Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
A.R. & Machines - Echo CD (album) cover


A.R. & Machines



4.02 | 65 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

5 stars A True Kraut Meisterwerk

Echo was my first taste of A.R. and the Machines as well as one of my introductions to the Krautrock scene. At first listen I was a bit skeptical, since the Kraut samples never did much for me, but after a few spins Echo really started to hit me and I loved it. This is the album that sparked my interest in Krautrock, which I'm really getting into at the moment. Although an odd place to start because of its obscurity, Echo really is no less accessible or original than the Kraut giants of Can, Neu!, Amon Duul, etc.

This is the second of the five A.R. and the Machines studio albums, and my favorite so far. The "A.R." in the name comes from band leader and guitarist, Achim Reichel. A.R. and the Machines were Achim's Krautrock band, who were formed at the birth of prog. Before this he was in The Rattles, a Beatles-esque band and Wonderland, who made psych/pop music in the late '60s. After playing with "The Machines", Achim left the prog scene in the mid '70s for a solo career to create pirate shanties and Deutschrock.

Compared to the debut, Echo is much more spacey and experimental. It is a double LP, which often brings about mixed opinions, but this album keeps its momentum on all four sides. The five songs flow smoothly, never moving too fast or too slow and never becoming too overbearing like some Krautrock might. "The Machines" are brought to life by Achim Reichel's unique "echo" guitar style, which is more evident than ever here, possibly inspiring the name of the album. One thing I absolutely love about this album are the occassional orchestrated bits, which add a lot of emotion and diversity. The vocals are Kraut-esque, especially on the last song where there is over 5 minutes of pure vocal experimentation and chanting. At first I didn't like this part at all, but eventually I grew to enjoy it, although probably my least favorite part on the album it's still great. The sound quality could be much improved, but I think that's the fault of my CD copy which seems like a straight-up vinyl rip. If I had $200 lying around, I'd order the vinyl copy which I'm sure sounds worlds better.

In conclusion, this album is sheer brilliance and essential to any fan of challenging music, especially Krautrock fans. Requires several listens to grow (doesn't most good music?), and when it does... VERY ethereal music, total masterliness!

Mikerinos | 5/5 |


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Share this A.R. & MACHINES review

Social review comments () BETA

Review related links

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives