Saturday, 25 September 2021

Ultimate Spinach - Behold And See


MGM Records 1968

01 Behold & See (Gilded Lamp Of The Cosmos)
02 Mind Flowers
03 Where You're At
04 What You're Thinking Of (Jazz Thing)
05 Fragmentary March Of Green
06 Genesis Of Beauty (In Four Parts)
07 Fifth Horseman Of The Apocalypse

This is the second L.P. by Boston's Ultimate Spinach. West coast sounding, downbeat psych.

Grouper - Wide


Free Porcupine Society 2006

01 Make Me Over
02 Little Boat/Bone Dance (Audrey)
03 Imposter In The Sky
04 Giving It To You
05 Agate Beach
06 They Moved Everything
07 Black Blood
08 Shadow Rise, Drowned
09 Wide

With the imminent release of a new Grouper album, I thought I'd share another harder to get release from a few years ago.

Originally a CD release on Free Porcupine Society in 2006, this album has been re-issued (in very limited runs) several times:

Weird Forest Records L.P. Test Pressing (2006)

Grouper self released L.P. (2010)

Gene Clark - The Lighthouse



A1 The American Dreamer
A2 She's the Kind of Girl
A3 One in a Hundred
A4 Here Tonight
A5 She Darked the Sun
A6 Outlaw Song

B1 Back to Earth Again
B2 The Lighthouse
B3 The Awakening Within
B4 Sweet Adrienne
B5 Walking Through this Lifetime
B6 The Sparrow
B7 Only Yesterday's Gone

Another Gene re-imagining; this time I'm trying to make sense of the 1970 recordings. 

During this period, Gene embarked on a series of one off sessions, I've made these the basis of Side 1. 'The American Dreamer' and 'Outlaw Song' are both short solo pieces Gene wrote and recorded for 'American Dreamer', starring Dennis Hopper. 

'She's the Kind of Girl' and 'One in a Hundred' were intended to be released as a 'reunion' Byrds single in 1970 and features all five original members. Far superior to anything on the 1973 reunion album, it's a mystery as to why this single was cancelled.

'Here Tonight' and 'She Darked the Sun' were recorded by Gene and The Flying Burrito Brothers. It's tantalising to think about a Gene Clark led Burritos after the departure of Gram Parsons, all we have is this (again aborted) single.

The two unissued singles eventually ended up the European only release 'Roadmaster'. However, they sat uneasy with new recordings from 1973, which made for an unbalanced listen.

The second side features half an albums worth of songs that finally saw the light on Sierra Records 'The Lost Studio Sessions 1964–1982'. Again recorded in 1970, it's unclear what these were being recorded for. They are solo performances and a little too professional to be demos. 

This would of made a great Gene Clark album of contrasting styles and makes sense of this period before Gene once again set about making an album proper the following year.

Other Gene Clark re-imagined albums on this blog:

The Lighthouse (1970)

Saturday, 28 August 2021

Whithueser & Westrupp - Trips Und Traume


Ohr 1971

01 Labt Uns Auf Die Reise Gehn
02 Trippo Nova
03 Orienta
04 Illusion
05 Karichen
06 Englisher Walzer
07 Nimm Doch Cinen Jint Mein Freund

Spaced out psych folk jams. One of Julian Cope's Krautrocksampler Top 100.

The Nightowl Sings - Slow Daze


Treehouse Orchestra Recordings 2021.

01 Percy
02 Weather Systems
03 I'll Take You to the Meadow, It's Nice There
04 Grow My Dears
05 Lighthouse
06 Lakes Ahoy
07 Close To Me

All tracks written by Marc Gillen, performed and arranged by Marc Gillen & Alastair Popple. 

Stephen Benson - Guitar on 'Weather Systems' and bass on 'Weather Systems', 'Lighthouse' and 'Close To Me'. Jacqueline Kumar - additional voice on 'I'll Take You to the Meadow, It's Nice There'.

Recorded at home by Marc Gillen October 2020 - April 2021.

Mixed and mastered by Alastair Popple at The Kitchen Sync October 2020 - April 2021.

Photography by Marc and design by Al.

Download also includes the promotional video for 'Close to Me' by Stephen Benson.

"Right about now, we’re gonna get to the old school beat of things. In an unexpected change of direction, Nightowl Sings has gone a bit techno trousers on us – at least for some of Slow Daze. Yes, he’s broken out the synth and drum machine on previous releases, but never to extent that he does on opening track “Percy”. With its undulating synth lines and pounding kick drum, this is Nightowl revealing the influence of Underworld on his work for probably the first time (if he’s doffed the cap before, he’s been a lot more subtle about it). If you’re going for a shift in direction, you may as well leap in with both feet and that’s exactly what happens with “Percy”. Expectations swept away, new scene set, all is well.

