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!
SoundQuest Fest 2021 – SoundQuest Fest, first experienced as a live festival in Tucson Arizona in 2010 was created by ambient music pioneer Steve Roach. This 2021 event will unite a worldwide gathering of artists and audience members together for a 3-day online event unique in the realm of ambient music. From March 26-28th a continuous flow of streamed performances, audio-video wonder worlds and deep immersion zones will burn bright on Roach’s YouTube channel. » Read more
Chick Corea RIP – The sad news has reached us that Chick Corea has Returned to Forever, so to speak. The innovative keyboardist and composer died on February 9 at the age of 79. With a career that spanned from the 60s until shortly before his death, Corea touched many listeners with the incredible variety of music he produced in his lifetime. » Read more
Asia Minor Third Album on the Way – On January 29, AMS records will be releasing the long-awaited third album by classic Turkish-French band Asia Minor. Released last year in Japan, this will be the widespread debut of Points of Libration. The album features original members Setrak Bakirel (vocals, guitar) and Eril Tekeli (flute, guitar). » Read more
Harold Budd RIP – Harold Budd, one of pre-eminent American composers of avant-garde and minimalism, has died of complications from the coronavirus. Budd came to prominence in the 70s, championed by Brian Eno on his Obscure Records label, with music that blended academic minimalism with electric jazz and electronic music. Much of Budd's best known work was done in collaboration with other artists, including Eno, Daniel Lanois, Robin Guthrie, Andy Partridge, John Foxx, Jah Wobble, and many others. » Read more