Saturday, January 20, 2007

Finally, some fresh AIR!

How about a little album review? Well, contrary to previous posts I would like to recommend a brand new album release to you. Two years after Talkie Walkie, Air are back with new stuff: Pocket Symphony.

Their critically acclaimed first album Premiers Symptômes was followed by the release of Moon Safari, The Virgin Suicides Soundtrack, 10,000Hz Legend, and Talkie Walkie.
Although Air's music is often referred to as electronica, their form of electronic music actually owes a lot to the synthesizer sounds of the 70's. Their influences include Pink Floyd (the mid to late 70's era anyway) and spacerockers Tangerine Dream.
Air uses many of their studio instruments (like Moog synthesizers, the Korg MS20, Wurlitzer and Vocoder) live on stage. The band performs the well-known tracks from the albums live as extended or altered versions.

Songs like Once Upon a Time, Napalm Love, Photograph, and my personal favourite Mer du Japon, have all the ingredients for the typical Air sound that most of us are used to and love. One Hell Of A Party and Somewhere Between Waking and Sleeping feature guest vocals from Jarvis Cocker and Neil Hannon of The Divine Comedy. These tracks are a bit more rock inspired, but fits surprisingly well on the album.
So far, the reviews I read are somewhat mixed. I guess some people don't like it when a band feels like taking a little side track – musically speaking. I however, as a fan of Air, am quite happy with Pocket Symphony. The only negative point I can come up with, is that the album should be longer!

Also check out Phoenix, Air's backing band. This french soft rock band would probably never have the cult status it has today if not for their collaborations with Air, but they're well worth listening to.
In addition, Air And Alessandro Baricco's City Reading (2003) is also recommended material. As far as I know, the album is the soundtrack to a ficticous western movie, narrated (in Italian) by Baricco. The music is by Air. I guess this album should be considered as a tribute to the music of Ennio Morricone... At least, that's what I make of it. Nice one, though!

Samples of Pocket Symphony here: paulfucito.blogspot.com

Friday, January 19, 2007

FLAIRCK (progressive folk)

The Dutch folk collective Flairck has been around since the late 70's. I never heard about them until very recently - when a Juicy Fruits visitor sent me a link to a nice blog that has been posting stuff about Flairck.

The music of Flairck - mainly instrumental folk music - was heavily influenced by Celtic folk and classical music in the beginning. Later on the band adopted many other influences like Meso-American music, Inuit music and many other world music styles. Their ever growing, rich musical repertoire is a direct result of their fascination for folk music from every corner of the world.
Although Flairck's music is very rich in texture, the line-up is often quite minimalistic: an accoustic guitar, violin and flute. Flairck however, is also famous for their experiments with other, more exotic instruments such as the sitar, xylophones or even a fairground organ... Through the years the musicians of Flairck have proven successful in attempting to constantly innovate their music, fusing different styles into a coherent sound and sending out a positive message towards a multicultural environement.

If you're a fan of classical music or world music, you should check them out. So visit my friend Sakalli's blog to learn more...

Get it while it's hot!

Monday, January 15, 2007

Spin - Whirlwind (1977 / fusion)

Earlier I posted some comments on a Dutch progressive rock/fusion band called Ekseption. Spin actually is a 'spin-off' of that band, concentrated around the main horn players from Ekseption.

I found a link to a vinyl rip of one of their second (and final) album Whirlwind.
The music of Spin is much more straight forward than Ekseption's, they dropped the classical influences and the arrangements were much more focused on electric guitars and horns (which are very recognizable to fans of Ekseption).
Enthousiasts of jazz/rock fusion might find this album a little bit on the soft side though, but the songs are well balanced and feature some catchy horn arrangements. So if you're up for some 'easy listening', why not try this one...

Get it here (pw=dutchoriginals).

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Pink Floyd - The Final Cut (1983)

Originally intended to be the third disc of The Wall, Floyd's record company would not let them put out a triple album. As a result, The Final Cut was released as a separate album four years later. Still, the album should be considered as a part of the Wall in order to make sense.

Once again frontman Roger Waters uses his music to come to terms with some of his personal problems and pains during that era. Because of that many Pink Floyd fans turned their backs to the band, as you can read in this comment by G. Vázquez: "Roger Waters criticized dictators, but he became one of them in Pink Floyd. I agree, it is more a Waters's solo album (even Nick Mason said it in interviews...)".
Despite the fact that Waters's ego was getting way out of control, The Final Cut is still a great record.

So anyway, find out for yourselves!
Find the album at mp3nova.org.

Tuesday, January 9, 2007

Some more Guru Guru

A friend of The Juicy Fruits looked me up some links to more stuff by Guru Guru. I'm more than happy to share. So this is one of them...
'Der Elektrolurch' (1974) is a double album which consists of all tracks from 'Kän Guru' (1972) and 'Guru Guru' (1973). This is probaly the best collection of classic Guru Guru prior to CD era.
Link to the album: here.

Saturday, January 6, 2007

Guru Guru live in 1978 (space rock/fusion)

Guru Guru were one of the wildest and most imaginative bands to emerge from the 1970's Krautrock scene. Fulled by a combination of LSD and loud raunchy experimental music, it incorporated many styles, from jazz to pop.The band remains active to this day and has a huge following in Japan where they have often toured. Mr. Guru Guru himself, Mani Nuemier - one of the greatest drummers ever - is considered a German rock icon.

Live 1978 is an extremely well engineered live recording. The material on the album reflects many aspects of the band, the free jazz experiments and the funkier direction the band took, as well as revisiting the psychedelic LSD fueled past. It's the sheer variety of the selected tracks that make this album so appealing.
Mani Neumier's bizarre humour is in evidence as well. Look out for a wild version of Der Elektrolurch, a classic Guru Guru track!
This is an excellent live album of the band, which showcases the wild and imaginative fusion capabilities of Mani and his ever rotating band colleagues. Lots of guitar solos and percussion improvisations with a touch of psychedelia. Highly recommended.

Track listing
1. Transylvania Express
2. As long the Music's Flowing
3. Formentera
4. Conga Jam
5. What's the matter with the Kids
6. Herzflimmern
7. Dooga Booga Special
8. Der Elektrolurch
9. Moroso
10. Medicinman's Overdose

Line-up

- Dieter Bornschlegel / guitar
- Mani Neumeier / drums, keyboards, producer
- Roland Schaeffer / synthesizer, guitar

Releases information
2 LP Brain #0080018 - 1978, 1 CD Think Progressive 1995

I've located the links to high quality vinyl rips. However, the files have not been split (just a single file per LP side) and tagged.
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4

Tuesday, January 2, 2007

Rick van der Linden - UPDATE

As a follow-up of my previous post on Rick van der Linden, I'm happy to recommend a couple of albums by Ekseption. 5 (1972) and Trinity (1973) were the last two albums (at least for quite a while) with van der Linden as a key member. After that he founded Trace.

The following links were kindly provided by a blogger friend of mine. They're excellent vinyl rips. So if you want to explore these rare gems, don't thank me! Especially Trinity comes highly recommended... Check out the killer track Imrovisation, a great mix of symphonic prog rock and loungy grooves!
5 - get it here.
Trinity - get it here.

If you want to buy some music by Trace, visit the iTunes Music Store or Musicstack.com.