Psychedelic Microdots, Vol. 1: Orange, Sugar & Chocolate

Various Artists

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Psychedelic Microdots, Vol. 1: Orange, Sugar & Chocolate Review

by Lindsay Planer

This 18-track compilation is the first of three single-CD Psychedelic Microdots compendiums. Under the discerning ears of producer Bob Irwin, Sundazed Music has single-handedly reintroduced many seminal sides -- such as those featured on this collection -- into the digital domain, and likewise to an entirely new generation of music lovers. This inaugural volume commences with a sampling of the vintage mind-altering melodies and garage rockers from nine lesser-known artists, many of which would become the subject of future full-length releases from the label. Tellingly, all dozen and a half sides are original compositions. This definitely flies in the face of most burgeoning bands, which would pad out their recordings with high-octane cover tunes. Another equally discriminating factor is that Irwin accessed the original master tapes instead of aurally inappropriate dubs from well-worn vinyl. This audio anomaly plagued many of the same recordings as featured on various installments in the Nuggets and Pebbles series. Orange, Sugar & Chocolate begins with a pair of platters from the Brogues -- a San Jose-based combo that included future Quicksilver Messenger Service members Greg Elmore and Gary Duncan. "I Ain't No Miracle Worker" and "Don't Shoot Me Down" -- the respective A and B sides of the band's second 7" release from late 1965 -- are included here in previously unearthed stereo mixes. We the People, who contribute nearly half of the material on this release, hail from Florida with a finely honed, thoroughly aggressive, and fuzz-induced sound combining their decidedly raw punk attitude with contrastingly strong melodies. These are especially evident on "In the Past" and "By the Rule" -- the latter of which is reminiscent of Chuck Berry's classic "Talkin' 'Bout You" -- as well as the raucous "Mirror of Your Mind." Equally as heavy are the pair of contributions from Lindy Blaskey & the Lavells. Both the challenging and in-your-face "You Ain't Tuff," as well as the staccato punctuation on "Let It Be" -- which should not be confused with the Beatles track -- exude a decidedly nonconformist 'tude and somewhat confrontational sonic pounce. There are also a few one-off sides ranging from Fenwyck's heavily produced "Mindrocker" to the More-Tishans darker minor-chord classic "(I've Got) Nowhere to Run."

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