Monday, October 30, 2006

Zingale - "Peace" [1977] {Israel} (Prog) (@192)

Zingale (from the word 'sing'. Many people thought that they were named after the Hebrew slang word for a 'grass joint') was formed in 1974 by David Bachar and Yonathan Stern. They joined in Barak, Tamir and Shanan who were session/studio musicians. This line-up recorded in 1974 two tracks (tracks 10-11 from the CD) that were presented to the radio but received no attention at all. The group realized very soon that the musicians had a real chemistry between them. Jacob Bachar who was the manager thought the group had a real international potential and he got 'Kolinor Studios' in Israel and 'Decca Records' in Europe (who's president was personally interested and involved) to invest in the group. Two new members joined - Brower and Weiss. The group started working on an English LP. By the end of 1975 the recordings were completed and the group was preparing to go on a European tour to be sponsored by 'Decca.' Unfortunately a message came in that Decca's president had a heart attack and the whole process was postponed. In the meantime, the group had started working on new Hebrew material and was signed by ;Hataklit; in Israel. During 1976 and 1977 they had recorded new tracks in Hebrew, some of which were sent to radio stations (tracks 12-15). By that time the group had given up hope of an international career, and they decided to release their English record in Israel. In 1977, 'Peace' was finally released. The LP was released in a small edition and had become an extremely rare & expensive collectors item around the world. Soon after the release of the LP, the group had split up due to arguments on the recordings and mixes of the Hebrew album (which were never actually finished) and due to the fact that Stern and Tamir had left the group in favor of their growing interest in religion. (

Israeli progressive rock band from the 70's, hailing from Tel Aviv & Ramat-Gan. They managed to complete only one (English-sung) album, called "Peace", in 1975. The band disbanded due to low sales in Israel and no international interest in their music. ZINGALE's chief talents were Tony Brower (violin) and Adi Weiss (keyboards), but also Udi Tamir's bass is worthy of mention. The lyrics were inspired by the painful memories of the Israeli "Yom Kippur" war in 1973 (some of the band members fought that war, and lost relatives & friends), and are concerned with the importance of global peace.
ZINGALE's album has been reissued on CD in 1992, with some Hebrew-sung bonus tracks that were intended for their next Israeli album. There's also a later digipack version of that same reissue. The sound quality is below average, since the master tapes were not found at the time. There are rumours of a planned remaster using newly found master tapes, but it hadn't materialized it.

1. Heroica (4:19)
2. Help This Lonely World (3:51)
3. Carnival (5:59)
4. Love Song (6:11)
5. 7 Flowers Street (2:54)
6. One Minute Prayer (0:47)
7. Lonely Violin Crying For Peace (3:12)
8. Stampede (5:35)
9. Soon The War Is Over (7:53)

Bonus Tracks:
10. Why I Didn't Win The Lottery (4:28)
11. Everything Will Be OK (3:20)
12. Genesis (4:37)
13. Good To Be Together (4:39)
14. Party Inside (2:55)
15. Green Scooter On The Way To Asia (6:18)

Total Time: 66:58

- David Bachar / vocals, harmonica
- Yonathan (Johnny) Stern / vocals, 12-string guitar
- Ehud (Udy) Tamir / bass
- Efrayim Barak / guitars
- David Shanan / drums
- Ady Weiss / keyboards
- Tony Brower / violin, mandolin
- David (Doody) Rosenthal / synthesizer, percussion & effects

10. Why I Didn't Win The Lottery ...

Thanks to Adar for the rip & info

link in comments ....

Bayon - "Bayon First Recordings 1971-73" {70s} {Germany}

From Cranium Music: The Bayon group was formed in April 1971 by the members of the amateur East Berlin band G-P-Combo. The core of the group was guitarist Christoph Theusner, with the students from Cuba, Vietnam & Kampuchea. The musicians used mainly acoustic instruments, as cello, violin, flute, double-bass & acoustic guitars. In the beginning Bayon played progressive rock with strong influences of asiatic & south american folklore, as well as german baroque. From 1973 the group experimented with jazz-rock. In 1975 Bayon began to incline to chamber rock music with elements of folk, jazz & contemporary chamber music. (

Michael Lehnhardt (Guitar)
Roland Wölfel (Bass)
Christoph Theussner (Hammond-organ)
Sam Ay Neou (Vocals)
Sany Tong (Drums, Percusion, Vocals)
Luis Bayard (Flute, Percusion)

01-Stell Dich Mitten In Den Regen [1972] (5:09)
02-Die Nacht [1972] (5:47)
03-Die Lerche [1972] (2:44)
04-O Mangobaum [1973] (4:00)
05-Synthetic-Waltzer [1973] (7:34)
06-Bayon-Suite [1971] (12:35)
- Auf Der Brücke I
- Zwischenspiel
- Auf Der Brücke II

03-Die Lerche ....

link in comments ....

Anacrusa - "El Sacrificio" {Argentina} [1978] (symp. prog/fusion)

hola a todos :) umm here is the copy/paste: Born in the beginning of the 70’s, this Latin fusion folk formation has delivered impressively original items in a rather discreet commercial success. The albums feature enchanting, warm female vocals, some prog arrangements and acoustic, classical training guitar style. Their first, published in 1973 and “III” represent fine examples of achieved, mythic, dancing and mysterious compositions in popular, South America music. In the absolute songs’ structure is very closed to Peruvian, Bolivian, Argentinean ballads, boleros, milongas…Very refined and surely the best Latin folk vibe.(review taken from progarchives) one of my fav.

LiNks in commenTs & kEep Listening!!

TeMa de Anacrusa..

Ersen - "Dünden Bugüne" {Turkey} [1978] (psych folk rock)

Ersen was one of the leading Turkish rock groups in the 70's. His debut album Dünden Bugüne is a very sought after album by psychedelia collectors in all the world, and contains Arabesque flavoured psych-rock with complex drumming and some great fuzz assaults.(freakemporium)

keEp ListeniNg & LiNks iN coMmentS..

DeRmaN buluNmaZ..

