Friday, June 19, 2009

Bloodrock - Bloodrock (1970)

1969 saw the first rumblings of heavy metal with debut releases from bands like Black Sabbath and Grand Funk Railroad. Bloodrock, a Texas-based quintet, also released their debut during this time (and like Grand Funk Railroad, they were managed and produced by Terry Knight). Bloodrock may not be as well remembered today as the aforementioned groups, but their first release remains a cult favorite amongst fans of hard rock. Their sound is reminiscent to Deep Purple, with electric guitar and organ dueling over a throbbing beat. However, Jim Rutledge's gruff, whisky-throated vocals lend a rural tinge to the group's music that sets them apart. As expected for a heavy metal band, the songwriting themes tend to be pretty ominous: "Double Cross" is a gleeful hymn to revenge, and "Timepiece" recounts the final thoughts of a death row prisoner about to be sent to the gallows. The band doesn't always know when to edit their jams ("Timepiece"), and some of the songs feel more like a collection of riffs than fully thought out compositions ("Wicked Truth"), but the group's powerful attack helps smooth over the rough spots to make an engaging slab of proto-metal. The album's highlights are the final two songs: "Fantastic Piece of Architecture" uses an a combination of Doors-like funereal organ and piano to create a creepy atmosphere, and "Melvin Laid an Egg" blends pile-driving riffs with gentle bridges of piano and harmony vocals to bring its surreal lyric about a freak show dwelling capitalist to life. Overall, Bloodrock lacks the crossover appeal to win fans outside of its cult
reputation, but it remains an interesting listen for those interested in the development of heavy metal.

1 Gotta Find A Way
2 Castle Of Thought
3 Fatback
4 Double Cross
5 Timepiece
6 Wicked Truth
7 Gimme Your Head
8 Fantastic Piece Of Architecture
9 Melvin Laid An Egg

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Aucan - Brotes del Alba (1980)

AUCÁN are a late 70’s band from Argentina who blend symphonic rock with folk and classical influences. The original line-up was an all-family affair consisting of the four Perez brothers: Eugenio and Miguel both handling vocals and guitar, assisted by younger brothers Diego on drums and Pablo on bass, keyboards and vocals. They released two albums in 1977 and 1980 and then split up.
Both the eponymous first release and the better-known “Brotes Del Alba” are made up of smooth, well-structured melodies with frequent folk incursions, lots of acoustic instrumentation and elegant guitar passages. Perhaps on account of the more prominent keyboards, the second album is slightly more symphonic and features several guest musicians who bring the band’s sound up a notch with their use of cello, mini-moog, oboe, English horn, harmonica and baroque flute among other instruments. Lyrics are sung in Spanish. Nothing groundbreaking here but well executed overall.

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Llegando A Casa (3:35)
2. Primavera De Una Esquina (6:45)
3. Cancion De Mi Padre (3:40)
4. Hacia El Destierro (5:10)
5. Tres De Octubre (6:40)
6. Mi Amor Y Yo Contra Todos Los Que Rayen (3:15)
7. Misterio Azul (6:45)

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Jane - Live At Home (1976)

Jane got together in Hanover in autumn 1970. Although repeated line-up changes in the subsequent years resulted in an inconsistent musical style, Jane attracted a massive following, not only in Germany but also at their shows in Austria and Switzerland, counting among the top sellers in the German music scene of the Seventies. Their eleven LPs, released between 1972 and 1982 on the German rock imprint, Brain, sold over two million copies. Their debut, Together, and the concept album, Fire Water Earth & Air (1976), are considered milestones in German rock history just like the live cut, Live At Home, from August 1976. Even experts rubbed their eyes in surprise when Jane rented the Niedersachsenhalle in Hanover for the recordings of their live album.

Track Listings

1. All my friends * (4:58)
2. Lady * (3:38)
3. Rest of my life * (4:42)
4. Expectation * (5:32)
5. River * (3:51)
6. Out in the rain * (6:22)
7. Hangman * (11:55)
8. Fire, Water, Earth & Air * (4:00)
9. Another way * (5:41)
10. Daytime * (9:41)
11. Hightime for Crusaders * (5:07)

Fear Falls Burning - The Carnival Of Ourselves (2006)

vidnaobmana is dead, long live fear falls burning - or some such. after twenty or so years dirk serries, the man behind vidnaobmana, want to break away from the strict confinement of vidnaobmana and the ambient world it was part of, and return to simplicity of making live music. i assume he already had much of the gear he now uses, guitar and sound effects, but he now just plays his things live. tinkling on the guitar, feeding it through his bunch of sound effects and record it all. that simple? yes indeed, that simple. that is what dirk serries now does as fear falls burning, and so far he produced a cd, a double cd and now a highly limited lp on a new imprint of the dutch tonefloat label. the music of fear falls burning has connections to the world of post-rock, a particular area of post-rock, that of slowly moving sounds - no drums (although that would be an interesting thing to investigate for fear falls burning). a highly ambient form of post-rock. both sides have just one long piece. the one on side a starts out with mere tinkling, and over the course piece slightly atonal resonances are dropped in, which work their bit on the background, and once all the elements are in place things slowly built in power and crescendo. maybe the quick fade out at the end is a pity. the piece on the other side is more on one level. all the elements are in place from the beginning and modulations take place in the various sounds, sometimes fading in a bit more of one or the other, but it's throughout a solemn piece of music. this is the better piece of the two. slowly meandering about, like a walk in a rain covered forest on a cloudy autumn day. so far the best thing i heard from fear falls burning!

A I (18:42)
B II (19:16)

No more download due a kind request from Charles (crazy-diamond & tonefloat).

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Guru Guru - Live ´98 in Finkenbach (1998)

"We`re not cosmic rock, we`re comic rock."
Mani Neumeier, 1973

A free form jazz mentality, avoiding musical clichés and commercialism, has always characterized the music and philosophies of German freak `n roll band GURU GURU who have categorically occupied their own special stage within the realms of modern music. From it`s LSD induced origins in the late `60s to it`s present day configuration which still rocks and grooves with intensity, countless personnel changes have occurred making it more of a succession of musical ventures and concepts under the moniker GURU GURU, which came about as a tongue-in-cheek reference to the BEATLES and their guru worshipping of the late `60s. GURU GURU were one of the first bands to become associated with the German Krautrock movement from that era along with bands such as XHOL CARAVAN, AMON DUUL and CAN. However, the band was not partial to the absurd stereo-typing and preferred the terms "acid space" or simply, "acid rock" which better described their loud, trippy, improvisational music.

The constant driving force behind GURU GURU since it`s inception as THE GURU GURU GROOVE BAND in 1968 has been the unusual intellect and masterful musicianship of drummer MANI NEUMEIER. During the first half of the 1960s he embraced the jazz interpretations of JOHN COLTRANE, THELONIOUS MONK, MAX ROACH and other jazz mentors from which he would develop his own style of impulsive drumming. During this period he played with various traditional jazz groups in Zurich, Switzerland culminating with work with Swiss jazz pianist IRENE SCHWEIZER. It was during this time that he hooked up with bassist ULI TREPTE with whom he shared the desire to create louder more adventurous music which would follow the paradigms of JIMI HENDRIX and FRANK ZAPPA. Joined by guitarist EDY NAGELI, they played their first gig in Heidelberg, Germany in August 1968 and shocked audiences who had been familiar with Neumeier`s work in the more mainstream European jazz scene.


Guru Guru Live
1.01 Der Euro Kommt (5:57)
1.02 Idli Killer (3:46)
1.03 Space Baby (8:49)
1.04 Jet Lag (4:52)
1.05 Moshi Moshi (4:10)
1.06 Kleines Pyjama (4:32)
1.07 Ooga Booga Spec. (10:41)
1.08 Incarnation Stomp (6:41)
1.09 Der Elektrolurch (12:43)

Supersession Live
2.01 30 Years Celebration (5:29)
2.02 The Ghost Of (3:48)
2.03 House Of Wah Wah (5:29)
2.04 Odenwald Ritt (3:12)
2.05 Canguru-Jam (6:07)
2.06 Pfad (7:18)
2.07 The Owls Go To Bed (11:00)

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Kraan - The Famous Years Compiled (1998)

The finest recordings from 1972-1991 by this jazz-influenced German prog act. This is the first time any of the band'smaterial has been on CD. 14 tracks, including 'Sarah Auf DerGanswies' and 'Weeyeya'. 1998 Intercord Tontrager Gmbhrelease.

1. Rockets (Dancing in the shade 1989)
2. Stars (Andy Nogger 1974)
3. Bandits in the woods (Let it out 1975)
4. Just one way (Wiederhören 1977)
5. Wintruper Echo (Nachtfart 1982)
6. Weeyeya (Soul of stone 1991 - different mix ! )
7. Kraan Arabia '88 (Live 1988)
8. Wintrup (Wintrup 1972)
9. Ausflug (Flyday 1978)
10. Berliner Ring (2 Schallplatten1983)
11. Andy Nogger (Andy Nogger 1974)
12. Jerk of life (Live 1975)
13. Nam Nam (Live 1975)
14. Sarah auf der Gänzwies (Kraan 1972)

Friday, February 27, 2009

Area - Radio Caroline (1987)

Area is Lynn Canfield, Henry Frayne, and Steve Jones. Radio Caroline is a set of modern angst with sparse instrumentation and dark timbres. Canfield is an exceptional torch singer. Her expressive vocals dominate the soundscapes and, thus, the entire CD. The atmospheres support her husky and breathy voice quite effectively. While Frayne and Jones are accomplished musicians, Canfield is the real attraction here. She is a serious talent and belongs in the same league as Martha Davis, Eda Maxym, Hannah Reimann, Mary Deschamps, and the other great torch singers of the new millennium.

1 This One (3:29)
2 Head Above Water (3:34)
3 Sweet Revenge (5:40)
4 Michael Writes His Parents (4:26)
5 One Desire (3:12)
6 Transmitter (3:36)
7 Resistance (3:28)
8 Long Faces (3:50)
9 After The End (4:12)
10 Crystal (4:02)
11 Higher Than Heaven (5:47)
12 Sincerely Charlotte (3:44)
13 Parachute (3:18)