Isaiah - s/t. 1975 Austria

Isaiah's sound is more typical of what was coming from Germany circa 1971-72 with flute, guitar, and excellent vocals in the lead. It's a bit more commercialized which is common for the era. As for the second album (recorded between 1973 and 1977), this version of the band is far more bluesy than the album proper, though no less enjoyable. Very interesting group, that fits well with their German contemporaries (like a cross between Birth Control, Nosferatu, and Bullfrog), but I can't think of a similar Austrian band! While there are certainly better albums in the field, I still recommend Isaiah to fans of the genre.

Personal collection
LP+CD: 2014 Digatone

Originals are very rare and typically sell in the $300-$500 range. For years, this title was mired in the pirate world, until Digatone came to the rescue this year. In short order, Digatone have become the premier indigenous label for Austrian progressive and underground rock. The LP reissue is a 2 vinyl set that also includes a full album's worth of unique material in studio quality. The second LP had previously been reissued as a bootleg under the title of "Forgotten Records" with some slight alterations. In addition to the extra album, there are full liner notes and a CD featuring both albums. Without question, this is the de facto version to own!

Braen's Machine - Underground. 1971 Italy

Underground is simply an amazing find. Take one part instrumental film/library/exploito ala Blue Phantom, The Bigroup, Psycheground, and Fourth Sensation and complete that with atmospheres that rival the earliest Krautrock scene ala early Guru Guru and Can. Absolutely phenomenal fuzz guitar jamming throughout, with loads of studio effects to upset your inner balance and ultimately turn you into a barking mad fellow. And that's what we all are, aren't we? If not, listen to this, and join us will you?

Personal collection
LP+CD: 2014 Schema

Almost precisely the same scenario as yesterday's The Feed-Back album. Originals are off the charts rare, fetching in the $1K range. So Milan's Schema has come to the rescue again, and reissued the album on CD and LP (with a CD as a bonus). And once again I picked up the LP/CD package for a few dollars more. Don't miss these reissues! And the sound is fantastic (most assuredly from the masters), and the liner notes this time are in English providing much needed detail behind this extraordinary work. And via this reissue we learn none other than Rino de Filippi is responsible for the contents within (along with Alessandro Alessandroni and a full set of studio musicians at the ready). CDRWL regulars will recall De Filippi was behind one of the greatest mysteries on the site until it was cleared up by Italian Prog expert Augusto Croce. It's great to be able to unwind all of these identities some 43 years later!

The Group (Gruppo d'Improvvisazione Nuova Consonanza) - The Feed-Back. 1970 Italy

Famous film-scorer Ennio Morricone's jazz / rock / avant garde band. This 1970 album is very wiggy for the time and place, way beyond what one normally associates with "incidental film music". And marquee name Morricone adds trumpet here. Morricone himself was 42 when this album was released and already quite a known artist, hence the major label interest in what otherwise would be an entirely unwanted avant garde annoyance to the business. Given his formal classical musical training, the overall package reminds me of those establishment French persona's such as William Sheller (Popera Cosmic), Alain Gorageur, and Jean-Claude Vannier. You'd be hard pressed to find a more creative rock outing than The Feed-Back, even if you've heard it all on the Futura and Ohr labels from the same era. It barely cracks the 28 minute mark, but otherwise an essential album that is likely to appeal to the remains of your addled left brain.

Personal collection
LP+CD: 2014 Schema

This is an album I never heard of until I started doing serious research for the CDRWL a few years ago. Originals (like the photo above) will set you back... oh.... say $1,500+. Pocket change right? So for the rest of us, it was with great pleasure to see that the Milan based label Schema has come through with both LP and CD reissues of this extremely rare classic. Since it only costs a few extra dollars, I went for the LP that comes with the CD. Definitely score this one while it's still available.

Grovjobb - Under Solen Lyser Solen. 2001 Sweden

After first hearing Vättarnas Fest, I wrote an enthusiastic review for both their albums at the time, and couldn't wait to hear a 3rd ...