Sunday, May 27, 2007

Alastair Riddell - Space Waltz (1975)

From New Zealand in 1975 comes this fantastic no.1 album of Bowie influenced visionary rock.

Moving on from a band he formed in '72 (that included drummer Paul Crowther and guitarist Wally Wilkinson) Riddell began writing songs of sci fi imagery and named his new project Space Waltz. Enhancing the imagery by designing and tailoring dramatic costumes from acres of curtain material, like Bowie, it was not for him the de-rigeur denim uniform of the day.
His debut single Out On The Street with an irresistible bad attitude "she'll vamp around town, trying so hard to be cool." visceral yet voyeuristic, hit no.1 down under.

So too the album, released by EMI NZ, as Alastair Riddell won a New Faces style TV contest towards the end of 1974 and toured extensively on the back of it.

A New Zealand review:
"The characters in the songs of Space Waltz populate an imagined world, it is androgynous and disquieting, a planet that shifts on its tectonic plates as Alastair's guitar modulates from ferocity to tenderness. In a land that has neither flag nor borders and its citizens dream of cyber-love, to the strains of keyboardist Eddie Rayner's synthesizer. It is Godzone, yet devoid of god; a paradise comprising metal-flake, eyeliner and nine precocious idylls created by a guitar virtuoso from the back of beyond."

Given this is the early 70's at a time of Ziggy Stardust, the Spiders from Mars, Space Waltz is everything you want from an album of the period and a parallel to the UK scene. The album created a major impact down under. One of the runners up in that 'New Faces' contest were the group Slit Ends, who by now included Crowther and Wilkinson in their line up. When Space Waltz had scored and been toured, the Keyboardist, Eddie Rayner, joined Tim Finn and that group took off supporting Roxy Music on tour as, Split Enz.

Buy great reissue from RPM at CHERRY RED

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Atlantide - Francesco Ti Ricordi (1976)

Coming from southern Italy, Atlantide were a family band made by four brothers, based in Rottweil (Germany) since 1973. In that country they supported such major bands like Message, Atlantis, Scorpions, gaining a good live experience and press reviews.

For mysterious reasons their self-produced album, only released in Germany in 1976, is completely sung in italian, and very different from the typical production of the time, being a hard-rock album with very small prog influences and based on the good fuzz guitar playing of Mimmo Sanseverino. Italian listeners will find the singer's strong dialect accent a bit disturbing, but the record is very well played and includes six long tracks varying in length from 5 minutes to the 11:15 of the long La luna.

This group has nothing to do with another band called Atlantide from France, that released an eponymous LP in 1976 on Crypto. Italian Prog

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Friday, May 25, 2007

Bollywood Hippie Freakout

While I'm preparing new goodies & some re-ups - enjoy mighty Jan Pehechan-Ho - lost hero of Bollywood rock!

Indian Beatles