Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Cosmic Dealer - Crystallization (1970-73 holland, standout psych blues rock, 2013 double disc remaster)

Formed in Dordrecht in 1968, Cosmic Dealer were one of the most gifted Dutch bands to emerge from Holland's rich psychedelic scene. 

On Crystallization, Cosmic Dealer are at their best when they are rocking out. Tracks like Daybreak, The Scene and the ELO-ish Head In The Clouds are amazingly fun to listen to. The Dutch accent comes on quite strong, but fortunately doesn't impede the singing. Daybreak in particular has a good opening riff that could possibly be described as progressive. At other times, the band show a more acoustic side, such as the sentimental I Had a Friend or Flying in the Winter. The vocals on the latter track remind me of Roger Chapman's bleating vocals in Family.

Cosmic Dealer were clearly heavily influenced by The Beatles. While you may not be able to make him out in the tiny picture above, the man sitting in front of the band bears an uncanny resemblance to John Lennon. Musically, If There is Nothing Behind The Hills sounds like a lost Beatles track, except in a Dutch accent, rather than a Liverpudlian. However, the biggest giveaway is the band's recreation of the 'Hold that line!' sample that concluded Lennon's frightening piece of musique concrète, Revolution 9. This time, the band shout it themselves to bookend their rather bizarre title track. This piece comes in two parts, a plodding opening section, followed by a frenetic climax, both halves featuring the incessant repetition of the album's name. It wouldn't be so bad if they could pronounce crystallization correctly.

Once again, this reissue comes loaded with another LP of bonus tracks, including demos and live tracks. Also, both singles from the album are on this disc. Inside the gatefold, Mike Stax of Ugly Things Magazine tells the story of the band, helped by pictures. It would have been helpful to point out who was whom in the pictures, as it otherwise impossible to put names to the faces.

This is an obscure, but fun record. While the tracks aren't groundbreaking, the band provide a very amicable listening experience, without pretension. If you already own this album, then the bonus LP might be worth your while for upgrading. If you don't mind a bit of psychedelic music in your life, then check this album out soon. 
by Basil Francis
Chapter 1 The Album
1. Daybreak (Frans Poots, Bas Van Der Pol) - 2:06
2. If There Is Nothing Behind The Thrills (Bas Van Der Pol) - 1:17
3. Child Of The Golden Sun (Frans Poots, Bas Van Der Pol) - 3:45
4. Swingin' Joe Brown (Bas Van Der Pol) - 3:40
5. I Had A Friend (Frans Poots, Jan Reijnders) - 3:57
6. Crystallization (Cosmic Dealer) - 5:52
7. The Scene (Frans Poots, Bas Van Der Pol) - 2:43
8. The Fly (Bas Van Der Pol) - 3:00
9. One Night (Dave Bartholomew, Pearl King) - :46
10.Find Your Way (Frans Poots, Bas Van Der Pol) - 2:22
11.Flying In The Winter (Frans Poots, Bas Van Der Pol) - 3:33
12.Head In The Clouds (Paul Curtis) - 3:34
13.Illusions (Jan Reijnders) - 1:58
14.The Scene (Frans Poots, Bas Van Der Pol) - 2:46
15.Child Of The Golden Sun (Frans Poots, Bas Van Der Pol) - 3:48
16.Head In The Clouds (Paul Curtis) - 2:44
17.Find Your Way (Frans Poots, Bas Van Der Pol) - 2:24
18.Winterwind (We'll Be Walking) (Angelo Noce Santoro, Frans Poots) - 4:07
19.Child Of Tomorrow (Ed Boender) - 3:39
20.You're So Good (Ed Boender) - 3:00
21.Sinner's Confession (Kees de Blois, Jan Reynders) - 4:50
Tracks 1-13 Original Album
Tracks 14-17 Single Mixes
Tracks 18-21 Demos
Chapter 2 The Sessions
1.Daybreak (Frans Poots, Bas Van Der Pol) - 2:10
2.If There Is Nothing Behind The Hills (Bas Van Der Pol) - 1:20
3.If There Is Nothing Behind The Hills (Bas Van Der Pol) - 1:28
4.Swingin' Joe Brown (Bas Van Der Pol) - 3:46
5.I Had A Friend (Frans Poots, Jan Reijnders) - 4:05
6.Crystallization (Cosmic Dealer) - 5:27
7.Crystallization (Cosmic Dealer) - 5:32
8.The Fly (Bas Van Der Pol) - 2:50
9.One Night (Dave Bartholomew, Pearl King) - 0:44
10.One Night (Dave Bartholomew, Pearl King) - 0:41
11.Find Your Way (Frans Poots, Bas Van Der Pol) - 2:28
12.Flying In The Winter (Frans Poots, Bas Van Der Pol) - 3:33
13.Head In The Clouds (Paul Curtis) - 3:40
14.Illusions (Jan Reijnders) - 1:12
15.Illusions (Jan Reijnders) - 2:04
16.Illusions (Jan Reijnders) - 2:06
17.Fast (Hoyer, P. Kingma, Leen Leendertse, Spiljard) - 6:41
18.Child Of The Golden Sun (Frans Poots, Bas Van Der Pol) - 3:31
19.Fast (Hoyer, P. Kingma, Leen Leendertse, Spiljard) - 4:57
20.Swingin' Joe Brown (Frans Poots, Bas Van Der Pol) - 2:43
21.Child Of The Golden Sun (Frans Poots, Bas Van Der Pol) - 3:49
Tracks 1-2, 4-6, 8-9, 11-16 Demos
Tracks 3, 7, 10 different Mixes
Tracks 17-21 Live Recordings

Cosmic Dealer
*Frans Poots - Flute, Percussion, Saxophone, Vocals
*Bas Van Der Pol - Guitar, Vocals
*Jan Reijnders - Guitar, Vocals
*Angelo Noce Santoro - Bass Guitar, Vocals
*Ad Vos - Drums, Percussion
*Leen Leendertse - Guitar, Vocals
*Ed Boender - Guitar, Vocals
*Kees De Blois - Vocals


  1. Great band,superb album.Recommended...

  2. Thanks very much Marios & OldRocker - a completely new band to me.

  3. Cosmic Dealer was five musicians formed a band in Dordrecht in1968, called The Floating Fudge Featuring The Cosmic Dealer. The members were: Angelo Santoro (bass guitar), Ad Vos(drums), Frans Poots (vocals, flute, sax), Bas van der Pol (vocals, guitar, ex-Hawks) and Jan Reynders (vocals, guitar, ex-Hawks).

    In 1970 they changed their name to Cosmic Dealer. In 1971 they released to singles, The scene/Child of the golden sun and Head in the clouds/Find your way on Negram. Both singles weren't a big success. The two singles were followed by the release of Cosmic Dealer's debut album,Crystallization.

    Along with Group 1850 this band are one of the best Dutch psych/progressive bands of the late '60s. They grew out of the legendary Zipps and made this wonderful freaky album that features great songs, embellished with acid guitar work, flute and strong vocal harmonies. Includes seven bonus tracks.....

    The music is a mixture of psychedelic and progressive music, completed with some hardrock. The album was produced by Eddy Ouwens. The band toured regularly and did a performance in a TV show, but the album didn't sell well. The same year Bas van der Pol left the band (who sadly passed away) and was replaced by Leen Leendertse, with him they recorded a few demo tracks. A little while later Angelo Santoro left the band. Cosmic Dealer struggles along, but a year later it is decided to stop.
    In 1973 the band was reformed. This timeFrans Poots was replaced by Ed Boender.Leen Leendertse was also no longer a member of the band, but Angelo Santoro had returned. There was also a new vocalist, Kees de Blois. With these members the group started to work on new material and recorded a few demos. But it lasted not for long, because in the spring of 1973 the band had already split up again, and this time for ever.
    In February and march 2010 Cosmic Dealer play a few reunion concerts in the original line up. Unfortunately the deceased Bas van der Pol is not there, he is replaced by Kees de Blois.

    This fine band is really a one rare prog band. Actually, it wouldn't be true if you would call them just "prog", because they mix psychedelic rock, prog rock, hard rock with a little bit of taste of krautrock. On some songs they sound like brainchild of Jethro Tull, somewhere they're totally 60s hippie psychedelia and somewhere, they're just kickin' good ol' hard rock. First few songs (Daybreak, Child Of Golden Sun, Swingin' Joe Brown, I Had A Friend) are pure prog, having flute in most of their songs, kicking with solid rhythm and satisfaying guitar riffs and solos. "I Have A Dream" is only exception of these totally-prog songs, it's prog-folky tune with gently acoustic guitar. Title track, "Crystallization" are one of those transcedentual psych songs to trip to. Mellow drum patter and bass fills are similiar to Fleetwood Mac's "Albatross", but this song is nothing like "Albatross" - except it's chillful nature. Some hard rock tunes fill in album also (The Scene, Find Your Way, Flying In The Winter, Head In The Clouds), but there's psychedelic stuff, too (The Fly, Crystallization, Illusions). This album was rated on 16th place of 20 best albums of some Dutch progressive rock website, so it's definately recommended to any prog fan (especially Jethro Tull fans), psychedelic dudes and anyone who like blend of hard, prog and psych rock.

  4. Thank you so much for another stunning album shared here in Rockasteria and in FLAC too.

    There's too much to absorb all at once in this album, but there are many outstanding tracks, such as Child Of The Golden Sun, I Had A Friend, Crystallization, and Illusions.

    For this being their only album, it stands as unique and something that all the musicians involved can take justifiable pride in.

    Cheers Marios, and the best of health and contentment to you.


    Monday 23rd February 2015, 11.51pm GMT

  5. Marios Could you please post a new link for this one? Thank you!

  6. this link does not work: