Monday, February 6, 2017

The Day After The Sabbath 136: Mainline Riders [guest-curated]



Download all three parts in one large file from: [mf] or [yd]
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or Seperately: Part1 [mf] / [yd] ¦ Part2 [mf] / [yd] ¦ Part3 [mf] / [yd]
Unzip password:  tdats



Before I go any further, I just want to quickly point out a new addition to the site; check out the email alert subscription box on the right of the page if you'd like to receive an email each time a new post is made here.

Welcome to volume 136! Although this site exists to celebrate music from times long-gone, the inspirational, free thinking spirit of past-decades' heavy rock lives on in the many bands playing right now, who also appreciate those times. When it comes to live music, these are mostly the kind of bands I watch, and great festivals like Freak Valley in Germany, Roadburn in Holland, Psycho Las Vegas and the various Desertfests in Europe are a few of the excellent events to see them.

For this volume I had the idea of inviting some of the current bands that have shown interest in TDATS to suggest a few vintage picks of their own, and to contribute a track of their own in the spirit of the music. One of those bands is The Neptune Power Federation from New South Wales, Australia. The band's guitarist and artist Mike Foxall kindly volunteered to paint some awesome original cover art for this volume. Thanks Mike, and check out more of his stuff at theartoffox.com.

So the result is three parts, part 1 is the old tracks while parts 2 & 3 are the new bands. A diverse mix of rock from different countries and different decades results! Some of the old bands have appeared in the blog before, so in this set are songs from them that have not, but there's a healthy dose of new appearances too, like those suggested by Wucan, Stubb, Purson and Admiral Cloudesley Shovell. Parts two and three host contemporary bands including Brooklyn's grooving The Golden Grass, Germany's jamming Samsara Blues Experiment and Finland's space-rockin' Deep Space Destructors. Also making contributions are more scene-favourites like Elder, La Chinga, and Radio Moscow.

One thing's clear from this volume, although some people lament the passing of the classic, formative years of heavy rock and prog, there's still plenty of new talent to carry the torch and it's easier than ever to find it!

Part 1 - old picks

01. Pussy - Pig Mansion (1972) from archival LP 'Invasion'
02. Parish Hall - How Can You Win (1970) from LP 'Parish Hall'
03. Renft - Zwischen Liebe Und Zorn (1972) Single
04. Freshwater - Satan's Woman (1970) Single
05. Doug Jerebine - Reddened Eyes (1969) from LP 'Doug Jerebine Is Jesse Harper'
06. Night Sun - Plastic Shotgun (1972) from LP 'Mournin'
07. Quartz - Satan's Serenade (1980) Single
08. Josefus - Country Boy (1970) from LP 'Dead Man'
09. Osamu Kitajima - Tengu - A Long-Nosed Goblin (1976) from LP 'Benzaiten'
10. Essjay - Twins Of Evil (1971) Single
11. Glory - High School Letter (1973) Single
12. Woodoo - Woodoo-Teema (1971) from LP 'Taikakulkunen'
13. Ancient Grease - Mother Grease The Cat (1970) from LP 'Women And Children First'
14. Group 1850 - Little Fly (1968) from LP 'Agemo's Trip To Mother Earth'
15. Lord Sutch - Wailing Sounds (1970) from LP 'Lord Sutch And Heavy Friends'
16. Hot Soup - You Took Me By Surprise (1969) from LP 'Openers'


Part 2 - new tracks



01. La Chinga - White Witchy Black Magic (2016) from LP 'Frewheelin'
02. The Neptune Power Federation - Mothership (2015) from LP 'Lucifer's Universe'
03. Purson - The Bitter Suite (2016) from LP 'Desire's Magic Theatre'
04. Brule - The Devil's Decay (2016) pre-release track
05. Wucan - Wandersmann (2015) from LP 'Sow the Wind'
06. Admiral Sir Cloudesley Shovell - Bulletproof (2014)
        from LP 'Check 'Em Before You Wreck 'Em'
07. Amulet - Glint Of The Knife (2014) from LP 'The First'
08. Deep Space Destructors - Journey To The Space Mountain (2015)
        from EP 'Spring Break From Space'


Part 3 - more new tracks



01. Pushy - Salem Man (2016) from split with Ragged Barracudas
02. The Golden Grass - Get It Together (2016) from LP 'Coming Back Again'
03. Elder - Compendium (2015) from Lp 'Lore'
04. Radio Moscow - Before It Burns (2014) from LP 'Magical Dirt'
05. Supersonic Blues - Supersonic Blues Theme (2016) pre-release exclusive
06. Stubb - The Wingmakers (2015) from EP 'The Theory of Light & Matter'
07. Samsara Blues Experiment - Midnight Boogie [UFO cover] (2012) Single
08. Danava - The Last Goodbye [Slowbone cover live] (2012) on LP 'Hemisphere Of Shadows'


Part 1 - The Vintage Picks

01. Pussy - "Pig Mansion"
Johnny from Admiral Sir Cloudesley Shovell has suggested a track by Pussy, which was a very short-lived band that came after Jerusalem. In fact, it basically was Jerusalem minus Bill Hinde and  Lynden Williams, but Pussy took a noticeably different direction into glam rock. Johnny comments that Pig Mansion "gives Crushed Butler a run for their money!". Unfortunately their output never saw it on to an album but they did release Pig Mansion as a single, which is the version appearing here. In 2011 Rockadrome issued Pussy's archives on 'Invasion', which included the original, and an extended remixed version of Pig Mansion.

Parish Hall
02. Parish Hall - "How Can You Win" 
Adam Burke, guitarist of Portland Oregon's Pushy, drew a great cover for TDATS Vol 120. He and his band have proffered a Parish Hall track and Adam says "We love the laid-back, almost lazy pacing, bludgeoning, simple drumming and completely burning main riff. It’s strangely difficult to make blues rock that isn't douchey, but these fellas did it right."


Renft
03. Renft - "Zwischen Liebe und Zorn"
This track was recommended by Dresden's "Kraut-fueled heavy flute rockers" Wucan, who started in 2012 and have made two LPs so far. Singer and bandleader Fran explains her choice. "I wish more people were able to understand the lyrics and put it into socio-historical context. Renft were a GDR based band (fabulous musicians!), back when Germany was divided between the Russians and the Allied forces. The socialist GDR government was very strict about which music and what lyrical content bands were allowed to perform.

Renft, being the blues rock voice of the GDR's young generation, didn't let the government dictate to them how to write songs, which in return got them in serious trouble in the early '70s. The band was eventually forced by the government to split in 1975 after they released this track (among others) with very regime-critical lyrics. Even after 40 years the song and its lyrics have not lost any of their aggression or anger, and retain their beautifully intellectual, revolutionary vibes. All Renft songs have been highly influential on Wucan's work."

Freshwater - "Satan's Woman"
04. Freshwater - "Satan's Woman"
Neptune Power Federation's recommendation is an obscure single. Guitarist Troy explains their choice: "Releasing a groovy occult rock 7" means not dealing in half measures. That's why when Australian blues/prog rockers Freshwater released their 1970 single 'Satan' they backed it up on the flip side with 'Satan’s Woman'.

Conservative radio stations of the day ran a mile from this dark offering exploring the grim recent events in a Los Angeles mansion. Decades later The Neptune Power Federation have accepted the torch passed on by Freshwater, vowing to continue dabbling in the black arts, and being ignored by radio"

Doug Jerebine
05. Doug Jerebine - "Reddened Eyes"
Boston's Elder have been around for ten years now (time flies!) and have rightly earned a great reputation in underground heavy rock. Guitarist Nick DiSalvo has suggested a track from New Zealander Doug Jerebine, the real name of 'Jesse Harper', who's archival collection 'Guitar Absolution In The Shade Of A Midnight Sun' has featured in TDATS before (Vol34). Since that record, some more of his vintage recordings have surfaced on the Drag City release 'Doug Jerebine Is Jesse Harper; and that's where 'Reddened Eyes' is from.

Night Sun
06. Night Sun - "Plastic Shotgun"
London's Brule has selected a TDATS favourite, Night Sun. Guitarist Alastair Riddell explains "At the start of the '90s I used to trade tapes with Jus Oborne (of Electric Wizard). There were only a handful of doom bands back then so we would trade rehearsal tapes of Mourn and Thy Grief Eternal amongst other things. In '92 or so he sent me a compilation tape with things like Buffalo, May Blitz, Bang and so on. One track was Plastic Shotgun by Night Sun.

In those pre-internet days I couldn't find anything else by them until 2003, I was crewing for Firebird on a European tour with Fu Manchu, during a few days in Berlin I discovered a shop called Pandora's Box that had Second Battle's CD reissue of Mournin'. Plastic Shotgun sounds like Uriah Heap on amphetamines!"

Quartz - "Satan's Serenade"
07. Quartz - "Satan's Serenade"
NWOBHM pioneers Quartz were chosen by London metallurgists Amulet. Guitarist Marek Steven explains. "In the early days of Amulet after forming in 2010, Quartz were a band we all loved and naturally felt kinship with through the decades. Quartz deliver post-Sabbath Heavy Metal with good songs, simple but tasteful structures and evil atmospheric themes with a positive overall vibe.

Having formed in the early-mid '70s they have the individual mentality of that era before the New Wave of Heavy Metal settled into certain patterns from 79-ish. Quartz were ahead of their time with balls deep riffs that should put them in the same bracket at Pentagram and other just-after-Sabbath bands. The fact that Tony Iommi loved them enough to produce and play on the debut album also tells you something.

Quartz did pretty well at the time and recently have reformed and surprised some people with how bloody good they still are... but not us! Amulet have been lucky enough to play some shows with them and it's a always a treat for us to see them play such heavy and brilliant songs so effortlessly. They even have a great all-new album 'Fear No Evil' just out. Amulet aspires to their longevity and attitude, and we'll have a second album in 2017 too so watch out!"

Josefus
08. Josefus - "Country Boy"
Berlin's psychedelic jam band Samsara Blues Experiment threw a Josufus track in to the mix. Founding member Christian Peters remembers: "I chose this because they were basically one, if not the, first rather obscure band I discovered, years ago when most younger people wouldn't even care for Black Sabbath that much...the track 'Country Boy' just seems to suit me fine, since I grew up in a village of ten houses and even now living in Berlin, I'm still sort of a loner, maybe a dreamer too ;) Well, those were the days... Josefus is one of the bands everybody should know anyway."

Osamu Kitajima
09. Osamu Kitajima - "Tengu - A Long-Nosed Goblin"
London's heavy psych trio Stubb have recommended something a little different. This is some chilled Japanese prog by Osamu Kitajima. Quite mesmerising stuff! It comes from his third LP, 1976's "Benzaiten".

Osamu himself was previously in classic Japanese 1960s 'Group Sounds' band, The Launchers. In fact, Launchers bass player and TV personality Yuzo Kayama originally coined the term 'Group Sounds', which became the byword for the popular fusion of kayōkyoku music and Western rock music at the time. Read more at Julian Cope's Japrock Sampler (link).

Essjay - "Twins Of Evil"
10. Essjay - "Twins Of Evil"
London's 'psych face-melters' Purson suggested a rare 45 from 1971 called 'Twins of Evil'. Bandleader Rosalie Cunningham has this to say about it: "I could listen to this sinister slice all day, it’s so groovy!

It's a rearrangement of the orchestral theme for the Hammer Horror film of the same name. It was released as a single by ‘Essjay’, a pseudonym for composer Mike Batt who also wrote the Wombles TV theme!"
Glory - "High School Letter"
11. Glory - "High School Letter"
Chris Read, bassist with Vancouver hard rockers La Chinga, has also thumbed-up an obscure 45. He discovered this on 'Ultimate Bonehead Volume 3' and this is what that comp has to say about it: "Glory was a San Diego band with two members who were in Iron Butterfly, but too young to follow the band when they moved to LA. This was their only record, the A side is a fine specimen of West Coast raunchiness.

The B side Peaches is also ace, mid-tempo and damn catchy". Chris offers his own opinions on the song...."Glory - High School Letter 1973 Speemo records is a ripping slab of So-Cal righteousness. The raw riff, crunches and punches, the drummer rides the bell, the bass gets busy, the singer wails on about some hottie in a tight knit sweater and getting it on in the old wood barn! And there is even a backwards guitar solo! The moment it fires up I feel like I'm rolling down the street in a boogie van. Perfect."

Glory have appeared in the blog before, back in volume 5 with a track from their only collection of recordings, "On The Air" (Rockadrome)

Woodoo
12. Woodoo - "Woodoo-Teema"
All the way to Oulu, Finland now, for a selection by Deep Space Desructors. Thus speaks singer and bass-player, Jani Pitkänen. "Woodoo was a relatively short-lived band in the beginning of the 70's. They recorded only one LP for a Finnlevy sub-label called UFO.

The LP is called Taikakulkunen (roughly translated Magic Jingle Bell). Lyrically they wrote about death, and mystical aspects of life and the world. We chose this Woodoo track because it's pretty obscure to have a band in Finland playing "world music", specifically at that point in time, and the track is very rocking and deceivingly simple, but has many beautiful musical nuances hidden in it, which we can relate to."

Ancient Grease
13. Ancient Grease - "Mother Grease The Cat"
San Diego heavy psych blues dealers Radio Moscow offered up Mother Grease The Cat from TDATS favourite Welshmen, Ancient Grease.

