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Clark Hutchinson

Indo-Prog/Raga Rock

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Clark Hutchinson A=mh2 album cover
3.85 | 51 ratings | 9 reviews | 29% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 1969

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Improvisation On A Modal Scale (10:00)
2. Acapulco Gold (7:00)
3. Impromptu In 'E' Minor (8:30)
4. Textures In 3/4 (11:00)
5. Improvisation On An Indian Scale (13:50)

Total Time: 50:20

Bonus tracks on 2008 CD2 & 2012 expanded reissue:
6. Bad Loser
7. Crow Jane
8. Can't Carry On
9. Seymour's Boogie
10. Put You Down
11. Someone's Been At My Woman
12. Make You
13. Summer Seemed Longer

Line-up / Musicians

- Mick Hutchinson / acoustic (4), lead & rhythm guitars, bass, piano & bongos (1,4), timpani (3-5)
- Andy Clark / organ, piano, drums, tenor (1,3) & alto (1,3,4) saxophones, flute (4), bagpipe chanter (1), bass drum & maracas (1,4), gong & vocals (3), rhythm guitar (4)

- Walt Monahan / bass (6-13)
- Franco Franco / drums (6-13)

Releases information

Artwork: David Wedgbury (photo)

LP Decca ‎- DN.R.2 (1969, UK) Mono
LP Decca - SDN-R 2 (1969, UK) Stereo

CD Repertoire Records ‎- PMS 7081-WP (1998, Germany)
2xCD Sunbeam Records ‎- SBR2CD5048 (2008, UK) Remastered by Dave Blackman, with bonus CD (8 tracks), actually their recording debut released only in 1994 as "Blues"
CD Angel Air Records ‎- SJPCD404 (2012, UK) With 8 bonus tracks (same as on bonus CD above)

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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CLARK HUTCHINSON A=mh2 ratings distribution

(51 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(29%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(43%)
Good, but non-essential (22%)
Collectors/fans only (6%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)


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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Sean Trane
3 stars 3,5 stars really!!!

This duo produced three albums that were a bit over-looked at the time of release but have been highly regarded by collectors for decades now. This is their only album that has an interest for progheads as the other two are definitely more bluesy (one for sure) .

The C & H duo provides four lenghty tracks full ,of improvisations but not the hippy kind of boring solos , but rather intricate modal improvs around Indian and Spanish music. Please note that the fifth track is not an original vinyl track but a bonus track and also an alternate version of the album opening track. Experimental? Not really but but if you like strong instrumental virtuosity , this is the kind of album that shoulsd please you.

This is the kind of rare lost gems from the 70's that almost all first hour progheads will cherish although this was released and still available since the early 90's on German label Repertoire records - always more advisable and respectful than the doubtful Italian Akarma label were Author's Right are not fully recognized.

Review by mystic fred
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars A=mh2 = magic!

Two musicians, Andy Clarke and Mick Hutchinson, recorded this album in two twelve hour sessions, playing all instruments between them including bass, keyboards, rhythm and lead guitar and various percussion instruments, and as the sleeve notes stress, " no technical wizardry or trickery", meaning good old fashioned musicianship! Many influences on this their first album such as flamenco guitar, "raga" style and various ethnic rhythms all work together creating a very interesting listen. All are technical masterpieces, though by today's standards they may sound somewhat basic, and only using an eight track recording studio. For 1969 made very interesting listening as eastern music was very popular then.

"Improvisation on a Modal Scale" - improvisation is the word here, some excellent guitar soloing over a repeated theme as in most of the tracks here followed by the beautiful "Acapulco Gold" which features some masterly flamenco style "slightly amplified" guitar playing, the sleeve notes strongly state "no double tracking" - ok i believe them!.

"Impromptu in E Minor" crashes in, a rather Bolero style beat overplayed with a rather tinny sounding rhythm guitar and piano, followed by distorted lead guitar solo, leading up to that Bolero-style build up complete with male voice choir! I like it.

"Textures in 3/4" begins with a rather native american style intro using drum and maraccas, introducing a sax solo with flutes which build into a very pleasant piece, interspersed with lead guitar and piano solos creating a distinctly eastern- style hypnotic effect, leading up to the longest track on the album "Improvisation on an Indian Scale" which seems to attract the most attention to this album, it is 13.5 minutes of eastern magic, very popular music at the time, and according to the sleeve notes "brings forth some of the most skilful intricate and fastest guitar work ever put to disc.." i won't dispute that as there is some fine playing on this album which would interest musicians or simply the curious, but may be lost on those less interested in musicianship but those who just like to hear a good song. 37 years on this does sound rather simple to modern ears but i enjoy the album immensely and would recommend it as a very interesting piece of early, though unusual progressive music, and considering the many styles and influences contained therein i'll give it five - an essential addition!

