Showing posts with label Pacific Sound. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Pacific Sound. Show all posts

Sunday, January 27, 2013

The Day After The Sabbath 83: Midnight Garden (Switzerland)

Download from: [mf] or [mg]
Unzip password:  tdats

The Day After The Sabbath 83: Midnight Garden [Switzerland] by Rich Aftersabbath on Mixcloud

Welcome to TDATS 83, the Swiss special. Switzerland is not a country that crops up very often in searches so I gladly took on the challenge of finding the best hour's worth of hard, progressive and psychedelic 70's rock I could of the country. Switzerland didn't produce such a large volume of it's own music, which is understandable for a small country. Also, the country's talent blurs over it's borders, especially with Germany and Austria so it got absorbed into the great music of those, especially Germany, along with Italy and France. I presume Swiss musicians are just as likely to have ended up working in any of the four countries bordering it as at home, or further afield in Europe. I must thank the blog williamtellsguitar for giving me many pointers!

01. Toad - No Need (1972)
       from album 'tomorrow blue'
02. Spot - Oh What A Day (1971)
       from album 'spot'
03. Round House - Alchemy Is Good For You (Don't You Know It) (1972)
       from album 'down to earth'
04. Krokodil - Rabatz (1972)
       from album 'getting up in the morning'
05. Kedama - Finale (1976)
       from album 'live at sunrise studio'
06. Mother Sunday - Midnight Graveyard (1971)
07. Tusk - Child Of My Kingdom (1970)
08. Brainticket - Black Sand (1970)
       from album 'cottonwoodhill'
09. After Shave - Skin Deep (1972)
       from album 'skin deep'
10. After Shave - Skip The Race (1974)
       from album 'strange feeling'
11. Ertlif - Plastic Queen (1972)
       from album 'ertlif'
12. Pacific Sound - The Drug Just Told Me (1971)
       from album 'forget your dream'
13. Krokus - Werewolf (1978)
       from album 'pain killer' (aka. 'pay it in metal')
14. Lear - Good Bye People (1979)
       from album 'swiss rock history vol. 1'
15. McChurch Soundroom - Time Is Flying (1971)
       from album 'delusion'

 MikiWiki's 'Swiss music database' | Discogs | William Tell's Guitar

Toad, from  the City of Basel in the canton of Basel-Stadt, were one of the most skillful bands in Switzerland. They shared two members with Brainticket (mentioned later), drummer Cosimo Lampis and bassist Werner Fröhlich, but they were very different to those psychonauts. They were completed by Italian guitar wizard Vittorio "Vic" Vergeat, who has a website from which I took this snippet:"VIC VERGEAT wrote and recorded his first song at age 15 with the BLACKBIRDS, 3 years later he moved to London to record the first TOAD album, produced by MARTIN BIRCH (IRON MAIDEN, DEEP PURPLE). When TOAD returned to Switzerland, the record hit the top of the charts and with the release of TOMORROW BLUE the band established itself as one of the leading CULT group of the 70's". After Toad, Vittorio attempted a solo career which didn't work out, but he's continued to play in various other bands and still does now, including The Vic Vergeat Band. For this comp I have used 'No Need', taken from their second album, 'Tomorrow Blue', which is a great example of how naturally Vittorio could peel off those blazing blues licks.

Spot were Pavlo Pendaki (vocals, keyboards), John Woolloff (lead guitar, vocals), Andre Jungo (bass) and Philippe Dubugnon (drums). They made one album in 1971 that was limited to only 450 copies so it is very collectible  Their most obvious influence was Led Zep, though that is not particularly obvious in the track I chose here, "Oh What A Day', the heaviest of the album which was equally full of folky ballads and not really a 'must have', although I did dig about four tracks on it. The track I chose here, 'Oh What a Day' is definitely a good'n, it has an excellent hammond-powered riff with that awesome sludgy 70's sound.

Round House
Something a bit different now, Zurich's Round House were an ensemble with a wind section that were comparable to Chicago in that slightly jazzy, soul-rock kind of way. Not a type of band I include often, but they did have a lot of insistent groovy riffs in the mix which is why I also used them back on Vol60: Brassrock Special. They only recorded two albums and 'Alchemy Is Good For You' is taken from their second, 1972's 'Down To Earth'.

