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Solaris


Influenced by Amon Düül, Richie Blackmoore, and The Art Ensemble of Chicago, Solaris's experimental mash of jazz, noise, and rock rendered a product darker and more ominous than that of their idols. Comprised of Jawxillion Loeb on guitar, Karellen XOR on Farfisa Organ, and Ed Kramer on drums, the Hyde Park trio's arsenal of amplifiers and effects had to be hauled to performances via U-Haul. Despite their tonnage, Solaris rarely rarely performed outside of Alice's Revisted, a North Side juice bar that booked an inordinate number of blues legends, rising rock icons, and doubled as headquarters for pot zine, The Seed.

In 1973, the band holed up in a 15’x20’ basement rehearsal space at the corner of 54th and Blackstone in residential Hyde Park to record. Two colored light bulbs hung from the ceiling, one representing the red universe, the other the blue universe. One side of the room was filled with instruments while the other, a reel-to-reel tape recorder. The vocals and organ were run through the same Twin Reverb amplifier, while three echoplex tape delay units ran at various speeds, giving their in-the-red recordings a wash of rich distortion. Despite interest from Styx producer John Ryan and Saul Smaizys of WXRT's Triad Radio, the band’s recordings were never formally released.


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