Monday, 21 October 2019

Barbara, The Gray Witch

DEA Records 1969/70

01 Modern Witchcraft
02 Witchcraft Facts
03 Witchcraft Surprises
04 Childhood Questions
05 Adult Questions
06 Witchcraft Tests
07 Contacting Spirits
08 Doe-Dee
09 Be Cool
10 Black Witchcraft
11 Me-O-Me
12 Black Necessities
13 Demayo-Demío
14 Black Occult
15 Domé
16 White Witchcraft
17 Shamoo-Ra
18 Gray Witchcraft
19 Witch's Love Song
20 Gray Responsibilities

Occultism, wicca, black magic and the like had a bit of a renaissance in the late sixties. As Westerners looked in darker corners for soul satisfaction, spiritual guidance or new highs, a flood of witchcraft products came through.

Barabara, The Gray Witch was one of several albums released by a witch or other occultist. The difference is that this one is pretty good.

There is only a couple of musical moments on here; this is a spoken word instructional album. Barbara gives us a potted history and a bit of guidance, all interesting stuff.

'Witch's Love Song' is the only 'song' here. A simple repeated rhyme with some electronic backing.

If you have interest in this area, you will be interested in this.

It's also worth noting, this L.P. is as rare as hen's teeth!

Mystery Spring - Forever Is Too Long

TOR068. 2019.

01 Currents
02 Pale Blue
03 Brian
04 Everybody is a Stranger These Days

The next release from Treehouse Orchestra Recordings:

"Over the last year or so I’ve been thinking a lot about my dad. More so than normal, I’m not really sure why. Brian (as my mum and others called him) or dad as I called him, passed away after a long illness in 2004. 

It feels a very long time since we were together, and my memories of those times grow fainter and seem less reliable with every passing year. I feel like he’s a ghost now, and I’m just left with a strong sense of love and gratitude for the way he brought me up and the opportunity’s he gave me. We were always very close, and would spend a lot of time together chatting, reading the papers, arguing and laughing. He was kind, good company, very funny, a bit of a show off and had a strong moral compass. 

I thought I would try to write a song for my dad, and a song for me. ‘Brian’ the third track on this EP is that song. I wanted it to evoke the mystery of people you love disappearing but never leaving you. How the pictures in your head are jumbled and sometimes eerie, but the broad feeling of love remains.

 The four verses of the song were cut down from 12 verses, each one representing a memory of time me and my dad spent together. I realised as i wrote these verses that I am not always a reliable narrator of my own history!! The four verses left in the song are the ones i can remember best and that’s why I left them in. 

All the songs on this EP are love songs of a sort, love either for people who are close, those who have gone, or those who are distant. 

Huge thanks to all involved in this EP, we couldn’t do it without you." - Marc.

Various Artists - October 2019:Helen Mirren On Acid

01 Barbara, The Gray Witch - Excerpt from 'Modern Witchcraft'
02 D. Patucchi - La Dimostrazione
03 The Electric Prunes - Holy Are You
04 The Ceyleib People - Changes
05 Sandra Kerr & John Faulkner - Opening
06 Barbara, The Gray Witch - Witch's Love Song
07 Song Sung - I'm Not In Love
08 The Orb - Other Blue Worlds
09 The Creation - How Does It Feel To Feel (US Version)
10 Six Organs of Admittance - Saint Cloud
11 Mellow Candle - Silversong
12 Duster - The Queen of Hearts
13 Paper Dollhouse - Nuclear Alignment
14 Barbara, The Gray Witch - Excerpt from 'Gray Responsibilities'

New mixtape. As always, just in time for Halloween.

Note: Yes, that really is Helen Mirren on acid on the cover.

Sunday, 29 September 2019

James Blackshaw - Celeste

Celebrate Psi Phenomenon 2004

01 Celeste Pt. 1
02 Celeste Pt. 2

It's nearly five years now since James Blackshaw announced he was retiring from touring. Since then there have been no live appearances or record material.

Interestingly, the official Bandcamp only lists the first and last albums.

This was his second release. First issued by Celebrate Psi Phenomenon in 2004, then as a CDr by Barl Fire Recordings the following year and finally by Tompkins Square in 2008.

Krokodil - The Psychedelic Tapes

Second Battle 2005

01 The Creator Has A Master Plan
02 Stehaufmädchen Part 1
03 Marzipan (Live)
04 Stehaufmädchen Part 2
05 You're Still A Part Of Me (Live)
06 Stehaufmädchen Part 3
07 Odyssey In Om (Live)
08 Raga

Germany's Second Battle released this compilation of jams and live tracks in 2005. Material recorded between 1970 and 1972 and captures the band, as the title would suggest, at their most psychedelic.

Makes a tasty companion to 'An Invisible World Revealed'.

Various Artists - September 2013

Self made compilation 2013.

01 Naomi Chomski - Tapestine
02 The Cosmic Dead - Eyes in The Mountains
03 Depth Charge - Legend of the Golden Snake
04 Eric's Trip - My Chest Is Empty
05 Carol Kleyn - Street Song
06 Pan•American - The Cloud Room
07 Caravan - And I Wish I Were Stoned/Don't Worry
08 The Mebusas - Mr. Bull Dog (Original 45 Version)
09 Bill Plummer & The Cosmic Brotherhood - Arc 294°
10 College - Can You Kiss Me First
11 The Holydrug Couple - Ancient Land
12 Chelsea Wolfe - Hyper Oz
13 Sungod - The Infinite Regress
14 ZENИTH - B&W Road

Another old mixtape.

Sunday, 25 August 2019

Krokodil - An Invisible World Revealed

United Artists 1971 / Second Battle 1999

01 Lady Of Attraction
02 With Little Miss Trimmings
03 Odyssey In Om
04 Green Fly
05 Looking At Time
06 Last Doors

Bonus Tracks:

07 Pollution
08 Krokodil Session Part 1
09 Krokodil Session Part 2

Often grouped along with Krautrock bands, Krokodil were actually an international affair; members came from West Germany, Switzerland and the U.K.

Starting out as a blues based band with prog touches, by 'An Invisible World Revealed', their third album, they had started to add cosmic and psychedelic sounds. The song 'Odyssey In Om' is a kosmiche classic.

I've used the Second Battle re-issue as it includes some jam tracks to expand the album and actually improves on it.

I'll be looking a further into this period in the coming months.

Note: the name of the drummer and the front cover artists is Düde Dürst, so you know it's going to be good.