Sunday, October 30, 2011

Landberk - Lonely Land (Swe 1992b)

Landberk - Lonely Land (Sweden 1992, Progressive Rock)

Formed: Sweden

* Patric Helje (vocals, guitar),
* Reine Fiske (guitar),
* Stefan Dimle (bass),
* Simon Nordberg (keyboards),
* Jonas Lidholm (drums) 

Related Artists: Morte Macabre
Genres: Progressive Rock, Art Rock

01. Waltz Of The Dark Riddle
02. The Tree
03. Pray For Me Now
04. Song From Kallsedet
05. No More White Horses
06. You And I
07. Lonely Land

Unlike previous efforts to 'do an English version' (PFM, Kraftwerk), Lonely Land works very well indeed, with Dimle and Nordberg's lyrics translating well, assuming they are straight translations; some of the titles certainly are. Aside from the slightly brighter sound, the album is very similar to Riktigt Äkta, to be honest, although the English lyrics put a different slant on the material for the English-speaker. The other chief difference between the two versions is the excellent cover of T2's No More White Horses, complete with the Mellotron missing from the original. The bonus track on the Riktigt Äkta CD, Tillbaka (a cover, apparently, though I don't know of whom), hasn't been re-recorded, so you really need both of these.
 ~ internet source.
The first Landberk album for me has great significance for a 'cover song'. Track 5 "No More White Horses" is a cover of Peter Dunton's song which was recorded by T2 in 1970 (Original (Short) version by Please in 1968). Not that this is the only song of note on this album.
On the debut album "Lonely Land" these guys almost openly recreate the sound of the '70s, actively and effectively using such famous (and popular) keyboard instrument as Mellotron (The Keeper of the string samples). A lot of acoustic piano, and some songs feature even accordion.
Cold, Northern music with slow dramatic themes and quite complex arrangements slightly influenced by such bands as Van Der Graaf and PFM. Keyboards play a prominent role here, though often you can hear excellent sad guitar solos.
If you haven't heard the T2 "It'll All Work Out In Boomland" version and want to - Check out the post on this blog (if the link is down I will post it again for you) it has blistering Guitar work from the (then 17 year old) Keith Cross.
Please note this is the English version of "Riktigt Akta" which is their Swedish first album in 1992.
The music here is pretty simple (especially harmonically speaking), it creates a nice, melancholy mood using mellotron, flute, and guitar to good effect. Vocals for the most part are quite laid-back, fitting the slow, plodding mood of the disc. Guitar solos form the only real breaks from the broodingness of the music, and even those are somewhat cold: either chilly acoustic work (a la Robert Fripp's acoustic runs in "Cirkus" from Lizard) or a dirty, tortured tone from the electric guitar. Few specific influences come to mind, though there are definite similarities to early King Crimson, certain Anglagard passages (it's worth noting, though, that Riktigt Akta was released before any Anglagard albums), quieter Anekdoten pieces, and perhaps the more mellow compositions out of 1970s Italy. While I am told that later albums by this band begin to steer closer to pop-prog territory, this is a worthy release for fans of Scandinavian prog that don't mind a lack of harmonic activity.
 ~ by ZaXXoN.
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Landberk - Lonely Land (Swe 1992b).rar (114.82 MB)

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Landberk - Riktigt Äkta (Swe 1992a)

Landberk - Riktigt äkta (Swe 1992a)

Formed: Sweden

* Patric Helje (vocals, guitar),
* Reine Fiske (guitar),
* Stefan Dimle (bass),
* Simon Nordberg (keyboards),
* Jonas Lidholm (drums)
* Andreas Dahlbäck / drums, percussion
* Simon Steensland / drums (track 7 only)

Studio albums:
- Riktigt Äkta, 1992
- Lonely Land (English version of Riktigt Äkta), 1992
- One Man Tell's Another, 1994
- Indian Summer, 1996
Live recordings:
- Unaffected, 1995
Singles and promotional recordings:
- Jag Är Tiden, 1994
- Dream Dance, 1995

Related Artists: Morte Macabre
Genres: Progressive Rock, Art Rock
Studio Album, released in 1992

01. I Nattens Timma (4:28)
02. Skogsrået (8:01)
03. Trädet (8:36)
04. Vår Häll (6:15)
05. Visa Från Kallsedet (6:28)
06. Undrar Om Ni Ser (8:36)
Bonus on Record Heaven CD and Lp:
07. Tillbaka (2:46)
Total Time: 45:10

