onwards, making things get more complex. Anyway, Osborne's deliveries help to keep the jazz factor remain as a more subtle remnant until the end of the track, in this way dialoguing effectively with his partner guitarists and helping the track not to drown in its own energy. 'Topanga Safari' does to more ethnic places, something like a funky-driven Ozric Tentacles augmented by the presence of Jeff Beck and Tony Levin - an effective mixture, indeed. 'Ten Days to the Sand' somehow recapitulates the overall progressive vibration of 'At the Mountains.' and the introspective aura of 'Feast of Ashes'. The namesake track is the very proper closure. Providing a mysterious Floyidian vibe for the first 7 minutes, frrom then on, things get more robust, leaning closer to the rougher parts of the aforesaid 'At the Mountains.' and 'Grooming the Psychosis', perhaps with a bit of late 70's Rush. The climax is built-up cleverly and confidently. Djam Karet have managed to give us prog- heads a couple of modern masterpieces of the genre. In my opinion, this is one of them, so I give "Burning the Hard City" the PA's perfect mark - 5 stars. DJAM KARET Burning The Hard City music reviews and MP3 ( Review from

Songs / Tracks Listing 1. At The Mountains Of Madness (9:17)
2. Province 19: The Visage Of War (8:13)
3. Feast Of Ashes (10:46)
4. Grooming The Psychosis (11:57)
5. Topanga Safari (5:57)
6. Ten Days To The Sand (11:07)
7. Burning The Hard City (12:00)

Line-up / Musicians
- Gayle Ellett / electric 7-string and 6-string guitars, taped effects, keyboards, percussion
- Mike Henderson / electric twelve and six string guitars, effects, keyboards
- Chuck Oken, Jr. / drums, electronic, percussion, keyboards, synthesizer programming and sequencing
- Henry Osborne / electric bass, bottled bass, keyboards, percussion

Djam Karet - The Ritual Continues ( 1987 )

"The Ritual Continues" contains the oldest songs available by DJAM KARET. Seven of the tracks are from live shows performed in February 1987 and two of the tracks are recorded in January 1982 under the band name HAPPY CANCER. Besides some voices here and there, the album is all-instrumental. The album became "#4 Album Of 1988" in Electronic Musician magazine. Strangely enough I wouldn't call it an electronic album. There are Ambient influences and reminiscences to TANGERINE DREAM on it, but there's also the typical DJAM KARET progressive guitar rock blended with reminiscences to KiING CRIMSON and PINK FLOYD. The highlight is "Technology and Industry" where some of the KING CRIMSON similarities are shown. This is an interesting release all-in-all, although it isn't one of DJAM KARET's best albums (Review from
"Good, but non-essential". That's what defines best Djam Karet's music. They're gifted, they sure can play and jam, but there is definitely nothing new emerging from their evergrowing catalogue. Their first one is their best. With addition of early Happy Cancer's old material, "The Ritual Continues" multiplies its perspective and shows the path that the band will endlessely explore from one album to another. ECM alike ambient kind of exposition ("Revisiting A Nice Place: Falling Down 1993") next to overtly King Crismon influenced tracks ("Technology And Industry"), Djam Karet sounds instantly Djam Karet when they mix both on such prime songs as "Shamen's Descent", "Familiar Winds", "The Black River" or the title track. Honestly, if you can get this one, you'll find quickly that all of their other releases are unecessary.  (Review from

Top progressive rock band from the states who are particularly adept at crossing ambient styles with rock.

Songs / Tracks Listing
1. Shamen's Descent (7:17)
2. Tangerine Rabbit Jam (4:07)
3. Familiar Winds (6:29)
4. The Black River (6:42)
5. Technology And Industry (5:00)
6. The Ritual Continues (8:34)
7. Fractured (4:42)
8. Night Scenes (5:37)
9. Revisiting A Nice Place: Falling Down 1993 (16:56)

Total Time: 65:24
Line-up / Musicians
- Gayle Ellett / guitar, guitar synth, percussion(1,3-7,9)
- Andy Frankel / drums, vibes (2,8), African percussion (7)
- John Glass / electric guitar (2,8)
- Mike Henderson / six and twelve guitars, drums, percussion
- Henry J. Osborne / bass, percussion

Sunday, 20 March 2011

Patto - Hold Your Fire (1971)

Hold Your Fire, Patto's second album is not a radical departure from the style of the first one but it does have a bit more finesse and not such a bare exposing warts and all production. There is more complexity but it's still the powerful mix of rock and jazz they blended so successfully on that previous album.

