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

2018-07-31
Tomasz Stańko RIP – Tomasz Stańko, one of the greats of Eastern European jazz, has died at the age of 76. Stańko's career started in Krzysztof Komeda's quintet, where he contributed trumpet from 1963-1967, when he formed his own group. He worked extensively with Edward Vesala, Don Cherry, Zbigniew Seifert, Chico Freeman, Howard Johnson, Cecil Taylor, and many others. Many of his recordings have been released by ECM, an association that began in the mid-70s. » Read more

2018-07-09
Soft Machine Set to Release New Music – It's been 50 years since The Soft Machine changed the face of music with their first album. Their blend of psychedelic rock and jazz was unique, and while the band went through many changes before disbanding in 1981 — by which time there were no original members remaining — they remained an innovative force with a style all their own. » Read more

2018-07-01
7d Surfaces Happy Rhodes Back Catalog – We've covered singer Happy Rhodes before, both for her solo work and recently with The Security Project, but her 11 albums have been hard to track down. Until now. 7d features high-quality downloads of all her releases, and several of them are also available on CD. » Read more

2018-06-25
Fred Chalenor RIP – We have news of another sad passing in the world of creative music. Bassist Fred Chalenor, whose creativity featured on albums by Tone Dogs, Caveman Shoestore, and many more, died on June 23, 2018 after a long battle with Alzheimer's. Tributes have poured in from the many musicians and fans whose lives he touched. » Read more

2018-06-13
Jon Hiseman RIP – One of the great drummers of the rock era has died. Jon Hiseman was a veteran of such ground-breaking groups as Colosseum (I and II), Tempest, John Mayal's Bleusbreakers, and was a founding member of the innovative large band United Jazz + Rock Ensemble. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

David Gilmour - On an Island – Longtime Pink Floyd Guitarist Dave Gilmour is living the perfect rock star dream. Having completed the unlikely Live 8 reunion and sidestepped label pressure to restart the band, the guitarist...  (2007) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues