Tom Hayes 3-July-2001 Music Emporium

Music Emporium - Music Emporium

Of all the private psychedelic pressings to come from America in the late 1960's, none were better than Music Emporium. Featuring two guys and two gals playing organ, guitar, bass, and drums, Music Emporium were able to combine both high energy rock with a dreamy/trippy psychedelic vibe. All the members were music majors at universities in and around Los Angeles and were inspired by jazz, classical, avant-garde, and rock. Their brand of psychedelic was far more sophisticated than the average garage band of the day despite the fact that the majority of the tracks were under the four minute mark. In fact, only the two minute "Times Like This" could be considered a 'normal' song. "Nam Myo Renge Kyo", "Prelude", and "Sun Never Shines" are barnstormers with some fantastic Farfisa organ by bandleader Casey Cosby and some incredible drumming from Dora Wahl. Music Emporium are at their best when they go for the 'psychedelic dream sequence' soundtrack styled song. These are characterized by dual male/female vocals, trancey organ chords, and jagged rhythms. "Velvet Sunsets", "Catatonic Variations", "Gentle Thursday", and "Winds Have Changed" are examples of this style. The longest track is "Cage" which is, not surprisingly, the most complex and angst ridden song on the album. The closer, "Day of Wrath", is a quasi-religious apocalyptic ending with Farfisa providing what would normally be the church pipe-organ. Overall Music Emporium were a good two to three years ahead of the pack when it came to creative musicianship. The fact this was done on a private budget makes the album even more extraordinary. Certainly one of the top five psychedelic releases ever!

Unfortunately, Music Emporium has never been reissued legitimately. The original used to go for $1,500 until a small stash was found in the mid-1990's lowering the price to a still exorbitant $800. Of the boots, the Flash CD is a of decent quality. Be particularly cautious of the Psycho LP reissue which left out an entire channel! Unfortunately some Gnosis raters have only heard this version and have graded accordingly.

Breaking news: High quality reissue label Sundazed has just issued Music Emporium legit on both LP (with die cut cover) and CD! Good news all around.

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