PSYCHEMAGIK PRESENTS MAGIK SUNSET-PART TWO.

PSYCHEMAGIK PRESENTS MAGIK SUNSET-PART TWO.

Over the last two years, crate-diggers extraordinaire Psychemagik, have released a quartet of compilations. That takes some doing, as compiling compilation are fraught with difficulties. 

As a result, many compilers struggle for two years to get one compilation released. Especially, if it’s a compilation rarities. A multitude of problems await the unsuspecting compiler, and threaten to derail the compilation. That’s not been the case with Psychemagik. Their most recent compilation, Psychemagik Presents Magik Sunset-Part Two, which is a double album, was recently released on Leng Records, features another thirteen rarities and hidden gems. This is what a compilation should be like.

Sadly, compilations like Psychemagik Presents Magik Sunset-Part Two are in the minority. Too many compilations are the polar opposite of Psychemagik Presents Magik Sunset-Part Two. They’re hastily compiled cash-ins, featuring the same songs that have been on countless compilations. Then there’s the disco and soul compilations compiled by ageing DJs and remixers. They trot out the usual suspects from the Motown and Philadelphia International Records’ back-catalogue. Be warned, listening to one of these compilations, is an hour of your life that’s gone forever. Why not spend your time much more wisely discovering music you’ve never heard before? 

That sounds a good idea in practise. However, many people live busy lives and don’t have the time to go crate-digging. Others may not have the money to go looking for musical rarities. The solution is to let someone else do the hard work, like the Psychemagik DJ and production duo. They headed out on another crate-digging for Psychemagik Presents Magik Sunset-Part Two.

Their ultimate aim is to end up with a list of tracks that may make their way onto Psychemagik Presents Magik Sunset-Part Two. Just to be in the safe side, Psychemagik will choose more tracks than they need. They could come across a problem with licensing, so have to have a plan B. Some compilers will have thirty or forty possibilities for a thirteen track compilation. The chances are, that many of their first picks won’t find their way onto the compilation. Unless they’re very lucky. So they always go crate-digging for more tracks than they need. It’s a belt and braces approach.

When Psychemagik begin planning a new compilation, no corner of their record collection will be left untouched. They’ll wade their way through thousands of records. If they still can’t find the hidden gems, rarities and killer tracks they’re looking for, they head out on crate-digging expedition. 

Psychemagik make their way to record shops, thrift stores, dusty warehouses and garage sales. No source of vinyl is left undisturbed by the crate-digging ninjas. If it was, that would lead to sleepless nights. After all, that pile of vinyl might just contain that elusive hidden gem. Often, it does. 

After numerous crate-digging expeditions, Psychemagik find themselves with rarities, hidden gems and killer tracks aplenty. They’re just about to congratulate themselves on a job well done. Then there’s a problem.

Some of the tracks Psychemagik have chosen, were private pressings. Often, they were released in limited numbers. Sometimes, only a few hundred copies were pressed. These tracks were often only released in America or parts of Europe. This really completed matters.

If a compiler wants to use a track on a compilation, they need to license it. This is fairly straightforward with major labels. One particular label has a website where they take the compiler through the licensing process, step-by-step. It’s simplicity itself. However, private pressings are another matter. 

Tracking down the artist can be time consuming and often, ultimately fruitless. Especially, if the tracks was recorded thirty or forty years ago. For the compiler, they’re forced to become Dick Tracey, Private Investigator. However, quickly, the compiler can run into any manner of obstacles. The artist can have moved, changed their name or sadly, even died. For a compiler sitting on a killer track, this is hugely frustrating. 

Some labels unable to get clearance for the killer track, will still take a chance, and release the compilation with the track included. That’s not advisable. If they do that, they should then hold royalties in an escrow account. Sadly, not all record companies do that. Thankfully, nowadays, most labels and compilers ensure they have clearance to use a track. 

