Tuesday 17 December 2013


Vanguard 1972

01. Voice Of The Eagle
02. Wounded Knee Soliioquy
03. Blue Corn Serenade
04. Joseph
05. Omaha Tribal Prayer
06. Sweet Medicine
07. Roses And Gold
08. Moving Up A Ways

Dedicated to Avatar Meher Baba, and in the spirit of love and respect to the American Indian.


Treehouse Orchestra Recordings TOR41 2013


01. Open/Autumn
02. Pancakes
03. Kagyu Samye Ling
04. Rosthwaite
05. Open/Autumn (Reprise)
06. Dag Lief


07. The Litanies Of Satan
08. The Lovers Wine
09. The Cat
10. What Will You Say Tonight

More of my own recordings now. 'Maya Devi' is five new solo guitar recordings and one remix, recorded in August and September of this year.

'The Litanies Of Satan' was partially inspired by Ruth White's 'The Flowers Of Evil', which can also be found on this blog. Four poems by Charles Bauldelaire are set to music. Friends read the poems, then Alastair and myself composed music to go along.

It's free! So give it a go!

Or download here : http://www.mediafire.com/download/a7iaqtdnfj74km1/Maya%20Devi%20-%20The%20Litanies%20of%20Satan.zip


01. Paul Giovanni & Magnet - Summer Is A Coming In
02. Fresh Maggots - Rosemary Hill
03. Gagalactyca - Merlin Melaine Est
04. Milkwood Tapestry - The Bell Of Junip
05. Dando Shaft - An Evening With Rain
06. Extradition - A Water Song
07. Linda Perhacs - Parallelograms
08. Shelagh Macdonald - Stargazer
09. Elyse - 'Deed I Do
10. Trader Horne - Morning Way
11. The Trees - Little Black Cloud
12. Meitreya Kali - Black Swan
13. Wittuser & Westrupp - Schopfung
14. Eclection - St. George & The Dragon
15. Red Television - The Ghost Of Emile Zola

Well this is the end of the road for what I can provide of the Lammas Night Laments series. Can somebody else point me, you, us in the direction of further volumes?

In the new year, I shall be posting albums by some of the artists included in this series.

Sunday 17 November 2013


Important Records 2008

01. Chieko Mori - Spiral Wave
02. James Blackshaw - The Broken Hourglass
03. Helena Espvall -Home Of Shadows And Whirlwinds
04. Jozef Van Wissem - The Mirror Of Eternal Light
05. Chieko Mori - Tokyo Light

Five experimental and baroque solo pieces, curated and compiled by James Blackshaw. Artwork by Hanna Tuulikki.


Silver Label Recordings 1981

01. Redwood Ramble
02. Crashing Thunder
03. Moving Up A'Ways
04. Legend Of Mount Tamalpias
05. Rainbow Thunder
06. The Pathfinder
07. The White Buffalo
08. Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee
09. Home Again
10. The Long Lullaby
11. The Black Hills Sololoquy

"Rainbow Thunder is a collection of songs expressing the feelings and textures of the West in its Prime, and of the Native American Peoples who lived there. I hope it does them some small degree of justice - they who looked so hard into Nature."


01. Paul Giovanni & Magnet - The Landlord's Daughter
02. Incredible String Band - Invocation
03. Donovan - The Voyage of the Moon
04. Fairport Convention - Reynardine
05. C.O.B. - Soloman's Song
06. Pearls Before Swine - Rocket Man
07. Leonard Cohen - Last Years Man
08. Sandy Denny - Bruton Town
09. Magna Carta - Elizebethan
10. Steeleye Span - Lovely On the Water
11. Mourning Phase - Damn Your Eyes
12. Mythos - Oriental Journey
13. Perry Leopold - The Dawning Of Creation
14. The Woods Band - January Shows
15. Bread, Love & Dreams - Butterflyland
16. Tir Na Nog - Our Love Will Not Decay

The fifth Volume of this series stretches out to include ace obscure krautrock (Mythos) and Leonard Cohen. This edition is one of the best.

Wednesday 16 October 2013


Vanguard 1976/2008

01. A Day In the Life Of Lemmeria
02. Night Way
03. The Butterfly Of Wonder
04. Laughing Thunder, Crawling Thunder
05. Thunder Sun
06. Kateri Takawaitha
07. Thunder Love
08. Song Of Great Mystery
09. Death Song

A real treat for Basho fans now. "Indian II" was to be the third album released on the Vanguard label (after 'The Voice Of The Eagle' and 'Zarthus', which puts it around 1976). Due to disappointing sales, Robbie was dropped from the label and this album remained unissued for thirty years.

In 2008, it appeared, out of nowhere on the Vanguard website for download. It only stayed for a short while, before disappearing again. No physical copy was issued.

I'm doubtful that the title was Basho's own, I'm guessing that like the artwork, it's the label's.

This is one of Basho's best and an important part of the picture. Enjoy, while you can.


Bootleg 1970

01. Wall Song #2
02. Walkin' In The Mountains #2
03. Wooden Ships
04. Walkin' In The Mountains #1
05. Epp Hour/Rounds
06. You Sit There (False Start)
07. You Sit There
08. Over Jordan/Wayfaring Strangers
09. Walkin' In The Mountains #3
10. Walkin' In The Mountains #4
11. Loser #1 & #2
12. Wall Song #1
13. Wild Turkey/Leather Winged Bat
14. Kids And Dogs
15. Is It Really Monday?
16. Loser #3 & #4

I've always loved David Crosby. I'm a huge fan of The Byrds (I fucking adore The Byrds), but some people never really take a shine to Cros. Egotistical, bullying, show off... it's easy to see why. But no one can sing like David Crosby. Add to that his strange (and still underrated) rhythm guitar playing, odd and original song compositions and his heart was always in the right place.

Rather than post any Byrds or Crosby, Stills, Nash (& Young) material, I thought I'd go with one of my favourite bootleg recordings, The P.E.R.R.O. Tapes.

P.E.R.R.O. stands for Planet Earth Rock & Roll Orchestra. Yak. But hey, it's California in the early seventies, what do you expect? The group was made of friends in the scene and in the area. Alongside Crosby are Jerry Garcia, Phil Lesh, Paul Kantner, David Frieberg, Grace Slick and loads of others...

I'm not sure if these were recordings for an album, these guys are so high they never finish a song. But that's why these recordings are so wonderful. Semi improvised stoner jam songs performed by the cream of the West Coast scene. The whole vibe is relaxed and the joy and sincerity of the players is tangible.

There is quite a lot of writing about this recording and the whole P.E.R.R.O. thing online, it goes deep, and if you enjoy these recordings I suggest you dig.


01. Paul Giovanni & Magnet - The Maypole Song
02. The Strawbs - In Amongst The Roses
03. Tickawinda - Go Your Way
04. Westwind - Robin Hill
05. Gryphon - The Unquiet Grave
06. Perry Leopold - The Journey
07. These Trails - I Share Your Water
08. Magic Carpet - The Dream
09. Mormos - Number Five In The Book
10. Magna Carta - White Snow Dove
11. Skybird - Snow Cloud
12. The Peelers - Ramblin' Robin
13. Waterfall - And For You
14. Melton Constable - River Lane
15. Oberon - Nottanum Town
16. Heron - The Wanderer
17. Incredible String Band - Air
18. Mr Fox - All The Good Times

Fourth installment of what is proving to be a very popular series. It would be a copyright nightmare but an official release of this set would be warmly received.

More of an obscure tracklist this time round, nice to see Hawaiian psyche folkers These Trails on there.

Wednesday 18 September 2013


Kning Disc 2006

01. Sunshrine
02. Celeste I
03. Transient Life In Twilight
04. Spiralling Skeleton Memorial

Performed on a 12 string acoustic guitar. Recorded live 27th May 2006 at Underjorden, Göteborg, Sweden. 

The first edition was limited to 465 copies and the second edition (released the following year) to 800. Hand made sleeves. 

For Carlos.


