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PARADISE NOW

Group 1850

Psychedelic/Space Rock


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Mellotron Storm
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars GROUP 1850's debut was really "out there" sort of speak with some great ideas, I just didn't enjoy it that much. "Paradise Now" is this Dutch band's second album and is much more laid back and less experimental with a lot more percussion. And I love it.

"Paradise Now" is haunting to start out as we get some spoken words.The organ floats in and builds.The song kicks in after 1 1/2 minutes and our trip has begun. Great tune. "Friday I'm Free" sounds even better than the opening song. Bass, guitar, drums and tripped out vocals lead the way. "Hunger" opens with outbursts of sound coming and going then it settles with vocals.This is very FLOYD-like. Psychedelic guitar after 2 minutes. "Circle" is a short uptempo instrumental. "Lonelyness" has some interesting ideas on it. It's like being fried in the sixties.

"Martin En Peter" features percussion and flute for the most part. Very ethnic sounding. "?!" is an outstanding tune as it builds to this fairly catchy melody of drums, guitar and organ. Check out the psychedelic gutar later. "Purple Sky" has a Jimi Hendrix vibe to it. It opens with random drum patterns as the guitar cries out. The song settles into a heavy but slow groove. Spoken vocals before 2 minutes. The guitar starts to solo 3 minutes in until we get dual guitars that echo a minute later. It settles right down 5 1/2 minutes in then the drums start to solo. The guitar and bass are back after 8 minutes.This is great ! Some scorching guitar follows.

A classic Psychedelic album.

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Send comments to Mellotron Storm (BETA) | Report this review (#242150)
Posted Wednesday, September 30, 2009 | Review Permalink
friso
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Group 1850 - Paradise Now (1969)

This band was one of the earliest space/psychedelic/progressive rock bands and certainly the first Dutch prog-band. Their very psychedelic debut from '68 is a forgotten starting point of the genre. Whilst Group 1850 must have been a provocative and mind-blowing experience at it's time of release, the band never became very famous. The vinyls of the band are very expensive these days and I felt lucky to get this early vinyl reprint (with the alternative blue cover with names).

Paradise Now is a spacey and psychedelic record with use of symphonic keyboards/organs, Gilmore & Hendrix influenced guitars, stoned amateur vocals and an underground-feel rhythm section. The result is a rare record sounding like a... well an obscure and rare record. There are mostly symphonic compositions on side one with mainly the spacey opener as a highlight, whilst the second side is more concentrated on improvisation. In between there is a little bit of song-writing and a psychedelic folk-track as opener for side two. The ending track Purple Sky has a strong blues-rock influenced style. Perhaps early Floyd can be named a main influence for the band, but that's speculation.

This is the kind of record that will make collectors feel very satisfied. It's hard to find, it has a distinctive obscure sound and it really is a very impressive record for the year 1969. When it comes to great compositions or professional playing the record fails to be very impressive, but it's atmospheric and positively naive throughout and most of the guitar-solo's of DaniŽl van Bergen sound great.

Conclusion. Obscure (sounding) psychedelic/space record with an emphasis on synth/organ and electric guitars. For certain the first progressive rock band to come with a record from Holland. A big three and a halve stars for this one, but mainly recommended to fans of obscure prog, early prog and spacey prog.

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Send comments to friso (BETA) | Report this review (#425445)
Posted Thursday, March 31, 2011 | Review Permalink
octopus-4
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
RIO/Avant/Zeuhl Team
4 stars Take a good portion of 60s psychedelia spiced with a touch of krautrock. This can give an idea of what Group 1850's music is, but let me add that while the musicianship of psychs and krauts was not always good, this band knows how to play.

I have listened to this band for the first time a lot of years ago (maybe 30). I spent a night in a house in the country, jamming on guitar, bass and drums and listening to music of this kind. You can imagine the rest.

The title track is a fusion of Californian psych with a bolero-like tempo but with vocals more in line with krautrock. Not so "weird" like CAN or so "doped" like AMON DUUL.

"Friday I'm Free" is more British. The vocals have a lot of reverb so it's just another instrument. The tempo is fast and while the guitar sounds like Barrett, bass and drums anticipate the times to come with a rhythm that has brought to my mind bands like OZRIC TENTACLES, QUANTUM FANTAY or 35007.

"Hunger" has the pauses typical of MOODY BLUES with kraut vocals and a melody very '60 close to the psychedelic period of BEATLES but also to SYD BARRETT with a bit of blues, too. One of the most acid tracks of an acid album.

"Cycle" is a short interlude with a Canterbury flavor and the first of three very short songs. The second is "Lonelyness" that's more floydian. Both the guitar and the voice sound similar to BARRETT and also the keyboard plays a melody with the middle-eastern scales used by Wright until Ummagumma. The third, "Martin En Peter" is very reminding of Floyd's PARTY SEQUENCE from More. Percussion keyboard and flute.

"!?" starts with clean rhythmic guitar followed by a keyboard melody. The guitar plays open major chords while the melody goes on minor tones with an acid sound. The contrast creates a sort of middle-eastern mood, but fundamentally it's a psych-blues track. I think to ARZACHEL as reference. It's the kind of track good for a jamming night.

The longest track closes the album. It's an acid blues again very close to the PINK FLOYD of MORE. I think to "More Blues". Here we can clearly distinguish the two guitars, the second played by Dave Duba, the new fifth band's member. I don't know if he's also one of the two singers, but this second singer has a voice quite similar to JIMI HENDRIX and when the rhythm increases the influence of that great performer appears clearly. It's a long...well, not very long, jam session. Also because a good portion of it is just a drum solo. A good solo which demonstrates the drummer's skill before coming back to the initial blues.

I'm used to relisten to an album while I write a review and honestly this album has brought my mind to 30 years before. A short and nice trip in the space-time thanks to an album which deserves to be known by the psych music addicts and shows a skill that was not very common in that time for that genre.

The average rating is not going to change. I see that all have rated this with 4 stars and this is also my opinion.

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Send comments to octopus-4 (BETA) | Report this review (#754356)
Posted Thursday, May 17, 2012 | Review Permalink

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