Friday, 31 July 2009

Eskaton - 4 Visions ( 1979 )

With superb dual female vocals Eskaton were probaly the best Zeuhl styled band of them all.

4 Visions originallly released on Cassete is a classic. 4 tracks - 4 visions - a must for Magma fans but without the Kobaian language invented by Magma. Here the vocals are sung in French.

If your new to the Zeuhl style then 4 Visions is more easier to get into than most. It's a winningly enegetic music with many changes in tempo , and dare i say almost danceable compared to most others in this style. But never taking away the sheer inventiveness.

This is an extremely impressive listen indeed from Eskaton. Very highly recommended!

Get It Link 

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Eskaton (10:24)
2. Attente (10:12)
3. Ecoute (13:00)
4. Pitié (8:44)

Total Time: 51:25

Line-up / Musicians

- André Bernardi / bass
- Gérard Konig / drums
- Alain Blésing / guitar
- Gilles Rozenberg / organ, synthesizer

- Eric Guillaume / Fender piano

- Marc Rozenberg / Fender piano
- Paule Kleynnaert / voice
- Amara Tahir / voice

                                                                  Eskaton - Écoute
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Wednesday, 29 July 2009

Peter Frohmader - 3rd Milleniums Choice ( 1990 )

Another highly experimental dark and dense work from PF . Highly synthesized / sampled, and similar in many ways to Homunculus II, although this is much more heavier in parts.

Take Saturn Symphony for instance. Serpentine twists and turns with throbbing bass, pounding timpani and screaming twisted strings, all set the stage for a devastingly powerfull aural experience. Theres some great ambient moments too with otherworldly voice / poetry. Superb for the most part as we get some full on Zeuhl attahk as only Frohmader knows how.

Hyperion features choppy Piano / Strings and more marching madness. Reminds me a little in part of some Art Zoyd.

Eisenkraut features eerie violin and takes us to another dimension with a very strange atmosphere! An OUTATANDINGLY BRILLIANT dark creative experimental ambient work here.

Pharao ends the album perfectly with massed voices and cacophonous blasts.

To sum up. Another obscure little gem of an album. Definitely one of Frohmaders best. Wickedly intense and not to be missed!!!

Track Listing:
1 Saturn Symphony (24.50 )
2 Hyperion ( 8.23 )
3 Eisenkraut ( 11.59 }
4 Pharao ( 14.08 )

Lne Up:
Peter Frohmader - Sythesizer, electronics, bass
Stephan Manus - Violin ( on Eisenkraut )

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Tuesday, 28 July 2009

Peter Frohmader - Homunculus II ( 1988 )

German multi instrumentalist Peter Frohmader is founder and leader of Nekropolis,a heavy, primitive & dark electronic rock group launched in the late 70's. With several solo works under his belt, some with guest players, Frohmader creates some of the most evocatively haunting experimental/ electro / zeuhl like music, ones likely to hear. Close akin to Heldon , Richard Pinhas and Magma. An eclectic and aquired taste maybe, but if you have it then your in for a treat.

Homunculus II was my introduction to his music, and is still one of my favourites. Starting with heavy percussion and eerie atmosphere , the chills come thick and fast with the pounding drum / oboe/ violin / sax, and power bass sections. A rich dark almost medievil gothicness drips, and i find the synth voices really captivating.There's also some quirky surprises along the way too.

With just two long pieces of everchanging , cyclic, creepy electronica ; frohmaders pulsing bass and Bittova's weird violin work, all makes for one hell of a fantastic trip. Sounds cliched, but the images conjured up here are extraordinary. An esotericly sublime atmosphere pervades.

Quite a unique strange underworldly experience then. If your a fan of horror film music and like really dark instrumental experimental music then this is for you. I could almost imagine this as the soundtrack to ' Carnival Of Souls ' .

Homunculus II is one of Frohmaders more rarer releases and is an exceptional album if your in the mood for something different. Very Highly Recommeneded. More reviews coming shortly on some of Frohmaders other releases.

Line Up:
Iva Bittova Violin
Chris Karrer Violins, Alto Sax, Oud
Norbert Preisler Acoustic Guitar
Stephen Siephel Oboe
Peter Frohmader Bass, Synthesizers

Track Listing:
1 - Homunculus Part III
2 - Homunculus Part IV

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Monday, 27 July 2009

Dun - Eros ( 1985 )

"Eros" is an incredible album, and ranks as some of the best prog to come out of France. DÜN's brand of prog is complex, aggressive, and fast of ideas. It owes plenty to Zeuhl, but listeners will find tons of ZAPPA, Indonesian gamelan, and fusion-jazz influences. The CD consists of four 10-minute epics from the original album, and 4 bonus tracks (3 of which are early live versions of album tracks). Some of the featured instruments include flutes, vibraphones, and synths. But, like most Zeuhl music, the bass and drums play a very dominant role. The guitarist even adds a fusion sound to the compositions that is rather unique. Overall, "Eros" ranks right up there with ESKATON's "4 Vision". Review from

Consisting of only four tracks Dun's ' Eros' is another excellent zeuhl styled album, but also has a heavy dose of RIO mixed in there.

Hailing from France, this was Dun's one and only release. Mores the pity really.

Based on writer Frank Herberts Dune , Arrakis kicks of the album which starts simply, meanders somewhat before exploding into chaos which recalls the battle for Arrakis. All of this ,(as is the entire album) is excellently played with much dexterity in the bass , percussion, guitar, departments. There's also some really nice xylophone and flute playing.

Another highly recommended zeuhl syled album. Probably will appeal more to those who like there zeuhl with myriads of complexities and more RIO styled.

The bonus tracks are alternative versions.

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. L'Epice (9:25)
2. Arrakis (9:36)
3. Bitonio (7:09)
4. Eros (10:17)
5. Bitonio (alternate) (10:20)
6. Arrakis (alternate) (5:07)
7. Eros (alternate) (7:11)
8. Acoustic Fremen (unreleased) (6:17
Total Time: 65:22

/ Musicians - Laurent Bertaud / drums
- Jean Geeraerts / electric guitar, acoustic guitar
- Bruno Sabathe / piano, synthesizers
- Alain Termol / percussions
- Thierry Tranchant / bass
- Pascal Vandenbulcke / flutes

Saturday, 25 July 2009

Okay Temiz - Fish Market ( 1995 )

Okay Temiz is one of the most famous Turkish jazz percussionists. Besides releasing solo albums with many excellent guest musicians he also formed ' Oriental Wind '.

A fine east west fusion crossover is at the heart of Temiz's music. Resplendant with percussives and full on exotic flavors with all manner of world jazz twists.

If you are new to the music of ' Okay Temiz' Fishmarket is a great place to start. There's some amazing tracks in here!

Track Listing

1 Düm düm tek 4:42
2 Nightmare 2:57
3 Ozone Hole 3:15
4 Zig Zag 4:13
5 Tic Tac 3:55
6 Hopscotch 3:45
7 Fishmarket 6:46
8 Düm Düme 4:39
9 Koca Arap 2:33
10 Horsetail 4:58
11 Ikili 3:35
12 Under Rainbow 3.21
13 Last Breath 4:55
14 The Lay 4.22

Thursday, 23 July 2009

Pancake - Roxy Elephant ( 1975 )

Though one of the lesser known late 7o's German progressives Pancake were an excellent Krautrock band who released 3 albums. All of which were different to each other with ever changing line ups. The only mainstay being Walter Negele , guitarist and main songwriter.

Roxy Elephant is is still as fresh sounding today as it was in 1975. This was Pancake at there best which owed its sound and style not only to Krautrock but British progresssive / psychedelia of the era too. Here we have multiple guitars with hard edged rock/ ballad songs peppered with more spacey/psychedelic jams and breaks. The vocals are sung in english and are really good. In parts i'm reminded of some Eloy instrumentally.

Hilight of the album for me is the 13 minute Aeroplane which has excellent high flying dual guitars and great shifts in tempo with lots of dynamics and subtleties. Some Grobschnitt certainly springs to mind here, and just as good too by the way. The title track is also a superb instrumental with excellent rhythm guitars and driving drums/percussion and bass. Fantastic drum solo in there too! A great way to wind up a very underrated album which deserves a much wider recognition.

Overall then, very hightly recommended to krautrock/ psychedelic/ rock fans alike. You also get an excellently recorded and produced album as well. Definitely worth a listen!

