Friday, January 23, 2015

The Day After The Sabbath 114: World In Sound [label interview]

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Those of you that spend a lot a lot of time looking for obscurities in the realm of '60s/'70s rock will no doubt be familiar with some of the independent record labels that are re-issuing lost gems. They are of course one of the essential driving forces that keep the interest going in this scene, frequently revealing new artists' work that was previously lost in the vaults of old studios or forgotten in shoe boxes in dusty attics. Myself and everyone else who shares this stuff is indebted to them for making this music known and accessible. I list all the labels that I have used music from so far in the 'recommended' section on the right, so please check that out at some point.

Chris Peters
I was recently contacted by someone who works for one of these labels. He is Chris Peters (link), singer and guitarist for the contemporary heavy psych band 'Samsara Blues Experiment'. There is another great interview with him here at ItsPsychedelicBaby (link). One of his other pass-times is assisting in the running of the independent label that his band is signed to, called 'World In Sound', aka 'WIS' (website). Originally started in 1998 by founder Wolf, the label began as a '60s-'70s rarity re-issue label, and has since branched out into signing current bands. In a recent vision-shift it has just moved on to its first '80s re-issue, as you will read below. I have used music from WIS re-issued acts more than a few times in this blog before, Fear Itself (Vol97), Ellison (Vol12), Darius (Vol108) and Goldenrod (Vol31) to name a few. Therefore I was more than happy to join-in with Chris's suggestion of doing a spotlight on the label, which is what volume 114 of TDATS has become.

What you get here is fifteen tracks which I have chosen as some of my personal faves from the WIS 'relics from the past' catalogue. This includes a few names that have appeared before in TDATS, and I am glad to say the rest have not, making for a very fresh set for you guys out there and some new discoveries to me. Label-owner Wolf has given us his opinions on the tracks. He also took part in an interview, which will be great for those of you interested in the world of re-issue labels and what it's like to run one. The majority of tracks are from albums, with two 45s, from Purple Canteen and Protein Bros. These are taken from the WIS obscure 45s comp, "Psychedelic Minds vol. 1" (link).

TRACKS with Wolf's comments (there's more detailed artist info at end of article)
01. Protein Bros - Drainpipe (1971)
        from album 'Psychedelic Minds Vol.1'
        Pure Euphoria! Also heavy as hell and should make everybody want to dance and freak
02. Gold - No Parking (1970)
        from album 'San Francisco Origins'
        For that period heavy as hell and in my opinion at least as powerful as "Ace of Spades"
03. Dragonwyck - The Vision (1970)
        from album 'Dragonwyck'
        Kind of a heavy punk version of the Doors' "Break on Through"
04. Purple Canteen - Brains In My Feet (1968)
        from album 'Psychedelic Minds Vol.1'
        Fuzziest Fuzz ever
05. Fred - By The Way (1971)
        from album 'Fred'
        Incredible music! An album which should be in each and every good '70s collection
06. Strawberry Window - Mercury (1967)
        from album 'Strawberry Window'
        The raw, intense roots of Westcoast heavy blues rock
07. Fear Itself - For Suki (1969)
        from album 'Fear Itself'
        Perfect culmination of teenage blues and distorted heaviness. Dramatic
08. Headstone - Ragin' River (1974)
        from album 'Still Looking'
        It was their later stuff, it´s a bonus track, a good 70s rocker, a ZZ-Top, AC/DC-like
        stomper, but the more excessive material is the album and the 45s.
09. Mystic Siva - Eyes Have Seen Me (1970)
        from album 'Mystic Siva'
        Mystic Siva were awesome performers. Checkout their live album “Under the 
        Influence”, incredible to me that they were just 16 on average when doing this. Most of
        their songs are really DIE HARD, which was also the major aspect in '80s thrash metal.
10. Jeff Simmons - I'm In The Music Business (1970)
        from album 'Lucille Has Messed My Mind Up'
        "I'm in the Music Business," in which the main character resorts to acting in a porn flick
        to pay his rent when his career as a musician goes nowhere. Frank Zappa produced the
        album and Simmons would later join The Mothers.
11. Freeman Sounds & Friends - If I Could Only (1970)
        from album 'Heavy Trip'
        A very epic heavy rock tune, heavy blues, haunting and unforgettable with stunning
        melodies and forceful guitar work. If it would have been released in 1971 it could have
        been a hit. It also has a bit of Krautrock flair
12. Psiglo - Cambiarás al Hombre (1974)
        from album 'Psiglo II'
        Theatrical South American prog psych at its best! Great rhythm changes and hammond
        riffs, mind-blowing guitar solo
13. Stoned Circus - Trust (1970)
        from album 'Revisited'
        Great! I invited them to Germany in 2005 and they came with original line up. It was
        pure and authentic!
14. Sproton Layer - The Blessing Of The Dawn Source (1970)
        from album 'With Magnetic Fields Disrupted'
        More than incredible! Roger Miller from Mission of Burma on Bass - super heavy -
        combines the hypnotic Syd Barrett feeling with late 70s punk. This is a work of 3
        brothers (all of them performed in "Destroy all Monsters") and the trumpet intro sounds
        like in a Sergio Leone western movie! I saw them live in 2014 and am still mind-blown,
        all people were smiling
15. Cosmic Dealer - Child Of Tomorrow (1973)
        from album 'Child Of Tomorrow'
        The Netherlands had a few spectacular bands with a typical "Dutch vibe" in songwriting.
        Shocking Blue were the heroes, and their heavy songs are just WOW! "Child Of
        Tomorrow" is a perfect heavy/pop rock song with cool Westcoast-feeling and from 2:28
        min. marching into the unexpected! Awesome! In my opinion that part could have been
        more extended to a real freakout, but it´s a song and not a jam. Still, in one word:
Interview with label boss, Wolf

Q1. Hi Wolf, welcome to TDATS. Firstly, can you tell us a little about yourself. Is 'Wolf' a nickname? Where are you from and where do you live in Germany?
Wolf is the short version of Wolfgang. I grew up here, close to Heidelberg in the south western part of Germany. For university I moved up 300 km north to Cologne, then returned and started my label as a hobby in 1998. Besides sports, music was always a true love of mine. My parents' musical taste plus the time I grew up as a kid (early-mid 70s) had a huge impact on my NOW-taste. It was Elvis, Pat Boone, '60s orchestra stuff and the Ennio Morricone Western or Jerry Cotton soundtracks, Joe Meek, who all had an epic, monumentally haunting feeling but catchy arrangements.This is what I call "dark euphoria" and what I see as one part of the World In Sound-philosophy.

Then in the 1980s I was a teen and at first owned only one vinyl; a 50s/60s Rock&Roll comp featuring Bill Haley, Chuck Berry, Little Richard and Fats Domino – my next album was Judas Priest “Defenders of the Faith”… It was a great period for music and in retrospect the years 1983 – 1989 was the last serious revolutionary movement in rock history, when I had the ultimate pleasure of seeing Metallica with Cliff Burton in 1985, opening for Venom. Of course, most of the other acts that I saw live were a great experience. Almost every concert was a total blast and a happening with maximum tension – now days I often miss that magic. I feel mostly disappointed about today's LIVE heavy music scene. I ask myself sometimes, if the time to be truly euphoric is gone? Or is it that maybe the term 'euphoria' deserves a new definition?

Q2. Are you a musician yourself?
No I never played music but was always a passionate and conscious listener, hunting for intense and catchy music. I did professional sports for about half of my life (swimming).

Q3. Can you tell us some of the major events and influences in your life that led you to start "World in Sound"?
There was always the passion to discover great music and that is a lifetime quest and still growing. My major motivation was to dive deeper in the local US-underground scene while collecting 60s/70s original vinyl and 45 records at the end of the '90s. This was the period when lots of bootlegs flooded the market but also “popular” re-issue labels had been founded to create a renaissance with a look back to underground music history.

One day near the end of 1998, I decided spontaneously to release music on limited vinyl and to find the band members, with the hope to get more unreleased music and exciting biographies. And further, I had the intention of producing high quality releases, as an alternative for super expensive original albums, like Mystic Siva, Darius or Modulo 1000. I found several bands who just did rare 45 records, like Fred, and I was mind-blown (and still am) when I listened to their unreleased music for the first time.

Q4. Can you describe some of key moments in the development of the label since it started?
There were too many impressing moments to describe one as a key. It was a constant growth and it was always awesome, when after a difficult search for the original artists I had the right guy on the phone. Also meeting some of these guys and talking about their passion, what efforts they put in their music, was highly inspiring.

It was important for WIS to start with CD-releases in 2001, because by that it reached more international popularity. The next important step was to add contemporary groups on the label and most of the latest releases are really good albums, but especially live on stage most of my bands are really challenging.