Skolvan - "Entrez Dans La Danse" {France} [1991] (folk)

Founded in 1984, has been one of the mainspring of the Breton music’s revival. This period is essential because of the great work made by the musicians in order to safeguard the traditional music in Brittany, an heritage in peril then. Youenn LE BIHAN tried in this context the experiment of a group by invinting two teachers (violin and accordion) from the Conservatoire of traditional music of Ploemeur, such as the guitarist Gilles LE BIGOT. SKOLVAN was born with its first “Fest-Noz” (Gathering of dancers and musicians) on the 14th of April 1984. Youenn LE BIHAN created at the same time his famous “Piston”, inspired by the baroque oboe, that counts largely in the originality of the SKOLVAN “sound”.

In 1994, after three albums, SKOLVAN released "Swing & Tears" which was elected album of the year in France, in the United Kingdom and in Portugal.
Among the guests was Dominique MOLARD, a percussionist, who finally joined the group in 1996, developping thus the palette read more here

tRiP to VaLse..

LiNkS iN coMmEnTs...

((PS. another band that i like to listen is Duo Bertrand..well it released in 2002 the album name "fleur de sel" umm it is new to post here..but you may find/buy if you for it ;) ))

L'argent Qui Qrûle & Le Moulin..

((PS2. Armute i am very happy for your mail..waiting the a hurry to read it..tesekkur ederim :) ))

This Heat - ''Peel Sessions''{UK}[1988](Freak-Out)

This Heat were an experimental British band widely considered a missing link between progressive rock (especially krautrock) and such later experimental genres as post-punk, post-rock, and noise rock.
Free of clichés, the music blends politics and intelligence, steering clear of artifice. Austere, brilliant and indescribable.
This Heat - Horizontal Hold:


Rate your music


Friends - "Fragile" {UK} [1972] @256 (A breeze of fresh Pop-Folk)

What's up?!, today I would like to offer you a fresh breeze of super well crafted pure pop folk, so relax and enjoy.

You will hear echoes from the Byrds passing through the harmonies of the Fresh Maggots... a must for pop-folk enthusiasts.

Review Taken from Othermusic:

"Fragile is the best pop album reissue I've heard in god knows how long...I really don't think there has been anything as good as this since the Action's Rolled Gold or the Millennium releases. Take track five for instance, a near perfect two-minute song called "Memories" that I've probably played 30 times in the last week alone. It ends with a refrain as simple and as brilliant as the whole piece's construction, "think about life/think about love," and which actually always does make me think about those things, along with the fact that I want to hear it again immediately.

The main "Friends" in question who recorded it were Peter Howell and John Ferdinando, a couple of Englishmen with a home studio and a penchant for releasing pastoral folk records in ridiculously small quantities during the late-'60s and early-'70s. Fragile is in some ways not as, well, fragile as other projects I've heard by the two, but only because the pop sensibility at play here is just too direct and charmingly infectious.

It's like a less kitschy Free Design, or a Schoolhouse Rock song with an ambiguous moral authority. Peter Howell has been with the legendary BBC Radiophonic workshop since the mid-'70s, so I'll assume it is he that is responsible for the intriguing sonic palette that characterizes Fragile, which manages to be both completely stripped down and lo-fi yet weirdly expansive at the same time. Lovely stuff, and if you dig it be sure to check out their earlier bands Agincourt and Ithaca."

Need to say more?, what are you waiting?

Friends - "Take a walk"
Friends - "Memories"

Keep Listening

Links in comments!

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Sloche - ''Stadaconé'' [1976] {Canada} (Jazz Rock/Fusion)

Offbeat fusion-based prog from Quebec. Stadaconé starts off very jazzy and gradually gets more and more complex as the album progresses.


For Further Information

Sloche - Stadacone:

Demon Fuzz - "Afreaka" {UK} [1973] @192 (Black Heavy Jazz)

Review taken of Hai Karate

Okay, let's talk about reissues of extremely rare, highly sought-after, fetching big money on eBay from fanatical collectors & beatdigger type records. I sometimes tend to be suspicious of such items -- you know, certain "holy grails" of funk breaks that sport maybe a few good tracks, or maybe even only one? Sure, if I was a serious baller in such matters, I wouldn't be buying reissues, right? But fuck it. As it is, I've recently seen some 'diggers going after '70s stuff by the Second Chapter of Acts (explanation here) because their session drummer allegedly threw out the occasional quasi-decent break that hasn't been sampled. For those slightly less obsessed about such things (or who have only so much space for LPs), exercising caution tends to be a rule of thumb.

Take this one, for instance: a single-shot offering by some bunch of no-name teabags circa 1970. Killer cover, but song titles like "Past, Present and Future" and "Hymn To Mother Earth" might be warning enough to be wary; auguring as they do of some stereotypical bit of muddied-bellbottoms, free-festival fare of the In The Court of the Crimson King stripe. Sure, there's some of that afoot here -- but, fortunately, not in too heavy-handed of a fashion. Some of the portions with singing bare that trademark-of-the-milieu quasi-jazz flavor that brings to mind early LPs by the likes of Chicago. No great shakes in the vocal/lyrical department, mind you; but they know when to knock it off and break into some extended "jamming." These passages are the payoff, many of them tripping along on some latin-afrobeat type groove that features rolling, earthy sax work that's not a million miles away from some of Cedric M. Brooks's African-inspired work. Most of the tracks range from 8-10 minutes in length, which gives the band plenty of time to make short work of the weak lyrical parts before branching out into more expansive terrain. And they had the sense to kick the thing off with "Past, Present and Future" -- a long, slow instrumental groover that builds off some heavy, buzzing, almost proto-Black Sabb riffage that's almost as killer as the photo gracing the sleeve.

Earth-shattering or wig flipping? Well, no -- nothing on par with, say, Fifty Foot Hose or Kingdom Come or "Maggot Brain" even; but it sure beats the hell out of listening to some baroquely fey-ass drek like Yes. This one offers a decent enough ride through its full duration, and ranks as one of the best obscure one-shot reissues I've heard since that Bwana joint started circulating

Demon Fuzz-past, present & future

Keep Listening

Links in Coments

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Prog Not Frog Radio Presents: The Voice of The Moon # 019 With The Herbalist (Welcome to the Czech Republic Alternative Scene)

The first band I knew from The Czech Republic, (at the time still known as Czechslovakia) was the Legendary Plastic People Of The Universe. That was in the 70's, when many things about rock bands were not certainties but diffuse and blurry rumours.

I was told that Plastic People was a persecuted band, and I was also told that they had concerts in hidden basements and abandoned factories.

Their music hit me with a vengeance. It was incredibly crude, harsh ans corrosive. The Czech words came in to
my ears like drops of molten sulfur. They were stunning, mythic and fantastic.

Decades later, after the fall of Communism, my brother got married and he had a European Honeymoon in which Prague was included. I handed hin a paper which said: Go into any music store and give this name to the clerk. I want all the Plastic People albums you can get.

He bought 3 albums. I guess he didn't try too hard. (Anyway in due time I bought the others)

Now I know the whole story Czech rock and indie. Plastic People were a bunch of Dissident Intellectuals supported by a man who later would be Preseidnet of the flamant Czech Republic: Poet and playwriter Vaclav havel.

And what a president.

The world would be a better place if we had more presidents like him
Friend of Lou Reed, Frank Zappa and rock and punk connosieur. RIO fan. Human Rights activist. Arts and Culture supporter.

Ater the so called Velvet Revolution that brought Havel and his rock lover friends to power the Academy for Popular Music was born. Its goal: to helkp and supporgt popular musicians without any restriction to creativity.

And Indies Records was founded as a publishing house for all kind of experimental, folk alternative and pop artists.

That's how the brilliant careers of the likes of Iva Bittova, Vladimir Vaclavek and Pavel Fajt started.

If there is something in common among the czech alternativa artists we could say it is the blend of virtuosism and feeling. This great music is possible thanks to the whole social process and the sucsessful politics applied to music and the arts as the expression vehicles of the czech people.

Havel left power in 2003 after ten years of a political career that I hope will be an example taught is History text-books in the future. Nowadays the Czech republic is the most stable and prosper of all the countries re-founded after the fall of the Iron Curtain. Prague has become a massive tourism center. The City of Kafka, Kabbalah and The Golem opens its mysterious stone paved streets to the world.

Maybe Plato was right. Goverment should be left in the hands of artists and philosphers.

Keep Listening...!!!


Robin Street-Morris. Frog Spirit I. 2006. Watercolor and pastel

Vortex - ''Les Cycles De Thanatos''[France]{1979}(RIO)

Les Cycles de Thanatos is a dark-sounding album integrating rock, jazz, and neo-classical elements. Probably the most dominant feature on the album is the dark brooding neo-classical rock, sounding not unlike Univers Zero or Art Zoyd. In addition, there are Zeuhl-ish jazz rock passages that remind me of Zao, Moving Gelatine Plates, instrumental Zappa, and Potemkine. An excellent album of typical French avant-garde/underground music. (Gnosis)

Link in comment. Enjoy!

Friday, October 27, 2006

I woke up today thinking that this is the best band ever... please meet THE MONKS...!!!!

(before I change my mind or switch to any other "best band ever" mood)

Thist post is dedicated to all my fellow prognotfroggers and specially to Algarnas who "discovered" The Monks for us all.

And...!!! ..Ladies and Gentlemen..!!!

Believe it or not... filmed just two weeks ago somewhere in Minessotta..!!!

Be alert for the upcoming "Tribute to The Monks", including covers of The Monks songs by Faust, The Fall and many others.

It is Monk Time!!!

Keep Dancing...!!!

Tarancón - ''Gracias A La Vida'' [1976] {Brazil} (folk)

Tarancon is one of the first who make a mixture of Latin American music with Brasilian way & melodies. 30 years of being active on the scene with 9 recorded albums. It started as a band who made popular folclórica music of Latin America. Some instruments used in her albums: bambu flute, pan,violin, charango, acoustic/bass guitar... This one is for those who would like to hear easy listening melodies with latin energy & spirit. Her album may make you feel that what you would like to feel.

Boquita de Cereza..

links in comments..

Zamla Mammaz Manna - ''Familjesprickor''{1980}[Sweden](RIO)

The band themselves claim that the music in this album is not “as optimistic and happy as it used to be”, but the listener should not expect mournful and/or languid music. Everything remains as colourful and exciting as always, only more tense more aggressive and more charged – that’s where the inner tension comes from, mainly. There is also a decreased number of folly chanting, and that may be another hint of the lack of happiness in the album, a lessened desire to sing and hum. Regarding the repertoire itself, it’s perfectly even in its richness and sense of surprise, all the time demanding a lucid awareness from the listener. Nevertheless, it is worth noting that the opening track displays an impressive mixture of polka and jazz rock, with some Frippian guitar and Zappaesque extravagant chord progressions in the keyboard parts.)

Zamla Mammaz Manna - Five Single Combat:

Marconi Notaro - "No Sub Reino dos Metazoários" {BRA} [1973] @256 (Acid Folk Mantra)

Hello Boys!, certainly some of you are Familiar with great brazilian individuals as Ze Ramalho, Lula Cortes, etc... they are responsible for some of the most groundbreaking underground psych classics: from the highly bizarre Ze Ramalho & Lula Cortes's "Paebiru" to the Pastoral Flaviola e o Bando do Sol (covered in this blog a long time ago), passing through the acid folk of Satwa.

Well, here we have another highly regarded masterpiece from the same guys... Marconi Notaro's-"No sub reino dos Metazoários".

Here I post the review from Time Lag Records:

"Featuring the core trio Lula Côrtes. Underground Poet Marconi Notaro & Zé Ramalho, this record was recorded just months after Lula & Lailson had released "Satwa" (actually some claims this work as a second "Satwa" lp). Lula was back in the same Recife studio with poet and friend Marconi Notaro to lay down another equally magical album. Zé ramalho, who would go on to record the Paéberu 2lp with lula two years later, makes his recording debut here as well... somehow amidst the harsh government restrictions of 70's Brazil, Lula Côrtes and his group of artist friends had managed to bypass the authorities and create a hugely creative micro-world of their own, recording, producing, and releasing this album with complete independence. no small feat in and of itself, no doubt, but the music is what makes this slab a true lost masterpiece... the whole album gushes forth with a sun baked spirit of the highest level, mixing tropicalia tinged folk-beat groovers, Satwa styled bliss trance ragas, Paébiru favored lysergic jungle psych, and even a raging fuzz/wah soaked garage psych rocker. Extremely mind melting from start to finish, with huge washes of rippling tape delay, electric & acoustic guitars, 12 string, tranced folk percussion, passionate yet mellow vocals, liquid electric bass, acid effects everywhere, and of course Lula's mercurial & heart melting tricórdio (an instrument he made himself, something like a sitar/dulcimer hybrid).