Review by philippe
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars A fantasist and amazing musical essay for brilliant electric guitar solos, raga-psych and bluesy rock. Without any doubt the best release from Mick Hutchinson / Andy Clark collaboration. "A=mh2" is covered by gorgeous improvised guitar parts in a rather technical style. Hutchinson's guitar inspiration is accompanied by acoustic percussions, sometimes punctuated by piano / flute arrangements. "Improvisation on an Indian Scale" culminates the album: an extended 13 minutes improvisation for an intense fuzzy-folky-raga incantation. The guitar solo section is sustained by a solid rhythmical guitar / percussion accompaniement. The leading theme is played by furious, trance-like and cyclical" electric guitar solos: an almost "esoteric" sounding jam. "Acapulco Gold" is an electro-acoustic dominated guitar composition with a nice, catchy sense of "introspection" and some furious "flamenco" like accents. The jazzy and groovy "Improvisation on a Modal Scale" is the least interesting moment despite really nice guitar sections. "Impromptu in 'E' Minor" is a gentle folky improvisation around the piano and some obsessive guitar sequences. "Textures in 3/4" features an almost "Celtic", folkish guitar improvisation with a definitely cool electric melody. A rarity and really impressive, inspired late 60's project, historically speaking this is a must have!
Review by Marty McFly
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Errors and Omissions Team
3 stars And last genre to visit, indo-prog, raga rock. But sad thing is that right after listening another new genre, Zeuhl. OK, this can't be compared, so I'll try to be correct. I have to admit that I both don't like this kind of music ("yet" maybe), nor see much prog things in it. It sounds little bit like psychedelic rock, it's also trying to be hypnotic, but not so successfully.

But to the music. Basic foundation is something like ambient guitar riff and (as first and last track announces) improvisation. Because it's rock with India influences, I suppose that this oriental melody is it. Quite nice though, I always liked it. But sadly, it's so slow and can't catch my attention. Not that slow things are bad, this is quite boring for me. Maybe it IS me who's wrong, but for now, I feel it that way (for late changes of mind are there edit buttons).

Music without voice, guitar solos over and over again. But this guitar is so magical at times. But mostly, it's not so good, just tracks 1 and 5 sounds very good. Therefore, 3(+) stars.

Review by stefro
4 stars Vastly superior to this duo's other two releases - the messy 'Gestalt' and the underwhelming 'Retribution' - 'A=,MH2' is a truely psychedelic, late-1960's Indian/Raga/psych/folk/prog marathon that finds an almost perfect balance between the east and the west, the raga and the rock, and the calm and the crazed. Made up of multi-instrumentalist Andy Clark and guitar-virtuoso Mick Hutchinson, the aptly-named 'Clark Hutchinson' met sometime during the 1960's when both musicians could be found in the underground group Sam Gopal Dream. From the sound of their music it seems likely that the twosome might have been fond of the odd herbal-or-psychotropic tipple, and after the demise of the oddly-monikered Sam Gopal Dream, the duo decided to pair-up and explore the sounds of India and beyond, merging those exotic sounds with a western 'rock' dynamic. So far, so pretty high-minded and Hippie-dippie. But hey, it was a different time back then, and it sounded good. Unbelievebly, experimentation was the creative watchword at the tail end of the sixties/beginning of the 1970's, and any musicians trying this sort of thing in 2010 would be instantly straightjacketed 'World Music'. Clark Hutchinson may have had lofty ambitions and seriously leftfield practices, but they also had immense talent and, dare we say it, foresight into the natural progressive arc of rock music(!). Along with fellow brits Jade Warrior, who produced three excellent oriental-tinged prog/folk/rock albums at around the same time, Clark Hutchinson were part of a small niche of artists who eschewed the bluesy or the overtly-progressive in favour of casting their sonic nets to lands farther afield. 'A+MH2' is possibly the apex of the genre - strong words, I know - because it positively drips with an earthy authenticity that truly places this album as lovingly-crafted epoch to the now stereotypical sitar-and-tabla drenched style of Indian music. It's also a damn good LP. It's easy to see where modern groups such as San Francisco's mind-melting psych-rockers Wooden Shjips(the 'j' is deliberate) get their epic, motorik-grooved and deeply trippy soundscapes from, and from start-to-finish the whole album reverberates with cosmic bliss for those in love with the psychedelic side of psych/rock. Without a doubt, one of the trippiest albums from the trippiest period in modern music. And that's no mean thing. STEFAN TURNER, LONDON, 2010
Review by Kazuhiro
3 stars The diversification included at the time of the latter half of the 60's and the field of the forward music included the flow of an original groping by each musician and experimental directionality indeed.

Especially, flow of a certain kind of main current that method and age of expression of music by active musician and band at this time had. The item of psychedelic and Blues Rock might have established a multipronged flow. And, various bands and musicians exchange it. And, it is guessed that directionality and groping for the music at which oneself should aim continued.