Gunther Konopik Drums, Congas, Percussion ( Vocal )
Walter Negele Lead Guitar, 12 String
Tommy Metzger Lead Guitar ( Vocal )
Werner Bauer Bass,Guitar, Triangle,( Vocal )
Hampy Nerlich Vocal

Track Listing
1. Heartfire
2. Rolltreppe
3. Aeroplane
4. End Of The day
5. Remember
6. Longlife
7. Harmony
8. Roxy Elephant

Wednesday, 22 July 2009

Richard Wahnfried ( 1981 )

Richard Wahnfried and later just Wahnfried was a side project of Germany's synth maestro Klaus Schulze. Here we have a supergroup consisting of Manuel Gottsching ( Ashra ) guitar and the internationally famous ' Mike Shrieve' drummer of Santana. Karl Wahnfried , the other axeman is qouted as being a pseudonym for a more famous guitarist - we can only guess who!

The music here is more mainstream and electro rock than Schulzes solo works yet it does recall his Digit / Trancefer and Dune works albeit with a different vocalist than Arthur Brown , one Michael Garvens.

With just two lengthy tracks , one each side of the album , here's a short rundown :

'Schwung' is very percussive and moves and grooves with lots of lead guitars and some understated vocals. A most enjoyable 18 minute piece although it doesn't really go anywhere as such.

'Druck' begins with breathy synths, acoustic guitar and percussives. A typical schulzian sequencer/ bass adds rhythmic color to the mix and then expressive electric guitars takes us to another level. A very nice and spacey flowing track which is probably my favourite of the two.

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Schwung (17:05)
2. Druck (18:20)

Total Time: 35:25

Line-up / Musicians - Klaus Schulze / keyboards

- Manuel Göttsching / guitar
- "Karl Wahnfried" / guitar
- Michael Shrieve / drums
- Michael Garvens / vocals

Tuesday, 21 July 2009

Eider Stellaire 3 ( 1987 )

Founded by drummer Michel Le Bars, who played in " Offering " Stellaire play a very zeuhl/ jazz rock on " Nihil" which takes up the whole of side 1. A lively and intricate synth/ brass guitar driven affair which has some splendid drumming throughout. Sounds as though most of this is improvised . There's the rumbling bass here which is typical of this style and lots of greaat guitar solos which builds with more intensity as the track progresses.

Next up is L'Encre Des Litanies which has in part a slow funeraal drum beat, Janik Top like bass and again some nice guitar and keys. Theres a shift in gear later on as we get an almost De Futura like Janik Top bass line pumping away with distorted guitar and pounding drums.Supoerb stuff here and for me the best track on the album.

Finally 'San Repos' ends the album which is in similar vein to track one.

Very recommended to Magma fans!

Get It Link

Songs / Tracks Listing

Side A:

1. Nihil
2. L'Encre des Litanies
Side B:
3. Sans Repos

Line-up / Musicians

- Isabelle Nuffer / piano

- Franck Coulard / electric piano
- Michel Le Bars / drums
- Jean-Claude Delachat / guitar
- Patrick Singery / bass

Monday, 20 July 2009

Otto Bekker - Sitar & Electronics( 1971 )

Flasket Brinner ( 1971 )

Those into swedish progressive/folk/psychedelic rock should find much to enjoy here, on Flasket Brinners debut album which grabs ones attention right from the start. Don't let the obscurity of this album ( which it certanly is ) put you off, as this is an excellent work.

Part live and part studio recordings are blended together nicely. There's an amazing array of styles on dispaly with that typical Swedish sound being very prominent.

Having ties with Bo Hanson you can imagine what to expect really as the music is not too different to his own.except this is more experimental. Hansson even plays on one song "Bosse" himself, which for me is the highlight of the album, being a great jam of a track. Incidentally there's also an excerpt from Hansons "Lord of The rings" on " Tysta Finskan".

A fine album then with a good recording to boot.

Get It Link

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Gånglåten (6:51)
2. Tysta Finskan (14:02)
3. Gunnars Dilemma (2:10)
4. Bengans Vals (0:59)
5. Bosses Låt (5:46)
6. Räva (1:34)
7. Uppsala Gård (2:39)
8. Musik Från Liljevalchs (6:40)

Line-up / Musicians - Bengt Dahlèn / Guitar, Violin, Vocals

- Gunnar Bergsten / Saxophone
- Sten Bergman / Organ, Flute
- Per Bruun / Bass
- Erik Dahlbäck / Drums

Guest musicians:

- Ove Gustavsson / Bass (4,7)
- Bosse Hansson / Organ (4), Cowbell (1,2)

Sunday, 19 July 2009

Eloy - The Power And The Passion ( 1975 )

For those not in the know, Eloy named after the people"Eloi" from H.G.Wells's famous "Time Machine" were one of Germanys most succesful progressive space rock outfits from the early 70's and onwards. Power and the Passion comes from
the mid seventies when they were at there peak.

Somewhat softer and more symphonic on this release to the previous albums, this is nonetheless excellent throughout and Eloys first stab at a concept album. It was i understand initially to be be a double album but wound up a single.
Besides being softer "Power" is also more psychedelic than previous albums, with plenty of Mellotron, synhts and electric piano. I find the spoken words nice too, besides the vocals. The album artwork compliments the music perfectly as well, as we jouney on this colourful musical trip, which incidentally i find to be one of "Eloy's" more atmospheric works.It's all topped of by a really excellent last song " The Bells Of Notre Dame ". A dark and spacey, slow tempo organ/ mellotron driven piece.

If your a fan of "Eloy" ( as i am) , or not , this album is a very good place to start!

Line-up / Musicians

- Frank Bornemann / vocals, guitar
- Luitjen Janssen / bass
- Fritz Randow / drums
- Detlef Schwaar / guitar
- Manfred Wieczorke / keyboards, mellotron
- Mary Davis-Smith / voice (3 )

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Introduction (1:10)
2. Jouney Into 1358 (2:56)
3. Love Over Six Centuries (10:05)
4. Mutiny (9:07)
5. Imprisonment (3:12)
6. Daylight (2:38)
7. Thoughts Of Home (1:04)
8. The Zany Magician (2:38)
9. Back Into The Present (3:07)
10. The Bells Of Notre-Dame (6:26)

Total Time: 42:23

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Friday, 17 July 2009

Arzachel ( 1969 )

This album seemed to have escaped my attention until just recently. I,m glad i discovered it though as this is really something special in the space rock psychedelic genre.

Arzachel was the earliest formation of STEVE HILLAGE and DAVE STEWART , which apparently at the time were also known as URIEL. HILLAGE was only 17 when he played guitar on this and the other members were of a similar age too. Being so young you might think this one and only album to be under par to the greater things yet to come by some of these band members. Not so!!! This is a surprisingly mature work musically in every sense. Featuring some of the most explosive and tripped out psychedelia your likely to ever hear.Certainly right up there with the very best , like a mixture of all the best parts of EGG, GONG, NATIONAL HEALTH., CARAVAN, PINK FLOYD and even some early STEAMHAMMER on track 5 ' Clean innocent fun.

Overall this album is a masterpiece with hardly any low points. The climactic ' Metempsychosis ' is one log fantastic jam. Alternating between slow and fast passages with HILLAGE andSTEWART duelling it out as it were and ending in blasts of distorted organ.

Amazing that the entire album was recorded in one session in one day. A brilliant album for sure. Don't miss out on it as long i have!!

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Garden of Earthly Delights (2:40)
2. Azathoth (4:11)
3. Queen Street gang (4:20)
4. Leg (5:31)
5. Clean innocent fun (10:24)
6. Metempsychosis (16:19)

Total Time: 43:25

Line-up / Musicians

- Basil Dowling (Clive Brooks) / drums
- Njerogi Gategaka (Mont Campbell) / bass, vocals
- Sam Lee-Uff (Dave Stewart) / organ
- Simeon Sasparella (Steve Hillage) / guitar, vocals

Wednesday, 15 July 2009

Alphataurus (1973)

One of the finest of all italian progressives from the classic 70's . Somewhat similar to other bands of the era such as MUSEO ROSENBACH and IL BALLETO DI BRONZO. Keyboards are very prominent in this rich and expressive music, which by the way is much better than there second album although it's still another splendid album. This one though is really a masterpiece and a true italian progressive classic. The complexities jel so well it's quite an amazing listen. Special mention for the vocals which are very fine indeed and you'll be hard pushed to hear better.VERY highly recommended!


Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Le chamadere(Peccato d´orgoglio) (12:18)
2. Dopo L´uragano (4:48)
3. Croma (3:14)
4. La mente vola (9:21)
5. Ombra Muta (9:48)

Total Time: 39:29

Line-up / Musicians

- Michele Bavaro / vocals

- Alfonso Olive / bass
- Pietro Pellegrini / keyboards
- Giorgio Santanderea / drums
- Guido Wasserman / guitar

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