Mystic Siva - s/t. 1971 USA

There are certain types of underground rock that are highly desirable, more for their mood and atmosphere, verse actual songwriting and talent. The “lost teenager angst” sound is one of the most sought after in this category, as it provides an historic panorama of a certain time and place. Michigan’s Mystic Siva is the Holy Grail for such a sound. Musically, it’s a typical album for the time, not mature enough to be signed by a major label, and the production values are pure garage. Normal 1970 mix of psych, proto metal, some funk, and some punk. But the realism of this album just oozes from the grooves, a miasma of doom and gloom. Yep, the girlfriend just left and that dead end union job at the auto plant is starting to look like a very real place for a very real long time. Throw in some high school mysticism, and you have a world class recording from the vaults of America’s "fly over country”. It is rare to capture that mood, that hopelessness, that despair. Mystic Siva did all of this and more.

Personal collection
CD: 2014 World in Sound (Germany)

This is one those biggies, that consistently fetch multi-thousands in auction. It is very easy to understand why - the album is practically the definition of the private press psych hard rock sound that the music collector world craves. Originals are extremely scarce, and this is about as true a representation of the entire genre as can be. Pirates were quick into the water with this title, and that was my first exposure to the group back in the late 80s (muddy, crappy sound). Because of this, my appreciation of the album had been held back for years. I eventually received a decent sounding CD-R, and by that time the first World in Sound CD had fallen out of print, and the pirates were back. Fortunately World in Sound returned last year with a fine remaster of their original 2001 press, and so I snapped it up. The 2014 version, World in Sound assures us, is the best ever sound yet. The CD is indeed great and features some excellent liner notes as well. Of course, keep expectations in check regarding the sound. Best possible sound? Probably. But they can't perform magic - the originals are what they are, and it's that lo-fi sound that is a big part of the allure to begin with.

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