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Sweet Smoke - Sweet Smoke Live CD (album) cover


Sweet Smoke


Psychedelic/Space Rock

3.70 | 22 ratings

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Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer
4 stars I have the 2001 edition put out by EMI/ Electropola with the three bonus tracks from the same concert. This was recorded live in Berlin, Germany in 1973 at the College Of Music and the sound quality couldn't be better. SWEET SMOKE often get lumped into the Krautrock sub-genre because people think they are German, but these Americans moved from Brooklyn, New York in the Winter of 1969 to Germany supported by sculptor Waldemar Kuhn. The music is very jammy and they remind me somewhat of what AGITATION FREE might have sounded like if they had these long extended jams. I find the music very uplifting, filled with light and the lyrics are positive as well, kind of hippy-like. I really like the relaxed vocals as well. All six guys are credited with playing percussion during this concert.

"First Jam" opens with it sounding like they are warming up but they are grooving after 2 minutes. A calm before 5 minutes as they all but stop then they kick again. The instrumental work stops 7 minutes in as we get vocals for the first time. The music kicks back in and the vocals will come and go the rest of the way. It settles right down before 15 minutes as he starts to sing "The creator has a master plan, peace and happiness for every man" over and over. Trippy stuff. "Shadout mapes" is so uplifting with vocals and that gorgeous guitar, we get backing vocals too. It turns all-instrumental a minute in then it all stops 6 minutes in where it turns surprisingly experimental until it changes back 10 minutes in.

"Ocean Of Focus" has this trippy, melancholic sound as the vocals join in fairly quickly. It turns instrumental before 2 minutes to the end with the guitar and bass shining, such a pleasant sound. The final three tracks are the bonus songs. "People Are Hard" is a melancholic and beautiful piece of music. Love the vocals too. This becomes instrumental only with picked guitar, percussion, keys and bass as usual. Great sound! The vocals are back after 4 1/2 minutes. Nice. They are brief though but they come back to end it. "Schyler's Song" has vocals and it's very laid back and trippy. Love the instrumental closing section beginning around 2 1/2 minutes. The tempo picks up 4 1/2 minutes in but I prefer the slower pace of earlier. "Final Jam" is almost all instrumental. It starts with the singer encouraging the audience to get up and dance. This is a joyous finale where the crowd claps along. Lots of picked guitar, beats, bass and keyboards. Some spoken words before 5 minutes as they try to get the crowd dancing again. There is singing late.

Man I really enjoy so much of this, it transports me to another place where all I feel is peace. I highly recommend this live one and their first studio album "Just A Poke".

Mellotron Storm | 4/5 |


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