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Various Artists

The Spirit of Sireena 13

Review by Gary Hill

This sampler disc gives a varied look into a number of releases from the Sireena label. While it's not all progressive rock, there are enough prog leaning things here, and real prog, for me to include it under that heading. It should be noted that other than two songs, I've previously reviewed all of these pieces on their original albums. For the sake of consistency the track reviews of those songs are drawn from those original reviews. Overall, this is a cool way to get a feel for a number of unique and intriguing releases.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2019  Volume 2 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Tura Ya Moya - Axis Mundi
Weird spacey textures create an artsy sort of vibe on this piece. It has a real space music element, but there is some world music texture at play, too. In some ways I'm reminded of early Hawkwind. As a driving rocking texture enters to serve as the backdrop for the vocals, those earlier elements still remain. The piece is a real powerhouse of strange space rock music.
Don Stevenson - Driven The Train
Killer bluesy guitar leads this out of the gate. It's a screaming hot rocker as it grows outward. This is the kind of thing that fits so well in the early 70s blues based hard rock style. It's like The Allman Brothers, The Yardbirds and Joe Bonamassa all rolled into one particularly effective rocker. The guitar work later in the piece is purely on fire.
SNAFU - Long Gone
This is another killer blues rocker with a lot of classic textures and sounds built into it. I love the guitar soloing later in the track in particular. The tune is one of the highlights of its original album and is on fire.
New Nektar - Megalomania
Powering in high energy and fast paced, this is a cut that's rather extensive at over eight-minutes. It does feel like something you'd expect from Nektar, except for the vocals. There is a real meaty edge to this number. It also has a real driving energy and intensity that serve it well.
Real Ax Band - You Really Shouldn't Act Like That
This comes in tentatively and rather funky. It takes a while before it rises up into a real song-like structure, but that time is used well for exploration. The female vocals bring some serious jazz to the table. At times this makes me think of Frank Zappa quite a bit. It's a powerhouse tune that's part jazz, part rock and definitely proggy. At points in the jam mid-track it works toward something like The Grateful Dead. The cut works through a number of changes along the road. This is almost 11 minutes long, and they make good use of that time.
The Pachinko Fake - He Made Love To A Six Pack
Starting percussive this gets very proggy as it works forward. There is a bit of a James Bond music vibe to this. This gets a minor parental advisory.
The Electric Family - Space Caravan
Trippy space elements start this one from Family Show. The cut has some cool distorted guitar and a slow moving kind of balladic vibe. It definitely qualifies as space rock. The cut works out into a second section further down the road this is more rocking but even seems to have a bit of fusion in the mix. Still, there is plenty of space rock built into it, too. Some soaring, climbing space rock type stuff takes control further down the road and eventually takes the piece to its ending.
Eric Burdon & Rock Circus - Jam Rock

A killer rock and roll tune, this is another that's a lot of fun. It's high energy and on its original album was a great way to end things in style.

Tri Atma - We Are Just Walking
Coming in trippy and spacey, this shifts toward psychedelically tinged acoustic based prog rock very early. This instrumental works toward some jazz textures, too. It's a killer groove.
Desperado - Herzlich Willkommen
There is a definite mainstream rocking sound to this. Yet it has plenty of psychedelia, too. It feels quite 60s based. It's a fun little rocker with lyrics in German.
Fido Plays Zappa - DirtyLove/Magic Fingers
A hard rocking jam, this is classy stuff. It has high energy and some great hooks. Of course, the tune at the core of the first half of this two-fer is one of my favorites from Mr. Zappa. The full piece works well in this live treatment.
Witthüser & Westrupp - Vision I
With a definite  prog, psychedelic bent, there is plenty of mainstream folk music built into this one, too.
 
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