= June 2014 =  
Craig Padilla
Four Beat Rhythm comp
Tor Pedars
Tir Na Nog
Son of Kraut comp
Black Bombain
You're Smiling now...
Fankhauser-Cassidy Band
The Movements
Violet Swells


(Dbl LP from http://www.fruitsdemerrecords.com/)

 Craig Padilla has been making music for more than twenty years, using a range of analogue and digital synths all recorded with analogue equipment. The result of this experience and gear is this, soon to be, electronic classic that has a warm and natural feel, the music influenced by the music of the seventies and eighties with influences seeming to include Tangerine Dream, Tim Blake, Vangelis and Gong, as well as more modern bands like System 7 and The Orb, to name but a few. However this is no retro copyist, this album remains fresh and vital, bringing the genre forward whilst retaining the classic components we all love.

    After the brief electronic flutter that is “In Search of Stranger Fish”, this magnificent electronic album gets seriously into its stride with “Velvet Moon” a sweeping haze of chords and sequences that takes you back to the classic sound of seventies Tangerine Dream, the sweet, floatation tank mood of the piece enhanced by a gorgeous guitar that arcs majestically overhead, the whole thing a joyous celebration of all things kosmiche and the perfect introduction to this epic journey.

    As the album continues the pieces get longer, with the 14 minute “Cosmic Dawn”  takings its time to emerge from a cloud of electronic noise to become a stately sequence driven tune that reminds me of the early work of Tim Blake, both with Gong and solo, whilst “Challenge Deep” has a gracefulness in its hypnotic pulses and soaring synth lines that is hard to ignore. To end the first album “Behind the Lightning” has some harsher metallic textures to begin but these soon soften into a piece of drifting ambience that twinkles inside your brain as the tempo is picked up by the sequences and subtle rhythms. On its own this album would stand as a classic of electronic music but this is only half the story as the second album contains only two tracks each a side long master class in ambient electronic music that is wholly satisfying and good for the soul.

      Covering side three, the title track is the aural equivalent of watching a giant aquarium, colours flashing past, the soft pulse of the filter and an overwhelming feeling of relaxation and peace. Here, chords last forever, the sequences drift in and out like the swaying of oceanic plants in the tide, whilst sudden sparkles and flashes of synth herald the arrival of exotic fish, the sheen of sunlight on water.

   On side four the mood continues as “Awaken to a Dream” continues the daydream feel, indeed on the promo CD it is hard to tell where one track ends and the other begins, although the final side is even mellower, a glorious return to reality that leaves you refreshed and ready for more.

   Suffice it to say I fucking love this album, each time I have played it it has become more beautiful and essential, long may this continue. (Simon Lewis)



(CD from www.cdbaby.com)

The only musician to bring psychoanalyst and maverick theorist Wilhelm Reich out of ill-deserved obscurity and into top twenty world (of all places) was Kate Bush with the "Cloudbusting" single in 1985; the video of which (remember?) starred Donald Sutherland as Reich with Kate in an ill-fitting blond wig as his son Peter. I don't think the number in question yielded a great degree of info within its grooves about W.R.. after all, it's hardly the right medium for a potted biography is it? But I guess, it did its bit to spur on anyone wanting to know more about Reich's background. Just to recap, W.R. theorized that Earth was surrounded by 'Orgone Energy' which could be collected in a specially designed cabinet or 'Orgone Box'. His research/development in the health-giving properties of this, and, no doubt, his championing of contraception and abortion eventually led Reich to be subjected to a crushingly heavy-handed witch hunt by the U.S. authorities. This resulted in his prosecution for fraud in 1955, having a vast amount of his publications being put to the torch and then dieing in jail two years later.

Now this grim story shouldn't remain a piece of hidden history and thankfully his name has resurfaced twenty-nine years later P.B. (Post Bush), where we find musical flesh being put onto the written words of Reich in the shape of the "Four-Beat Rhythm" compilation. All the contributors offer exclusive material to this disc and it's a pretty wide-ranging mix of 'establisheds', 'lesser-knowns' and a very interesting comback from an artist forever linked with the sixties U.S. counterculture. As to the establisheds, after listening to the Twisted Village albums of yesteryear, I do recall being reduced to blithering jelly by the lysergic drone psych of Brother J. T. Well...miles along the timecoast, John Terlesky (for it is he), still hits the third eye head on. Albeit "Lonesome" is a seismic shift from those early classics, instead being a warped slice of c'n'w/americana, in a Hoyt Axton/Guy Clark vein, in which the form is eventually subverted when particles of god-like reverb make their presence felt. Still outsider after all these years. Ex of Pussy Galore and Royal Trux, Neil Hegarty's Howling Hex plunge us into a maelstrom of disjointed moderne psyche abstraction with "I Have Planted", where a deeply buried chant of "It Will Prevail" eventually worms its way to the surface through sheer single mindedness. As to the lesser-knowns... there's the Enoesque dreamy pop of Kranky recording artist Benoit Pioulard (aka Thomas Meluch), the declamatory fringe hip hop of Tim Fite and the defiantly lo-fi stylings of Grace Sings Sludge, where the clank'n'wheeze of an antique six-string is topped off with wafts of ethereal femme warbling."Our Love Life" is a doctored version of the Lord's prayer and is by Salamander Wool aka Baltimore resident Carson Garhart. It's an unearthly mantra, redolent of the utterings of some cloistered religious order that morphs, for reasons best known to itself, into near lounge territory once occupied by the Sandpipers and Free Design. The clunky electronic waveforms of Tocotronic's "Lied der Jugend" has hints of Der Plan, while the dual vocal attack of Line of Flight's "Prayer" suggests Jesus Acedo of the Black Sun Ensemble thumbing through the late career songbook of the Byrds. And rather excellent it is too. And as to the surprise element (alluded to earlier on...) we find the long lost (?) Essra Mohawk (aka Sandy Hurvitz) . A Shadow Morton discovery,a blink-and-you'll-miss-it member of The Mothers of Invention and Rhinoceros, who eventually recorded with Verve and Asylum. Her "Thoughts of Import" carries itself as some kind of obscure nineteenth century hymn. An all too brief track, I'm afraid, replete with a beautiful arrangement with John Heinrich's sax and oboe lines an added enticement. Witness a singer who is still in fine voice. I hope this suggests further activity on her part? After all, if Bonnie Dobson and Linda Perhacs can get the accolades second time around...so should Essra...

Yesteryear's verse colliding with a scored background appears to be a rarely occurring concept. Aside from the Betjeman elpees (do these count?), I can only think of one from the past in the shape of "The Four Points..."c.d. by Robin Williamson (ex I.S.B.) which reconfigured the poems of the great William Blake to atmospheric folk-derived backing. But...oddly enough, 2014 has witnessed the release of "Four-Beat" and Billy Bottle & The Multiples' "Unrecorded Beams" c.d. on which Thoreau's poems are set to a Canterburyesque backdrop. Hmmm...we could be on to something here!

(Steve Pescott)


We have been asked to mention the following:

1. Reich discovered that orgone energy is universally present (in the atmosphere, in the cosmos and in living organisms). It does not only surround the earth.

2. The specially designed cabinet is called an “orgone accumulator”-the term used by Reich.

3. Reich was not prosecuted for fraud. On March 19, 1954, a Decree of Injunction was issued which ordered the destruction of orgone accumulators and all materials containing instructions for their use and the banning of Reich’s books containing statements about orgone energy. On May 7, 1956, Reich was found guilty of criminal contempt of court in a jury trial for violating the injunction and sentenced to two years in federal prison. On March 12, 1957, Reich was incarcerated. He died in the Federal Penitentiary in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania on November 3, 1957.




