Fourth (Remaster)

SKU: 82876872912
Label:
Sony
Category:
Fusion/Jazz
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Remastered edition with new liner notes and photos. There isn't any on the planet that knows more about Soft Machine than Steve Feigenbaum. He's very old. When he was 37 years old he went to the Fillmore East to see the band play with Hendrix. It changed his life and he's dressed funny ever since. Perhaps he would dress funny anyway, I don't know for sure. I do know that he loves Soft Machine's fourth album more than he loves sex (or so his wife has told me). Here is what he has to say abou this classic disc:


"For some reason, I think Four has always been the overlooked Soft Machine album. There's probably several reasons for this but that doesn't change the fact that I think that this is tied with Volume Two as their greatest album ever! The tunes were getting more and more complex and astonishing: Mike Ratledge contributed what I consider the band's greatest work ever in the 10 minute long Teeth, while Hugh Hopper was also reaching a peak compositionally. Elton Dean showed the direction that he wanted to go with his free-but-charming contributions and while Robert Wyatt didn't contribute any tunes (or even any vocals - probably one of the reasons that this album is overlooked), his playing, like all the others, was exemplary here. In addition to the great tunes and the great playing from the four members, a number of additional musicians (Marc Charig, Roy Babbington, Alan Skidmore, Nick Evans) appear as guests, adding some great ensemble color. Lastly, but also very importantly, this was always a really good sounding album and it sounds great here too in this remastered version. Utterly essential, important and innovative jazz/rock from when there were no rules to this sound which was being newly invented while they made it!!"

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  • Second album from this outstanding new Italian band performing in the "Rock Progressivo Italiano" style.  Their debut La Crudelta Di Aprile blew me away and this new one is coming on like a sledgehammer.  The quartet is led by keyboardist Emanuele Tarasconi who pulls all kinds of vintage keys out of the closet.  Guitars figure a bit more prominently this time around and again there is a guest violinist.  The focal point tends to always drift back to Tarasconi's keys which have a style that reminds of Toni Pagliuca's work with Le Orme.  There are Italian vocals on the album but there are really long stretches of instrumental passages to the point that the vocals are inconsequential.  If you liked their first album you are going to love this one.  BUY OR DIE! 
    $16.00
  • Fantastic collection of SWF radio sessions from this one and done German prog trio.  Amos Key was led by keyboardist Thomas Mollin.  The band recorded one album for the Speigelei label in 1974 (still unreissued on CD).  These radio sessions actually predate the recording of the album.If you are fan of ELP, Triumvirat, or even The Nice and Egg you need to check these guys out.  Mollin has monster chops on organ and basically stole from the same classical and jazz sources as Emerson so you get a very similar sound.  I hope Dave Brubeck is getting royalties!  Vocals were not the band's strong suit so they keep them to a bare minimum.  All in all one of the best reissues I've heard in some time.  Highly recommended. 