Things get off to a great start with the title track; a song that all would be guitarists should listen too. It's not a complex song but Ollie Halsall's fluent guitar work is stunning as he weaves and bobs with a style that sounds like he's almost soloing through the entire piece. The mellower You, You Point Your Finger follows and is a lovely piece with a excellent vocal performance from Mike Patto and suitably subtle playing from the rest of the band. How's Your Father is another mellow song and along with Halsall's fluent guitar work he also adds piano. It seems he could play any instrument he turned his mind to. See You At The Dance Tonight is more of a straight ahead rock song, or as straight as Patto ever played them, once again Halsall turning in a fine inventive performance including a fantastic solo.

Side 2 of the original vinyl version opened with another rocking song Give It All Away which is played with a swing feel and at the risk of sounding repetitive another great guitar solo. Air Raid Shelter is the band in jazz mode with a strong and dynamic performance from drummer John Halsey and bassist Clive Griffith's who really take off when Halsall goes into solo mode. Tell Me Where You've Been subtly shifts the time around yet still retains a solid rhythm and is another inventive track; wonderful stuff. The album closes with Magic Door and Halsall lets his guitar take a back seat in favour of piano and vibes. Another laid back tune, it's played extremely well and a great way to end.

Patto never managed to get the success they deserved but Hold Your Fire and their eponymous debut are two early seventies gems that fans of great guitar playing in particular should check out. Highly recommended. PATTO Hold Your Fire music reviews and MP3 (Review from progarchives)

Songs / Tracks Listing
1 Hold Your Fire 6:45
2 You, You Point Your Finger 4:30
3 How's Your Father 4:45
4 See You at the Dance Tonight 5:50
5 Give It All Away 4:10
6 Air-Raid Shelter 7:05
7 Tell Me Where You've Been 3:15
8 Magic Door 4:30

Line-up / Musicians

Mike Patto / vocals
Ollie Halsall / guitar, piano, vibes, vocals
John Halsey / drums, vocals
Clive Griffiths / bass

Saturday, 19 March 2011

Gentle Giant- Free Hand (1975)

Admittedly, many prog rock fans with otherwise excellent taste in music find Gentle Giant rather hard to get into. Their music certainly is challenging, and very varied in flavour. At times it evokes Medieval music, at other times there are a cappella vocals delivered in a quasi-"round" format, in company with passages that veer from moments of delicate beauty to "rocking out." All of these musical paths, and more, are often explored within the space of a single song. (Of course, that could be part of a generic description of progressive rock.) Gentle Giant have an inimitable style that is difficult to categorize; they must be heard to be understood. Perhaps only those with the most open musical minds will find them at all accessible. Certainly, though major players of the 70s prog scene, "Giant" never fully rose above their cult status to approach the popularity and critical acclaim of contemporaries like Genesis, Yes, ELP, Pink Floyd or Jethro Tull. (Though Gentle Giant don't really sound like any of those heavyweights, their music bears a somewhat closer resemblance to that of 'Tull, than any of the others mentioned.)

As I observed, Gentle Giant are not exactly the most approachable band in the prog universe; their music tends to invoke extreme love or hate reactions from first-time listeners. With that caveat out of the way, I would urge those who are curious about the band, or simply those who are in search of "something completely different," to start with this excellent recording. "Free Hand" encapsulates Gentle Giant's sound at the top of its form. It is not as "difficult" as "The Power and the Glory" (its excellent predecessor) or "Interview" (its good, but uneven successor), nor as commercial as later efforts.

The overall sound of the disc (if G.G. can be said to have an "overall" sound) is driven by keyboards, electric guitar, violin, and the unique "vocal stylings" of lead singer Derek Shulman and company.

