Sunday 5 October 2008

ERIK - Look Where I Am (US Folk Psych - 1968)

Initially posted on, thanks to Leonard.

Here’s another obscurity released on the Vanguard label in 1968, Erik Heller’s “Look Where I Am”, which is a nice mixture of folk/psych originals with some great instrumentation including flute, vibes, and some great guitar work.

The 11 tracks on "Look Where I Am" cover the full range of psych/acid folk, from the strong opening track, with its multi-instrumental backdrop of flute, vibes, horns and bells, to the voice-and-guitar of 'Why Come Another Day' to the heavy fuzz guitar of 'You Said/But I've Got My Way'. There's even a long, soulful Davis-esque muted trumpet passage on 'Lights Across The Field'. The album has a dreamy, almost wistful Donovan-like feel, with tons of acoustic guitar and ethereal flutes.

Track Listing :

01. Look Where I Am (Well It's Right Over Here)
02. Painted on the Wall
03. Dead Afternoon Song
04. Be Off Man
05. Why Come Another Day
06. You Said/But I've Got My Way
07. Lights Across the Field/Bright Lights Across the Field Too
08. Sweet Eyes Of
09. Georgann
10. Untitled Number 2
11. Triumphant Breaking Bottle

Link :

1968's Look Where I Am (VRS9267) remains one of the Vanguard label's undiscovered gems.

Saturday 4 October 2008

Michael Head & The Strands - "The Magical World Of The Strands" - UK Psych Folk - 1997

Liverpudlian Mick Head started to make music with The Pale Fountains, a Love-obsessed early-'80s band whose tenure with Virgin records fell apart after two albums when the A&R man who signed them jumped ship.
Head and brother John regrouped as Shack in the late '80s, recording two albums for Ghetto, the second of which, '91's Waterpistol, was abandoned when the master tapes were first thought lost in a studio fire and later left in a rental car in America. In late 1995 a copy turned up, and German label Marina released Waterpistol to rave reviews in the British press, who hailed it as one of the best LPs of the decade.
By this time the Heads were recording as The Strands, although they briefly reformed Shack and signed to London records, only to see the label go under. On The Magical World of The Strands, Mick and brother John (genius twelve-string picker who also contributes a song of his own - the spare, elegaic "Loaded Man") choose folk music as their vehicle, strumming through arrangements that are gentle and uncluttered. Sympathetic strings graze "Something Like You" as it passes, never distracting the melody or dominating the mood. Was it German label Marina that had come to the rescue of 'Waterpistol'; now it was the turn of French label Megaphone, who offered Mick a small sum to make an album for them. 'The Magical World Of The Strands' was the result, and it underpins this whole story, making it worth the telling. If 'Zilch' was Mick at his most socially concerned, then 'Magical World ...' sees him in about as other-worldly a state as it's possible to record. It's an instrumentally beautiful record, totally idiosyncratic, rightly titled magical - alluding to a fantasy world beyond reality, or of heightened reality. Songs such as 'Something like you' and 'Fontilan' are liquid, sleepy, and impressionistic. Others - 'Queen Matilda', 'Hocken's Hey - are folk songs in the truest sense, mythical and timeless.

Track Listing :

01. Queen Matilda
02. Something Like You
03. And Luna
04. X Hits The Spot
05. Prize
06. Undecided
07. Glynys And Jaqui
08. It's Harvest Time
09. Loaded Man
10. Hocken's Hey
11. Fontilan


This is an album of exquisite beauty. Very few albums are made like this anymore-music stripped to the basics. Lovely songwriting and beautiful musicianship. Imagine "Bryter Layter", "Astral Weeks", "Forever Changes" and "Harvest" and you are getting somewhere near the sound of this superb album. (Review written by an anonymous customer on

Not to be missed, it's a pretty unknown gem !!!