Land Of Cockayne

SKU: ECLEC 2208
Label:
Esoteric Recordings
Category:
Fusion
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Universally considered to be the worst studio album from Soft Machine. In actuality Land Of Cockayne began as a Karl Jenkins solo album. There are some great names associated with this album: Allan Holdsworth, Jack Bruce, Dick Morrissey, and John Taylor but the reality is that it just isn't really a Soft Machine album. This is really more for completists as its been out of print for many years and now being given the royalty treatment from Esoteric Recordings.

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  • MY BROTHER THE WIND is an improvisational cosmic rock collective consisting of members of widely known Swedish acts Makajodama, Magnolia, Animal Daydream and most notably Anekdoten, one of the more widely recognized names in the 1990s prog rock revival.Recorded live in the studio with no overdubs during a single day in January 2013, Once There Was A Time When Time And Space Were One captures the collective's progressive soundscape qualities with incredible analogue studio production. The band utilized 6 and 12 string acoustic and electric guitars, Mellotron, flute, bass, drums, congas and more to complete the task. Expect 45 minutes of the band's most succinct material to date, recorded deep in the snowy, forested, Swedish wilderness.In 2013, MBTW expanded into an even wider fanbase, having been invited to play the mighty Roadburn Festival in Tilburg, Holland, as well as at Duna Jam in Sardinia.  At the invitation of Opeth’s Mikael Okerfeldt, guitarist Nicklas Barker returned to Roadburn to perform an improv set with Dungen guitarist Reine Fiske.Those who frequent the works of Popol Vuh, Amon Duul, Sun Ra, Träd, Gräs Och Stenar, Albert Ayler, Ash Ra Tempel, Gong, Pink Floyd and other visionary, psychedelic rock artists are advised to investigate this act. "Lush and instrumental for its duration, My Brother the Wind‘s third full-length, Once There was a Time When Time and Space were One (released by Free Electric Sound/Laser’s Edge), rolls out of the speakers much easier than its title rolls off the tongue, though both title and the work itself satisfy rhythmically. The Swedish four-piece — they now seem to be a bass-less trio with Nicklas Barker (Anekdoten) and Mathias Danielsson (Makajodama) on electric/acoustic 12-strong guitar and Daniel Fridlund Brandt on drums, but Ronny Eriksson plays bass on the album — reportedly recorded live to two-inch tape on a vintage machine, and the passion they put in bleeds readily into the nine-song/45-minute outing, fleshed with liberal splashes of Mellotron courtesy of Barker to play up a ’70s prog feel in a piece like the 12-minute “Garden of Delights.” That’s hardly the only point at which those sensibilities emerge, but even more than that, the primary vibe here is one of gorgeous heavy psych exploration, the band adventuring and feeling their way through the material as they go.On peaceful moments like the title-track, which arrives as the penultimate movement before “Epilogue” leads the way back to reality — accordingly, “Prologue” brings us in at the start — that exploration is positively serene, the 12-string complemented by spacious electric tones spreading out across vast reaches, but Once There was a Time When Time and Space were One offers more than drone and psychedelic experiments. Subtly pushed forward by Brandt‘s drums, pieces like “Into the Cosmic Halo” and even “Epilogue” enact classic space rock thrust, and even “Song of Innocence Part 1,” the first part of the journey after the backward atmospherics of “Prologue” introduce, has some cosmic feel amid its echoing solos. Its subsequent complement, “Song of Innocence Part 2,” swells to life on an even more active roll, waves of amp noise up front while drums and bass groove out behind, waiting for the guitars to catch up, which they do in a suitably glorious payoff, relatively brief but masterfully engaging, setting a momentum that continues well into “Garden of Delights,” a focal point for more than its length.Because the songs flow so well one to the next, some directly bleeding, others giving a brief pause, and because later cuts like “Thomas Mera Gartz” — named in honor of the drummer for ’70s Swedish proggers Träd, Gräs och Stenar — and the title-track have a quieter take, it’s tempting to read some narrative into the shifts of Once There was a Time When Time and Space were One, but with the material not being premeditated, I’m not sure that’s the intention so much as a signal it’s well arranged. In any case, the album offers an immersive, resonant listen, with tonal richness to spare and the presence of mind to keep a sense of motion even in its stillest parts and a balance of organic elements — Danielsson‘s recorder and Brandt‘s percussion on “Misty Mountainside,” the 12-string, etc. — amid a wash of effects and swirling psychedelia. This attention to sonic detail makes Once There was a Time When Time and Space were One more than just a collection of jams, and adds further purpose to the already worthy cause of My Brother the Wind‘s thoughtful musings, wandering and not at all lost." - The Obelisk
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  • Nekropolis is the band led by German multi-instrumentalist Peter Frohmader.  This is an ensemble recording from 1981.  The music of Nekropolis is dark and evil.  It touches on electronic, ambient, and progressive rock.  Its guaranteed to give you nightmares and break your lease.
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  • Deluxe mediabook edition.  CD plus a DVD with 5.1 surround mix, 24 bit stereo, and a "making of" video."Always fond of conceptual storytelling, Ian Anderson goes himself one better with his latest prog-folk-metal concept album. The 15 songs of Homo Erraticus inhabit not one but two metafictional layers. The Gerald Bostock character, hero/anti-hero of the seminal Jethro Tull album Thick as a Brick and its recent sequel Thick as a Brick 2, is back again, having now discovered a manuscript left behind in the 1920s by a malaria-ridden old British soldier delightfully named Ernest T. Parritt.Parritt's supposed writings range over northern European history from the Mesolithic era to his own - and on into his future, through the whole 20th century and into our own time and beyond. Winnowed into lyrics written by "Bostock" and set to music by the real protagonist of the story, Ian Anderson, these materials give Anderson - whose creative scope and energy remain robust even as his singing voice has thinned with age - a walk-in-closetful of pegs on which to hang a sequence of songs evoking nothing less than the history of mankind in his part of the world.The first track, "Doggerland," commemorates the area of the southern North Sea that used to be dry land connecting today's British Isles with the rest of Europe. Doggerland vanished under the waves as the last Ice Age ended but, as fisherman discovered not long ago, the sea floor retains much archeological evidence of human occupation. The succeeding songs address migrations, metalworking, invasions (from the Romans to Burger King), the arrival of Christianity, the Industrial Revolution, and so on. To appreciate the songs, you'll want to (at least once) follow along with the notes and lyrics in the accompanying 32-page booklet.The Foreword, in which Anderson discusses the history of Jethro Tull and why he hasn't used the band name for his last few recordings, will especially interest longtime Tull fans. The real question is, will the songs themselves? Some yes, some no. The gruff metal of "Doggerland" gives way to the sweet, plinking folk of "Heavy Metals." (I imagine Anderson chuckling to himself at the irony - no pun intended - of creating such a gentle-sounding song with that title, and on that literal topic.) Both satisfy my Tull craving. "Meliora Sequamur" (Let Us Follow Better Things), which paints a picture of 12th century schoolboys amid religious chant (and cant), does too, and "The Turnpike Inn" is a solid rocker, and the hard-Celtic style of "The Engineer" moves briskly.I like the instrumental track "Tripudium ad Bellum" (Dancing to War). It starts off with an echo of a theme from the original Thick as a Brick (there are others elsewhere on the album), then resolves into a 5/4 march, like a more insistent "Living in the Past." War's aftermath appears in the next track, the sad, deliberate "After These Wars," in which I really feel the lack of Anderson's full-strength vocals. While he was never among rock's greatest singers, that didn't matter - when he sang his songs, you always felt he was all there, and that's what mattered. But now, and not only in the harder songs that shade into old-school heavy metal, his voice just isn't always a match for his music's energy any more.On the other hand, his gift for crafting pleasing, original melodies, writing smart, clever lyrics in complete sentences and true rhyme, and setting much of it in non-traditional time signatures remains strong. The first verse of "After These Wars" reads:After battle, with wounds to lick andbeaus and belles all reuniting.Rationing, austerity: it did us good after the fighting.Now, time to bid some fond farewells andwalk away from empires crumbling.Post-war baby-boom to fuel with post-Victorian half-dressed fumbling.No one in pop music writes like that anymore.Listening to the album as a complete conceptual work, my overall feeling is that there isn't very much new here. Since the 1960s Anderson and Tull have explored countless different musical paths and styles. Some of these produced some of my all-time favorite songs and recordings. Others I hated. But he never seemed to be resting on his laurels. Here I feel like I'm reading a chapter that's not much different from the last chapter.But listening to the songs individually, I like a lot of them. As I write this I'm trying to count the beats of the off-time closer, "Cold Dead Reckoning," with its grim imagery of a future of lost souls navigating their way over a metaphysical Doggerland "amongst the ranks and files of walking dead." I hear crunching minor-key guitar-bass-piano unison figures, a sprightly flute solo. A hopeful verse about "angels watching over" at the end doesn't convince me, as the music continues to growl on as before. Yet there follow a sweet, gentle instrumental coda, reminded us that while things may not turn out well for humanity as we teem over and ruin our only planet, our capacity to create and to appreciate beauty will be with us as long as we live. So let's raise the cup of crimson wonder to Ian Anderson as he charges not-so-gently through his seventh decade." - Seattle Pi
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  • Mr. Schulze has been having a bit of a renaissance lately.  Sadly the analogue years are long gone but within the context of the music, Shadowlands harkens back to the days of X.  Large scale symphonic electronics in the Berlin School tradition that he helped create.  Thomas Kagermann provides violin and flute as well as voice.  Lisa Gerrad, Chrysta Bell and Julia Messenger add vocals.  For the past few decades his releases have been a bit hit or miss but this one is definitely a winner.
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  • Iced Earth's tenth album features a new vocalist - Stu Block, formerly of Into Eternity. This digipak comes with 3 bonus tracks a sticker and fold-out poster."Iced Earth's revolving door of vocalists continues on their newest release Dystopia. Matt Barlow's second go-around with the band ended earlier this year, and his replacement is Canadian singer Stu Block (Into Eternity).Over the years Iced Earth has cultivated a thrashy power metal sound, which is intact on Dystopia. The songs are dramatic and grandiose, packed with melody and potent riffs. The title track gets the proceedings underway in fine fashion, a very catchy and bold track. After a mellow start, “Anthem” kicks in and becomes appropriately enough, anthemic.Iced Earth has had a legacy of outstanding vocalists, including Barlow and Tim “Ripper” Owens. Block continues that tradition. He has a wide range, and really hits the high notes on songs like “Boiling Point.” He brings a varied performance, and delivers the lyrics convincingly no matter if it's an aggressive lower pitched section, traditional singing or belting it out. He is able to dial it back a notch when needed as well, such as on “Anguish Of Youth.”Like Block's vocal performance, Dystopia as a whole is a varied and diverse release. From ballads to bombastic power metal to harder edged material, Iced Earth covers a lot of bases. It's also much more streamlined than their last couple of albums, with 10 songs clocking it at about 45 minutes.Lineup changes can have a negative effect on a band, but Iced Earth has shown over the years it doesn't phase them at all. That's also the case with this CD. Block fits in extremely well, and Dystopia finds Iced Earth losing no momentum. It may have even given them a little boost." - About.com
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  • Last album of the 70s finds the tracks a bit shorter. This one tends to get overlooked as it was the follow up to the successful Point Of Know Return.
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  • "Garden Wall would get heavier in subsequent albums, but on their debut the band seems to be paying tribute to a whole host of neo-prog bands like Marillion, Pendragon and Cathedral. In fact they remind me quite a bit of Cathedral with their heavy rhythm section grounding the guitar arpeggios and keyboard flourishes. The vocals here are measurably better though.I don’t know much about these guys, but this album shows they have a strong knowledge of eighties progressive rock. Musically they remind me a little bit of fellow countrymen Sad Minstrel with their highly expressive and heavier rock sound, but these guys rely a lot more on synth orchestral layers than that group. The songs all exude plenty of energy, although I’m left with a general feeling that this is closer to slightly moody eighties music than some of their neo contemporaries.While I said the vocals are better than bands like Cathedral, vocalist Alessandro Seravalle does have a strong attribute of the throaty singing of many eighties crooners like Frankie Goes to Hollywood’s Holly Johnson or the Romantics Wally Palmar. The music isn’t anything like those bands, but Seravalle seems to be another in a long line of Bryan Ferry soundalikes who have graced album tracks over the past thirty years or so. Not necessarily a bad thing, and considering the band’s penchant for moody synthetic sounds on tracks like “Silent Waves in a Raging Ocean” and “Ekpyrosis”, his voice is for the most part a reasonable fit.Speaking of “Ekpyrosis”, this is the most lengthy song on the album at more than thirteen minutes, and while it features some grand climaxes and really cool chamber vocals, for the most part I think the thing drags on for a bit longer than is necessary, especially in the middle section.The band shows a glimpse of what’s to come with the closing “Onde Radio” though, a prototypical neo- prog number with driving drums, soaring electric guitar and a torrid pace. This is much close to the sound the band would show on their next couple of albums, but on this debut the brooding synth arrangements seem to be much more prevalent.This isn’t a great album by any means, but it is decent. So three stars are not unreasonable. I wouldn’t spend a lot of money on a copy, but at a fair price this would make an okay addition to most neo-progger’s collections. Recommended to fans of late eighties neo bands and those who like Italian music that isn’t awash with symphonic pompousness." - Progarchives
    $9.00
  • Next to last album finds the band with a new lineup and a more commercial direction. Still some good stuff here.
    $18.00
  • Beautiful new 2011 digipak edition featuring a fresh remaster courtesy of the band. Essential seminal prog.
    $17.00
  • One of the great Vertigo releases and certainly one of the great folk rock albums of the 70s. Tudor Lodge was the trio of Ann Steuart, Lyndon Green, and John Stannard. They all sing and play guitar, with Ms. Steuart also playing flute. They are augmented by a number of musicians, including the great Danny Thompson on bass, Tony Coe on flute, and many others giving them a full band sound. Its a beautiful, upbeat and dreamy album focusing on the vocal harmonies of the trio which remind a bit of Peter, Paul and Mary but the music is far more developed. This new Esoteric edition comes with the usual detailed liner notes as well as one bonus track.
    $17.00
  • "Suddenly, Polish progressive-rock bands are infiltrating the international scene. While many of them are reaching new audiences thanks to the rise of the homeland's Metal Mind Productions, ProgRock Records in the United States managed to nab one of the best. Sandstone initially was formed in 2001 without a keyboard player. But as the band's sound evolved into a hybrid of neo-progressive and progressive-metal music – think, maybe, Arena meets Dream Theater – the quartet quickly realized it needed keys to add texture and depth to its songs.Sandstone's debut, Looking For Myself, is an expansive, six-song journey chronicling one man's struggle for nothing more than to love and to be loved. It sounds more upbeat than Riverside (arguably one of the biggest acts to come out of Poland in recent years) and less technical than Dream Theater. But the sheer ambition of these songs – only one of which clocks in at shorter than seven and a half minutes – propels Looking For Myself into the ranks of those debut discs that leave listeners not only wanting more but also wondering where else the band could take the music. The best indication of Sandstone's capabilities can be heard on "Birth of My Soul," which opens with clear and concise soloing from guitarist Jarek Niecikowski and eventually reaches David Gilmour aspirations near the song's conclusion. Vocalist Marcin Zmorzynski's thick accent is a minor distraction early on, but getting used to it is easy.As is listening to this album." - Sea Of Tranquility
    $3.00
  • One of the best Quebecois prog albums.  Originally released in 1972 by Columbia its become a serious rarity - one of the top in the Canadian prog genre.  All the reviews will tell you the same basic story.  Dervieux was dying of cancer.  He assembled a group of musicians that would ultimately carry on after his death as Contraction.  The album is very keyboard intensive having a bit of a classical feel - kind of ELP-ish in spots.  Quite a beautiful album and essential."Franck Dervieux manned the keyboards on some of Jean-Pierre Ferland's earlier works, but by 1972 the gifted pianist had decided to strike out on his own. For Dimension M, Dervieux assembled some of the cream of the early Quebec prog scene, including bassist Yves Laferriere, Michel Robidoux on acoustic guitar, drummer Christian St. Roch and on several tracks singer Christiane Robichaud, all of whom would go on to form the sought-after prog band Contraction. Dervieux was suffering from late-stage cancer at the time and dedicated the record to his team of doctors in Sherbrooke, who he claims "preserved" him for the making of this record.What makes Dimension M such a joy is the way it straddles - remember this is just 1972 - the worlds of psychedelia and prog. Dervieux delivers plenty of classically-themed piano and virtuosic organ solos a la ELP, but elsewhere, on the blithe intro to side-one closer 'Hyperboree' (an adaptation of a work by obscure French composer Gabriel Govrez) he fuses some bluesy organ with Robichaud's fetching aria. Even better is the haunting build-up of drums, keyboard and voice on his own 'Concerto Pour Les Mondes Perdus' or the spacy workout 'Present Du Futur' over on side two. Fans of Soft Machine, Kingdom Come or Van der Graaf Generator should find plenty to salivate over on these tracks.Alas, though the Lord may giveth, he also taketh away, and one of the true originators of Quebecois progressive rock died not long after the release of Dimension M. The original vinyl came in a gatefold sleeve with a four-page insert, but it can be devilishly hard to find despite coming out on Columbia Canada. For those of us who want more immediate gratification, the dedicated folks over at ProgQuebec recently issued Dimension M on CD, carefully mastered from a vinyl source, with photos and bilingual liner notes to boot." - Canukistan Music 
    $18.00