Beautiful, melancholy and joyous all at the same moment, this is an album that after 33 years still sounds completely fresh & unique... sadly Marconi passed away in 2000 having lived a life of obscurity even in his own town, yet leaving behind 7 published books of poetry and this stunning, lone album"

So my friend's, if you are into the Recife's underground scene this is the last piece of the crown. I hope you enjoyed as much as Myself.

And at last, as always... Thanks Lula, Thanks Ramalho & Thanks to the Great Poet Marconi Notaro.

Keep Listening!

Links in Comments

Marconi Notaro - Sinfonia em ré

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Eider Stellaire - ''Eider Stellaire I''{France}[1981](Zeuhl)

Eider Stellaire was founded in 1980 by drummer Michel Le Bars which played in Offering. The group had a previous incarnation under the name of Astarte, in which were 3 members of Eider’s lineup – Michel Le Bars (drums), Patrick Sinergy (bass) and Jean-Claude Delachat (guitar). This lineup existed for 3 years. They separated in the beginning of 1980 and reformed at the end of that year as Eider Stellaire with several new members. Pierre-Gerard Hirne (piano, organ) was able to perform on piano the new musical ideas they wanted to develop. Veronique Perrault joined in as a vocalist. This line up along with Marrie-Anne Boda (flute, vocals) and Michel Moindre (saxophone) as guests, recorded their first and excellent self titled album. This album had the sound they were after but several more lineup changes occurred. Pierre Minvielle entered as the keyboards player, Ann Stewart (Shub Niggurath) became the vocalist, Frank Coulaud joined forces with Le Bars as percussionist and finally Marie-Anne Le Bars played the flute. This lineup recorded the second album released in 1986 and also named Eider Stellaire (therefore it is referred to as Eider II). Though perceived as more accessible than the first one, those two albums define the unique sound of Elder Stellaire: The Zeuhl influence from Magma (prominent bass and drums parts) spiced up with fierceness, only not as theatrical and somewhat similar to Eskaton’s approach, and with a generous amount of jazz-rock. They recorded their third and last album called Eider III in 1987. Their albums have not yet been released on CD and the vinyl records are hard to come by and expensive. The first two albums are highly recommended for Zeuhl fans, especially those into Eskaton.
Like a number of excellent French progressive rock releases from the 70s, Eider Stellaire’s self-titled debut is an album that has criminally gone without CD issue since its original vinyl release. The style here is Zeuhl, and you all know what that entails; growling bass, thunderous drums, heavenly Fender Rhodes, organ and synthesizer motifs. Still, Eider Stellaire present a style that is perhaps more infectious and melodic than that of their forbearers, Magma, aligning themselves closer to the Eskaton interpretation of straight up ass kicking.

Eider Stellaire - Onde:

Aktuala - ''La Terra'' {Italy}(1974)(jazzy-avant-psych-folk)


- Walter Maioli / arabic oboe, wooden flute, naj, bass flute, maranzano, bass harmonica, reeds, whistles, bells
- Daniele Cavallanti / Soprano saxophone
- Antonio Cerantola / acoustic guitar, balalaika
- Lino "Capra" Vaccina / maroccan bongos, koborò, african drums, tabla, gong, xylophone, whistles, cymbals, musical bow, percussion
- Otto Corrado / Soprano saxophone, flute, bells
- Attilio Zanchi / acoustic guitar
- Marjon Klok / harp, Tamboura, bells
- Trilok Gurtu / tabla, snake drums, maroccan bongos, cymbals, xylophone, cow bells

Following the same path as Third Ear Band in England, Aktuala tried to mix together the western musical tradition with african and asian instruments, rhythms, cultures, with a result that can hardly be described as "progressive" in the classical sense of this word, and falls more in the psychedelic or avantgarde field.

During the early 1970s, most aspiring jazzers on the Continent were chasing the voodoo down, or running the noonward race. The (largely) Italian group Aktuala pursued a fusion of a different sort. Aside from Oregon, Aktuala was one of the first bands to craft a coherent, gimmick-free hybrid of improvisational jazz sensibilities with a pan-cultural approach to ethnic music. Led by multi-instrumentalist / composer Walter Maioli, the band (circa 1974) also included percussionist Trilok Gurtu (who went on to play with John McLaughlin, Oregon and Jan Garbarek, to name a few), saxophonist Daniele Cavallanti, guitarist Attilo Zanchi (both now well-established members of the Italian jazz scene, w/numerous recordings on the Spla(s)ch label), saxophonist Otto Corrado, guitarist Antonio Cerantola, and harpist Marjon Klok. A violinist (Maurizio Dones) and a cellist (Marino Vismara) guest on one track each. La Terra, the group's second LP, contains four extended instrumental tracks that combine Indian percussion, strains of American jazz and blues, and Mediterranean and North African ethnic musics. Like Oregon and John McLaughlin's Shakti, Aktuala works exclusively with acoustic instruments. However, Aktuala's music is much more loosely conceived than that of Oregon or Shakti - the tracks on La Terra are long and rambling, with simple melodies and lots of room for extended soloing. This music has an air of dreamy darkness and mystery that I find especially appealing.

Aktuala - Sar:

Link? in comments.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

The Monks - "Black Monk Time" {US-GER} [1965] @256 (Insane Primeval Howling... with fuzzy banjo!)

This is the best review (by Scott "Sid" Somers) ever writtenof the Monk's Holy Grail "Black Monk Time", I want to share with you

The First Time Is
Always Special
(Especially When The First Time Is Monk Time!)

"Was it fun for you?"


As a frequent visitor to the "Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame Inductees Forum", a message board where any and all types of rock music are discussed, fought over, and generally hyped, I tend to dismiss those fans who continually rant "I think this band is great!" or "that group was the best ever!", as examples of their own personal taste. As a lifelong fan of rock & roll I've either heard the music of those artists and long ago made up my mind whether such claims are worthwhile, or, if I haven't actually heard them at least I know of their existence and to which branch of the tree of rock & roll those artists belong, along with a basic understanding of their importance in the scheme of things.

