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Monday, 9 July 2018

Kozmic Muffin “Nautilus” 1994 Spain Prog Psych


Kozmic Muffin “Nautilus” 1994 very rare Spain Prog Psych..recommended..!

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KOZMIC MUFFIN were a cult psych/prog band,formed in 1992 and based in the City of A Coruna,Galicia in Spain,who released two album back in the 90’s.“Nautilus” was the debut of the band released in mid-90’s on Man Records,a rather infamous and overlooked album back then,which earned some praise through the sand of time. 
KOZMIC MUFFIN play some mix of Psych/Prog with hints from Heavy Rock,presented in six rather long cuts.The musicianship has an intense retro-feeling and is based on the hypnotic guitars of Pedro Granell and the monster organ waves of Enrique Otero.Sometimes the sound gets more aggresive as Granell’s both guitars and vocals explode,while I can’t help of thinking of PINK FLOYD in all their aspects in a couple of tracks.Compared to them KOZMIC MUFFIN are less melodic and have a more powerful sound.The end of the listening finds me pleased to have listened to an underground name of the modern Psychedelic Rock scene,despite the obvious lack of originality. 

This album could have easily been buried in time,but fortunately some hard-workers brought it up and that was a good thing.Far from essential,but fairly balanced and a great listening for all Floyd-ian fans out there….by apps79 …~


“Space is not dark, it illuminates it. 
It shone, it glowed. It attracted me like a magnet, 
I could not believe it, it was something else, 
it was nothing less than: 
The cosmic cupcake! 
The home of the cosmic cupcake! ”

This is, without doubt, one of the best psychedelic and progressive rock albums recorded in Spain. However, despite the saturation of information that we have today thanks to the Internet, or perhaps precisely because of it, it may still be quite unknown to some of the audience who are fond of these sounds. Its original edition, as well as the reedición were very short and the copies available in Vinyl and CD went up in price as the foam. But, leaving to the side the speculation and other fulleries of the world of collecting, this album has a genuine musical value. 
Apart from its obvious quality, the most curious and surprising thing about Nautilus is that it was made in the mid-90s - edited by the Galician label Man Records with a small print run of 500 lp’s and CD’s - and that despite the fact the indie music the group got an aftertaste so typical of the 70s and at the same time they will not stop sounding modern. In my opinion, Nautilus, along with the discography of Soul Bisontes from Madrid , deserves to be considered one of the most original and personal albums, within psychedelia or progressive, made in Spain since the 70s. 
Half progressive rock, half psychedelia (quite guitarist), also a lot of space rock, at times Kozmic muffin sound equally to the first Pink Floyd , that to the Hankwind, that the Sun Dial of the Other way outor as if they were some dark and lost German group of the early 70s. Pedro Granell’s voice can even sometimes remind Syd barret. However, at no time do they stop being themselves. Therefore, beyond references and odious comparisons, the disc is truly original, with a sound that can vary suddenly from the softest to the stormy in changes of very elaborate rhythms and executed with total effectiveness. In general it can be said that it is an ambitious work in composition and production, with long and tortuous themes, full of different sections. Even so, it is still a very dynamic and rock album, addictive from the first listenings. Extraordinary the work of Pablo Rega and Granell with some very acid guitars, supported by a rhythmic base more than effective, 
The disc counts on six quite long subjects: 
“Andrew”, which is the extraordinary opening of the album, perhaps the most direct and rocky cut of all. It begins with a touch of precious guitar, an introduction that later becomes unforgettable. Soon the whole band throws you a true amphetamine pill while being lysergic. The organ of Enrique Otero is very remarkable
“Sun, Glass & vacuum”, is a song that starts with a melody that we could almost identify as funereal. Granell increases this sad atmosphere with his voice. Little by little the subject is developing, the guitars sound with echo and preciousness in the background, the organ increases the melancholy. The second half of the theme is almost an instrumental of a very high quality and sensitivity. 
“Kozmic muffin”, is a piece of more than ten minutes and with evidence the vertebral theme of the album. Of very sinuous and changing development, always subject by a great rhythmic base, the work of Patxi Valera to the drums is masterful, that during the whole subject gives us a great recital. The theme has an incredible guitar work to two in its central part. This is a true marvel of song that the Kozmin muffin are marked as if such a thing. 
“Bedlam”, a very nice song, much quieter and more content than the others, and perhaps the one that sounds the ninetieth of the album, with a certain air to groups like Screaming Trees or Pearl Jam (remember that it was recorded between 1993 and 1994) . A mere rest for what comes later.
“Open minds”, psychedelia guitar masterpiece . With a start to the pure Hankwind with a great bass and guitar effects. This song is really exciting. He accumulates energy to break the two minutes with the heartrending cries of Granell, who like in the rest of the album sings really well. A central instrumental section of wah-wah, organ and big guitar drums. This theme is also incredibly good and at the height of the greats. 
“Eleusis” is the closing of the disc, also of more than ten minutes. It is an instrumental acid of great and progressive crescendo, huge work of all the musicians that without realizing us plunge us into a potentísma and overflowing orgy of distortion, with a guitar soaked in wah-wah and effects of the best space rock of the first seventy. Another wonder inside a record that is simply and absolutely essential. 
After this album Granell left the group, although the rest of the group decided to continue and take a more progressive trajectory, also very interesting, but I think without reaching the level of this first stage. In any case, Nautilus is there to be discovered for new cosmic explorers….Review of Antonio Ramírez ….~


Taking note of the sound of the 70s but with a clear attitude of reinterpretation, Kozmic Muffin recorded his first feature, a great treatise of progressive rock with a clear psychedelic side that from the moment of its release became a classic. 

A door opens and “ Andrew ” begins , a cut defined by Pedro Granell as a self-portrait that is a whole display of rhythmic intensity and constant instrumental turns. Striking the voice of Pedro - with those approaches to Lou Reed - and the great capacity of the band to modernize a clearly progressive sound and bring it closer to the 90, turning the album as a whole into a ride through a time machine that allows us to see closely the black holes that Syd Barrett had for eyes and expand our subconscious to infinity. 

The melancholic “ Sun, glass & vacuum ” stands out for some brilliant guitar solos that seem to sound the lament. “ Kozmic Muffin ” is the longest song on the album, more than ten minutes of brightness and intensity, a display of strength and tear with an overwhelming rhythm section. 

“ Bedlam ” is the cut that most reminds Pink Floyd, Pablo Rega lends his voice to interpret this half-time nostalgic and dramatic that stands out for some in growing redeemers. “ Open minds ” brings back the darkness, Pedro considers this court a song to the beautiful part of schizophrenia, to moral innocence and an invitation to experiment with our lives. 

Closes the instrumental “ Eleusis ”, a gloomy and psychedelic atmosphere with sudden changes of tempo, a ghostly and disturbing organ and some guitars that generate a wall of sound that reminds of formations such as King Crimson or Rush. The best thing is in the last development, in which Pedro shouts from the deepest part of his being and the microphone of some instrument picks up his shout. Visceral. 
In short, this is a highly recommended album that is undoubtedly one of the highest levels achieved by progressive and national symphonic rock ….by Fernando Fernández Rego …lafonoteca….~


Very rare Spanish progressive psych LP from the 90s.Released in limited edition of 500 copies and long deleted. This 70’s sounding progressive rock quintet from Galicia made one of the best 90s albums in Spain. Six extended tracks plenty of superb dual guitar, Hammond organ,spacey effects… and sung in English….~


KOZMIC MUFFIN´s first record is a great update of 60´s psychedelic rock and early progressive bands. The music on this record is mainly oriented to retrieve those old bands and sounds, althoguh the music on this record is not only a revival, but also a good example of creativity, provided that the instrumental background is not completely new. Far from technological arrangements and instruments, they are based mainly on classic electric guitars and Hammond organ. 
The first song of the record, Andrew, is probably the most devoted song to their source of inspiration. Soft guitars and organ with some funky taste introduce the listener to their particular tribute to classic psych rock. But it won´t last too long, becuase Sun, Glass & Vacuum is much more elaborated, with atmospheric organ that creates a very delicate mood, despite the guitar solo in an accelerated middle section. Kozmic Muffin is quite different, very aggressive from the beginning, including distorted vocals at the end of the track, which is one of the most interesting pieces of the record. Bedlam returns to the quiet mood, with a middle section that reminds Kevin Ayers works, more melodic and pop oriented. Open MInds will give us back to the more intricate side of the record, with lots of distorted guitars and an organ that reminds me of Brian Auger in his funkiest way. And the best is yet to come with Eleusis, a lysergic title that properly fits this song: cosmic music meets Canterbury in a real progression from the almost atmospheric start to the fastest final of the song, which is also a great final for the record. The final breath reminds us the great effort they made not only on this song, but also on the whole disc. This record leaves the listener with a great feeling and the sensation that not everything was played in the old days. Although the sound is clearly classic, the overall sound looks somehow fresh and not really repetitive, which I consider one of the strongest points of this record. I strongly reccommend this record, although the vinyl LP version is nowadays a collector item....by victor77....~


KOZMIC MUFFIN are a complete rarity in spanish progressive, with only two records, but 'Nautilus' has gained great reputation throughout Europe and is tagged by many as a classical prog piece of the 90s, not only in Spain. 

They began their musical history back in 1992 in Galicia (Spain) when guitarist Pedro Granell started to listen to blues, classical music (Satie, Mussorgsky) and 70´s prog like King Crimson, Hawkwind, Manfred Mann, Soft Machine or Pink Floyd. He gave up his relationship with the dark garage band ESKIZOS (after only a couple of EPs) to rehearse and compose music more psych oriented. After some solo work, he got in touch with bassist Javier Vaamonde and drummer Patxi Ortega, both from the band BALOWSKY. After one year of rehearsals, they recorded and edited their first record, 'Nautilus' (1994), a record that became a legend from the very beginning, which sold very well on underground and collector circles throughout Europe. This record was mainly the work of guitarist Pedro Granell, but some problems with the credits of the album and the royalties made him abandon his own band. 

For a long time, he has been working as a musical writer and journalist, and he recently edited his first solo record, ('Sils-Maria', 2002). After he left the band, some old songs and rearrengements, along with some new material were used for their last and second album, 'Space Between Grief and Comfort' (1997). Pedro Granell does not appear on this record, and guest singer on the first record, Julio Gonzalez is the vocalist of the songs written by Granell. Because of the new turn the band was taking, acting more as multimedia performers than as a rock band, Julio Gonzalez and Javier Vaamonde left the band in 1999 to form the jammy oriented band TRICERATOPS. Until very recently, the core of KOZMIC MUFFIN was formed mainly by Patxi Valera, Pablo Rega and Enrique Otero, who have been working with lots of collaborators from the avantgarde and multimedia scene in Spain, with two main performances, 'Construccion de un Tinglado Desmontable' (2000) and 'Preterito' (2001), both of them unreleased. 

Many of the members are currently performing multimedia and other musical and non musical avantgarde projects, but the lack of other recent works by the band makes us think that they are definitively disbanded and their members are enroled in their solo projects and collaborations.....Victor Rangel....~ 


My God! But what is this? A Spanish (Galician, more precisely) group that plays a progressive / psychedelic rock of the purest European style of the first 70, that is: long pieces (from 2 to 10 minutes), double guitar with fuzz, wah wah, a more gilmouriana and l more acidic, acoustic guitars, Hammond organ ubiquitous throughout the album, bass and runaway supported by a battery that beats like clockwork, completing a compact but lyrical sound, with continuous changes of time and sung in English. Their music reminds us of the Eloy of "Power and passion" and "Floating", the Floyd, "Meddle", Minotaurus, Lochness, the Novalis of "Banished bridge" ... Six pieces make up this extraordinary album engraved for a independent label. Great debut, for an unknown group, 


