Various Artists

Psychedelic Underground, Vol. 7

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One has to admit, the German psychedelic rock reissue label Garden of Delights puts a lot of care in its sampler albums. They are generous -- occasionally to the detriment of an album -- and packaged with informative and lavish 16-page booklets. The objective of Vol. 7 is to present the label's production in 2002, but in fact it offers a nice slice of early-'70s psychedelia and progressive rock from German-speaking countries. The big surprise here is the Roland Kovac New Set's "The Master Said," all 17 minutes and 32 seconds of it -- half of the album by the same title! The track has an "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida" thing going, half jam (percussion solo included), half sock-tearing tune. If Galaxy's "Morning of the Magicians" is too dominated by the influence of Eloy (it was also recorded later, in 1978) and the subject of Ardo Dombec's "Clean-Up Sunday" sounds pretty thin by now, all the other tracks constitute excellent choices, with the aforementioned Kovac track, Lily's hard-rocking "Doctor Martin," and Agitation Free's experimental jam "Sahara City" standing out. The only piece not from the '70s is a cut from Morpheus' 2002 release, For a Second. The sound quality on some of these tracks is below average, but they were released on self-produced LPs in very limited editions at the time. The efforts Garden of Delights makes to salvage them is appreciated and Psychedelic Underground, Vol. 7, like its predecessors, offers a first-class ticket for a small introductory tour.

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