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Xhol Caravan / Xhol - Electrip  CD (album) cover

ELECTRIP

Xhol Caravan / Xhol

 

Krautrock

3.43 | 49 ratings

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Sean Trane
Special Collaborator
Prog Folk
3 stars 3,5 stars really!!!

This album is considered the turning point where Soul Caravan will become eventually Xhol, losing the second part to avoid confusion with the Canterbury band. With s superb psychedelic artwork and a title to match it, the album is clearly proof that Soul Caravan was indeed growing into Xhol as part of the members lived in a commune. The term Krautrock was probably first used while talking of this band, and this album might just be the first album presented as such.

Starting on a toilet flush, the opening side is made of extended tracks where the organs and saxes are exchanging/alternating solos on a series of tracks that don't seem tomatter if theyb really exist on their own rather than as a whole. Electric Fun Fair is an extended soloing round circling on a circus-music theme. Slightly superior is Pop Games where Belbe and Fischer's saxes trade licks before drummer Skip (not Spence) and conga-er Rhodes interrupt for some 90 seconds, before the track returns to the original feel. All Green is definitely funkier and jazzier and laid back.

The flipside is more about the unavoidable 17-min Raise Up High's presence (and its rocket start, followed by a raunchy guitar/vocal passage that last pretty well the whole tracks save the atonal improvs that are scattered throughout. The whole thing is a bit sketchy, indulgent, dodgy, repetitive and not always interesting either but on average, it doesn't stand up to the first side, finishing on a harpsichord tinkling. The last Mashalla is a botched-up idea best forgotten

The GOD label reissue joins as bonus both tracks of their preceding single with both sides actually clash with the rest of the album, but has the merit to show further proof of Xhol's passage from soul to psychedelic, but both tracks being still closer to experimental soul (BS&T in Planet Earth and early Colosseum on So Down) than psych. Indeed Electrip is really a product of its time and probably one of the more significant albums of the Krautrock genre. Essential certainly, classic also, but flawless certainly not!!

Sean Trane | 3/5 |

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