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VARIOUS ARTISTS (LABEL SAMPLERS)

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Various Artists (Label Samplers) biography
This section contains albums released by record labels to promote their catalogues of artists.

In the days before the internet and MP3 downloads, it was not nearly as easy for record companies to promote their artists. Advertising campaigns in the music press had some effect, but the prospective audience could not of course hear the music.

While specialist radio stations have been around for some time in the US, in many other countries even today, the availability of anything other than mainstream pop and perhaps classical music is extremely limited.

An effective way to address these issues is for record companies to issue "samplers". These compilations of tracks by bands and artists signed to the label usually sell for well below the standard price for an album. One track by each artist is normally included. How representative that track is of their music varies widely, and as such samplers should be approached with some caution when considering whether a particular band is right for the listener.

The proliferation of samplers released by labels such as Island, CBS, Vertigo etc. in the early 1970's to promote the "progressive" and "underground" bands they were falling over each other to sign now serve as collectable historical documents. Some of the bands went on to secure fame and fortune while others simply disappeared altogether. On these albums, such bands sit side by side.

The advent of the internet and free downloads has largely removed the reason from record companies to release samplers, although they have not disappeared altogether.

Bob McBeath, October 2006

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VARIOUS ARTISTS (LABEL SAMPLERS) discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

VARIOUS ARTISTS (LABEL SAMPLERS) top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

5.00 | 2 ratings
Molecole
1995
0.00 | 0 ratings
Psychedelic Gems 5
2001
0.00 | 0 ratings
Psychedelic Gems 6
2003
0.00 | 0 ratings
Psychedelic Gems 7
2008
0.00 | 0 ratings
Psychedelic Gems 9
2010

VARIOUS ARTISTS (LABEL SAMPLERS) Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.00 | 1 ratings
The New Universe Music Festival 2010
2011
3.00 | 1 ratings
Scion A/V Presents: Label Showcase - Prosthetic Records
2012

VARIOUS ARTISTS (LABEL SAMPLERS) Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

