The trouble with some of the current (and even former) breed of "jam bands" is they frequently fall into the trap of noodling/formlessness/self-indulgence. The trouble with the phenomenon of "space rock" (also known as "Kraut rock") is that in sometimes lacks passion or the elusive quality known as "soul." And don't ever get me started on what happened to Fusion (post-'75, you dig?). The answer to those conundrums is the northern California ensemble Mushroom. Inspired by the electric music of early/mid-70s Miles Davis and Herbie Hancock, German bands like Neu, German fusioners Passport and Embryo and groove-oriented jazz organist Charles Earland, Mushroom serve up a sonic stew full of freewheeling improvisations, zesty solos and greasy grooves. The opener "Jamming With Erik" borrows an irresistible hook from Miles’ "So What" and "Our Buddy Miles" mixes blackspoitation funky soundtrack music with the riff-driven aplomb of Miles’ "What I Say" (from Live-Evil. Which is not to imply that Analog is merely a regurgitation/rip-off of Davis’ electric period - but they learned from his lectures at the College of Musical Knowledge and put their own spin on what they learned, which separates ‘em from lesser Fusion and Jamland outfits; and their Old-School funky aspects keeps ‘em far from the bloodless, cerebral excesses of their Space Rock forebears. Simply put, these musings of Mushroom aren’t emanating from Mars or Saturn, but from the chicken ‘n’ ribs joint that’s down the street, near the bus stop. So if you’d prefer to hear brainy/spacy improvisational excursions served up with a hearty serving o’ funky groove, pick up this reissued, remastered (w/ 4 bonus cuts, dig?) version of Analog Hi-Fi Surprise.