So my interest was aroused by several recent forum posts regarding The Monks, their 1966 album "Black Monk Time", and the recent reunion of the band in New York City after 32 years apart. The Monks? Who were The Monks? Here was a band I had never heard anything about before. Zip! Zilch! Nada! Nil! I made a mental note to check this group out sometime in the future.

As luck would have it, while browsing my local cd store the following weekend, I found a copy of "Black Monk Time". The original album cover was a simple and stark design, completely black and displaying only the band's name and album title. On first impression it instantly reminded me of "The Beatles", the 1968 release better known as "The White Album".

I should mention here that The Beatles are my favorite band and I consider myself quite obsessed with them, having read numerous books about their history and making my own pilgrimage to Liverpool and London to see the sites for myself. Many of these books make the claim that The Beatles were the first to release an album with a completely blank cover, and while technically true, I can't help but wonder if this idea was not first used on The Monks "Black Monk Time", preceeding The Beatles by two years!

The back cover had a series of b&w pictures of the band in various shots, some of them playing their instruments, some of the group just fooling around, but one in particular caught my eye. "WHAT IS WRONG WITH THAT GUY'S HEAD? Why has he got a huge patch on the top of his head shaved clean? What's that all about?!!".

Curiosity got the better of me.

I bought it.

I played it.


I have not been the same since!

I have been changed!

Not since The Sex Pistols 1977 "Never Mind The Bollocks..." has an album so utterly shaken my view of what rock & roll was, and is, all about!!!! I could not believe what I was hearing. Was this really 1966? Impossible! This music was ten years, at the least, ahead of its time. This album sounds like something that could have been released in the late '70s or early '80s. Hell!!! This album sounds like something that could have been released today!!! Here was rock & roll like I'd never heard it before. It was scary! It was wacky! It sounded so fresh, so vital, and so full of energy. And my God, what energy! Energy at times angry, sometimes bordering on rage, but most of all this music screamed FUN!!!

A big smile crossed my face, the kind of smile you get
when you discover a new pleasure that you've never experienced before. Here was a long lost gem buried in that mountain of Rock. Here was a forgotten treasure. The Monks "Black Monk Time" may be THE BIGGEST SECRET IN THE HISTORY OF ROCK & ROLL!!! But the word is now out, and spreading quickly! (Hey, if a Cheesehead from the Frozen Tundra of Green Bay, Wisconsin found The Monks it won't be long until the rest of the world does too!)

Opening the cd gave me another surprise. There, staring back at me, was the group photo of The Monks, all dressed in black, with white rope ties around their necks, and EACH ONE WITH A BALD PATCH SHAVED OFF THE TOP OF HIS HEAD!!! WHOA! I would later discover that such a haircut is called a "tonsure", usually done as a sign of entrance into a monastic state. Well, that fit. Here was a group image that went far beyond The Beatles moptops, or anybody else that I can recall from 1966. A radical group "look" that was unequaled thematically until perhaps the 1974 debut of KISS. Again, The Monks were ahead of their time.

But what really matters is the music.


I find it interesting that both The Beatles and The Monks honed their musical skills at some of the same notorious nightclubs of Hamburg's Reeperbahn red-light district. I have often wondered what The Beatles music would have sounded like had they not surrendered to becoming suit-and-tie wearing MopTops, and instead kept to their Hamburg beat group roots as a pill-popping, hard-drinking, band of black-leather-clad teddy boys. Listening to The Monks "Black Monk Time" gave me a small peek at what I've always imagined that "beat music" might have been like. But any similarities end there.

Perhaps the nearest The Beatles could have come to The Monks "sound" would have been if "I'm Down" had been played like "Helter Skelter". The frantic beat and distortion on "Black Monk Time" at times reminds me of The Stooges, The Ramones, and The Sex Pistols. The sometime quirky song arrangements bring to mind The B-52's and Devo, while the ping-pong choruses are reminiscent of The Cars. And yet, nothing I have heard before sounds anything like The Monks! The Monks are unique! The Monks "sound" is proto-Punk! New Wave is definitely neo-Monks!

By 1966 The Beatles were adding more and more layers of instrumentation to their already complex recording technique. The Monks, calling themselves "anti-Beatles", took a minimalistic approach to their music, stripping away most of the melody and precision, and instead replacing it with a heavy drum beat and massively distorted rhythm. MY GOD! YOU WILL NOT BELIEVE THE DISTORTION!!!! THIS CANNOT BE 1966! Heavy distortion on the guitar and the bass. THE BASS!!! And why not add a banjo too? WHAT?!! A BANJO??!! Yep, that's

right! In their search for a more primitive and simplistic sound not only did The Monks strip down the drum sound to an incredibly raw pulsating beat, but in an effort to double that rhythm effect they added a banjo too! IT'S INSANE!! WHO WOULD EVER HAVE THOUGHT OF THAT?!! The Monks, that's who! It works BRILLIANTLY! It was GENIUS! Finally, bubbling up, over, down, and underneath this huge mass of distorted guitars, clacking banjo, and thud

ding drums is a wonderfully frenetic organ. Top it off with great sounding vocals and ,all in all, I have rarely heard anything so fantastic as The Monks "Black Monk Time"!

While The Beatles were beginning to lead the rest of us toward 1967's "Summer Of Love", expressing a utopian message in 1965's "The Word" and escapism in 1966's "Tomorrow Never Knows", The Monks set their sights firmly upon reality. No peace, love, and understanding from these guys, they were going to tell it like it really was (and still is)! The Monks lyrics reverberate with ANGER!!! These guys are pissed off!!! No further proof is needed than the album's opening song, "Monk Time", in which the band defiantly declares its stance, " know, we don't like The Army, what Army?, who cares what Army!, why do you kill all those kids over there in Viet Nam?, mad Viet Cong!, my brother died in Viet Nam!".

But here is the strange thing, far from alienating you, in some strange way The Monks wacky song interpretations perfectly describe what a crazy world we all live in, then and now. It's that unspoken recognition that you feel, that "you too know what they know", that this world may be insane but with the music of The Monks this world can also be FUN!

