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Various Artists (Label Samplers) - Psychedelic Underground 16 CD (album) cover

PSYCHEDELIC UNDERGROUND 16

Various Artists (Label Samplers)

 

Various Genres

4.00 | 1 ratings

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Matti
Prog Reviewer
4 stars I'm not sure about the continuity now, but at least some years back the German re-issue label Garden of Delights used to put out a promotional samler disc representing its nine latest releases, with a mathematical precision. This 16th sampler offers 59 and ˝ minutes of German rarities mainly from the seventies. The first thing that comes to my mind how it could have been better is purely quantitative; more tracks to make the disc 20 minutes longer.

As always with GoD releases, the leaflet is packed up with information (both in German and in English) in a very user-friendly fashion. I'm naturally basing my review on those band introductions. First comes TETRAGON, an instrumental quartet who released one album in 1971. Here's a track from their intended second album that remained unpublished for nearly four decades. It's energetic, jazzy prog-rock starring Hammond and electric guitar. XHOL played psychedelic jazz-rock. The GoD release represented here with a frenzy 12-minute instrumental is a live album "Essen 1970".

YGGDRASIL was a more song-oriented sextet that released their sole LP in 1972, though only as a metal-acetate. Sounds very nice! Lyrics are in English and there's a lot of flute to increase a certain [pre-Aqualung] Jethro Tull flavour. At the time ZOPPO TRUMP appeared only on a compilation album in 1976, but GoD dug out more unreleased studio recordings. Here's a cool, organ oriented jazz-rock instrumental that slightly reminds me of Jukka Gustavson's compositions on the WIGWAM debut. RADIO NOISZ ENSEMBLE was a Third Ear Band reminding successor of the folk group Emma Myldenberger and released their only album in 1982. The chosen fast-paced track is starring oboe.

The next two bands are the best known. The GURU GURU release is their live performance in Wiesbaden 1973 featuring three long tracks full of free improvisation. The sound quality is not very good, and to me this is the sampler's weakest link. EMBRYO had visited New York which brought funk and soul influences into their 1975 album Surfin'. At least the 9-minute, lighthearted instrumental 'Dance of Some Broken Glasses' sounds nice with the cool groove and flutes, but there's not much of progression in the composition. SÜNDENFALL II sounded very much like the early Jethro Tull, up to the vocals in English. (The original LP of 200 copies is worth a small fortune.) And finally on this sampler disc, an excellent slice of bright-sounding insrumental jazz-rock of the year 1980 by SURGERY. - All in all, this issue (or the period of re-issues) is among the finest from Garden of Delights, with only one track that I rather skip.

Matti | 4/5 |

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