Also, the jam-project Obskuria gave me an opportunity to produce albums and learn about studio work. I enjoyed the whole process of the production, from sharing ideas to recording, cutting, mixing and mastering it. It was a project with musicians from my label, Tom Brehm from Dragonwyck and the La Ira De Dios band, plus a keyboardist from my area. They jammed like hell and with the help of my sound-engineer we cut these jams to songs. It was a lot of fun and I still listen to it and I am mind-blown.

Q5. You cover a wide range of styles with WIS. TDATS is mainly about heavy stuff like hard rock and heavy prog/psych, but WIS equally features stuff like folk and experimental artists. Could you tell us what your favourite styles in old rock are, including some of your favourite artists from those times?
When people say heavy, I assume that they mean riff-orientated, doomy, less melodic and tight rock, like a hardcore-style kind of sound – Though I think true heaviness should also work on people´s minds and not just on their body, for me it´s more about intensity which is created by exciting layers, catchy melodies, fast(er) rhythms and a climax that every good song should have, plus unexpected movements which are floating into euphoric and hypnotic realms. I can not really tell you which styles I like. Before I already mentioned my "heroes" - the '80s thrash metal and punk movement was the strongest and most influential style, I have lived for - maybe also because of the chance to see all these great bands live on stage. Back then I took all my pocket money to the local record store ;-). I can for sure say that I'm not into most new styles, like Sludge, modern Doom or Nu-Metal, all that is too boring for me.

Q6. Personally, I think the short transitional period between the 60's and 70's was the best and most creatively interesting time in rock history. What are your opinions on why there was such a creative explosion during those times and what other periods interest you most up until the current day?
I totally agree with you, also 1955-1963 was spectacular when Rock & Roll and a serious youth movement opened up the gate – that heated people up for more freedom in music. Especially the fact that bands wrote their own songs, made the '60s/'70s movement this exciting and the naivety and passion of discovering something new drove it to the limit.

Compared to today the quality of dynamics in the productions had way more magical spirit due to the influences of classical/jazz orchestra music, which means the knowledge about music and how things work on the listener was at a higher level. Also that gave interesting crossover albums like Deep Purple the chance to combine classical movements with heavy rock and in the end it sounded like one big orchestra.

Q7. How do you choose the artists to reissue with WIS? Do you choose them all yourself, or do you have assistance or recommendations?
If I want to listen to an album over and over again, I want to release it. Of course I have friends who I "use" as test-listeners, also Chris Peters (from Samsara Blues Experiment and Electric Magic Records) consulted me for some releases, or forwarded to me bands like Postures and Sun And The Wolf. But my experience is, not to listen too much to other people, or think too long about things. It has to hit me from the first note or needs at least 50% of these "WOW"-songs. I think there are either way too many releases on the market, and I receive at least 2-3 demos a week, so I hope that every release is chosen well-enough to not end up in the 0.99ct special sale boxes (which is much less than the production cost).

Q8. How did you get together the obscure 45s that you used in your various artist comps like ''Psychedelic Minds Vol.1''.
They are all in my collection, good stuff ain't it? For a long time I've been thinking of a Vol. 2, so be prepared!

Q9. Do you have any interesting stories regarding how you found out about their lost work, or how you got in contact with any of the artists?
There were too many stories in that field of “detective-research”. Once I tried to locate Florencio Vargas from San Antonio TX. He's on the Psychedelic Minds sampler with the group Sangre Mexicana, a killer song! So, there was a search-website which displayed the ages of people and I called the oldest person with the surname "Vargas", out of 100 hits, who was a 91 year old woman, and asked if she could help me. She was so nice, we talked for more than 10 mins and joked and a few days later I got an E-Mail from Florencio. Most of the WIS releases have been realized after similar web-research for phone numbers and then calling the musicians to find out about an existence of tapes, deals and other things. I have also brought musicians together who lost track of each other, by releasing their music.

Q10. Could you tell us three artists reissued by WIS that are particular favourites of yours, and why?
A tough question, for me every album has at least one “must-have-listened-at-least-once-in-a-lifetime” song!

Fred is for sure one of the most musically-talented bands you'll find in my reissue catalogue. I love especially their self-titled debut, and feel sadness that they were not discovered in 1971. I met three of them in person.

Mystic Siva were awesome performers. Checkout their live album “Under the Influence”, incredible to me that they were just 16 on average when doing this. Most of their songs are really DIE HARD, which was also the major aspect in '80s thrash metal.

