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Saturday, 17 February 2018

The Bigroup “Big Hammer” 1971 UK Prog Jazz Funk


The Bigroup “Big Hammer” 1971 UK Prog Jazz Funk
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In today’s culture, one might presume the Bigroup to be some sort of avant garde transsexual troupe. But most likely in 1971, it stood for nothing more than “The Big Group”. Then again, they do have a composition entitled ‘Blow-Suck Blues’, so perhaps they were ahead of their time after all? Musically, however, they sound more like a late 60s group than a pioneering cutting edge post-Swinging London progressive band from 1971. “Big Hammer” is, in effect - if not actually the case - an all instrumental film library psychedelic album with copious flute, sitar, surf guitar, and roller rink organ. There’s not much in the way of compositional development, which would be typical of the incidental film music genre. Somewhat similar to the Italian groups like Blue Phantom, Psycheground Group, or Fourth Sensation. Fun stuff….by…ashratom ….~


Peer International Library Limited was a London based production music library company that was established in the late 1960s by Dennis Berry (aka Peter Dennis). It was closely affiliated with the other library company Southern, - which was also run by Dennis Berry. They often shared releases and that’s why certain titles appear on both Peer and Southern catalogue. This album here, called Big hammer, was credited to a band called The Bigroup, but without a doubt it was some studio musicians group with a made up name for the album. And it was also released on Southern. 
The opening track “Big hammer” starts the album strongly. It’s a banging midtempo psych funk track with a hint of oriental vibe every now and then. A stronger oriental vibe comes with the next one, a downtempo sitar and flute driven mellow groover “Anna purna”. I’m not exactly sure if it actually is a sitar but sounds a lot of it. After the dramatic “Devil’s stronghold”, comes “Rolling”. It starts promisingly with a nice break, but then turns into a melancholic midtempo groover. Next up are two quite heavy downtempo psych funk tracks called “Beat norm” and “Heavy lift”. After them comes one of the best tracks on the album, “What’s coming”. It’s a strong upbeat track with heavy breakbeat drums and some wailing melodies on top. Then there’s again two mellow but psych heavy tracks called “Blow-suck blues” and “Gentle swell” before we get to the last track, “Bombilation”. “Bombilation” is a great midtempo organ driven psych funk groover with some electric guitar work (I’m still not a fan of those) and banging beats. All the songs are relatively long for a library record, all the tracks except one are over three minutes what makes it a more pleasant one to listen. ~ Written by Mista Tibbz….~


Underrated jazz prog from 1971. “Big Hammer” is an all instrumental exploitation psych album features fuzz and wah-wah guitar, organ, flute and sitar. Musically, they sound more like a late 60s group than a pioneering cutting edge post-Swimming London progressive band from 1971. 
Big Hammer has been much in demand by progressive rock collectors and one listen to it will tell why – pretty much every track is a killer ! ..
~ Doug Larson Imports….~


A vinyl reissue of an underrated exploitation LP from 1971, which in the end sounds like an album from the late '60s. The music is instrumental psych, with jazzy, funky and progressive leanings, and featuring fuzz and wah-wah guitars, organ, flute and sitar. The album was originally released in the UK by Peer International Library Limited…..~


While “Big Hammer” doesn’t quite hit as hard as it could have, this 1971 release from the Peer Music Library still contains some truly outstanding beats and grooves. The drums stand out as the glue that holds this record together with subtle guitar or flute accenting on the likes of “Devil’s Stronghold”, “Gentle Swell”, “Rolling” etc. As lovely as those tracks are I think the real highlights come in the form of the psych-rock infused “What’s Coming”, “Bombilation” and “Beat Norm”. The breakbeats are electrifying, the organ playing out of control, the guitar licks irrepressible. It’s no surprise that this record has become a favourite with library fans and beat junkies alike, so much so that it was re-released in 2005 with a limited edition of 500 copies ( some of which appear to still be available for a reasonable 25 Euros ). Check it out, you wont be disappointed!…







Tracklist 

 1 Big Hammer 4:11 
2 Anna Purna 3:41 
3 Devil’s Stronghold
4 Rolling 3:18 
5 Beat Norm 3:16 
6 Heavy Lift 4:17 
7 What’s Coming? 3:47 
8 Blow-suck Blues 2:39 
9 Gentle Swell 3:23 
10 Bombilation 3:46 

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