01. Paul Giovanni & Magnet - Corn Riggs
02. Mandy Morton & The Spriguns - Witchfinder
03. Caedmon - Sea Song
04. Moonkyte - Way Out Hermit
05. Steve Ashley - Candlemas Carol
06. Spirogyra - An Everyday Consumption Song
07. Fuschia - Shoes and Ships
08. Owen Hand - The Garden
09. Shide & Acorn - Watching a Seagull
10. Broselmaschine - Godanken
11. Emtidi - Saat
12. Langsyne - Morning
13. Pentangle - Lyke-Wake Dirge
14. Wizz Jones - Magical Flight
15. Nick Drake - Black Eyed Dog
16. Incredible String Band - My Name Is Death
17. Carol Of Harvest - Somewhere at the End of the Rainbow

The third edition in the Lammas series and as strong as the previous two. Unfortunately for any Various Artists compilation, the inclusion of Nick Drake means everything else can only be second best.

Favourites on this volume : Moonkyte, Spirogyra and Fuschia, whose album I may include at a later date.

Saturday 17 August 2013


Kosmische Musik 1974

01. Cosmic Joy
02. Galactic Joke

So you probably already know the story, but if you don't...

A lot of great music came out of Dieter Dierks' Berlin studio in the early 1970's. Ash Ra Tempel & Timothy Leary's "7 Up", Walter Wegmüller's "Tarot" and Sergius Golowin's "Lord Krishna Von Goloka" to name a few. The musicians on these records were dubbed 'The Cosmic Couriers' and included  Manuel Göttsching and Klaus Schulze of Ash Ra Tempel and Jurgen Dollase and Harold Grosskopf of Wallenstein.

Ash Ra Tempel even found time between sessions to record their classic "Join Inn". Fellow German heads Rolf-Ulrich Kaiser and Gille Lettman hit upon the idea of giving these musicians acid, letting them improvise and recording the results. What they didn't do however, was ask their permission to release those results.

And so, in 1974, Rolf-Ulrich Kaiser released 5 (!) albums made up from these sessions. Released under varying names (but now recognised under the Cosmic Jokers moniker) on Kaiser's own Kosmische Musik label.

Klaus Schulze had had enough by the fifth release and started legal proceedings. Kaiser went on the run.

It's a shame that these records have such shaky ethical beginnings because their is some fine music here.

The first album is almost an Ash Ra Tempel record. Göttsching dominates side 1, total space rock guitar with heavy hypnotic percussion. Side 2 belongs to Schulze and it sounds like a lot of his records at the time. Spacey, glacial electronic ambient.

Probably the finest Cosmic Jokers 'album'. But it doesn't end there.


Kosmische Musik 1974

1. Kinder Des Alles
2. Galactic Supermarket

The second album comes from a completely different set of sessions. There is more of a Wallenstein influence here and is certainly more up tempo than the last L.P.

It follows the same path as the previous album (and a lot of Kosmische at the time) by have a guitar led space rock wig out on side 1 and deep space ambient on Side 2.

Not as essential as the first, but still worth your while.


Kosmische Musik 1974

01. Raumschiff Galaxy Startet
02. The Planet Of Communication
03. Electronenzirkus
04. Der Narr Im All
05. Raumschiff Galaxy Fliegt In Die Sonne
06. Intergalactic Nightclub
07. Loving Frequencies
08. Electronic News
09. Intergalactic Radio Guri Broadcasting
10. Raumschiff Galaxy Im Sonne
11. Interstellar Rock-Kosmische Musik
12. Raumschiff Galaxy Saust In Die Lichtbahnen/Der Planet Des Sternenmadchens

The third L.P. gets a bit of a hard time. Yes, the barrel may be being scraped here but the results are still great in places. Abandoning the side long pieces of music on previous albums, this draws together various sessions and sews them together in post production.

The results sound more like a cohesive L.P. than you might think. If this was released by some unknown Krautrock band and therefore didn't have it's wobbly ethical history, it would be hailed as a classic.

Don't listen to the naysayers, this is some good shit.


Kosmische Musik 1974

01. Im Reich Der Magier
02. Der Herrscher
03. The Cosmic Couriers Meet South Philly Willy
04. Kinder Des Alls I
05. The Electronic Scene
06. Kinder Des Alls II
07. Interplay Of Forces
08. Planeten Sit-In

So this is probably the cheekiest of the Cosmic Jokers L.P.'s. It's essentially a label sampler drawing mainly from the previous three Cosmic Jokers albums, which, don't forget, were all released in 1974! This man could exploit!