VARIOUS ARTISTS (LABEL SAMPLERS) Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.08 | 5 ratings
The Rock Machine Turns You On
1968
3.00 | 2 ratings
Rock Machine I Love You
1968
3.51 | 3 ratings
You Can All Join In
1969
3.10 | 2 ratings
Nice Enough To Eat
1969
3.67 | 4 ratings
Wowie Zowie! The World Of Progressive Music
1969
3.00 | 1 ratings
Picnic - A Breath of Fresh Air
1970
4.04 | 5 ratings
Bumpers
1970
3.00 | 1 ratings
Reunion
1970
3.53 | 5 ratings
Fill Your Head With Rock
1970
3.86 | 3 ratings
The Age of Atlantic
1970
3.00 | 2 ratings
In good company
1970
4.05 | 3 ratings
Rockbuster
1970
0.00 | 0 ratings
Nova sampler
1970
4.00 | 1 ratings
The Vertigo Annual
1970
0.00 | 0 ratings
SiebenSiebzig
1970
3.90 | 2 ratings
The Vertigo Trip
1971
0.00 | 0 ratings
Puissance
1971
3.00 | 2 ratings
All Good Clean Fun
1971
2.14 | 3 ratings
El Pea
1971
3.26 | 4 ratings
New Age Of Atlantic, The
1972
3.00 | 1 ratings
The Music People
1972
5.00 | 3 ratings
Greasy Truckers Party
1972
0.00 | 0 ratings
There is Some Fun Going Forward
1972
0.00 | 0 ratings
Rock Generation Volume 7
1972
3.00 | 1 ratings
Rock Generation Volume 8
1972
3.00 | 2 ratings
Suck It And See!
1973
3.95 | 2 ratings
Charisma Disturbance
1973
4.81 | 2 ratings
The Progressives
1973
3.97 | 4 ratings
Charisma Keyboards
1974
3.00 | 1 ratings
This is Island
1974
3.67 | 5 ratings
V - Virgin Sampler
1975
0.00 | 0 ratings
Pop Start (Selection of the Best Pop Groups in Yugoslavia)
1975
0.00 | 0 ratings
Vece uz radio
1975
0.00 | 0 ratings
Leteca Diskoteka: Zoran Modli i Putnici u Odiseji 70's
1976
0.00 | 0 ratings
Randevu s muzikom
1977
3.51 | 5 ratings
Rock Scene
1978
3.00 | 1 ratings
Formaţii De Muzica Pop 3
1978
4.95 | 3 ratings
Recommended Records Sampler (1982)
1982
3.18 | 3 ratings
Fire In Harmony
1985
4.00 | 3 ratings
Formaţii Rock 9 - Grupurile Pro Musica / Accent
1986
3.02 | 4 ratings
Enneade
1987
2.02 | 3 ratings
Angels in the Architecture
1987
0.00 | 0 ratings
Back On The Road - The Very Best Of Progressive Underground
1988
4.00 | 2 ratings
The 20th Anniversary Album
1989
0.00 | 0 ratings
Past, Present, Future
1990
0.00 | 0 ratings
The Best of the 01/W
1992
4.00 | 2 ratings
Fafnir
1993
3.00 | 3 ratings
The SI Music Sampler Vol. 1
1993
3.00 | 1 ratings
Ambient Volume 2 Imaginary Landscapes
1993
3.50 | 2 ratings
SI Compilation Disk Too
1993
0.00 | 0 ratings
Progressive Voyage
1993
0.00 | 0 ratings
The Famous Charisma Box
1993
3.00 | 1 ratings
The Cyclops Sampler
1994
2.96 | 4 ratings
SI Music Sampler vol. 2
1994
3.00 | 2 ratings
SI Music Sampler vol. 3
1994
2.50 | 2 ratings
Anna Mulle Lovee
1994
0.00 | 0 ratings
Vild I Skogen - Silence 25 År
1995
2.00 | 1 ratings
Dans l'antre du dragon
1995
3.00 | 2 ratings
Pick'n'Mix
1995
2.95 | 2 ratings
Cyclops: The Second Sampler
1995
0.00 | 0 ratings
Dik Dik- I GiGanti: Due Gruppi Un'Epoca
1995
4.95 | 3 ratings
Sometimes God Hides: The Young Persons' Guide To Disciplne
1996
3.68 | 3 ratings
Love Proge
1996
0.00 | 0 ratings
The Third Cyclops Sampler
1997
0.00 | 0 ratings
Psychedelic Gems 2
1997
0.00 | 0 ratings
Psychedelic Gems 3
1997
3.00 | 1 ratings
MetaZoon
1998
3.95 | 2 ratings
Sometimes God Smiles: The Young Persons' Guide To Discipline Volume II
1998
0.00 | 0 ratings
30 ans d agitation musicale en France
1998
4.02 | 3 ratings
Love Proge 2
1998
3.00 | 1 ratings
Moonchild 98
1998
3.50 | 2 ratings
Lions & Fables - Verglas Music Sampler vol. 1
1999
4.00 | 1 ratings
Harvest Festival
1999
4.00 | 1 ratings
Dreams And Visions, Vergals Music Sampler Vol 2
1999
2.50 | 2 ratings
The Dawn Anthology
1999
4.00 | 1 ratings
Tribute to the Titans
1999
4.00 | 1 ratings
Think Tank Media Sampler Volume One
1999
3.82 | 3 ratings
Frog Pest Tree (Magna Carta)
1999
0.00 | 0 ratings
Psychedelic Gems 4
1999
3.00 | 2 ratings
Un Voyage en Progressif Volume 1
1999
3.00 | 2 ratings
Un Voyage en Progressif Volume 2
1999
4.00 | 2 ratings
Think Tank Media Sampler Volume Two
2000
0.00 | 0 ratings
Children of Black Widow
2000
0.00 | 0 ratings
Canterbury Tales
2000
2.51 | 3 ratings
Cyclops Sampler 4
2000
3.00 | 4 ratings
Un Voyage en Progressif Volume 3
2000
0.00 | 0 ratings
Un Voyage en Progressif Volume 4
2000
0.00 | 0 ratings
Un Voyage en Progressif Volume 5
2000
0.00 | 0 ratings
Shroom Productions Progressive Music Sampler
2001
4.00 | 1 ratings
Arktinen Hysteria: Suomi-avantgarden esipuutarhureita
2001
1.52 | 4 ratings
Anderson, Wakeman, Howe (Original Members of Yes)
2001
3.00 | 1 ratings
Un Voyage en Progressif Volume 6
2001
0.00 | 0 ratings
Un Voyage en Progressif Volume 7
2001
4.00 | 6 ratings
Legend Of A Mind
2002
4.00 | 1 ratings
Cuneiform Progressive II
2002
3.32 | 5 ratings
Cyclops Sampler 5
2002
3.00 | 1 ratings
When Worlds Collide: Inside Out Music Sampler - Vol. 2
2003
0.00 | 0 ratings
Un Voyage en Progressif Volume 8
2003
3.95 | 2 ratings
Analecta, Volume 1
2004
3.00 | 1 ratings
Ghost Notes
2004
3.00 | 1 ratings
Unicorn Digital (VA) - Progression In Balance Vol. 1
2004
4.00 | 1 ratings
Song of the Silent Land
2004
3.00 | 1 ratings
Think Tank Media Sampler Volume Three
2004
4.00 | 1 ratings
All Good Clean Fun
2004
0.00 | 0 ratings
Prog-Resiste
2004
0.00 | 0 ratings
Music In Progress I: Progressive Rock & More
2004
0.00 | 0 ratings
Music In Progress 2: Progressive Metal & More
2005
0.00 | 0 ratings
Un Voyage En Progressif (Volume 9)
2005
2.57 | 4 ratings
Ars Longa Vita Brevis: A Compendium Of Progressive Rock 1967-1974
2005
3.50 | 2 ratings
One World Tapestry - Progressive Rock from Around the World
2005
3.00 | 1 ratings
Think Tank Media Sampler Volume Four
2005
4.92 | 3 ratings
Vertigo Mixed (Mixed By Andy Votel)
2005
3.18 | 2 ratings
Successi Di Dik Dik & I Giganti
2005
3.00 | 1 ratings
More Arctic Hysteria / Son of Arctic Hysteria
2005
3.66 | 12 ratings
Time Machine: Vertigo Retrospective
2005
3.76 | 10 ratings
Strangely Strange But Oddly Normal
2005
0.00 | 0 ratings
Harvest Showdown
2005
0.00 | 0 ratings
Cyclops Sampler 6
2006
3.00 | 1 ratings
Cuneiform Records Music Sampler
2006
3.95 | 2 ratings
Unicorn Digital (VA) - Progression In Balance Vol. 2
2006
4.00 | 1 ratings
A Taste Of Belgium
2006
0.00 | 0 ratings
Cleveland Prog-Fusion Conglomerate
2006
3.00 | 1 ratings
Psychedelic Phinland - Finnish Hippie & Underground Music 1967-1974
2006
0.00 | 0 ratings
Real Life Permanent Dreams - A Cornucopia of British Psychedelia (1965-1970)
2007
0.00 | 0 ratings
Insane Times - 25 British Psychedelic Artefacts From The EMI Vaults
2007
0.00 | 0 ratings
Delirium of the Senses/ Psychedelia in Italian Cinema
2007
0.00 | 0 ratings
Wayside Sampler 3
2007
0.00 | 0 ratings
Wayside Sampler 2
2007
4.00 | 3 ratings
A Breath Of Fresh Air: A Harvest Records Anthology/ 1969-1974
2007
4.00 | 3 ratings
Strange Pleasures
2008
4.00 | 1 ratings
Spirit Of Joy - Tales From The Polydor Underground 1967 - 1974
2008
4.91 | 5 ratings
L'Ultime rock progressif du Québec
2008
4.00 | 1 ratings
Analecta Volume 2
2008
3.14 | 3 ratings
Refugees: A Charisma Records Anthology 1969-1978
2009
4.00 | 1 ratings
Aufbrüche!
2009
2.00 | 1 ratings
Prog Around The World
2009
3.67 | 28 ratings
Emkog Sampler
2010
4.00 | 1 ratings
Compilado De Musica Progresiva
2011
0.00 | 0 ratings
The Spirit Of December
2011
4.00 | 4 ratings
Prog Rocks! (Magazine sampler)
2011
3.87 | 4 ratings
Prog Rocks!
2011
3.00 | 2 ratings
Prog Rocks 2
2012
3.00 | 1 ratings
Prognosis 2.3
2012
2.80 | 5 ratings
Prog mag sampler 24 A New Day Yesterday
2012
2.50 | 4 ratings
Prog mag sampler 25 P2: Stormwatch
2012
3.33 | 3 ratings
Prog mag sampler 26 P3: The Butterfly Effect
2012
3.75 | 4 ratings
Prog mag sampler 27 P4: Suits You, Sir
2012
3.50 | 2 ratings
Prog mag sampler 28: Into The Lens
2012
3.67 | 3 ratings
Prog mag sampler 29: P6 Big Big Terrain
2012
3.50 | 2 ratings
Prog mag sampler 30: P7 Cod Bluff
2012
4.00 | 2 ratings
Prog mag sampler 31 P8: Take the long way home
2012
4.00 | 1 ratings
The Crabs Sell Out / The Crabs Freak Out
2012
4.02 | 5 ratings
Five Years in Space 2007-2012
2012
3.00 | 4 ratings
Prognosis 2.2
2012
3.00 | 2 ratings
MOJO Mag Sampler: Echoes
2013
0.00 | 0 ratings
Prog Rocks! (CD 1: Harvest)
2013
0.00 | 0 ratings
Prog Rocks! (CD 2: Charisma)
2013
0.00 | 0 ratings
Prog Rocks! (CD 3: Virgin Records)
2013
0.00 | 0 ratings
Prog Rocks! (CD 4: Liberty)
2013
0.00 | 0 ratings
Prog Rocks! (CD 5: Inside Out Music)
2013
3.00 | 2 ratings
Prog P19: Smash And Scatteration!
2013
0.00 | 0 ratings
Classic Rock Society - New Species - Volume XII
2014
0.00 | 0 ratings
Classic Rock Society - New Species - Volume XIII
2014
3.75 | 4 ratings
Prog P20: Elephant Talk
2014
4.00 | 2 ratings
Beyond Frontiers
2014
0.00 | 0 ratings
Prog Sphere Promotions - Progstravaganza XX: Landmarks
2014
0.00 | 0 ratings
Prog Sphere Promotions - Progstravaganza: Selections II
2014
0.00 | 0 ratings
Prog Sphere Promotions - Progstravaganza XIX: Convergence
2014
3.75 | 4 ratings
Prog P21: Pigs On The Wing
2014
3.50 | 2 ratings
Prog P22: A Wilderness of Mirrors
2014
4.00 | 2 ratings
Prog P23: A Lifetime Of Adventure ...
2014

