The Smell of Incense / Ethereal Counterbalance — What Do You Want?/Magick Brother b/w Plug
(September Gurls SGten2, 1997, 10" EP)
by Henry Schneider, Published 1998-05-05What’s this? Are the pot headed pixies at it again? Wait a minute, this is not a reissue but an incredible and impeccable Gong cover by those psychedelic Norwegians The Smell of Incense. The instrumentation is superb and it isn’t until half way through the 12 minute medley that the vocals drop in and you realize that you’re not listening to Gong. (I guess we’re not in Kansas anymore, Toto.) What a fitting tribute to one of the psychedelic/prog rock era’s quirkiest and most innovative bands. Even Bumble B’s cover art invokes Gong replete with a Flying Teapot! On the flip side is Ethereal Counterbalance, led by one Rod Goodway from the UK. Plug consists of three songs: "Bodyland II," "Liar’s Boogie," and "Flight 49." Rod dedicated this music to Magic Muscle, a sister band to Hawkwind during the seventies. "Bodyland II" is the second installment of a trilogy whose first part appears on Simon House’s solo album House of Dreams. This is a cool song that sounds a lot like Bevis Frond. "Liar’s Boogie" has one of those repetitive fuzzed guitar riffs so familiar to Hawkwind fans and ends up being a Bevis Frond/Hawkwind hybrid. The final song "Flight 49" was recorded live at the Earth Ritual II Festival in Belgium on 30 September, 1994 and the lyrics paraphrase Donovan’s "Fat Angel." "Flight 49" is easily the best song on this side with its ethereal guitar solos. This performance could stand up to the Jefferson Airplane’s Bless Its Pointed Little Head. Another highly recommended September Gurls release. Snap it up if and when you see it.
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