It's an uneven listen and sounds very cobbled together. A more successful stab at roughly the same idea would come with the fifth and final Jokers album.


Kosmische Musik 1974

01. Tim Bleibt Bei Uns
02. Downtown
03. Lord Krishna
04. Power Drive
05. Bei Tim
06. Right Hand Lover
07. Cosmic Courier Bon Chance
08. Swiss Hight Lands
09. Der Magier
10. The Electronic Scene
11. Electronic Rock Zeitalter
12. So Beautiful
13. The Queen Of Sunshine
14. Meine Kosmische Musik

And so it ends.This final record is a far better representation of the Dieter Dierks studio scene. Including tracks from the classics mentioned in the first post, plus some choice Cosmic Jokers cuts, this is a kind of sampler, greatest hits and a remix all in one.

Tracks are remixed and mixed together with Kaiser's girlfriend's stoned warbling over the top.

An interesting idea and a good listen but the game was up. Kaiser was being sued, the label folded and as 1974 ended, so did The Cosmic Jokers.

Monday 15 July 2013


Windham Hill Records 1978

01. Green River Suite
02. Rodeo
03. Rocky Mountain Raga
04. Variations On Easter
05. Blue Crystal Fire
06. Orphan's Lament
07. Leaf In The Wind
08. Night Way
09. Elk Dreamer's Lament
10. Call On The Wind

One of my absolute favourite Basho L.P.'s. The style is generally American primitive with multi ethnic influences. A couple of piano tracks and the occasional emotive yodel.

Here's Basho himself from the liner notes :

“Visions of the Country is simply an L.P. of Guitar Paintings of the Americas and other joys. It uses the folk ballad style of some and the flowing Raga style of Hindu music to express the feeling and texture of the American Wilderness…Panoramique.”

Inexplicably still not reissued, Robbie Basho's first of two Windham Hill releases is a fine example of the need to reappraise his later period.


Silence 1972

1. Two Hours Over Two Blue Mountains With A Cuckoo On Each Side Of The     Hours...That Is
2. There Is A Time For Everything, There Is A Time When Even Time Will Meet
3. Children Of Possibilities
4. La Rotta
5. Viriditas
6. Rings Of Saturn
7. The Future Is A Hovering Ship, Anchored In The Past
8. 5-4
9. The Mirrors Of Gabriel

Aside from having some of the most awesome song titles ever, this is one of the best Swedish psychedelic albums from the seventies. Like a lot of Swedish bands of similar ilk, it's a take on krautrock, but with a better incorporation of folk than their German brethren.

The album drifts through medieval folk, sitar tinged eastern and synth ambient before arriving at full on space rock. There are some proggy concepts going on here, but in a good way.

Originally released in 1972, this is the 1995 C.D. reissue, with English titles and track index markers.

Parts of this album are crazy, it's ace.


01. Paul Giovanni & Magnet - Willow's Song
02. Bread, Love And Dreams - Brother John
03. Synanthesia - Peck Strangely & Worried Evening
04. Comus - Song To Comus
05. Mellow Candle - The Poet & The Witch
06. Donovan - Voyage Into The Golden Screen
07. Duncan Browne - Chloe In The Garden
08. Loudest Whisper - Pied Piper
09. Flibbertigibbet - My Lagan Love
10. Principal Edward's Magic Theatre -Sacrifice
11. The Moths - The Heron's Daughter
12. The Sweeny Men - Dreams For Me
13. Famous Jug Band - A Leaf Must Fall
14. Tudor Lodge - Willow Tree
15. Shirley Collins - The Cruel Mother
16. Robin Williamson - Songs In The Earth And Air

The second in Mark Coyle's 'Lammas Night Laments' series. Every volume begins with a piece of music from The Wicker Man, but it should be noted that these albums were compiled before the film's soundtrack was remastered. The versions presented here are the movie edits complete with sound effects, dialouge, etc.