Although their name and album art would have you think they were a hard rock band, Zurich's Krokodil had roots in blues rock and soon began to take on psychedelic trappings, although they could also rock out if they wanted. They came to be regarded as part of the krautrock sound, with their frequent extended trips like Linger, which has tablas and sitars melting into harmonica, exposing their blues heritage. The track I used, 'Rabatz', is from their fourth album 'Getting Up For The Morning', which has a pretty awful cover depicting the band in seductive poses just waking up in bed, but it comes out looking like a bunch of junkies waking up for their first fix of the day haha.

Kedama made a limited number of their only self-made album 'Live at Sunrise Studios', and it certainly has the feel of a one-session live set, which is impressive as it's fairly complex prog. It's mostly lead by the considerable keyboard skills of Richard Rothenberger, who produces a staggering range of sounds from a big keyboard rig (see photo - and there is a great photo archive here). Richard uses mellowtron and all manner of sounds, but it all works and never feels like too much as the extended song lengths give each passage time to develop fully, and it's all equally backed up by Christian Linder's Fripp-like guitar and Peter Suter's subtle drumming. A really great album that I think will be of interest to post-rock fans and those who like long experimantal instrumentals, the track I used here, 'Finale', is almost like one album condensed into 12 minutes, and is the kind of thing that retro-prog bands like Zombi and Titan are trying to hark back to.

The best way to present the doomy single from Zurich's Mother Sunday is to use the exclusive interview with keyboardist/singer André Lehman that I found on this blog: "Mother Sunday was formed in ca. 1969 under the name “The Juice”. We consisted of a guitar player by the name of Gégé, a drummer whose name I cannot remember and myself on keyboards and vocals. Our repertoire consisted of current chart hits cover versions and we were a very busy band on the weekends with three to five halfhour gigs in different locations a night. We never had a permanent bass player, always guests, once even a young girl by the name of Heidi.

By 1970 a new bass player joined as a guest, his name was Michel. He was a real crazy hippie with extremely long hair and he introduced us to “substances” to open our minds. LSD changed our attitude to music instantly and from there we were open minded to experimental live jam music. 
At the time in Zurich (Switzerland) there was a rock club in the old part of the city called “Star Club”. Many later great worldwide success acts played three 45 minute sets every evening for three weeks on a very small stage like “Spooky Tooth” “The Nice” and “Black Sabbath”. We hung out with the Black Sabbath guys a great deal and started to get into the dark groove musically. That’s when we changed our name to Mother Sunday and from then on the days of covering chart material were over. We went creative. Our repertoire built up on a general tune but always with open improvisations during gigs all depending on our state of mind. Soon a fan base of like minded people developed and followed us to wherever we went to play. 
The line up was Rolf Sydler (16 at the time!) on drums, Michel Leuenberger on bass, and me André Lehman on keyboards and vocals. We toured the country a lot and also did many gigs in southern germany and western france and played quite a few high profile open air festivals.
In 1971 we were offered a deal for a single by Moon Records, the owner being a good friend and the drummer of Sysiphos, a great experimental swiss band!!! The single reached the “BLICK” top ten in Switzerland for a couple of weeks.

The band stayed together for another two years doing many gigs but things went downhill when the parents of the drummer were so concerned about their sons health or sanity or whatever you want to call it and basically lured him out of the band with money and fancy cars etc. We auditioned many potential replacements over months but since we were such a close knit outfit we were unable to find and therefore split up.

After that, I got involved in the music industry and for over 30 years I headed record companies, owned a record company, produced many bands etc. I now try to live a quiet life here in Ireland and have again found the time to go back to my musical roots by producing my own stuff at home for my own pleasure or for the pleasure of those who are interested."

Tusk's single, from 1970, was one of the first ever Swiss hard rock releases. They included guitarist Volker Armand and keyboardist Philippe Kienholz who would both go on to join Tea, another well-regarded Swiss band. 'Child of my Kingdom' reached number 7 in the charts so must have been many Swiss kid's first introduction to hard rock, excellent, and it's a great song too! I found and translated some Tusk information from this wiki: "The hard rock group Tusk was founded in 1969 in Zurich and had their first gig at the supposedly fourth October 1969 as the opening act for Deep Purple at the Casino in Montreux on "Super Pop Montreux". In the summer of 1970 came with the Single Tusk Child of my kingdom until number 7 in the Swiss charts. The band captivated by an oriented Deep Purple sound and by their charismatic singer Ernst "Fögi" Voegeli , who Mick Jagger was taken as a model and was putting on a proper stage show. He caused a sensation but also, above all, because he did not conceal his being gay. "Fögi was a hero, a pioneer, a revolutionary", novelist Frank Martin said later."

