Cold Sun rising
Recorded back in 1970 at Austin's legendary Sonobeat studio in the basement of KAZZ-FM station manager Bill Josey's home, Cold Sun's psych stunner Dark Shadows unbelievably went unreleased and unknown for more than two decades.
Evidently, Dallas collector/dealer Mark Migliore heard a scratchy acetate of a few tracks that one of the members had been using to rock house parties and realized he'd stumbled on a lost masterwork of mind-melting 13th Floor Elevator-esque proportions. Migliore tracked down the original master tapes and issued Cold Sun's Dark Shadows LP on his Rockadelic label, which sold out its limited pressing in a flash once psych fiends heard the trippy autoharp twanging and apocalyptic yowl of frontman Bill Miller, who sounds like Roky Erickson at his most bedeviled.
The good news is that Germany's World in Sound label has kindly recirculated Dark Shadows on disc, with two surprisingly well-recorded live tracks from 72 that reveal a much stronger influence of the early Velvet Underground than anyone might have guessed, something that likely won't disappoint Cold Sun's rabid cult following. worldinsound.com.
Twisted Flower (Cold Sun)
Live Again (Cold Sun)
Cold is hot
With the current interest in everything 80s, you'd think more reissue operations would be looking beyond the obvious hits and sentimental faves by now, but a vast amount of amazing artifacts from the post-punk era are still buried. The darkly delightful Young Morticians In Love mix done DIY style by Toronto's own Friends Explode DJ collective presents a coffin-load of sinister synth pop and chilling cold wave you probably never knew you needed.
Sidestepping the obvious genre classics, Friends Explode go for lesser-known singles tracks like It's Hip, the B-side of a 7-inch by Animals & Men splinter group the Terraplanes, Prospects
from the Glow 12-inch by Neder-nerds Tecnoville, the deftly tweaked Rattan
by Swedish synth achievers Cosmic Overdose and the charmingly twisted Head In My Bag
by Sussex University art students Birds with Ears, which some may know from the Vaultage 80 comp. Unfortunately, there's no band info or accompanying liner notes, but it's an entertaining selection nonetheless. Friends Explode rock the Back To So Cool party with Famou$ Players at Augusta House Saturday (September 13). friendsexplode.blogspot.com
Smoke 'n' Brown
The mysterious people behind Le Smoke Disque who brazenly took the initiative to release the fab Serge Gainsbourg psych oddities collection Les Années Psychédéliques: 1966-1971 are back at it again with Jump Back, focusing on James Brown joints covered by bands from around the world, some of which appeared on the label's prior 12-inch EPs, El Mexico 70 and Brasil 70. The key difference here is that seven of the 19 tracks were actually licensed!
Along with the novel extended edits of Give It Up Or Turn It Loose by Mexico's Rabbits & Corn and Cut Chemist's club-ready splice of Victor Olaiya's versions of There Was A Time and Cold Sweat, the best moments are the zany cowbell-enhanced version of Lickin' Stick by Italy's Showmen
(who call it Voglio Restare Solo for some reason), the goombay-bumpin' overhaul of Think About It by Esquires Now and a raucous run at Get On The Good Foot
by the Harrison High School band that sounds like it was recorded during a pep rally in the school gym. Nice.