    $18.00
  • Remastered edition."At least half of the songs on Van Halen's eponymous 1978 debut are still considered classics, and the Eddie Van Halen instrumental "Eruption" revolutionized the guitar community by introducing a technique called finger-tapping into the heavy metal lexicon. A magnificent debut for sure, but maybe the band should have held onto a few of their blockbuster tunes to bolster the lean years that started after 1984, and continue to the present day. Regardless, Van Halen amply demonstrate their drive, showmanship, and musicianship throughout, blowing the needle off the scale on such tracks as "You Really Got Me," "Jamie's Cryin'," "Runnin' with the Devil," and "Ain't Talkin' 'Bout Love."" --Jon Wiederhorn
    $6.00
  • 2013 debut from this outstanding space rock/stoner offshoot from 35007.  Lots of burbling keyboard sounds but the guitar riffs are heavy and relentless.  New album due momentarily!This reviewer got it right:"Although at its most expansive, Monomyth‘s Monomyth ranges well into a cosmos of Krautrock-infused progadelia, there isn’t one moment of the album that feels like happenstance. Rather, the den Haag instrumental five-piece put an immediate sense of purpose into their Burning World Records self-titled debut — which is bound as well to grab extra attention owing to the involvement of drummer Sander Evers, formerly of Dutch heavy psych groundbreakers 35007 — and each of the five extended cuts on the 57-minute outing offers a complete individual journey while also flowing directly one to the next, so that the whole of the album is built up around these at times breathtakingly cohesive parts. The exception to that rule of flow is the 17-minute closer, “Huygens,” which comes on following silence at the end of the penultimate “Loch Ness,” but even that seems to have been a conscious decision on the part of the band — Evers on drums, Selwyn Slop on bass, Thomas van den Reydt on guitar, Peter van der Meer on keys and Tjerk Stoop credited with “synthesis and processing” in the album’s liner, which I assume means laptop — and certainly “Huygens” doesn’t detract from the overall liquidity of Monomyth for its slow fade in from the aforementioned silence, only adding to it a grand payoff patiently built toward that justifies the song’s position as the finale without losing sight of the progressive vibe. One could spend a lifetime immersed in the heavy prog spectrum of the early and mid ’70s, and I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that one or more of the members of Monomyth has, but in truly progressive form, the production here is modern-sounding to its very core. Modern-sounding, but not over-produced, it’s worth pointing out, and Monomyth walk just as careful a line in their presentation of their self-titled as they do in the intricate sense of composition and technicality that rests at the core of “Vanderwaalskrachten” (11:26), “Vile Vortices” (8:28), “The Groom Lake Engine” (10:06), “Loch Ness” (10:24) and “Huygens” (17:04) — all the titles coming together to blend into a theme of something unknown, scientific and otherworldly.Whichever came first, those titles or the songs themselves, the pieces are clearly meant to be taken in a complete listen with how each feeds into the one following. Still, there doesn’t seem to be a narrative at work across them, or at least not in the sense of “Jack runs here, Jack goes there.” “Vanderwaalskrachten” begins with sparse guitar and synth hum, setting up a swirl and lushness of sound that will prove almost constant but for a few purposeful moments of minimalism. Setting a patient tone, the drums kick in around two minutes in with the bass and the dynamic at the core of Monomyth‘s Monomyth is established; the rhythm section holds pieces together so that the guitar, keys and other elements are free to explore, which they do, again, not without a pervasive sense of purpose. The initial impression is similar in its smoothness and moody underpinnings to Germany’s My Sleeping Karma, but as “Vanderwaalskrachten” — named for the attractions between molecules and intermolecular forces — hits a pre-midpoint peak of heavy guitar riffing later to reemerge as a kind of instrumental chorus, it’s that much clearer that the band haven’t yet played their entire hand. A solo follows topping space rock pulsations and carries into a quiet bridge marked out by some funky organ work, only to find that chorus return again late in the track, giving all the more an impression of structure. Actually, “Vanderwaalskrachten” winds up rather traditional at its heart, just presented in a much different form than a phrase like “verse/chorus structure” might conjure in the mind of the listener. Likewise careful not to get underway too quickly, “Vile Vortices” — aka the Devil’s Graveyards; the Bermuda Triangle, Indus Valley, Algerian Megaliths, et. al. — unfolds to Floydian leads punctuated by xylophone-sounding percussion given flourish by jazzy keys before bass and organ introduce the crux of the build, Evers holding steady on drums behind. Those leads return, but structurally, “Vile Vortices” is different from its predecessor, more linear, and after five minutes in, it breaks to introduce a heavier riff that acts as the foundation for the build over the remainder of the track, which rounds out with a drone leading right into “The Groom Lake Engine,” the  centerpiece of Monomyth.To expect an immediate rush from “The Groom Lake Engine” would be ignoring the overarching flow from the first two tracks. The song unfolds from the drone that becomes its intro to airy guitars, periodic stretches of heavier progressions and synth filling out the spaces between. Groom Lake, Nevada, being the location of Area 51, the track remains consistent with the mysterious, potentially alien elements at work from earlier cuts, and true to “Vile Vortices” before it, with about three minutes left, the guitar introduces a heavier riff — following a few measures of surprisingly bluesy wah — that will march the song out, though in a blend, a chugging refrain from the first few minutes returns at the end. No matter how far out they may have gone, Monomyth haven’t forgotten their basic methodology. A telling moment hits prior to the halfway mark of “The Groom Lake Engine” and gives a glimpse at the dynamic that seems to be at the root of the band’s approach; Slop and Evers sticking to repetitions of a central figure while van den Reydt adds flourish around it, soon joined by the keys and other elements. For a moment, it’s easy to see where the songs actually come from. Feedback after the ending crescendo fades to a quiet opening for “Loch Ness,” which is Monomyth‘s most mainstream reference and their most effective linear build, starting serene and psychedelic at first and moving slowly towards the six-minute mark, at which a turn brings about darkly progressive riffs — sustained organ notes add a sense of classic horror cinema — and further, heavier build. They are still well in control, however far they delve into that movement, and the transition to “Huygens” afterwards is no less easy to make for the small break between the tracks. Curious synth winds around exploratory guitar lines as bass and drums — as ever — keep steady, and soon start-stop bass and guitar emerge to set the tone for the song’s first half, contrasted a bit by a heavier “chorus” but never too far away from whence it comes.Named for the probe that was the first to land in the outer region of the solar system — it went to Saturn’s moon Titan, presumably to look for sirens — “Huygens,” also the name of the Dutch astronomer Christiaan Huygens who first studied Saturn’s rings, splits at about halfway in. This is all the more fitting conceptually, since the Huygens probe was launched with Cassini, which went on to take the farthest-from-Earth photograph that’s ever been taken, shot from Saturn’s orbit. Whether or not that split had anything to do with the music of “Huygens,” I don’t know, but it would be easy to conceive of the descending guitar lines at the song’s midpoint as entry to an atmosphere. That descending figure remains layered in beneath the ensuing build and payoff, which, gorgeously melodic and pushed seemingly ever forward, leaves nothing to be desired in terms of providing an apex for Monomyth as a whole. The band finished surprisingly noisy over the course of their last minute-plus — could that be the signal from Huygens breaking up? — but when they bring “Huygens” down to radio silence, the effect is striking and shows one last time that whatever Monomyth might be pushing toward aesthetically with any given part, they remain aware of their surroundings at all times. If I thought this was as far as they could or wanted to go creatively, I’d call it mastery, but it seems that with their debut, Monomyth are beginning a journey rather than ending one. They’ve made it from a molecular level to the rings of Saturn and offered no lack of mystery between, all the while managing to offset prog’s usual staid technicality with a stridently human consciousness, resulting in a first outing as engaging as it is accomplished." - The Obelisk
    $9.00
  • "When in 1975 Larry Coryell went on tour with his short-lived all-star group The Eleventh House, the jazz-rock scene had just reached its climax. Although Larry is considered by many historians to be one of the first to melt jazz with rock, he never entered the rostrum as winner (one could guess, that his 'mistake' was not to be in any of the Miles Davis groups).With this recording this might change in retrospect. Very few acts of that era were that powerful. Hymns, simple hit melodies, funk grooves, blues rock guitar, 70ies synth sounds, and a lot of fun and entertainment were the ingredients of a concert evening to be remembered. The material chosen was like 'The Best of the Eleventh House'. While many other fusion protagonists with a jazz background used rock, blues, and funk elements, thinking this might make their music more accessible (some slipping towards easy listening, others were just unable to create a rock feeling), Larry Coryell & the Eleventh House used all these styles at well-balanced eye level.Recorded live January 18, 1975 at Post-Aula, Bremen, Germany" 
    $21.00
  • Interesting studio project from the Altrock/Fading team.  This is 70s influenced progressive rock with a dark edge to it.  Vocals are in English and overall it doesn't have the typical Italian sound.  If you told me this was a British band I wouldn't think twice.  I'm digging the Mellotron-type sounds!  Highly recommended."Not a Good Sign is a project by AltrOck and some bands’ members of the label. Marcello Marinone, Paolo «Ske» Botta and Francesco Zago, after a successful collaboration in Yugen and Ske, propose a new blend of their musical attitudes. The result is an ominous, fascinating sound melting vintage keyboards, powerful guitars and voice, besides ethereal and autumn nuances, supported by a compelling rhythmic drive.In 2011 Botta and Zago began to write the music, and Zago provided the lyrics too. Soon Gabriele G. Colombi and Alessio Calandriello, from La Coscienza di Zeno, joined the band. The drummer Martino Malacrida completed the line-up in 2012. In these tracks many of you will recognize the Old Prog School from the 70s, but in a modern key, with a pinch of hard-rock and psych. Resonant vocal melodies and lyrics complete the gloomy but colourful imagery of the band."Personnel:Paolo «Ske» Botta, keyboardsAlessio Calandriello, vocalsGabriele Guidi Colombi, bassMartino Malacrida, drumsFrancesco Zago, guitarsGuests:Maurizio Fasoli, grandpiano (Yugen)Sharron Fortnam, vocals (North Sea Radio Orchestra, Cardiacs)Bianca Fervidi, cello
    $18.00
  • BJH basically parallelled Genesis at this time - they lost a key member, streamlined their roster and sound and got even more popular. Recorded in 1979 it features the band sans Wooly Wolstenholme, the king of the Mellotron. The overall sound is a bit less prog and bit more commercial (just like Genesis). For me personally the band got a lot less interesting at this point but as I mentioned in the grand scheme of things they picked up a lot of fans - especially in Germany. This is a remastered edition courtesy of Eclectic Records and features their usual great job - 4 bonus tracks (singe edits no big deal really) plus more photos and new liner notes.
    $9.00
  • Originally released in 2012 on vinyl (and apparently cassette), the second album from this Scottish based space quartet finally gets a CD release...but its a limited edition of 500 copies so you might want to be snappy.The Cosmic Dead wear their influences on their sleeves.  The music is heavily invested in the sounds of Ash Ra Tempel, Can, and even a touch of early Hawkwind.  Loooooong jams that take you further and further into deep space.  A non-stop assault of burbling synths, echoplexed guitar leads, and a rhythm section that is playing off in another galaxy.  Pure unadulterated psychedelic space rock.  These guys played the Roadburn Festival and I'm sure they must have gone down a storm.  If the numbers 7 - 1 - 4 mean anything to you then I think this should be filed away in your collection.  Highly recommended.
    $15.00
  • ""In 1963, Miles Davis was at a transitional point in his career, without a regular group and wondering what his future musical direction would be. At the time he recorded the music heard on this CD, he was in the process of forming a new band, as can be seen from the personnel: tenor saxophonist George Coleman, Victor Feldman (who turned down the job) and Herbie Hancock on pianos, bassist Ron Carter, and Frank Butler and Tony Williams on drums. Recorded at two separate sessions, this set is highlighted by the classic "Seven Steps to Heaven," "Joshua," and slow passionate versions of "Basin Street Blues" and "Baby Won't You Please Come Home." The 20-bit remastered version issued by Sony's Legacy imprint in 2005 includes two rather startling bonus tracks from the original sessions that were not included on the LP or previous CD releases; they are the beautiful "So Near, So Far," and "Summer Night."" - All Music Guide" - All Music Guide
    $5.00
  • The Japanese East Wind label was active in the 70s and into the early 80s.  This was a jazz label that focused on Japanese artists but also covered many popular US players.  While not as overtly audiophile as Three Blind Mice, the East Wind label was always noted for immaculate reference quality production.Universal Japan has released 72 titles from the East Wind catalog in extremely limited editions.  We've cherry picked those titles that we think are of interest to our customer base.Terumasa Hino is the legendary Japanese trumpet player who is still going strong today.  He has played around the world and played with the best.  Unfortunately he's probably best known in Japan.  When he launched his career in the late 60s he was playing pretty traditional straight ahead jazz.  Once he struck out with his own ensembles his music became more focused on spiritual jazz, frequently plugging in and crossing over into fusion.  Hogiuta was recorded in NY in 1976 and is one of the all time great kosmigroov albums.  The personnel consists of Terumasa Hino ( trumpet, flugel horn, percussion, voice), Cecil McBee (acoustic bass, voice), Motohiko Hino (drums, percussion, voice), M'tume (percussion, voice).  This album is totally cosmic.  It kicks off with the intense side long title piece that features McBee and the percussionists locking into a groove while Hino does his Miles-like best and its pretty damn great.  The album has stellar production.  If your system is set up right you will hear a deep soundstage with precise placement of intruments.  Cool panning effects with throw voices all around.  An incredible spacious recording that will really show off your system.  This is one of those albums that demands you fire up the vaporizer and dim the lights.  Hino had many magnificent albums through out his career but for my personal taste this is the one.  BUY OR DIE!
    $16.00
  • "By 1977 Journey had reached a creative crossroads, with three underwhelming studio albums under their belt and little to show in the way of commercial success. At the prodding of manager Herbie Herbert, who felt a major shakeup was needed in order to reignite their spark, the band was convinced to audition and eventually recruit the services of former Alien Project vocalist Steve Perry. Sure enough, adding him to the band just prior to the sessions for Infinity proved to be a stroke of genius, and a move that undeniably altered the course of history for the fledging Bay Area act. Released in January of 1978, Infinity easily proved to be the band's most cohesive work to date. Dead and buried were the jazz fusion overtones of previous offerings, and with the new songwriting combo of Perry/Neal Schon leading the march, the band set out to completely redefine their sound. Traditional pop arrangements were now adopted, cutting out the unnecessary musical fat, and allowing each bandmember to play to his strength: Perry's soaring, whale of a voice, Schon's scorching fret work, and Gregg Rolie's subtle keyboard arrangements. Enlisting eccentric producer Roy Thomas Baker (already famous for guiding the likes of Queen and Nazareth to giant commercial triumphs of their own) also proved to be a rewarding move for the boys. With newfound confidence, Journey crafted a record that could finally land them on the radio. Loaded with future FM staples like "Wheel in the Sky" (which hit the Top 50 in April of 1978), "Lights" (which quietly peaked at number 68 that August), and "Anytime" (pretty much a flop, crawling to number 83 in July), Infinity introduced Journey to an entirely new audience. Even non-singles like "Patiently (the first tune Perry ever wrote with Schon) and "Somethin' to Hide" were leaps and bounds beyond the band's previous accomplishments. And, ultimately, though Infinity merely introduced the band to mainstream radio (it was the never-ending tour on which the band embarked on to support it that drove the disc past the platinum plateau), it effectively cemented their rep as one of America's most beloved (and sometimes hated) commercial rock/pop bands. With over 170 shows under their belts, Journey had just begin to hit their stride." - All Music Guide
    $5.00
