Mike's Top 30 Unreissued Titles (Part 1 of 6)

I think periodically some of us old timer collectors with fetishes for lists need to sort out various things and it seems one of our old time favorite topics is the albums left unreissued on CD to date, in fact my cohort's got a pretty nice site of his own that covers this topic in a great bit of detail. My list's going to have a great deal of crossover with Tom's, although perhaps the main difference is that mine will verge a little more in the electronic and jazz directions. I'd have probably done something like this eventually, but it's been bumped up due to some ... talk. But anyway I thought I'd list my top 30 by fives. Almost the entire list is what we at Gnosis call "12s" except for this first 5 made up of two 14s and three 13s.

1. Lightwave - Ici et Maintenant

Ici et Maintenant was sort of an underground electronic music show in France and this Lightwave cassette, originally released by Audion's Auricle label was the third of three cassettes before they were signed to Erdenklang for their first original CD, Nachtmusik, and then went on to hop labels for their career. Lightwave have always exhibited a combination of 70s tendencies and musique concret sounds and always managed to pull off a lot of really dark and sequence driven music. Perhaps of all their work, this live, approximately 80-90m cassette music, is the most Berliner/70s sounding of their work, each phase of the music sort of segueing into the next in what always sounded to me like one long suite with some very notable sequencer sections. I'd always found ordering overseas in the 90s to be somewhat treacherous so had friends in Britain mail me this cassette at the time and I think I probably got a flawed copy with some tape warble towards the end of the first side/beginning of the second side, so to say this is my #1 reissue list even with those flaws is probably saying something. I think even those who might think of Lightwave more in the musique concret direction (and in this direction the cassete Cites Analogues is probably closest from these early days) might go for this. I don't know what's holding up any of these cassette releases, the band, the original label or whoever, but they all really deserve to see digital in more than CD-R format.

2. Gunter Schickert - Samtvogel

I always think of Schickert as the third in the trilogy of German guitarists with a thing for the echo pedals including Manuel Gottsching and Achim Reichel and really only Gottsching has managed to get all of his stuff out on CD. With Reichel and Schickert we've just had a smattering of activity, and this debut release (which started as a private release and then got released on Green Brain) is perhaps what I'd call the second best echo guitar album after Manuel's classic Inventions for Electric Guitar. This album's a lot darker though with huge swathes of music that seem a lot more abstract and thus maybe a step aside from the normal connection you'd make with the hippie era. I've always loved that all three of these guys have their own personalities with the style but find it sad that Schickert's most notable groundbreaking effort is still in the vaults. And will the SPV series not be able to include this due to its initial private release? Curious and curiouser. (ED: Since reissued by Important Records)

3. Atila - Reviure

The recent reissue of Intencion with a live version of Reviure really speaks volumes for the absence of the true Reviure on a digital CD and it seems we may never see it, in what I refer to as "major level oblivion." (I think there's some comments about why in the Intencion CD but I'm not near my copy). This is not only a high want for me on the unreissued list but it might be the best Spanish progressive rock album of all time, if not top 5. It's not really part of all the folk/flamenco-influenced rock of the 70s and more like a jammin' space rock masterpiece. And even though the vocals can occasionally make me wince, the music's still too good for them to overwhelm it. In some ways Spain's answer to Gong and Hawkwind, four nearly perfect tracks. Although I must say, given the vinyl quality, that I probably wouldn't suffice with more than going back to the masters, so if they're gone then we probably have the best we're going to get.

4. Ma Banlieue Flasque - st

Word was that Musea had this one in their reissue plans, but then they've always started their reissue lists earlier than everyone else with some albums seeing as much as a decade from the original mention to when they actually show up. From what I understand this is because albums like this do a pittance in the community and thus funds are needed to collect before what is virtually a labor of love is needed to release it. In fact given so many French/Belgian rarities are starting to show up in Japan now, such as the Speed Limits, Art Zoyds and Julvernes, maybe this one will finally follow. It's part of the whole rippin' delirium tradition, roughly in the vein of Zappa, Komintern, early Gong and Etron Fou, with a lot of crazy words mixed in with some thoroughly complex and highly energetic playing. Another one where I don't see what the hold up is at this point. My guess this is the least problematic of the items in this post.

5. Chris Hinze Combination - Mission Suite

The newest entry on my list and I suppose this could sink a bit after the initial excitement, this early 70s jazz rock combo really did a number on this release working those rise and fall dynamics like the pros they were, starting off quietly with loads of wondrous flute and then bringing up the energy like kundalini to peak over and over again. It just goes to show you there's still a crazy number of early 70s jazz rock albums to do, again probably part of the major label hold up. And apparently Hinze has a bunch of em.

1 comment:

  1. Concerning Ma Banlieue Flasque, not only was there the Musea talk, but the band resurfaced a couple of years ago, with talk of a reissue. Still nothing.


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