Various Artists — Psychedelic Underground 16
(Garden of Delights CD 160, 1980/2010, CD)
by Paul Hightower, Published 2013-04-01The Garden of Delights label has a long history of issuing compilations pulled from their vast library of mostly obscure, German prog and psych bands from the 70s. Entry 16 moves the series forward in fine style, kicked off by the superb instrumental "Snowstorm" from the group Tetragon, taken from their lone album Nature (1971). As usual, the liner notes provide informative details about the groups and recordings to aid the listener in tracking down the individual releases. Occasionally the quality of the musicians and/or the recordings isn't stellar, but for the most part I was pleasantly surprised by the excellence shown on both fronts. To the point of wondering (as often is the case with the Garden of Delights repertoire) why the heck some of these bands weren't more successful. One gets the sense that timing or just bad luck conspired in many cases, though these groups also had to contend with small audiences and limited financial support from the German entertainment industry. Of course, some bands represented here – such as Guru Guru or Xhol – are more widely known, but the real "delight" in these compilations are the lesser known gems. These include the warm and approachable "Lizzy's Song" from Yggdrasil, or "Intro" from Surgery's sole 1980 release that borrows more than a little from mid 70s Soft Machine. These Psychedelic Underground discs are an excellent way to become acquainted with everything the Garden of Delight folks have to offer, and much of it comes highly recommended. Dive in!
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
Chicago-Based Surabhi Ensemble Tours the World in January – Surabhi Ensemble was formed more than a decade ago in Chicago with the aim of bringing together musicians from varying traditions to make music. Saraswathi Ranganathan, who plays veena, assembled a cast that includes Arabic oud, Spanish guitar, and percussion from Africa and India. This month, the group will be sharing their sounds with concert-goers in Southeast Asia, Europe, and Africa. » Read more
Seaprog Festival Seeks Donations – Seaprog is a small festival in Seattle that highlights creative music from many genres with artists from around the world. It's also a US non-profit organization. They're seeking donations to help keep the ball rolling. Starting in 2013, the organization has been growing, and has featured such artists as Free Salamander Exhibit, Jack o' the Clock, Nik Turner, Cabezas de Cera, Miriodor, Thinking Plague, and many more. » Read more
The Seventeenth Dream of Dr Sardonicus Festival Tickets Now Available – Fruits de Mer Records and their merry crew of psychedelic explorers are getting set to present the next The Seventeenth Dream of Dr. Sardonicus Festival. The dates are set for August 2-4, 2019 at The Cellar Bar in Cardigan, Wales. They've also announced that the legendary Groundhogs will top the bill. » Read more