Their first album was originally released in its Swedish-language version, Riktigt Äkta, which they re-recorded in English as Lonely Land. These appear to be two entirely different recordings; the Swedish version plays flatter and has a rawer sound than the English, and both albums have different bonus tracks, making them both essential for the aficionado. I Nattens Timma/Waltz Of The Dark Riddle is something of a 'Tron classic; Mellotron flute (underpinned with cello) and vocal, with the 'Tron (played by Simon Nordberg, incidentally) switching to strings halfway through each verse, coupled with a haunting melody that could only be Scandinavian. The rest of the album carries on in a similar vein, although there are a couple of slightly more upbeat numbers; Landberk were nothing if not melancholy, to the point where they made their aforementioned contemporaries sound like quintessential party bands. Well, nearly. There are too many highlights to name, but the 'Tron strings on Undrar Om Ni Ser
(redolent of Crimso's Epitaph) are really quite superb. One of the band's strengths was not overusing the 'Tron, although it would've been far too easy to have smothered the whole thing in it. Admirable restraint, and a great album.
 ~ internet source.
My first impression of this Swedish band's debut album was: boring as hell. After quite a bit of repeated listening, though, I've come to a different conclusion. While the music here is pretty simple (especially harmonically speaking), it creates a nice, melancholy mood using mellotron, flute, and guitar to good effect. Vocals are in Swedish (there is an English version on Laser's Edge entitled Lonely Land) and are pretty well-done: for the most part quite laid-back, fitting the slow, plodding mood of the disc. Guitar solos form the only real breaks from the broodingness of the music, and even those are somewhat cold: either chilly acoustic work (a la Robert Fripp's acoustic runs in "Cirkus" from Lizard) or a dirty, tortured tone from the electric guitar. Few specific influences come to mind, though there are definite similarities to early King Crimson, certain Änglagård passages (it's worth noting, though, that Riktigt Äkta was released before any Änglagård albums), quieter Anekdoten pieces, and perhaps the more mellow compositions out of 1970s Italy. While I am told that later albums by this band begin to steer closer to pop-prog territory, this is a worthy release for fans of Scandinavian prog that don't mind a lack of harmonic activity.
 ~ Review by Brandon Wu.
Nowadays, the Scandinavian scene sets the patterns between melancholy and tragedy within the realms of progressive rock. "Riktigt Äkta" is a rare composition, so human, so dark that evokes the deepest feelings you've been holding inside and will take you to the point where you can be exposed to the real essence of this symphonic masterpiece. Many Swedish bands are out there on the spotlight standing still to the inclemency of top prog bands, but its projection is greater than its anonymity. That'd be the particular case of ANEKDOTEN, which combined its talent with some of the skillful musicians of LANDBERK to produce in 1998 the ultimate instrumental progressive piece, "Symphonic Holocaust". The band commanded by Patrik HELJE on vocals, reached vertiginously its peak with debut album "Riktigt Äkta", making the rest of the LANDBERK experience worthwhile. Disbanded in 1996 right after "Indian Summer", the formula reinvented by the Swedish band will remain still no matter what musical changes or progressive tendencies.
Definitely, one of the best albums released in the early nineties. Get to know this proposing and enigmatic band, you'll be enchanted. No more to say.
 ~ Review by Cloud Zero.

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Landberk - Riktigt Akta (Swe 1992a).rar (103.59 MB)

Monday, October 17, 2011

Storyteller - More Pages (uk 1971)

Storyteller - More Pages (uk 1971, Transatlantic Records - TRA 232)

Genre: Folk, World, & Country, Rock
Style: Folk Rock, Prog Rock, Folk

* Mike Rogers - (Acoustic Guitar [Finger Style], Vocals),
* Roger Moon - (Acoustic Guitar [Rhythm], Vocals), 
* Chris Belshaw - (Bass Guitar [Fender], Vocals),
* Harold Becket - (Trumpet, Flugelhorn),
* Caroline Attard  - (Vocals),
* Terry Durham - (Vocals, Painting [Cover]),
* Henry Spinetti - (Percussion).