Psychemagik were lucky, and managed to track down all the artists whose tracks they wanted to use. They were delighted that tracks they had recorded twenty or thirty years ago, as a private pressing, were about to reach a new audience on Psychemagik Presents Magik Sunset-Part Two.

It’s a carefully crafted, and lovingly compiled compilation, that features thirteen tracks. This includes rarities, hidden gems and killer tracks from John Keating, Orchester Ambros Seelos, Glenn, Jack Adkins, Frédéric Castel, The Electric Connection, Tony Sinclair Orchestra and Trepidants. These are just some of the tracks on Psychemagik Presents Magik Sunset-Part Two. It begins with a track from John Keating.

Sadly, John Keating died on May 28th, 2015, aged just eighty-eight. He was an innovative composer, whose music featured on various films and television shows. He also enjoyed a successful solo career. One of the best albums for newcomers to John Keating’s music is Space Experience, released in 1972. That was the same year that John Keating recorded In Search Of Atlantis. Sadly, it was never released. However, that changed when it featured on Psychemagik Presents Magik Sunset-Part Two. With its space-age, experimental, progressive and cinematic sound, it’s a hidden gem that’s a perfect introduction to John Keating. 

Orchester Ambros Seelos’ recording career began in 1966, when they released their debut album Your Favourites. After five albums, Orchester Ambros Seelos recording career was put on hold. They returned in 1981 with their sixth album, Musik Und Bewegung 1. It was released on the German label Agil Records in 1981, showcased a much funkier, dance-floor friendly sound. That’s apparent on the understated, bubbling funk of Mondgesicht. 

Plaisirs Erotiques only ever released two albums. Their debut was Plaisirs Erotiques…Vol 1, which was released on the Frech label Vygson, an imprint of President. It’s quite a rare album, and copies change hands for upwards if £55. One of the highlights of Plaisirs Erotiques…Vol 1 is Special Ero, where jazz, funk, electronica and post fusion combine with rock. 

Francis Lai started life playing the accordion, and eventually, graduated to writing film scores. In 1978, everyone was jumping onboard the disco bandwagon. Eventually, so did Francis Lai, when he released Young Freedom on the Editions label. It was different to many of the singles released during 1978. Elements of funk, disco and electronica are combined with a cinematic sound. This combination avoids many of the hackneyed cliches that feature on most disco tracks released during 1978. 

By 1981, Glenn Robles released her debut album Glenn on Big Mouth Records. The following year, 1982, Glenn was back with Glenn(Zend), which featured the track Zeit. It’s a fusion of pop, rock and electronica, with a nod to Kraftwerk, courtesy of the vocoded vocal. Slow, dramatic and futuristic, the music of the past and present is combined to create the music of the future.

For some musicians, commercial success and critical acclaim eludes them. Sadly, that was the case with Jack Adkins. He only ever released one album, American Sunset. It was released in 1984, on Boink Records. Two of the album’s highlights are the title-track, and Sunset Beach, which features on Psychemagik Presents Magik Sunset-Part Two. It’s best described as Balearic in sound, and wouldn’t sound out of place playing in a beachside bar as the sun comes up. 

Austrian guitarist, bassist and songwriter Heinz Cabas was the leaded of the Instrumental Group Cabas. They only every released two alums. This included Music For Listening, which was released on Alpana, an imprint of German label Stand Up Records. On Music For Listening, Instrumental Group Cabas flitted between pop, funk, soul and Latin. Cry in the Night sees   Instrumental Group Cabas combine funk, Latin and electronica with elements of pop. The result is inoffensive, easy listening, elevator muzak.

Frédéric Castel only ever released one single, Open Up in 1985. It was released on the French label Voxigrave, and nowadays, is almost impossible to find. Copies change hands for £80-£90. No wonder, Open Up is a beautiful slice of Balearic pop.

