Embryo — Surfin'
(Garden of Delights CD 157, 1975/2010, CD)
by Henry Schneider, Published 2013-04-01
Embryo is one of the seminal German bands from the 60s that have continued to record and perform. Surfin', released in 1975, was their seventh album. Their earlier albums featured ground-breaking free-riffing jazz fusion and Surfin' was an attempt to be more commercial. The title refers to traveling from gig to gig, not surfing. However, it was not a success, as fans did not appreciate the funk and soul elements. The eight songs on the album are a mixture of funky jazzrock, fusion, and krautrock with some outstanding extended passages. The weakest point is Christian Burchard's voice, which detracts from the music. The band, Christian Burchard, Uwe Müllrich, Roman Bunka, Charlie Mariano, and Edgar Hofmann play a mixture of traditional jazz instruments (percussion, vibes, guitars, bass, keys, sax, and violins)along with Eastern instruments (sitar, saz, nagasaram, etc.). This concoction works remarkably well. "New Ridin'" is a funky bass and guitar track that totally surprises you when Bunka's non-traditional and funky sitar jumps into the mix. On "Dance of Some Broken Glass," the longest at 9 minutes, you hear beginnings of the eastern music influence that Embryo would later embrace. The one slightly oddball track is the short "In My Lunamatic" as it is an amorphous drum and percussion track with some guitar strumming. Overall, despite the lack its commercial success, Surfin' is an excellent release, especially if you like a funky beat. We are indeed fortunate that Garden of Delights reissued this album.
Help MoonJune Bring Great Music to Life – Like many music lovers around the world, we’ve been thrilled and amazed to hear the recordings that have been released by MoonJune from sessions at La Casa Murada in Spain. Such label stalwarts as Mark Wingfield, Markus Reuter, Asaf Sirkis, Tony Levin, Dusan Jevtovic, Vasil Hadzimanov, and many more have gathered in various combinations at the studio to produce some of the most creative music in recent years. Now, label head Leonardo Pavkovic is offering a compilation, La Casa Murada - MoonJune Sessions, Volume One, as a fundraiser for upcoming sessions. » Read more
The Pineapple Thief to Tour North America – November and December of 2019 will see The Pineapple Thief bringing their music to Canada, Mexico, and the US, and famed drummer Gavin Harrison will be on board. The band has been touring extensively in Europe, but North America will be new territory for them. » Read more
Scott Walker RIP – Noel Scott Engel, better known as Scott Walker, was one of the most intriguing and enigmatic musical figures in the second half of the 20th Century. His strange career started with The Walker Brothers, an American pop group that featured no one named Walker and no brothers. After moving to England in 1965, they had a series of hit singles. Scott's solo work started with Scott in 1967. Starting in the 80s, his work took an increasingly avant-garde turn. » Read more
Freedom to Spend Unearths June Chikuma's Archives – Jun (June) Chikuma is well known for her video game and anime soundtracks, but she also released an album of experimental electronic music back in 1986 called Divertimento where she indulged the kind of spontaneity that wouldn't work in a soundtrack. RVNG Int'l label Freedom to Spend is bringing this overlooked item to broader attention with a deluxe reissue. » Read more
Seaprog 2019 Lineup Almost Complete – The Seaprog festival in Seattle is scheduled for June 7-9 this year, and they've announced their lineup of performers. The revitalized Trettioåriga Kriget will cap Friday night, perennial favorites Marbin are on Saturday, and District 97 will finish off the fest on Sunday night. In support, they've booked a stellar variety of artists from the Northwest and around the world, including EchoTest, Markus Reuter and Trey Gunn, and the live debut of the amazing Troot project. » Read more