A1. Night Games (Andrew Bown, Terry Durham)
A2. Remarkable (Roger Moon)
A3. Bosworth Field (Roger Moon, Terry Durham)
A4. Laugh That Came Too Soon (Roger Moon, Terry Durham)  
A5. Singular Day (Terry Durham)
A6. Beautiful Affair (Roger Moon)
B1. Wolf In The Water (Andrew Bown, Terry Durham)
B2. Fall In All Directions (Roger Moon)
B3. Name Certainly Rings A Bell (Andrew Bown)
B4. Bull Jack (Andrew Bown, Roger Moon, Terry Durham)
B5. For You Today (Terry Durham)
B6. Really - Truly (Roger Moon)

- Printed By: MacNeill Press Ltd.
- Made By: MacNeill Press Ltd.
- Recorded At: Sound Techniques
- Engineer: Jerry Boys
- Photography By, Cover [Back Cover Conception]: Michael Cole
- Producer: Andrew Bown.

Around 1969, Caroline Attard moved to a new band that was being formed, Storyteller:
Their first album, Storyteller was produced by Andy Bown and Peter Frampton.
After the 1st album, Rod Clark leaves Storyteller, being substituted by Chris Belshaw:
Their 2nd album, More pages, was produced by Andy Bown alone. It contains the contribution of Henry Spinetti on drums who was to join the band, and Harold Beckett on trumpet and flugelhorn.
Now with Henry Spinetti, this is the new lineup in 1971:
But the band finally parted ways in that same year 1971.
Around that time, Caroline married to Andy Bown, and she became Carolyn Bown.
 ~ by

Special thanks to my RYM friend, ZenBa!

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Storyteller - More Pages (uk 1971, Transatlantic Records).rar (70.91 MB)

Monday, October 10, 2011

Tangerine - De L'Autre Côté De La Forêt (Fra 1975, folk)

Tangerine - De l'autre côté de la forêt... (Fra 1975, folk)

Genre: Folk Rock

Line up:
* Valéry Betsh (vocal, classical guitar, 12-string guitar,
* Marc Donahue (vocal, classical guitar, flute, keyboards, saxophone, bongost),
* Gabriel Malka (acoustic guitar, vocal, 12-string guitar),
* Charlie Sabban (acoustic guitar, vocal).

Guest musicians:
* Roger Gremillot (Drums, Percussion),
* Alain Carnel (Electric Bass).

- Artwork By – Jean-Louis Macchi
- Engineer – Jean-Claude Robert, Sidney Hermann
- Photography [Verso] – Christian Zagaria
- Producer – Jean-Claude Pognant

Recorded at Studio De La Citadelle in Besançon except "Liberté" recorded at Studio Aquarium in Paris Published by Chappell (Catalogue ANGE-MUSIC) except "De L'autre Côté De La Forêt" published by
Kinney Music & "Eveil" Editions Gavroche
Distribued by WEA Filipacchi Music
World Distribution by Eurodisc
Printed in Paris at Imprimerie Saint-Rock

1975 - SP "De l’autre côté de la forêt" (Eurodisc)
1975 - "De l’autre côté de la forêt" (Arcane)
1976 - SP "Sad and lonely" (Crypto)
1978 - "Mémoire" (Crypto)
1979 - SP "Yragael" (Crypto)
1980 - SP "L’épouvantail" (Gig)
1981 - SP "L’épouvantail" (CBS)

A1. De L'autre Côté De La Forêt
       Composed By – Bunnel, V. Btesh*  2:56  
A2. Death
       Composed By – M. Donahue*  2:45  
A3. Médidations
       Composed By – V. Btesh*  7:22  
A4. Liberté
       Composed By – C. Sabban*, V. Btesh*  3:50  
B1. It's Ending
       Composed By – V. Btesh*  4:20  
B2. Listen
       Composed By – C. Sabban*, V. Btesh*  2:32  
B3. Time
       Composed By – Malka*, Donahue*  3:30  
B4. Eveil
       Composed By – C. Sabban*  3:40  
B5. Direction Sud
       Composed By – G. Malka*, V. Btesh* 