ANTHROPROPHH – EBBE (12” vinyl – very limited edition http://cardinalfuzz.bigcartel.com/)

I yield to very few in my enthusiasm for Bristolian super slackers the Heads so it was a delight to have received this latest nugget from the band helmed by ex-Head lead guitarist Paul “Prof Rock” Allen. Formerly a solo project, Anthroprophh is now a bona fide combo thanks to the permanent addition of a couple of Big Naturals and they deliver up two side-long jams that are less of a 12” “single” and more an album in their own right and which are designed as a taster (I’m aware I’m using a lot of food analogies this month, reader) for a follow up album to last year’s self titled debut to be released by the very wonderful Rocket Recordings. Not as heavy as, say, Black Bombain, the tribal rhythms and Allen’s kid-loose-in-a-sweet-shop approach to guitar effects and plank pyrotechnics make for a gratifying cosmic exploration in the Germanic tradition. “Precession” (which appeared in truncated and tauter form on the album) is hypnotic of groove but which really soars from about the mid way point when Prof starts to let rip. “EBBE”’s assault on the senses is even more immediate and conveys a sense of urgency, almost desperation, as repetitive Liebezeit-style drumming vies with a repetitive droning organ, while Allen’s guitar bubbles and fizzes, gradually coming to prominence as the track unfolds. More please (and soon, if you would be so kind).

(Ian Fraser)



(LPs from http://www.fruitsdemerrecords.com/)

Some albums have unusual beginnings, others strange or disconnected recordings, and some have weird or even tragic conclusions. "Brev Från Ederstorp" by Tor-Peders is one of the tragic ones. The band formed in 2007 by guitarist Jonas, the intention to make fuzzy, organ and surf-guitar led instrumental music. At first a four piece, the band recorded various cuts, gigged, went on sabbatical, then reformed, recording the tracks for "Brev Från Ederstorp" in 2011. More member changes occurred, more gigs happened, but then the existence of the band was halted by the death of Jonas in a car accident. That seemed to be the end. But Jonas had been in touch with psych-tastic Fruits de Mer head honcho Keith just weeks before his demise, and so it came to pass that at length the album was released...

The final album recordings are from the basement rehearsal tapes of 2011. Opening with 'Aye Makami,' the sound is organ led and guitar suffused, with lots of energy and a distinct surf feel to Jonas' guitar. There follows a great version of George Martin's classic 'Theme One' (covered so well by Van De Graaf Generator of course), with a fabulous jam/solo section in the middle. Here Jonas shines, his sound fuzzy, with a particularly fluid touch to his soloing. 'Smafaglars Varn' is an eight minute cut with a main theme and chord sequence, over which the organ smooches as the wah-fuzz guitar swoops and glides, again with a notably fluency, reminiscent in places of Steve Hillage. A breakdown section in the middle brings in a more church organ sound that hints of The Doors. Great track. 'Islossning i C-moll' opens like a lost Deep Purple cut from 1970, then heads into lighter fields, though with a very distorted guitar that plays the main theme before soaring off into a terrific guitar solo. He really was good! The cut also features a scorching Hammond solo. 'Incident Vid Domsted' is eleven minutes of retro heaven, opening with Schulze-esque synth weebles (think "Moondawn") before the rest of the band slowly enter. A heavily delayed guitar sends multiple ostinatos over the tinkling Rhodes and subtle bass as the track builds, and by the time we're half way through it has mutated into a synth-led jam improvisation, and my fave cut on the album. The album closes with 'Sinnet Rinner,' which, as elsewhere, has a main melody around which riffs and solos are sent spinning.

On a separate 7" we find 'Signed tp' and 'L'esprit d'escaliere,' the former slow and moody, the latter also slow, with a 'House Of The Rising Sun' chord sequence (although not actually the same one) in waltztime. The end of this track is higher in intensity, however, and it's easy to imagine the band playing it before an audience. The mood on these latter tracks however is more restrained than elsewhere, showing a hint of a formal side.

For all fans of superbly played Scandinavian psych rock this album will be a must. Great playing and a vibrant band atmosphere make this one of the more notable of Fruits de Mer's releases.

Tir Na Nog are an Irish duo of considerable repute, consisting of Sonny Condell and Leo O'Kelly, whose acid-fused folk has over 44 years made them cult legends. Supported by John Peel and by their record label Chrysalis they have over their career played alongside such legends as Jethro Tull, The Who and Roxy Music, as well as folk bands like Fairport Convention and Steeleye Span.

Four new tracks have been recorded for their EP "I Have Known Love," first up a cover of the Silver Apples song that titles the EP, which matches fingerpicked guitar with mallet instruments and a mournful vocal; a violin and harmony vocal ornaments the song later on. Three self-penned songs follow - 'You In Yellow' is more trad sounding, with a lovely tune, 'The Angelus' follows an Irish tradition and is more of a singer-songwriter affair (with great harmony vocals), while 'I Pick Up Birds' is as wry as that title suggests; if you can't have the girl you want, go for her cousin. Witty, with an appropriately droll vocal.

A great sounding EP with some terrific songs. The musical experience of the duo shines through.

Fans of The Magic Mushroom Band and Astralasia (an association of which I am an enthusiastic member) will be thrilled to learn that a new Astralasia album "Wind On Water" is out now. The former band lifted off about thirty years ago in south-east England, formed by and large by guitar hero and all-round good guy Garry Moonboot Masters, whose witty and funny autobiography "Moonboots And Mushrooms" I reviewed for Terrascope a year or so ago. After ten years of tapes and LP's a side project, Astralasia, appeared, inspired by the early '90s rise of ambient, psychedelic dance and trance music, whereupon one of the all-time greats of that genre was released - "The Politics Of Ecstasy." Astralasia went on to release a long line of albums, usually, though not always, in the psychedelic/trance field, playing live at festivals and gigs on innumerable occasions. Communications between the Astralasia manager and Fruits de Mer then led this year to the new album, piloted by original member Marc Swordfish.

The album opens with a Terry Riley-like oscillating sequence on 'Rangoon,' which mutates this way and that as various synths glide over the top; a beautiful opener reminiscent of some of the earlier Zorch material. The title track is a fifteen minute hypnotic charmer opening with Indian percussion and gently floating synths, beneath which a hug dub bass rocks. Later on analogue, Gong-style synths begin to appear, and a lovely slide guitar, hinting at Bones from the original incarnation of the band. After a short while the track turns into a Kraut-style stomper, covered with fuzzy guitar and a multitude of synths. One thinks immediately of Neu! - it's a mesmeric cut. Side two opens with 'Cresta Run,' which is one of two tracks recorded way back in 2006, and this reminds me of some of the tracks from the band's second album "Whatever Happened To Utopia?" especially via the heavy sequencer. Over this sonic tapestry various synths are laid to great effect, while another dubby bass whooms underneath and a slide guitar glistens atop. The fourth and final track is another fifteen minute affair, 'The Innosence,' which opens with trippy sound effects before a slow rhythm hoves into view, and a floating flute, placing the track somewhere between early '70s Gong and Loop Guru. Part way through however the track lurches into a storming sequence-and-guitar affair, before returning to the slower stuff, then heading off into Kraut territory, all the time supported by twinkling synths, slide guitar, and more flute. Fabulous stuff!

A bonus 7" collects two tracks that didn't fit on the LP, 'The Desert,' also from 2006, and 'Continuim.' 'The Desert' is a sample led oddity - pretty trippy, and the second cut recorded in 2006 - while 'Continuim' comes across more like The Magic Mushroom Band than anything else, as fuzzy slide guitar bounces over bass and drums.

"Wind On Water" will be seen as a more than worthy addition to the catalogue of a much loved festival band. Fans should approach and check it out without delay. (Steve Palmer)



OSCILLATION – CABLE STREET SESSIONS (LP from Cardinal Fuzz http://cardinalfuzz.bigcartel.com/)

Demian Castellanos’ London outfit hit the bullseye with their late 2013 collection of dark psych drone “From Tomorrow” (see Reviews December 2013). These sessions, recorded in January of this year, offer up equally trippy and pulsating takes on “All You Want To Be”, “Corridor pts 1 and 2” and “Descent” from the album but which provide an even better flavour of what this lot are like as a live act (pretty stunning if you must know). Also featured is a sizzlingly atmospheric cover of the Deviants’ “Somewhere To Go” of which one sincerely hopes the late Mick Farren would have approved (not to mention surviving members). If ever a band was hot at the moment, this is it.

(Ian Fraser)



(CD  http://www.sireena.de/ )

The music on this compilation CD ranges from Berlin school electronic to modern psych through space rock and stoner to jazz-metal. It comes in a very desirable gatefold cover adorned with pink and orange Paisley. Inside we find a fold out poster giving a rather brief overview of the bands and a CD made to look like a vinyl LP.

On to the music, first up we have Ear Tranceport  ‘Lock In (Namby Pamby)’ a superbly powerful track with some excellent guitar work and tight percussion;  In ‘Stranded’ Space Debris produce a jazzy psychedelic space rock track consisting of a beautifully balanced mixture, with at times jazz oriented complexity and at others simple stoner style guitar work; next up, reminiscent of later period Tangerine dream we have Sankt Otten giving a more electronic version of their Nach Dir die Sinnesflut from their Messias Maschine album; Sula Bassana is well known both for his solo work and for his work with his band Electric Moon, here they take the familiar Tangerine dream track ‘Madrigal Meridian’ as their basis and add their trademark psychedelic space jam of soaring guitar and dynamic drums, whilst throwing in some ethereal vocals to completely reinvent the song; Level Pi is a one man project by Uwe Cremer who brings a slightly moodier edge to the proceedings with ‘Black rabbit,’ a wonderful mix of electronic and spacey guitar giving a heavy psych-prog feel; the contribution from The Perc Meets The Hidden Gentleman ‘This Moon of Both Sides’ moves things into a heavier direction with potent vocals set within a driving rhythm backed by very competent percussion; Tarwater’s ‘I Can`t Walk My Floor’ has a rather nicely paced atmospheric feel to it, bringing to mind some of the best music from the 80s; this is followed by the excellent and very psychedelic RPWL ‘World through my eyes,’ a deeply enjoyable trippy track complete with sitar and haunting vocals, the music at times bordering on psybient, conjuring up a combination of early Porcupine tree mixed with Shpongle;  following on from this we have the highly renowned Electric Orange upping the pace a bit with ‘Psysomasyl’ here traditional 70s style sounds of Hammond organ and mellotron are very evident and provide an edgier, less clinical sound; things move down tempo on the next track with Fantasyy Factoryy dishing up a bluesy sound with their track ‘On Stranger Tides’ and showing some well executed guitar playing in the process; Hammond organ is again evident along with saxophone in the fast paced, jazzy, delicious weirdness of Le Mur ‘O.m.e.n. Riddles in the Dark’; the CD culminates in a veritable explosion of sound with Panzerballett and their ‘Vulgar Display of Sauerkraut’, for those not familiar with Panzerballet they are a jazz-metal band, the members of which are highly talented musicians employing  a high technical level of skill to produce a quite unique sound.

All in all this is a superb addition to any music collection that, whilst showing off the talents of a number of modern bands, also serves to prove that Krautrock is most certainly alive and well.  (Steve Judd)



BLACK BOMBAIN – FAR OUT (LP from Cardinal Fuzz http://cardinalfuzz.bigcartel.com/)

We covered their epic Titan LP in 2012 so it was with no little anticipation that this molten mercury take on World music received an airing hereabouts. “Africa II” is a side long slice of wild abandon, how Fela Kuti might have sounded had he grown up in Portugal and absorbed some ...erm...questionable European influences. Saxophone punctuates the fret melting virtuosity to provide some variation and texture that adds to an already infectious, gyrating groove that the much vaunted Goat might do well to clock. “Arabia”, whilst arguably not as Arabic as “Africa II” is African (please try and keep up there at the back) is drenched in wah wah, reverb and washes of noise, sounds as inspired as it is incendiary and takes me back to my idiot dancing days – now if only I could find the muscle rub and the Sanatogen that nurse has hidden somewhere here at Bide a Wee Home for retired moshers...Well, I’ll need to find them before the Liverpool Festival of Psychedelia where Black Bombain are due to dock in late September. Worth catching, I reckon.

