Satin Whale — Desert Places
(BRAIN 1049, 1974/2010, LP)
Satin Whale — Lost Mankind
(Telefunken 3984-22009-2, 1975/1998, CD)
by Mike McLatchey, Published 1995-11-01
For the latter part of their career, Satin Whale were a commercially oriented rock group who's music fell way outside of much of the more progressive German rock of the era. However, their first couple of albums were a completely different story. On Desert Places, Satin Whale made a very powerful rock sound with loads of organ, great themes, dynamics, and fantastic guitar. Satin Whale's main influence was definitely Santana, and much of the guitar/organ interplay is similar to Carlos Santana / Gregg Rolie on the early line up from '68-'72. In fact, parts of this are directly stolen from the Abraxas album. While arguably plagiaristic, I always have thought that some sort of progression on early Santana rock would be great, and this album in every way is like a great Kraut rock version of that band. While certainly not original, and not really that progressive, this is a superb rock album with great moves and band interplay.
A year was a big change for the group as Lost Mankind brought many different influences into their rock style. In a few places, there were some brassy rock parts sort of like Colosseum, Emergency, or Creative Rock that seemed slightly commercial. More classical and progressive rock stylings were also evident with some piano and a lot more experimental touches. As the album continues to what was the second side of the vinyl, the band touches on to more spacious styles and more familiar flashbacks to Desert Places. It reminds me quite a bit of Sahara's Sunrise. While Desert Places is the better of the two due to consistency, Lost Mankind is also quite good and a bit more original. Both albums come highly recommended to fans of Deutsche Rock.
Related artist(s): Satin Whale
Celebrate 10 Years of Fruits de Mer – As a special celebration for a decade of cool vinyl releases, our friends at Fruits de Mer records have prepared a limited edition reissue of an album by the first band ever to appear on the label: Schizo Fun Addict. The band is known for unusual release strag » Read more
Mega Dodo Presents New Charity Album – Our friends at Mega Dodo have put together a lovely compilation of their artists performing new arrangements of nursery rhymes, and all the profits from sales of the album will benefit Save the Children. It features a number of artists we've covered. » Read more
Phil Miller RIP – Sad word reaches us today of the passing of another of the great musicians of the Canterbury Scene — guitarist Phil Miller. His distinctive sound added greatly to Matching Mole, Hatfield and the North, and National Health, and he also contributed to albums by Caravan, Dave Stewart & Barbara Gaskin, and many others. He was 68. » Read more
Moonjune to Distribute Tony Levin's Back Catalog – It has been announced that Moonjune will now handle distribution for Tony Levin's catalog of releases. These great albums will now be a bit easier to get hold of, so check out the site and see what you're missing. The veteran of King Crimson and Stick Men worked with a host of great players on these albums, and we've reviewed most of them over the course of the years. » Read more
Bandcamp Shines Light on Niches We Like – Bandcamp has developed into one of the best places to discover new music, and even a lot of old music is showing up there. In addition, their staff has been producing periodic articles spotlighting some interesting stylistic areas. On 20 September, they published one called "The New Face of Prog Rock" which bears checking out. » Read more