Crack in the Cosmic Egg:
Originating as a group of friends at Marburg University in 1971, and originally known as Juma, whilst playing a five month residency at a club in Wiesbaden. Changing concept, with radical ideas for a music that combined all sorts of conflicting elements they later decided on the much more apt name Pell Mell when signing to Bacillus Records. Consistent from their inception, Pell Mell lacked one essential thing: a guitarist. So they asked Andy Kirnberger (of the local band Frame) to work with them on a part-time basis. Thomas Schmidt is quoted as saying, that what they wanted to play was "a synthesis of pop music, jazz and the works of the old masters" yet what they came up with was much more than that.
MARBURG saw a unique combination of psychedelic and progressive sounds, complex and lyrical, with subtle classical touches handled in a manner rivalling the best Italians of the era. A unique touch was the two lead vocalists, each with a distinctly different style, drawing comparisons with Gentle Giant. And, the music was really quite avant-garde for classical-rock, not least so the closing opus "Alone" which moves on to the realms of PHALLUS DEI era Amon Düül II. a superb and justly highly regarded debut.
Expanding the line-up, with an extra keyboard player, gave Thomas Schmidt more room with his violin, and FROM THE NEW WORLD saw them move to directly adapting classical works, not least a lengthy and radical rock rewrite of the "New World Symphony", hinting at instrumental Curved Air. After two albums on two different labels, Pell Mell were left in the cold for some time. By the time of RHAPSODY, some serious changes had happened, they'd become a virtual orchestra, now with three vocalists! It's classical rock as high art, no doubt. Yet, it's strange that virtually the same band went on to make the vastly inferior ONLY A STAR. Though, all good things have to come to an end.
In the late-1970's a few musicians from Pell Mell established their own record label PM Records, to release music by local Marburg talent. Pell Mell changed concept and became Skyrider. Later, Thomas Schmidt tried to resurrect the Pell Mell concept solo, by re-working their earlier "Moldau Suite" opus.
genre: psych, space
quality: lossless (ape, cue, log, covers, size: 235 mb)
PEOPLE were formed during a short term in 1971 as an (nearly) occasional 'shooting star' project to produce a novel psychedelic rock by blending their rock sounds and Buddhist Shomyo (sutra). All the members were renowned and talented Japanese session musicians - Kimio MIZUTANI (guitars, sitar), Yusuke HOGUCHI (keyboards, voices), Hideaki TAKEBE (bass), Kiyoshi TANAKA (drums, percussion), and Rally SUNAGA (gong, percussion). Calling Naoki TACHIKAWA as a producer and a director, they released a solemn and mysterious psych rock album 'Ceremony ~ Buddha Meet Rock' (1971), which was much appreciated by worldwide psychedelic rock fans.
Scented Gardens of Mind:
A minor league progressive band who attracted little attention in the late seventies. Their album didn't contain many ideas beyond the average, and was dominated by string synthesizers, piano and a remarkably strange, almost psychedelic, distorted guitar sound. Apart from that, the album is comparable to Corte Dei Miracoli and the keyboard work of Hugh Banton in Van Der Graaf Generator. The track "Introduzione" (9:43) contains some fine instrumental work, but the rest of the album was largely song-based.
01. Introduzione 9:46
02. Stacco I 4:09
03. Cieli Aperti 4:05
04. Una Vecchia Storia 6:00
05. 45/I 2:37
06. 45/II 5:09
07. Conclusioni 4:08
genre: psych pop
quality: mp3 (320k, covers, size: 100 mb)
misc: recorded '67-'68
This obscure London-based four-piece group is best remembered for Mazy, a dreamy, rather haunting slice of flower power. Apparently, their 45s were jointly produced by Peter Meadon, who'd helped mould The Who in their early days as The High Numbers, and Norman Jopling, who worked at 'Record Mirror'. Your Servent, Steven was also recorded by The Blues Magoos.
01. Your Servant Stephen 2:56
02. Mazy 3:21
03. Big giant man 2:55
04. Lost my lover 2:30
05. Lovey dovey feeling 2:27
06. Silver queen of the screen 2:32
07. When you're getting tired 1:59
08. Rum sensation 2:09
09. Called and chosen 2:11
10. Esprit de corps 2:53
11. The hovercraft song 2:22
12. Goodbye child 2:28
13. Morning 2:52
14. Do not wait for better times 3:26
15. Mazy (two-track original) 3:02
16. My friends and I 3:08
With a great album, highly representative of the italian prog sound, Panna Fredda should have deserved some more success, but theirs is the typical story of a band having a record deal and not being able to produce an album. Uno was delayed for many months after its recording and even broadcast in radio programs before its release, but the record company, Vedette, didn't support it at all and the band disappeared.
Their first album, Panna Fredda Uno, was finally released in 1971, but as mentioned above, the group had already ceased to exist by the time of its release, as the various members had to join the army for their call-up.
All the tracks on the album were composed by singer/guitarist Angelo Giardinelli, and the LP contains six long cuts, mostly based on a very effective guitar-keyboards interplay. Some english prog influences can be heard, like on Un re senza reame based on Heaven from Gracious' first album. Classical influences are evident, especially in the keyboard parts, but the music is convincing and impressive. The voice is good, the lyrics original and the album has no weak points.
Original keyboardist Giorgio Brandi entered i Cugini di Campagna with which he has had a long and successful career, until the mid 90's, and now owns a recording studio.
Roberto Balocco was later with Capsicum Red.
genre: southern, country
quality: lossless (flac, cue, log, covers, size: 265 mb)
01 - Breaker-Breaker 3:01
02 - South Carolina 3:07
03 - Ain't So Bad 3:50
04 - Freeborn Man 4:52
05 - Girl From Ohio 5:04
06 - Lover Boy 4:00
07 - Just For You 3:17
08 - Prisoner 3:59
09 - Stick Around For Rock & Roll 6:39
Billy Jones - guitar, vocals
Joe Lala - percussion
Frank O'Keefe - bass
Henry Paul - electric guitar, acoustic guitar, vocals
Hughie Thomasson - guitar, vocals
Monte Yoho - drums