The album, fittingly enough for this mold-breaking group, is loosely written around the theme of individual choice and freedom. The songs are all very good, but, to my taste, the title track, "His Last Voyage" and "Time to Kill" are particularly effective. (I still get a kick out of the sound of the "Pong" game at the beginning of the latter track: if, like me, you can remember when Pong was a cutting-edge video game -- indeed, the ONLY video game -- then you're showing your age....) Highly recommended to fans, and to those with sufficiently eclectic and diverse tastes to "get it." GENTLE GIANT Free Hand music reviews and MP3 (Review from

Songs / Tracks Listing 1. Just The Same (5:34)
2. On Reflection (5:41)
3. Free Hand (6:14)
4. Time To Kill (5:08)
5. His Last Voyage (6:27)
6. Talybont (2:43)
7. Mobile (5:05)

Line-up / Musicians
- Derek Shulman / vocals, recorders, sax
- Ray Shulman / bass, violin, recorders, vocals
- Gary Green / guitars, vocals
- Kerry Minnear / keyboards, vocals
- John Weathers / percussion

GENTLE GIANT Free Hand 02 On Reflection

Gentle Giant BBC 1978 - Free Hand

Friday, 18 March 2011

Ash Ra Tempel - Starring Rosi (1973)

On this 1973 album, Ash ra Temple turn to a more "song" genre with shorts pieces , unlike the early albums, with Rosi Muller's help on vocals. Manuel Göttsching shows his impressive guitar skills throughout the album, like in the excellent first piece, "Laughter laughing", a joyful opener with stunning acid and fluent guitar parts. All the short pieces features solid rhythmic and excellent guitar. « Interplay Of Forces », the long piece (almost 9mn) is much more progressive, in a space cosmic genre. The piece starts with an ethereal and acid introduction, while Rosi recites some esoteric psychedelic lyrics on an inspired tone, alternately in english and german language, creating a fascinating atmosphere. Then it takes off with a stunning drum /guitar flight. This piece is an absolute gem of the genre, sublimated by fantastic sound quality on this very piece. A very good album, ranging from lively pieces to space cosmic rock summits. Spalax 1993 CD version recommended. ASH RA TEMPEL Starring Rosi music reviews and MP3 9( Review from

Songs / Tracks Listing
1. Laughter Loving (8:00)
2. Day Dream (5:21)
3. Schizo (2:47)
4. Cosmic Tango (2:06)
5. Interplay Of Forces (8:58)
6. The Fairy Dance (3:07)
7. Bring Me Up (4:33)

Total Time: 34:52
Line-up / Musicians
- Manuel Göttsching / guitar, vocals, bass, piano, mellotron, congas, synthesizer
- Rosi / voice, vibraphone, concert harp
- Harald Grosskopf / drums
- Dieter Dierks / bass, percussion

AshRa Temple - Starring Rosi - Laughter Loving

Ash ra tempel- day dream

Ash Ra Tempel - Schizo

Download mp3

Ash Ra Tempel - Join Inn (1973)

In my opinion another essential German early 70's progressive rock gem. Not unlike their first brilliant album, "Join Inn" contains 2 songs with the first track 'Freak 'N Roll' representing a masterful wild acid laced guitar/keyboard jam... pure magic to your ears. The second track "Jenseits" taking on a much slower, sombre, moody keyboard driven piece of electronic space music. Musicians include Manuel Gottsching (guitar), Hartmut Enke (bass) and Klaus Schulze (drums, organ, synthesizer). Overall this album is quite tasty and if you are looking for a really wonderful spaced out piece of music then you must "Join Inn". ASH RA TEMPEL Join Inn music reviews and MP3 (Review from

Songs / Tracks Listing
1. Freak'n'Roll (19:15)
2. Jenseits (24:18)

Total Time: 43:33
Line-up / Musicians - Klaus Schulze / drums, keyboards, electronics
- Hartmut Enke / bass
- Manuel Göttsching / synthesizer, guitar
- Rosi Müller / vocals (2)

Jenseits 1/3 / Ash Ra Tempel

Ash Ra Tempel - Freak 'N' Roll

Download mp3

Thursday, 17 March 2011

Delirium - Il Nome Del Vento (2009)


