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Saturday, 15 April 2017

QUAD - QUAD (Sulatron Records LP).

Now that Gary Ramon and Sun Dial have found a welcoming home for their releases on the German psychedelic label Sulatron Records, we are now starting to see the timely re-issue of the more obscure releases from Ramon’s own Acme label. New from Sulatron is a real collectors item……………originally released in 1997 the first album from Gary Ramon’s Quad project is due to hit the vinyl racks for the first time in twenty years. Available on vinyl only (although there a plans for Quad and Quad 2 double CD package in the near future) this groundbreaking mix of Ambient Electronica and 70s Krautrock is set for release towards the end of May 2017.   

Released during Sun Dial’s long hiatus during the 90s, Quad started out as a more experimental solo album away from Sun Dial’s Psych Rock/Indie Rock releases and was finally completed in ‘97, landing in an alien landscape of records by Radiohead, The Verve, Blur and Oasis and a full on Techno scene…….There was not much love for trippy Psychedelic guitar improvisations beyond a smattering of hardcore heads and if there was ever a case of wrong time, wrong place then this is it. Unfortunately, this really fantastic record dropped way below the radar, but thanks to the good folk at Sulatron we now get hear what we were missing at the time. The Psychedelic/Ambient/Drone/Electronic music recorded in the '90s for the Quad project has not aged one bit, sounding possibly more relevant in 2017 than it did in 1997……………….basically, Gary Ramon is a seriously under appreciated musician who is so far in front of the curve it’s scary and in effect it’s taken 20 years for everyone to catch up. Comprising of three long tracks, Quad combines early ‘90s Ambient Electronica and Eastern vibes with a solid ‘70s Krautrock influence, mainly the drifting guitar sound of Ash Ra Tempel’s Manuel Göttsching, and has in the past been described as “sounding like Shiva meeting Jesus for a common freak-out on guitars, sitars and severe machines”………..which aint that far from the truth People. The opening track ‘Tempel’ has a strong Krautrock core (the clue is in the title) as Gary Ramon’s light and airy guitar floats across a soundscape of bubbling synths and sitar drones underpinned by some really groovy drumming. ‘Projection’ is a proper headswirler mixing organ drones, spiraling sitar and a funky bass line with scorching Acid Rock guitar. Flip the disc and the second side of Quad contains just the one track…………….and it’s a total mind melter. ‘Revisitation Mantra’ comes from the narcotic netherworld where Psychedelic Rock, Eastern mysticism and a foggy ambiance melt together in a hazy lysergic vapor……………it’s a track that demands you get heroically stoned before you drop the needle. It’s totally trippy and in no doubt completely at odds with what was happening when the album first dropped. The re-issue of this great record happens at a time where there are going to more receptive ears for Gary Ramon’s psychedelic soundscapes and where 70s Krautrock is common musical currency and not just something Julian Cope and a few hardcore heads dig…………… may have taken 20 years for this record to be properly re-released, but it has been worth the wait.

Out on 26/5/2017, the self titled first album by Quad is released as a limited edition of 500 copies on orange vinyl. Available from your local tuned in record store, on-line and direct from Sulatron Records web store……………..keep ‘em peeled for pre-release details.

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