Exposé Online banner

Cymbeline — 1965 - 1971
(Guerssen GUESSCD061, 1971/2017, CD)

by Henry Schneider, Published 2018-03-04

1965 - 1971 Cover art

This time Guerssen has unearthed some excellent Swedish DIY psychedelia from the late 60s / early 70s. To give you a bit of history, Cymbeline (aka Motala Ström and W&J) formed in the Swedish industrial town of Norrköping in the mid 60s. By the time the band broke up in 1971 they had only released a single 45 rpm record, “New York” b/w “Sixth Image.” But Cymbeline had recorded a lot of demos and started work on an LP as well. Now for the first time in 46 years this music is available for everyone to hear. Cymbeline began as the two musicians, Michael Journath and Anders Weyde, who had been playing in teen beat bands. They had grown tired of playing cover songs, so decided to start recording more experimental stuff using armchairs and furniture as percussion, sounds from nature (sea gulls and birds), an electric cocktail mixer, and improvising lyrics. These experiments took form as their series of “Image” tracks. Over the years they honed their skills, playing a few gigs, and in 1970 Ulf Ryberg joined the group and they released their 45 rpm. This archival release, 1965 - 1971, contains 15 tracks, kicking off with the crazed lo-fi garage psych tune “Third Image.” The progression of tracks does not appear to be chronological as the recording quality varies from track to track. The second track, “Mittuppslag,” is a psych track with a clean sound and a funky bass line. Their alter ego, “Motala Ström,” features a bluesy piano augmenting a cool psych rock boogie tune. “Flicka” is an acid folk tune that turns jazzy about the mid point. “Stolta Vingar” is a tasteful acoustic acid folk ballad. etc. The high points for me are the trippy teen beat song “Look at the Stars,” the dreamy and transcendental “Imagination,” and the minimal acid folk “Ur Asfalt Ropar Rösterna” accompanied by the sounds of running water, birds, and seagulls. And then I was pleasantly surprised by “Vinden Viskar Mary,” a cover of Jimi Hendrix’ “The Wind Cries Mary.” This cover is a quiet lo-fi interpretation that does not have Jimi’s edge, but it works! So if you are a fan of US garage-psych, teen beat, and/or psychedelic experiments, be sure to pick up a copy of Cymbeline’s archived music.


Filed under: New releases, 2017 releases, 1971 recordings

Related artist(s): Cymbeline

Latest news

2020-05-15
Phil May of The Pretty Things RIP – We were saddened to learn that Phil May, lead singer and founding member of The Pretty Things, has died at the age of 75. The band's 1968 album S.F. Sorrow is one of the enduring classics of the psychedelic era, and the group existed in various forms until finally retiring in 2018. » Read more

2020-05-14
Jorge Santana RIP – Jorge Santana, noted guitarist, leader of the band Malo and brother to Carlos Santan, died on May 14 at the age of 68. Jorge and Carlos worked together on a number of occasions, though Jorge's career was centered around Malo, solo work, and with Fania All-Stars. » Read more

2020-05-06
Florian Schneider RIP – Florian Schneider, one of the founders of the pioneering electronic group Kraftwerk, has died at the age of 73. Co-founder Ralf Hütter announced that his bandmate had passed away from cancer after a brief illness. » Read more

2020-04-23
Shindig Festival Goes Lock-Down – Here's what they're saying: It's A Happening Thing! The Shindig! Magazine Lockdown Festival. In our days of no large gatherings of people, maybe it's still possible to have a music festival. Shindig! Magazine is giving it a go with a multi-artist streaming extravaganza on Saturday April 25. » Read more

2020-03-24
Bill Rieflin RIP – The sad news reaches us today of Bill Rieflin's death. Rieflin was best known as a drummer in bands ranging from post-punk to industrial to indie-rock to progressive rock, including work with The Blackouts, Ministry, Nine Inch Nails, Swans, Land, and King Crimson. Rieflin had been battling cancer for several years, and succumbed to it on March 24. He was 59. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Virgil Moorefield - Distractions on the Way to the King's Party – Moorefield was a guitarist (one of many), then drummer, with Glenn Branca's ensemble for many years. This is his first album in a decade and his first for Cuneiform. He plays drums here and did all of...  (1994) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues