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lørdag den 25. maj 2013

Cinderella - Udkoksning I Tre Satser - 2006 (Den) Blues Psych

Wrongfully categorized into progressive rock by the Disney like font on the front cover of this album is Cinderella, a Danish power trio playing psychedelic inspired blues rock. The band consisted of Henning Kragh Pedersen (guitar & vocals), Søren Hillingsøe (bass & vocals) and Allan Vokstrup (drums). Cinderella never actually released any albums in the 1970's, the band were scheduled to  be released in 1972 through Spectator Records, however this was just after Spectator Records burnt down and thus they only got to release a single 7" entitled "Kong Galars Sang" with b-side "Udkoksning I Tre Satser" in the 70's, but in 1990 the album that had been scheduled originally for 1972 was released, and in 2006, this compilation was released. All the recordings on this compilation is material recorded by the band between 1970-1972. Little known information about the group and its members' origins, it is as mystical as it is rare.

Comparable to acts such as Jimi Hendrix Experience, Cream, Blue Cheer and Young Flowers as well as label-mates Terje, Jesper & Joachim and Blues Addicts. Cinderella grasps the listener and takes him or her  on a journey through smoke-filled psychedelic hippy anthems with lyrics about pollution, drugs and sex, while also taking their time jamming blues classics like Parchman Farm, Red House etc. and filling their self composed material with lots of overdriven guitar improvisation and blues jams. This record doesn't really hold many elements of surprise as it seems you have heard it all before especially a song like "Sexbombe" sounds very close to Young Flowers' "25 Øre" and lots of the aforementioned hippy anthems contain vocals comparable to those of typical Danish hippy groups such as Fujara or De Fortabte Spillemænd. That being said this record is not bad at all, because even though the music might seem recognizable, the musicians playing it, deliver it with such passion and soul that one can not keep from rocking with his or her foot. Especially the inclusion of the live version of the group's "Break Song" with a blues jam (with vocals in Danish) shows the band's good musicianship, so don't miss out on this one.

1. Carlt
2. Sexbombe (Sexbomb)
3. Udkoksning I Tre Satser (Haywiring In Three Movements)
4. Break Song*
5. Parchman Farm
6. Kong Galars Sang** (King Galar's Song)
7. Fire
8. Mr. Wild
9. Ana-T-Nas***
10. Forurening (Pollution)
11. Break Song Live
12. Mr. Fantasy****
13. Stormen (the Storm)****
14. Long Tall Sally****
*This includes a cover of Red House (The Jimi Hendrix Experience).
**Galar is slang for marihuana in Danish.
***A play on words on the Danish word "ananas"(pineapple)
****These three songs are also live recordings

Bitrate: 320kpbs

tirsdag den 19. marts 2013

Vestenvinden - Gummimasker - 1971 (Den) Progressive Folk

Here's one of the most obscure records in the history of Danish prog. A long-lost gem for folk fans. Vestenvinden (the Western Wind) was a Danish progressive folk rock band formed around 1970 in Odense consisting of Britt Rasmussen (vocals), Uffe Steen (guitar, clarinet, flute & vocals), Steen Råhauge (harmonica, flute, percussion & vocals) and Peter Martensen (guitar). The group was only active for a little more than a year, which was just enough time for the band to release a 7" as well as this album "Gummimasker" (Rubber Masks).

The main elements on the album is acoustic guitars and vocals. Great harmony vocals are very present and common on the album as well as good acoustic guitar patterns and nice melodies. Upon the first listen the album might not appear to be very progressive, but the tempo changes (and changes in general) will confirm the record as a prog album. To the Danish listener the lyrics might appear a bit predictable and even boring, but it seems that the group somehow knew this and therefore brought in pieces of Danish poet Inger Christensen's collection of poems Det. The group wasn't formidable lyricswise, but despite of that the album is really good with lots of nice improvisation and exciting passages, which keeps the listener intrigued throughout its 42 minutes length. The album features guest appearances from Niels Tuxen (guitar, piano, steel pedal guitar & bas) and Per Stan (drums & percussion). Overall the album reminiscent of a less medieval-oriented version of Tudor Lodge and a softer version of Comus. All this being said, this is one of the best Danish progressive folk records to ever be released, if not the best.

1. Marker Omkring Os (Fields Around Us)
2. Solen (the Sun)
3. Blå Æg (Blue Eggs)
4. Det (It)
5. Gummimasker (Rubber Masks)
6. Transparent (could mean Transparent, but could also mean Banner)
7. Byen - del 1 (The City - part 1)
8. Byen - del 2 og 3 (The City - part 2 and 3)
9. Vestenvinden (the Western Wind)  

Bitrate: 128kpbs (vinyl rip) converted to 320kbps

tirsdag den 13. november 2012

Coma - Financial Tycoon - 1977 (Den) Progressive/Jazz Rock/Experimental

Now this is a rarity. This album by Coma has not yet been re-released on cd by anyone and little info is known about the band, though a lot of info about its personnel is available. This band originated in Copenhagen in between 1973 and 1977 and consisted of Viggo Bertelsen (guitar), Flemming Friberg (guitar),  Jakob Mygind (alt, tenor and soprano sax), Leif "Guru" Christensen (bass), Klaus Thrane (drums & alternate piano). They released three albums in their career, this one being their debut released through Danish record label "Genlyd" fecthing up to 200€ on auctions. The band was heavily influenced by country-mates Dr. Dopo Jam and Troldmandens Lærling. Klaus Thrane is today most known as being the drummer for Danish folk-rock artist Lars Lilholt.

Not only heavily influenced by their country-mates alone, on the album there are three huge influences that you can't help but noticing. These influences are Frank Zappa, King Crimson and Gentle Giant. Vocally they are trying to make somewhat of a reflection to Frank Zappa's vocals. Steady as Gentle Giant the songs on this album melt into one long tribute to Frank Zappa, Miles Davis, yes that Miles Davis, King Crimson and Gentle Giant. With great melodies reminiscent of the aforementioned artists, lots of passion and an amazing experimental vibe that brings to mind everything from heavy progressive and hard rock bands like Black Sabbath and Atomic Rooster to to experimental nuts like Zappa and Davis to jazz-fusion groups such as Return To Forever and Secret Öyster. A very talented group passionate about what they do and just as much in control over what they do. Overall the album is very nice produced too. The album never gets boring and keeps the listener intrigued from the beginning to the end. The only question is, why the f is this not bigger than Lars Lilholt? 'Cause it sure is better than that. Guest performers on the album include Ernst Thomsen (violin), Skak Snitker (trumpet) and Bent Klausen (vibraphone). An outstanding album with nice artwork. Just to quote the band, if you can not see how incredible this is, "maybe that's the reason why you are low and I am high".

1. Up From The Sump...
2. Financial Tycoon 1
3. Peer Gynt
4. One Of Them Crazy Gurues In Love
5. Fulton
6. Financial Tycoon 2
7. A Hard Banana
8.  Frank Fedling*
9. ... Down From The Trees
10. Tumbling Shadows
*Funny fact, in Danish this means Frank Fatso.

Bitrate 320kbps:

onsdag den 10. oktober 2012

Sume - Sumut - 1973 (Grl) Progressive Rock

From one of the farthest corners of the Kingdom of Denmark, namely Greenland, comes a band called Sume. Sume was formed in Sorø (a town located on Zealand in Denmark) in 1972 centered around Malik Høegh. The group was inspired by American rock bands, but sung in Greenlandish. The band was very critical about being a part of Denmark and uttered this through their lyrics. The group disbanded in 1977 and all of its members moved back to Greenland. The band is still occasionally active today and has been the pillars of Greenlandish rock since their formation. They released several records through their short lifetime as a band, this is their debut released on the Danish label "Demos". The record sold very well in Greenland, so well that a fifth of Greenland's citizens bought a copy! The line-up on the album was Malik Høegh (vocals & 12-string guitar), Per Berthelsen (vocals, electric & acoustic guitar), Erik Hammeken (bass) and Hans Fleischer (drums), with guest performances by Ole Høst (alto-sax), Anders Peter Novman (guitar), Henrik Anthony (bass on Forår and Kravle Ind I Mit Indre), Thor Backhausen (organ & flute), Kaj D. Holm (violin) and Jørgen Lang (harmonica).

Imagine a softer version of Midnight Sun that is only the occult themes and lyrics away from sounding like Black Widow, well, that is pretty much what Sume did sound like on this album. Even though labeled progressive the songs tend to be pretty straight forward although with variation and progression reflected by the use of different instruments to emphasize the songs. The band really shows some enthusiasm concerning what they do on this record thus making it a great effort and a great debut. The album is simple, nevertheless effective, making this record really enjoyable for the listener.

1. Piffiit Nutaat - Nye Tider (New Times)
2. Upernaaq - Forår (Spring)
3. Pilerineq/Tikinneq - Forventning/Ankomst (Expectation/Arrival)
4. Tamorasaariat - Den Første Bid Af Sælen (The First Bite of the Seal)
5. Illunut Pulallunga - Kravle Ind I Mit Indre (Crawl Into My Center)
6. Eqqissineq Sapiinnarama - Uro (Unrest)
7. Eqqasuuteqarneq - Bekymring (Worry)
8. Heimaey Eqqaallugu - Ode Til Heimaey (Ode To Heimaey)
9. Imigassaq - Ildvand (Firewater)
10. Ukiaq - Efterår (Autumn)
11. Nalunaarasuartaat Toquvoq - Telegrafen Er Død (the Telegraph Is Dead)*
*This could also mean "the Telegrapher Is Dead", but since it is not indicated what it means in Danish as "Telegrafen" means both "the Telegraph" and "the Telegrapher" it is hard to decide on how to translate it into English.

Bitrate: 320kbps

Furekåben - Prinsesseværelset - 1970 (Den) Psych Folk

In a Danish hippie collective located in Copenhagen in 1968 a band called "Furekåben" was formed. Since "fure" means three different things in Danish it is hard to decide on how to translate their name to English. The band was formed around Hans Vinding (guitar & vocals) of Hyldemor "fame". After two years of writing sessions in the collective they released their first album "Prinsesseværelset" (The Princess' Room) and would eventually release a second LP under the title "2nd" or "Furekåben 2nd" in 1971 only to disband a year after that, which led to the formation of Hans Vinding's other band "Hyldemor". Through the years the line-up of Furekåben varied quite some, the members (besides Hans Vinding) through the years were Thorbjørn Thomsen (guitar & vocals), Mikkel Bayer (cello), Søren Barfoed (flute, 1968-69), Vivi Jo Heede (vocals), Jens Thorning Hansen (guitar, 1969-72), Anthony Barnett (flute & percussion, 1969-72), Emmerik Warburg (flute, 1969-72) and Steen Claesson (violin & guitar, 1971-72).

An interesting fact about this record is that it was released with lots of different covers, but the one in this post being the most commonly known cover today. Musically the album seems more like a protest or moaning than an actual music album. The first track starts off with some promising guitar patterns and with somewhat loud percussion parts, in which it seems that pots and pans were used for percussion rather than percussion instruments. The vocals are classic psych folk, but will at some points drown in the horde of different instruments played at once. The strings (cello) on this track are worth accentuating though, as they add a great mood to the song . Following up is the long excessive repetitive second track which is introduced by a quite annoying arrangement of the violin, but contains much clearer and better vocals, which are really fun for the Danish listener as their lyrics are quite funny at some points. The third song has much more to offer than the first two, which probably is for the best as it makes up a half of the entire album. It has deeper aspects and a nice use of percussion. Overall the lyrics and expression seems more important to the group than the music itself. It has a good folk vibe comparable to Trader Horne and a lesser fuzzy version of Trees and the like. At some points the album is great, but some times it seems very bad too. Recommended for fans of Trader Horne and fans of all things repetitive.

1. Den Gule Filthatmand (The Yellow Felthatman)   
2. Kom Lad Os Dulme Vores Nerver Lidt (Let Us Ease Our Nerves A Bit)
3. Lædersexdress (Leathersexdress)

Bitrate: 320kbps

onsdag den 13. juni 2012

Ache - Green Man - 1971 (Den) Progressive Rock

Before Ache eventually split-up in the summer of 1971. They released Green Man, which was their second and final album. The line-up on this album is the same as on their debut. When 1972 came, Finn and Torsten Olafsson moved to the country. Finn started focusing much more on acoustic guitars and Torsten adapted a lot of different instruments including piano and vibraphones among others. Eventually this led to a collaboration between the Olafsson brothers and a Polish singer called Andrzej Kosciuk. They formed the trio "Acoustic Ache", which managed to play a few gigs before Andrzej left the group due to personal issues and returned to his native land.

Green Man is a real masterpiece. On this album the group dropped the long progressive suites they had delivered on their debut record and started playing shorter, but also better compositions. The album contains lots of great passages of improvisation and mellow melodic pieces as well as some heavy pieces. The record is really enjoyable as the production value of the album is top notch as well. The organs sounds really really great, and so does every other instrument and every note strummed by Ache on this forgotten gem! The record can be compared to the likes of Beggar's Opera and Fuzzy Duck. Some highlights are "Equatorial Rain", "Green Man" and "Acheron". The group really topped their first record with the release of Green Man.

1. Equatorial Rain
2. Sweet Jolly Joyce
3. The Invasion
4. Shadow of a Gipsy
5. Green Man
6. Acheron
7. We Can Work It Out/Workin'

Bitrate: 256kbps

søndag den 29. april 2012

Fleur De Lis - Facing Morning - 1972 (Den) Progressive Rock

Fleur De Lis was a Danish band which was formed in Skive in the spring of 1970 by Kai Olesen (drums) and Leif Nielsen (guitar, vocals & clavinet). These two had previously been playing in the progressive blues-acts "The Fog" and "The False Image". They teamed up with Bjarne Pedersen (guitar), Peder Pedersen (bass & acoustic guitar) and Svend Thomsen (organ). On the album a different drummer, Per Schou (drums & clarinet) can be heard on the bonus tracks. The album was recorded in 1971, but released in 1972. It is perhaps the most valueable Danish obscure record of the 1970's progressive rock records, according to the Danish newspaper "Politiken" who released a Danish rock Encyclopaedia in 2002 the album is sold for between 8000DKK (876,85£) and 10.000DKK (1096,06£) on auctions. One of the main reasons this album is so spectacular and rare is, that it was released on a small label located in Aalborg called Qualisound and was limited to 500 copies, an original is near impossible to track, but the album was re-released in 1995 with bonus tracks. Leif Nielsen is still an active musician today, but he is not very well known to the Danish people of today.

This curiosity is actually pretty good. It is far from the best record in progressive rock, but it had potential. Fuzz and improvisation reigns on this record. It is full of down-to-earth, laid back tracks from which you can almost smell the weed that must have been smoked while writing and recording these songs. Many progressive elements are covered. An example of this could be the mixing of styles the title track. Which feature opera vocals performed by an unknown woman. Speaking of the vocals, the vocals performed by the (then) twenty year old Leif Nielsen are actually pretty good. They fit very well to the style of gloomy, depressive progressive rock which the band delivers on most of the tracks. These stoners must have really had a downer. The moaning vocals, weeping guitar, suicidal drums, mourning bass and groaning organ works really well together, while these adjectives may not be of positive origin, the album is still very good. It is like a mix between Van Der Graaf Generator and early Pink Floyd.  

1. Home of Mind
2. Har I Set (Have You Seen)
3. Facing Morning
4. In Love
5. Why
6. Bad Loser
7. Sympathetic Attitude
8. Sneen (the Snow)
Bonus tracks:
9. East Hill Rag
10. Settlement
11. After the Settlement
12. Gensyn 1 (Reunion 1)
13. Gensyn 111 (Reunion 111)
14. WBN
15.  Mood

Bitrate: 256kbps

mandag den 23. april 2012

Pan - s/t - 1970 (Den) Heavy Psych

Before Arne Würgler joined up with the other members of Blast Furnace, he was a part of the Danish heavy pscych act called simply "Pan". The band was formed in October, 1969 by Arne Würgler (bass, cello) and Robert Lelièvre (vocals). Robert Lelièvre had come to Denmark in 1965 after he deserted from the French army. He was a part of different projects including the Danish/English/French folktrio Cy, Maia & Robert with Cy Nicklin (Culpeper's Orchard). Robert and Arne met up with two brothers Thomas Puggaard-Müller (guitar) and Michael Puggard-Müller (drums). They joined forces with the jazz-organist Henning Verner (organ, piano, guitar) who had previously been playing with Dexter Gordon. In the Pan's early life, the famous Danish singer/songwriter Niels Skousen was also a part of the group and handled the lead-vocals along with Robert Lelièvre, but he left the group in January, but he can be heard singing on the band's single In A Simple Way/Right Across My Bed, which they released I in the same month as the band was formed. Niels Skousen departed from Pan in January 1970. The band's debut (and only) record was very well received and praised by the media. The Danish newspaper Dagbladet Information even called the album "the best rock record of all so far". After releasing the album the band toured Denmark and Germany heavily and appeared in two radio broadcasts as well as a television show. By this time the band had achieved a huge success in the media and on stage, despite their success on stage and in the media, the promotion of the record did not go well, not a lot of copies were sold and the band started to crumble in the fall of 1970. Here is some great footage of the band jamming the song We Must Do Something Before the End of the Day.

While Denmark and the rest of Scandinavia is not remembered much for their heavy psych bands and albums, this record along with Hair's marvelous album really could help to place Denmark on the map when speaking of heavy psych. The record features songs in both English and Robert Lelièvre's native language French. Overall it is very easy to hear why the media was impressed by this record. It has literally everything you would expect from a 1970 heavy psych record. The album is leaning on the borders between progressive rock and heavy psych with lots of variation in musical genres and instruments. It has the more heavy songs with the classic overdriven guitar and also more mellow songs featuring more clean guitars and piano. It mixes genres like jazz, rock, folk and even a little bit of classical. This record is spectacular and really good and much worth listening to. A must for the heavy psych fan.

1. My Time
2. If
3. Song To France
4. They Make Money With The Stars
5. Il Ny Pas Se Longtemps De Ca
6. Many Songs Have Been Lost
7. Tristesse
8. To Get Along Alone
9. We Must Do Something Before the End of the Day
10. Lady of the Sand
Bonus tracks:
11. In A Simple Way
12. Right Across My Bed
13. To Get Along Alone (Alternate Version)
14. Eternally
15. Such A Hard Way
16. Tristesse
17. Don't You Know

Bitrate: 256kbps

lørdag den 10. marts 2012

Hair - Piece - 1970 (Den) Heavy Psych

Another band formed in Copenhagen was Hair. A heavy psych quartet consting of Paddy Gythfeldt (organ, piano, guitar & lead vocals), Benny Dyhr (lead guitar & vocals), Allan Sørensen (bass & vocals) and Peter Valentin Rolnes (drums, percussion & vocals) formed in 1969 and disbanded in 1971. This the only record they released, it has been known to be sold for more than 3000DKK (337£) on auctions on the internet.

This is a great record. Hair sounds like they were the bastard child of a triangular-drama between the Doors, Blue Cheer and Mountain. It is filled to the brim with strong heavy songs, with lots of organ, fuzzed out guitars, great vocals and a behemoth of a rhythm section. It would have been nice to have heard more music from this marvelous band.

1. Coming Through
2. Supermouth
3. Dream Song
4. Everything's Under Control
5. Pleasant Street
6. Piece (of My Heart)

Bitrate: 320kbps

Blast Furnace - s/t - 1971 (Den) Heavy Progressive

Blast Furnace was a Danish heavy progressive rock band from Copenhagen, which was brought to life when Arne Würgler (bass, cello, vocals) departed from the heavy psych group Pan around '70/'71. He met up with Niels Vangkilde (guitar) and Thor Backhausen (organ, piano, flute). The three lads met up with a Scot called Tom McEwan (drums, vocals) and Blast Furnace saw the light of day. This is the only album by the band, unfortunately. Tom McEwan has appeared in a lot of Danish movies and was a part of the Monty Python-esque Danish comedy trio "Klyderne".

This record is one of the finest heavy progressive records there is. It has all the elements you would expect a heavy progressive album to have; great instrumental parts, smooth and groovy basslines, nice flute melodies, driving organs, catchy guitar/organ riffs and great solos, nice acoustic mellow pieces including piano and acoustic guitar, but instead of the long instrumental songs that almost every prog band at this time had, they had only progressive hard rock songs that did not span for more than seven minutes. They did not need to play long songs to show their talent. Every single stick hitting the drumkit and every note stroke is of pure talent. The vocals are descent though, great at some points, but if this band had had a singer like Robert Plant or Ian Gillan they could have gone far. I It would be a huge insult to the band to play this record on a low volume level.

1. First And Last
2. Ginger Cake
3. Jaywalker
4. B-Major Blast
5. This Time of the Year
6. Toytown
7. Man Bites Dog
8. Long Distance
9. Goodbye Mr. Bobo
10. Dr. Night
11. Bye Bye Bobo
Bonus track:
12. Lister Du Omkring Hjørner* (If You Creep Around Corners)
*This could also mean "Do You Creep Around Corners?", but it is not really indicated which one is the correct, but since the song's title is not ended by a questionmark, it is supposed that the translation in the parantheses is correct.

Bitrate: 256kpbs

Feo - Eg Meini Ted - 1971 (Den) Progressive Folk

If someone told you today, that there was band consisting of only blind or visually impaired members, you probably would not believe them, but in the 1970's everyone had a voice. Blind or deaf, it did not make any difference. Somewhere in between Steppeulvene and Skousen & Ingemann lived a progressive folk band called Feo. In Feo the members were either blind or visually impaired. They released two studio albums and a compilation through the 1970's. The band was formed by Rudi Albersten (vocals), Søren Durhuus (guitar), Thorkild Blond Andersen (flute), Mikkel Bayer (violin) and Flemming Nørgaard (bass).

This is their debut record. It's a very great and interesting record to listen. If you know Danish it contains both funny moments as well as scary moments, but if you do not know Danish the record might scare you. Despite the lack of female vocals, this record reminiscent of Comus. The instruments sounds very good and the melodies are great. Generally a very good and interesting record. Listen to this with the lights on.

1. Eg Meini Ted
2. Bjergfyr (Mountain Pine)
3. April*
4. Maj*
5. Juni*
6. Rundgang (Turnaround/Progression)
7. Drømmen (the Dream)
8. Bedstemor (Grandma)
9. Os (Us)
10. Mosen (the Bog)
11. Sisdyrdans (Sis-animal Dance)
12. Undren (Wonder)
13. Eg Meini Ted II
*The three months April, May and June in Danish.

Bitrate: 192kbps

Blue Sun - Live '73 - 1992 (Den) Jazz-Rock/Avant-garde

Blue Sun is one the most missed and best remembered 1970's groups from Denmark today. They formed in Copenhagen in 1969. They were a hippy-group with musical roots in jazz-rock and avant-garde. They were also one of the many bands to be spotted by Spectator Records (on which they released their first album). After releasing their first album "Peace Be Unto You" they were signed by EMI (on which they released a self-titled album). They later released their third album on "It's All Money Johnny" the Danish label Genlyd under the name "Jytte Pilloni & Blue Sun". In 1992 this record was released on Danish Music Archives and they have also had a "Live 1970" record released by Karma Music (a Danish label run by TømrerClaus - a musician who has been involved with a lot of the Danish music scene in the 1970's).
The band's personnel was Dale Smith (vocals, percussion), Niels Pontoppidan (guitar), Jan Kaspersen (piano), Søren Berggreen (alto saxophone, flute, harmonica, percussion), Jesper Zeuthen (tenor saxopohne), Poul Ehlers (bass, doublebass) and Bo Jacobsen (drums). The band was so alive that no line-up lasted for a longer period of time. The only constant member was Poul Ehlers.

This is the album that was released in 1992 containing live recordings from '73. It is a great record with lots of soul to the music. It is very soft at some point and easy to listen to, but it also has its aspects of heaviness. The album is mostly dominated by saxophone, the other instruments will eventually visit the listener's ears and leave a smooth bassline or guitarlick in the listener's head. The other instruments than the saxophones are well-balanced and really good (not that the saxophones are not good). The few songs containing vocals features a very soft, soulful and peaceful vocal that fits the record perfectly.

1. Gryets Vinger (the Wings of Dawn)
2. Blue Sun
3. Tåreperseren (the Tear-jerker)
4. Efterår (Autumn)
5. Søn Af Solen (Son of the Sun)
6. Bladene Falder (The Leaves Fall)
7. Ivalo & Liza
8. Solhverv (Solstice)

Bitrate: 256kbps

Days - s/t - 1970 (Den) Rock

Days was a Danish band who released several albums throughout the 1970's. The group was formed in Copenhagen in 1967. Their self-titled debut was released on Spectator Records (and was the only one of their albums to be released on this label). Later they were signed by Sonet. The band was formed by John Kjærgaard (vocals, rhythm guitar), Lars Reinau (vocals, lead guitar), Ole Fester (vocals, bass), Jørn Anker (organ) and Peter Lindhe (drums). John Kjærgaard quit the band before the release of their first album. They went through many line-up changes in through the years.

The album is a great post-psych rock album inspired mainly by groups like The Beatles and Procul Harum. It features mostly organ-driven songs with a great use of the hammond organ, it is not impressive, it is not bad either, but it is there and sounds good and acts as the main element of the record. It also features a more mellow acoustic song and some bluesy inspired compositions with slightly overdriven guitar. Overall it is a moody, peaceful and simple record. It is one of the most expensive records today from Spectator Records. I know a copy of the original LP was recently sold for 1900DKK (213£).

1. Preambulum
2. Discovery In Blues
3. Believe Me
4. Feel the Joy
5. What Can I Do
6. The Lonely Shepherd Boy
7. Globe Without A Soul

Bitrate: 241kbps

torsdag den 8. marts 2012

Secret Öyster - Straight To the Krankenhaus - 1977 (Den) Jazz Fusion

Straight To the Krankenhaus is the fourth and last studio album released by Secret Öyster. They now stood "on top of the world" and decided to split-up after this album. They stopped while they were still going strong. The reason they chose the title Straight To the Krankenhaus for their last album was because everytime they played in Germany the first thing they would encounter in any city was a huge sign giving directions to how to get to the "Krankenhaus" (Hospital).

This is by far the band's best record. It features the up-tempo jazzy songs and the more melodic and melancholic pieces. They are still experimenting and taking their band to new heights even on this, their last album. There is actually no need for any words here. The record says it all. It does not need to be reviewed nor recommended, it is just great. Very, very great. The line-up is the same as on Vidunderlige Kælling and by far the best line-up the band has had.

1. Lindance
2. Straight To the Krankenhaus
3. My Second Hand Rose
4. High Luminant Silver Patters
5. Delveaux
6. Stalled Angel
7. Rubber Star
8. Traffic & Elephants
9. Leda & the Dog
Bonus tracks:
10. Alfred
11. Glasprinsen (the Glass Prince)

Bitrate: 320kbps

Secret Öyster - Vidunderlige Kælling - 1975 (Den) Jazz Fusion

"Vidunderlige Kælling" which translates into "Wonderful Bitch" in English was a Danish ballet, that was performed at Det ny Teater in 1975. It was a very popular thing for bands to write music for ballets in the 70's. Groups like Ache and The Savage Rose had already written music for ballets and at this time around it was Secret Öyster's turn. Vidunderlige Kælling thusly became Secret Öyster's third album. Vidunderlige Kælling is described as an erotic ballet by Jens August Schade. It had choreography by Flemming Flindt and was starred by Vivi Flindt (who is on the front cover of the album). As you may already have guessed, there were naked dancers (who were beautiful according to Karsten Vogel's website) and in one of the scenes one of the dancers had to be covered in some sort of toxic gold-dust organism, that was actually rather dangerous. (You can see a picture of this on the album's front cover above).

Again Secret Öyster marks their dominance on the thrown of Danish jazz-fusion of the 70's. It's an outstanding album with lots of beautiful music that varies between melancholic ethereal piano pieces as well as jazzy sax themes and outstanding guitar work. Oh my, they did it again. Yet another masterpiece from this marvelous group. On this record the line-up was Claus Böhling (acoustic & electric guitars, sitar), Karsten Vogel (saxophones, string synthesizer), Kenneth Knudsen (keyboards, piano, moog, string synthesizer) , Jess Stæhr (bass) and Ole Streenberg (drums, percussion, harmonica).

1. Intro
2. Stjernerne På Gaden (the Stars on the Street)
3. Sirenerne (the Sirens)
4. Astarte
5. Solitude
6. Tango-Bourgoisie
7. Bellevue
8. Valse Du Soir
9. Outro
Bonus tracks
10. Sleep Music
11. Circus Sax
12. Intro To Act II

Bitrate: 256kbps

Culpeper's Orchard - Second Sight - 1972 (Den) Progressive Rock

This is the second album by Culpeper's Orchard. Rodger Barker had left the band and his empty seat behind the drumkit was filled by Ken Gudman (ex-Young Flowers).

The album is a lot like their debut, but with lesser heavy parts and more mellow and all acoustic parts. There is not a lot to say about the record, it has its moments, but is not at good as their first. It is not because the album lacks the heavy parts it is bad, but it seems the band's creativity at this point was reduced a bit, forcing them to record a blues standard as a track for the album. It is not a bad record, but it is not the best record ever either. It contains some strong songs like "Classified Ads", "Julia", and "Autumn of it All", the others songs are not bad, but still there seems to be absence of something indescribable, but with all the bonus tracks it is a pretty enjoyable record to listen to.

1. Julia
2. Keyboard Waltz
3. Classified Ads
4. Late Night Woman Blues
5. Mind Pollusion/Weather Report
6. Autumn of it All
7. Satisfied Mind
Bonus tracks:
8. Raving (Live)
9. Sailor (Live)*
10. New Day, New Day (Live)
11. Hey Mister Housekeeper (Live)
12. Good Days (Live)
13. Sailor (Live)*
*These two are different recordings.

Bitrate: 320kbps

søndag den 26. februar 2012

Secret Öyster - Sea Son - 1974 (Den) Jazz Fusion

This is the second album by Secret Öyster.  Like in almost every band there has ever been Secret Öyster also went through some line-up changes, at this point, a new drummer and a new bass player had joined the group. The line-up for the album consisted of Karsten Vogel (alto and soprano saxophones & organ), Claus Böhling (acoustic & electric guitars), Kenneth Knudsen (piano & moog synthesizers), Jess Stæhr (ex-Day of Phoenix) (bass) and Ole Streenberg (drums). As the band's popularity grew, they eventually became a better band, which you can hear if you compare this record to their first album. The album also features a guest appearance by the nowadays well respected Danish jazz-trumpetist Palle Mikkelborg (his playing can be heard on the track "Paella").

The album is kicked off by a fresh and well working opener and quickly takes the listener right into the epic, almost romantic, second track in which you can really hear that the band has improved and has become a much tighter band. The third track resembles the first album very well, being an up-tempo jazz-rock song with lots of depth. Overall the band is still amazing, but even better than before. The saxophones are outstanding, the guitars are ace, the keyboards/pianos are genius and the bass and drums are tight. A really good second effort and the artwork is great too.

1. Öyster Jungle
2. Mind Movie
3. Pajamamafia
4. Black Mist
5. Pain Forest
6. Paella
Bonus tracks:
7. Sea Son
8. Alfresco (Part I)
9. Alfresco (Part II)

Bitrate: 256kbps

torsdag den 23. februar 2012

Secret Öyster - s/t - 1973 (Den) Jazz Fusion

Secret Öyster formed in 1972 when Burnin' Red Ivanhoe split-up. You could actually consider Secret Öyster a supergroup as the members came from three separate bands. The group's personnel at this point was Karsten Vogel of Burnin' Red Ivanhoe (soprano axophone, alto saxophone & organ), Claus Böhling of Hurdy Gurdy (guitars), Kenneth Knudsen of Coronarias Dans (electric and acoustic pianos), Mads Vinding (bass) and Bo Thrige Andersen (drums). Secret Öyster would face many changes in the line-up, but I am not gonna focus on that now. I'll continue the band's story in my next post about the band. Anyway, Secret Öyster would became one of the most succesful Scandinavian jazz fusion groups and is as far as I'm concerned the only Danish band to ever perform on BBC's "the Old Grey Whistle Test". Their music would bring them to tour with the likes of Herbie Hancock, Weather Report and Captain Beefheart (among others).

This is their debut record (and a great one at that too). It features both up-tempo rock songs as well as more jazzy mellow parts, which remind one of the Canterbury scene. It is really heavy at some points and it is easy to hear that Hendrix still is the main influence for guitarist Claus Böhling, though he becomes more indepedent throughout his years with Secret Öyster. Overall it is really hard rock meets jazz with oustanding pianowork, excellent melodies and riffs, dreamy "uncrontrolable" saxophones and a rather scary ending, and most importanly it never gets boring to listen to. Like the other three albums, the album was reissued in 2007.

1. Dampexpressen (the Steam Express)
2. Fire & Water
3. Vive La Quelle
4. Blazing Lace
5. Public Öyster
6. Mis(s) Fortune
7. Ova-X

Bitrate: 128kbps

søndag den 19. februar 2012

Terje, Jesper & Joachim - s/t - 1970 (Den) Progressive Rock/Experimental

Originating from the beat group "The Unknown" formed in 1968 (some blogs claim earlier formations, but according to Spectator Records it was '68) came a fairly noticeable experimental group called simply Terje, Jesper & Joachim. They only released this album and they split-up in 1973. This is another gem from Spectator Records (that label really had some cool bands). The band consisted of Terje Bandholdt (drums), Jesper Schmidt (guitar) and Joachim Ussing (bass). Ussing and Bandholdt would later play together in the band "Mo-i-ra-na".

This album is very exciting, it's considered one of the best prog/experimental albums from this period in Northern Europe. It is very easy to see/hear why it is. It's a brew of nice experimenting grooves, fuzzy guitars as well as clean guitars with lots of wah, great riffs, that brings to mind Stray and May Blitz. The vocals, who I do not know who is performing, are descent though, they sound like a poorer version of Dave Brock of Hawkwind, but more unserious, but the music makes up for this! There is also some piano and saxophone (from unknown sources as well). If I had to describe the album in two words, those would be "peculiar" and "interesting" it gets very heavy at some points, but also dabbles in melodic pieces of softer origin. Then there is one thing, that I really find funny. In the second track "Like My Sister" the outro is a one of the parts of "In the Court of the Crimson King" by King Crimson, but that's okay, at least it's the only thing I recognize from somewhere else on the album.