A few years ago PFM pulled off an amazing comeback album called "Stati di Imagginazione" which struck me because latter day comebacks of some favorite English bands had always disappointed me. Now Delirium have returned with the remarkable "Il Nome del Vento" proving that the Italians have bested the formula for comebacks-- frankly I think the difference is that some prog giants see a comeback with dollar signs in their eyes, whereas Delirium are in it for the right reasons, first and foremost the love of music. Many prog writers have proclaimed the 3rd Delirium album to be the best of the '70s lot. While I've not heard their first two albums I can safely say that Delirium 2009 has impressed me much more than the '74 album did. This is a work that feels painstakingly crafted with mature composition and sophisticated, beautiful arrangements. The band is legit without a doubt: back are Ettore Vigo, Pino di Santo, Martin Grice, and Mimmo di Martino. Newer members include guitarist Roberto Solinas and bassist Fabio Chighini. They are joined by a string quartet and guests including the amazing Sophya Baccini among others. No shortage of talent! Lyricist Mauro La Luce was brought in and the perfectly representative cover art was painted by Anna Ferrari.

The album "Il Nome del Vento" (which if my awful translations skills are accurate would be "The Name of the Wind") is a skillfully blended and thoroughly fulfilling combination of sophisticated symphonic progressive rock and jazz-rock excursion. I have heard many attempts by today's decent high-profile bands at capturing something this ambitious, and even when the results are mostly good there can be some sections that make me wince a bit for reasons of either poor composition or iffy production/performance. You will find none of these kinds of bush league mistakes on Il Nome, this album is flawlessly executed. Carefully considered compositions, painstakingly perfect production, and immaculate performance from top to bottom. If there is any negative charge to be leveled at Delirium for this album it will come from those who feel they play it too relaxing, not wild enough for adrenalin loving prog fanatics--consider a quote like this from the book Scented Gardens written about 1974's Delirium 3: "All Delirium albums are pleasant enough but sound too common and pedestrian to be really interesting." [Scented Gardens of the Mind]. I have written often enough myself that even the high quality modern Italian prog albums lack the "avant-garde" surprises of the early '70s heyday. While that sentiment is true to some extent one should not write off an album like this because it is far from "pedestrian." True that much of the high-minded weirdness of the old days is gone but what remains is not "common" but exceptional this time around. Maturity is a word the band might not appreciate but the composition demands that I use it. These tracks are so beautifully written and perfectly arranged that I've realized sophistication isn't necessarily the harbinger of soft middle age I might have thought. Like Wyatt's recent "Comicopera" Delirium have infused a degree of elegance that few bands of any age pull off.

In attempting to describe moments of beauty for which words don't do justice, I would say that Il Nome almost has the classic symphonic influence of "Days of Future Passed," the occasional jazz leanings of a Robert Wyatt album, and the upscale rock of a Zuffanti project. (like I said, encapsulating an album like this is not fair but at least I gave it the college try!) The symphonic moments are my favorite when you have these glorious melodic passages rising from the piano, Hammond, or Mellotron. They are grand and stately, adorned with Baccini's lovely backing vocals, gentle flute and strings passages, lovely to the point of intoxication. The title track is the perfect example of this with Sophya's harmonies just heavenly. From these sections they will quite frequently veer into jazz-rock territory with saxophone often taking the lead for some extended workouts. The third component are the rock guitar leads which break through here and there to keep things from getting too laid back, and the bass playing is strong and bubbly throughout. During some of the rock sections with flute the inevitable Jethro Tull comparisons may pop up again but really this album sounds little like Tull to me. It sounds a lot like Delirium delivering the masterpiece that perhaps eluded them in the 1970s. This is an hour long journey that is going to please many progressive fans of all stripes. My favorites are of course the melodic lushness of the title track and the amazing blend of saxophone, flute, and piano jamming on the 10 minute highlight "Dopo il Vento." Every song is strong and the little details keep popping with each new play. I am truly grateful that these legends of the Italian scene were able to have the chance to make this music and that I was fortunate enough to hear it. This is one title to embrace in a relaxed manner. It's not a "type-A" personality album you want in rush hour traffic, it's really an album that begs one to pour a drink or two and listen to relaxed and without multi-tasking. Take in the high level of detail and care given to the performances. Listen to how effortlessly the string quartet is woven into the composition, how the performances just excel from everyone. Listen for the vocal debut of the young Valentino Vera who I believe makes his first appearance and does a wonderful job! Feel the optimism in the cycle of life that the band seems to exude throughout every inch of this project. It is music that feels reassuring, somehow wise, not something you feel everyday. This is without question one of the premier releases of the 2000s, a triumphant return for this outstanding progressive band and I imagine they must be thrilled with the results.

Black Widow Records scores another big victory with this Delirium return. They deliver the disc in a tri-fold digipak boasting great artwork, a beautiful 24 page booklet filled with color photos and lyrics, a bonus track, and even a bonus video. I've only spent a short time with this album thus far because I wanted to get a review up and get the word out about its release. I give them 5 stars based on a quick initial impression of about a week, but we'll have to see if that holds up over time. Sometimes they don't but I've a feeling this one just might. Bravo Delirium! DELIRIUM Il Nome Del Vento music reviews and MP3 (review from

Fantastic album by this Italian band, which just goes to prove that a bands earlier works are not always the best!!!!

Songs / Tracks Listing 1. Intro (1:23)
2. Il Nome del Vento (6:01)
3. Verso il Naufragio (6:35)
4. L'Acquario delle Stelle (6:15)
5. Luci Lontane (4:14)
6. Profeta Senza Profezie (4:20)
7. Ogni Storia (5:02)
8. Note di Tempesta (4:29)
9. Dopo il Vento (9:40)
10. Cuore Sacro (8:49)
11. L'Aurora Boreale (4:26) (bonus track)

Line-up / Musicians
- Ettore Vigo / keyboards
- Martin Grice / sax, flute, keyboards
- Pino Di Santo / drums, vocals
- Roberto Solinas / guitars, vocals
- Fabio Chighini / bass
- Mimmo Di Martino / vocals (2)

String quartet:
- Chiara Giacobbe Chiarilla / violin
- Diana Tizzani / violin
- Simona Merlano / viola
- Daniela Caschetto Helmy / cello

Guest musicians:
- Stefano Lupo Galifi / vocals (6)
- Sophya Baccini / backing vocals (2, 4, 7, 9), piano (9) - online music store

Ashra- Correlations (1979)

First i apologise in advance for my english, i know it´s not that good, but i´ll do my best! When i first read the user's reviews for Correlations i hesitated to get it, but i managed to arm myself with courage and a firm sense of adventuring and i ordered it. After a few spins i found that i had done a very good thing. Manuel Göttsching found the perfect balance between a heady spaced-out journey and a wild trip to the disco. Ice Train opens and you just can't help to smile to the sound of that funky guitar, jamming all over the pulsating rythms of the galaxies, it's like a space trucker journey through the starways. And just what is the destination for this journey? Judging from the atmosphere and heavily danceable grooves of Club Cannibal, i think that the answer is to a space-stripper bar. Sorry, i´m so immersed in the atmosphere of this record that i cannot help myself from describing the textures and images that it emanates. Oasis is just what the title suggests, a pleasant, relaxing stop in our trip. It really carries a huge New Age of Earth vibe. Bamboo Sands starts relaxing and very floydian and then it metamorphoses and you know what? We´re back to the grooviness! Boy, this is a fun record! The masterpiece of the album is without any shadow of a doubt Morgana de Capo, it´s a great spacy tune, and it will carry you to the heart of a blazing supernova, indeed one of Göttsching best efforts. The only dissapointing spot on an otherwise magnificent record is Pas de Trois, don´t get me wrong it's a good tune, but it overstays its welcome, it´s too long and meandearing to be memorable. The final stroke is Phantasus a good album closer, floydian from start to finish...really nice and mellow. Well that's it for my review, i felt that i had to do my part in defending this misunderstood classic. Keep gazing to the stars!! Cheers!!ASHRA Correlations music review by MonolithicAngel (Review from

Songs / Tracks Listing 1. Ice Train (7:40)
2. Club Cannibal (5:24)
3. Oasis (3:46)
4. Bamboo Sands (5:40)
5. Morgana da Capo (5:29)
6. Pas de Trois (8:58)
7. Phantasus (5:11)

Line-up / Musicians
- Manuel Göttsching / guitar, synthesizer, sequencer
- Lutz Ulbrich / guitar, synthesizer, piano, mellotron
- Harald Grosskopf / drums, synthesizer, percussion

Total Time: 42:08

Ashra - Walkin' The Desert (1989)

Manuel Gottsching and Lutz Ulbrich combined talents in 1989 writing and performing live most of the music contained on this CD for Berlin's E-88 World Cultural Festival. On June 4th, 1988 this music was performed live at Berlin's Planetarium and finally we are able to hear the studio output created for this show. ASHRA combine multilayered guitars, keyboards, and sampled sounds producing a rich yet mesmerizing soundscapes. In the progressive tradition, "Walkin The Desert" experiments with a numerical mix of instrumentation used... ie. "1st Movement" uses only 2 keyboards, "2nd Movement" 6 voices, "3rd movement" 4 guitars, "4th movement" 12 samples and finally the last track "Dessert" employing 8 tracks. The powerful result is a startling, yet faintly familiar sound made up of arid keyboards, charming crystalline sequences and finally, the resounding bent-sustain guitar notes that ASHRA fans have grown to worship. Incredibly since the rise in popularity of today's "Electronica", the music of ASHRA is being currently re-discovered by the youngsters. More than simply satisfying, "Walkin' The Desert" is a stunning example of ASHRA's creativity and represents another breathtaking chapter in the expanding music output for this band. ASHRA Walkin' The Desert music reviews and MP3 ( Review from

Songs / Tracks Listing
1. 1st Movement: Two Keyboards (8:18)
2. 2nd Movement: Six Voices (8:42)
3. 3rd Movement: Four Guitars (10:29)
4. 4th Movement: Twelve Samples (13:50)
5. Dessert: Eight Tracks (4:28)

Total Time: 45:47
Line-up / Musicians
- Manuel Göttsching / guitar, keyboards
- Lutz Ulbrich / guitar, keyboards

ASHRA walkin the desert - first movement - two keyboards

Ashra - Third Movement-Four Guitars

Ashra - Dessert: Eight Tracks (1990)

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Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Ashra - Belle Alliance (1980)

As where Correlations - though seemingly admired by many - absolutely displeased me, this album instantly became one of my best loved ones. Side one may be more rock oriented, it certainly has a great sense of humour "Screamer", some very sunny spells "Boomerang" but most of all... Side 2 has some of the most beautiful electronic music ever! "Kazoo" is a gently hypnotic theme and "Code Blue" is the best Ashra track since "Ocean of Tenderness" on New age of earth. Starting of with a majestic organ, gradually flowing into a minimalist masterpiece with very subtle cymbals and percussion by Harald Grosskopf. "Mistral" has Göttsching playing a Santana-like theme, beter than Santana ever could have done. This album and CD are still played on a weekly basis (side 2). This is absolute beauty! ASHRA Belle Alliance music review by Lieven (Review fro

Songs / Tracks Listing
1. Wudu (2:29)
2. Screamer (4:26)
3. Boomerang (3:29)
4. Aerogen (3:54)
5. Sansalito (4:24)
6. Kazoo (5:42)
7. Code Blue (15:03)
8. Mistral (3:41)

Total Time: 43:08
Line-up / Musicians
- Manuel Göttsching / guitar, synthesizer, sequencer, bass
- Lutz Ulbrich / guitar, keyboardss, voice, bass
- Harald Grosskopf / drums, percussion, synthesizer, voice

Ashra - Aerogen

Ashra - Boomerang
Ashra - Mistral

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Sunday, 13 March 2011

Art Zoyd - Nosferatu (1989)

