Brush Brush!?

A rare record collector’s wet dream since its initial 1971 release, this self-titled album (also known as Escape) from Japanese underground collective Brush has finally received the reissue treatment courtesy of Germany’s somewhat mysterious Shadoks Music imprint. Brush was composed of a number of early ’70s Japanese psychedelic minstrels — Masayoshi Takanaka, who was also in progressive rock outfit Flied Egg, being the most famous of the bunch. Stylistically, the album covers a lot of territory. American hard psych, Dylan-esque country rock, Indian raga and wistful soft pop balladry: all of these song forms are represented on Brush’s palette. The common thread that weaves throughout the album is the subtle coating of a nascent progressive rock sensibility. The skill of the musicians is brought to the foreground via clever arrangements and careful consideration to songwriting. Highlights include the epic psychedelic juggernaut "Mother Nature’s Sun,” featuring an exhilarating keyboard workout courtesy of Toru Hatano, and the morose Takanaka-penned ballad "Tombstone.” That it took two years to track down the source material for this reissue shows the tenacity that Shadoks has when it comes to unearthing rare gems from around the globe. A new generation of sonic adventurers can now reap the benefits. (Shadoks)