CD (LP 1974,re.201O)

private (?) Phoenix : Night Street (SK,1974,re.2010)**°

If I interpreted the Korean booklet well, the rock band Phoenix has the keyboard player from the Donkeys and the drummer from Mickys/The Men (Donkeys and The Men were two bands from Shin Yung-Hyun, more psychedelic bands from those days). Phoenix however is a much more docile band. The drumming is very easy-going and softly righteous, the songs as well, being simple and almost karaoke versions of what should be rock music, so more like pop music with rock band.  The vocal harmonies are kept simple too. Track 5, “(Voice)”, shows a nice flute arrangement. From track 5 to 9, we hear the use Hammond droning chords. Only the last (and also title) track, that is a bit longer, shows much more of the capacities of the band. Here we hear another good flute arrangement, some place for an instrumental break with a wilder, bluesy fuzz lead guitar, with another moody fuzzed guitar in the end too, with in between the song parts. The first bonus track is worth hearing too, “Hope You Feeling Better” (not sure if this is the Santana track). I think I heard this track from another Korean (Shin Yung Hyun related?) psych-rock band. Also here are heard decent electric guitar solos, and it is more psych-rock styled. The second bonus track, a remake of “Night Street”, isn’t too great as a song but also shows better electric guitar solos. “IMF Blues”, the third bonus track is bluesrock with electric guitar solos with simple drumming, but is going nowhere specifically.  The last track is more dominant with a drumbox instead of real drumming.

The album was introduced as "New CD reissue of weird '70s soft rock/psychedelic sounds from the Land of the Red Devils by one of Korea's obscured bands. Intended as the Korean answer to The Badfinger, Santana & even Jan & Dean (!). Included here are 'Day after day', and humorous Scott Walker-ish salon pop like "Moksori (Your voice)' & 'Nureol Bonaego (Since you've been gone)', with 70's American style heavy psychedelic tune 'Bamkil (The night street)' and Santana's 'Hope you're feeling better.' With 4 bonus tracks."

This specific reissue, a numbered edition (my copy is 57) I think has a run of 200 copies only. It was released by the guitarist, Tommy Shim on his own label.  Not sure if this is the Nirvana records reissue which was announced some while ago. There was a previous reissue on Rhythm-On. 

Other description : "The main man behind this band and album is guitarist Tommy Shim. The material that comprises this album seems to have been recorded between 1971 and 1975. Some of it is MOR pop arranged for the Korean market, but there are some real fine guitar blasters on this CD that out way any of the fluff. From what I gather Tommy, who has a bit of a Hendrix influence, now resides in Tacoma, Washington and records mainly blues music, not unlike that of Stevie Ray Vaughan. I would say this represents some of his earliest and formative work. Definitely worth checking out. The bonus tracks sound, to me, to be recorded well after this album and show how his own style and feel for the guitar has developed and progressed since his early days. Some of his music is available on-line to check out, do it...."

Korean info : http://www.maniadb.com/artist.asp?p=114495
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