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Edgar Froese - Macula Transfer CD (album) cover

MACULA TRANSFER

Edgar Froese

 

Progressive Electronic

3.49 | 50 ratings

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Progfan97402
4 stars I was wandering around one of my local Eugene, Oregon record stores and was totally blown away to find an original green Brain copy of Macula Transfer. Of all solo Edgar Froese albums, this was the one I had most difficulty getting a hold of. For one thing, before the seriously messed about 2005 version on Eastside, it's only been reissued once, on Manikin Records, but due to legal problems, it quickly went out of print after the 1,000 copies were pressed. I was often perplexed by the rarity, then I discovered Virgin never released this, that's why, of all albums of his later reissued on CD, that one didn't make the grade. I doubt the LP is THAT rare as claimed (I'm sure way more than a 1,000 copies of the LP were pressed, but only a 1,000 copies of the Manikin CD reissue was pressed), although I imagine copies to turn up from time to time in Germany, after all it did appear to remain in print into the 1980s, starting with the original green label, then the orange label (end of '76 until 1981), and then the black label, circa 1981. It would obviously be rare elsewhere given it was released nowhere else.

Anyways, Macula Transfer was his third solo album, and the theme was on flight. Each song title is actually an airline flight number. While QUANTAS (actually QANTAS) is a bit obvious, the others aren't: OS is Austrian Airlines, AF is Air France, PA is Pan-Am, and IF is Interflug. If that last one is not familiar to you, it was the East German state-ran airline company that went defunct after the fall of the Berlin Wall. So each song was apparently written while on said flight, probably to another Tangerine Dream concert. OS 452 reminds me a whole lot of Manuel Gottsching's Inventions for Electric Guitar had Mellotron been added on. It's as if Froese got a hold of that album and wondered how it would be like with Mellotron! "AT 765" has the ping-pong synth thing going on with tron and Elka Rhapsody chords going on, I really like how it picks up at the end. "PA 701" sounds very familiar! It sounds exactly like a blueprint for "Thru Metamorphic Rocks" off Force Majeure. It has that same sequencer synth patter and synth sound, but the Mellotron arrangements are totally different. Now I know who handled the sequencers on "Thru Metamorphic Rocks"! "QANTAS 611" is a rather eerie, Mellotron dominated number that gives reminders of the earlier TD stuff. "IF 810" is the closing piece, with that pulsing synth rhythm, Elka Rhapsody and Mellotron. For fans of the Mellotron, this is an essential purchase, Froese just goes bonkers on this instrument, making sure you hear it, and it's used on every cut. This album is not a continuation of Epsilon in Malaysian Pale. It doesn't have that calm, often tranquil feel that album has. This one is more aggressive, with guitar more dominating (in fact it's probably the most guitar-dominated thing I've heard off Froese outside of Electronic Meditation, but unlike Electronic Meditation, which is basically a good old fashioned psychedelic Krautrock album, Macula Transfer is still undeniably electronic). To many Macula Transfer may not be the best thing he's did, some probably would feel it sounded more like a incomplete demo, but the way it sounds is he's used to two other guys helping him out and forget that's not what's happening here (Klaus Schulze, on the other hand never had that problem, so his recordings always sounded more full and complete). Still I very much enjoy Macula Transfer. The Mellotron work is simply insane and to die for. It's as if he had free reign on the Mellotron because Peter Baumann and Chris Franke isn't holding him back.

For me, this is another great album worth having, not entirely sure it makes the five star grade, though, but worth it.

Progfan97402 | 4/5 |

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