Expect more wyrd / acid / pagan / whacked out folk. Favourites on this : Mellow Candle, Comus, Bread, Love And Dreams and, of course, the wonderful Donovan.


Sunday 16 June 2013


MU land 1976

01. Metempsychosis
02. Entering /Times
03. Kokoro
04. Parallel World (Amanezcan/Origin/Zen/Reality/New Lights/In the Year 2000)

Despite what Julian Cope says, the music of Fumio Miyashita's Far East Family Band always left me a little cold. The first album, "Nihonjin", had a nice hippie commune folk feel (then known as Far Out) but the next record "The Cave Down To Earth" was just too Moody Blues. Bland ballads on the wrong side of prog.

However, something interesting happened when German record label Vertigo requested that electronic pioneer and kosmiche hero Klaus Schultze oversee a German only L.P. using pre-released material. Schultze had heard "Nihonjin" and was interested in producing the band.

"Nipponjin" was an interesting remix/re-imagining of the first two records. Essentially guitars and vocals were turned down (or in some cases, off) and the synths and drums pushed up. Still not amazing but it foreshadowed what came next...

In November 1975 producer and band met up in the Virgin owned Manor Studios in England to begin work on "Parallel World". Abandoning the carefully constructed ballads of the past, Schultze orchestrated the band through drawn out electronic space music. There are 'songs' but this is essentially two half hour long pieces of music. Cosmic synth and percussion epics stretching far out into the ether with minimal but effective guitars and vocals. 

A wonderfully natural hybrid of German and Japanese space music.

Far out, epic and mind blowing.


01. Paul Giovanni & Magnet - The Wicker Man (Main Theme)
02. Anne Briggs - Standing On Your Shore
03. C.O.B. - Spirit Of Love
04. Water Into Wine Band - Waiting For Another Day
05. Forest - Bluebell Dance
06. Dulcimer - Caravan
07. The Trees - Garden Of Jane Delawney
08. Tir Na Nog - Time Is Like a Promise
09. Dr Strangely Strange - Frosty Morning
10. Midwinter - Waters Of Sweet Sorrow
11. Stone Angel - The Bells Of Dunwich
12. Third Ear Band - Fleance
13. Vashti Bunyan - Rainbow River
14. Tea And Symphony - Winter
15. The Sun Also Rises - Tales Of Jasmine & Suicide
16. Mark Fry - The Witch
17. Pearls Before Swine - Images Of April

This is the first in a series of CDR albums compiled by Mark Coyle through the now defunct website The Unbroken Circle. Something of an underground cult, finding information on these compilations (including original release dates) is difficult. They pop up on blogs from time to time but they found their original audience through collecting and trading.

If you are familiar with acid / psychedelic folk you will no doubt be familiar with many of the artists here. Or, if you're like my friend Marc, you will own all of them. However, even for those well versed in the wyrd, these are outstanding compilations. Each one should hopefully throw up a couple of unknown jams for you. It's here that I discovered one of my favourite artists, Mark Fry.

Dry your mushrooms, polish the maypole, sit back and psyche.


SIS Records 1972

01. Darkside
02. Maypole
03. Live For Today
04. R.C.8.
05. The Cat
06. Zero Time

Absolute top class heavy UK psychedelic rock. Don't let 'UK', 'rock' and '1972' put you off. Yes, there is a bit of Led Zeppelin going on here, but there is none of the sludginess and wanky twaddle that dominate so many other records given similar genre tags from this era.

Every track gets the song structure (words, chorus, melody) out of the way fast to get down to some of the best psych you will hear. And... this record contains probably the BEST fuzz guitar sound ever.

Self financed and released, limited to 60 copies on initial pressing.

Groovy as fuck.

Sunday 12 May 2013


Self Release 1967

01. This Is An Artistic Statement Part 1
02. This Is An Artistic Statement Part 2

This month is dedicated to hippie visionary and outsider music cult figure, Phil Pearlman.

While attending university in California, Pearlman put together a loose collective of friends and musicians for an art project. The band and album was to be called The Beat Of The Earth.

