Reviewing any of the early Tyrannosaurus Rex albums would essentially be reviewing all of them, say for “Unicorn” which was their most successful / commercial, and being the most highly and technically produced of all their records. I’ve chosen “A Beginning” for a number of reasons, the first being that this is my suggestion, as an introduction to the music of Tyrannosaurus Rex, the second is that the cover is so elementally in and of the moment, representing a compilation of psychedelic folk music, the likes of which the world had never seen ... and finally, this release strips away all of the material that to this day still manages to allude me, leaving you with only the cream from the early years.
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Shadrock Chameleon - Shadrock Chameleon (Out-Sider Records, 1973/2017 reissue)
Iowa may be known for several things (farms, the American Pickers TV show, corn fields, and local artist Grant Wood’s famous American Gothic painting), but psychedelia doesn’t immediately come to mind. Back in the early ‘70s, several young musicians from various bands combined to record one of the great cult psychedelic albums of the ‘70s, Shadrack Chameleon. Released on IGL (i.e., Iowa Great Lakes) Records in a limited edition of 300, the 1973 album has intrigued collectors over the years and Guersson’s Out-Sider speciality imprint offers a remastered vinyl edition. Essentially a solo project of main songwriter, singer, and multi-instrumentalist Steve Fox, the short (six tracks in a half hour) album is a pleasant, mostly acoustic affair not unlike Neil Young’s contemporary releases (cf., Harvest).
Dantalian’s Chariot - Chariot Rising (Esoteric Recordings, 2017)
Recorded fifty years ago, with only two of its ten tracks seeing release at the time, “Chariot Rising” by Dantalian’s Chariot has long been considered a classic collection of psychedelic rock. Born from the remnants of Zoot Money’s The Big Roll Band, the band included Hammond organ/Wurlitzer piano/vocalist Money, guitarist/sitarist/vocalist Andy Somers (later Summers) who became guitarist for The Police, bassist/vocalist Pat Donaldson, later of Fotheringay, and drummer/percussionist/vocalist Colin Allen, who went on to join John Mayall and The Bluesbreakers, with Money and Somers penning the bulk of the material.
“Weird, loud, fast or slow”
Weird Dust released two excellent new beat and disco influenced singles this year: “The Chase” and “Aqua Velva” / “When You Were Mine”.
Michael Crabbé: The first one I released was on Knotwilg Records called “The Chase” and “These Things”, both songs are inspired by John Carpenter soundtracks and I was so happy that Johan Loones from Knotwilg Records chose these two songs as to be my first vinyl release. The artwork is done by Johann Kauth, and we screenprinted the sleeves together.
Papir - V (Stickman Records, 2017)
The all instrumental rock trio from Copenhagen are back with their 5th studio album and this time it is a double LP/CD. I have been friends with the band since nearly the beginning and reviewed nearly all their records.
This is the 5th release by Italian four piece instrumental band. I have not heard all their records but I loved the first one. The CD features 7 tracks starting of with “The Calm And The Storm”. This one starts slowly with some cool 2 pole resonance filter played by Bastille as the jam slowly builds up. I like the guitar line but the synth takes the lead for the first half of the song and then Cavitos takes off.
Stepping out from behind the hazy blue smoke curtain and dripping orange sky of his tripped out band Bad Liquor Pond, Dave Gibson heads straight into the intoxication of sunlight, where Morels’ first album Drift ebbs and flows, awash in warm breezy layered blissful stoner nods of light-handed delight.
The Pink Diamond Revue exist in a world outside of ours; a three piece project from outer-space via Reading, they create a truly unique mixture of heady electro and vintage blues. After perfecting their experiments across the UKs seediest basement bars, the team are now ready to release ‘Go Go Girl’ unto their unsuspected public, destined to be met with envious eyes.
Strobe - Bunker Sessions (Sulatron Records, 2017)
Strobe was a very cool UK band from the early 90s. I have all their old records so I was very interested to hear this record. This recording is from 1994, when the band had moved on from its LOOP inspired repetitive psych rock.
JD King has released a wondrously mysterious music video/single, “Crimson Velvet Saddle Boots,” the third single off of his forthcoming album, Moon Gardens, out later this year. Prepare to be lured into the hypnotic atmosphere of this indie rock svengali as you’re greeted with his spellbinding vocals and enchanting soundscapes. The video for “Crimson Velvet Saddle Boots” is now available on YouTube while the single is streaming on all digital services worldwide.
“Crimson Velvet Saddle Boots” is originally a dream I wrote down, then I conceived a sort of odd time signature melody and rhymed the words to fit. The film reflects on the oceanic element in its vast space while also depicting the microcosms within.
There was a time when Prog, or Progressive Music, had an undeniable jazz influence to it ... then it seemed to have gotten waylaid and then splintered into something so heavy my ears were no longer there for the listening. The truth of what I’ve just said is easily traceable, with drummer Klaus Weiss forming Sunbirds in 1971 with a solid and notable jazz background, having played with the likes of Johnny Griffin, Kenny Drew, Bud Powell, and Don Byas [if I’m not mistaken].