1. We Got To Leave
2. Like My Sister
3. Between the Shields
4. Ricochet
5. Free
6. If I Needed Someone
7. Sorry It's the End
8. Cheer
9. All Through the Day

Bitrate: 192kbps

lørdag den 18. februar 2012

Day of Phoenix - Wide Open N-Way - 1970 (Den) Progressive Rock

Before Cy Nicklin formed Culpeper's Orchard he was conquering the Danish progressive rock scene with Day of Phoenix. Day of Phoenix was formed in 1968 by Cy Nicklin (acoustic and electric guitars & vocals), Karsten Lyng Nielsen (guitar & vocals), Jess Stæhr (bass & vocals) and Henrik Friis Nielsen (drums). With this line-up the band was part of the act called "Andromeda Light Circus". They also recorded a song for the movie "Stine Og Drengene" composed by Nicklin. In 1969 Nicklin left the group and was replaced by Hans Lauridsen (vocals), Stæhr was replaced by Peter Friis Nielsen (bass & vocals) who was replaced by former Beefeaters member Erik Stedt Rasmussen (bass & vocals). Further line-up changes occured the following years, but I will not dig deeper into that right now, I will, however, tell the rest of the band's story when I write the next entry about the group. Here is a clip of the band playing live.

In 1970 Day of Phoenix released their debut called "Wide Open N-Way" which among other things included guest apperances by Kenneth Knudsen (Secret Öyster, Coronarias Dans) as well as Peter Friis Nielsen (Ex-Day of Phoenix, Coronarias Dans) on bass.The album was produced by the ex-Colloseum bassist Tony Reeves and reached a lot of succes both in Denmark and the rest of the world. The album is both dark, sweet, eerie, melodic, imaginative and creative all at once. If I should compare them to anyone I would say they sound like Beggar's Opera with a shortage of organ. Despite the fact that there is not a huge variety in used instruments on the album, it is still a great milestone in Danish progressive rock.

1. Wide Open N-Way
2. Cellophane #1 & 2
3. If You Ask Me
4. Mind Funeral
5. Tick-Tack

Bitrate: 256kbps

fredag den 17. februar 2012

Foreningen Til Livets Beskyttelse - s/t - 1972 (Den) Avant-garde/Progressive Rock

Another gem from Spectator Records. Foreningen Til Livets Beskyttelse (the Organisation For Protection of Life) is a group based on the group "Den Lille Prins". It was a Danish hippy band playing jazz and folk inspired hippy music. The line-up was Susanne Hammilton (vocals & lyrics), Gorm Larsen (saxophone & flute), Christian Risgaard Thomsen (piano & violin) and Malthe Envold Nielsen (guitar & vocals). I do not know who played bass nor drums, but there are plenty of that on the album as well.

Overall this is a good hippy record with lyrics mainly about society (what you'd expect from a hippy band from this period). The first song "Elverkongen" sounds like a softer version of Comus with a pinch of Alrune Rod. It is followed by a jolly and quite out of place country-like instrumental. From here on and out it is pretty much simple hippy hymns about society. That been said, it's not that the album isn't good, it isn't the most exciting album to listen to, but it is above average, I've heard plenty of worse records.

1. Elverkongen (the Elven King)

2. Ulster
3. Betjent Larsen (Officer Larsen)
4. Illusioner (Illusions)

5. Loppecirkus (Fleacircus)
6. Mågens Fortælling Om Livet (the Sea Gull's Tale About Life)
7. R(e)ary
8. Fuldmåne - Med Regnbuer Inde I Hovedet (Full Moon - With Rainbows In the Head)
9. Folketinget (the Danish Parliament)

Bitrate: 192kbps

Culpeper's Orchard - s/t - 1971 (Den) Progressive Rock

Culpeper’s Orchard was formed in 1969 by Cy Nicklin (vocals, banjo, guitar & percussion), Nils Henriksen (guitar, piano, cembalo & backing vocals), Michael Friis (bass, flute, piano, organ & percussion) and Rodger Barker (drums & percussion). Before they released their first record. They made a name of themselves on stage. They represent a variety of music from psych rock to country. This record is called "First Plus Bonus" actually, because it has been remastered with bonus tracks. Here is some nice of footage of the band in concert.

When you first start listening to Culpeper’s Orchard self-titled debut from 1971. You might think you are about to engage in a Brit-folk inspired album with the soft opener “Banjocul”, but this is not what you are getting yourself into at all. Culpeper’s Orchard has much more to offer than just harmonized vocals, soft guitar patterns, folk instruments and nature-oriented lyrics. This shows when the second track “Mountain Music (Part 1)” blasts into your ears. It features two great guitar tracks, where one is heavily distorted and handling the leads and solos and the other is a slightly overdriven rhythm guitar.
  Then there is the Hammond organ that will utterly make you perish if you are not prepared for an early prog rock attack! A great rhythm section and a wonderful vocal with harmonies that could resemble Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young..  Throughout the album it constantly changes and varies what you are hearing, either they are rocking you away with heavy melodies and power beats or they are enchanting you with their folk-ish interludes. Don’t miss this album. It’s flawless in every way.

1. Banjocul
2. Mountain Music (Part 1)
3. Hey You People
4. Teaparty For An Orchard
5. Ode To Resistance
6. Your Song And Mine
7. Gideon's Trap
8. Blue Day's Morning
9. Mountain Music (Part 2)
Bonus Tracks
10. Steamhouse
11. Classified Ads*
12. Troldspejlet (the Magic Mirror)
*This song is often mispelled "Classified Adds"

Bitrate: 256kbps

Coronarias Dans - Visitor - 1975 (Den) Jazz Rock

I do not know very much about this record. Neither do I know much about the band. They were formed in 1970 and at this point the band consisted of Kenneth Knudsen (piano), Peter Friis Nielsen (bass) and Claus Böje (drums). I do not know from where in Denmark they were from and as far as I'm concerned this is their only released album (even though I have knowlegde of earlier recorded songs than the ones on this album). I do know who played on this record though. Coronarias Dans (Coronaria's Dance) featured Claus Böhling (guitar), Kenneth Knudsen (keyboards) and Ole Streenberg (drums) of Secret Öyster fame and Peter Friis Nielsen (bass & double bass). The record also features a guest apperance by Morten Grunnet (tambura) on the song "Morning".