  • The Japanese jazz scene is finally getting the attention it deserves.  Long written off as just a scene filled with copycats of American and European artists, jazz fans around the world are now discovering that there was some amazing music being created there.  Some of the musicians like Terumasa Hino and Masabumi Kikuchi crossed over into the world jazz scene but for the most part many of the musicians there only gained popularity in Japan.  One of the most important Japanese jazz labels from the 70s was Three Blind Mice.  It was started in 1970 by producer Takeshi "Tee" Fuji.  The label adhered to strict audiophile standards and all of the releases on the label featured exemplary sonics.  The music of Three Blind Mice tended to fall into three facets of jazz (they would crossover from time to time).  Some of the artists play very traditional straight ahead jazz.  Frankly while this stuff appeals to audiophiles its not that appealing beyond the sonics.  There was also an experimental side to the label featuring a lot of free jazz blowing.  The third aspect, which to my ears is the most interesting, is the area where the label explored modal jazz, often with an electric element.  Very little of it would be hard card fusion, but a rock element would sometimes be present.  This falls into the realm that has been broadly tagged as "kosmigroov".The label only existed in the 70s and the rights to the catalog has now passed over to Sony Music.  Think Records in Japan has started a limited ediiton reissue campaign of the Three Blind Mice label.  They arrive in mini-LP sleeves and are manufactured using Sony's proprietary Blu-Spec process.  We are cherry picking titles we think should have your attention.  More will follow in the near future.Unicorn is a hot set recorded by noted Japanese bassist Teruo Nakamura.  It features killer players like George Cables (electric piano), Steve Grossman (soprano sax), Lenny White and Alphonse Mouzon (drums) among others.  Recorded in 1973 in NYC, its a wonder example of "spiritual" or "soul" jazz."Unicorn was bassist Teruo Nakamura's first date as a leader. Recorded and issued in Japan on the legendary Three Blind Mice imprint in 1973, Nakamura had been working in New York since 1964. He'd done a lot of hardscrabble work before 1969 when he landed the gig as bassist in Roy Haynes' fine group of the time. During that year he formed a band with Steve Grossman and Lenny White, who both appear here. This is an interesting date because it is equally divided between very electric fusion tracks and more modal acoustic numbers. Grossman plays on all but one cut; White appears on three. Other players include Alphonse Mouzon on three cuts (instead of White), George Cables on Rhodes, John Miller on acoustic piano, a young percussionist named Ronald Jackson (born Ronald Shannon Jackson), pianist Hubert Eaves III (later of D Train fame), trumpeter Charles Sullivan, vocalist Sandy Hewitt (on Eaves' "Understanding" and "Umma Be Me"). Nakamura plays acoustic upright bass on four tracks and electric on two others. The music is very much of its time, and though it is a session players gig, with rotating lineups, there is plenty of fire here. Grossman had already done his stint with Miles Davis and is in fine form on soprano (especially on the opening title cut), and tenor on John Coltrane's "Some Other Blues." White and Mouzon are both outstanding, so the drum chair is killer throughout, no matter who's playing, and Cables' Rhodes work on the Trane cut and "Derrick's Dance," written by Miller, is stellar. Nakamura, for his part, is more than an able bassist; he leads by guiding the rhythm and not standing out as a soloist." - Allmusic Guide
    $29.00
  • "A more ruminative effort than Sanguine Hum’s well-regarded 2010 debut, The Weight of the World is post-prog in both the most “post” and the most “prog” sense of the words.Recorded at Evolution studios in Oxford, The Weight of the World finds Joff Winks, Matt Baber, Brad Waissman and Andrew Booker absorbing, and then brilliantly modifying, some of the best of what’s come before, imbuing The Weight of the World with the impressive gravitas of very familiar antecedent influences.For instance, dreamscape reminiscences associated with Radiohead (“System For Solution”) find a home here. There are whispers of Steven Wilson (“From The Ground Up”), too. You’ll recall the wonders of Gentle Giant (“Phosfor”), and the mesmerizing sound collages of Boards of Canada (“Day of Release”), as well. Yet, on free-form, ambient-meets-jazz-meets-math rock moments like “In Code,” Sanguine Hum never sounds like anything so much as itself.That holds true even when the band swerves into the murkier waters of epic songcraft, though — like much of this project — the title track takes shape slowly, or at least more slowly than Diving Bell. As it does, however, there is a lot to recommend about The Weight of the World — so much that reveals itself, so much that rewards repeated listenings.Even as its most complex, Sanguine Hum retains an approachability that steers these proceedings well away from any polyester-era excesses. In other words, The Weight of the World remains all proggy, but also all post-y — in the very smartest of ways." - Something Else! Reviews
    $15.00