Kozmic Muffin is a Galician group formed in the early 90's. Its lead vocalist and composer, Pedro Granell, came from a psychedelic aftertaste band called Los Eskizos, with whom he would sign two EPs. This base will be very noticeable in the sound of the group in this their first album, "Nautilus", where there are clear references as Pink Floyd in different times (both in the Syd Barrett, as in the Dark Side of The Moon or the more theatrical by The Wall), Camel (in the rhythm section), King Crimson (and his taste for heavy dissonance), or Van der Graaf Generator, Lou Reed and Velvet Underground (in some of the vocal registers), all seasoned with a sound that was evident in many groups from the beginning of the decade (which featured aesthetics of Seattle sound, noise pop or post-rock songs of the late 80's) s and principles of the 90's). After the recording of this disc, Granell would leave the group being replaced in the role of principal voice and guitar by Julio Gonzalez, with whom they would register an interesting second work: "Space between grif and comfort" in 1997.
According to the website of Pedro Granell (http://www.pedrogranell.com), the group spent a season in a small village on the Costa da Morte in Galicia to record this album, a period in which, according to what is said , the group gave many concerts very remembered. The result of those intense days is reflected in this album, which got very good reviews inside and outside the country, coming to be in the mouth of many European progressive rock connoisseurs. In "Nautilus", the group picks up a clear influence of the sound of the 70's, especially in terms of musical ideas (very marked by the aesthetics they were looking for), but through the reinterpretation, experience and means of the decade of 90's. The letters and titles are in English.
The work opens with the sound of a door, which leads to the first piece, "Andrew". It is the shortest track of the album, but it reflects a lot of rhythmic intensity, with abundant instrumental turns (like its prelude and the central part) and the presence of the particular voice of Granell (with echoes of Hammill, Waters, Barrett and Reed).
"Sun, glass & vacuum" envelops us in a kind of melancholy atmosphere that reminds me a lot of the first Camel album of 1973 (and some tracks like "Mystic Queen"), with a very good work of the group accompanying the voice of Granell and moments very felt like the parts of guitars in the central solos, including some harmonizations of the same ones.
"Kozmic Muffin" is one of the most developed songs on the album (also the longest one). Granell's voice takes on a different tone, with more strength and brilliance, while the music also takes on a deeper air, managing to transmit multiple round-trip sensations. Also noteworthy is the work of the rhythmic section, with abundant fragments of acceleration, delay, crescendo, pause ... all a succession of events that give cohesion to a theme, truly, very "progressive". The solo of central guitar, in the first one accelerating, and the final recitation of Granell during the second one, that finishes in heartbreaking cries very remarkable. The ending with the subtractive sequence of notes reminds me of Rush's "By-Tor & The snow dog" ("Fly by night", 1975) giving it an epic character.
"Bedlam" marks a counterpoint on the album, with the appearance of Regas to the lead voice. It's a totally different tone to Granell, more hoarse, but with a lot of dramatics as well. The piece is more introspective and calm, after the strength of the previous one. It also has a melancholic character and plays with expressive crescendos. Musically it reminds me a lot of moments of "The Wall" (Pink Floyd, 1979) and "Aqualung" (Jethro Tull, 1971) in the change of the central part, the combination of those raw riffs, the harmony of Hammond and the melody vocal of Regas.
"Open minds" returns again to the dark atmosphere of songs like "Kozmic Muffin", where the sudden changes of nuances (very accentuated by cries of Granell to Lou Reed), and rhythmic (with a successful instrumental center part) combine with progressive touches and funk). The psychedelic guitar effects and the harmonic sequence of the final organ will help to wrap us in a gloomy environment that leads us to the conclusion.
"Eleusis", instrumental theme recorded "live" by the group, that is, all together in the studio (which reflects the coordination of the group and its potential live). This grand finale shows diverse influences, such as the psychedelic introduction, covered with different sound effects produced by the group, up to the superposition of a waltz played by the organ, or the piercing guitar riffs (some with the flavor "CRIMSONiaco", "RUSHiano" and until "METALLICo") and its abrupt tempo changes. When the chaos reaches paroxysm, the door at the beginning of the album closes unexpectedly, hearing the strong breath of the one that comes out of a kind of pleasant nightmare in which it was immersed.
In short, "Nautilus" is a highly recommended album within the Spanish scene of the 90's that allows you to see groups like Kozmic Muffin, in this case, they are able to reinterpret ideas and musical concepts of another time with quite originality and good taste. I want to thank the friend Alberto Villarroya (bassist of the Galician group Amoeba Split, who makes a progressive rock with a "Canterbury" flavor and a strong jazz level and who are currently recording what will be his first album) for giving me get to know this group and its two interesting albums and Juan Mellado for their support.... Eduardo Garcia Saluena.




- Pedro Granell - guitar, vocals 
- Pablo Rega - guitar 
- Enrique Otero - Hammond organ 
- Javier Vaamonde - bass guitar 
- Patxi Valera - drums 
- Hosanna Fernndez - chorus  
- Julio Gonzlez - vocals 


Tracklist 

A1 Andrew 3:52 
A2 Sun, Glass & Vacuum 6:22 
A3 Kozmic Muffin 10:29 
B1 Bedlam 8:51 
B2 Open Minds 7:14 
B3 Eleusis 10:08


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