This music is two sides of real sixties free expression improvisation. Former member Karen Darby describes it as such :

"Unstructured, stream of consciousness, riffs and rhythms, celebration of each individual musician by allowing spontaneous expression based on group orchestrated effort, without orchestrated (written) music."

The record had a pressing of 500 and Pearlman distributed it by handing it out to hitch-hikers, telling them to pass it on. Right on!


Self Release 1994 (Recorded 1967)

1. Part 1
2. Part 2

Although The Beat Of The Earth only ever had two recording sessions, they produced outtakes alongside what was released on the debut.

In 1994 Phil Pearlman dug out the session reels, cleaned them up and released this second album.

More improvised freak outery.

For an excellent article on this period of Phil Pearlman's life, including the interview with Karen Darby, go here :



Self Release 1970

1. The Golden Hill Part I
2. The Golden Hill Part II
3. The Golden Hill Part III
4. The Golden Hill Part IV
5. Love Will Find A Way Part I
6. Love Will Find A Way Part II
7. Love Will Find A Way Part III

Three years have passed since the Beat Of The Earth album. The band played a handful of happenings but now Phil Pearlman  takes a new direction.

It's unclear what these recordings were to designed for. Rehearsal for a show? Demos for an album? There are new musicians here and they sound unfamiliar with one another and the material. Drums fall out of time, vocals are off key and the whole thing is really lo-fi.

But there is something going on here...

Gone is the free folk experimental explosions, in is acid rock and loose folk rhythms. At times this sounds like a time travelling Spacemen 3. Things get good on the fuzzier, more droning tracks.

This isn't excellent but there is enough to keep the listener intrigued and it adds to the mystique of it's creator.


Self Release 1976

01. Easy Ride
02. Journey Through The Valley Of O
03. Babylon
04. Last Flight To Eden
05. Prelude
06. Hello Sunshine
07. They Knew What To Say
08. The Persian Caravan
09. A Thousand Years

The final (?) album by Phil Pearlman and again, it's a new band and a new name. This time however, everything is just right.

Yes, this is his most commercial offering but it's rural psychedelia at it's finest and the whole thing is just really groovy. West coast vibes abound, weed smoking laying in the sun songs that just breeze by.

There is a touch of Grateful Dead and the whole canyon back to nature scene, but this is a unique and original album.

And then...nothing.

Phil Pearlman dropped in on former Beat Of The Earth member Karen Darby in 1994. Here's what she said:

"It seems he had married a wonderful woman who was totally supportive and involved in his choice of lifestyle. They had several children who were being raised on a farm/ranch east of San Diego, California. The Ranch had NO electricity, they also used a well for water. He was raising goats, which according to him he slaughtered personally and humanely whenever preparing them for market. He described to me what he thought was the most inhumane conditions in the local slaughter house techniques. He had devised a quicker, bilateral knife to the cartoids on the goat that was painless and 'humane'.

For some reason I had a hard time in visioning Phil killing anything."

Wednesday 10 April 2013


Takoma 1967

01. Salangadou
02. Allons Au Ball Colinda
03. Katari Takawaitha
04. Basket Full of Dragons
05. Soliloquy
06. Tibetian Bach
07. Dance Calinda
08. Basho's Blues
09. Black Mare Moan
10. New Lhasa, New Year's Chorale

Basho's fifth album and his third for the Takoma label. A more commercial listen than what came before. A few of the songs even have a traditional blues based structure with the majority still being rooted in folk. There are however, no raga flights of fancy, Basho reigns it in to deliver more of a song based album. Still essential, still bizarrely not re-issued.


Treehouse Orchestra Recordings TOR38 2013

01. Murrain
02. Pica Mast

Finally, I've decided to include some of my own music this month. Taking my cue from Dr. Shluss' Garage Of Psychedelic Obscurities, I'm posting music I have created (with assistance from friends and everyone at TOR).

I'm not comparing my own work to anything else available on this blog. But, obviously I like all the music I write about and that music influences the stuff I do. That is to say, if you like most of what appears here, you may like this too.

30 minutes of music over two 15 minute tracks. 'Murrain' begins with electric drone before diving into sitar led free folk. Loops of live drums are added building to a full on Eastern psych beat freak out.