This is what band founder Parker Griggs has to say: "This track has one of the coolest heavy psych riffs ever, along with one of the coolest and most bizarre titles. We always loved the Ancient Grease album, and this is my favorite track on it. The guitarist really shines, with some Ritchie Blackmore, aggressive sounding leads. Bang your head!"

If you are collecting the best early obscure heavy LPs, I'd say Ancient Grease's "Women And Children First" is one of the absolute essentials. It's as good as anything fellow-countrymen Budgie did, and it's a shame they didn't last long.

Group 1850
14. Group 1850 - "Little Fly"
The Netherlands' Supersonic Blues have joined-in with a track from Group 1850. Guitarist Tim Aarbodem said: "Like us, these guys are from The Hague, which is one of the reasons we chose them. Group 1850 are a brilliant psychedelic act from the late '60s, easily one of our favourite bands from The Hague's 60s beat era.

You could say they were the (Syd Barrett era) Pink Floyd of The Hague, but they definitely had their own vibe. Unfortunately their singer and bandleader Peter Sjardin passed away recently. We've played Group 1850 tunes in the past. They're not a direct influence on our music but we hold them high in regard!

Once we were shooting some band photos at the Catholic graveyard here in The Hague. We were walking around for a while and one grave grabbed our attention. It had a statue of a dog on it, which we thought was a nice detail. But when we looked closer it turned out to be the grave of Daniël 'Dean' van Bergen, the original guitarist of Group 1850! We didn’t know he was buried there at all, was it a sign perhaps? A confirmation from above of us doing well?! “…and Daniël van Bergen saw that is was good.”

15. Lord Sutch & Heavy Friends - "Wailing Sounds"
One of the new tracks that Portland's Danava submitted was a Lord Sutch cover, so I have taken the liberty of using a Lord Sutch original as their old pick, I don't think they'll mind...

David Sutch (aka Screaming Lord Sutch) was a musician and 'Monster Raving Loony Party' political satirist/activist who had many friends, enough in fact, to get Jimmy Page, Jeff Beck, Noel Redding, John Bonham, Ritchie Blackmore and Kieth Moon (among others) to play on various records of his! 'Wailing Sounds' is the opener from 1970's 'Lord Sutch And Heavy Friends', it was co-written by Jimmy Page and features Page & John Bonham doing their thang.

Hot Soup - "You Took Me By Surprise"
16. Hot Soup
           - "You Took Me By Surprise"
Adam Kriney, singing drummer of Brooklyn's "free-wheelin, good-time rock & roll band" The Golden Grass, has suggested a track from Hot Soup.

This was an obscure band that had notable guitarist Frank Carillo, who made a few records in different acts including the boogie-rocking Doc Holliday in 1973 and 'Carillo' in 1979. Hot soup was a soul rock act that was quite tame, except for 'You Took Me By Surprise', which rocked things up a few notches with its solid hammond and funky rhythms!


Part 2 - The New School

La Chinga
01. La Chinga - "White Witchy Black Magic"
Taken from "Frewheelin" LP on Small Stone Records (2016)

Vancouver's hard rock power trio La Chinga are another band that are into this blog and have helped out on occasion with some opinions and recommendations. If you dig the selection of obscure crunching bonehead US singles that have appeared on many TDATS volumes thus far then you'll get what La Chinga are all about in no time; getting in your car, going out and having a good time while you can, as we could all be dead tomorrow, what have you got to lose? According to bassist/singer Chis Read, 'White Witchy Black Magic' is a true story, so I'd be wary of the female company this band keeps if I were you...

The Neptune Power Federation
02. The Neptune Power Federation - "Mothership"
Taken from "Lucifer's Universe" LP on Bandcamp (link)

Guitarist Troy describes his band: "Hailing from Sydney Australia, The Neptune Power Federation are a grandiose grime-encrusted heavy rock machine, powered by hellfire, beaten fuzz pedals and space hallucinogens. The track 'Mothership' was forged after consultation with extraterrestrial beings the band came across in a pub car park, after admiring their panel van's original Frank Frazetta paint job."

Purson
03. Purson - "The Bitter Suite"
Taken from "Desire's Magic Theatre" LP on Spinefarm Records (2016)

Soon after making it into this comp, Purson unfortunately announced the end of their time together, but they still wanted to contribute.

Founder Rosalie Cunningham said: "This is the final song on the final Purson album. A three-part ode to sex, drugs and rock and roll (not in that particular order). This song gives an idea of the direction my writing is going at the moment."

Brule - "The Devil's Decay"
04. Brule - "The Devil's Decay"
Find Brule's initial recordings on Bandcamp (link)

London's Brule come self-described as "Heavy Metal Rock ‘n’ Roll, four guys with a background in hardcore, doom and death metal, rocking to the classics like Pentagram, Skynyrd, The Who and Deep Purple".

Guitarist Alastair Riddell says this about the track appearing here. "The Devil's Decay started off sounding like Saint Vitus. It wasn't even a consciously written riff. I was just warming up hitting notes but Rob [Wilson - Drums] started playing along. Somehow between Johnny [Ogle - Vocals] joining and Rob speeding it up a bit, it ended up sounding like Pentagram. Johnny and I have been listening to them for over a quarter of a century so it is just natural I suppose." See Brule playing at London's Desertfest in April this year!

Wucan
05. Wucan - "Wandersmann"
Taken from "Sow The Wind" LP on Made in Germany (2015)

If you are at Desertfest London this year, you'll be able to see Wucan's first appearance there. Singer and bandleader Fran comments on their track 'Wandersmann'; "Well, what is there really to be mentioned? We all see this song as the Wucan-defining song. In many ways this song took our musicianship a step further.

Even now we are still stunned by how much this song has developed, and continues to take shape, since we first performed it."

Admiral Sir Cloudesley Shovell
 06. Admiral Sir Cloudesley Shovell - "Bulletproof"
From "Check 'Em Before You Wreck 'Em" on Rise Above Records (2014)

Hastings' own Admiral Sir Cloudesley Shovell (try saying that after 9 pints of Double Diamond) have been belting out no-nonsense swagger-filled rock'n roll for a few years now. Their third album 'Keep It Greasy!' is recently out on Rise Above Records and it's their best yet!

Amulet - "Glint Of The Knife"
07. Amulet - "Glint Of The Knife"
Taken from "The First" LP on Century Media (2014)

London's Amulet are one of the UK's proudest purveyors of traditional heavy metal, championing the days of the NWOBHM.

Founding guitarist Marek Steven also organises London's annual Live Evil festival (link), a two-day festival which hosts vintage and new heavy metal bands from around the world.

