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Princess Flower and The Moon Rays picture
Princess Flower and The Moon Rays biography
This chapter of psychedelic music history started from the spontaneous musical events, which were hosted by flautist Loren STANDLEE and singress Ziska BAUM at a Parisian Hotel Stella in late 1960's. Among other artists Daevid ALLEN joined the duo with his guitar, and Raja SAMYANA focused to the tribal beats with his drums. With various line-ups the group performed at French underground happenings, these performances possibly culminating at Stockholm's Museum of Modern Art, where they played with GONG in 1967. After these tours and student revolution turmoil of Paris, Loren and Ziska moved to United States. There the limited 100 copies of first vinyl release of "Dreaming The Magic of Your Maya" was produced from the the trippy hotel recording tapes. These neo-shamanist aural poems yearn to break the barriers of conventional music expressionism, and should please the fans of archaic raga rock freak-out moments. In New York the pair continued to create music and arts, and in 1970 they recorded with Raja, Patric FIPRO and Loren LAWNER the "Voyage to Nebadon" album, not being released until year 2012. This release by Wah Wah label combines both records as a convincing double vinyl release, and exposes to daylight an interesting and sympathetic hippie psychedelic act out from the shadows. A small but beautiful and meaningful movement, being part on the larger transatlantic new wave of flowerpower culture and krautrock scene.

Eetu Pellonpää 2013

Tom Newton's article from Wah Wah release's LP cover


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Dreaming The Magic of Your Maya

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Dreaming The Magic of Your Maya / Voyage to Nebadon

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 Dreaming The Magic of Your Maya / Voyage to Nebadon by PRINCESS FLOWER AND THE MOON RAYS album cover Boxset/Compilation, 2012
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Dreaming The Magic of Your Maya / Voyage to Nebadon
Princess Flower and The Moon Rays Krautrock

Review by Eetu Pellonpaa
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

— First review of this album —
4 stars I was very happy to discover the WahWah vinyl reissue of this small krautrock obscurity from a local record shop's merchandise selections. Carefully reproduced visual charms on the thick cardboard of the gatefold sleeve introduce the intoxicating sonic flows captured from underground haze of late 60's Paris, and also reveal trough an extra disc the further developed aural expressionism of Ziska, Loren and their friends, forming the collective of Princess Flower and The Moonrays and its later phase Pataphysician Orchestra. The album has also definite liner notes and beautiful pictures, giving great honor for this album though being a small step for mankind, but still a warm hug from lovely hippies.

The first LP's sides, which formed the original and rare private pressing of "Dreaming The Magic of Your Maya", cast quite different moonshadows from its separate sides. The first side is possibly dominated by bluesy guitar approach of Fej Mornin, waving in Christmas tree smelling appraisals for atavisms, Loren Standlee doing some fuzzed out statements, coloring the scenery with spontaneous flute lines, and Raja Samyana. There is a circular form been pursued by opening the A-side with a reflection from B-side's closure, but the first monotonic runs on this album however seemed most uninspiring material for me. There is some fun beat gonzo jamming going on in vein of imaginary Malcom Mooney's Can unplugged sessions, but the activity both on "Women of Moon" and "Guharam Rock" might work better when heard alive at nearest hippie campfires. On "Vanishing Rama" the inspiration starts to shimmer, as the grandiose from the blooming petals of relentlessly pulsing beats and flautists whistles is soon revealed. I believe there are inspirations from Indian Hindu cultures, but I also wondered about the probabilities of American Indian's flute/percussion/vocal traditional tribal music been a source of adoration. These oriental shamanist raga straits are more evident on further album sides, but momentarily flickering on these loosely flowing warm-up tracks.

The second side has Daevid Allen on first track "Between Spirits", which escapes completely from the concepts of modern day western traditions, allowing ancestral sensations emerge from subconsciousness, and illustrates atonal realities concealed behind the rational experiences. Some correlations might exists with the early Amon Düül recordings, but this music is more focused possibly due smaller ensemble inventing together the open musical directions, and there are more space for silent sequences, strengthening the beautifulness of the flute's sound. The following "Ancient Faces" proves that Mr. Allen's presence though being a honor is not a decisive factor for the group's innovative genius, but lies within the core trio of Loren, Ziska and Raja, shining wonderfully on this epic conjuration from bygone days, concealed within mystic musical symbols and anointed as blissful with spontaneous laughter of freedom and love. The emphasis shifts from concentration of flute solos, Ziska's charming chanting voice and a powerful percussion rhythm space uniting all the elements as magickal deistic vision.

After some time had passed from sessions at Paris, Loren, Ziska and Raja gathered to Apostolic Studios in New York, accompanied by Patrick Firpo on guitar and Loren Lawner visiting one track with violin. The beginning of the record with "Rainbow Forest" starts with aural landscape descriptions, gathering elements again from very primitive dronings and occult trance meditativeness. The sound production quality is understandably better than on the earlier hotel room recordings, yet the spontaneous approach is not ruined by more constructed recording surroundings. Within the depths of this forest seems to be quite intense witchcraft ring whirling, as the use of reverb echoes and multilayer takes on voices create a really dense and intensive assault to the oscillating audio installations. Following "Titicaca" bases firmer on dialogue of acoustic guitar mantras and tables, occasional minimal flute lines locking its coils around the ghastly forms of this spiritual musical entity.

"Voyage to Nebadon", possibly referring to the spiritual Urantia book, a fifth epochal revelation written in 50's or earlier in United States, where Nebadon refers to state "pervaded by our local universe Mother Spirit", and according the scriptures more directly "which extends beyond her space presence is outside Nebadon, being the extra-Nebadon space regions of the superuniverse of Orvonton - other local universes". The musical interpretation of this transcendental journey reminds possibly due violin slightly Third Ear Band's sounds from more atonal perspective, and in metaphorical way the ascent is described interestingly, as the chaos of instruments slowly morph as more sublime mutual variations. But I admit I felt the end resolution being slightly disappointing; Maybe I will realize the deeper meaning of it after devoted sessions with this fantastic record. The final song "Ananda" soothes the musical journey with its peaceful grace, and thematically this Sanskrit bliss also enforces the group's multifaceted approach to spiritualism and religious traditions. It is sometimes said that people who do not believe to anything believe everything, but it is also said that "all religions are one", and that there as similar truths and mutually shared destiny of seeing universe trough coarse vision, limited by lack of human senses and intelligence. In this shaded mist of riddles, I personally believe search for abstract goodness is a key for personal purification, and broad mind allows the path toward tolerance and kindness, escaping the fundamental dogmas of any authorities claiming to owe the absolute truth. I certainly felt this positive aura shimmering from this great album.

Though the surviving copies of original album are certainly collective artifacts, I think this year 2012 reissue with extra album, fine essay and pretty photographs holding more affordable content than the singular relic. I would certainly recommend this beautiful record for anybody interested in early kraut/raga fusion and spiritual tribal music within western countries underground culture context, started by 20th century baby boom generation, and still echoing in concealed corners of your cities and the glades of wilderness forests outside the government's marked trekking paths.

Thanks to Eetu Pellonpää for the artist addition.

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