Showing posts with label Gold. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Gold. Show all posts

Sunday, December 13, 2015

The Day After The Sabbath - Best of 2015


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password:  tdats

The Day After The Sabbath - Best of 2015 by Rich Aftersabbath on Mixcloud

The blog has now reached the ripe old age of six years! The past year of doing this has been a very enjoyable one - there's been two Dutch band profiles, Panda (119) and Blue Planet (127), a special and interview on the archival label World In Sound (114), a profile on krautrock producer Conny Planck (116), two heavy metal-inspired volumes; US (126) and NWOBHM (121), Scott Blackerby of The Acid Archives and Bad Cat Records (115) and a profile on The Gurvitz Brothers (125). Regional specials have honoured Spain again (123), Serbia (120), Portugal (113), Boston (117) and Iceland (124). Other themes have included Chicano rock (118) and a special on long prog tracks (122).

A year ago I promised I would be doing more interviews; I got an exclusive with the previously mysterious psych figure of Roy Rutanen and his band (link) and an exclusive with Jim Smith of Stonehouse (link). More exclusives came with Jaap van Eik of Panda (link) and Art Bausch of Blue Planet (link) and I spoke to four of the names appearing in Volume 126; Mike Gandia of Squadran, Danney Alkana of Alkana, Darren Welch of Axxe/Impeccable and Rob Griffin of Tyranny / Graven Image.

I hope that people still enjoy reading and listening to TDATS as much as I enjoy making it, here's to the on-coming year of many new ideas which are in the pipeline. As ever, please drop me a line via email or otherwise if you have any suggestions, and join up at the fb group where you can participate even more fully. My special thanks goes to the group admins that have increased greatly in number and efforts this year and been doing a great job there - you know who you are. Keep it PROTO guys :)

For what is now an annual round-up (last year's) of some of the best tracks appearing on the blog in the last year, here is a comp of fifteen tracks, one from each of the fifteen numbered volumes posted in 2015 so far. Enjoy!

TRACKS
01. Beatnicks - Back In Town (1972) - from v113
       single
02. Gold - No Parking (1970) - from v114
       single and W.I.S. retrospective 'San Francisco Origins'
03. Fanny - Place in the Country (1971) - from v115
       from album 'Charity Ball'
04. Lokomotive Kreuzberg - Comeback (1975) - from v116
       from album 'Fette Jahre'
05. Brother Fox and the Tar Baby - Steel Dog Man (1969) - from v117
       from album 'Brother Fox and the Tar Baby'
06. Yaqui - I Need A Woman (1973) - from v118
       from album 'Yaqui'
07. Panda - Medicine Man (1971) - from v119
       single
08. Pop Mašina - Vreme Za Nas (1975) - from v120
       from album 'Na Izvoru Svetlosti'
09. Fuzzy Duck - In Our Time (1971) - from v121
       from album ‘Fuzzy Duck’
10. Fusion Orchestra - Sonata In Z (1973) - from v122
       from album 'Skeleton In Armour'
11. Rockcelona - Queen, Friend And Dread (1979) - from v123
       from album 'La Bruja'
12. Svanfridur - My Dummy (1972) - from v124
       from album 'What's Hidden There?'
13. Gun - Runnin' Wild (1970) - from v125
       single
14. Asia - Law Of The Land (1978) - from v126
       from album 'Asia'
15. Cinderella - The Love That We've Got (1971) - from v127
       single
Beatnicks


Starting the volume is one of its heaviest tracks, from Lisbon's Beatnicks. They made some of Portugal's best and heaviest rock in the '70s, with the "Cristine Goes to Town / Sing It Along / Little School Boy" and "Money / Back in Town" singles. They introduced progressive/electronic influences on later singles (youtube) which were good but very different, by the time of 1982's Aspectos Humanos album they had been through major line-up changes and seem to have become an inoffensive progressive pop band. Oh well, listen to "Back In Town" and it's clear they had the chops to become Portugal's top hard rock act, it's original and brilliant from start to end! Final members Ramiro Martins (bass, guitar), Antonio Emiliano (keyboards) and Tó Leal (vocals, percussion) all appear to have made more music later but nothing of interest here.

There is an interesting article here (portuguese, english), regarding the many changes the Beatnicks went through, including the brief membership of female singer Lena d'Água, and guitarist Manuel Cardoso, who was later in Tantra (coming later on here). Read Rock em Portugal's full Beatnicks bio here.



Gold

"A CD / LP combination. 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 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. 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…"


Fanny

Scott's RYM review here.  "Penned by Barclay, 'Place In the Country' was one of the album's best rockers. Nice showcase for the group's harmony vocals.   rating: **** stars"

"1971's "Charity Ball" found Fanny continuing their partnership with producer Richard Perry. Featuring largely original material (the one exception being a dynamite cover of the Buffalo Springfield's 'Special Care;), this time around the band seemed interested in showcasing their more commercial edge. Material like the title track, 'What's Wrong with Me?' and 'You're the One' seemed to have been crafted with an ear to top-40 airplay.

That wasn't to imply the band couldn't rock as hard as their male competitors. Nickey Barclay's 'Cat Fever', 'Special Care' (which I'd argue crushed The Buffalo Springfield original), and 'Soul Child' were all rockers that were worth hearing. Add to that, Jean Millington had a powerful, soul-infused voice, while June Millington was an overlooked lead guitarist with a penchant for fuzz leads. Interestingly, listening to the album for the first time in years, I guess the biggest surprise came in terms of band contributions. Jean and June Millington were clearly the band's focal points, but  being responsible for over half of the material, keyboardist Nicole Barclay was clearly the band's creative mainstay."


Lokomotive Kreuzberg

Lokomotive Kreuzberg Fette Jahre (1972)
Lokomotive Kreuzberg
Fette Jahre (1972)
Track 4 brings something a little different to the party. Lokomotive Kreuzberg was a Berlin polit-rock band that started in 1972. Not speaking German, it's impossible for me to comment on the lyrics, but the music on their 1975 album "Fette Jahre", engineered by Conny, is captivating. They mix many styles, from symphonic prog, to folk, to funk, to hard rock. At all times it is played with extreme talent, these guys sure had the chops to compare with the best. I have chosen the hardest rocking track on the album, which was recorded at Conny's studio, but you can take your pick from it. Others, such as the title track "Fette Jahre" (youtube), are equally good.

I've not had a chance to check out all of their four albums. I certainly will but they may not be the easiest band to get into for non-German speakers, especially as they use a lot of spoken-word skits to get certain points across on their agenda.


Brother Fox and the Tar Baby

Brother Fox & The Tar Baby
Track 5, "Steel Dog Man", starts as it means to go on with a stomping hard rock riff and tight playing, punctuated by glorious psych breaks, backed-up by earthy vocals that cut straight to the bone. Brother Fox and the Tar Baby featured the talents of former Profits guitarist Richie Bartlett, bassist Tom Belliveau, guitarist Dave Christiansen, drummer Bill Garr, singer Steve High and keyboardist Joe Santangelo. Dave Christiansen, Joseph Santangelo, Tom Belliveau and Richard Bartlett were previously in Front Page Review, also appearing in this volume. Belliveau  was also in Pugsley Munion (see vol59), and Bartlett was later in '80s new-wavers The Fools. They were signed by the small Oracle label, which released 1969's Bruce Patch-produced self-titled album. Christiansen was credited as writing all eleven tracks.

Brother Fox & The Tar Baby LP
This has a commercial edge and is a polished product, but it's done right and there's more than enough heaviness here too, over half the album is hard cuts with quite a unique take on combining late-'60s heavy psych with the chunky riffs and hammond organ of the freshly-emerging hard rock sounds of the times. This is what the first Boomerang album should have been like! (see Vol9)


The countrified feel, and high production quality with orchestration, shows that this was a serious stab at a successful album. The mellow tracks and ballads are all good, so make for a nicely diverse listen. The song-writing is consistently good, and the excellent vocals deserve a mention, sounding somewhat like Robert Plant in the heavier tracks. Highly recommended!

Panda - Stranger Medicine Man

Decca 6100013
Stranger begins deceptively, with a heavy Sabbathian tri-tone metal riff, but quickly morphs into a Slade-elic glam stomper with a sing-along chorus and more flashes of flute, great fun.  B-side Medicine Man is built around a similarly heavy, lumpen riff to "Swingin' About", this time with no flute and forays into blues, it's another of their best heavy tracks.