'Pica Mast' is ambient guitar music with krautrock influences. Rhythm builds up under the  experimental guitar layers before disintegrating into total ambiance.

Extremely limited edition cassette and free download available from Bandcamp.

Or download here : http://www.mediafire.com/?n9mwnf59i821dbd


CBS/Sony 1975

01. Mano Dharma '74
02. Wave Code #e-1

Mammoth drone-a-thon from Japanese avant garde composer and Taj Mahal Travellers member, Takehisa Kosugi. Using violin, electronics and vocals all processed through echo machines and ring modulators and mixed with pre-recorded tape experiments.

The original L.P. sleeve bore the inscription :

"The deaf listen to sounds touching, watching...the blind watch sight listening, smelling. Sounds speeding on lights, lights speeding on sounds, music between riddles & solutions."

Friday 15 March 2013


Vertigo 1972

01. You Play For Us Today
02. Sahara City
03. Ala Tul
04. Pulse
05. Khan El Khalili
06. Malesch
07. Rucksturz

This month is dedicated to Agitation Free. Not mentioned in the same breath as other, more infuential Krautrock bands, Agitation Free deserve more attention.

Formed in Berlin in 1967 Agitation Free went through several line up changes before the recording of their debut in 1972. Inspired by a tour of Eygpt, the album has several tracks of eastern inspired guitar krautrock, found sounds and field recordings.


Vertigo 1973

01. First Communication
02. Dialogue and Random
03. Laila, Part I
04. Laila, Part II
05. In the Silence of the Morning Sunrise
06. A Quiet Walk (Listening/Not of the Same Kind)
07. Haunted Island

The second album saw a slight change in personnel and a jammier, more guitar sound. There are touches of prog here, think a Berlin Grateful Dead.

There really isn't much between this and the debut, although they have a very different sound and vibe.


Barclay 1976

01. Soundpool
02. Laila II
03. Looping IV

The final album saw it's release after the demise of the band in 1974. Side 1 (recorded in France, March 1973) begins with "Soundpool" which is essentially an extended introduction into a glorious, more stoned version of "Laila". Wonderful.

Side 2 (recorded in Berlin, February 1974) is a 22 minute ambient slow burning jam. Really spooky, excellent.

Although this was put together after the band broke up, this is probably my favorite.

Since this release there have been reunions, compilations and unearthed material but these three records represent the essential Agitation Free.

Saturday 16 February 2013


Musique Pour L'Image 1967

01. Claude Vasori - Départ Fusée
02. Robert Hermel - Industrie Spatiale
03. François Bayle - Titan
04. Claude Vasori - Espace Chromatique
05. François Bayle - Andromede
06. Robert Hermel - Apesanteur
07. Patrice Sciortino - Alchimie Rythmique
08. Patrice Sciortino - Ville Sanse Vie
09. Patrice Sciortino - Abimes Souterrains
10. Patrice Sciortino - Danger Sous Roche
11. Patrice Sciortino - Approache Dramatique
12. Patrice Sciortino - Hostilite
13. Patrice Sciortino - Tumulte

This French album from 1967 is a showcase of sorts for library music artists.

Side 2 is essentially a mini album from Patrice Sciortino. These early recordings are less intense than the percussion driven pieces he would later develop. Piano, bells and harps having a more melodic touch than later albums.

I prefer side 1, several related tracks of eeire, ominous ambient space music. The tracks on this side would perfectly suit some existensial French space movie that was never made. Spooky and great.


Important Records 2011

01. Holly
02. Boo, Forever

Coming after "The Glass Bead Game" and "All is Falling", this record finds the London guitarist continuing in a semi classical vein alongside the repeated guitar patterns and full, beautiful acoustic guitar sound.

Every James Blackshaw release of recent years has been essential and this extended play is no different.

Released on 12" vinyl only, it features Blackshaw on guitar (12 string and his first recorded use of nylon string) and piano with other instrumental contributions from Charlotte Glasson.


