tisdag 5 november 2013

Motherlight - bobak, Jons, Malone (Eftertraktad Psychedelic/Progressive Rock UK 1970)

250:- (24-Bit Limited Remaster Edition. Utgången utgåva sedan länge och är nu mycket svår att hitta. Rekommenderas.)

Official reissue of this highly sought after psychedelic progressive /folky UK album from 1970. Mixing equal quantities of spidery psychedelia and progressive instrumentalism, the otherworldly feelings grow with each listening, as the use of dissonance is highlighted. Plenty of fuzz guitar too!! 

Known by the name of an album rather than the name of the group, Motherlight produced an album full of spooky psychedelia with progressive leanings, which works really well. Almost all tracks have a slightly unsettling atmosphere, originating in a clever use of dissonance, without being quirky. On A Meadow - Lea has good fuzz guitar paired to pastoral lyrics, while Mona Lose bears overt traces of malice. Burning The Weed sounds quite surprisingly akin to US Kaleidoscope. The Lens is Procol Harum on a bad trip and even foreshadows Joy Division! The lyrics are downright chilling: 

"I view the lens with terror and in my spellbound fear,
brightly dim in, steady shimm'rin, icy eyes see."

A beautiful album. Malone played subsequently for a host of other acts. 

A seemingly random one-off album from England in 1970, Motherlight is one of those odd little delights that, as the 2001 reissue's liner notes freely acknowledge, gains its reputation in large part given what happened to the three people behind it, with later production credits ranging from Paul McCartney to Iron Maiden and Television. A studio creation given a green light by Morgan Blue Town label owner Monty Babson, the trio consisted of recording engineers Mike Bobak and Andy Johns (that actually being the correct spelling of his last name) teaming with Wilson Malone, lead figure of never-quite-stars Orange Bicycle. Without trying to draw an exact parallel, one can say this was the equivalent to something like Curt Boettcher's work with the Millennium or Sagittarius, though on a smaller scale and with slightly different goals. 

With Malone on guitar, keyboards, singing and most songwriting chores while Bobak and Johns handled rhythm and recording duties, the trio created an easygoing and often quite attractive collection of eight songs, generally pitched somewhere between acid folk bliss-out and the kind of heavy riffage starting to coalesce into heavy metal, with sometimes strident piano tying all the songs together.

 A song like "On a Meadow-Lea" shows the various sides well, as Malone's calm repetition of the chorus towards the end offers him a chance to turn in a nicely fried solo over the top. Motherlight isn't deathless, and a couple of songs probably could have been dropped (though the ridiculous pseudo-country "Burning the Weed" is a classic novelty goof), but it's still a nice peek into a time and place. 

01. Motherlight 3'28"
02. On A Meadow Lea 4'38"
03. Mona Lose 3'00"
04. Wanna Make A Star Sam 2'09"
05. House Of Many Windows 3'39"
06. Chant 4'09"
07. Burning The Weed 3'24"
08. The Lens 6'48"