Thursday, April 5, 2007
Progress Busy Making Progress LP Krsna Rock 12
Another record from the Sudarshan label. 10 tracks from 1978. This group has the same singer/writer and producer as Golden Avatar. 1st track has kind of a Chicago feel. 2nd track "There is a Light" mixes in some sitar and Indian percussion. Tracks meander around some Cat Stevens meets Godspell type territory. "Busy Making Progress" brings in a heavier funky white boy groove and nice keyboard solo. "when you go" has the boys trying their hardest to channel some Stonish "Let it Bleed" country with the killer chorus of "as a matter of fact girl/death is a fact girl" then it shifts gear gets all uptempo blues rocker and then jumps into some swinging jazz type move-complete with trumpet solo?? Not as bad as it sounds.
Side 2 opens up with the existential "Protoplasmic Crud" which is some proggy meanderings with horns and strings. Some more uptempo horn driven rock is up next with "Stop and Think". Something was sounding familiar here and after a quick check I realized both these songs originally appeared on Hansadutta's "the vision" lp. It would be hard to duplicate his demented delivery and the songs fair better with some better musicians. Small world and very curious. Thankfully my extensive research in this area allowed me to connect the dots.
The record finishes off with "Changing the face of the World" which is a Indian Prog epic which is in the vein of Kansas, but never launches to those Dust in the Wind heights.... They bring it to close with a MahaMantra chant over the tracks final minutes -competing with some wanna be Clapton guitar pyrotechnics Nice.
The cover art has some freshman in art school unhinged meets 5th Grade Greenpeace poster that is fitting with the musical themes
The catalog number on the spine is BBT11 which makes me think the Bahktivendanta Book Trust put this out. Hard to tell if these guys were devotees trying to reach out to non-krsnas or krsna fans trying to let people know what is up. It strikes me as a record designed to come in under the radar as a "rock" record and then draw you into the HK philosophy after you bath in their sick hooks and chops.
After realizing the Michael Cassidy common denominator of these records, I was able to track down a solo record by him that should be arriving shortly. He also turns up on an Australian Krishna site under the name Mangalananda das. The plot really thickens. It was pretty wild to see all these what I though to be isolated records come together on this one which might be the best of the series so far. Best in the US for sure. Benediction Moon may still be hanging on to the top spot for now.