The Abstract Truth: Totum Silver Trees

[9 March 2010]

By Ron Hart

The Western embargo against South Africa as a diamond-rich country embroiled in the Apartheid movement kept some amazing bands from ever making it big outside the realms of their own country. Amongst the most interesting of these late 60s/early 70s acts is the Abstract Truth, who were sort of like the Johannesburg answer to the Blues Project. Originally released on the Parlophone label through EMI and respectfully reissued by Shadoks, the group’s sole pair of 1970 albums feature the kind of flute-heavy psych-jazz sounds guys like Madlib and Egon span the earth to acquire. Fans of Yesterday’s New Quintet will definitely want to check out the Abstract Truth’s debut, Totum, as its tributes to Bob Dylan, Donovan, Mose Allison, and Simon and Garfunkel are well worth hearing. Totum’s follow-up of all-original material, Silver Trees, found the Truth heading into more guitar-based territory with an album that incorporates more Zappa-inspired arrangements into the mix, while still maintaining the flute-centric groove of Totum. The Dusty Groove demographic should really take heed to the existence of these excellent reissues while they are still in print.

Published at: http://www.popmatters.com/pm/review/121176-the-abstract-truth-totum-shadoks-music-silver-trees-shadoks-music/