Deep Space Destructors
08. Deep Space Destructors
             - "Journey To The Space Mountain"
From "Spring Break From Space" EP (2015) on bandcamp (link)

Bassist Jani Pitkänen speaks: "With Deep Space Destructors, we are on a similar path musically to the old band we chose, Woodoo; making more rocking songs, simplifying things here and there but still the songs have unique characteristics in them, but we don't expose these things straight out. It's best not to serve everything on a silver platter all at once, even though it's the thing to do nowadays. We still believe in discovering things in music on your own and finding new or old cool music, for which TDATS compilations are a great example!"

Band links for part 2



Part 3 - The New School contd.

Pushy - "Salem Man"
01. Pushy - "Salem Man"
From Ragged Barracudas/Pushy split LP on Who can you trust? (2016)

Some excerpts straight from the band: "Pushy started as a long-fantasized side project for Travis Clow of Crag Dweller and Adam Burke of Fellwoods. They wanted a band that'd make you want to light your bushes on fire/take your pants off/stop showering/give up on Dry January/put off your taxes/kiss random people/dig holes and throw away all your post punk records. Crack open a cold one...well, several cold ones, and get down to the good time rock and roll for river doggin', hot doggin', hangin' out and catching trout."

The Golden Grass
02. The Golden Grass - "Get It Together"
Taken from "Coming Back Again" LP on Listenable Records (2016)

Golden Grass
's drummer / singer Adam Kriney has been a fan of TDATS for a long time and has assisted in a few of the volumes so far, most notably when I was looking for biker movie rock for vol 109 (link), which was a ton of fun to make! The band describe themselves as "Rooted in sun-soaked and funky southern/country US classic rock back-beat, emblazoned with swinging, hip and groovy UK mod/soul/freakbeat vibrations and bursting with proto-metal bluesey-prog overtones", and I'm not going to argue there!

Elder - "Compendium"
03. Elder - "Compendium"
Taken from "Lore" LP on Armageddon (US) and Stickman (EU)

'Compendium' is the opening track from Elder's third LP "Lore". The band is widely improvisational and specialises in long tracks that pull from all ages and flavours of heavy rock.

When asked which Elder track he'd like to offer, guitarist Nick DiSalvo said "None of our songs really obviously reference only 60s-70s stuff. I have a hard time in general seeing the forest for the trees with our own music, if you get me, but Compendium is the most obvious reference to me."

Radio Moscow
04. Radio Moscow - "Before It Burns"
Taken from "Magical Dirt" LP on Alive Records (2014)

Bandleader Parker Griggs: "Before it Burns is one of my favorite tunes to play live.  It starts heavy and in the middle goes into some free-form jams that give the band a chance to reach outer space.  Different each time we play it, so always keeps us on our toes!"

Supersonic Blues Theme
05. Supersonic Blues - "Supersonic Blues Theme"
Pre-release exclusive

Guitarist Tim Aarbodem: "Supersonic Blues was started in 2013. Gianni (bass) and I met through our love of vinyl, spinning some records on Radio Tonka, an underground radio station in The Hague. Lennart joined on drums at the end of 2015.

Guy Tavares (Orange Sunshine, Santa Cruz) made our first studio recordings in his Hague studio. It’s packed with rare vintage amps, drums, studio gear, it was an awesome and crazy experience! 'Supersonic Blues Theme' is one of the four songs we recorded, we had a high-school-rock-MC5 thing in mind for this one. This and another song will be released as a 7" on Who Can You Trust? Records in early 2017, thanks to Ragged Barracudas drummer/vocalist Christian Dräger, the man behind the label. There are a lot of cool bands on that label, such as Hot Lunch, Lecherous Gaze, Pushy, Wild Eyes and Zig Zags."

Stubb
06. Stubb - "The Wingmakers"
Taken from "The Theory of Light & Matter" split EP with Mos Generator on HeviSike Records (2015).

See them recording this in the studio (link). Stubb are one of four bands in this comp that are playing at London's Desertfest this year, so check out their warm-sounding fuzzy grooves there if you are attending.

Samsara Blues Experiment
07. Samsara Blues Experiment - "Midnight Boogie"
From "Center Of The Sun/Midnight Boogie" EP on World In Sound (2012)

Band founder Christian Peters talks about the track: "Midnight Boogie is our rendition of the UFO track, which was one of the bands I totally worshipped in my later school days. Blasting their early albums on my car stereo, windows down, drinking beer during free lessons, all the stupid stuff you do when you're young and pretend to be cool. It's nice memories, and I can be very nostalgic... well...". Samsara Blues Experiment will be playing at Desertfest in London this year.

08. Danava - The Last Goodbye [Slowbone cover live]
From "Hemisphere Of Shadows" LP on Kemado Records (2011)

Like The Golden Grass, Portland OR's Danava have been vocal supporters of TDATS for years and have appeared in the site before, including a 2013 interview with main man Greg Meleney for vol 86 (link).

Greg kindly submitted some very raw live recordings to include in this one, but as they are in need of a lot of cleaning-up, for the sake of the deadline I decided to use a live recording of theirs from a different occaision. It's a Slowbone cover, an awesome UK hard rock act that unfortunately did not release an official album but were an inspiration to a young Iron Maiden. Perfect choice here, seeing it's a fantatstic track and Slowbone's original version has been in the blog already!

Band links for part 3

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I hope you enjoyed this. Many thanks to all the bands who took part, and to all of you who have supported Aftersabbath.com thus far! Cheers, Rich

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Tuesday, January 17, 2017

The Day After The Sabbath 135: Der Herrscher [Dieter Dierks part 1]


Download from [mf] or [yd]
password:  tdats



Welcome to volume 135. This time I'm going to concentrate on a producer, and some bands that he worked with whether he was engineering, producing or both; Dieter Dierks.

Like Conny Plank, for whom I did the same thing with Vol116, Dierks eventually had world-wide commercial success but in his early days worked with some lesser-known bands. Many of them made heavy music and have already appeared in TDATS, so on this occasion I've done something a little different. There are going to be two parts, this one is made up of bands that are totally new to the blog, and the second (coming soon) will be bands that have already appeared, but songs from them that have not.

Dieter still works and runs his famous studio. An interview with him can be found here that reveals some more about him, mainly focusing on The Scorpions, who were his greatest success.

TRACKS

01. Curly Curve - Queen Of Spades (1973)
       from album Curly Curve
02. Lily - Doctor Martin (1973)
       from album V.C.U. (We See You)
03. Twenty Sixty Six And Then - At My Home (1972)
       from album Reflections On The Future
04. Walter Wegmüller & Cosmic Jokers - Der Herrscher (1973)
       from album Tarot
05. Demon Thor - Pink Mary (1974)
       from album Written In The Sky
06. Nektar - King Of Twilight (1972)
       from album A Tab In The Ocean
07. Chris Braun Band - The Narrator (1974)
       from album Foreign Lady
08. Wallenstein - Braintrain (1972)
       from album Mother Universe
09. Marz & Eperjessy - Thousand Smiles (1971)
       from album Marz & Eperjessy
10. Tea - Cool In The Morning (1974)
       from album Tea
11. Jerry Berkers - Gelobtes Land (1972)
       from album Unterwegs
12. Atlantis - Chartbuster (1975)
       from album Get On Board
13. Missing Link - Kids Hunting (1972)
       from album Nevergreen!
14. Sperrmüll - Pat Casey (1973)
       from album Sperrmüll
15. Hush - Schau Mir In Die Augen (1969)
       single


Some History

Originally wanting to become a film director, Dierks (Born 'Hans-Dieter Dierks' in Stommeln, 1943) started his career as an assistant to well-known directors such as Kurt Wilhelm. Around the same time he was an actor and he played guitar and bass, starting a band called Hush in 1969. According to his website bio "He inherited his musical talent from his [Catholic] father, a conductor, violinist, sax player and composer and got his business sense from his [Jewish] mother who ran a grocery store."

Around the same time, initially equipped with two Revox amateur recording devices, he started a recording studio in the attic of his parent's house near Cologne. He rapidly found success and a great financial boost from a Europe-wide pop hit called 'Loop di Love' (a million miles away from The Scorpions!), and his studio grew in size and facilities until it included a hotel for those who came to record, write and work there. In turn, the influx of reporters, musicians and other industry types boosted the economy of the small town of Stommeln as they patronised its restaurants and bars etc.


Dierk's studio became Germany's first complete studio service, and a mecca for young musicians in the growing pop and hippie culture. "The mixture of countryside ambience and high tech studio equipment lured hosts of aspiring young talent to Stommeln which in those days was a totally unknown place...[while there they were] fed by Dieter Dierks' mother, affectionately called Mother Dierks". Dierks himself said: "The bands came to me since at the time, sound engineers in regular studios refused to record distorted guitars and other crazy stuff. I was open minded and fond of experimenting, so the young musicians and I were kindred spirits."

"I had a hit and could quite easily live from being a producer. But my family and I were always living on the edge, since I re-invested almost all the money that came in, in order to always have the latest technology and state of the art equipment." Dierks clearly apreciated the role that rapidly-advancing recording technology had in the new sounds that were being forged in those creative times, he kept his studio technology up to date, adding all the new bells and whistles as they became available. He also introduced a successful fleet of mobile studios that served Europe and filmed shows like WDR's Rock Palast, Rocknächtelike and tours of mega-artists like Michael Jackson. Popol Vuh's "Seligpreisung" LP was recorded in a church by one of these mobile setups.

Along with Conny Plank, who had a similar rise to production fame, Dierks made a significant impact in the success of Germany's music industry. In the '70s he was instrumental in the world-wide success of The Scorpions and Atlantis, supporting them in both technical and promotional needs with his facilities, expertise and label, Breeze Music. Dierks picked up The Scorpions after their second LP and starting with 1975's In Trance, produced all subsequent records up to 1988's Savage Amusement.


Krautrock

As well as international names like Ike & Tina Turner, Eric Burdon, War, the Boomtown Rats and Rory Gallagher, Dierks worked with a number of the famous and lesser-known 'Krautrock' names, at his studios or other locations. Sometimes he would also contribute to the playing on various instruments. These bands include Tangerine Dream, Floh De Cologne, Witthüser & Westrupp and Wallenstein.

He had a reputation not only for his technical abilities, but for getting the job done and keeping his head whilst those around him were losing theirs to the chemical assistance used in their experimental outpourings. He recorded Ash Ra Tempel's Timothy Leary collaboration, Seven Up, which according to the book "Future Days: Krautrock and the building of modern Germany", was a disappointingly lacklustre session, somewhat improved by Dierks' mixing and embellishments with studio musicians and extra sound effects after the fact.

An amusing (but mostly apocryphal) tale is that of The Cosmic Jokers supergroup, in which Dieter played guitar, keyboards, bass, and percussion, as well as recording. The story goes that the records published under this name on the Kosmische Kuriere (Cosmic Couriers) label were not authorised by the musicians that played on them, in fact they did not even know they were "The Cosmic Jokers", as the sessions were just informal jams at Dieter Dierk's studio and other locations like a farmhouse in the village of Dill, fuelled by a steady supply of drugs.

The musicians included Manuel Göttsching and Klaus Schulze of Ash Ra Tempel, Jurgen Dollase and Harald Grosskopf of Wallenstein, and Dierks. The instigator of the records was Cosmic Couriers label-owner and founder of important krautrock labels Ohr and PilzRolf-Ulrich Kaiser (an LSD-championing acolyte of Tim Leary). Legend would have it that Manuel Göttsching only found out the 'band' existed when he asked what was playing in a record shop and was presented with a Cosmic Jokers record, showing him on the cover! Again referencing "Future Days", author David Stubbs states that Göttsching has refuted this story, saying that he was correctly contracted and even received advance royalties.

References and Further Reading

Harald Grosskopf (Wallenstein, Cosmic Jokers) interview at ItsPsychedelicBaby
Danny Fichelscher (Popol Vuh, Gila) interview at ItsPsychedelicBaby
Dierks Studios website | Future Days: Krautrock (book)
Rolf-Ulrich Kaiser & Gille Lettmann: The Cosmic Couriers Story


In This Volume

Curly Curve made one album in 1973. It was recorded at Dierks' studio and he is credited as engineer. This is a good hard rock album that sounds to me more in the style of the UK and at times the US, with hints of boogie rock in tunes like Shitkicker.

Information from AlexGitlin.com: "The fourth version Curly Curve came together in Spring 1972 and finally the band had the success they had been striving for. Apart from Kurt Herkenberg and Hans Wallbaum, the two heads of the band, the line-up consisted of Heiner Pudelko, Alex Conti, Axel Klober and guitarist Paul Fuhrmann.  When Pudelko and Conti left the band in May (Conti went to join Atlantis, the band fronted by Hamburg-based singer Inga Rumpf), they were replaced by Martin Knaden (guitar) and Hanno Bruhn (vocals, guitar). Hanno Bruhn had been singing in various bands with the likes of Tony Sheridan and Don Adams and had won a singing contest initiated by the infamous "Star Club".  This was to become the longest-lasting Curly Curve line-up.

Curly Curve signed on to the Brain label and, produced by Frank Oeser, recorded their self-titled debut album (Brain 1040) in July 1973.  The record shows the band playing a powerful, technically perfect blues rock with definite American influences. Even the usually most critical of all critics, the reviewers of Sounds music magazine, took a liking to the straightforward boogie rock of the Berlin band.  Journalist Hermann Haring, who later on became chief editor of the magazine called Musik Express, wrote in his review: "A return to rock without any political ambitions. Curly Curve kick down the accelerator and speed off in a straightforward manner.

Curly Curve album line-up

They play a splendid kind of blues rock that for the future only needs a healthy dose of blackness for the soul."  What he meant was such vital rock songs as "Queen Of Spades", "Shitkicker" with its psychedelic elements, and the impressive opener "Hell And Booze".  Also worth a listen is the bluesy ballad "I'm Getting Better", which highlights Hanno Bruhn's smoky voice very well.  The extremely colourful cover artwork caused a lot of curiosity as well - thanks to a shining high polish packaging, it definitely was an eyecatcher.

Even though the album was released to mainly positive reviews, it would be Curly Curve's only official release ever. Even though they now had a recording contract, they did not have much luck. Following a well-attended German tour that saw them on stage with Karthago and other bands, someone broke into their rehearsal room while the band was preparing to record the second album. Not only was almost the entire band's equipment stolen, but the car as well. Following another change in the line-up (Martin Knaden was replaced by Leo Lehr), and arguments about whether the band should switch to German lyrics, the band dissolved for good."

Lily made one album in 1973. For this one, Dierks was again the engineer where it was recorded in his studio. Information from Discogs.com: "Lily were never really "Lily" but were always Monsun (that's Monsoon in English) originating in the mid-1960's from a beat band called The Mods, going through various changes before gelling as Monsun in 1970.

Recording a demo tape in Spring 1972, they so impress Bacillus Records producer Peter Hauke that he promptly signs them up after witnessing them live at the Frankfurt Zoom Club in October. Peter books them three days at Dierks Studio in January 1973. For some reason the big wigs at Bellaphon decided they wanted to promote them as a "glitter rock" band and with a more international flower-power name, hence they became Lily, all gleefully dolling themselves up for the chintzy cover shot."

Mannheim's Twenty Sixty Six And Then are up next. Info from Progarchives.com: "They were Geff Harrison on lead vocals, Gagey Mrozeck on guitars, Dieter Bauer on bass, Konstatin Bommarius on drums and Steve Robinson with Veit Marvos both sharing duties on organ, electric piano, vibes, synthesizer, mellotron and vocals (the name '2066 & THEN' comes from adding an extra thousand to the number 1066, year of the historical battle of Hastings).

Their heavy progressive style has been compared to that of Deep Purple, Vanilla Fudge and Iron Butterfly. After releasing their first album, individual members got involved in different projects that never really stood the test of time, so 'Reflections on the Future' is their only legacy, and a fine one at that.

Their dramatic organ-drenched, complex music sometimes dons symphonic elements, but the band isn't afraid to dive into some heavy guitar/organ jamming either, featuring elements of jazz, some high-octane rhythmic parts and quick changes, mixed with weird psychedelic electronic effects - the hoarse vocals, however, perhaps better suited to conventional hard rock, may take some getting used to.

Second Battle re-released the album in 1989 under the name 'Reflections on the Past'. Considered a collectors item, it also contains unreleased masters and some bonus practice sessions from an early rehearsal session in 1991. In 1994, the cd 'Reflections!' came out, compiling tracks from both, plus some which had been considered for a second album that never materialised. A combination of poor sales and a ruined German economy at the time sadly forced the premature death of this fine German band, only months after the release of their first album.

The next track "Der Herrscher" is originally from a record that was released under the name of Walter Wegmüller, and it later appeared on compilations of the collective The Cosmic Jokers, mentioned in the introduction. The album 'Tarot' would appear to be first record released that was the result of the assembled musicians that would become known as Cosmic Jokers.

More info from ProgArchives.com: "In 1972, Rolf Ulrich Kaiser of Ohr records and a group of musicians from the Berlin Underground scene (Ashra Tempel) seriously started to think about cosmic rock music to satisfy their adventurous life with appropriate sounds. The idea of "Cosmic music" was also born as a protest against UK and United States obvious influences on rock music worldwide. The aim was to create typical German "acid" rock music. To put in practice his project, Rolf Kaiser founded his own label and called it "Cosmic Couriers".

The name of "Cosmic Couriers" is an attitude of mind that emerged during the 60's. It was an idealistic movement which conceptually tries to look for ways to stay in high states of consciousness thanks to mescaline or LSD trips. The first album released under Rolf Kaiser's drug inspired philosophy was "seven up" with the guru of "acid test" Tim Leary and Ashra Tempel musicians. Soon after, the Kaiser produced two others albums with personalities from the underground psychedelic movement. There was the mystic, esoteric writer Sergius Golowin (on recitations for the cosmic/psych folk project "Lord Krishna") and the Swiss gipsy folk artist Walter Wegmuller for the project around the symbolism of "Tarot" cards.

In 1972 was released the "Tarot' album with the help of many krautrock musicians, notably Manuel Gottsching (for many guitars parts), Klaus Schulze (for electronic & effects), a few members of Wallenstein as Harald Grosskopf (on drums), Jurgen Dollase (on keyboards) and Walter Westrupp (on acoustic parts). Musically "Tarot" consists of numerous short tracks that we can described as a great synthesis of everything that emerged during the first krautrock years. Consequently the stress is put on hallucinatory, psych effects, bluesy/ trance guitar sounds, free form rock augmented with sophisticated synth sounds, acoustic folk passages with flute and guitar, pseudo-romantic piano arrangements and odd vocal recitations. Each track represents an idea developed by a "tarot" card. A fascinating travel through the subconsciousness and cosmic energies.

Here are a few lines which sum up Walter Wegmuller's Tarot mystical universe:
The travel starts with the madman. He is the beginning and the end at the same time. So you can hear how he goes through his own world. He stumbles over earthy things and material obstacles and doesn't know that it can give. The wizard opens the door himself. In triumph, he appears on the scene. Then he lets himself play during an endless eternity. In his scenic railway, he plays his own life into a brand new eternal one. He opens the door which leads to all secrets."

Demon Thor would appear to have had a combined heritage from Germany, Switzerland and the UK. English keys player Geff Harrison crops up again on this one, from Twenty Sixty Six And Then. A two-album band, this time Dieter Dierks receives a co-production credit as well as engineer on their second LP, 'Written In The Sky'.

The main ideas man of the band appears to have been Thomas 'Tommy' Fortman, a Swiss composer who has worked in Opera, rock, pop and classical. The music of Demon Thor is quite commercial but I dug the track Pink Mary and that is what's included here!