VARIOUS ARTISTS (LABEL SAMPLERS) Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

0.00 | 0 ratings
Dandelion Sampler EP
1971
3.00 | 1 ratings
Classic Rock
1994
0.00 | 0 ratings
Frog Pest
1994
3.00 | 1 ratings
Frog Pest Too
1995
0.00 | 0 ratings
Passenger Sampler split CD
2006
2.28 | 6 ratings
God of War: Blood & Metal
2010
0.00 | 0 ratings
Prog mag sampler 39: P17 Awaken the Stone King
2013
0.00 | 0 ratings
Prog mag sampler No. 38 - P16: Arriving Somewhere... But Not Here
2013
0.00 | 0 ratings
Prog mag sampler 37: P15 Tangerine Dreaming
2013
0.00 | 0 ratings
Prog mag sampler 36: P14 Brave New World
2013
0.00 | 0 ratings
Prog mag sampler 35: P13 The Spirit of Radial
2013
1.00 | 1 ratings
Prog mag sampler 34: P11 Sailing Uncharted Seas
2013
4.00 | 1 ratings
Prog mag sampler 33: P10 Tipplers Tales
2013
0.00 | 0 ratings
Prog mag sampler 32: P9 Head Space
2013
0.00 | 0 ratings
Prog mag sampler 40: P18 Childhood's End
2013