Pop Mašina

I consider there to be a 'big three' of heavy Serbain bands from the former half of the '70s, YU Grupa and Smak have already appeared so now it's time for the last of that trio, Pop Mašina (Pop Machine). They were formed in Belgrade in 1972 by Robert Nemeček (bass, vocals - formerly of Dogovor Iz 1804 and Džentlmeni. The other formative members on their two studio albums were Mihajlo Popović (drums) and Zoran Božinović (guitar - formerly in Džentlmeni).


Na Izvoru Svetlosti LP 1975
Their 1973 debut LP "Kiselina" (Acid), had contributions from members of S Vremena Na Vreme, Grupa SOS and acoustic band Dag. Although excelling in their heavy rock tracks like "Svemirska Prièa," the band played an equal amount of acoustic pop and folk-infused songs in a similar approach to Led Zep's album 'III'. The second and final studio album "Na Izvoru Svetlosti" (At the Spring of Light) followed suit, having a little more emphasis on the hard rock, with a great opener which is the track I have used in this comp, "Vreme za Nas". Track 2 gives you a good idea of their stage show with a live-recorded blues workout. Over-all this album is more consistent and you can hear the improved arrangements and more confident playing.


Fuzzy Duck

Fuzzy Duck s/t 1971
Fuzzy Duck s/t 1971
A belated appearance from a record that that I surely should have used by now, as it's really good. This is the eponymous Fuzzy Duck LP, one of the older entries here, recorded in 1971. They play jazzy prog rock, with excellent musicianship, driving hammond organ and plenty of rocking riffs. Bassist Mick Hawksworth had previously been in Andromeda (Vol51) with John Du Cann, another similarly cool band. He was also in other TDATS bands, Killing Floor (see Vol7) and Toe Fat (Vol2). Drummer Paul Francis had been in The End, and briefly in this volume's opening band, Tucky Buzzard. The Duck enjoyed some radio play, including "A Big Word From D" and "Double Fine Woman", which were both favoured by BBC stations.

Fuzzy Duck in the studio
Fuzzy Duck in the studio
In the Esoteric Recordings CD re-issue Paul Francis stated that one of the major things that broke the band up was internal friction with guitarist and founder Graham White, which he regrets in retrospect. They managed to turf him out and replace him with Garth Watt-Roy (Steamhammer, The Greatest Show On Earth) who was a great guitarist, but it didn't go down well with the record company. After the Duck had quacked it, Graham White joined Capability Brown (Vol54), Paul teamed up with Chris Speading and Steve Harley, playing on a couple of Cockney Rebel LPs and Mick Hawksworth worked with Alvin Lee among others.


Fusion Orchestra

Fusion Orchestra - Skeleton In Armour line-up, clockwise from left, Dave Bell, Stan Land, Dave Cowell, Colin Dawson and Jill Saward
Fusion Orchestra - Skeleton In Armour
line-up. Clockwise from left, Dave Bell,
Stan Land, Dave Cowell, Colin Dawson
and Jill Saward
Fusion Orchestra might be of interest to Babe Ruth fans, or those of Room. Frequently-heavy prog with a great front woman in Jill Saward, who also played flute, keyboard and more. The sole album 'Skeleton In Armour' is good progressive rock, drawing in many influences from Canterbury scene to hard rock, thankfully the band has a great attack and this LP keeps up momentum throughout, as you can hear in tracks like the one appearing here, and "Have I Left The Gas On?".

On the album, she is joined by the three founding members Dave Bell (drums), Stan Land (2nd guitar) and Colin Dawson (lead guitar). Dave Cowell played bass. Later in the bands' life Colin Dawson quit, so Alan Murphy took over, he later played in English pop bands Level 42 and coincidentally, Go West, who cropped up in the last volume via Hustler drummer Tony Beard. Although the band had a good live reputation, with fans frequently enjoying Jill Saward's titillating stage antics at the Marquee in London, they did not achieve commercial success on EMI and didn't get the green light for a second album. Jill had the most successful career afterwards, in the pop group Shakatak, and surprisingly none of the other players were in notable bands later. Colin Dawson started Fusion Orchestra 2 in 2008, in which he is the only original FO member.


Rockcelona

Continuing into heavier territory, "Queen, Friend And Dread" from Barcelona's Rockcelona hits you hard.The LP it's taken from is like this all the way through, it never lets up. This unique and timeless collision between punk, heavy metal and garage rock recorded in 1979 is a real gem for anyone out there who looks for the ultimate in unrelenting fuzz. The group was founded in 1977 by Alfredo Valcárcel, and recorded only one album called "La Bruja" (The Witch).



Svanfrídur

Svanfrídur
Svanfrídur
Courtesy of Shadoks music (link) :- The Icelandic prog-rock band Svanfrídur released only one album, recorded six months after they played their first gig. This short-lived band rapidly rose to fame, receiving rave reviews for live performances, but in fact their music was way ahead of its time. They were unable to seal a recording contract so they formed their own label - Swan Records. When the album 'What’s Hidden There?' was released in autumn 1972 it got mixed reviews and sold only a few hundred copies, leaving the band with a great album but sadly not the income they had been hoping for. Recorded at London’s Majestic Studios the album was cut and pressed in England. Perhaps one of the best heavy prog / underground albums from Scandinavia with amazing guitar and all-English vocals. Would have been a famous and successful album on Decca UK.


Asia

Asia 1978
Not to be confused with the British "Asia", South Dakota's Asia made two LPs of heavy progressive rock and hard rock. They have an epic, regal quality to many of the songs, somewhat reminiscent of the kind of atmosphere conjured up by Led Zep's No Quarter or Kashmir for instance. They evolved from White Wing with members Michael English on vocals and multi-instrumentalist Mike Coates. Asia achieved some success playing the club circuit in the more urban areas of the upper Midwest. Their self-titled debut was recorded in two sessions at ASI studios in Minneapolis in 1978 and was privately released the same year.


Cinderella

Following is a snippet of the interiews I conducted with Art Bausch of Blue Planet and Betty Raadgever of Cinderella.

Cinderella in 1971
Me: Have you heard of the band Cinderella, that made a single in 1971?

Art: Yes, I did studio work with them on their first single, together with Aad and Peter. That was while Blue Planet was still going. I’ve been seen it on Youtube.

Me: Did you guys write the single or were you just brought it to the session?

Art: The main girl, Betty Raadgever wrote it. Their producer, Gerrit Jan Leenders, I did other work for him too. That’s how that started. My memory is good, especially of that period. Everything was so intense and every day was a party.

We take a brief diversion here to read some responses that Cinderella's Betty Raadgever kindly gave for this article.

Betty Raadgever
Me: Hi Betty, did Cinderella make any more music other than the single?

Betty: Cinderella did make more songs, but they are not recorded on a album, unfortunately. And of course I wrote a lot of songs after Cinderella for my other bands: Eyeliner and The Betty Ray Experience.

Me: I spoke to Art Bausch. I asked him about your Cinderella single and he confirmed that he, Peter and Aad Kreeft played on it. Did Blue Planet play on both sides?

Betty: Blue Planet played on both sides of the single, but I wrote the lyrics and music. Aad was a good friend of mine and we knew the other guys from Leiden/Oegstgeest, where we all came from. A very good band, Blue Planet!

Me: Did the other guys in Cinderella play or sing on it too (Renee, Bernardien, Nico)?

Betty; The singers on the record are Betty, Bernardien and Renee in the chorus. I am singing the lead, and the b-side, "The Love That We've Go", Bernardien sings. The guys from BP played all the music.

Me: Did Cinderella break up for any reason or did it change into a different band?

Betty: After four years I choose to switch bands and became lead singer of a hard rock band called "For Shame". Cinderella was over... After the hard rock period I had four other female groups: Trevira 2000EyelinerNasty Girls and The Betty Ray Experience. The other Cinderella members stopped playing in bands.

Me: Thanks Betty!

Friday, January 23, 2015

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


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unzip password:  tdats

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
        out!
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:
        remarkable.
references
http://www.worldinsound.com/
http://www.dragonwyck.eu/
http://progressive.homestead.com/ Psychemusic.org
http://galacticramble.blogspot.co.uk/ Galactic Ramble
http://rogerclarkmiller.com/ Sproton Layer


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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