Radiomobel - Gudang Garam. 1978 Sweden

Radiomobel - Gudang Garam. 1978 Chockskivor

CD reissue: 2005 Transubstans

Release details: Original LPs are stored in a single sleeve and are very obscure. I picked one up in my heavy trading days of the early 1990s, and never considered letting it go. The only reissue to market is the Transubstans CD, that I also picked up on arrival. Transubstans is Record Heaven version 2.0, and this was their first reissue under the new moniker. The CD features superb liner notes, though it's clearly taken from vinyl (though still sounds very good - it's pretty lo-fi to begin with). There are no bonus tracks.

Notes: Not sure how to explain it, but I really like albums such as Gudang Garam (named for an Indonesian cigarette brand). There's a Nordic charm about them as if I'm in a dark wood paneled tavern enjoying an out of world experience (fueled no doubt by a fine Swedish Imperial Stout). Radiomobel represent a combination of symphonic progressive and high flying space rock. The highlight track being 'E-matt' which comes from the latter style and borrows from Kebnekaise's penchant for indigenous melodies. Their symphonic side is best represented by the tracks featuring high pitched female soprano vocals in Swedish, which brings to mind Autumn Breeze (not to mention a host of German symphonic rock bands from this era). On the down side, Gudang Garam is very much an amateur recording, with tinny late 1970s era synthesizers in tow. The CD contains great liner notes that explains Radiomobel means Radio Furniture, which the band used as their first amplifier - and subsequently this same amp blew a fuse, causing quite the explosion at - get ready for this - Mom's house. LOL. I think it's safe to say we're not talking Abbey Road here...

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