That realization will bring a smile to your face! (Either that, or you've listened to The Monks "Cuckoo" one too many times!)

Want some fun? Go out immediately and find The Monks "Black Monk Time".

The Monks-"Monk Chant"
The Monks-"Monk Time"

Keep Listening

Links in Coments

Monday, October 23, 2006

Lard Free{France}(Jazzy freakout)

''Lard Free''[1973]
Lard Free's debut is stunning, full of energy and deeply enjoyable. If you can picture Sabbath's Geezer Butler (first two albums) playing with King Fripp, Brian Eno and maybe a less virtuoso Bruford making an album , you might have an idea of what this album sounds like. Sometimes the Eno/Fripp influences are overpowering the rest of the influences but this is relatively minor. Those long instumental tracks rolling around a superb bass and repetitive drumming is simply fascinating, may sound to some as jams but not quite as this is more to do with minimalism.

Hartman's group is along with Heldon one of main bands that drew heavily on Krautrock to the point that they are often categorized as such although both bands/projects are French. So if you are into Krautrock, you know what you have to do!(Hugues Chantraine)

''I'm Around About Midnight''[1975]
Lard Free's second album is very different of the debut and really adventurous mood! With this sophomore album, the feel is definitely towards German influences although the Fripp/Eno ones are still very present.

One cannot help to think of minimalism German master Faust when listening to the Alambic track with their repetitive synths and Tangerine Dream phasers in the background leading you with no definite boundary into the Bakestan track where an Oldfield-like piano and flute take over. Still with no clear track ending we are now lead by a sonar noise (much like Floyd in Echoes) into Taktooz and haunting ambiances lead you in Pale Violence with its booming bass. the CD finishes off with an
eastren-sounding piano-led track.(Hugues Chantraine)

''Spirale Malax''[1977]
Once again, Lard Free presents another very different facet compared with the preceding ones and sadly this was to be their last one. But this album is clearly in the continuity of their previous Midnight album, taking the Krautrock presented there a step further almost to reach Tangerine Dream.

If I mention Tangerine Dream, I am speaking of a cross between the Zeit/Atem era and the Phaedra/Rubycon era. But the main difference would be that there are a lot more instruments ouside of KB , least of all is that searing Frippian guitar work that the successor of Pinhas (it was him in the Midnight album) , Baullieret would go unnoticed (you could swear it was Pinhas in here too) if it was not for his credits! As always the Fripp/Eno influences in Lard Free albums is overbearing!

Side 1 is a side-long track Spirale Malax (so imposing it gave its name to the album , but the album was originally entitled III) that is so remiscent of Tan Dream mixed with influences of minimalist Terry Riley (Thanks Philippe) that you will check again to see if you have the right disc in the deck! Slowly evolving music but definitely more eventful than T D. The other track on side 2 is divided in three sections according to the Spalax CD and four in the information above (this is often a problem with Spalax label products, the track listings on the booklet do not agree with the music on the discs). Anyway Synthetic Season is another awesome track!

Since I had to write my review in two days since this track confusion thing, I could read my reviewing colleague Philipe asking you not to take into account Tangerine Dream influences into account, he might well re-listen to the four albums I mentionned above come back to me with his new impressions!(Hugues Chantraine)

Lard Free - 12 ou 13 juillet que je sais d’elle:
Lard Free - Warionbaril:

Links in comments.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Prog Not Frog Radio Presents: The Voice of The Moon # 018 With The Herbalist (The Latin American Way)

Latin America.

What is it?

Sometimes I think that it is two things. A cauldron and an enigma

We’ll see why it is a cauldron later but now we’ll say that we feel it is an enigma because it is not as poor as Africa, not as rich as Europe or the US. Latin America seems to wander aimlessly in an ideological, political and economical Limbo. Latins are Sons of Spain and Portugal. Influenced by the Big North. Accosed by the IMF. Sinking in debts. With 50% of the population living in poverty. With a horrible recent history of Military governments and corruption. Torture, Missing Persons, Political Assassinations. Homeland of great poets. Homeland of powerful druglords. Guerrillas, Last hideout of crypto communism. Last hideout of extreme facism.

It is like if all the contrasts of this planet are to be found in Latin America.

You’ll find In Latin America incredibly rich people…. But go for a walk and you’ll find people living in sub human conditions. And hey, you don’t need that walk to be long. Sometime the extremes touch themselves in cities like Caracas, Rio or Mexico City. Poor and Rich people are separated by thin walls, just hundreds of yards away from each other. Of course, after the major financial crisis of the 80’s and 90’s and the explosive growth of external debt, the latin economies fell down, while the demographic growth went on and on. As a results crime rates have rocketed in the last decades in urban centers.

But latins keep having high hopes. Latins seem have got used to live in chaos. What would you expect of a culture that might give you Garcia Marquez one day and Pinochet the next?

Anyway.. art happens... as Jorge Luis Borges used to say. Yes. It happens. Everywhere around us it suddenly appears, like a blossoming and unexpected rose that we discover hanging from an almost withered branch.

And as art happens, music happens everywhere in Latin America.

Latins are considered joyful people, noisy people, musical people. Latin America has been a crossroads, a melting pot or cauldron in which many things blend, mix a brew. In the last 40 decades Latin-American’s music have mingled with all the genres that have swept the European and North American stages and radios.

From Big Bands, to Free Jazz, From Rap to Minimalism. From Psychedelia to Punk.

All those influences have fallen into the Latin-American cauldron where one can find indigenous music from the Andes high plains, Argentinean tango, Venezuelan and Dominican Meringue, Brazilian Samba, Bossa and Choro, Colombian Cumbia, Panamanian Murga, Mexican Rancheras, Puerto Rican Salsa, Uruguayan Candombe, Chilean Cueca…and the list of etceteras would fill many pages.

And of course recently those things have blended with jazz, experimental music and rock
In the beginning, Latin-American rock bands were a timid bunch with none or very little chance to penetrate the international market. But pop music and experimentation have gone huge since the late 70’s. (The Hippy era happened in Latin-American about 5 years later than in the US or Europe)

Nowadays the Latin-American musical offer is incredibly varied and interesting.