There are many, many more album highlights like Easy Chair, Cold Sun, The Id, Phantasia, Fear Itself, Dragonwyck, CK Strong, Headstone, The Head Shop, Gold ... They all developed their “own” remarkable sound and great songs.

Q11. What is the future for WIS? Do you have any other types of project in mind, like books for instance?
I guess the future will be good – several great albums are in the pipeline. With Samsara Blues Experiment this year we will have the first well-promoted US tour of a WIS-artist, and they will be the first WIS-artist at Hellfest in France. I hope that soon other WIS bands can follow.

In 2015 WIS will re-release Blind Illusion's "The Sane Asylum" album, a thrash metal band with psychedelic influences. It will also be the first '80s release in the WIS catalogue. With the new mastering I hope to bring out the 70s psych appeal better than you hear it on the original release. I love open and natural dynamics and sound. According to my knowledge it was Les Claypool's [of Primus] first ever album release. Just yesterday I received unreleased 1979 bonus tracks from guitarist Mark Bierdermann, who is the band leader and founder and... WOW! I hope the WIS fans will see that thrash metal also had psychedelic aspects... and also for you, as a reviewer for heavy progressive music, I think it´s a nugget, if you don´t know about it yet.

I´d also like to set up a festival with only WIS-bands this year.

A book is possible but only by spoken interview and someone else writing it. Could be very interesting though. Do you have any plans in writing a book, btw?

Rich: Possibly, if I can can come up with an original aspect that hasn't been done for a book before.

Q12. Could you tell us about some of your favourite current or new artists from around the world?
A tough question too, the last “current” band that knocked me out was Portishead. Compared to what I have seen live on stage and heard on album during the past 30 years I prefer looking back in time, than searching for current music I could like. I don´t want to sound ignorant and don´t doubt that awesome albums are around today, but I found none by coincidence yet ;-). Btw. I quit collecting about 10 years ago. But I was totally surprised by Black Sabbath's last tour.

Q13. What have you learnt from your experiences of running WIS? Do you have any useful advice for rock fanatics who are considering starting a label or similar project themselves?
I have learned that I would do the same again and I enjoyed the time when I researched a lot in historical music. I also enjoy working with young talented bands who look forward to their best years of making music. I motivate them to find ways to knock the fans out and recommend exciting inventive music for them to listen to. An artist's job is to entertain the fans and a label's job is to entertain collectors by picking the best artists and providing the best "product" in regard to our WIS-special LP-releases for example. If the choice of artists is great, your products will be sought-after as soon they are out of print!

Q14. Finally, do you have anything further to say to TDATS and WIS fans out there?

ROCK ON! WIS will never compromise in the choice of artists, and hopes to release more challenging albums. 

Thanks Wolf!

Artist profiles taken from World in Sound

Protein Bros - 'Drainpipe' & Purple Canteen - 'Brains In My Feet'
both on 'Psychedelic Minds Vol.1 (Heavy Underground 67-71)' LP (link)

These are two tracks taken from the WIS comp, "Psychedelic Minds Vol.1 (Heavy Underground 67-71)" (link).

Protein Bros. from Malibu set the Californian surf dream to music. Rick Henn and Dennis Dragon had produced the soundtrack for Hal Jespen's 'A Sea for Yourself' in 1973. It includes a different instrumental version of 'Drainpipe' and was released a bit later than this 45rpm. Both releases came out on Rural Records.

Producer Joe Lee remembers, Purple Canteen from Jonesboro, Arkansas recorded a few songs around 1967/68. As a friend to these musicians' parents, Lee lent his support to the band and recorded them in his own studio. Purple Canteen's 45rpm was released on Lee's label Alley Records who also released the more popular freakbeat band 'The Esquires'.

Gold -'San Francisco Origins' LP (link)

A CD / LP cobination. The CD contains 2 parts S.F. underground history with the first Gold line-up feat. lead singer Richard Coco. Their 45 record “NO PARKING” was already reissued on LP by Rockadelic and issued on the CD compilation “Nuggets from the Golden State”.

Part 1 (only on CD) are the Studio Sessions of Leo Kulka´s Golden State Recorders, 9 heavy guitar cuts (same as Rockadelic LP) with great congas and bizarre Rock´n Roll vocals and the previously unreissued 45-rpm flipside a 4:45 minute sensitive but totally unexpected version of Gershwin's "Summertime" produced by Country Joe McDonald (Country Joe and the Fish).