This is the first of three soundtracks ART ZOYD did for those silent horror movies of the twenties.This one is for F.W. Murnau's 1922 released movie called "Nosferatu" which was based on Bram Stoker's book called "Dracula".Interesting that Stoker's widow sued Murnau for copyright infringement and won.All copies of his movie were destroyed although bootleg copies survived.The lineup on this album is the same as on the previous one "Berlin".I have to say off the top that this surpassed my expectations by a wide margin.This is incredible! In fact i'd like to quote some of Kai Karmanheimo's thoughts because he says it so perfectly: "Dissonance is prolific,tonality itself unstable and hummability lies dead in it's coffin,but instead of chaotic and cacophonous,the music comes across as rigorously regimented and ruthlessly repetitive,with individual instrumental links subjugated and blurring together to create a singularly sinister impression". He goes on to say : "'s the choice of timbres,the sizzle of sinister electronics,that sustain the music through minimilist episodes and obsessive repetition and makes "Nosferatu" more interesting in my ears than ART ZOYD's earlier,predominantly acoustic works that i have heard".So we get 17 tracks at almost 53 minutes and three bonus tracks from a ballet called "Vornange" they did a year earlier.Those three tracks give us over 17 minutes of excellent bonus material.Hourbette composed 8 of the tracks on "Nosferatu" with Zaboitzeff composing the other 9 songs. "L'oef Du Serpent" opens with a dark atmosphere and percussion before this almost buzzing sound comes in.This is a powerful soundscape that will make you restless. "L'agent Renfield" is also dark and haunting before it calms right down.Strings before 2 minutes as it turns dark and creepy.Sounds like a beast is on the prowl.I don't think his name is Edward either.A calm with piano ends it as the danger has passed. "Le Voyage De Harker" is eerie with outbursts that are alarming to say the least.We start to get a rhythm that sounds like the train to hell.It's like your too afraid to move but you can't stay where you are.This is freaking scary! Chimes on the next short track before we get to the wind blowing(it's like there's voices in the wind or is that my imagination) on "Le Chateau" with loud sounds coming and going.Then we hear the birds chirping 2 minutes in with flute,bass and strings to follow.Morning has come and the danger has again passed for now. 'Nosferatu" has these striking abrasive sounds with strings.This is all very disturbing. "L'oeuf Du Serpent II" is what i'm sure fear sounds like. "Rumeurs" opens with percussion and other unpleasant sounds,then that wind starts blowing again with those voices crying out in horror.Or is that my mind playing tricks again. "Rumeurs II" has lots of atmosphere and it's not enjoyable. Pulsating sounds on "Anaphase" and other creepy sounds that will make your hair stand up before "Le Maitre Arrive" takes over.Cold piano lines and vocal melodies early before it changes to a fuller and richer sound.Back to the keys and vocal melodies to end it. "Rumeurs III" has these deep throaty spoken words part way through before we get a children's choir with keys then sax."Les Docteurs" is almost catchy with that slow rhythm. Samples of a woman talking and birds chirping on "La Peste". "Livre Des Vampires" is scary."Anaphase II" is darker with percussion and sax.Powerful. "Le Maitre Vit Mort" is dramatic yet melancholic.Then flurries of piano with weird vocal samples take over. I'll be breaking this out on halloween this year.I still think "Berlin" is better but man this is impressive. ART ZOYD Nosferatu music reviews and MP3 (Review from

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. L'oeuf du serpent (3:40)
2. L'agent Renfield (3:17)
3. Le voyage de Harker (4:03)
4.Le matin (1:40)
5. Le château (4:14)
6. Nosferatu (2:42)
7. L'oeuf du serpent II (3:00)
8. Rumeurs (2:35)
9. Rumeurs II (2:56)
10. Anaphase (4:08)
11. Le maitre arrive (2:24)
12. Rumeurs III (2:39)
13. Les docteurs (2:28)
14. La peste (3:14)
15. Livre des vampires (1:47)
16. Anaphase II (4:38)
17. Le maitre est mort (3:23)

Total Time: 52:48
Line-up / Musicians
- Patricia Dallio / pianos, keyboards
- Gérard Hourbette / viola, violin, pianos, keyboards, percussion
- André Mergenthaler / cello, alto sax, bass vocals
- Thierry Zaboitzeff / cello, bass guitar, vocals, tapes, keyboards, percussion