The first thing that came to my mind when I first listened to this record was Return To Forever, only Coronarias Dans are white and from the very heart of Scandinavia, but despite this fact it doesn’t keep them from playing some great sort of rock-oriented jazz fusion. The album features almost ghostly/spacey passages and psyched out jams. Of course the guitar work is amazing guitarwork as you would expect from Claus Böhling. The keyboards are not bad either, not bad at all actually they are just as good as Böhling’s guitarwork. The basslines are pretty well written and the drums are wild. It’s like you are traveling through gardens of pink, purple, blue, green and red mushrooms and to foreign galaxies far from our own.  So get comfortable, lean back and journey beyond the stars with Coronarias Dans!

1. Se Det (Watch It)
2. Morning
3. Esrom
4. Don't Know
5. Visitor
6. Tied Waves
7. Sagittarius
8. Which Witch

Bitrate: 192kbps

Midnight Sun - s/t - 1971 (Den) Progressive Rock

Midnight Sun was formerly known as Rainbow Band. The band was formed in the fall of 1969 - at this point the band's personnel was Bent Hesselman (saxophone & flute), Lars Bisgaard (vocals), Peer Frost (ex-Young Flowers) (guitar), Niels Brønsted (electric piano), Bo Stief (bass) and Carsten Smedegaard Andersen (drums).

They were actually one of the first Danish supergroups with members from Young Flowers, Beefeaters and Maxwells. Their style is on the border between jazz rock and progressive rock mixing blues, rock and jazz. Of course the line-up wouldn't last and Lars Bisgaard was replaced by Allan Mortensen later in 1971. And due to the rights to the music the band was formed to re-record their second album (which is this) and released it under the name Midnight Sun.

This is an absolutely fantastic album. The vocals are great, the guitar work is awesome, the pianoplaying is genious, the basslines are smooth, the drums groovy and the saxophone and flute delightful. The album is kicked off by a very strong opening song with great guiar solos. It is followed by a softer hymn featuring a melodyline close to "Summer Lovin'" from Grease, which evolves into a fuzzed out heavy jam. Next up is a song with a kind of uncanny piano intro with a Camel-like guitarmelody and then it suddenly becomes jazzy.
The good songs keep on coming with a groovy jazzrocker and much more like the epic prog-suite "Living On the Hill" with an astonishing mix of jazzy grooves and heavy riffs. I think that about does it, there is no need to say more, this album is perfect. The line-up is Allan Mortensen (vocals), Bent Hesselman (saxophone & flute), Niels Brøndsted (piano/keys), Peer Frost (guitar), Bo Stief (bass) and Carsten Smedegaard (drums).

1. Talkin'
2. King of the Sun
3. Nobody
4. Where're You Going To Be
5. BM
6. Sippin' Wine
7. Living On the Hill
8. Rainbow Song

Bitrate: 192kbps

Hurdy Gurdy - s/t - 1972 (Den) Hard Rock

This power-trio was formed in 1967 when guitarist/vocalist Claus Böhling (Secret Öyster, Coronarias Dans), drummer Jens Otzen and the English bassist Mac MacLeod split from their former band Peter Belli & The B.B. Brothers (fronted by the legendary Danish beat rocker Peter Belli). They apparently desired to play harder and more psych-oriented music. As most power-trios this group played music influenced by Hendrix, Cream etc. Which becomes very clear when you listen to this album. They moved to England in 1968 after MacLeod had been deported. It's been reported that Donovan, a friend of MacLeod whom Mac had played with previously as a backing musician, wanted to produce a version of the band covering "Hurdy Gurdy Man," a Donovan composition. However, Donovan released his own hit version of the song, and Hurdy Gurdy did not issue anything while MacLeod was in the group, despite doing some recordings produced by Chris White and Rod Argent of the Zombies. Although two songs they recorded while they were in London eventually wound up on a MacLeod compilation released in 2003. MacLeod had to depart from the band and the band moved back to Denmark, where they recruited Torben Forne (bass), who recorded the bass parts for the album.

They went on to record this album, which sadly was their only release, which was released in 1972. The album is absolutely great with lots of Hendrix inspired guitarwork, a great rhythm section and great vocals which brings to mind Mountain, Grand Funk Railroad and of course Cream and the Jimi Hendrix Experience. The only downside is that the songs are pretty much alike, but if you can keep from thinking this sound just like that - it's absolutely great. Here is some ultra rare footage of the band on a Danish festival in 1971.

I've actually met Claus Böhling back in 2009 as well as Ole Streenberg (Coronarias Dans, Secret Öyster) and Karsten Vogel (Burnin' Red Ivanhoe, Secret Öyster, Mermaid). I had a nice chat with him and the others after a Secret Öyster gig which took place in the village hall of the small village I live in, am I lucky? And I must say Claus Böhling is one of the best Danish guitarists I've seen. We spoke about playing guitar and who I liked and was inspired by, when I told him I was fond of Ritchie Blackmore, he revealed that he had never heard Ritchie Blackmore nor Deep Purple - which I found pretty amazing as he was around back then and I wasn't. It was a great show by the way and I got to take the promo-poster which I got signed by the band. Anyway, Hurdy Gurdy, here you go!

1. Ride On
2. The Giant
3. Tell Me Your Name
4. Peacefull Open Spaces
5. Babels Tower
6. Spaceman
7. Lost in the Jungle
8. You Can Go Backwards
Bonus Tracks
9. Chain Me Down
10. Year Zero Now
11. Improv 

Bitrate: 320kbps