This one is a little later than planned due to a combination of being distracted by a cricket match (which ended in a bore draw due to the visiting team behaving in a very strange way) and the late arrival of a number of impressive releases. The genre gamut is stretched to a breaking point on this one. Particularly memorable is a selection of tunes from a new compilation celebrating Prog Rock in 1974 – that brought a few memories of gigs from that year – hard to think that two years later the great and the good had decided that prog was dead and that punk was the new thing. Two years after that punk was dead and post-punk was the new thing – I sense a pattern! Many thanks to those who submitted material for consideration. I hope you like the mix.
The Balcony – Bright And Guilty World – A Cover Version
Previously unreleased, the 12” single that split the Liverpool band. Originally scheduled as the follow up to ‘Redder Than Burning Coals’ on the Pink Pop label, it was shelved by the record company over fears of copyright issues regarding the Beatles quote.
SnarskiCircusLindyBand – Mexico, I Have Never Been There – Someone Said That Someone Said
An interesting direction change for Rob – most enjoyable – bit of an all star band!
Rob Snarski ~ vocals, guitar, bells
‘Evil’ Graham Lee ~ pedal steel and bvs
Lindy Morrison ~ drums and bvs
Shane O’Mara ~ guitars, stylophone, percussion, lead vocals on ‘Slept’
Dan Kelly ~ bass, lead vocals on ‘Mexico’
Adele & Chandeliers – More Time – Still Thinking
Adele never disappoints – a great new EP which includes a recent single
The Residents – Edweena/Making Of A Soul – Not Available
Formed in the early 1970s, The Residents have now been charting a unique path through the musical landscape for 50 years. In celebration of that remarkable and unlikely anniversary, Cherry Red present an expanded vinyl reissue of the classic 1978 album ‘Not Available’. Among the band’s extensive back catalogue, one album sits alone – composed in accordance with the group’s Theory Of Obscurity in 1974, ‘Not Available’ (or ‘X Is For Xtra – A Conclusion’ as it was originally known), and the saga that surrounded its release, comprises perhaps the most truly ‘Residential’ work the group ever produced, and remains their most intriguing album among fans and critics alike. Now, almost 45 years after that saga unfolded, this set explores and expands the classic original album with those 1974 ‘X Is For Xtra’ recordings which were adapted, edited, remixed, and reprocessed into ‘Not Available’ by Ralph Records in 1978. A perfect ‘before and after’ companion set, and an unprecedented insight into one of the most mysterious and mythologised recordings of the 20th Century. Remastered, expanded, and preserved for future generations – this is The Residents as we’ve always wanted to hear them, and the latest in a series of archival reissues that will continue throughout 2023 and beyond, notably the forthcoming ‘American Composers’, ‘Demons Dance Alone’ and ‘Animal Lover’ sets.
Thetan – Dim Times – Dim Times
Powerviolence duo THETAN is currently putting the final touches on their new LP for release later this year, but over the past few weeks they completed a succinct new EP, Dim Times. Collecting several new and previously unreleased tracks, re-recorded songs, cover tracks, and more, the EP drops six tracks in under ten minutes. Additionally, an expansive CD version of the record is being pressed, with over forty bonus tracks including nearly all of the band’s vinyl-only split and compilation tracks, demos, and more, all remixed and remastered for this release. Bassist/vocalist Dan Emery handled all engineering, mixing, and mastering duties at his Anti-Corporate Music/Black Matter Mastering headquarters in Nashville, and the Dim Times cover art was handled by Ericka Poore.
Circle – Toy Room Q&A – Paris Concert
Recorded February 21, 1971 at the Maison de l’O.R.T.F., Paris – the Chick Corea “supergroup” includes Dave Holland, Anthony Braxton and Barry Altschul.
Round & Round Progressive Sounds of 1974
Four tracks from a new compilation from Cherry Red – One from each CD in the box set.
- Hatfield & The North – Son of There’s No Place Like Homerton
- Peter Hammill – Tapeworm
- Man – Scotch Corner
- Gong – A Sprinkling of Clouds
The next release in their series of compilations celebrating so-called “Progressive” rock music – ‘Round and Round – Progressive Sounds Of 1974’, is a 4CD clamshell box set which gathers together over five hours of music from 1974, a year in which would continue to see Progressive music in all its forms continue to develop and retain its presence as a dominating force with the album buying public. 1974 saw a wealth of imaginative artists continue to meld seemingly disparate musical genres and influences such as jazz, blues, folk, rock and classical music in a host of wonderful albums, all of which appealed to an audience of students and rock fans. Universities and Colleges remained regular venues on burgeoning live music circuit in the UK for these artists, most of whom earned loyal followings through regular concert performances both in Britain and in Europe. Progressive rock’s influence internationally was also growing with notable European bands such as Kayak from the Netherlands and PFM from Italy (saw them at the Free Trade Hall on May 6th that year) making their presence felt, along with Todd Rundgren’s Utopia from the USA (I saw them at Salford University in January 1977).
Miles Davis – Madness (Alternate Take) – Nefertiti (1998 Remastered)
This release was Davis’ last fully acoustic album. Davis himself did not contribute any compositions- three were written by tenor saxophonist Wayne Shorter, two by pianist Herbie Hancock and one by drummer Tony Williams
Gavial – Modern Times – VOR
German blues/psychedelic rock quartet GAVIAL released their new LP, VOR, through Exile On Mainstream on May 19th. VOR is characterised by the search for a contemporary expression of the blues without questioning its authenticity. GAVIAL weaves musical inspiration from ambient, soul, gospel, and country into different threads from a carpet of sound that simply ignores the sharp cliffs of redundant categories such as retro or stoner.
Lyrically, GAVIAL is cautiously concrete, exploring the ambivalent depths of the soul where there are more questions than answers. Singer Benjamin Butter intones lyrical sketches of emotional states between melancholy, quiet anger, and hope, reminiscent of Charles Baudelaire, and turns the voice into another instrument. The interplay with driving bass lines and Americana-esque guitars results in music as it should be: melodic but not profane, accessible but with a fragile base.
VOR was recorded in the band’s rehearsal room and mixed by Benjamin Butter and Bernard Camilleri, who has become their go-to sound engineer. Bernard Camilleri did the mastering at his Xekillton Studio in Malta. The artwork is from the Flowers Of Terrible series by Berlin-based artist Hamid Yaraghchi.
The Tittilators – If The Morning Comes – That’s The Night
The Titillators became a band in 2018 and emerge from a bold compulsion: to sound completely unlike any other musical group in existence. On their third album to date, That’s The Night (Noodle Factory Recordings), it’s clearer than ever that they’ve been successful in this endeavour. It’s a tuneful, mainly instrumental batch of bent exotica played by a group of some of Toronto’s most inventive and highly regarded musicians. And while listeners will catch aural whiffs of jazz, pop, soul, electronica, and free improvisation there’s something irrefutably singular about their output.
Book Of Wyrms – Hollergoblin – WEEDIAN : Trip to Virginia & West Virginia
Another excellent free compilation from the folks at WEEDIAN – check them out on Bandcamp. This selection is from Book of Wyrms 2021 album “Occult New Age”
MHO – Voices – Blueprint
Wigan based electronicist Dave Walker’s new one which that Junta chap sent in my direction.