Part 2 of the CD is here the vinyl release, a live set at the Fillmore-West Audition, a qualification gig for Bill Grahams club circuit, which was successfully passed - gigs at Winterland, Fillmore-West followed. These 42 minutes reach the highest level of power and a unique kind of heavy acid rock sound (especially the 6 min. killer version of “NO PARKING”) - Ed Scott´s hypnotic rhythm guitar, a mind blowing bass and drums create an outstanding and surrounding flow, Joe Bajza´s soaring solo guitar played in a kind of aggressive Cipollina / Jeff Beck style is brilliantly intense and brings true Sixties S.F. Hell´s Angels party feeling to your home. Very detailed 12 page color booklet - 78 minutes of hot music reflect the “golden sprit” of the late60's early 70's in San Francisco....15 years later bands like Metallica, Slayer, Exodus…..continued these powerful Bay Area guitar excesses…

Dragonwyck - 'Dragonwyck' LP (link)

This release is the first of WIS's Dragonwyck trilogy. The group from Cleveland (OH) was a promising band in that area, opened shows for bands like Foghat, Golden Earring, Edgar Winter Group etc. The mood of the music is dark, mystic and strongly influenced by the spirit of the times and the hippie age……"anything goes"! - Shortly after highschool in 1970, the 5 guys recorded 7 tracks, released a test pressing on Pama Records in an edition of only 85 copies. It was reissued in the 1990's by Rockadelic Records as limited edition on LP and CD, since then this band is a milestone for all heavy psychedelic music collectors.

Jim Morrison and The Doors brought main inspiration to Dragonwyck´s music, with the small difference; the songs are heavier and more progressive; the sound is not just dominated by great vocals, there are lots of freaked out heavy guitar solos and swirling Hammond B3 organ, which brings the individual note to the music. The core of musicians started as Sunrise in 1968 and released one 45 record.

Fred - 'Fred' LP (link)

"Fred" was for sure one of the most talented 70´s groups without an album – enjoy their early works, they're released for the first time. In 1971, as the war in Vietnam continued, some college students in rural Pennsylvania formed a band and left school behind. That year, they published a 45 rpm single (a love song - Salvation Lady) and recorded most of the music on this album, which contains cryptic lyrics and heavenly vocals floating over fuzzed-out guitar, crafty keys, drums and bass like a freight train, and a serene electric violin freshly liberated from the bonds of classical training.

Influenced by the likes of Procol Harum, The Band, Traffic, Jethro Tull, It´s A Beautiful Day, Frank Zappa, and King Crimson, they bring a unique sensibility and style to their 10 original pieces, uncannily as fresh today as they were when they were first recorded. The release includes liner notes and photos.

Strawberry Window - 'Strawberry Window' LP (link) 

Strawberry Window hailed from the San Francisco Bay Areas East Bay music scene in the mid 60’s and were truly one of the “early birds” and innovators who made their own distinct brand of Rock-N-Roll. They played in a heavy-psychedelic-garage style, sounding somewhat reminiscent of the Jefferson Airplane, (early) Mad River, Buffalo Springfield, Quicksilver Messenger Service and Frumious Bandersnatch. These previously unreleased recordings have survived for the last four decades in a box on a shelf in a band member's closet.

Meticulous care and detail has been taken to master these recordings with a fresh, open approach, while ensuring that the sound and integrity of the vintage songs remained intact. The music of this guitar based quartet ranges from catchy electric folk tunes and “West Coast” garage rock to raw energetic acid jams lasting over 10 minutes.

Fear Itself - 'Fear Itself' LP (link) 

The album was originally released in 1969 on Dot-Records but didn't receive too much attention - maybe it appeared as a "too" freaked out heavy version of Jefferson Airplane or Big Brother & the Holding Co. The group started back in Atlanta Georgia in 1967 as a quartet with two guitars, played true Psychedelic sounds, recorded with Tom Wilson at the Record Plant in NYC, and moved to Woodstock (NY). The 10 album tracks contain 2 arrangements of traditional tunes all others are originals reflecting true electric heavy blues with a strong Hendrix feel, duelling guitar work and an outstanding female voice/vocals/screams...lots of intense stereo effects.

