Friday, October 30, 2015

Freedoms Children - "Astra" 1970 / "Galactic Vibes" 1971

Freedom's Children reflects a tiny but fascinating and oft-forgotten scene of South African progressive rock, regularly omitted from prog annals and denied their part in music history. But in their time, Freedoms Children were no less innovative than Atomic Rooster, Egg, or Colosseum and their 1970 release "Astra" was an extremely important if completely missed record. Luckily it was reissued in 1990 and again several times. The original band Julian Laxton's lead guitar (and inventor of his "black box", a much mythologized sound producing device), Nick Martin's organ, bassist/lyricist Ramsay McKay, Brian Davidson's voice, drummer Colin Pratley, Harry Polous on organ and vocals, and Gerard Nel's piano. Many well known musicians played in the band over the years including Trevor Rabin, Mick Jade, and Ken E. Hanson.
Unable to work in certain places due to Apartheid, the band found it difficult to break through, especially outside their country but continued making strides throughout the 1970's. Undoubtedly their most important work and finest effort is "Astra", a spicy and exciting blend of heavy prog mixed with plenty of psych and blues. The disc has been released as many as six times in varying degree's of quality, the last being in 2004.

Freedom;s Children is one of the best of the hard edge prog bands, and a jewel in the South African prog crown, and is highly recommended to fans of earlier, more intense heavy rock bands.
- Atavachron (David) -Prog Archives  
For a totally in depth biography check out this article from the South African Rock Encyclopedia

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