megaritual – Eclipse

megaritual is the brainchild of Australian multi-instrumentalist Dale Paul Walker, and his latest, Eclipse, represents a maturation of forms laid out in two earlier releases, Mantra Music (Vol. 1) and Mantra Music (Vol. 2). While the first two releases were Walker-only joints, he is joined on eclipse by bassist Govinda Das. Blending Indian-style raga forms with heavy guitar rifts is a clever concept, and Eclipse combines the two masterfully into a one-track release which is both meditative and apocalyptic. You can name your price to get it, along with the other two megaritual releases, and if you dig Eclipse then I’d recommend checking the two earlier EPs out as well. I wasn’t able to find anything in the way of physical releases, at least at present, but I’ll edit the post should anything cross my path. For now fire up those ear cans and rock the fuck out.

It’s a Beautiful Day – Essence of Now

It’s a Beautiful Day was part of San Franscisco’s burgeoning psychedelic rock scene in the late 60s. Essence of Now comes from the group’s second release Marrying Maiden from 1970. David LaFlamme played a key role in this release, performing as a vocalist, guitarist, and violinist (he was a soloist with the Utah Symphony before the group started). Jerry Garcia provided pedal steel guitar on this release, as he would for seemingly everybody in SF in the 1960s, including CSNY and its component members, Jefferson Airplane, and David Bromberg in addition to his work with the Dead.

Their best known song, White Bird, came from their self-titled debut and while they put out a few more albums they never reached the same level of success. Luckily they left behind these sun-dripped jams.

The Trees Community – Psalm 42

The Trees Community was a communal musical project based out of the Cathedral of Saint John the Divine in New York City. The group were a religious order of sorts in that community, splitting their time between performing music, giving tours of the church, among other duties. A key feature of their work was the use of an array of instruments from around the world including the sitar, tamboura, and Venezuelan harp accompanying complicated vocal arrangements.

According to their website they began meeting in an abandoned loft in New York’s East Village to share meals and discuss all manner of spiritual matters, eventually incorporating music into their spiritual practice. When the building was set to be demolished, they–in true hippie fashion–purchased a bus and began living communally within and performing across the country. A member of the group has written a book documenting their experiences that you can read here. A few years after leaving NYC, they recorded an album called The Christ Tree, which was the only official release that the group ever put out. In 2006, Hand/Eye released The Christ Tree on CD for the first time. This box set contained all extant material recorded by the group, including live performances and a cassette released by the group called Portrait of Jesus Christ in Music. It looks like Discogs is your best bet to track down the release, although digital files can be found on CDBaby if that’s your bag.

Sergius Golowin – Die Weisse Alm

Though Golowin would be lauded primarily for his writing in the area of folklore and esotericism, Golowin turned out a real psych-infused treat with1973’s Lord Krishna Von Goloka. With help from Klaus Schulze (of Tangerine Dream fame),Golowin’s only record certainly captures the blend inviting psychedelia and electronic experimentation, perhaps best on this track. I first heard this release on Soul Jazz Records’ fantastic Deutsche Elektronische Musik 2 compilation. What stands out on this track and others on the album is the blending of acoustic jamming worthy of any flower child with enchanting vocal experimentation. In many ways it reminds me of something like Popol Vuh’s Song of the Earth. Though most versions feature the cover above, check out the cover of the Italian quadrophonic release.