VARIOUS ARTISTS (LABEL SAMPLERS) Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Beyond Frontiers by VARIOUS ARTISTS (LABEL SAMPLERS) album cover Boxset/Compilation, 2014
4.00 | 2 ratings

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Beyond Frontiers
Various Artists (Label Samplers) Various Genres

Review by OldSchoolProg

4 stars I've found that people either love sampler CD's, or absolutely hate them. Personally, I've always found them enjoyable and look forward to getting them in magazines or as promotional material. Progstravaganza's release is no different, I've given "Beyond Frontiers" multiple listens off their audio stream link, and with each listen, it get's better and better. Seconds Before Landing starts us off with a very solid offering, "I'm All Alone." It's haunting lyrics sent chills up my spine with the closing whispers and gunshot, very powerful. Fughu picks up where the previous track left off and then draws you in with its arpeggio like organ runs before the theater opens. I find myself listening to this story with its unique lyrical qualities that peak my interest and "Quirk of Fate" offers up a little bit of everything prog that I like. Traffic Experiment is no accident; this is a smooth poetic track of coolness called "Weight of the World." The easiness explodes at the end with its electric guitar solo giving way to a chorus of organ outro. Machines Dream "Broken Door" has that dreamy quality before giving way to the guitar also. The flute bridge ties the two halves together nicely. The Moonling literally takes you "Backstage" in the theater of life, taking over from where Fughu started earlier in the disc. "Backstage" took a couple listens with the vocal gymnastics and circus sounds, but its quirkiness is quickly becoming a favorite. Rolf Remlinger gives us our first instrumental track. The 6/8 section after the opening is very well developed with hints of mellotron, booming bass, and gentle synth solo. "Corrosive Exponent Too" explodes in the last half with an epic battle between guitar and synthesizer. Riccardo Sandri takes us on a folksy waltz style journey in his native language with classical guitar and simple percussion, accordion and organ. Just when you think you've heard the whole song and melody over and over again (which is still playing in my head!), he rocks it out at the end and really kicks it in overdrive. Cea Serin, "The Victim Cult," cooks from beginning to end. I may not be a fan of some of the vocal styles used, but they make it work and balance throughout the piece. This song really rocks this disc and adds a whole new layer for the listener, a lot going on here (which I'm liking more and more). Overhaul, "Three Judges," shows multiple progressive qualities in different sections tied together with some real nice solo piano work. A lot of unique rhythmic changes and textures keep the listener interested. Celluloid Winter "Feigning Insanity (Part 1)," offers up some nice acoustic guitar work and vocals. I need to hear part 2 now! "Tin Man" by Amber Herd picks up the tempo with some almost "surf" sounding guitars throughout, a straightforward fun piece from beginning to end with a little march style bridge. The only other instrumental track, Fed Colombo "Midgar" takes us on a relaxing journey adding more and more layers as we go along finally driving home a rocking beat. The fade out at the end appropriately closes the disc in perfect fashion. Overall, I look forward to getting the physical CD and spinning it in the car stereo on many trips. I like the variety, all are solid quality recordings and the artists should be recognized for their efforts. There are minor flaws, some tracks may not be to every one's taste, but as far as samplers go, I can listen to this one from beginning to end without any track skipping.

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 Beyond Frontiers by VARIOUS ARTISTS (LABEL SAMPLERS) album cover Boxset/Compilation, 2014
4.00 | 2 ratings

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Beyond Frontiers
Various Artists (Label Samplers) Various Genres

Review by lucas
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars Progstravaganza is a series of samplers that saw the light of day in 2010, at the instigation of enthusiastic founder of Prog Sphere website, Nikola Savic. The aim was to get the word out about new artists, be they self-produced or signed on a label, that lack exposure on the progressive scene.

After 20 samplers proposed in digital version, the talent digger decided to give his samplers a physical format. 'Beyond the frontiers' is the first of a series of samplers that will now be released as physical copies. Since this support doesn't offers the same time possibilities as digital versions, the number of artists sampled had to be reduced. The diversity in the material has also been restrained, for a specific focus on traditional progressive rock. The previous samplers proposed indeed a very wide range of musical styles, including ambient, jazz-fusion and extreme metal, besides progressive rock. The originality and the diversity of the bands' material on the new sampler allows nonetheless to realize that the current trends in progressive rock are far from being fixed and predictable.

