Various Artists — Floralia Vol. 3
(Mizmaze WoT4CD99003, 1999, CD)
by Jon Davis, Published 2002-09-01
This is quite a mixed bag of generally psychedelic bands from all around the world. It starts off with Cosmic Gardeners doing a nice sitar-accented tune and borderline irritating vocals. A track by Amp is really annoying, with tuneless singing and droning distortion. Hungary’s Korai Öröm bumps up the quality level considerably with “Welcome to the Hippie Future,” with some great drumming and spacey effects. Australian Tom Kazas (formerly of The Moffs) offers up a well-written neo-psych-pop gem that suffers from tinny production. Ohm comes from the more electronic side; In the Labyrinth contributes a lovely Indian-inflected piece that builds slowly over five minutes. Smoking the Century Away provides a scattered and amorphous pieces with lots of squonking from bass clarinet. “Joni’s Sweet Echo” by This Fluid from Greece is a diverting piece based on a groove reminiscent of Peter Gabriel’s Security. Acid Mothers Temple and the Melting Paraiso UFO sound even sillier than their name and are best avoided, as are Le Forbici di Maintú and Ectogram. Tombstone Valentine is a little better, though “The Web” is a little too long and could use some percussion to provide a little energy. Mexican-born electronic and vocal experimentalist Alquimia finishes the collection off with an interesting (if slightly New Agey) work for percussion, keyboards, and voice.
Marty Balin RIP – One of the architects of the 60s psychedelic sound of San Francisco has died at the age of 76. Marty Balin was a singer, songwriter, and guitarist who was one of the founders of Jefferson Airplane. After the split of the original Airplane, Balin went on to form the highly successful Jefferson Starship. » Read more
Krautrock Documentary Seeks Funding – The next installment of the Progressive Warriors documentary series will focus on the vast body of music that falls under the banner of "krautrock." As most of our readers will know, previous films have tackled RIO and the Canterbury scene, as well as what we might call "mainstream" prog rock. » Read more
Tomasz Stańko RIP – Tomasz Stańko, one of the greats of Eastern European jazz, has died at the age of 76. Stańko's career started in Krzysztof Komeda's quintet, where he contributed trumpet from 1963-1967, when he formed his own group. He worked extensively with Edward Vesala, Don Cherry, Zbigniew Seifert, Chico Freeman, Howard Johnson, Cecil Taylor, and many others. Many of his recordings have been released by ECM, an association that began in the mid-70s. » Read more
Soft Machine Set to Release New Music – It's been 50 years since The Soft Machine changed the face of music with their first album. Their blend of psychedelic rock and jazz was unique, and while the band went through many changes before disbanding in 1981 — by which time there were no original members remaining — they remained an innovative force with a style all their own. » Read more