The music character at which this DUO had especially aimed in those situations and the flows of the activity might have been experimentally done by deriving a multipronged element of psychedelic and Blues Rock from the part in the main current that was. The part is mirror to this album well.

The music character that this DUO gave in the situation of the music that derives gradually in the 70's and results will be recognized to the listener as one proof by the development of the music character that has already been cultivated.

Andy Clark known by having participated in the work of Sam Apple Pie takes charge of various musical instruments in this album. And, it is said that this debut album by Mick Hutchinson who was the member of Sam Gopal Dream of the antecedent of Sam Gopal was exactly made from their experimental part and session. It is said that they had already produced the sound source before this debut album is announced according to a certain theory. There is a theory that says that only Germany was sales it. The sound source that they had already produced as a guess is not certain corresponding to the album that is called "Blues" put on the market in 1994.

Directionality of Blues Rock and psychedelic of their having already had them establish it at this time. And, the tune is composed in demonstrating musical instruments that they introduced by the recording to its maximum and it is partial of the idea. Flavor of Raga Rock included in original tune produced with them and progress of Chord.

They might have attempted the establishment of the music character that had to be aimed gradually by this album. Andy Clark and Bass player's Stephen Amazing shifted to "UPP" later as a well-known fact about this DUO. The activity of "Clark-Hutchinson" is neither on the way will not be nor a street point of their development though those activities developed further. The establishment of the music character including the age and the construction of the tune with the unique aspect are indeed expressed well. It is expressed enough by this album.

"Improvisation On A Modal Scale" is a tune that contains the element of psychedelic and Heavy Blues Rock. Riff of the unison with Sax and the guitar makes a little aggressive melody. The rhythm of the percussion instrument in close relation to there puts out a good flavor. It is possible to improve it as a composition in which not the performance of a simple band but musical instruments and melodies are emphasized. Melody of guitar to emphasize part of psychedelic. And, the melody and the dash feeling with the piano have an original composition.

"Acapulco Gold" is a tune where the performance of Mick Hutchinson shines. The performance done only with the guitar is a melody with expression of feelings. The flow of the melody that recollects the music of Spain expands the width of this album. It can exactly enjoy a technical part of Mick Hutchinson.

A repeated melody by Chord of the guitar and a piano melody indeed give "Impromptu In E Minor" the part of psychedelic. The rhythm of the percussion instrument that makes the atmosphere of the tune as much as possible also contributes to the tune. And, Solo of the guitar in close relation to complete Chord produces a little aggressive sound. Or, the chorus of the solemnity of the tune in the latter half also expands the atmosphere of the tune.

The melody of good Sax for an enchantment rhythm section twines round "Textures In 3/4". The melody of psychedelic and Raga Rock that the melody of the continuing guitar is good is put. The construction of the melody in close relation to the rhythm of three rhythms exactly makes a good flow. The tune shifts to a more chaotic part in the latter half. The construction of the sound with various musical instruments is splendid.

As for "Improvisation On An Indian Scale", the melody and the music scale of complete Raga Rock twine round the rhythm section where the dash feeling exists. The part where Raga Rock is good might be exactly emphasized. Repeated length and rhythm and melody give the gaga expression.

The construction of the music character at which they should aim is exactly expressed enough by this album. Element of psychedelic and Blues Rock. And, the fusion of included Raga Rock might be one established music.

Review by Warthur
3 stars An album based around a very simple formula: Andy Clark plays a catchy psychedelic tune and guitarist Mick Hutchinson plays raga-inspired solos over it. As far as formulas go, it works pretty well, and the pair seemed to be bringing in a wide range of influences - as on the opening track Improvisation On a Modal Scale, in which Andy Clark's jaunty rhythm for the backing track seems to take in a swinging sort of jazz influence on the one hand and a hard funk vibe on the other. However, the songwriting chops of the pair hadn't quite developed to the point where they could turn adequate improvisations into stellar compositions, and the album ultimately seems to explore its own little musical cul-de-sac without making any great advances. It's no waste of time to give this one a listen, or even several, but it's not so good that you ought to go out of your way to track it down.

Latest members reviews

4 stars What we have here is basically an in-studio jam session between Andy Clark and Mick Hutchinson. It starts off with improvisations on a modal scale, which is my favorite track on the album. The song is just a big musical build up adding certain parts as it goes. On paper it seems that it would get bo ... (read more)

Report this review (#749476) | Posted by Master of Time | Sunday, May 6, 2012 | Review Permanlink

5 stars A Great Listen For Anyone That Likes Traditional Indian Or Spanish Music. 1). The first track of the album, "Improvisation On A Modal Scale" is the only track on this album that isn't a stand-out. I can't really will myself to listen the whole way through but it is still a decent songs. 3/5. ... (read more)

Report this review (#234859) | Posted by Xanthous | Monday, August 24, 2009 | Review Permanlink

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