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Siddhartha - Weltschmerz CD (album) cover

WELTSCHMERZ

Siddhartha

 

Krautrock

3.37 | 28 ratings

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ClemofNazareth
Special Collaborator
Prog Folk Researcher
3 stars I don’t really know what the hell to make of this thing. Garden of Delights reissued it on CD, and from what I’ve read the original vinyl is pretty much a collector’s item, if you can find it at all. I got this from a friend who has a penchant for picking up off-the-wall CDs, but has a tendency to pawn them off quickly if he doesn’t take a liking to them. So I guess considering he didn’t even want any money for this one, I should have been wary. No need to be, as it turns out, because this is a pretty interesting and entertaining album, despite the fact that it doesn’t fit cleanly into any category I can think of.

The band was apparently a group of university students who played local venues in Germany in the mid-seventies, and disappeared in the latter part of that decade leaving only this album in their wake.

The first track is quite misleading, as it begins with some kind of new-wave female vocals and poppish accompaniment. This quickly turns psychedelic though, and over the six minutes or so of the track manages to work in a little bit of punk, some twisted blues, and an extended instrumental section that sound like it might have been an attempt at a proggy number. Very weird, but it has grown on me a bit after a dozen playings or so. Very strong electric guitar presence on this track too.

The second track is almost as long, but is more of a blend of swing and artsy keyboards, with a doodling bass line that sounds more like a tuning session than anything else. There’s some echoing footsteps dubbed in for some reason and plenty more guitar, but here the tone is deeper and less pronounced.

“Times Of Delight” might qualify as a symphonic number, but the guitar here borders on Animals-era Pink Floyd before shifting to a strumming acoustic section around the time the violin kicks in. This is a pleasant tune whose meaning completely escapes me.

“Weit Weg” is the most disjointed and confusing track on the album, with a mixture of strumming and picking guitar and violin that doesn’t seem to quite track with the keyboards, and giving way to folkish flute and electric piano and eventually German vocals that also border on folk. There’s also some tuba mixed in midway, but the first couple times I heard this track I wasn’t sure if this was really a tuba, giving this an almost carnival feel. Then again, I always think tuba gives music a carnival feel, much like acoustic guitar picking always sounds like Spanish music to me. So maybe you should disregard that comment altogether.

The last track is “Gift of a Fool”, and the organ is quite prominent here, with the violin mixing with the guitar and vocals to give off a very dated feel. For some reason the vocalist has shifted to English, and the drums move to the forefront for about the only time on the album during the latter part of the song.

I’m not sure what to make of this album, but I suppose it should be considered progressive simply because I can’t think of how else to describe it. A very interesting and eclectic collection of tunes, and recommended if you happen across it somewhere. Three stars.

peace

ClemofNazareth | 3/5 |

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