The group performed at Woodstock Festival in 1968 (one year before...) and played the hottest venues of NYC such as Filmore East. Ellen McIlwaine, the founder of the group made an international solo career as blues-singer and slide guitarist sharing the bill with Jimi Hendrix (main influence), Laura Nyro, Howlin' Wolf, Weather Report, Taj Mahal, George Thorogood, Tom Waits, Chicago, Bruce Springsteen and played a series of concerts with Johnny Winter.

Headstone - 'Still Looking' LP (link) 

This reissue by Headstone, a hard rock quartet from Indiana was their only album release. Their sound is strong and melodic with guitar/organ leads and catchy vocals. Their natural float creates a hypnotic atmosphere. At all their musical spirit is closer to the end 60s blend, than the recording year 1974 reflects, and sometimes they remind of the early Bloodrock stuff. Acid Archives (Patrick Lama): "The opening seven minute title track is a killer journey through local underground guitar psych, and there's plenty more good stuff aboard including some more lyrical moves. Underrated LP, solid all-way through, better than many $1000 LPs."

They were discovered by a local producer from Ohio, who owned the label "Starr-Records" and went there to record "Still Looking" (further they released in 1975 two non-lp 45 records; three "45-rpm songs are bonus tracks on the LP version; on CD you´ll find in total 6 bonustracks on the CD incl. 2 previously unreleased tunes). A hard rock album with several of flashes of the upcoming" new wave of British Heavy Metal (NWoBHM).

Mystic Siva - 'Mystic Siva' LP (link)

This album is remastered and remixed from the original first generation master tape, while the original album in 1970 was taken from a second generation tape; it had included overdub guitar solos on the three songs, to get more of the intended intensity into mix but in the end the original album sound did not reach the expectations of the group, it was too sterile instead of a more natural sound with the distortion and feedback.

This issue here is the real thing, you will hear it like it was intended in 1970. The four Sivas put 60s hippie garage psychedelic rock music on a darker and higher level of intensity, while the slower atmospheric tunes remind of the Doors, Jimi Hendrix or Iron Butterfly, the heavy cuts are unexpectedly crazy, mind blowing and hypnotic with flashes of the later upcoming rural 1980s thrash punk/metal vibe. After 43 years these original album recordings express at its best the challenging and inventive concept of Mystic Siva´s music. 11 original songs with a total running time of 46 minutes incl. a 16 page booklet with liners and other memorabilia.

Jeff Simmons - 'Lucille Has Messed My Mind Up' LP (link)

There are two albums from the Straight label years of Zappa´s multi-talented 'sideman', Jeff Simmons. In 1968 in Seattle Herb Cohen and Frank Zappa was in the audience after his sound check, and was listening to “Easy Chair”, Jeff´s group. Fascinated by his talent, he was signed for Straight records. Both albums, Lucille and Naked Angels were recorded in 1969.

'Lucille Has Messed My Mind Up' contains 10 heavy Blues-Rock and Folk tunes. Jeff is playing a hard-driven and groovy bass, piano, organ and accordion and singing in a style similar to that of Jack Bruce with Cream.

Simmons presented a brace of strong, harmonically sophisticated songs that have some of the explosive, multi-hued impact of the Jimi Hendrix Experience. The album was produced by Chris Huston (Led Zeppelin II, Undertakers, Young Rascals) and Frank Zappa under the synonym “La Marr Bruister”, who wrote the title track, played lead guitar on two tracks and co-wrote "Wonderful Wino”. Contains  memorabilia from Jeff´s vaults (posters, photos, liner notes).

Lucille was rated in Mojo Magazine as the 2nd best release on Straight Records. Strange Things Art Magazine mentions it as “the closest in execution to contemporary Mothers”, but Jeff´s individual talent made this album to a lost classic. To the right is a cutting from the UK's Melody Maker, December 5th 1970. It is one of the only articles written about Jeff, many thanks to Richard Morton Jack of Flashback magazine. (link)

Freeman Sound & Friends - 'Heavy Trip' LP (link)

I used a great cover of "16 Tons" from these guy back in Vol108. World In Sound presents another group that represents the late 60s, early 70s heavy psychedelic era scene in northeast Ohio, USA (the same region that Dragonwyck is from). Having won the Starshine Productions' "Battle of the Bands" in 1970, the five-member FREEMAN SOUND was established as the most popular of several bands (including Morly Grey), that had records released on the Starshine label. This special collection of original songs and sounds is an exciting bit of rock history that documents some of the charm, wit and depth of talent that made FREEMAN SOUND the special local hit they were.

This release includes 12 great, quality tracks with bio and photos. You'll get stoned on some mind-bending vocals backed by instrumentation that includes some very intense, heavy fuzz and wah pedal guitar sounds, solid drums and a screaming organ, with flashes of famous British groups. Prepare to get off on cuts like the 17 minute "Heavy Trip #70", the Hendrix-like "Tomorrow Is Plastic" and what we would venture to say is the heaviest version of Merle Travis' "16 Tons" ever recorded! This band broke up before they were able to make the most of their popularity. With this previously unreleased album, they may be taking up where they left off.

Psiglo - 'II' LP (link)

First vinyl reissue of this heavy progressive masterpiece from Uruguay. The second release of Psiglo is Uruguays rarest rock album, that was recorded in 1974 and first released in 1980 in an edition of only 200 copies. Contains long progressive tracks with heavy guitars pounding organ and creative arrangements. Second album of our SONDOR series with legendary records and recordings from Uruguay!

Stoned Circus - 'Revisited' LP (link)

This is an outstanding piece of US psychedelia – Stoned Circus – started in 1968 in Kansas City and became soon one of the hottest local acts. The powerful sound with male and female lead vocals has a strong “Jefferson Airplane” feeling, feat. a magic B3 organ and stunning heavy guitars. Not to be confused with the “Stone Circus” that recorded for the Mainstream label. This material was unreleased and found in the archives of Cavern Sound Studios where the “Wizzards from Kansas” recorded.

Rockadelic Records released these recordings as limited LP version in 1994 which is long sold out. Songs include “Gotta find Way”, “Try Love”, “New World”, “Trust”, and a fabulous coverversion of Zeppelin’s “Gonna Leave You”… Originally recorded in 1970 and for the first time on CD taken from the original masters including an 8p. with cool artwork, bio and photos. Highly recommended, reflects the honest summer, peace & love feeling!

Sproton Layer - 'With Magnetic Fields Disrupted' LP (link)

Sproton Layer was a psychedelic rock band based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, which thrived from the fall of 1968 through the summer of 1970. They began under the name “Freak Trio” - three hyperactive brothers, Laurence, Ben, and Roger Miller who became, at the young ages of 14 – 16, addicted to Pink Floyd´s “Piper at the Gates of Dawn” when it came out in '67. Their unique and euphoric creation of music ranges from progressive-acid-punk to heavy psychedelia with catchy chord changes and Spaghetti Western Ennio Morricone flashes.

The energy of "With Magnetic Fields Disrupted", which was recorded in 1970, are strong, intense space music episodes of destruction and rebirth. Journalist Michael Azerrad described their recordings in his book OUR BAND COULD BE YOUR LIFE as "...a valuable document of an amazing band that sounded like Syd Barrett fronting Cream". The album was first released in 1991 by New Alliance Records, but it did not catch much recognition among the '60's collector freaks. Here is the next chance to discover the whole story of one of the “almost forgotten” US underground art-performance groups. Forty minutes long, the album was remastered from the original tapes.

Features extended band info and about four dozen artifacts including drawings, set lists, photographs, journal entries and more. After Sproton Layer, all Miller brothers contributed to numerous bands such as Destroy All Monsters, Mission Of Burma, and M3 …

Cosmic Dealer - 'Child Of Tomorrow' LP (link)

This is the second previously unreleased album by the Dutch psychedelic hard rock band Cosmic Dealer. Their first album “Crystallization” from 1971 is an outstanding and rare masterpiece for all psych collectors and for sure one of the best Euro-Underground rock albums of the 70s. In 1971 the band was shortly disband but found together in 1973 with a few line-up changes but kept the same musical intention: heavy psychedelic, progressive and guitar driven hard rock, with catchy song writing, a few US-Westcoast flashes but also extended instrumental jam excursions.

This album contains 6 songs which were recorded in 1973, plus 3 demos from 1971 and as bonus you´ll find 7"EP with 4 live cuts (25 mins) and was recorded in 1971, including the title track from their debut Crystallization. The album is is carefully re-mastered to catch the real spirit of the beautiful and intense music and contains a poster and a with lots of photos and liner notes.

Thanks Chris and Wolf, and thanks for reading! Rich

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  1. Only recently found your wonderful site so I'm still finding my way around. All looks good to me though so I thank for the fine music on offer. Cheers!

  2. Replies
    1. amazing blog! Can you re-up the tdats#114, please? THANX

    2. Please email for link, as stated in this post...