Flower Travellin' Band — Satori
(Radioactive RRCD-031, 1971/2004, CD)
by Jon Davis, Published 2006-05-01Psychedelic bands in Europe and North America often incorporated aspects of Middle-Eastern or Indian music into their own styles. So what happens when a band from Japan does the same thing? On the one hand, just from listening, you probably wouldn’t guess the band was Japanese. After all, Eastern-inflected heavy guitar riffs are hardly unusual, and they’re not singing in Japanese. If you think of early Black Sabbath (while there was still a bit of psychedelic in their sound) going off on a long Moroccan tangent, you’ll be in the right place. There’s also a bit of American blues to their style, with the appearance of harmonica. The guitar is almost always doubled up in octaves for the riffs, for a great combination of heavy and bright. In typical Japanese fashion, vocals are given short shrift, more an expression of apparent drug-induced enthusiasm than technical prowess, sometimes little more than demented wailing. But Satori is not about singing, it’s about riffs, and there are some killers here. Hawkwind comes to mind as a comparison, the way they take a mid-tempo motif and carry on at length. Come to think of it, Hawkwind was never really about singing either. I think the lyrics are in English, though they are basically unintelligible. The guitars and vocals are backed by bass and drums, and there actually are arrangements, not just endless repetition, with some nicely contrasting sections. Fans of the German post-psychedelic bands (Ashra, Missus Beastly, etc.) will probably find lots to enjoy here.
Related artist(s): Flower Travellin' Band / The Flowers
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
You Can Be Part of an Ambient Electronic Project – The Gesture of History is a new electronic project put together by Sam Rosenthal of Black Tape for a Blue Girl, Steve Roach, and violist Sam Shadow. The music started as an instrumental track Rosenthal was working on for a Black Tape album, but took on a life of its own and demanded further enhancements. The majority of the funds raised will go to manufacturing costs for LP and CD editions, as well as other items as detailed on the Kickstarter page. » Read more
Jazz Composer Mark Lomax, II Releases Epic 12CD Set – In addition to being a fine jazz drummer, Dr. Mark Lomax, II is a composer in residence at Ohio State University, where he has been very busy on the compositional front. The year 2019 is the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first ship bringing African slaves to North America, and in commemoration of this, Lomax has produced 400: An Afrikan Epic, a 12 volume set of CDs featuring a variety of different musical ensembles. » Read more