Half-way, and we get taken deep into the helix by Basel's Brainticket. They were started by Joel Vandroogenbroecka, a Belgian jazz piano prodigy who started the band after inspiration from the likes of Amon Düül II, Can and Tengerine Dream. It's been said that listening to Brainticket is the closest you can get to an altered mindstate without smoking or popping anything. They suffered a lot of censorship due to the perception of their connection with drugs, which admittedly they didn't do much to avoid;  They labelled their debut album, 'Cottonwoodhill', with the tag-line "Only listen once a day to this record. Your brain might be destroyed”. Brainticket have announced more performances in 2013, including the famous SXSW festival in Texas and a tour with founding├┤awkVVind member Nik Turner, along with some punk luminaries.

After Shave
Along with Toad, Bienne's After Shave were one of the only notable Swiss hard rock bands to recorded decent albums. They were different to Toad in that they had less guitar flash and a gruntier, heavier sound. Think Budgie rather than Cream. I like the 1972 debut album, Skin Deep',  so much that I used 'Near The Sun' way back on Vol10, and in writing for this volume I just discovered they made a second album in 1974 that was never officially released, apparently due to a studio bill dispute. I have managed to track down the second album, 'Strange Feeling', in mp3. So, along with a track from the first, 'Skin Deep', I include the final track from the second album; 'Skip The Race'. There is a great bio of the band here, from which I learn't that just after signing an English singer, Barry James Brown, they were all set to be signed by EMI-england on the strength of a new single 'So You're Gone Away'. At the final hour EMI dropped them as they decided the song was too similar to a successful single they had just released by the new english band 10cc. This dealt a death strike to the band, though excellent guitarist Pierre-Alain Kessi has remained in music and won awards as one of Switzerland's best.

Basel's Ertlif are up next. They made one self-titled, privately released semi-hard prog album in 1972 with lots of Procul Harum style organ work. It is reasonably consistent throughout with decent vocals from Richard John Rusinski, sung in English. This is a very early Swiss prog release, one of the first in fact. My favourite tracks of theirs are 'Plastic Queen', which is only available as a bonus on re-issues and 'The Song' which is an original track from the album. The band are apparently still a going concern and they have a recently updated site with a biography in Swiss at, and there is some more info at Alex Gitlin's site.

Track 12 comes from Pacific Sound, with mournful organ work. You can read a little about them back in Vol73 when I used them previously, and on to our penultimate track from Solothurn's Krokus. They started out with an identity crisis, their self-titled debut in 1976 was a full-on prog rock album with a budget Roger Dean rip-off cover to boot. The second album was more in the style of classic hard rock like Deep Purple, and from the third on wards, 1978's 'Pain Killer' (Swiss title, aka. 'Pay It In Metal' elsewhere) they took it upon them selves to become Switzerland's answer to AC/DC. As the imagery of Heavy Metal exploded in the 80's they took it in and the AC/DC sound turned on to Metal, they reached enough notoriety to have their song 'Eat The Rich' covered by Motorhead.

Next to a mysterious band called Lear. There was a series of releases called 'Swiss Rock History' in the 90's, Lear was the subject of Volume 1, a band called Taurus was in Vol 3, though I'm dammed if I can find out who Volume 2 was. The Lear material has strong female vocals, great guitar and nice driving Hammond organ. Quite an unusual setup for this county. If anybody can shed any more light on this band then please drop me a line, I do not even know what year these Lear recordings were made, the vague period of 1969-79 is stated from what I've seen so far.

McChurch Soundroom -
McChurch Soundroom - "Delusion" (1971)
This is a late addition to the comp, kindly suggested in 2015 by TDATS fb group admin Martin Smith. McChurch Soundroom was an eclectic psych free blues rock ensemble that has close relationships with krautrock, in particular with the heavy, stoned jazzy sound of Nosferatu (see Vol116), but also with folkish bands from England (Jethro Tull first era). Their original LP "Delusion" was released in 1971 on the legendary Pilz label (Popol Vuh, Wallenstein, Witthuser & Westrupp etc). This psych folk underground act is now cult. It was engineered by the famous Conny Plank (see Vol116 Conny Special) at Star Studio Hamburg.

McChurch Soundroom promo shot
McChurch Soundroom
promo shot
The name of the band seems to have been taken partly from the nickname of singer/flute player Sandy McChurch (real name Sandro Chiesa). Also on board was saxophonist/guitarist Heiner Althaus (link), who has since played in many big-band ensembles, and drummer Norbert “Nobbi” Jud , later of Monroe. The opening track of the album, 'Delusion', has lyrics credited to Marcel Schaar. He was a German singer/songwriter and it's not clear how much other involvement he had in the album. In the same year as Delusion he recorded a good solo album as 'Marcel', called 'Dreams Consumed' (link).

I asked Martin to write a piece about it, and here it is: "About twenty years ago a hippy friend of mine summoned me to his bus he was living on, raving on about some lost heavy nugget he had come across while living in Holland . As I entered his rather musty hippy home he thrust a copy of McChurch's Delusion LP into my hand saying, "Man you got to listen to this man, its going make me a fortune!". You see, my friend had the quite bonkers idea of sampling the drum solo from 'Dream of a Drummer' and turning it into a Fat Boy Slim type big beat rave tune. Nonsense of course, but I instantly fell for the mighty hammond grooves, overblown flute and heavy blues that dwelled within its grooves. Also the cover of a human skull covered in wax was the cherry on the cake. It was the first real obscure heavy nugget I came across and set me up for a life time of crate-digging. In a way, Google and the internet has taken away some of the mystery of record collecting and these once mythical LPs are now just a mouse-click away. Hopefully this little story might give you an insight into what makes all of us record collectors tick, and the reason we all keep on digging. As for my mate, he never made his fortune with his big beat Swiss prog dance tune ...he now works in a high street bakery called Greggs."

Thanks for listening!

Share via:

Sunday, July 22, 2012

The Day After The Sabbath 73: Hammond Lord [hammond organ special]

Download from: [mf] or [mg]
pass:  tdats
As most of you will know by now, Jon Lord, original keyboardist with Deep Purple, passed away recently. Sad and thought-provoking news as it always is when rock gods leave us, I realised it was the perfect time, by way of some tribute, to finish off the hammond organ and keyboard comp I've been formulating for a while. Having now received the inspiration for it's theme and last, fitting track, here is 73: Hammond Lord. A collection of tracks with wicked hammond organ.

No doubt many of the bands here would have sounded very different if it were not for Jon Lord, one of the founding and longest-standing members of Deep Purple. He took an instrument that was originally designed as a cheaper alternative to church pipe organs, and pushed it to the limits with classically-trained skills and mega-amplification. The guitar's total domination of hard rock was gone for ever.

Where better to begin than with the track that boasts the talents of the man himself? 'Santa Barbara Machine Head' were a band put together briefly to record some jams for Immediate Record's series of blues albums called "Blues Anytime". "Santa Barbara Machine Head" featured Jon Lord, Ronnie Wood (guitar), John 'Twink' Alder (drums) and Kim Gardner (bass). You are right to recognise those names, 1967 was the year and these guys were just starting their careers, or had already been in some successful bands by that time. Wood (later of the Stones) and Kim were both in The Birds and The Creation, Twink would go on to bands including The Pretty Things and The Pink Fairies.

Birth Control's track is taken from their third album, 1972's Hoodoo Man, and Wolfgang Neuser was the keys man here. Starting out as it means to go on with the sound of air raid explosions, plenty of rock solid hammond riffs follow. To me, this sounds like Tony Iommi playing hammond...which can't be bad!

The third track is from the UK band Aadvark. Early on they included Paul Kossof and Simon Kirke who later went on to Free, but when they recorded 'Copper Sunset' they had changed to a keyboard-lead prog act with Steve Milliner (previously of Black Cat Bones) providing the fuzzed-up hammond riffs. Copenhagen's Pocket-Size first appeared on my last comp and unfortunately there is very little known about them, their only recordings were retrospectively released by Frost Records in recent times and 'In One Or Another Condition' shows their solid skills with some big stoned chops, ably assisted by great hammond.

Waterloo were a Belgian band that have cropped up here before in my Belgian comp, and they more than deserve credit for their intricate multi instrumental hard prog, often lead by plenty of awesome hammond.

Gudny Aspaas (Ruphus)
Ruphus are a rarity for TDATS, as they are from Norway, a country quite severely lacking here so far. Rest assured that I will redress that balance at some time, and in the mean-time take in this blinding track featuring the amazing vocal power of songstress Gudny Aspaas, accompanied by some hard as nails prog riffs. Tortilla Flat were a German act who made one album, though the track I used here, 'Life', was first aired as a single in 1970. Guitarist Michael Koch would later be in Jeronimo who I used way back on Vol5.

London's Quatermass (taking their name from a BBC science-fiction series) had a link to Deep Purple. All three of them had and would play in Ian Gillan-related projects like Episode 6 and Gillan. Their prog sounds were confident and accomplished right from the off and were in some ways fairly ahead of their time for 1970. Plenty of innovative electronic embellishment went along with Peter Robinson's keys and hammond. Unfortunately they didn't market well and only made one album, but they definitely had the talent and scope to become established.

8 Track
Conversely, Colorado's Sugarloaf were a less interesting, radio-friendly band who had enough success from a couple of singles to make 4 albums. I guess there's a good indicator of the power of american radio. Their biggest hit 'Green Eyed Lady', while musically proficient and slick, played it pretty safe, and I was about to give up on researching them when the scathing guitar introducing 'Hot Water' suddenly jumped out at me from their second album 'Spaceship Earth'. The riff was followed satisfyingly by cool hammond and I was delighted to find another unexpected, worthy inclusion.

Eyes Of Blue were Welsh, and one of those incredibly important bands that seemed to be a breeding ground for an entire country's rock history, as I found making the Welsh Vol56. Q III was a single b-side from 1969 with lots of great psychedelic hammond.

Pacific Sound
Berlin's Murphy Blend made one album in 1970 and the excellently named Wolf-Rüdiger Uhlig was the keys man. Bass player Andreas Scholz would later go on to Blackwater Park, who recorded one of my favourite tracks of all time, the mind-numbingly epic "Rock Song". Pacific Sound, from Neuchâtel, emerged from the Swiss ballroom covers-band scene and managed to record one album of mostly originals before calling it a day. The hard-edged tracks like Forget Your Dream had a distinctive fresh sound, and were quite manic.

Attila just had to be included here! Some of you may know that it was a one-album band that featured a very young Billy Joel on heavily distorted hammond, along with friend Jon Small, after they had both left The Hassles. Definitely aiming for shock value, they had a kind of proto-Manowar album cover, with decidedly smaller biceps of course! Billy describes them thus: "End of the sixties, I was in a two-man group. We were heavy metal, we were going to destroy the world with amplification, we had titles like 'Godzilla', 'March of the Huns', 'Brain Invasion'. A lot of people think [I] just came out of the piano bar... I did a lot of heavy metal for a while. We had about a dozen gigs and nobody could stay in the room when we were playing. It was too loud. We drove people literally out of clubs. It was great, but we can't stay in the club."

The Trip
The compilation ends on another link to Deep Purple. The Trip were a London band, started by an Italian called Riki Maiocchi. They recruited Ritchie Blackmore right at the start and soon moved to Italy. Blackmore quit and came back to the UK in time to join Deep Purple. By the time they recorded their debut, most original members were gone (including Riki Maiocchi) and they had mutated into one of Italy's first hard progressive bands. "Caronte [Part 1]" features incredible use of hammond by the talented Joe Vescovi, as atmospheric in some parts as he is heavy in others.

01. Santa Barbara Machine Head - Rubber Monkey (1967)
       from album 'blues anytime vol. 3'
02. Birth Control - Buy! (1972)
       from album 'hoodoo man'
03. Aardvark - Copper Sunset (1970)
       from album 'aardvark'
04. Pocket-Size - Opus III (1970)
       from retrospective 'in one or another condition'
05. Waterloo - Why May I Not Know (1970)
       from album 'first battle'
06. Ruphus - Trapped In A Game (1973)
       from album 'new born day'
07. Tortilla Flat - Life (1970)
08. Quatermass - Up On The Ground (1970)
       from album 'quatermass'
09. Sugarloaf - Hot Water (1971)
       from album 'spaceship earth'
10. Eyes Of Blue - Q III (1969)
11. Murphy Blend - At First (1970)
       from album 'first loss'
12. Pacific Sound - Forget Your Dream (1971)
       from album 'forget your dream!'
13. Attila - Holy Moses (1970)
       from album 'attila'
14. The Trip - Caronte [Part 1] (1971)
       from album 'caronte'

*nb: this post contains the word 'hammond' 14 times.

Share via: