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Raw Material - Raw Material CD (album) cover


Raw Material


Eclectic Prog

3.54 | 56 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars Highly obscure and criminally underrated, British outfit Raw Material may not have exactly set the world alight with the two albums they released at the beginning of the 1970s, yet both do fully deserve their place in the gilded pantheon of 'lost classics'. A self-titled effort, the first Raw Material release (barely) saw the light of day in 1970, pretty early in progressive rock's development, but thanks to a chicken-livered label and complete-and- utter apathy from the days music press this was an album cruelly doomed to fail right from the start. However, whilst 'Raw Material' may have sunk without trace when first released, the same cannot be said for the album's 21st century CD reissue, which has happily re-ignited interest in the forgotten group(so much so that the Relics imprint have re-released the album on limited-edition vinyl!). And boy do they deserve it. Blending elements of psychedelia, organ-baked blues, jazz-tinged rock, folksy meanderings and lysergic- dipped pop, 'Raw Material' is indeed a fascinating set, featuring an eclectic brew of styles that somehow manage to hang convincingly together. The album also has a strange, atmospheric tone that lends a seriously cosmic ambience to proceedings, especially on the mystic opener 'Time & Illusion' which brings to mind both 'Meddle'-era Pink Floyd and King Crimson during their more aggressive moments. Add the pacey, blues- inflected raunch of 'Fighting Cock', the sparse, dreamy acid-pop of 'Future Recollections' and 'Traveller Man's flute-doused fusion and you have a genuinely exciting album that constantly surprises with it's stylistic invention and gutsy playing. Nowadays, of course, original vinyl copies fetch a small fortune on the collector's circuit, and for once the reputation of the record is matched by the music it contains. They may have been summarily ignored in their own time, but life has a funny way of turning the tables on almost everyone and everything, and thankfully the raw deal dealt to 'Raw Material ' has finally come full circle. An excellent slice of jazzy, cosmic prog, this comes very highly recommended indeed.


stefro | 4/5 |


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