Keep - II (Rock'n Rocked Rock). 1982 Japan

Despite the subtitle Rock'n Rocked Rock, Keep's second album is definitely a fusion affair, similar to their contemporaries like Crosswind, Prism, and Casiopea. But the separator here is the ferocity of the instrumental work - recalling edgier outfits of the early 70s like Mahavishnu Orchestra. 'Aristocrat Bachelor' is the definite highlight here, and is closer to heavy progressive rock than jazz.

Personal Collection
CD: 2011 Clinck (Japan)

The original LP is a typical single sleeve with requisite obi. I sold my copy of the LP when the first edition CD came out (1999 Vivid Sound). And it was a bear to find. I finally had to ask a friend who worked at Marquee in Tokyo to send me one.

April 2017 update: I recently discovered another mini-LP version, this time as part of a 4 CD box set called J-Fusion Masterpiece Collectors' Box, which I now possess.

Lisker - s/t. 1979 Spain

A rather simplistic, primarily instrumental, album filled with fuzz guitar and flute, nice melodies, and a healthy amount of energy. From the above statement, two items are worth calling out: 1) The melodies are well thought-out, and are memorable long after the music has stopped. And 2) the guitar tone is decidedly psychedelic, which is quite the rarity for a 1979 recording. Lisker probably tracks closest to the French band Triode. And the melodic quotient could make one state that Lisker is to the Basque Country what Gotic is to Catalonia. Plus the psychedelic influences of course. Good album.

Personal collection
CD: 1994 Lost Vinyl

One of the more highly sought after rarities from the Basque Country of Spain. I once had the original gatefold in the 90s, but couldn't resist trading it for about 30 new CDs back then. Even today, I question whether or not that was a good idea. But money was much more scarce then for the UMR. Like all Lost Vinyl reissues, the CD is bare bones with no info. It's legit and from the masters, but there's also quite a bit of hiss. This is the version I own.

Stone Circus - s/t. 1969 USA-Canada

Here's another Mainstream label gem, and possibly my favorite album on the label. These Montreal based musicians (save one), decided t...