As an example, one can senses the influence of trip-hop with Seconds Before Landing and their sensitive frailty, just like with the hybridous Fred Colombo where a Glass-like piano ensures the transition to a galloping progressive metal. The theatricality of Genesis can be witnessed in Fughu's music, who even benefit from the collaboration of the ever passionate Damian Wilson (Landmarq, Threshold) on vocal duties. As for Traffic Experiment, we navigate in cheerful pop seas yet with that 60's psychedelic vibe, where those exhilarating guitars and majestic Hammond fire on all cylinders. In a different range, Rolf Remlinger invites us to a devilish rockabilly supported by blazing guitars and keyboards. Conversely, our ears delight to a solar folk, first with Riccardo Sandri and a passion for traditional vibes, second with Celluloid Winter, in a more modern approach to the music. Progressive metal is not forgotten, as the music of Cea Serin, a band that went out of the silence after 10 years, is celebrated with its dynamic structures and a wide range of voices. One will also notice that Porcupine Tree continues to have disciples, with Machines Dream and their hazy music. Post-punk of the eighties is also feasting on the sampler, in its tribal form on one hand with The Amber Herd and their mesmerizing guitars, and gothic form on the other hand with The Moonling and their spectral guitars, together with the obviously snoring bass of Joy Division. With Overhaul, we are amazed by the diversity of the sound canvas, that ranges from symphonic pop to heavy prog and to traditional hard-rock and Chopin-like piano.

Progstravaganza is therefore the key to a very creative world, yet in need of help to surface from the vast progressive ocean. This projet is acclaimed by progressive rock lovers since its inception, and even if the number of bands sampled will be reduced with the new support, the diversity will still be there. A welcome return to ambient and extreme digressions is even planned on the forthcoming samplers. In short, this is a project to follow if you wish to be aware of the evolution of the progressive movement, and support original bands and artists. The release is planned for October 14th of 2014. The sampler can be pre-ordered at Progify.

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 Enneade by VARIOUS ARTISTS (LABEL SAMPLERS) album cover Boxset/Compilation, 1987
3.02 | 4 ratings

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Enneade
Various Artists (Label Samplers) Various Genres

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

3 stars This is a sampler from the Musea Records label featuring mainly Zeuhl styled music. It was originally released back in 1987. At the time of the release these were all new tracks. A fairly up and down listen I must say with some excellent tracks mixed in with some poor to average songs.

Up first and appropriately so is MAGMA but why they chose the song "You" is beyond me. This is a commercial sounding track all the way and at least the live version i've heard is an improvement on this one. Next is a band called TROLL and a song called "Break Up Dance". Kind of bombastic really with some prominant synths part way through. Violin takes over for the synths then the synths return. It's an okay instrumental. XALPH follows with "Gya-Tei" and I was drawn to this right from the first listen. A laid back instrumental with melancholic synths. This just sounds so good. Bernard Paganotti follows with "Urantia" a song that features plenty of tempo changes and moods which surprised me. An interesting track. The great Yochk'o Seffer follows with "Freya" and the horns certainly stand out throughout. Violin 2 minutes in on this one. ESKATON follows with "La Lutte" and it's a dark and deep sounding piece as female vocal expressions will come and go. An electronic vibe to this as well.

Francois Cahen is next and he worked with Yochk'o Seffer for so many years in ZAO and before that MAGMA. I really enjoy this tasteful piece with Cahen's beautiful electric piano work standing out. SHUB NIGGURATH sounds exactly like they should(haha) with that dark and eerie mood being front and center. EIDER STELLAIRE treats us with "Millenaires" and they do not disappoint. As usual I enjoy the guitar in their music as we get that typical Zeuhl rhythm that drives the song. Sax before 2 minutes. Great track! MUSIQUE NOISE is new to me. Not a fan of the male vocals or the overall sound of this one. FARBEN is also new to me and it opens with piano before a full sound arrives. It's an okay instrumental. ALTAIS is next and the sound of wind blowing greets us before haunting female vocal melodies join the wind. Things get a little too intense vocally when the male vocals arrive. Not a fan of this really. UNIVERS ZERO ends this with "Toujours Plus A L'est" a fantastic sounding tune. By the way this song would lead off their "Crawling WInd" EP.

So not a bad way to be introduced to Zeuhl I suppose, a mixed bag for sure.

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 Recommended Records Sampler (1982) by VARIOUS ARTISTS (LABEL SAMPLERS) album cover Boxset/Compilation, 1982
4.95 | 3 ratings

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Recommended Records Sampler (1982)
Various Artists (Label Samplers) Various Genres

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

5 stars As far a label samplers go this might have been the most significant in that it opened a lot of people's eyes to a whole new style of music. This was originally released back in 1982 by Recommended Records and i'll let Chris Cutler the man behind the label explain the reason for releasing this recording. "In 1982 Recommended was 4 years old, the catalogue had expanded and the label was firmly established; a sampler seemed an obvious and necessary next step. Compiling extracts from existing releases would have been boring, so I asked the most interesting groups under our umbrella to record something new. Most of them did. All the Rio groups appear, except for ETRON FOU LELOUBLAN who had broken up, and the sharp edge of the new generation of British bands is also well represented(THIS HEAT, THE WORK, THE HOMOSEXUALS, AMOS AND SARAH). But Europeans and Americans still predominate; the Japanese had not arrived yet. Ths record would have sounded very different 3 years later". "Intended on it's release to be a practical compendium, 25 years on this collection reappears as an indispensible document of the range and musical brilliance of a handful of left-field groups struggling to give shape to new musical vocabularies. The breadth of their imaginations is exemplary. And Inspiring." Chris Cutler, May 2008.

I'd also like to say that it was about a year ago that I read a thread on this sampler where heavyweights like Udi Koomran(sound engineer extraordinaire) and Steve F.(Cuneiform Records) revealed that they both played this double album to death back in the day and even for them it was a major eye-opener and a revelation. That is when I decided I needed to get this. I'll touch briefly on most if not all of the songs. I have the 2008 25th anniversary edition which also reveals what all the bands were "up to" that participated 25 years previous.