Saturday, 12 March 2011

Kraan - Andy Nogger (1974)

I'm a little bit surprised that nobody reviewed this album before. Kraan is not the best known band relating to the terrific genre 'Krautrock' but definitely a good one. "Andy Nogger" is their third output and can be regarded as their best, at least it was the album that marked their breakthrough, speaking about sales figures. The album was released shortly before their first live album and many songs can be found on both albums. Sometimes you get the impression that the live versions got more famous because the immense pleasure of playing live makes the songs sound better. But this fact doesn't reduce "Andy Nogger". Far from it, this album is one of my favorite Krautrock recordings.

The style can be described with mentioning the more jazzier atmosphere, sometimes it sounds like a jamsession. I think that's due to the terrific percussion and bass work wich creates a perfect base for the melody and solo performances of the guitar and the saxophone. Vocals can be heard here and there. They can be described as the typical strange Krautrock vocals but maybe not as strange as other Krautrock vocal performances. The funny thing is that someone in the booklet compared them to 'Yes' but that's something I really can't countersign. Maybe their style sounds more connected to the symphonic prog than other Krautrockers like Guru Guru, Amon Düül II. Just like 'Wallenstein' who also have a differing style, sounding more symphonic. Highlight of the album is for sure "Holiday am Materhorn". Conspicuous is the great percussion work and the strong bass. The diverse solos sound really great. No vocals on this one. But in general you will find no bad songs on "Andy Nogger", seven outstanding Krautrock pieces with a symphonic and jazzy general sound.

So if you are looking for Krautrock and don't know where to start, "Andy Nogger" may be the right thing to purchase. Kraan is a highly underrated band, try it and I'm sure you will agree. So I really recommend Kraan and especially "Andy Nogger"...KRAAN Andy Nogger music reviews and MP3 (Review from

Songs / Tracks Listing
1. Stars (5:17)
2. Andy Nogger (3:50)
3. Nam Nam (5:50)
4. Son of the Sun (5:02)
5. Holiday am Marterhorn (7:40)
6. Home (5:40)
7. Yellow Bamboo (4:25)

Total Time: 37:44
Line-up / Musicians
- Jan Fride / drums, percussion
- Helmut Hattler / bass, vocals
- Johannes Pappert / Alto saxophone
- Peter Wolbrandt / guitar, vocals

Kraan - Stars [Andy Nogger] 1974

Kraan Andy Nogger Nam Nam

Kraan Andy Nogger Holiday am Marterhorn

Kraan - Let it Out (1975)

Something of a transitional album: keysman Ingo Bischof (ex-Karthago) was introduced as sax player "Alto" Pappert was being phased out. The Kraftwerk parody "Die Maschine" appears because they needed extra material to fill out the album, but Alto wasn't there, so they improvised something with studio effects.

Elsewhere, the band are beginning to go for a slicker, more straight-ahead fusion sound. Which is not bad, as it's something they absolutely excel at. Just check out the shifting tempos of "Luftpost".KRAAN Let it Out music reviews and MP3 ( Review from

A special note: the American Passport label contains remixed versions of several songs which were not included on the remastered Intercord CD. With the exception of the version of the title track (the US version truncates the short intro) and the fact that "Heimweh nach Übersee" is retitled "Overseas Bound", the versions aren't largely different, though.

Songs / Tracks Listing
1. Bandits in the Woods (4:20)
2. Luftpost (5:12)
3. Degado (4:54)
4. Prima Klima (4:40)
5. Let it Out (5:47)
6. Die Maschine (4:45)
7. Heimweh nach Übersee (3:07)
8. Picnic International (5:20)

Total Time: 38:05

Line-up / Musicians
- Hellmut Hattler / bass
- Peter Wolbrandt / guitar, vocal
- Johannes Alto Pappert / Alto saxophone
- Jan Fride / drums
- Ingo Bischof / keyboards
- Jan Fride / drums

Kraan 1975 Let It Out


Kraan Bandits in the Woods

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