As we prepare to venture to the great northern lands of Sweden in just one week’s time, we’ve decided to share this astral journey by Swedish prog rock band Kaipa. “Inget Nytt Under Solen” is the title track of the band’s 1976 sophomore album, which translates to “Nothing New Under the Sun,” from the much-quoted bible verse “What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.”
Late 1960s South Africa might be the last place you’d expect a progressive psych-folk band to have emerged from. But amid racist and nationalist tensions, a small, yet fertile scene did exist, which included a little-known band by the name of Abstract Truth.
Guitarist Kenneth E. Henson formed Abstract Truth in Durban, South Africa around 1969, going on to release two studio albums with the group during 1970. However, the band was short-lived and disbanded after numerous line-up changes in 1971.
Abstract Truth’s first album, titled Totum, is a collection of covers that includes takes on everything from jazz standards like “Summertime” and “Comin’ Home Baby,” Donovan and Dylan tunes and more. The vastly improved second album, titled Silver Trees, consists entirely of originals, blending elements of prog, folk and psych that, at times, recalls Caravan, Fairport Convention and early King Crimson. Silver Trees, in particular, is worth seeking out. The album covers a lot of ground, and sees Saxophonist/flutist Sean Bergin and Henson dueling throughout over jazzy time signatures and complex compositions.
For years after their release, these two Abstract Truth records existed as extreme rarities, known and heard only by die-hard collectors and few others. But in 2009, both albums were reissued with extensive liner notes, bringing these two lost classics to the ears of many more.
Below you can hear the folky opener “Pollution” and the epic eight-minute title track from the group’s second LP, Silver Trees.
Just over a year ago, I came across a series of demos by a band called Cranium Pie. Hailing from Wiltshire, England, the group has been putting out singles on various independent UK labels since 2006, until finally, they released their first full-length LP, Mechanisms Pt. 1 , in the fall of 2011 via Fruits De Mer. After every one of those LPs sold-out, it took me some time to acquire the music. But I’ve finally managed hear it, and I can report to all of you that this is an album you must seek out.
Recalling the likes of Barrett-era Floyd with a dose of Hawkwind, Cranium Pie travels the zoned-out side of the progressive psych rock realm. The band is a five piece, with membership consisting of Robe Appleton (keyboards, vocals), Tim Bray (vocals, theremin, electronics, percussion), Dan Herra (guitars, vocals), Steve Meadows (bass) and Julian Smith (drums). Throughout this concept album, the listener journeys through many zones on a far-reaching sound quest filled with tripped-out narratives, graceful acoustic fingerpicking, prog guitar riffs, extended organ solos and charging space rock.
You can check out album track “Rememberrr” below or head to Cranium Pie’s website where you can now download the album.
We’re honored to present a second playlist from our favorite radio DJ, Mike Newman. You can hear plenty more of these great tunes, along with his unrivaled knowledge about them, on BBOX Radio every Wednesday from 12-2PM or on his show Beyond Beyond is Beyond at East Village Radio on Thursdays, also from 12-2PM. In addition, this busy man will also DJ our December 30 event at the Cakeshop under the alias Unicorn Pudding, while also putting out his own psych rock compilation in early 2012. Here are some words from Mike to lead you into the music…
Hey there, I was super-psyched DGB asked me back to do another playlist…especially a proggy one! So I chose some of my favorite prog-rock tunes and before I knew it, I had three hours worth of musically-decadent delightfulness. So strap yourself in and enjoy all the peaks and valleys and changes and effects and organs and sublime bizarreness, as we enter the prog zone…
01. Yes – Sound Chaser
02. Caravan – In The Land Of Gray And Pink
03. Jethro Tull – …And The Mouse Police Never Sleeps
04. Made In Sweden – Winter’s A Bummer
05. Emerson, Lake & Palmer – Tarkus
06. Bo Hansson – Lothlorien
07. King Crimson – Happy Family
08. Sensations’ Fix – Fragments of Light
09. Man – Many Are Called, But Few Get Up
10. Secret Oyster – Oysterjungle
11. Magma – Udu Wudu
12. Jon Anderson – Flight Of The Moorglade
13. Nektar – Astral Man
14. Pancake – Cakey Funk
15. Hatfield And The North – Shaving Is Boring
16. Genesis – Watcher Of The Skies
17. Fruupp – Jaunting Car
18. Focus – Janis
19. Eloy – Floating
20. Gentle Giant – The Advent Of Panurge
21. Camel – Aristillus
22. Cressida – Asylum
23. Happy The Man – Knee Bitten Nymphs In Limbo
24. Van Der Graaf Generator – House With No Door
25. Triumvirat – The Walls Of Doom
26. T2 – In Circles
27. If – Sector 17
28. Khan – Stargazers
29. Soft Machine – Out-Bloody-Rageous