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Xhol Caravan / Xhol - Hau-RUK CD (album) cover


Xhol Caravan / Xhol



3.78 | 34 ratings

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Sean Trane
Special Collaborator
Prog Folk
3 stars 3.5 stars really!!

One of the very first (if not THE first group) for whom the term "Krautrock" was coined, Xohl had by now dropped the Caravan name, and their improvised psych rock full of lengthy tracks (and their almost unavoidable lengths) were the norm. Whether this is their third of fourth (the boundary between Soul Caravan and Xhol is a difficult one) album, it stands as one of their definitive statement, even if some passages sound awfully close to the second life of Traffic (with Kwaaku Reebop). Titled on a iffy German pun and graced with an equally iffy artwork (the back cover being hard to deciffer), this album is close to a textbook case of self-indulgent release, but if you love live jamming, you should be in for a treat with this one.

Indeed the first side is taken up entirely by a Traffic-like live jam improv (called Breit) that should have the latter's fans drooling (even if the sound is sometimes approximate) with plenty of interplay. The flipside (Schauzel) is not much different, bar a free-jazz passage, even if it includes a Rock Me Baby improv in the middle;

While for some, this album may come as a summit in self-indulgence, those loving this kind of album will be delighted to know that the excellent Garden Of Delight label has not only reissued this album, but added yet another track of the same genre (and length) Suden Twi Vesten, which fits so perfectly the album as if it had always been a part of it. I speak in terms of improv and feel, but Saxman Belbe introes the track on a flute/recorder. This track brings the album to a whopping 67 minutes.

Not quite essential if you ask me, but in some ways this album is a pure joy and reflects the era's carefree musical attitudes, while being heavy in the experimental or adventuring side. Only some lengths are stopping this one to reach the fourth star!

Sean Trane | 3/5 |


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