Ripped by: ChrisGoesRock
Source: Japan 24-Bit Remaster
Hush, the original vinyl album recorded by Sydney group Extradition, remains one of the most rarest albums released by an Australian artist. Prices several years ago were above $100, but unlike many other albums of the early seventies, this album is not rock nor blues orientated. Instead it mixes folk, traditional folk with avant garde ideas, yet remains very listenable, even to this day.
Having been to several folk festivals over the past few months, I can attest that several of their songs reflect the influence of English folk, particularly when vocalist Shayna Karlin takes on lead vocals: she has a classic, clear vocal sound reminiscent of Sandy Denny of Fairport Convention, although other scribes suggest Pentangle and Incredible String Band might also be other comparison reference points.
I also hear nuances of Steeleye Span. However it is the creative input from Colin Campbell and Colin Dryden that pushes the normal boundaries of folk towards more less travelled paths. On tracks like Original Whim, drummer Robert Lloyd, uses unusual percussive instruments and rhythms, without losing the interest of the listener. Lloyd later became more interested in World music, which he explored at the time in 1971, before World music became a recognised genre. The band also used unusual instruments such as a harmonium (on the classical instrumental Minuet) or the sitar sounding vina on A Woman Song. Other instruments include bamboo flute, glass chimes, harpsichord and gongs. This re-issue of the original album includes 6 bonus tracks, all from a live recording of the band in concert. For my money two of these constitute the best tracks on the album. Honeychild and In the Evening are a traditional folk song and the latter is a cover, in the blues folk idiom.
Ballad of Reading Gaol is a poem of Oscar Wilde set to music, and they do a very creditable version of Tom Paxton's Hold On to Me Babe. Dear One is a homage to the band's spiritual leader, Meher Baba. The melody is very strong and if you can ignore the lyrics - ie if you are not a convert, this is a very pleasant outing. I liked the use of the male chorus underpinning of A Moonsong. The 16 page booklet which accompanies the set, is among the best liner notes of any re-issue album in the country, putting all the major labels to shame yet again.
Ian McFarlane has done a great job researching the release by tracking down most of the original members and including comments and excerpts from their interviews. Despite the obscure nature of the original release, this album deserves to be heard by a much larger audience. However don't expect to hear a progressive rock band; this is slow paced, gentle folk and washes of sound. Still this CD re-issue should be of interest to any collector of seventies' music.
01. A Water Song
02. A Love Song
03. Original Whim
05. A Moon Song
06. Dear One
07. A Woman Song
08. I Feel The Sun
10. Song For Sunrise