Up first is VOGEL and the song "Bottle Train" and it's mostly keyboards, percussion and vocals. Kind of a relentless yet melancholic driving rhythm to it with vocals that are processed in some manner. I like it! FAUST follows and they play "The Voice Of The Pumpkin" which is "Extract V" from "Faust Party 3". You can tell right away that this is FAUST and expecially when the vocals arrive singing and shouting. This is experimental as you might imagine. ART BEARS are next with "All Hail!" and they are a trio of Cutler, Frith and Krause. This is one of their more accessible tracks and I would even call the chorus catchy. Of course with Dagmar singing it has an avant-garde feel to it. STORMY SIX offers up a really cool tune in "Reparto Novita". The vocals are great and the song is even better. A mid-paced melancholic beauty. THE HOMOSEXUALS play "Walk Before Imitate" and the band they also remind me of is CARDIACS with the high energy and vocal style. JOSEPH RACAILLE and PATRICK PORTELLA's song is a relaxed short tune with clarinets, piano and vocals. FELIU GASUL ends side one of the original vinyl. He went on to make a lot of albums and in the process became one of Spain's leading guitarists and composers. A beautiful track really with acoustic guitar, flute and piano leading the way.

Deranged vocals and loud percussion standout on the next song "Strangelove" by THE BLACK SHEEP. UNIVERS ZERO hits a homerun with "Influences" written by Kirk. Man this is a top five on here for me for sure. Just a classic UZ song that any fan would drool over. Love when it gets more intense around 1 1/2 minutes in. ASAK MABOUL/HONEYMOON KILLERS are up next with a song with some killer bass clarinet in it along with male and female vocals. "Houdini" is a song played by THE WORK. Tim Hodgkinson plays hawaiin guitar. There are male vocals and it's a cool tune to say the least. HENRY COW offers up a couple of songs in "Slice" and "Viva Pa Ubu" written by Coper and Hodgkinson respectively. The first is an instrumental and I like it but the second is a little more difficult with Krause singing and shouting along with the rest of the band. The first album ends with an extract from a radio broadcast from DECIBEL who are from Mexico. An excellent track with some left of center clarinet while the percussion and keys form a steady rhythm.

Album number two begins with ART ZOYD's "Simulacres" with horns blasting then some sinister sounding piano and bass groove joins in. Eerie sounding strings resound with short but fast precision. It becomes mesmerizing after 3 minutes then changes with a variety of sounds before becoming intense again. I love how themes are repeated throughout. Next we get two tracks from THE MUFFINS, both of which are part of "Chronometers". Great stuff! Check out the heaviness of "Berlin" by HEINER GOEBBELS. The sound of glass can be heard breaking as female spoken words in German join in. Soundscapes of many different happinenings involving people come and go. This is experimental but oh so interesting the way they mix the music with the soundclips. Love the scream that comes and goes(haha). A top five track. Next is AMOS AND SARAH which is catchy with odd sounding female vocals and backing vocals to match. I like this one, it's a little over the top but I admire it. CONVENTUM from Quebec are next with "Commerce Nostalgique" which is a gorgeous composition with intricate sounds of beauty. HECTOR ZAZOU performs "Vera C" an emotional piece of music that has to be in my top five.

Side four of the double album begins with THIS HEAT's "Pool" with it's intense rhythm and experimental sounds leading the way. Such a cool track. Another top five song is by THE RESIDENTS called "Walter Westinghouse". It is really funny when the guys pretty much speak the words, especially the one who sounds like a hillbilly. It gets really intense late. What a song! R. STEVE MOORE is new to me but I love his vocals and the music. He reminds me of Kevin Ayers when he sings and we are blessed with two tracks here. Both are catchy and I can't stop playing them! Inventive as well if you get a chance to hear either "Pedestrian Hop" or "Follow Me". What a talent. PICHIO DAL POZZO's "Uccelini Del Bosco" is a top five. Each instrument stands out and the vocals are so expressive. It all ends with ROBERT WYATT's "The Internationale". Vocals and marching styled drums lead the way.

This sampler introduced a lot of people to some of the most adventerous and innovative music on the planet, and so I guess i'm a little in awe of it and feel the 5 stars is warranted in more ways than one.

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 Psychedelic Phinland - Finnish Hippie & Underground Music 1967-1974 by VARIOUS ARTISTS (LABEL SAMPLERS) album cover Boxset/Compilation, 2006
3.00 | 1 ratings

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Psychedelic Phinland - Finnish Hippie & Underground Music 1967-1974
Various Artists (Label Samplers) Various Genres

Review by Matti
Collaborator Neo-Prog Team

— First review of this album —
3 stars Hopefully no-one strongly disagrees that this compilation deals closely enough with the Finnish prog history and is of some interest to the readers of PA, even if it isn't a PROG compilation per se. The 2-CD set gives you a wide picture of what several kinds of psychedelic / avant-garde popular music was made in Finland between 1967 and 1974. There's a two-page essay and all the needed information on each track, in English. Apart from e.g. BLUES SECTION and WIGWAM (the rare 'Must Be the Devil', 1969, is chosen from the latter) the songs are mostly sung in Finnish, and some tracks (most of the second disc) are instrumentals.