Tangerine were a simple folk quartet based out of France, distinguished by the luminous lead presence of Valery Btesh and the ornate flute work of Marc Donahue. With the potential of four, count 'em four acoustic guitars at work and equally layered vocal harmonies, you know what you can expect, and this is where the band's undoubtedly excelled. Discounting a few instrumentals, half of the songs are sung in their native tongue, and the other half in English, with uncommonly minimal intrusion from accents.
De L'Autre Cote de la Foret is another of the great unsungs. Though the album gets off to a decent if unremarkable start, we soon hit Btesh's "Meditations," which I'll go on record saying is one of the most beautiful songs I've yet come across in my explorations over the years under the broad prog umbrella, and that's simply not an overstatement. Picture Genesis circa Trespass transplanted to the rural countryside with a French Sandy Denny singing a melody that hypnotizes all in its path. If I need to say more, then as was once said elsewhere, "you'll never know."
Though obviously less ambitious, "Direction Sud" is another tune from this band that has stuck with me through the years, an acoustic pop tune with stalwart harmonies and a beguiling chorus. Past these, there are additional songs ("Liberte," "It's Ending," "Listen") with other delicious melodies that solidify this album as a must-track-down for the latent or not-so-latent folkies of the prog community.
Granted, as can be discerned from the songs in English and the general style of the band, Tangerine drew at least some influence from the West Coast psych-folk scene that permeated the late 60s. In fact, this often seems more like an album that would have been made in 1968-69, rather than 1975. Even so, this album is a far cry from the posturing, make-love-for-Jerry narcissism that signals hippiedom at its worst. Say what you want about the lyrics, Tangerine never sounded less than sincere in their delivery, and many of the songs have that introspective touch that makes them genuine in their ability to reach and touch the listener.
 ~ review by Joe McGlinchey  2-6-04.

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Tangerine - De LAutre Cote De La Foret (Fra 1975, folk).rar (34.32 MB)

Friday, October 7, 2011

October Country - October Country (us 1968)

October Country - October Country (us 1968)
Formed: 1967,    Los Angeles, CA, United States
Disbanded: 1968 // 

* Caryle (Carol) De Franca (female vocals),
* Joe De Franca (vocals),
* Marty Earle (guitar),
* Bruce Wayne (bass guitar),
* Bob Wian (keyboards),
* Eddie Beram (drums)

Related Artists: The West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band, The Smoke, Cotton, Lloyd & Christia

01. October Country - 2:37
02. Painted Sky - 3:10
03. Little Boy Smiling - 2:21
04. She's Been Away - 1:53
05. Good To Be Around - 2:28
06. I Was A Fire - 1:49
07. Cowboys And Indians - 2:13
08. I Just Don't Know - 2:23
09. End Of The Line - 2:17
10. My Girlfriend Is A Witch - 2:06
11. Caryle's Theme - 1:49
12. Baby What I Mean - 1:48
13. October Country (45 mono mix) - 2:22
14. I Just Don't Know (45 mono mix) - 2:09
15. I Wish I Was A Fire (45 mono mix) - 2:06
16. Cowboys And Indians (45 mono mix) - 2:36
17. My Girlfriend Is A Witch (45 mono mix) - 1:52

October Country was a short lived “band” fronted by West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band leader/virtuoso Michael Lloyd (For another great Lloyd album, see the January 9th, 2010 post of The Smoke).
Lloyd wrote, produced, sang lead and background vocals and played all kinds of instruments on the record. The record itself was engineered by Roy Halee, a legendary west coast engineer who worked on the Millennium’s “Begin” album as well as some historic Simon and Garfunkel cuts. If you’ve heard “Come to the Sunshine”, (the Van Dyke Parks‘ produced track), by the Harpers Bizarre, then this record will ring some familiar bells as you’re playing it. Most of the album resonates on the same frequency as those west coast pop “divas” work; cheery twee-pop that bounces and jingles with light subject matter intended to make it’s listener smileUltimately I have found though, that the lack of a direction that too much “sky-high-airy” music brings catches up with discerning listeners, resulting in every track feeling and sounding very VERY similar.
If the production were on the same par as say, Gary Usher produced Sagittarius, then this album would have been a classic; unfortunately it lacked a dedicated producer at the controls to reign it all in. Inventive lyrics and fun arrangements, however, do abound on the album in similar Gary Usher or even Curt Boettcher style, even if the production doesn’t elevate them to the plateau that those 2 producers often reached in their 60?s productions.(Imagine a Goldenbriars-themed Boettcher simply continuing on in that vein of style and sense and it isn’t a stretch to think he could’ve done this album. Luckily, though… he moved onto bigger and better things.)
Needless to say, this album rubbed me the wrong way at first; (I’m personally not too much of a fan of the Harpers Bizarre and similar sounding groups), but after I realized that Lloyd sang/wrote/produced the WHOLE album… my opinion changed somewhat. If you treat this album as an essential “solo” album for Lloyd with some semi-competent background musicians and an occasional horn arrangement…then it is a pretty impressive feat indeed.
He is a competent, (if not overly underachieving) vocalist, good guitar player and arranger. He understood at a young age exactly how a record should sound, and calling him a prodigy for that fact isn’t a misnomer. The only studio personality that I can think of that is similar in feel and design to Lloyd would have to be the aforementioned Curt Boettcher of the Millennium.Unfortunately for Lloyd, though, he never got a true opportunity to work with someone as gifted as he in terms of songwriting (Boettcher always surrounded himself with the likes of Lee Mallory, Sandy Salisbury etc)… so he hasn’t and probably never will get the credit he deserves in that respect.
 ~ William Bourque.
October Country was a six-piece, Los Angeles-based harmony pop group. They are probably best-remembered for their association with producer/composer/songwriter Michael Lloyd. Lloyd was already an accomplished songwriter by age 13, signing a publishing deal with L.A. producer Kim Fowley, who later introduced him to entertainment mogul Mike Curb.
Fowley hoped that Curb would use some of Lloyd's songs in the "teensploitation" films he was producing at the time. Instead, Curb gave Lloyd the opportunity to produce a handful of groups for his Tower imprint and its Sidewalk subsidiary, including one of Lloyd's own groups, the Laughing Wind. Lloyd was 15 when his first single produced by Fowley was issued in 1966 (a few years later this same group -- which featured Stan Ayeroff on guitar and Steve Baim on drums -- released several "songbook" albums, including the Cream Songbook, although they were credited to "the Rubber Band" at the time). Meanwhile, Lloyd's profile in the L.A. music community was in ascendance and brought him new opportunities.
He was soon offered the chance to produce a We Five-ish folk-rock group, led by a pair of singing siblings: Caryle De Franca (real name Carol De Franca) and her brother Joe. The group had already performed on the Sunset Strip scene, where they backed groups like the Rivingtonsand the Coasters. They assembled at Columbia Records and, under Lloyd's supervision, recorded the Lloyd-penned "October Country." (After they left the studio, however, Lloyd overdubbed himself playing on many of the instruments, replacing their poorer performances). The group adopted the name October Country thereafter, and signed with Epic Records, which released that first single in late 1967. By the spring of 1968, the group's second single, "My Girlfriend Is a Witch," was released, followed a few months later by a third single, "Cowboys and Indians." A self-titled LP was released that same year, but the group's records failed to catch on outside of the L.A. area. Curb was nonetheless impressed with what he heard and gave Lloyd free reign of his Hollywood Boulevard Studios for the next six months, where he and two other musicians composed, performed, and recorded an entire album of similar Laurel Canyon-esque psych-folk for his Sidewalk Productions, this time releasing the material under the name the Smoke, a band featuring Lloyd and the other members of the studio group previously known as the Rubber Band. Meanwhile, in 1969, Curb and Lloyd produced bubblegum rock for a cartoon program called Cattanooga Cats, which featured a pop-punk version of "My Girlfriend Is a Witch," reputedly with Rupert Holmes (of "Escape (The Pina Colada Song)" fame) on lead vocals.
 ~ internet source.
October Country's self-titled album -- long out-of-print -- is today revered and highly prized by collectors who have managed to find a copy. It certainly deserves to be reissued on CD. Other soft rock and sunshine pop/soft rock obscurities -- including those by the Millennium, Sagittarius, and Eternity's Children, to name just a few -- are just now becoming available again on CD, so why not October Country? This 1968 album is one of the better examples of songwriter/producer/musician Michael Lloyd's overall influence and impact on the West Coast-based genre. Lloyd -- who was certainly influenced by important albums like the Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, the Beach Boys' Pet Sounds, and various psych-pop sounds of the Brit-pop invasion, even harmony vocal groups like the Bee Gees -- always seemed to find interesting ways to incorporate various sophisticated instrumentation (organ, horns, harpsichord, and string arrangements) into his productions. During this particular group's first recording sessions, Lloyd began transforming this We Five-ish folk-rock group into a formidable group (he also played the various instruments himself -- because the group wasn't that proficient on their own). There are numerous highlights here, including the title track (later recorded by the Smoke, the U.S. band who was another Lloyd "Sidewalk" production), "Cowboys and Indians," and "My Girlfriend Is a Witch."
~ Bryan Thomas, Rovi

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October Country - October Country (us 1968, CD).rar (96.71 MB)