Nektar was an English prog band who were originally based in Germany. I have chosen a track from their second album "A Tab In The Ocean", which was recorded at Dierks' studio and engineered by him. Info from ProgArchives.com: "Nektar is probably the most German-like of the Seventies British bands, a fame that owes a lot to the town in which this band was founded (Hamburg) and to their stylistic approach (Assimilated to Krautrock). They were formed in 1969 by Allan Freeman (keyboards & vocals), Roye Albrighton (guitars & vocals), Derek Moore (bass, Mellotron & vocals) and Ron Howden (drums).

Their earliest albums were hard rock that drew heavily from the space-rock and Pink Floyd styles of the same period. The 70's gave them the occasion to issue some masterpieces, like for example "Remember the Future" (1973) and "Recycled" (1975). Each is a conceptual album that is a nice blend of melodic guitar and keyboards with a vocal story. "Journey To The Centre Of The Eye" is a mindblowing epic with lots of echoplex guitar and dual Mellotrons which is quite in tune with the Krautrock stuff going on around them, yet is definitely British. "A Tab in the Ocean" and "Magic is a Child" had shorter songs and were less satisfying. Fortunately there is a compilation album just called Nektar (1976) which has all the best bits of the albums and is highly recommended."

The Chris Braun Band made three studio albums and a soundtrack to the movie 'Jede Menge Kohle' (imdb). Their middle LP 'Foreign Lady' was recorded, produced and mixed by Dierks. They were fairly period-typical German progressive rock with folk and wind section, and Chris Braun's charismatic vocals sung in English. More English period-typical though, like Curved Air for instance. Also I got hints of Room on their first LP but it sounds a couple years more advanced.  The track I used is from their Dierks-produced LP but I found their first one to be a better listen, so check out "Both Sides" (1972) also.

More info from ProgArchives.com: "Chris Braun Band are a Krautrock group based in Dortmund, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany who disappeared from the scene after 2 album releases [to reappear with a final LP in 1983]. In 1972 "Both Sides" featured Bill Bakine on drums, percussion, Jochen Bernstein on bass, Chris Braun on lead vocals, Elmar Krohn on guitars, flute, percussion, vocals, and Horst Schreiber on guitars, percussion, and vocals.

Chris Braun Band. 'Foreign Lady' CD inlay

In 1973 the heavy rock, jazz and psych album "Foreign Lady" featured again Chris Braun on vocals, joined by Bernstein's bass, Krohn's drums, and newcomers to the group Bernd Adamkewitz on guitar, and saxophone, and Klaus Melchers on piano, moog, and mellotron. The guest musicians on the album include Linda Fields on backing vocals, choir, Peter Hast on percussion and Jiggs Wigham on trombone.

They also released two 7" singles in the seventies that have over the years become rare vinyl collector's items. Chris Braun wrote the songs, sung for the band and was founder of the group. Her gravelly voice may be compared to Inga Rumpf of Frumpy/Atlantis. Her songs are a combination of folk-rock, jazz-fusion, heavy blues and hard rock."

Wallenstein are a well-known krautrock band. They made numerous LPs with Dierks recording and/or producing almost all of them. Bassist Jerry Berkers (also of Cosmic Jokers) appears later in this volume with a solo record. More info from ProgArchives.com: "Wallenstein were a band that transcended a number of musical styles during their decade-plus of existence, from early krautrock to symphonic to space rock toward the end of their existence.

The original lineup was centered around keyboardist/vocalist Jürgen Dollase and drummer Harald Großkopf, both of whom would go on to make names even bigger for themselves in the German music business (Dollase with The Cosmic Jokers and Großkopf as a founding member of Ashra and later the Central Europe Performance). The band was originally named Blitzkrieg, but as they readied their first studio release the band discovered a prior band with that name so changed theirs and retained 'Blitzkrieg' as the title of that first album.

Großkopf would leave the band following the 1975 release of "Stories, Songs & Symphonies", and was replaced by former Zoppo Trump drummer Nicky Gebhard. This began a stretch of several lineup changes in the band, including the Genhard's replacement of Charly Terstappen, who would himself move on as a member of the skirt band The Lords; the addition of Achim Reiser on violin and Dollase's brother Rolf on flute; Jürgen Pluta on bass; and Gerb Klocker on guitar.

The band's sound evolved from a straightforward kraut sound into a harder style reminiscent of Amon Düül II or Can, heavier on screaming guitar and piano with only sporadic mellotron for accent, and with the addition of violin and flute the band would adapt a truly symphonic sound for their later releases. By the close of the seventies only Jürgen Dollase remained from the original lineup, and the band faded into oblivion following the 1981 release of "Ssssssstop!".

Marz & Eperjessy was the duo of Rainer Marz and George Eperjessy. Guitarist Marz is well-known as part of many bands including Epsilon, Midnight Circus, the excellent Jeronimo, and Atlantis (appearing later in the volume).

Eperjessy came to Germany from the Czechoslovakian pop band The Beatman. How he came to work with Marz is not immediately clear to me but you can read more about him at what appears to be his website here.

The Marz & Eperjessy LP was recorded and engineered by Dierks at his studio and there is little more to find regarding it as-yet, in fact I have only been able to find one song from it, 'Thousand Smiles' is included here and is thankfully very good!

In tenth place on this volume is the Swiss band Tea. When doing the Swiss volume 83 (link) I decided not to include them, but on checking them out again for this, it seems that was a bit of an oversight as they do have some sterling music to offer.

It would appear that Dierks was closely allied to the band, as its engineer and producer. Also appearing as backing singers for Tea was a Chilean pop band called Santiago, who Dierks produced for the BASF label (even the omni-present Rainer Marz showed up playing guitar on Santiago LPs).

More info from ProgArchives.com: "Tea is a heavy progressive rock band formed in 1971 in Switzerland. The founding members were drummer Roli Eggli, guitarist Armand Volker, and bassist and vocalist Turo Pashayan. The band's name is derived from these three member's first initials. In 1972, the band augmented their lineup with lead singer Mark Storace. The band heavily toured in Switzerland and France, earning a name for themselves before they had even released any material, which led to them landing a spot on television, unheard of for many bands in their day, in 1973. In 1974, the band finally began to release music, beginning with a few singles that led up to, although they were not included on, the band's debut self-titled album in 1974. After the album's release, they even toured with international superstars Queen as the band's "special guests".

1975 saw the band's second album, "The Ship," The album protracted a similar positive buzz as the first album, with many positive reviews published about the album. The band again toured across Europe. In 1976 the band released their third album, "Tax Exile." Yet another European tour commenced, which even included singer Storace's native Malta. Although the band had enjoyed great success up to that point, Tea played their last concert in 1977.

In 2007 however, Eggli, Volker, and Storace began thinking about a reunion. The band began rehearsing as a trio, as Keinholz declined to be included in the band and Pashayan was discovered to be in a German prison due to fraud charges. 30 years after the band dissolved, they released their fourth album "Reloaded," which was a retrospective album that included lesser known works & non-album tracks. The band began to play shows again in December of 2009."

Jerry Berkers was born in the Netherlands. Here's some info from ProgArchives.com again: "He is best remembered for his work with Wallenstein ('Blitzkrieg' and 'Mother Universe' LPs) as well as his appearance on two of the Kosmische Kuriere LPs ('Lord Krishna Von Goloka' and 'Tarot').

He only made one album in solo called "Unterwegs" (1972). The content mostly acoustic instruments and percussions with subtle keyboards parts. For the occasion, Berkers invited many of his friends and musicians with whom he had participated to several works for the Pilz / Kosmische Kurrier labels (Jurgen Dollase, Witthuser & Westrupp.). The compositions are melodic, pop, moody with a few complex progressive sounds put into structured short songs. The album was dedicated against the war in Vietnam (as suggest the lyrics.)"

Atlantis was one of Dieter Dierks' most successful bands to work with. They made a variety of music and I found my favorite LP to be the fourth, "Get On Board", which Dierks engineered and produced.

More info found at AlexGitlin.com: "Atlantis was a band formed by ex-Frumpy musicians Inga Rumpf, Jean-Jacques Kravetz and Karl-Heinz Schott, in late Summer, 1972. The initial line-up included guitarist Frank Dietz and ex-Emergency drummer Curt Cress (later with Triumvirat, Passport).

The band played a few live gigs in Germany before they recorded their debut in London's Island Studios. The US magazine, Cash Box, compared Atlantis with the Doobie Brothers and praised Inga Rumpf's blues-tinged voice. Shortly before the group went on a four week tour of England with Procol Harum, Traffic, Vinegar Joe and the Sharks, Cress and Dietz left and were temporarily supplanted by Udo Lindenberg and George Meier. After the tour, Atlantis recruited Dieter Bornschlegel (ex-Traumtorte) on guitar and Ringo Funk (ex-Jeronimo) on drums as new permanent members.

Rumpf and Kravetz remained the artistical nucleus of the band. Said Kravetz: "Inga determines this band like Rod Stewart & the Faces, her voice makes our image." Atlantis' second album "It's Getting Better" was even more determined by Inga Rumpf's preference for black rhythms: "I always took a special liking in blues, jazz and soul music, and, since I'm writing most of the songs, this influence is decisive in our music."  Melody Maker "recommended" the second album and Sounds attested the band to be "the most English of all German groups".

Inga Rumpf
After the gig at the Paris' Olympia, Atlantis went, again, on a four week tour of England, which included a performance at the rock show, "Old Grey Whistle Test". During this tour, Kravetz left the band and had to be hastily replaced by Rainer Schnelle (ex-Family Tree). At the end of 1973, Atlantis was among Germany's three most popular German rock groups, according to a Musikmarkt poll. Half a year later, the line-up changed again. Schnelle and Bomschlegel were replaced by English keyboarder Adrian Askew and ex-Curly Curve guitarist Alex Conti.

Both were featured on the third LP "Ooh Baby". Seven of the ten songs were written by Askew/Conti, while Rumpf only had three of her compositions on the album.  The result was a "spicy funk album" (Musik Express) with a "bunch of Germany's best soul" (Sounds). Atlantis was at its best on stage, which was proved by a double album recorded live at the Hamburg Fabrik from 1973 - 1975. In Summer 1975, Atlantis went on tour in the States, mostly as opener for Lynyrd Skynyrd. After the tour, guitarist Alex Conti was fired and went on to play with Lake. The new line-up was completed with former guitarist Frank Dietz and as second guitarist Rainer Marz.

The rockier American influence was noticeable on Atlantis's fourth LP "Get On Board", but the LP and the following tour failed to have commercial success. Consequently, Inga Rumpf and Karl-Heinz Schott announced their departure in January 1976. After the split, the album "Top Of The Bill" with unreleased studio recordings from December 1975 and March 1976 was released. On February 23, 1983, the original line-up reunited for a revival concert in the Hamburg Fabrik and received standing ovations."

Missing Link's only LP 'Nevergreen!' was recorded and engineered by Dierks' at his studio. This is a jazzy prog LP which is mostly instrumental. It covers a lot of ground with various instrumentation and the track 'Kids Hunter', chosen here, is a great hard rocker using blazing guitar over hammond and wind section to great effect!

More information thanks to ProgArchives.com: "This early 70's jazz-rock band from Munich has had a rather short career; in fact, it lasted the space of an album called "Nevergreen", released in 1972. Then the band broke up, most of their members scatttering about in various directions. They consisted of guitarist Markus Sing, soprano and alto sax player Gunther Latuschik, bassist Dave Schratzenstaller, vocalist Gabriel Dominik Mueller, future Sahara drummer Holger Brandt, and keyboard player Dieter Miekautsch who would later join Missus Beastlt and then Embryo.

They played typical 70's German progressive jazz rock in the style of Thirsty Moon, early Embryo and Kraan. Almost each of their album's seven tracks seems to explore a different genre, at times centering around some jazzy sax riffs, at times surprising the listener with a quiet piano solo; or else venturing into loud, heavy rock outbursts mixed with acoustic guitar. The overall feel is quite jazzy and what stands out most is the interplay between guitar, sax and keyboards. Should appeal to fans of Embryo and Thirsty Moon as well as to some Ardo Dombec and Xhol fans."

We near the end with Sperrmüll. Their album was recorded at Dierks' studio. Thanks to Discogs and ProgArchives for the info here: "Originating from various beat bands in the Aachen area of Germany, Sperrmüll were formed in early-1971 as the trio of: Harald Kaiser, Reinhold Breuer and Udo Hager, expanding to a quintet with the addition of keyboards and winds shortly after.

A long-time lost krautrock classic delivering a dynamic, complex combination between fuzzy freak out improvisations (full of Hammond organs and catchy heavy guitar leads) & epic folk arrangements for the flute. They published only one album in 1970 in a rather anonymous way at Dierks' studio (for the Brain label in a very limited edition, lately re-published by Second Battle). A very accomplished record. Similar to early Deep Purple, Nosferatu and Rufus Zuphall."

And finally we have a track recorded by the band Hush, which as mentioned in the intro, was Dierks' band that he started in the late '60s and made one single with. The A-side was a cover of The Beatles' Oh Darling, but the B-side was more interesting as an original composition of Dierks' own writing.

It's not a heavy track but it's a fun way to round-off this volume. I hope you've enjoyed hearing a set of music that's all totally new to the blog, as much as I have enjoyed compiling it. As mentioned at the beginning, coming in the near future will be another set of Dierks' "works" from bands that have already appeared in the blog, that one promises to be a heavier collection than this one...

Thanks for listening!

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