Various Artists - "Yr Agog Oggum"
(Oggum Records, OG10 CD)
From Aural Innovations #22 (January 2003)
A nice little collection this is, and all for a good cause; profits from this CD go to benefit charities for the homeless in Wales.
About half the tracks on here are electronica-style tracks, but of the less dance-oriented, and more psychedelic, raga-like variety, often incorporating instruments other than synthesizers. The other half are some grooviní and trippy psychedelic rock and pop tunes. Iím not sure if these are previously unreleased tracks, though it looks as if they may be. The only band on here I was familiar with, Englandís Flying Saucer Attack, contributed Crusiní for Love, which was a new one on me, though it was definitely from their earlier, storm-of-feedback days.
Iíd heard of, but not heard Californiaís Mooseheart Faith Stellar Groove Band, so I was pleased to finally check them out on their two contributed tracks Invisible Invader and Face on Mars. The former can actually be heard on Mooseheartís MP3.com site. Itís a bouncy, liquid psychedelic pop tune, while the latter is an amped up hyper meditation on the mysteries of Cydonia. Some of the other "pop" songs include the slide guitar-drenched Salted Brow from the Welsh psych group Ectogram, which sounds kind of like early Pink Floyd colliding with the Jefferson Airplane; and the dreamy reflection of Min Min Light by Melbourne, Australiaís Hydroplane.
On the electronica side we get the very cool Middle Eastern trance rock of Hety Doma (No Home) by Russian artists Ole Lukkoye, which opens the album up in fine fashion (and clarifies the albumís purpose with its title). Other standouts include the ten-minute primal, tribal freakout of One Mother, by Polandís Magic Carpathians (another band Iíd heard of before, but not heard), and two flippy analog electronic tracks from Italyís Valvola, the mysterious and melodic Autodrome 70, and the funky collaboration with Astro Black Stereo, Chocolate City.
Other artists featured include: Longstone, Stylus, Electroscope, Vom, and Nimbus 2000. There are 16 tracks in all; a nice balanced mix, and all for a great cause. Check it out!
For more information you can visit the Oggum Records web site at: http://www.oggum.co.uk.
Reviewed by Jeff Fitzgerald