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Crystalline - Axe Music (1970)

Originated from Northampton circa 1968. Also known (and performed) as Axe. All songs recorded at Beck Studios, Wellingborough, Northamptonshire (see entries for: Wicked Lady, Autumn, Dark, Mind Exchange, Juicy). Formed originally as Axe Music, the band evolved in 1969 with Mark Griffiths leaving to join Matthews Southern Comfort. The band were better known locally as Axe, but an agent persuaded the band to call themselves Crystalline much to their dismay. Vivienne Jones left the band as did Graham Richards and the band carried on performing as Axe. Fil footage exists from a gig at the Abington Park bandstand on Sunday, 31st May, 1970. The footage was taken by Steve Giles who was also a member of the band, Dark (see entry), another Northampton outfit that recorded at Beck studios around this time.

Vivienne Jones (vocs)
Roger Hilliard (bass gtr)
Anthony Barford (gtr, vocs)
Graham Richards (sax, flute)
Mick Knobbs (bass gtr)
Mark Griffiths (gtr) Steve Gordon (drums)

Axe (also known as Axe Music and Crystalline by the time they recorded their rare acetate) were an obscure British psych band led by acid-rock guitar player extraordinaire Tony Barford and graced by Vivienne Jones’ ethereal vocals. In 1970, they recorded a demo album of which only 12 copies were pressed on a 10” acetate. Here’s the first-ever straight reissue of this legendary artifact, as the previous “reissue” on the Kissing Spell label was altered without the band’s consent and included new remixed tracks, added echo/phasing effects, altered song titles, etc. Here you’ll find the acetate recordings in their pure form: 100% unadulterated heavy psych and acid-rock sounds full of raw, fuzzed-out guitars and dreamy female vocals. Four impressive, original songs, plus a long, psyched-to-the-max cover of Love’s “A House Is Not a Motel,” which has to be heard to be believed. Carefully remastered from an original copy (master tapes were lost) in 24-bit. Unfortunately, no masters survived and no clean copy is known to exist of the original 10”, but you’ll get the best result for the possibilities. New artwork (the original acetate came in a blank sleeve) and an insert with unseen pictures and liner notes by Paul Cross. And if all that wasn’t enough, this release includes a CD with the same album, plus a bonus 8-minute video track featuring color silent footage of Crystalline/Axe playing live in 1970 with audio from the acetate added. Footage filmed by none other than Steve Giles (Dark).

2 komentarze:

Savage Saints pisze...


adamus67 pisze...

Holy grail underground UK heavy psych with long tracks, raw fuzz guitars Tony Barford, one of the most underrated underground guitar-heroes from the UK and dreamy,ethereal female vocals.

Reissue of an obscure,ultra-rare acetate. Recorded this was made at Beck Studios, Lister Road, Wellingborough and Derek Tompkins was the engineer. The session only lasted for one afternoon, mostly done in one take with no tracking and surprisingly without the aid of any mind altering substances, not even a beer, but we seemed to have conjured up an atmosphere from somewhere. Only twelve acetate copies were made for demo purposes so no title was given to it. One copy was sent to John Peel.(RIP). To his credit he did listen to it (he must have received hundreds of demos daily), but declined to play it or endorse it because he did not like the west coast influence and felt that Vivs voice was too pure. This was a pity because if he had done, the Axe story could have been very different.

Read the interview Tony Barford, Northampton. July 2012.

@Savage Saints: good job :)

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