(Ian Fraser)



(2 x LPs from Cardinal Fuzz http://cardinalfuzz.bigcartel.com)

Apparently named after a TV programme about female Japanese wrestlers, ...Demons serve up a mezze containing a lot of what we like here at Terrascope. The sweat and sump oil of the uber-grunge and biker rock numbers (“2009”, “The Recidivist”, “Great Shakes Baby”), serve as the solid foundation for some upbeat and edgy indie (“Nervous Alive” and “Jammin’ On The 13th Floor” - think Joy Division and Cure doing a Pinkwind) and a murderous grafting of Sabbath with Dead Meadow’s vocal blue print on “Alpha and Omega” all of which is driven by some extremely energetic and up in the mix drumming. However all of this is mere bagatelle compared to the behemoth “Prismatic Effect” and “The Plague”, two lengthy strung out slabs of zonked wiggery that between them weigh in at around 35 minutes. During the latter stages of “Prismatic Effect” I heard myself mutter “fuck me” which must be a good thing – although I did wonder whether all that education was worth the effort.

In all a most commendable and highly agreeable outing although (and this is me being picky here) given both the style and substance one might have expected more growly or sinister vocals (I’d prescribe cigs and whisky for the young feller but that would be wholly irresponsible of me).

(Ian Fraser)



(CD from www.mychoonz.co.uk )

For this review we go back to 1987 when Damidge were originally formed by Al Damidge with sax player Dan Carpenter. 

Fast forward to 1995; following a number of changes in membership, the band now consisted of Al Damidge on vocals, Roly (Roland) Wynne on bass, Seaweed on keyboards, Alex Pym on guitar and Conrad Prince providing percussion. At this point they recorded the album Fax of Life at Foel Studios. The resulting album was never properly mixed or mastered. During the winter 2012/13 remixing and remastering was completed and the album released April 2014.

The album comes complete with a full colour booklet giving all the song lyrics alongside some lovely paintings of the band by Jason Atomic.

The music is Punk oriented rock but with differences; unlike some of the post punk bandwagon bands of the period there is a very high quality of musicianship involved here. The lyrics whilst containing the anger of frustration at a society that has forgotten how to care, are thoughtful, meaningful and compassionate.

The album starts with ‘Mutation Ball’ which is full on guitar driven rock; ‘So easy’ has tough talking lyrics looking at the level of support for mental health needs; ‘Nightmare whiteflare’ has an excellent chorus that kept going through my head for days; ‘Mad dog’ has some sublime guitar work with Alex getting well into it; ‘Sidewalk commandos’ is a rather tongue in cheek look at the bike-less biker brigade; ‘Winner’ starts out with some excellent drum work and again shows Alex’s guitar work off to the full; ‘Holocaust heartbreak’ takes the pace down a notch giving Seaweed’s excellent keyboard work a real chance to shine; ‘Factory life’ reflects on less than ideal employment opportunities; ‘Modern art’ fast paced and another earworm that is hard to forget; ‘Time for change’ points to the need for it to happen; ‘Watching TV’ is about, well watching TV; ‘Christ on a bike’ ends the disk with style.

The mixing and mastering is very good producing a sound that has a slightly ‘rough around the edges’ feel, which works well with the style of music, successfully avoiding the over clinical results of some remastering efforts.

This album takes us back to the wild days and nights of the Club Dog scene, and features, both in its history and membership, many characters from that era. The music is alive, full of energy and drive; the sentiments within the powerful lyrics are as relevant today as they were then.

The band has stood the test of time, in spite of setbacks including the tragic loss of Roly in 1999. Damidge are now touring again with Al and Alex joined by Mitch Lapute on bass, Cosmo on drums (Triptych) and Gabs Tosti on synths (Thunderdogs/Dream Machine). (Steve Judd)



(CD from http://bit.ly/1milRus )

 The name of this band is likely to be cause for interest for many listeners given that it refers to Merrell Fankhauser the highly renowned guitarist, and the late Ed Cassidy of Spirit on drums. This alone tells us at that we are potentially on to something good here. We also have Merrel’s son Tim on vocals and guitar, Leroy Richards on bass, Bruce Clarke Harmonica and sax, Jim Enos on piano; alongside these legends we have a long list of greats guesting on various tracks including, among others, John McEuen (Nitty Gritty Dirt Band), and Pete Sears (Jefferson Starship) [interviewed in Ptolemaic Terrascope issue 19 in 1995].

Disc One starts with ‘Further on up the Road’ a nice rocky blues track; ‘32/20 Blues’ and ‘Bright Lights Big City’ are traditional blues tracks enhanced by some superb harmonica and piano playing; ‘Excited’ ups the tempo and pace a bit, ‘Walking the Dog’ continues the rock and roll feel without losing that blues edge; some delicious slide guitar gives ‘Louisana Blues’ a wonderful mellow feel, a real highlight of the album to my ears; ‘High Heel Sneakers’ is a light hearted piece of rock and roll; ‘Tale of Misty Mountain’ takes the tempo down and moves towards a more melancholy style with some stunning sax adding to the atmosphere; ‘Possession over Judgment Day’ and ‘On The Blue Road’ are very strong tracks with excellent musicianship from all the band; ‘Nicky’s Song’ a gentle melodic tribute to Nicky Hopkins; ‘Psychedelic Dreams’ is a light-hearted blues song about the dangers of smoking that herb.

Disc Two starts with ‘Hot Night in Louisville’ and ‘Milk Cow Blues’ are lively up beat chunk of rocking blues; ‘Who Shout The Lightnin’ is pure rockin’ jazz blues; ‘Goin Back to Delta’ is very much traditional blues instrumental with fiddle giving it a country feel; ‘Stolen Guitar Blues’ featuring John McEuen playing some tasty mandolin, was written about the loss of Randy California’s Martin guitar; ‘Brian Berry Blues’ another full on hunk of delightful jazz blues instrumental; ‘Cosmic Lady’ is a lively rock and roll blues track; ‘Voodoo in the Jungle’ slows the tempo with a laid back mellow sound; ‘Cassidy’s Big Beat’ I have to admit I am a bit of a sucker for a good drum solo and this one goes way beyond good; ‘Long Rifle’ is more rock and roll than blues; ‘Papa Told Me’ ends the music with a good old acoustic country blues track; then to finish we have a short Ed Cassidy Interview.

All taken together this is a superb blues focused mix with elements of rock and roll, jazz and country. An album showing off the talents of some excellent musicians and is a worthy addition to any music collection. (Steve Judd)



(CD/LP from http://www.crusherrecords.com/)
also soon to be available as a double vinyl album from

Released at different times, these two albums are undoubtedly meant to be heard as a pair. Together they roam through the best guitar music of the last few decades, blending their influences into something new, exciting, vibrant and just plain excellent.

   Hailing from Sweden, The Movements should not be surprised if the word sprawling is found in many a review, the breadth of their influences and skills, as players and songwriters, means it is quite difficult not to use the word, especially when you sit through both albums one after another.

    Opening with a little country-rock flourish, “The Death of  John Hall” soon morphs into a mix of  The Byrds, and Simon and Garfunkel with added brass and the smell of Mariachi. Nice and energetic as well, the tune is a fine opening salvo that runs sweetly into the psychedelic swirl of “Boogin”, a loose guitar riff allowing the band to stretch out for a while, spreading West-Coast happiness and encouraging the dancers in your head. Containing some excellent guitar interplay as well, the middle section sounds like Tom Verlaine jamming with John Cippolina, extreme guitar loveliness indeed.

    Displaying their pop side, “Two Tongues” has melodic sensibilities, a great riff and is easy to sing along to, sounding like a classic sixties tune, the same vibe to be found on “The Great Deceiver”, although this time there is a darker edge, the spirit of Love and The Raconteurs to be find within the song, the whole thing building in tension as it motors along.

   Delightfully lysergic in its grooves, but not sounding the least bit retro, “All the Lost” has a bright modern feel, droning organ and an excellent vocal delivery to boot. On “David's Song” the sixties vibe returns, the Seeds or SAC coming to mind as you listen to the music, each musician completely in the groove allowing the song to glisten and sparkle in your ears.

    As the album progresses, all these influences merge into a veritable feast of psychedelic and melodic tunes, the band forging their own identity as shown on the title track, which just sounds like The Movements, a sparkling tune with slightly odd lyrics and plenty of chiming guitar. To round off the album the last couple of tracks (one of which I can't read the title of) allow the band to explore spacier territory, flying off in a haze of guitar, a mix of Shoegazing repetition and psychedelic exploration that works brilliantly paving the way for the gentle Folk-Psych of “It Takes A Spark”, a gorgeous tune that will get you singing along, the chorus stuck in your head for ages afterwards.

     Moving swiftly on, part two begins with the sounds of traffic and echoed voices/sounds creating a weird mood that suits the riff that heralds “Six Feet Under” a slow-burning and moody tune driven by excellent drumming and an increasing sense of tension. With a nod to “Paint It Black”, the Eastern tinged psych of “Stolen Lore” is an early highlight, whilst “Ice Cold” has the same piano sound/ambience as the one on “Moonbeams and Bluejeans”, the song introducing a new side to the band and adding to that sprawl.

    Displaying some Garage attitude, “Everybody Needs Something” has plenty of distortion amongst its grooves, the mood changed by the gentle rolling country feel of “Redemption”, the band again surprising you with their willingness to swap genres as well as their skill in actually achieving it.

   After the R'n'B stomp of the energetic “Yesterday, Now and Forever”, things get a bit weirder on the slowed down ambience of the title track, an almost chanted vocal line, repetitive percussion and drones creating a deeply psychedelic feel that is topped off with guitar touches the do not overcrowd the piece.

   To finish the collection, “What Would Happen If I Tried” is one of those “bring it all home” moments, acoustic guitar and organ working together on a warm and sweetly chiming riff with an electric guitar adding some soft dissonance to the proceedings, the song slowly disintegrating into nothing, leaving you with a big grin and a desire to hear the whole album again. (Simon Lewis)



(LP from http://bit.ly/1lzyZR4 )

To placate the new fans who marvelled at his essential “Glamour Forest” EP earlier this year, Swiss psychedelic wunderkind Balduin has assembled a career-spanning collection of musical goodies from his self-released albums and EPs into this new entry in “The Active Listener Introduces” series. Going right for the jugular straightaway, the sitar-drenched opener ‘Everything’ sets us down in a delicate land of organic, Donovanesque folk with simple melodies trading bonghits with melodic keyboard flourishes on this singalong little ditty that augurs well for good times ahead. There’s a gentle, Nick Drake-style guitar line tripping through ‘Four Elements’ and ‘My Love Soon’ drips with baroque Beatlesque trappings (and another nice sitar flourish) befitting a hidden track on Sgt. Pepper.

There’s another gorgeous little baroque keyboard melody weaving throughout the instrumental ‘In A Better Land’, and the floating, groovy ‘Catching The Moon’ certainly feels lifted straight out of a Swingin’ 60’s London-based film soundtrack. I also liked the trippy, wah-wah effects that envelop ‘When People Get Ready’, the simple, psychedelic power pop of the short-and-sweet ‘A Simple Chime’, and the loverly piece of DeWolfe-styled library music that pours out of your speakers under the name ‘Arctic Suite’. Fans of like-minded meanderings from the pens of Octopus Syng, Donovan, Dodson and Fogg, Tyrannosaurus Rex, Dungen, and Jacco Gardner will do well to investigate further. (Jeff Penczak)




(EP from http://bit.ly/UMrN9e)

This four-track EP from Australian poppers, Violet Swells is full of swarming melodies that wrap the listener in a technicoloured coat of 60s psychedelia. From the distinctly Barrettesque opener ‘Into The Ether’ to the slashing fuzz-drenched ‘Jupiter’s Garden’, the band effectively transport the listener back to those halcyon days of sunshine-filled, carefree afternoons frolicking in the park, where grownups were isolated in soundproof boxes so as not to disturb your hallucinogenic revelries.

Brian Wilson also seems to have (virtually) peeked in on the recordings, leaving a little of his floating, Pet Sounds-era orchestrations floating in the air to be lassoed into the wide-eyed childlike wonder of the merry-go-round in a bottle instrumental ‘Miracles of A Clockwork Kingdom’. Fans of the late, lamented Witch Hazel Sound take note – orch pop is alive and well. And if the opening to the title track doesn’t have you checking your turntable to find out who snuck that riff from ‘Aqualung’ on, then you’re just too young for this stuff! After this tantalizing little tease, the song takes off on its own charted course for that imaginary fairyland in the sky, full of galloping children and headswaying proggers who appreciate a good ol’ mellotron without hiding in the closet. A full-length is in order…soon. (Jeff Penczak)