Exposé Online banner

Third Ear Band — Alchemy
(Drop Out DO CD 1999, 1969/1988, CD)

by Mike McLatchey, Published 2015-11-19

Alchemy Cover art

McLatchey's Second Tier

There really was no other quartet like the Third Ear Band, they were even singular in 1969, showing up on the Harvest label next to Pink Floyd. They're difficult to describe, perhaps something like a psychedelic medieval raga band might be close. The instrumentation was unusual with its mix of cellos, violins/violas, oboe/recorders, and table/hand drums, and the combined sound was a bewitching acoustic drone that could sound like Indian classical music, renaissance folk, and hippie drum circle all at once, although the musical strands came together in a very cohesive way. The pounding, insistent drumming sets up something very pagan and tribal, with the strings chopping away and the oboe weaving modal melodies on top, the results lifted by the mythical and mystical titles. I've always found this a completely mesmerizing listen, like opening up some imaginary fabled land and culture from aeons ago. Discogs files them as Neo-Classical and Avantgarde, neither of which seem to fully capture what their sound was like.


Filed under: Reissues, 1988 releases, 1969 recordings

Related artist(s): Third Ear Band

Latest news

2019-10-06
Ginger Baker RIP – Legendary English drummer Ginger Baker has died at the age of 80. After coming to fame with Cream in the 60s alongside Eric Clapton and Jack Bruce, he became one of the most recognized and influential drummers of the rock era. On September 25, his family announced that he was critically ill, and on October 6 his death was confirmed. » Read more

2019-08-20
Alex's Hand Seeks Spa Treatment – American / European band Alex's Hand has a new album in the works called Hungarian Spa, which looks to be their biggest and best yet, featuring a large roster of guest musicians. They're seeking funding to take the project on the road, and are looking for help from the crowd of wisdom. » Read more

2019-06-05
Legendary Co-Founder of The 13th Floor Elevators Passes Away at Age 71 – Sadly, Roky Erickson passed away on May 31, 2019. Known as the father of psychedelic music and co-founder of the ground breaking 13th Floor Elevators, Roky had a profound influence on music from the 60s to today. Plagued by his own personal demons, Roky had a difficult life and is now free of these burdens. » Read more

2019-04-24
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

2019-04-10
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


Previously in Exposé...

Tim Motzer + Markus Reuter - Descending – Guitarist Tim Motzer and touch guitarist Markus Reuter establish an instant atmospheric rapport on their first joint effort together. The first song, “1200 Sundays,” is beautiful and sounds...  (2010) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues