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Gurnemanz - No Rays Of Noise CD (album) cover




Prog Folk

2.79 | 12 ratings

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2 stars Not all German musicians were doing kraut or space rock in the 1970s. A handful gravitated towards somewhat psychedelic folk, while not always staying there for long. Examples included early Hoelderlin and Emtidi, which form a closer point of reference for the work of Gurnemanz than the Bavarian/Celtic Ougenweide or the overtly progressive Carol of Harvest. Of course, we can easily find British progenitors such as Fairport Convention, Pentangle or Spirogyra.

The original album consisted of 11 songs of pretty basic psych tinged acoustic folk consisting of Manuela Schmitz's reedy voice and strummed acoustic guitars. Unfortunately, while the simple beauty of "Libelle" and "Der Schwartenhals" cannot be denied, the later tracks do not distinguish themselves so well. Even the emergence of a male voice in German on "Die Auswanderer" doesn't help much because the musical style is barely altered, and the kazoo was such a 1970s instrument.

The bonus tracks are all live save "My Friend" which sounds like an outtake from the album. The live recordings show a lot more variety and adventurousness, particularly "Tra Na Rossan I" , although the lead guitar on II is a bit too acidic for the general tone of the album and the style of the song. The whistles and banjo really give a lift to "Another Morning", while "November Tea" is augmented by the combined voices and a certain suave swing. But, in the end, the end just never seems to come, so "No Rays of Noise" barely rates a blip.

kenethlevine | 2/5 |


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