Lo-fi garage electronica like Malas Amistades from Colombia
World famous exponents of Brazilian Tropicalia like Caetano Veloso.
Urban bad boys like Bacalaomen and their Venezuelan mix of hardcore salsa and rock.
Living legends like the Argentinean Charly Garcia.
Second generation stars like Fito Paez, also from Argentina.
Decades old and incredibly consistent bands like Congreso from Chile.
Introspective manufacturers of music miniatures like Stella Magnone from Uruguay.
And the list goes on and on….

Maybe it is not a sub-continent.
Maybe it is a whole universe.

Welcome to the latin side of existence and…

Keep Listening….!!!


Picture -->

Frog Mrs. Darter & The Wahoos (Southamerican Dart-Poison Frogs) Acrylic on Linen Canvas Painting by Lawrence Raymond (Lary) Mckee

Map -->

Latin American Map taken from the website of CHILDHOPE, an organization that helps childreen in economical disadvantage, all around the world.

Picchio Dal Pozzo(Canterbury Scene)

PICCHIO DAL POZZO are considered to be one of the very few "Canterbury" inspired bands that emerged from Italy's fertile 1970's progressive rock musical scene. The sextet known as "Picchio dal Pozzo" surges forth via romantically melodic overtones, swiftly implemented time signatures and jazzy interplay in concert with the proverbial peaks, valleys, knotty twists and circuitous turns. "Camere Zimmer Rooms" is a must for all those enamoured of both Italian prog as well as the Canterbury music scene. Essential for their fans, as well as fans of groups like CARAVAN, HATFIELD & The NORTH, HENRY COW, SOFT MACHINE & FRANK ZAPPA.

''Picchio Dal Pozzo''[1976]@320
Picchio dal Pozzo carries on in a tradition paying (rocking) homage to Zappa and the Canterbury scene with an extremely soporific quality that almost makes it seem as if it comes to you from underwater in slow motion. It's a super-swank moving album replete with blurbs and tidbits that bubble to the surface calmly and then release into an ether above the brow, a heady adventure

Soft machinations of a fluid nature begin the capitulation in the middle, howling with dreamy massed vocals beckoning your wispy attentiveness. Robert Wyatt-style gentleness comes in to further capitulate the daze. Open up a general field and lie in it. The passing shapelessness of the clouds may take you on over this way. Before I can get enough and decide to park, it's over and I hardly blinked. Did it really happen!?

''Camere Zimmer Rooms''[1977~1980 recordings]@224
Album released in 2001 "Camere Zimmer Rooms". It is a demonstration sound source made from 1977 to 1978. Only the fourth tune is recorded in 1980. The member is almost the same as the second work. A straight performance is comparatively done in this work. It is an Electric jazz with power. A melodious performance with a lot of repetitions is the main. It is different in the Canterbury sound and it is unique. Excellent article that makes effect sound of good and "La Citta" that exchanges scat lucid and is delightful. It is unquestionable for tone quality. All tunes are unpublished tunes.

Picchio Dal Pozzo - Seppia:

Friday, October 20, 2006

Opus-5 {Canada}(Quebecois fusion)

As the progressive movement was making more and more adept in La Belle Province, more and more groups got contracts and as Celebration record lost Harmonium to CBS , they offered a contract to OPUS-5 . This band can be seen as a good cross in between HARMONIUM and MANEIGE or SLOCHE. Some GENTLE GIANT and JETHRO TULL influences are also evident. Their first album is full of delicious melodies with soft yet incisive vocals and great flute passages all on 5 superb compositions by five superb musicians. Unfortunately , their record label went bankrupt just as the recording of their second album was finished . That album will have to wait until 89 to see the light of day. Part of the band will form CONCERT that will release one album in 60 as the disco tsunami had swept everything in that part of Canada.

Opus-5 can be highly recommended to fans of the above-mentioned bands but also everyone who enjoy calm folkish fusion.(Hugues Chantraine)

''Volume 1: Contre Courant''[1975]@192
The title says it all Contre Courant - against the flow (mainstream).

“Contre-Courant” is a very expressive album with all 5 members adding vocalization throughout and is delivered with great emotion. Quite different than other Quebecois band but just as incisive in contents , here the singing is of crystal- clear French without the typically local accent and it is refreshing, but it does take some mastering of the languages to fully grasp how good this album is. Those texts on top of it are politically engaged, mind-challenging, thought-provoking, environementally-conscious and socially oriented. The music is accompanying such superb vocals and texts is in the same vein: Food for thoughts. Just like your cereal breakfast (and just as indispensible as that first meal) it just crackles, snaps and rocks and will nourish your body and feed your brains so well that even your asshole boss cannot screw-up your day.

Mosts of the numbers present long instrumental passages only slightly interrupted by very on-the-dot lyrics (Les Saigneurs instead of Seigneurs). Absolutely 100% essential.

''Volume 2: Serioux Ou Pas''[1989]@192
Opus-5 's second album has an unfinihed feel to it and also an odds & ends touch. This is quite normal knowing that their record label Celebration (Harmonium had released their first two albums on that label) went bankrupt during the recording of this second album, so the recording got abruptly stopped , probably got seized as asset in the bankruptcy and this might explain why this did not get released until the very late 80's and probably released with not too much production job other than what was on tape at the time. I don't know for sure the exactitude of my reasoning but I must not be far from the truth.

Serieux Ou Pas has much shorter numbers than Contre Courant and while it has some very good moments, it does not have any epic of the style of Les Saigneurs or Temps des Piussenlits. Some of the numbers (the two super short numbers) were apparently recorded as inside jokes - probably not meant to be released (see my remark on the production) but those are not able to hide some of the more brilliant numbers that brings back memories from their debut. I may embroider the facts but I would like to trhink that some of these numbers were meant to be assembled together to make some longer tracks in the spirit of their first album.(reviewed by Hugues Chantraine)

links in comments.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Mezquita - "Recuerdos De Mi Tierra" {Spain} [1979] (prog rock)

