Samplers from Delerium (reprint from Gibralter)

cjohnson cjohnson at SUR1A.HPSC.HISD.HARRIS.COM
Wed Jan 10 15:43:51 EST 1996

       The most recent issue of Gibralter on-line progressive magazine
       contains a lengthy review of *2* samplers from Freakbeat/Delerium
       records.  I highly recommend the "Pick & Mix" sampler, and I will
       now have to start hunting for the other sampler mentioned here.

       Following is the complete review, excerpted without permission from
       Gibralter V6 #3 (8 January 1996):

Gibraltar: gib at (subscribe, submissions, unsubscribe)
           6101 Tullis Dr. #76, New Orleans, LA  70131
           (Send material for review to this address.)

------------------------------ ARTICLES --------------------------------------

From: Mike Taylor (mike at
Subject: Sampler Discs Part 2
Date: 8 January 1996

"Freakbeat" is a British magazine dedicated to psychedelic music of a wide
variety.  Just how wide a variety can be determined by checking out the
releases on the Delerium label, which happens to be run by the same guys who
publish "Freakbeat."  Of course, the magazine covers a broader spectrum than
that of Delerium Records.  They routinely cover bands from the Mystic Stones
label, the Ozric Tentacles, Tangle Edge, The Spacious Mind...pretty much
anything psychedelic.  The pairing of "Freakbeat" and Delerium, however, made
it very easy for "Freakbeat" to release several samplers representing the
(mostly British) neo-psychedelic scene.

The first sampler is called _A Psychedelic Psauna in Four Parts_, sponsored by
"Freakbeat" spokesman, Lophophora Williamsii.  The parts are coyly labled A,
C, I and D.  Each part is cohesive within itself and the flow among parts
whisks you from the heavy trip beginning to the nether regions of the ethereal
cosmos.  Because this is a "Freakbeat" sponsored release, many of the bands
come from labels other than Delerium, although most of these artists have had
some sort of Delerium release.  Part A ("Going Out") of the The Psauna begins
with hot and heavily steam-ladden songs from Sundial and Magic Mushroom Band.
Part C ("Staying for A Bit") is our first stop for a breather, giving previews
of the rest of the trip yet to come ("Linton Samuel Dawson" by The Porcupine
Tree) but reminding us that our feet are still bound to earth (a nice
arrangement of the traditional song  "Cold Rain & Snow" by The Bevis Frond.)
"Going Further" (Part I) does take us further out yet we are visting
comfortable, familiar territory.  These songs remind of us our psychedelic
roots ("Summers End in San Francisco" by "John Fallon" and the Beatlesque
"Hello or Goodbye" by Tyrnaround) but let us now that the here is now.
Finally, we are "Leaving Completely" (Part D) with the spaciest, most
trance-inducing tracks, including the bizarre "Black Ferris Wheel" (The
Colored Plank), "Conspiracy" (Mandragora) and "Erp Riff '83" (The Ozric
Tentacles, of course).  Ahhhh, the trip has been wonderful to this point.  But
don't blow yr trip forever because you still have to get back.  But how?
Perhaps, under a different light, you'll figure it out.  Until then, why not
have some _Fun With Mushrooms_.

_Fun With Mushrooms_ is the second of the "Freakbeat" releases.  This time,
Mr. Williamsii is joined by his down-to-earth (some might say full-of-shit)
mate, Psilocybe Semilanceata.  While they sip a nice cup of organic tea, the
listener is invited to float along on a fungal fantasia.  The album opens and
closes with Boris and his Bolshie Balalaika setting the mood, delivering his
humorous "Toadstool Soup."  As expected, there is a good wealth of psychedelic
variety: sitar-laced Saddar Bazaar, fuzzed Farfisa garage from 14th Wray,
meditative serenity from Tangle Edge, Watch Children -- who could pass as
reincarnated Monkees dropping acid, the reggae rhythmed "protest" song from
Dean Carter & the High Commission (who, as Psychomuzak, recorded the
*brilliant* _The Extasie_ on Delerium) and a brief spoken word from
pro-psychedelic spokesman Terrance McKenna (who sounds an awful lot like
former American president George Bush).  Like _Psychedelic Psauna_, the bands
represented come not only from Delerium but also a variety of other
psych-related labels.  There are also five "bonus" tracks which are really the
five remaining tracks that would not fit on the _Psychedelic Psauna_ CD but
were on the original 2LP set.  The booklet contains a small amount of
information on each band, as well as a contact address.

The best is still to
come from Delerium.  _Pick & Mix_ is a 2CD sampler -- sold for the price of a
single disc -- released in the later half of 1995.  Both CDs contain songs
from established Delerium artists, such as Porcupine Tree, Dead Flowers,
Mandragora, Kava Kava and Psychomuzak, as well as new artists pending their
first release.  These bands include Suicidal Flowers, Electric Orange and The
Incredible Expanding Mindfuck.  The first disc is the "Pick" disc with 13
tracks.  These are generally more uptempo pieces but still representing a good
diversity of psychedelic styles, such as the funk-tinged grooves of Kava Kava,
the space-tinged Nukli, the heavy Omnia Opera and the folk/psych of The
Aardvarks and Suicidal Flowers. (Suicidal Flower's song "Ease II" is gorgeous
and very comparable to the rare British band Ithaca. I'm very much looking
forward to this release.)  The "Mix" side is spacier material, including a 13
minute excerpt from Porcupine Tree's "Voyage 34."  Other bands include Dead
Flowers and the newly signed Electric Orange (whose self-titled first release
is excellent).  Liberation Thru' Hearing give a reading of "The Root Verses of
the Six Bardos," taken from the "Bardo Thodol," aka "The Tibetan Book of the
Dead."  Praise Space Electric play a jazzy space jam in between a reading of
Charlie Parker's "Ornithology."  Steve Wilson, of Porcupine Tree, continues to
expand and enlighten with a synth-based project, The incredible Expanding
Mindfuck.  _Pick & Mix_ has wonderful flow and balance between the songs,
surprising for a sampler compilation.  This set is a steal of a deal and is
well worth the single disc cost to introduce you to the joy of Delerium.

For more information on Delerium and Freakbeat, contact them at
delerium at

       Hope you enjoyed this LONG article.  Apologies for the bandwidth if
       you did not.

       Captain Cloud
       cjohnson at

       ObBestLiveFrom95(94):  King Crimson "B'boom" ($24.99 at Best Buy!)

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