The Electric Connection are another group who only released one single. This was Groovy, which was released on Casablanca Records in 1979. Tucked away on the B-Side was Cry Of The Lone Wolf. It’s funky, futuristic and dance-floor friendly

Fabio Fabor’s recording career began in 1970, and by 1980, he had released his ninth album Aquarium. It featured Idolo Moresco, which showcases how eclectic an album Aquarium is. Elements of ambient, electronica, jazz and lounge melt into one, creating a track that’s cinematic, beautiful and mesmeric.

Music history is littered with groups that only release one single. The Primates one and only single was King Kong. It was released in 1979, on Héloïse Disques, an imprint of Carrere. King Kong is best described as a genre-melting track. Funk, electronica, boogie and combined to create a futuristic, progressive and hypnotic sounding track. 

It was in 1978, that the Tony Sinclair Orchestra released their debut album Summerfeelings. It was released on Coque-Records and featured Walkin’ Through the Night. This funky, soulful slice of disco opened side two of the album Summerfeelings. Rocky guitars are sprinkled throughout what many will regard as a hidden disco gem.

Closing Psychemagik Presents Magik Sunset-Part Two  is Trepidant’s Far Away. It’s a track from Trepidant’s 1982 sophomore album Money In My Pocket. Seamlessly the Brazilian band combine tight soulful harmonies with funk, jazz and disco. This slice of musical sunshine proves the perfect way to close Psychemagik Presents Magik Sunset-Part Two, until the next volume.

That’s not quite the end of Psychemagik Presents Magik Sunset-Part Two however. There’s still the ‘mix’ CD to come. Whether its inclusion is worthwhile, I have my doubts? Very few people are buying the album to hear a DJs mixing skills. That may have been the case years ago. Not now. 

Since the advent of synch and beat grids, many people believe the art has gone from DJ-ing. They’re very much mistaken. DJ-ing never was, and never will be an art form. The DJs role in society is overblown. They used to be seen as tastemakers. Not any more. Nowadays, the EDM producers play prerecorded sets of their ‘own’ music, which in many cases, was written and produced by a ghost producer. Other DJs can produce a perfect mix CD by dragging and dropping the songs into Ableton Live 9. Whether they could produce the same set using a set of Technics 1200s and a two channel mixer is debatable? That’s just another reason why the age of the ‘mix’ CD is dead. 

Most people would rather have a second selection of rarities and hidden gems on disc two of Psychemagik Presents Magik Sunset-Part Two. They’ll most likely play the disc once, and realise that disc one is much better. It features the music as the thirteen artists intended, and is part of Psychemagik’s latest musical tapestry.  

Psychemagik Presents Magik Sunset-Part Two is  best described as Eclectic, compelling, captivating and eclectic. Everything from ambient and Balearic, rubs shoulders with everything from disco, electronica, folk, funk, fusion, and jazz, Latin to pop, rock and soul. There’s even a nod to progressive rock and Kraftwerk. The result is one of the most eclectic collections from Psychemagik Presents. 

There’s come down tracks and dance-floor fillers on Psychemagik Presents Magik Sunset-Part Two. Some of the best music is the more laid back, Balearic tracks. They’re reminiscent of the downtempo albums that were popular in the late nineties, and early noughties. Other tracks showcase a cinematic sound. This includes a cinematic sounding track from John Keating who died earlier this year. Sadly, he’s still one of music’s best kept secrets. Maybe the inclusion of In Search Of Atlantis will introduce his music to a much wider audience? That’s the case with much of the music on Psychemagik Presents Magik Sunset-Part Two.

One of the most underrated artists on Psychemagik Presents Magik Sunset-Part Two is Jack Adkins. His one and only album, American Sunset featured the Balearic beauty of Sunset Beach. It’s without doubt one of the highlights of  Psychemagik Presents Magik Sunset-Part Two, which is the most eclectic of the quartet of the compilations Psychemagik have released over the last two years. 

PSYCHEMAGIK PRESENTS MAGIK SUNSET-PART TWO.

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