hydromatics - The I-94 Bar
The American college town of Ann Arbor - A2 to the locals - has a lot to answer for. This re-issue of a long out-of-print live recording of some of its famous sons makes it apparent.
Originally released on CD only by Philadelphia's Real O-Mind Records in 2002, it's on vinyl as well as shiny silver disc this time around, and marks the return of David Laing's Grown Up Wrong label.
Everything about this show smokes. Powertane were the vehicle for A2 legend Scott Morgan, a soul prodigy (The Rationals) who made up a quarter of one of the greatest guitar rock and roll bands to ever go MIA in the mists of musical legend status, Sonics Rendezvous Band.
Here's huge news for fans of Sonic's Rendezvous Band. The first re-issues from The Hydromatics’ back catalogue on UK label Easy Action are ready for pre-order.
The Hydromatics were a ‘90s trans-Atlantic supergroup of sorts, fronted by Scott Morgan (Sonic's Rendezvous Band, The Rationals) and reprising material by Sonic’s Rendezvous Band, as well as fresh originals. Their original line-up included Nicke Royale of Sweden’s Helllacopters and Dutchman Tony Slug (The Nitwitz) and they toured Europe extensively.
This is a band that had power to burn that shone a fresh light on Sonic's Rendezvous Band by doing justice in the studio to material that we'd only heard on dodgy bootlegs.
‘The Hydromatics” is a re-mastered CD version of the group's debut record, “Parts Unknown”, with a stack of live tracks.
“Dangerous” is a LP (with free CD) of studio versions of Sonic’s Rendezvous Band classics like Asteroid B612, Electrophonic Tonic and City Slang. The 10-track LP is supplemented by “Do It Again”, “Mystically Yours” and “Power and The Glory” on the bonus CD. Get them here.
Long spoken of and heard by few, this batch of tapes documenting the short but worthy lifespan of Scott Morgan’s post Rationals band Guardian Angel (later known as Lightnin’) has seen the light of day at last. It’s a righteous addition to a starry back catalogue.
The last non-sellout in a line of powerful, soulful, R&B-influenced rock singers from the '60s, Scott Morgan's had a lot of notoriety the last few years, since the world of Rockdom at large belatedly discovered the joys of Sonic's Rendezvous Band, the late-seventies Dee-troit "supergroup" that he fronted in tandem with (and later in opposition to) ex-MC5 guitarist Fred "Sonic" Smith.
More on the Hydromatics re-issues we told you about a couple of days ago: Third in the series - and possibly the best and most well-rounded release by the band, the impossibly hard-to-find “Powerglide” album - is coming out on CD, with a generous array of bonus cuts.
It will be the first in the series.
Easy Action Records has paired the 14 Sonic’s Rendezvous Band and original compositions that were on the album with half a dozen live songs cut for radio, plus a bonus disc of 14 rehearsal tunes. This is the line-up of Scott Morgan, Tony Slug, bassist Theo Brouwer and Andy Frost (Powertrane) - it was a killer band and this is a powerful and soulful collection of recordings.
The Italian label that originally released “Powerglide” went belly-up soon after issuing it so copies of the original are next to impossible to find.
Here's a summary from the liners that'll give you an idea what this album is about:
After the run of great records with The Solution, Powertrane and The Hydromatics, Scott Morgan thought it was time to make a solo album. Thus the former singer and guitarist of the legendary Sonic's Rendezvous Band (and even before that, The Rationals) gathered around him some of the most respected musicians of the Motor City and pulled out an album that oozes black music and emotions out from every note.
Yeah, it's obvious that this has been a long time coming. Compiler and Real O Mind Records chief Geoff Ginsberg toyed with the idea of a Scott Morgan box set and put a version together - as a one-off for friends - many years ago. But now the real deal's here, with the involvement of Ginsberg as compiler and UK label Easy Action honcho Carlton Sandercock as issuer, and you'd be a fool to miss it.