Group 1850 is an interesting, if sometimes exasperating, late-’60s Dutch band who ranks among the most accomplished and original Continental rock acts of the era, though they made little impression in English-speaking territories. Starting as a more or less conventional beat band in the mid-’60s, they had taken a turn for the more psychedelic and bizarre by 1967. Determined to drive into the heart of the psychedelic beast, their songs (performed in English) are quite eclectic for the era, shifting from doom-laden tempos with growling vocals to sunny, utopian passages with breezy harmonies.

“Agemo’s Trip to Mother Earth” was one of the most ambitious psychedelic albums to emerge from continental Europe in the late ’60s. The LP’s nominal concept was, like many early such endeavors, obscure, involving something like the journey of Agemo from a paradise-like planet to the more chaotic imperfection of Earth.

Musically, the record owes a lot to late-’60s British psychedelia (particularly of the Pink Floyd school), with hints of the onset of progressive rock in its less-conventional passages. Although plenty of melodic shifts, celestial organ, wiggling distorted guitar, harmony vocals, Gregorian chant-like singing, Mothers of Invention-like horns, beatific respites (on “Reborn”), and general freakiness entertainingly convey the exploration of new psychic territory, it ultimately lacks the lyrical and musical cogency of, say, late-’60s Pink Floyd. At times the bold weirdness gets self-indulgent, throwing in phased drum soloing, solemnly intoned spoken female romantic exclamations, and multilingual murmuring.
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