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Sindelfingen - Odgipig CD (album) cover

ODGIPIG

Sindelfingen

 

Prog Folk

3.64 | 23 ratings

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apps79
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Sindelfingen remained a well-kept secret of the UK Psych/Prog scene for years, a band found in late-60's in Rochester by singer/guitarist Richard Manktelow, bassist John Currie and drummer Bill Basden.They started as a jam band, before line-up changes led to more structured compositions.Basden left after a year, replaced briefly by Alan Parry and then Roger Thorn, while Roger Woods also joined them a bit later.After several gigs they discussed over producing an album, just before Currie quit to move to London for a more professional career.His replacement was 16-years old Mark Letley, who was in fact a finger-style guitarist.With this line-up Sindelfingen recorded their debut ''Odgipig'' in a limited private pressing of about 100 copies.

The band featured a full-time glockenspiel player in the face of Roger Woods (who was also responsible for the oscillators heard in the album) and sounded pretty original, swirling around rural soundscapes, progressive structures and an expressive lyricism.With three pieces over 8 minutes long, Sindelfingen had plenty of room to present a charming Progressive Rock style, mostly guitar-driven and filled with odd chord progressions, unexpected breaks and shifting climates.They come as a less rich version of GENTLE GIANT with hints from early GENESIS, offering interesting musicianship with complex themes, based on psychedelic, experimental and folky territories.Lots of electric and acoustic guitars, plenty of dreamy glockenspiel and some smooth flute parts in this one, which is built on nice guitar developments and different moods, where the soft acoustic parts give birth to raw, guitar-based moves.Not extremely consistent material due to some loose passages and frenetic parts with a full glockenspiel/guitar manifest, but certainly very original and attractive material.

The various reissues complete the band's history.Most of them feature an unreleased track by the band, ''The princess and the predator'', propably the best piece recorded by Sindelfingen.At the time, around 1974, Roger Thorn had left the band because of his work and was replaced by 12-years old Matthew Letley, Mark Letley's brother.This 13-min. instrumental track sounds more professional in all terms, from the production to the arrangement.Impressive Psych/Prog with lovely guitar work and eventually some beautiful melodious textures with the glockenspiel still in evidence, but this time brought more as a keyboard replacement, where the balance between dreamy parts and energetic, complex breaks is excellent.Definitely a track to lend an ear on.

When Roger Woods also quit in 1974, Sindelfingen became part of the history.Guitarist Richard Manktelow revived the band a few times and he even wrote a second work, ''Triangle'', which was originally intended for a multimedia show in Easter and was performed in churches.The 2-LP Cenotaph reissue and a non-legit reissue by the German Minority Records contain extended excerpts of this work, all performed live.Five tracks in sum, three of them are longer than 11 minutes, and Sindelfingen sound more like a Kraut Rock group in these occasions.The line-up was Richard Manktelow, Matthew Letley, Simon Hurst on keyboards and flute, Melvin Arnott on bass and guest female singer Valerie Hill, later to become the wife of Matthew Letley.The sound here is very rough and unexpected, showing a band with a jamming attitude, performing on scratching electric guitars and flute improvisations, connecting Psych Rock with Hard Rock, with only discreet use of keys, but an endless energy on stage, powered by the jazzy soloing, the KING CRIMSON-ian mood, the abstract jams and the punchy rhythmic parts.

When Sindelfingen were oficially dead, Manktelow continued as a session guitarist and solo songwriter through the 80's, before becoming a schoolteacher.Mark Letley formed The Session Band in the 80's, releasing one single, while his brother Matthew had a long, fruitful career, playing with Magna Carta and next to David Essex, Vanessa-Mae, Bob Geldof and Snowy White, while since 2000 he became the regular drummer of Rock legends Status Quo.

Genuine Psych/Prog/Folk, sometimes a bit directionless, but always charming and proggy, with many guitar twists and a surprising amount of glockenspiel.Go for any of the reissues, which are more than interesting, as the original vinyl is quite rare and very expensive.Warmly recommended.

apps79 | 3/5 |

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