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Xhol Caravan / Xhol - Altena 1969 CD (album) cover

ALTENA 1969

Xhol Caravan / Xhol

 

Krautrock

3.53 | 10 ratings

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samhob
3 stars This a very nice live release of one of the most influencal german band's in the 70's and in what would later be called Krautrock.

Xhol Caravan who called themselves Soul Caravan earlier plays a nice mix of jazz fusion, psychedelic rock, blues with some ethnic elements. While it tends to be more jazzy than kraut in general, the music is nonethless excellent and could be very enjoyable to any prog fan who's open enough to appreciate kraut bizzarreries..

Yes, this is a bizzarrerie indeed, xhol caravan aren't easy listenning at all and this live record lacks a bit in sound quality (specially on the vocals) but it doesn't bother a lot since the vocals aren't dominating on the whole record. The music itself is very great and the musicians are excellent virtuoso concerning their instruments, in xhol caravan's sound, one would recognize some EMBRYO and a strong COLTRANE influence concerning the saxophonist, as a matter of fact one of the highlight of this album is "Olé" a John Coltrane cover wich sounds a lot like a samba rythm and is really enjoyable and nicely interpreted.

The three following tracks are some short Xhol Caravan original compositions which are quite chaotic and avant-garde in the jazz sound, these three tracks reminds me a lot of the GURU GURU early sound, mixing free-jazz elements to psychedelic music.. Note that the singer's voice here is quite similar to the Guru Guru singer on their "Essen 1970" live record release.

The final track is another highlight of the album, "Freedom Opera" is a whole chaotic free-form fusion improvisation (featuring another drum solo) clocking at 56 minutes, while not as accessible and as easy to appreciate as the previous track this will certainly, besides the mediocre sound quality, grow in you.

This is finally not only an relatively enjoyable music record, but it has it's historical importance concerning the german scene of the 70's that is very interessant for those who enjoy "krautrock", other's will need some introduction to the german scene before being able to enjoy this seriously..

3/5 : "Good, but non-essential" although I agree it deserves more in a subjective way..

samhob | 3/5 |

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