Often times there will crop up bands that choose the same name, causing confusion and in this day and age, legal battles. In the mid to late 60's there sprouted three bands in three countries all with the moniker Kaleidoscope. Neither the Mexican nor UK versions attained the notoriety that the US band did but all were deserving of attention in their own right.

Kaleidoscope (US) - Side Trips
This California band was most known for their ability to seamlessly mix eastern instrumentation with the newer psychedelic sound. Utilizing the oud, saz, bouzouki, fiddle, and banjo amongst others they were able to blend eastern sounds into the
context of rock with a much more subtle approach than many others who simply attached a sitar to a track for effect. Occasionally the band would venture into too much of a jug band, old timey sound but for the most part they crafted a unique sound that garnered them a contract with Epic. The band lasted for about four albums, but after several line-up changes and the loss of principle songwriter Chris Darrow the band eventually dissolved, but they left behind a wealth of material yet to be appreciated by a wider audience.

[MP3] Kaleidoscope (US) - Please
[MP3] Kaleidoscope (US) - Keep Your Mind Open

Kaleidoscope (UK) - Tangerine Dream
Garnering a bit less attention, the UK Kaleidoscope produced psychedelia of much lighter but equally compelling quality. Their debut edged into the fantastical lyrical realm that marked Barrett era
Pink Floyd, but the music was peppered with a much more folk-oriented psych approach. Many of the songs hinge on delicate melodies that give the record a very light and dreamlike quality. The band only really lasted for two albums but are a prime example of a very prolific period in British psych. Not entirely of the same vein as the US band but almost certainly worth picking up just the same.

[MP3] Kaleidoscope (UK)- Dive Into Yesterday
[MP3] Kaleidoscope (UK)- Jenny Artichoke

Kaleidoscope (MX) - Kaleidoscope
Less known than either of the first two was the Mexican incarnation of Kaleidoscope. Much more garage and fuzz oriented than the others, this band showed a rather muscular and hedonistic approach to the psych boom of the period. They had
all the sneer and swagger of the best garage acts, but took to the interjection of oddly placed effects that I suppose were the band's idea of psychedelic. These aside the album is not without merit and pulses along with a dash of organ and a rumble of fuzz.

[MP3] Kaleidoscope (MX)- I'm Crazy
[MP3] Kaleidoscope (MX)- Colours

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posted by dissensous at 10:28:00 AM


Anonymous Anonymous said...

that's really weird because I already bought the UK Kaleidoscope's album "tangerine dream". i hadn't heard of the supposedly more famous US one or the mexican one

again, awesome post, keep em up

1:42 PM  
Blogger Michele said...

holy scheisse, that Kaleidoscope (UK) is absolutely fabulous. thank you so much for posting about them, i'm totally loving it.

2:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is great. A friend of mine made a tape for me years ago with one side the UK band and the other side the US one. I never knew there was a Mexican Kaleidoscope. I'm really digging that one.. it's more the brand of melt-your-face-off psychedelia I've been into lately.

8:01 AM  

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