Mezquita's 'Recuerdos de mi Tierra' is, IMHO, the definite masterpiece of Flamenco oriented prog, and most certainly, one of the highlights of Spanish prog in general. From the beautiful city of Córdoba, Mezquita managed to elaborate a prog style firmly rooted in the Flamenco traditions, and watered by the influential flows of 73-75 Yes (with less meandering), the melodic side of KC, the fire of Rush, and some hints to classic hard rock. The result is simultaneously powerful and exuberant, since the four musicians' skills are top notch. The fluency of the interactions between the guitars and the keys is simply awesome, and so is the precision with which the rhythm section lays the proper foundations for this intrincate, energetic material. The opening title track is per se a manifesto of Mezquita's personal style. The following three tracks are the most explosive ones, full of tempo changes, pyrotechnics (never reaching at a gratuitous level) and genuine enthusiasm (oh!, that chanting/clapping passage right before the end of 'Ara Buza', that is special gypsy magic of Flamenco at its purest) - a special mention goes to the opening instrumental section of 'Desde que Somos Dos', my personal fav. Track 5 is more somber, due to the dark solemnity of the subject (a massive suicide), but still manages to capture the intense magic of South Spanish folk, as well as the band's punchy swing. The fusion touches that were somewhat moderate in previous tracks, emerge more clearly in the instrumental closure - once more, a superb number. The occasional use of a guest string quartet enhances the Arabic air of some compositions (string quartets are very recurrent in Moroccan folk tunes), making the exotic thing compatible with the rock side of Mezquita's music. Well, let me finish by reiterating that this is a Spanish prog gem that should not be missed in any good prog collection.(Review by Cesar Inca/progarchives)

liNks in commenTs..

el biZco de LoS PAtiOs..

Feo - "Eg Meini Teo" {Denmark} [1971] (accoustic psych folk rock)

Sometimes we all need to slowdown a bit and find the peace know i call this kind of albums "candy,sweet,a box of chocolate..." not only a few tracks but also most of the tracks very sweet in this album..i couldnt find a good information on the net.i wish you enjoy it..happy listenings!

linKs in commentS..


Phoenix - "Mugur De Fluier" {Romania} [1974] (prog folk rock)

This is one of the best album of the genre. it's inspired by historical tales about ancient living heroes of romanian people. This five songs "Lasa, lasa" are witty couplets. The song "Mica Tiganiada" is about old lifestyle of gipsy people. "Mugur de fluier" is ispired by Jethro Tull's "A Christmas Song", but the lyrics are very beautiful. "Muzica si muzichia" it's a mery song, short but very funny. Try to find and listen this album, you'll never regrete!(reviewed by mgionescu,taken from progarchives)

LiNKs iN commEnts..

oChii nEgRi. ..

Midnight Circus - "Midnight Circus" {Germany} [1972] (requested)

A very obscure and difficult to locate album produced in Germany in the early-70's. This is a dreamy progressive folk album that appears to be a duo augmented by sessions musicians (in the manner of Witthuser + Westrupp but with vocals sung in English). The album does venture out into a tougher rock sound at times while at others it will float on a bed of mellotron sound which hazily recalls the sound of early King Crimson or The Moody Blues. A very interesting and rare album which is well worth a listen.(freakemporium)

liNkS iN cOmMeNtS..

InDiaN ImPreSSioN..

Jonas Og Einar - "Gypsy queen" {Iceland} [1972] (psych folk rock)

One of my favourite album from iceland scene..Einar (songwriter) and Jonas (singer) came from Iceland to Sweden, where this album was made ca are welcome to share knowledge/reviews in comments. Gypsy women! the real heartbreakers ;)

liNks iN commeNts..

gYpsY qUeEN..

Arkay IV - "For Internal Use Only'' {USA} [1968] (requested)

Well not my i know this one reissued with a name "The Mod Sound Of The Arkay IV" this album introduced in one of 1001 collector's dreams series..for me its good to listen it (some songs really sweet) and worth adding this to your collections..i am sure some will like it..happy listening Fred! and you all.

Links in coMMents..

i'll kEEp oN Tryin..

Apes of Wrath - "Apes of Wrath" {USA} [1982] (requested)

An interesting album..i searched for an info.there are some confusion on release date
of the are welcome to share reviews/knowledge..keep lintening

LiNks In CommeNtS..

[Edit]: i fixed the link..

bAck tO fLayin AGaIn..

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Robert Fripp : “Let The Power Fall” {UK} [1980] @VBR (Semi Forgotten But Essential Frippertronics Extravaganza)

Ok Robert Fripp is very famous.

Ok We specialize in rare stuff and Robert Fripp’s stuff is not that rare.
Ok.Ok Ok.

I believe that this is one of Fripps forgotten albums and I also believe it truly deserves a second listen.

Most people worship Fripp because of his abrasive riffs in King Crimson. Others worship him because of his arithmetical playing, so disciplined, never making a mistake. He’s a machine. He is always in control.

All those things are valid, true, valuable and undoubtedly extremely influential.

Fripp is a giant among guitar players and he’s not as famous as Clapton or Gilmopur, because he is a semi reclusive intellectual that doesn’t get along very well with fame.

But… there’s one side of Fripp that I believe people should pay more attention, or at least one area of his career that people doesn’t mention often enough: the Frippertronics era.

I feel it is my duty to remind everybody that Frippertronics happened years before the digital age. Nowadays sound morphing is much, much easier. Let’s go back briefly to 1976 or 1978. The addition and mingling of delays, flagers, echoes, compressors and who-knows-what weird gadgets that we came to know as Frippertronics is the result of long hours of experiments that Fripp did in the mid 70’s after the first death of King Crimson. Stabilizing the effects was difficult and nightmarish. Fripp finally tamed the monsters he had created.
Frippertronics also owes much to Brian Eno, and we could say that ambient music was officially born with the Eno-Fripp collaborations (Evening Star and No Pussy Footing. (Although there are many albums released before those, that nowadays we could consider as “ambient music”)

Anyway, “Let The Power Fall” is an album I have always liked and an album I have always needed to come back to.

The way the guitar sounds there has never been repeated, not even by Fripp, which is a pity because there are sonic moments here that deserve further exploration. But I guess Fripp wanted to put the seed in the soil so others would collect the fruit. That’s what ha has been doing all his life anyway.

I hope that this post reminds us, that beyond the progressive side, beyond the neurosis and the improvisational explosions of 90’s and 00’s King Crimson, Fripp also half-invented a totally different genre that has become extremely popular among contemporary listeners.

Get ambiental and…

Keep Listening…!!!

Robert Fripp - 1986...