Subliminal Sounds 2001

      Disc 1 :

01. Intro
02. Tio Minuter (Ten Minutes)
03. From Tunis To India In Full Moon (On Testosterone)
04. India (Slight Return)
05. A Glimpse Inside the Glyptotec-66
06. One Quiet Afternoon (In the King's Garden)

      Disc 2 :

01. Sov Gott Rose-Marie Parts 1-3 - It's Only Love/Till Indien/Sov Gott Rose-Marie
02. Skrubba
03. Milano
04. On How to Live
05. Blåslåten

This two disc album collects together recordings made by Swedish commune psych band Pårson Sound. Recorded between 1968-69 the band made no professional recordings but jammed constantly and often recorded the results. 

Long, repetitive, monolithic riffs featuring guitars, strings, horns, two drummers...the sound is huge and the vibe heavy. No bullshit communist Swedish proto prog artists make serious music that is not for the faint hearted.

Needless to say, within these discs is some of the greatest music ever made.

From the roots of Pårson Sound grew International Harvester, Harvester and Tråd, Grås Och Stenar.


Wednesday 16 January 2013


Rockadelic Records 1992 (Recorded 1970)

01. South Texas
02. Twisted Flower
03. Here In the Year
04. For Ever
05. See What You Cause
06. Fall
07. Ra-Ma
08. Live Again (Live 1972)
09. Mind Aura (Live 1972)

Not as influential as 13th Floor Elevators and not as hip as The Red Crayola, Cold Sun are the missing psychedelic Texas link.

Originally recorded in Sonobeat Studios in 1970 it was not released until 1992 by Rockadelic Records. (It has since had two more reissues - World In Sound and Atlea Records.)

Cold Sun do not sound like the bands mentioned above, or any of the other psych bands playing Texas in the late sixties and early seventies. The band has drums, bass and electric lead guitar but the unique sound comes from an Autoharp used as the main rhythm and the total freak poetry of the lyrics. Never falling back onto the default setting of garage rock, Cold Sun trip out on long, wordy epics. The Autoharp adding a strange folk-y vibe to the Doors meets Velvets mash up.

It takes a while for this music to sink in. It does have an instant appeal, but it's true greatness (and heaviness) takes time and repeated listens. This music is sad, strange and totally psychedelic.

All of the versions of this album include two bonus tracks not cut at the original album sessions. Both "Live Again" and "Mind Aura" were recorded live in 1972 and are excellent additions the album. Both are long, lyrical meditations with the bootleg recording quality adding extra spook.



Self Released CDr 2005

01. Moon Wave
02. Second Wind/Zombie Skin
03. Second Skin/Zombie Wind
04. Top of the Sea
05. Hold a Desert, Feel it's Hand
06. Close Cloak
07. Black Hole
08. Blackout

The dark, ethereal ambient of Liz Harris begins here. Self released as a CDr in 2005, this eponymous debut is now only available to buy from second hand sellers.

The original sleeve (and disc) did not contain track titles. The tracks were given names by Volcanic Tongue during its original listing and those titles have stuck.

The sound of Grouper would develop over later releases but everything is here, already in place, just rougher around the edges. The music on this disc sounds like it was not meant to be heard, recorded and then forgotten, found years later (probably in the woods).

The world seems to be catching on to Grouper now, but the records still sound like a secret.


Gemelli 1975

01. Per Cembalo
02. Kleines Dachauer Requiem
03. Lamento
04. Computers
05. Quintetto Seriale
06. Allunage

Due to the popularity of the previous Egisto Macchi post, here is another slice of dark, Italian avant garde.

Again released on the Gemelli label, "Sei Composizioni" is more even further left field than "Voix". There is no sweetner here, "Per Cembalo" opens the album with what sounds like a harpsichord being abused. This is merely a palette cleanser for the stunning "Kleines Dachauer Requiem". Ten minutes of choral voices, alternating between chattering, singing, whispering before giving way to a cacophony of metallic percussion. Terrifying.

"Lamento" has the ominous soundtrack quality reminiscent of earlier works and "Computers" is another percussion experiment.

The beef of side two is "Quintetto Seriale". More traditionally classical than anything else here, dark corners are peered around and shadows are stepped through trying to get to the center of...what? The mystery at the heart of this music is unknowable.

"Allunage" is a peculiar ending. A choir and fuzz bass in space, kind of.

There you go, enjoy.