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Abstract Truth

Indo-Prog/Raga Rock

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Abstract Truth Totum album cover
3.36 | 32 ratings | 2 reviews | 22% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Studio Album, released in 1970

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Jersey Thursday (3:47)
2. Coming Home Babe (6:32)
3. Oxford Town (4:09)
4. Fat Angel/ Work Song (10:16)
5. Summertime (5:40)
6. Scarborough Fair (3:44)
7. Parchman Farm/ Moaning (2:57)
8. Ain't Necessarily So/ Take Five (10:02)
9. Total Totum (Acid Raga) (5:10)

Total Time 52:17

Line-up / Musicians

- Ken E Henson / guitar, sitar, vocals
- Robbie Pavid / percussion
- Brian Gibson / bass, vocals
- Sean Bergin / sax, flute

Releases information

Uptight 1970 LP
Fresh 2005 CD (as a double album with "Silver Trees")

Thanks to Philippe Blache for the addition
and to sheavy for the last updates
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ABSTRACT TRUTH Totum ratings distribution

(32 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(22%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(38%)
Good, but non-essential (38%)
Collectors/fans only (3%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

ABSTRACT TRUTH Totum reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Warthur
3 stars Psychedelic folk-rock with some raga influences filtered via George Harrison, that's the name of the game on Abstract Nova's debut album. A rock band singing broadsides against racial segregation like Oxford Town was no rarity in the 1960s, though it was a dangerous game to play in South Africa. One can only imagine that Abstract Nova survived through obscurity, since the album seems to have fallen through the cracks somewhat, perhaps due to the sometimes unremarkable cover versions. However, when the band get into a groove and go off on a flight of fancy, special things happen, so it's worth a listen if you like a fat dose of 1960s in your early 1970s folk-rock.
Review by siLLy puPPy
COLLABORATOR PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams
3 stars Offering a rare glimpse of the South African psychedelic scene as the odometer was turning from the 60s to the 70s, ABSTRACT TRUTH released their first of two albums with a healthy dose of covers in a psychedelic folk mood. The band emerged in the port city of Durban but had somehow caught drift of the psych and folk scenes drifting on the winds. TOTEM was primarily an expression of covers but a competent take on the world's scene diffused into their slowcore and contemplative folky take on things. While this debut is very much a nice little music sampler of everything jazz, blues, folk and mellow rock of the era, there's still an idiosyncratic approach to the tracks on board as the band makes them their own and the album actually feels like a cohesive whole of originals if only we didn't know better.

While the main influences seem to be everything from Donovan and Fairport Convention to Traffic, there is also a heavy leaning toward the escapist drugged out sounds of Pink Floyd's mellowest moments as well as a surprising trippy excursions into the jazz world as heard on the Dave Brubeck's "Take Five" segment of the tail end of a ten minute twofer track. The main instruments are the guitar, bass and tribal percussion with wind tradeoffs from both the flute and sax. The atmosphere is light and breezy as the mid-tempo tracks bring the future offerings of Comus to mind without the creepy subject matter nor the twisted progressive behemoth compositions.

While the tracks basically constitute a cover album that include jazz standards such as "Summertime" and "Comin' Home Baby" along with 60s psych pop takes on Donovan tracks suchs as "Jersey Thursday" and "Fat Angel," it does contain one original tune "Total Totum (Acid Raga)" which churns out the stoned hippie effect complete with George Harrison inspired sitar improvisations which bring the guru seeking dope-inspired 60s to mind where every musician suddenly found "god" and needed to express their oneness with the divine in musical prose that proffered salvation through a jam session that suggested the need for stoned out participations to be the ticket to ride. While not a necessary prerequisite to imbibe the bounties of the intoxicating universe to enjoy this, it certainly helps to understand where the band was coming from in its approach to tackling their musical visions.

While TOTEM is a perfectly enjoyable listen it does seem to ruminate a bit too much over the efforts of others and not really effective in making a musical statement of its own. Even with the final "Acid Raga" track which finishes the effort as the band's sole original statement it doesn't quite hit the mark in proffering the promised pastures of originality that we could hope to hear in the fertile crossroads of the year 1970. While everything is competently performed with hints of English folk, Krautish psychedelic overtones and overt tributes to past masters, this one just seems to fall short in terms of consistency but nothing on here is unpleasant in the least. ABSTRACT TRUTH would find much more fertile pastures with their second album of the same year "Silver Trees."

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