Only a few of the artists are known from the PA database. Heavy prog band APOLLO's 'Ajatuksia' is from their only album, 1970; PEKKA STRENG is represented with the deeply psychedelic and slow 'Olen erilainen' from his debut of that same year. PEKKA AIRAKSINEN's avant-garde tape experiment 'Fos 2' dates from 1968, and from his group THE SPERM is selected a 16-minute experimental piece for electric guitar.

TOPMOST was a sixties rock group who pioneered in including psychedelia in their shows (three of the members were later in APOLLO too). 'The End' is "an improvised collage of song bits, tape manipulation (...), all inspired by the fade-out section of the Beatles' All You Need Is Love". Singer- songwriter HECTOR, who had debuted with his own translation of 'Universal Soldier' in 1965, sings here (with a less-known chap OSCAR) about the particular smoke. "The story of a young kid hooked on grass was meant to serve as a warning, but at the time, a mere reference to drugs caused the song to be banned from airwaves". So it goes! The popular singer JUKKA KUOPPAMÄKI also deals with drugs in his 1967 song.

BABY GRANDMOTHERS were a Swedish psychedelic group, but their only recording was this Finnish 7" single. EERO KOIVISTOINEN's fantastic album Valtakunta (1968) is represented with an urban, cool song sung by Eero Raittinen (later a vocalist of TASAVALLAN PRESIDENTTI). CHARLIES were a pioneering heavy blues rock group. The hilarious collective SUOMEN TALVISOTA 1939-40 were probably the most important of our underground groups, featuring M. A. NUMMINEN, "a central figure in Finnish avant-pop", and the late RAULI "Badding" SOMERJOKI. Even JUICE LESKINEN is here, with his humorous sexual allegory 'Zeppeliini'.

CD 1 is relatively accessible psychedelic pop music while CD 2 consists of more experimental recordings, most of them frankly pretty hard to digest. The compilation is very well edited in every way, making it at least an informative curiosity for foreign listeners too.

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 Reunion by VARIOUS ARTISTS (LABEL SAMPLERS) album cover Boxset/Compilation, 1970
3.00 | 1 ratings

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Reunion
Various Artists (Label Samplers) Various Genres

Review by Matti
Collaborator Neo-Prog Team

— First review of this album —
3 stars Love Records was the leading Finnish prog-friendly record company in the (early) seventies, having the most legendary prog bands in their catalogue. This compilation (re-released as CD in 2012) put together chosen tracks from TASAVALLAN PRESIDENTTI, WIGWAM and BLUES SECTION, which was the pioneering proto-prog group that gave birth to those two bands. Since BS is not in the Archives, it's perhaps worthwhile to give some further information. The group featured Wigwam's founding members Jim Pemroke (vocals) and Ronnie Östeberg (drums), plus Eero Koivistoinen (alto sax), Hasse Walli (guitar) and bassist Måns Grounstroem, who founded Tasavallan Presidentti with e.g. Frank Robson, who also had sung with Blues Section. The three BS tracks here give a good picture of the band's psychedelic-flavoured, self-written repertoire, which is sometimes edgy, sometimes poppy in a Beatles style. The jazzy instrumental 'Lucy Jane' is a rarity, not featured on the two CD's of Blues Section.

The fourth group in this compilation is less known SOULSET, which featured Harri Saksala on tenor saxophone (soon he was a singer in APOLLO) and the legendary drummer Edward Vesala, also having Apollo in his impressing CV. 'The Dish' is an instrumental jazz-rock piece with an emphasis on wind instruments.

Tasavallan Presidentti is represented by 'Solitary' and 'Deep Thinker', both slightly TRAFFIC- reminding bluesy jazz-rock songs, originally released on a single and featured on the CD release of TP's debut. The latter has great flute work by the late Pekka Pöyry.

The best tracks are by Wigwam, no doubt. 'Pedagogi' is Jukka Gustavson's fantastic, groovy song sung in Finnish. It later appeared in a different, English-language form on the classic album Being. 'Luulosairas' is rather similar, rare early Gustavson composition. 'Häätö' ('Haato' with dots, if the letters are not shown properly) is written by Mats Huldén, Wigwam's first bassist, later collaborating with e.g. Tasavallan Presidentti and Pekka Pohjola as a lyricist/ cover artist/ bassist. This is a fantastic, quite peculiar and highly progressive song! It appears also on the recent CD re- release of Wigwam's Tombstone Valentine.

A good compilation of early Love Records prog/ jazz-rock output, but with rather poor design, and also lacking of artist introductions.

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 MetaZoon by VARIOUS ARTISTS (LABEL SAMPLERS) album cover Boxset/Compilation, 1998
3.00 | 1 ratings

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MetaZoon
Various Artists (Label Samplers) Various Genres

Review by Matti
Collaborator Neo-Prog Team

— First review of this album —
3 stars This sampler contains music by six Finnish bands of Psychedelic / Space Rock, at the early stages of their careers. I borrowed the CD from Vantaa Library, I have no idea how difficult it is to find elsewhere, 16 years after the release. Dark Sun, Moon Fog Prophet and Circle are to be found in the ProgArchives, The Spiralothropes, Transparents and Lotus are not. I appreciate the way the leaflet introduces the bands. The musicians & instruments are also listed, and even the contact information is given for each act. Nice cover art too.

In their own album reviews DARK SUN is said to be a Hawkwind follower, and they have also played Hawkwind in their gigs, but happily the chosen track here is not so derivative. 9-minute 'TimeSpace Continuum' is mostly melodic electronic music with a steady beat and synth layers. Halfway a bright flute joins the trip. Very good track!

THE SPIRALOTHROPES perform two short songs reminiscent of the original psychedelic rock era around 1968. The John Cale-ish vocals are lazy and a bit monotonous. TRANSPARENTS play upbeat psychedelic, jazzy electronica that has some distilled Ozric Tentacles -vibe. Also the terms NuJazz and Chill-Out fit well. Maybe there could be more progress within both seven minute-tracks to avoid slight boredom.

MOON FOG PROPHET (who later translated their name into Kuusumun Profeetta and sung in Finnish) had at the time released only an EP, and frankly they are not yet mature here, but surely promising. Mika Rättö mocks the vocal frenzy of Peter Hammill - which he did much better a bit later - and neither the threateningly dark music is as convincing as their later works.

LOTUS' only album The Totuus wasn't yet released, but the relatively peaceful and spacey instrumental 'Mesqualito' appeared on it too. It's among the best tracks on this sampler. The short-lived, probably Gong and Ozric -influenced group's mastermind (?) Ville Juvonen has released a solo album (of electronic music) a couple of years back, by the way.

And finally CIRCLE who have a very large discography. Having started in 1991, at this point (1998) they already were clearly the most experienced of these bands. Hypnotically rhythmic 'Talking Drum' could be by CAN, and 'Friitalan nahka' (nearly 11 minutes) is more ambient experimental music. -- Sadly it seems that this kind of Various Artists samplers introducing marginal bands have become all too rare especially in Finland.

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 Cyclops Sampler 5 by VARIOUS ARTISTS (LABEL SAMPLERS) album cover Boxset/Compilation, 2002
3.32 | 5 ratings

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Cyclops Sampler 5
Various Artists (Label Samplers) Various Genres

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Crossover Team

4 stars No other independent label can be said to have done as much for progressive rock in the UK as Cyclops, and with this sampler Malcolm marks his 125th release. This double CD features 19 bands with 20 songs, with only one being previously available in this form. The collection shows the diversity of styles on Malcolm's label alone that can be called 'progressive' from the folk stylings of Mostly Autumn through the classical influences of Karda Estra to the more rocky Nice Beaver. The traditionalist may prefer Parallel Or Ninety Degrees, while those who like the old school would definitely want to own the previously unreleased CBS studio version of "Fact and Fiction" by Twelfth Night.

There are so many different styles of progressive rock that to the outsider it can be hard to work out who is what, and what styles of music are covered under the banner. There are also some sections of the scene that are quite incestuous with musicians appearing in each other's bands although this only happens a small amount in these acts.

If you have ever enjoyed prog bands then why not try this collection of what is going on now? It is a sad indictment that if Genesis, Yes, King Crimson, Van Der Graaf Generator or any of the other wonderful prog bands that this country developed thirty years ago, were starting life now then they would be destined to the same fate as the acts on this sampler. Why will hundreds of fans go to see a tribute band but not try something they have never heard before? Many of you have contacted me to say that you enjoyed the Black Widow sampler that was in #71 well why not try out the UK's No 1 progressive label and see what it has to offer? You may not like all the bands on here but you will find plenty that you will.

Originally appeared in Feedback #73, Apr 03

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 Un Voyage en Progressif Volume 6 by VARIOUS ARTISTS (LABEL SAMPLERS) album cover Boxset/Compilation, 2001
3.00 | 1 ratings

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Un Voyage en Progressif Volume 6
Various Artists (Label Samplers) Various Genres

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Crossover Team

— First review of this album —
3 stars This is the twelfth (I think) cut-price compilation of Musea artists. Of the ten bands on offer this time the only ones I have heard of are Dutch act Cliffhanger and Japanese band Ars Nova. One problem with all of the Musea cut-price collections is that they contain no band information at all, just the band names and country of origin. They also seem to pick tracks that are quite difficult to listen to out of context, so the listener doesn't get a true picture of what is on offer.

Musea are still releasing enormous amounts of material, so this is a reasonable way of finding out what some of their bands sound like.

Originally appeared in Feedback #66, Feb 02

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 Un Voyage en Progressif Volume 3 by VARIOUS ARTISTS (LABEL SAMPLERS) album cover Boxset/Compilation, 2000
3.00 | 4 ratings

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Un Voyage en Progressif Volume 3
Various Artists (Label Samplers) Various Genres

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Crossover Team

3 stars Yet another compilation from the French progressive label and of the eleven acts on show this time I have only heard Anekdoten, Quidam, Aelian and Cast before, and wasn't even aware of most of the other bands. However, one thing about these albums is that it does give an insight into bands that have released material on their own label in their homeland, which has then been picked up by Musea for European release.

One band that I was pleased to see on the album was Ten Jinn. I haven't managed to get hold of their album 'As On A Darkling Plain' yet, but have heard good things about them from America. Their track, "The Dance Of Les Innocents", is by far the stand out of the 'new' (to me) material and brings together elements of Jethro Tull, Genesis and IQ in a rock/pop fashion that is very interesting indeed.

All in all another good introduction to the label, and it should be available at mid-price

Originally appeared in Feedback #58

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Thanks to ProgLucky for the artist addition. and to easy livin for the last updates

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