Sunday, October 21, 2012

Graffiti - Graffiti (1968 us, west coast psychedelia with high multi-part vocal harmonies)

Graffiti is it quite an interesting group with considerable ambition. Almost classical in spirit, melodies and fuzzy structure to the late sixties, the American psychedelic style, to make an album like Freeborn, Beacon Street Union and the Ford Theatre, but also psychedelic Beatles, and even The Pretty Things.

Graffiti released an obscure, self-titled LP on ABC in 1968 that was co-produced by Bob Thiele (more known for his work with many major jazz musicians), Eddie Kramer (most known for his engineering onJimi Hendrix records), and Jay Senter. Though accomplished in its musicianship and versatile in its stylistic focus, Graffiti lacked much in the way of enduring musical interest, blending some jazz, classical, pop, and blues influences into a generic, West Coast rock-influenced psychedelic sound that often employed high multi-part vocal harmonies.

Graffiti's sole album was in some ways typical of numerous obscure psychedelic one-shots on fairly big labels in the late 1960s: over-ambitious lyrics, a kaleidoscope of styles that butted heads as often as it blended, emulation of several passing psychedelic trends pioneered by bigger groups, and an absence of really good songs. All that said, as such albums go, it's better than average, though hardly noteworthy. That's kind of faint praise, but at least Graffiti were less ponderous than many such bands, with a sort of gossamer lightness to much of their material.

As for what kind of styles they mined, they're hard to pin down, though they're fairly influenced by West Coast psychedelia of the era, with some of the vocal harmonies so high that one can mistakenly think there was a woman in the group (there wasn't). Bits of jazz, classical guitar, blues-rock, psychedelic effects, and vocal harmonies both sunshine pop and Gregorian seep through from time to time as the band float through an ever-shifting melodies and styles. The songs and instrumental solos do tend to go on too long, however, and the songwriting isn't memorable.

But in general, in spite of this - or because of this, the drive entertaining, very positive with a number of interesting things. Good, good, vocals, guitar and cool sunshine melody - what do you need for a particular mood? Unique and rare release, no doubt belonging to an absolute canon of psychedelic rock.
by Adamus67
1. Father Protector - 4:16
2. The Capture Of Me / Life Blood - 9:45
3. Jingle Jangle Woman - 5:10
4. New Life / Girl On Fire / Cold Water / Love In Spite - 15:15
5. Ugly Mascara - 5:19
6. He's Got The Knack (Bonus Track) - 2:41

*George Stuntz - Guitars
*Jon St.John - Guitar
*Steve Benderoth - Bass, Keyboards
*Richie Blakan – Drums, Percussion
*Tony Taylor - Vocals

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Ora - Ora (1969 uk, wondrous psych folk with a jazzy mood)

Beautiful British folk-psychedelia from 1969, UK original private pressed 12-track LP on the label: Tangerine (OPLOP 0025), also issued in Germany under the name Knick Knacks (Metronome SMLR 332) 1971,and reissued on Background (HBG 122/14) 1993.

Originally very few copies were pressed ensuring its status as an ultra rarity. Musically it features a number of whimsical, haunting songs and one piece of frenzied psychedelia entitled 'Whitch', the main reason behind this album's immense collectability. All tracks contain vocals, some feature just acoustic guitar and gentle percussion while 'Fly' this is based on a fast Take Five (Dave Brubeck) rhythm with electric guitar accompaniment and some good electric guitar leads.

Are You Seeing has some electric guitar leads, too, towards the end,some of the tracks - acoustic stuff in the spirit, the average between Donovan and Bolan (as, for example, 'Venetia II' general style Beatles psychedelic period), there is also some influence of jazz,noticeably out of the trend 'Witch' style guitar with hard, powerful percussion and echo effects.

 The other tracks are acoustic-based with gentle melodies. 'The Seagull and The Sailor',reminded of early recordings by Nico, 'The Morning After The Night Before' and 'Emma's Saga' (especially the latter) have a is the flavor of bossa nova, samba feel, with sparse guitar accompaniment and discreet percussion only. A very enjoyable drive. Overall this is a good album of beautiful songs.

The recent reissue LP Wah Wah Records(LPS 029LP)+ seven bonus tracks, of which 3 - alternative version[ James Rubinstein had in his personal archive]edition will be housed in a gatefold sleeve that will respect the original artwork concept, graphically adapted to this new issue following the directions of Ora leader James Rubinstein. James himself signs the inner notes so you get an accurate first person told history of the band who would later become the legendary progressive rock group Byzantium.
by Adamus67
1. Seashore - 2:52
2. About You - 2:42
3. Deborah - 3:06
4. Whitch - 6:27
5. Venetia II - 2:10
6. You - 2:45
7. Fly - 3:45
8. Ladyfriend - 2:21
9. Are You Seeing - 2:56
10.Emma's Saga - 2:39
11.The Morning After The Night Before - 2:19
12.The Seagull And The Sailor - 3:19
13.Seashore - 4:12
14.No More Love - 3:20
15.Pomme (Chloe Walters) - 2:41
16.Deborah - 3:04
17.It Was An Easy Legend - 2:39
18.Fly - 3:46
19.Thank God - 4:44
All songs written by James Rubenstein except where noted.

*Mark Barakan - Guitar
*Julian Diggle - Drums
*James Rubenstein - Vocals, Acoustic Guitar
*Robin Sylvester - Bass, Keyboards, Guitar
*Chloe Walters - Guitar
*Jon Weiss - Lead Guitar

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