CMU, also known as CONTEMPORARY MUSIC UNIT were an UK band active in the early 1970's. They were fusing various aspects of art-rock, jazz-rock and folk with a nod to the psychedelic rock.
A unique (at the time) characteristic of the band was a combination of female and male vocals, making an interesting blend. The male vocalist was James Gordon (who was also participating with percussion in the band),the female vocalist being Larraine Odell (later of RED EXPRESS, still active in various jazz projects nowadays). Other members were keyboardist Terry Mortimer (who also played some violin), Ian Hamlett (guitar, flute), Ed Lee (bass) and Larraine's husband Roger Odell (on drums).
The band released their debut 'Open Spaces' for Transatlantic in 1971. The record is an unpretentious mixture of psychedelia and blues, with some bizarre sonic patches here and there.
They changed their line-up drastically for the following album: instead of Mortimer, Gordon and Lee, the band hired Richard Joseph on acoustic guitar (and vocals), Steve Cook on bass and Leary Hasson on keyboards (Hasson came from MARSUPILAMI, which was also on Transatlantic label).
Reinforced with new members, and a moderate shift in their sound (the presence of Mellotron and spacey synthesizers),... Read More|
... the band released their second (and last) album titled 'Space Cabaret' in 1973. This effort was much more elaborate, complex and original.
By the 1975, the band was no more. Both Transatlantic vinyl were re-released on CD's.
CMU are often compared to Arthur Brown and AFFINITY; but fans of CURVED AIR might also enjoy the music of CMU. Both albums are worth checking, especially the second.