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Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Supersister - Reissues

In the Canterbury scene, and in the jazz world, everything can go a little bit crazy and weird at the same time. But in the global world of Progressive Rock, you can tell that you can have both at the same time all thanks to a band that came out of the underground circuit in the Netherlands. Supersister weren’t just a Canterbury band alongside the Soft Machine and Caravan, even though they’re a little bit happy of being considered prog in the 1-minute humoric parody of Corporation Combo Boys, they always have a taste of that knowledge of humor and the admiration of Frank Zappa. Its strange but beautiful at the same time with the time signatures and odd key moments with lead vocalist and keyboardist who is the combination between Kevin Ayers and Robert Wyatt, Robert Jan Stips or the bass techniques of Ron Van Eck while Sacha van Geest is doing a Jethro Tull relative flute solo jazz style or the mellow and pounding drumming of Marco Vrolijk that would take these four guys some unbelievable situations and moments throughout their short-lived period from 1970 to 1974.

On their debut album, Present From Nancy, released in 1970 on the Polydor label, Supersister are stupendous as they play like madmen with memorable moments with fuzz tone styles of the organ as if they were paying tribute to Mike Ratledge and wonderful instrumental pieces and weird songs including Introductions, Memories are New, Mexico, Dreaming Wheelwhile, and the homage to the Byrds on Eight Miles High. To The Highest Bidder, more twisted than ever with some heavy duty experimental style that is almost an homage to Germany scene of the early ‘70s including Klaus Schulze and early Tangerine Dream albums in compositions like; No Tree Will Grow (On Too High A Mountain) and Energy (Out of Future) while the music becomes a faster roller-coaster ride on A Girl Named You and Higher.

Pudding En Gisteren which is almost a grand ballet piece that could have been a part of the Avant-Garde scene of Andy Warhol’s scene it still carries the passion of the first two albums. There is no bad track on here that would make the dance composers to give them the middle finger. The melodic ballad turned proto-punk style of Radio, the backward tape gone haywire with Supersisterretsisrepus and then go into the comedic classical piano style on Psychopath, the 12-minute strange composition of mixtures of Canterbury, melodic gothic graveyard ballad, and then go into the quirky doo-wop sounds of the ‘50s that might have got them to get a taste of their funny bones with Judy Goes on Holiday and the dysfunctional ballet music of all ballet music of the 21-minute title track.

After the departure of Marco Vrolijk and Sacha Van Geest, and adding new members to the band, they decided to give it another go as a concept album ala Jazz Fusion style based on Alexander the Great with Iskander in a mad scientist way. Beginning with the haunting saxophone solo on Introduction that seems a haunting sound very shofar like sound for Yom Kippur as it segues into the Miles Davis funk style taste of Dareios the Emperor (Bitches Brew style), the flute solo turned into a bloody aftermath with a touch of Herbie Hancock meets Egg ala Dance Music meets Jazz meets Punk on Confrontation of the Armies, The Battle is more of the scenery of the battling for peace for Alexander The Great as the music changes in weird places including Babylon which has chanting and a twisted sax solo similar to the Soft Machine’s self-titled Third album. Supersister remains one of the most underground cult bands and they still pack a punch and kick plenty of ass from these fine dutchmen for all Jazz and Prog fans to go fucking crazy over.

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