In The Land of Free, we still keep on Rockin'

Plain and Fancy

"I hope for nothing, I fear nothing, I am free"


Friday, November 2, 2012

Magic Carpet - Magic Carpet (1971 uk, brilliant oriental psychedelic folk rock)



The legendary UK band, Magic Carpet, was formed in 1971 by Alisha Sufit (singer-songwriter and acoustic guitarist), Clem Alford (sitar, esraj), Jim Moyes (guitar), and Keshav Sathe (Indian tabla / percussion). Magic Carpet created a unique and unusual sound in a true meld of musical styles and influences.

The sitar player, Clem Alford, was classically trained in the Indian tradition, as was tabla player, Keshav Sathe. Alisha Sufit, who first met Jim Moyes when they were both students at Chelsea School of Art in the sixties, writes original songs reflecting diverse influences - including traditional, contemporary and . The band recorded one eponymous album first released in 1972. The original vinyl version has since become a sought-after collectable, now reissued on CD by Magic Carpet Records label. Visit the MySpace page or their web site for more information.

Quote: 'Based around the classically trained sitar virtuoso Clem Alford and the breathtaking ethereal vocalist Alisha Sufit, Magic Carpet delivered perhaps one of the finest Indian-influenced psychedelic folk albums of the 1970's. Unfortunately this supremely talented collective split before the album was released. Alisha Sufit's astonishing vocal talents are included in nine of the twelve tracks, the remaining three being instrumental. Alisha Sufit and Jim Moyes play guitar, with the brilliant Keshav Sathe on tabla percussion. This album has been described as 'a psych folk gem - a unique and extraordinary fusion of east and west, Magic Carpet being one of the very first bands to truly combine Indian and western instrumentation'.

For the listener who craves the deep, warm, dark green and forest brown, fog-drenched Indian influenced psychedelia that chartered its way out of San Francisco in the late sixties / early seventies, this reissue of the Magic Carpet's debut record will ring a true chord. True, the band hailed from the UKA  nowhere near the flower children of the Haight, but their brand of "Eastern Psych Folk" is close kin to After Bathing At Baxter's era Jefferson Airplane (a seriously underrated record) and calls to mind the Bay Area folk revival scene going on today. 

In a time of Devendra Banhart's elfin freakiness, Joanna Newsom's evil-angel resurrections, and the resurgence of interest in Vashti Bunyan, the Magic Carpet's 1972 lost classic could not sound fresher. Alisha Sufit is a resurrecting chanteuse whose dark voice is crystal clear and mesmerizing; Clem Alford's sitar playing is top notch and truly psychedelic. The songs come as old friends (our favorite: "Father Time") and hang in the air as mysteries, leading to the sweet 20+ minute instrumental raga not found on the original release. Top notch rainy day music, and for those so inclined, a perfect bong stuffer for the holidays. 


Tracks
1. The Magic Carpet (Alford, Moyes, Sathe) - 2:28
2. The Phoenix - 3:22
3. Black Cat - 4:05
4. Alans Christmas Card (Alford, Moyes, Sathe) - 3:21
5. Harvest Song - 3:41
6. Do You Hear The Words (Alford, Moyes, Sathe) - 3:00
7. Father Time (Sufit, Alford, Moyes, Sathe) - 4:22
8. La La (Alford, Moyes, Sathe) - 2:42
9. Peace Song - 3:49
10. Take Away kesh (Alford, Moyes, Sathe) - 2:35
11. High Street - 3:37
12. The Dream - 3:56
13. Raga (Traditional arranged by Clem Alford) - 20:27
Words and Music by Alisha Sufit except where noted

Magic Carpet
*Clem Alford - Sitar, Esraj, Tamboura
*Alisha Sufit - Vocals, Guitars
*Jim Moyes - Guitars
*Keshav Sathe - Indian Tabla, Percussion

identical artists
1970  Oriental Sunshine - Dedicated To The Bird We Love
1971  The Rainbow Band

Free Text
Free Text II

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this great album!
This reminds me another indian flavoured psych folk gem: the rainbow band,wich recorded an album in 1971 for the elektra label.
I'd love to see that one posted on your blog too someday!

Marios said...

Anonymous,
The Rainbow Band here:
http://therockasteria.blogspot.gr/2012/11/the-rainbow-band-rainbow-band-1971-us.html

wcpaeb said...

Thanks, I've heard a lot of good things about this record.

Anonymous said...

Hi Marios,
i'm speechless,have no words to thank you enough!!
I love these acid folk albums!
Thank you!

Arjuna Dharma said...

este album es delicadamente maravilloso, es de lo mejor en folk que he escuchado no me aburriria jamas de esta joya musical. gracias por el blog, te comparto el mio
lossonidosdelespiritu.blogspot.com

Anonymous said...

Agradezco infinitamente hayas subido este disco, es una maravilla.
Tanbien bajé The Rainbow Band, en Flac, ya que lo tenía en MP3.
Siguiendo con este tipo de fusión, ¿no tienes el LP de SADDHU BRAND - Whole Earth Rhythm, de 1970??

Gracias por tu generosidad.
Mike

Marios said...

.....The Phoenix rise....