Mike's Top 30 Unreissued Titles (Part 3 of 6)

11. Tortilla Flat - Fur ein 3/4 Stundchen

Tom reviewed these on his Reissue Wish List site and I'd have to agree that if they had been previously released, I'd have the SWF Tortilla Flat sessions very high on the list, perhaps in the top 5 even, they were truly that amazing and decimate most of the stuff that's come out on Long Hair. In many ways, actually, they kind of dovetail nicely with Kollektiv's own sessions and place the band in a much jazzier context than a lot of other German bands of the era, more Embryo, Eiliff or Etcetera than Kosmische or Krautrock per se. But I'm not forgetting the one very rare official Tortilla Flat studio album which is also a mighty fine piece of work, carrying over slight Canterbury influences to go with the German jazzrock sound of the time. And I think to some extent this illustrates one of the difficulties of getting some things released, a lack of inertia or kinetic movement, to get musicians who left work like this behind 25 years in the past to have the same enthusiasm over it as collectors who recently discover it. For me this is a hot potato for sure.

12. Peter Frohmader - Orakel/Tiefe

I could be virtually alone in this category but I find that the strongest music in the old Frohamder catalog was a series of three cassettes in the 80s, two of which, including Orakel/Tiefe were released by Auricle, a cassette label that may be holding back on a lot of the best unreissued stuff, in part because I believe they do CD-Rs of some of this material, but also because these probably appeal to very small audiences. But you could kind of cross classify a lot of Frohmader, there's the very early Nekropolis work, some archives that have come out since that cover a rockier period, and then the more composed work that followed on the heels of the Nekropolis material, and then these cassettes which hint but don't sound anything like the far more electronic duo of CDs that came out on Cuneiform a bit later. Undoubtedly these were a major coup for Auricle. These take that deep cyclopean, Cthulhoid early work into strange cavernous and experimental territories that I've always been surprised at when I go back to. Rarely did Frohmader sound this BIG.

13. Oriental Wind / Okay Temiz

I've flipped and flopped on whether I find this or the later Bazaar the best of the Oriental Wind studio albums, but there's something terribly immediate about the debut that's winning over as I write this. Like all of their material, this is all about the fusion of Turkish folk melody with Coltrane Spiritual jazz and here as on many of the later works there's a fine collision between the two styles, although it's essentially jazz when you think of the melodic structure setting up instrumental solos and then vamping back again. But this is a hot one indeed and maybe the best place to start on a reissue series.

14. Polyphony - Without Introduction

Polyphony was shrouded in mystery, I remember hearing about an unreleased two side-long track album that was recorded in 1967, then later it was 69 and later than that some time in the early 70s and by that time I was pretty convinced it had taken on something of the mythical at that point. Because this is a very early and distinctly progressive American album, that instead of having the usual Genesis and Yes influences, dipped back more towards keyboard bands like the Nice and Procol Harum while mixing it all up with the prevailing hippy schematic in the vein of Hair the musical soundtrack. The bootleg CD (or at least one) was a massive disappointment, with skipping errors built into the masters which meant even the improper release was that much more so. I think of this as a really important release for American progressive rock, but the word is this is among the more unlikely to be reissued titles out there, which is a crying shame. (ED: This title was reissued later by Gear Fab and Belle Antique)

15. The Fourth Way - Werwolf

The best of the three albums by post John Handy musician and crew, the sort of singular jazz rock that didn't follow much of the same pattern many of its contemporaries did, with a more sinuous approach to playing that was still slightly reminiscent of the SF jazz scene of the late 60s but having moved on to what was a more distinct and individual style by the time they got to Werwolf. Considered something of a kozmigroov classic, perhaps a stretch given its progressive credentials, it's certainly a fine release no matter where you classify it, with great playing and the oncoming electric fuzz of the era. A CD of this one is long overdue.

Last update: September 7, 2016 

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