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Group 1850 - Agemo's Trip To Mother Earth CD (album) cover

AGEMO'S TRIP TO MOTHER EARTH

Group 1850

Psychedelic/Space Rock


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Mellotron Storm
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars 3.5 stars. GROUP 1850's debut came out in 1968 so you know they were like pioneers in The Netherlands when it comes to Psychedelic and Progressive music. PINK FLOYD is surely an influence, many mention "A Saucerful Of Secrets" when trying to reveal what this album sounds like. They use both Dutch and English vocals.

"Steel Sings" opens with percussion as faint vocals arrive followed by guitar and a full sound. This is very 60's sounding. Spacey synths are shooting around. Nice guitar later. "Little Fly" opens with the sound of a creeking door being opened. Vocal melodies follow then spoken female vocals.Male vocals are up next. I like the guitar. She's back as themes are repeated. I like these first two tracks a lot.

"I Put My Hands On Your Shoulder" is the 13 1/2 minute epic. It opens with slowly sung vocals. The tempo picks up before a minute. A fuller sound 3 1/2 minutes in. It turns experimental. Spoken words in Dutch after 5 1/2 minutes go on and on. Drums join in. It all kicks back in around 11 minutes as guitar takes the lead. Thunder 13 minutes in to end it. "You Did It Too Hard" is a Zappa-like tune with silly vocals and lyrics. "A Point In This Life" is where they get silly again as you can hear someone smoking a joint 2 minutes in. The music that follows sounds great. Some flute and percussion early on this one. "Refound" opens with flute and gentle guitar. Organ and reserved vocals join in. A good song. "Reborn" is a mellow track with female vocals. Birds are singing to end it.

Lots of good ideas here but I can't give it 4 stars yet. The enjoyment factor needs to rise.

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Send comments to Mellotron Storm (BETA) | Report this review (#240995)
Posted Wednesday, September 23, 2009 | Review Permalink
4 stars An adventurous experimental psychedelic album from a bunch of guys from Holland, of all places. Like everything in '68 stereo panning has been thrown into overdrive. It sounds great and it's similar to Floyd and a clutch of other bands who got carried away with this technology too back then. I guess everyone was so excited by the advent of stereo that they just had to take it to extremes. Talking of Floyd - if you like 'Piper' and 'Saucerful'- you'll more than likely dig this baby. This is pure 60's acid freak goofiniess and I really quite like it. It's reverb a go-go and new fangled electronic effects throughout on just about every instrument played is the order of the day. I just can't believe they're Dutch! Highly entertaining. Good stuff.

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Send comments to Dobermensch (BETA) | Report this review (#298340)
Posted Friday, September 10, 2010 | Review Permalink
octopus-4
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
RIO/Avant/Zeuhl Team
3 stars Pink Floyd, Beatles and Zappa seem to be the principal influences for this dutch band, but possibly none of them really as the album is very fitting in its time. Lot of music was sounding so in 1968 across the world. Listening more carefully I hear also echoes of Gong, Wishbone Ash. In particular the girl speaking on the second track reminds me the witch on Gong's trilogy (which came after this album), while the guitar solo followed by the organ at the end of the same track is very "early floyd".

"I Put My Hands On Your Shoulder" is a psychedelic epic. The harmonica gives it a touch of Grateful Dead, but it's very close to Syd Barrett too. Again, being this album released in 1968 I don't think that speaking of "influences" is correct. They had probably the same influences of Barrett and the others. The Chaotic part of this long track is less chaotic respect to things like "Interstellar Overdrive". The spoken part, partially in Dutch(it's the translation of what the speaker says in English), makes me think to Hawkwind, too. The long drums solo doesn't have anything to do with Nick Mason, of course. When the other instruments there's a flavour of American Psychedelia: a bluesy bass over which the guitar is quite Hendrixian.

"You Did It Too Hard" is back on the chords of Zappa with good sax and hypnotic rhythm.

"A Point In His Life" is opened by a long harpsichord solo. Very hypnotic as well. Then just a speaker telling a story with some guitar (looped maybe) in the background....silence...bass. Another bluesy moment in crescendo then an unusual guitar solo. Very good for a '68 party.

"Refound" Is quite a "regular" song, without excesses based on a clean guitar and with some flute.

The closer "Reborn" starts with a female choir of "flower-power" flavour. The spanish mood of the guitar between the choral parts reminds to Pink Floyd's More, but all the song is very floydian.

It's a good debut album on which the band has placed some good ideas, but it lacks a direction. The band had actually ideas not clear enough....of course a psychedelic band in 1968 is not expected to be made of "clear minds".

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Send comments to octopus-4 (BETA) | Report this review (#431598)
Posted Tuesday, April 12, 2011 | Review Permalink
Sinusoid
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars I hadn't realized that Group 1850 was part of the database until a couple of months ago. My mother bought their debut for some reason unbeknownst to me, but I got to sneak in a few listens. My conclusion is that AGEMO'S TRIP TO MOTHER EARTH is rather messy and unfocused.

If you've ever had problems with bands that cannot solidify their art for an entire album, Group 1850 seems to have trouble with stability for even a song. ''You Did It Too Hard'' is a good example; for a minute it starts off as a cool heavy-psych song, but then it starts to get destroyed by chirpy dialogue (a la Frank Zappa circa WE'RE ONLY IN IT?) that is complete buzzkill. And in comparison to Zappa's band, they (up until MONEY) could use the goony humour in good context; there simply isn't a good excuse that ''You Did It Too Hard'' ends the way it does.

And that's just the shortest song. ''Refound'' and ''Reborn'' achieve the best consistency on the record, but sound like prelude or interlude tracks that merely pad. Big problem-those two songs close the album. They save the rating of the record, but ending the album on that kind of lull is simply a bad idea. Noise excursion also disrupts the flow of the record (to their credit, none are separate tracks) of which most tracks sound like lesser Mothers, Moody Blues (the big influence I detected; listen to the spoken word section in ''A Point in This Life'') and Procol Harum songs.

''I Put My Hands on Your Shoulder'' is no exception to the rule; in fact, it represents the problems I have with this album. While there are great riffs throughout, the transitions are too kneejerk for any core stability. Worse is that five minutes in, there's a 5.5 (I timed it) minute ''pause'' for phased drumming under an oddball and out-of-place poetry recitation. This section never needed to happen in the first place, let alone for as long as it is.

The psych-rock stuff wouldn't be that bad if it had some consistency. The credit for being one of the first Dutch prog bands only goes so far with me (considering that Focus and Golden Earring are along the way, Dutch prog has come quite a distance). My favourite song associated with this album is ''We Love Life'', a non-album single. There is some potential in this group, but that potential isn't put to the best use here.

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Send comments to Sinusoid (BETA) | Report this review (#777696)
Posted Tuesday, June 26, 2012 | Review Permalink

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