Probe 10 - There is a Universe. 1975 USA




Probe 10 - There is a Universe. 1975 Blue Universe #PR92673 (Pennsylvania)

Reissue details here

Side 1
1. There Is A Universe
2. Invasion Of The Mallaroids:
A.) Invasions
B.) Fields Of Malladroy
C.) A Battle
D.) Dirge
E.) Will There Never Be An End?

Side 2

3. Intergalactic Crossfire
4. Solar Winds
5. To Improvise A Dream
6. Galaxy Five

Wow. Where did this come from? (turns out to be the Lehigh Valley area of Pennsylvania). After some research, I think Probe 10 were (are?) an alien cult who dabbled in time travel. Let's start with the date. Is someone trying to tell me this is from 1975? NO FRIGGIN WAY! Yet on the album they thank Return to Forever, giving credibility to the date, not to mention my theory given the name Return to Forever - think about it ("Damn, Furious is DEEP man, DEEP" - credit Boyz in the Hood). Let me put it this way, so that I'm entirely clear here: Listening to this album will NOT make you think of Return to Forever. Hey, I like RTF as much as the next guy. But don't be thinking incredible chops with a perfect production. No, you better be thinking a low budget garage psych production circa 1968/1969. But this isn't 3 chord basement rock, but rather a highly complex and creative masterpiece. I'd heard about this album for years, from psych collectors PRAISING its virtues. Now that's hardly unusual of course. But Probe 10 possess two qualities that psych collectors absolutely abhor: It's "Progressive rock" and it has trumpet! Horns on a psych album is like banjo and harmonica on a Genesis album. And no psych collector is going on and on about Return to Forever let me assure you of that.

So what the hell is going on here? If you look at the cover, it's pretty obvious they have a clear idea of what American Science Fiction is all about - circa 1936. Dude, closely look at that cover! They can go back in time and they can go forward. As of yet, I really haven't addressed the music, and it's truly something to behold. Trumpet is a dominating instrument here - almost in a Herb Alpert and Tijuana Brass meets Maynard Ferguson sort of way (and we KNOW psych collectors love that! not). I'm reminded of that other anachronistic wonder Oz Knozz, though this dabbling in horn rock only existed on a couple of choice cuts - not all the way through! I guess CA Quintet always got a pass, and apparently so does Probe 10. Let's get serious and talk about the electric guitar - which is COMPLETELY COMPRESSED AND FUZZED TO THE MAXIMUM. Are you kidding me? If you've heard the Plastic Cloud album, or just about any album coming out of psychedelic France, then you know what to expect. and just for good measure they decided to give the same treatment to bass. I'm talking to YOU, Hugh Hopper (rest in peace). The female vocals have that pure innocence vibe, as if they're fresh recruits for the Holy Shree Baba Yaba Krishna Probe Ten Guru. It's the same sweet soul sound one hears on the multitude of Christian (coincidence?) prog rock albums, especially of the German variety (Eden, Credemus, Werwolf, Rebekka, etc...). Or maybe those perfumed gardens of the English countryside, where we find Ithaca, Agincourt, and Stone Angel. And don't forget the jazzy flute over the chaotic drums. 1975? SHUT UP!

Early on, there's a drum piece trying to mask a radio signal, which is obviously trying to reach their home planet. And when the radio broadcast from their home planet starts buzzing back through, you realize this isn't the Twilight Zone anymore, but something VERY REAL. It should scare you. I'm scared. This isn't on CBS, NBC, Fox or ABC. It EXISTS. Any careful scientific study should reveal that "There is a Universe" was recorded in 1975 by people from 1968. They then released the album and went back to 1969 excited to see how much their album would sell 6 years later. It didn't. Had they released it in 2035, then it's audience may be found. Of course they already know that. Do you?

Credits:

# James McGee: Electric Bass, Electric Guitar, Flute, Twelve String Guitar, Remix, Producer, Arrangements
# Jeff Saussier: Trumpet, Coronet
# Bill Jones: Electric Guitar
# Barry L. Bachman: Percussives
# Tom Nicholson: Rhodes Piano
# Brian Gerhab: Flute
# Diane DuBois: Flute, Cover Design
# Samuel Creyer: Flute, Alto Flute
# Mason Profit: Recorders
# Linda Kistler: Violins
# Susan Rudelitch: Vocal
# David Robert Scheirer: Vocal, Babbling Brook, Remix, Producer
# Stirling E. Woodin: Engineer, Remix

"Probe 10 was a group of high school students in the Lehigh Valley area of Pennsylvania. Two schools in particular that I am sure of are Emmaus and Parkland. When the album was released back in 1975, my best friend at the time (Steve Kroninger – now an artist in NYC) was attending Lehigh County Vo-Tech as an art student with either Jim McGee or a friend of Jim’s (Kim). Anyway, it was and still is a great album. This one certainly has passed the test of time. I don’t think any of the people on this album went on to do much more professionally in the music industry. That is a great injustice."

Special thanks to Tigger2 on ebay for all this great info!

10 comments:

  1. great album ,but where the track list........
    cheers.

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  2. I would like to know more about this album as well. I only have a CD-R for this title, though would gladly pay for an LP. Or better, of course, a legit CD if one would surface. At this time, I do not have a track list. Anyone who is reading this - please share, if you do.

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  3. Is it me, or does the mountains in the cover art and even on the back look more like wave forms? The kind you see in audio editing software. Kind of cool if that was the intention of the artist... awesome album, got a nice tranfser on CDR.

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  4. Hi, my name is Barry Bachman. I played drums on this album recorded back in 1975 with my good friend Jim McGee. Jim was the main songwriter, leader and inspiration on this project. I've since retired, but Jim is a recording engineer, and also has a band called New Kind of Talk. I was 19 at the time of these recordings and Jim was a senoir at Whitehall High School(in the Leigh Valley). I still talk to Jim ocassionally. In fact I seen him a few years ago at a Chick Corea show at Lehigh U. Bethlehem , PA.
    As you could tell we were heavily inspired by Return to Forever, Mahavishnu Orch. & Weather Report. Thanks for all the positive responses, it's unbelievable after all these years.
    Barry Bachman ex-drummer

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  5. Hi Barry,

    Thanks for writing in. Are you interested in putting this album on CD? Send me an e-mail if you are: ashratemp@yahoo.com

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  6. Thanks all for the kind words. I am Jim McGee, leader of "Probe 10". I'm considering remastering this LP for a limited CD release.

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  7. Hi Jim - Tom here, we've just been in touch. I would love to see this on CD! Let's see what happens!

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  8. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  9. Jim - fyi - I sent your address to Vincent and deleted your comment. Good luck! :-)

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