Although the direction is new, the approach to recording is as old school as you get. The Nightowl plays synths in the old analogue tradition of one finger at a time. No fancy sequencers were utilised here, just a bit of technical expertise from regular Nightowl collaborator Alastair Popple. For example, he takes the main bulk of “Percy”, whips out the digital razor blade and sticky tape and gives it an extra couple of minutes. Like the original recording techniques, you won’t notice, but it is worth acknowledging. There’s a counterpart to the opener in the shape of the gently lush ambient excursion, “Lakes Ahoy”, on the second side. That’s right, Slow Daze is the first TOR music to get a vinyl release, although it is an incredibly limited pressing. Hopefully, it will double as a pension fund when people realise what a musical treasure trove is buried in north Cumbria.

It’s not all epic electronic vistas, though. “Weather Systems” layers the jittery drum patterns into a ghost of a song. ‘Loving you is sweet,’ the Nightowl softly sings, and the trap is sprung. You’re hooked. The next two tracks have similarly haunting qualities: on “I’ll Take You To The Meadow, It’s Nice There”, it’s the overlaying of multiple voices flying across the stereo spectrum. The music that underpins it is frantic, busy, almost anxious. It’s curtailed before things get too out of hand: you won’t be sure if the invitation to the meadow is friendly or if there’s a shallow grave in the field with your name on it. Closing side one is the even more spectral “Grow My Dears”, which sounds as if it could float away on the breeze at any second.

The sequence of spookily, supernatural songs is completed by “Lighthouse”, a compelling instrumental that has more heft than initially apparent. Acting as a prelude to “Lakes Ahoy”, it’s the track that ties everything together, easing us from the vocal tracks back to the Nightowl not singing. That’s not the end of the story though, for “Close To Me” – ‘Don’t sell at any price,’ he croons, perhaps a warning to the handful that own the vinyl. It’s a positive way to end, listing the joys of discovering new things and casting out the old. This is a message that sums up the album as a whole: a new sound, a new life, and a new love to chase out the ghosts that have gone before. As the saying goes – there’s no school like the old school. Sometimes a moment to look back provides a fresh impetus to go forward. With Slow Daze, the Nightowl succeeds." - Jeremy Bye

The Neighb'rhood Childr'n - Long Years In Space 1967-1968


Sundazed 1997

01 Feeling Zero
02 Long Years In Space
03 Up Down Turn Around World
04 Changes Brought To Me
05 Please Leave Me Alone
06 Hobbit's Dream
07 Chocolate Angel
08 Patterns
09 Happy Child
10 Happy World Of Captain K
11 She's Got No Identification
12 Can't Buy Me Love
13 That's What's Happening
14 Sunday Afternoon
15 Feeling Zero
16 Little Black Egg
17 Tomorrow's Gone
18 Over The Rainbow
19 Louie, Louie
20 I Need Love
21 Yesterday's Thoughts
22 Woman Think
23 Long Years In Space [Alternate Version]
24 Behold The Lillies

The Neighb'rhood Childr'n were a San Francisco psychedelic band. They were compared to the Jefferson Airplane and were popular in and around town. Acid guitar with female lead vocals.

The band released their only album on Atca Records in 1968. Recorded between March 1967 and August 1968, this collection gathers together all the recordings from these sessions. 

Tuesday, 27 July 2021

Charlie & Esdor


Mellotronen 2005

01 Dagen Är Över
02 Då Klagar Mine Grannar
03 It's All Over Now
04 Fuck the Cops
05 Grönt Är Skönt
06 Två Mans Bridge Blues
07 Kan Du Hitta En Väg
08 Idag Sticker Jag Bort
09 How Does It Feel To Be Without Friends
10 Dagen Är Över

This compilation brings together all the available recordings by Swedish psych/commune rock players Charlie & Esdor. Starting as a duo of Charlie Franzén and Esdor Jensen, they recorded the seminal single 'Dagen Är Över' b/w 'Då Klagar Mine Grannar' for MNW Records in September 1970.

Another session was held in November 1970, adding guitarist Lasse Summanen. 'It's All Over Now' and 'Fuck the Cops' (retitled ' Wolf's Mouth Song') were released on a coloured 7" on MNW under the name Scorpion.

Work began on an album in late November 1970 and then on in to January and February of 1971 before the band split. Tracks 5 to 8 appeared as the 'Grönt Är Skönt' E.P. in 1972.

'How Does It Feel To Be Without Friend' was recorded live 18th of August 1970 at Moderna Museeet, Stockholm. 

Live version of 'Dagen Är Över' was recorded 28th of June 1970 in Katrineholm.

Då Klagar Mina Grannar / Dagen Är Över (Paper sleeve and coloured vinyl versions.

It's All Over Now (as 'Scorpion' 1970 coloured vinyl)

Grönt Är Skönt (1972 EP)