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Agitation Free - Malesch CD (album) cover

MALESCH

Agitation Free

 

Krautrock

4.01 | 196 ratings

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Neil C
4 stars This is music that is played in such a way that it 'feels' great. It grooves. It is atmospheric. It is spacey. It is hypnotic. The production is superb (especially for the time). It is a kind of ethnic/world music influenced space rock with electronic dimensions (drones and pulses).

The opening track - 'You Play for Us Today' begins with a drone, then adds bass guitar, then adds hypnotic percussion a la 'Set The Controls....' or 'Careful with that Axe Eugene' Pink Floyd, then adds an eastern sounding organ melody. Things become more fraught with percussion accents and the addition of electric guitar - the whole tracks gets busier and more aggressive but still keeps that hypnotic vibe - it builds in intensity till its end. 5/5

Sahara City' starts like an ethnomusicological field recording of a dance - suddenly we are swept into a floating electronic sandstorm pulsing and intoxicating - a music glowing with desert heat - things get free-form and hallucinogenic until we get into a kind of ticking pattern which galvanizes the band into a heavy jam. 4/5

'Ala Tul' begins with some pretty abstract and grating sounding electronic timbres - sounds like ring modulation is used - phased organ is introduced with sprinkles of percussion. Then at 1.20 the groove has started - overlaid with cyclical organ patterns a la Terry Riley - amazing! It continues to build adding marimba patterns which come to the fore and end the track on their own. 5/5

'Pulse' begins with an undulating analogue drone, which through the addition of organ and some percussion and guitar starts to turn into an atonal sequencer pattern. 3/5

'Khan El Khalili' - a drone along with processed wailing vocals to which is added halting percussion begins the track - at about 2.15 a delay driven mellow drum pattern is added and a clavinet-sounding cyclical keyboard part. At 3.05 the bass/drums come together to create a brilliant tripped out groove with some bluesy electric guitar - a rather loud bit of field recording of a Persian singer disturbs the vibe in a jarring way and segues us into the next track. 4/5

'Malesch' (the title track) 5/5 - again Terry Riley like organ/keyboard figurations across a drone, with a 6/8 groove layered underneath, starts quiet and builds into a wonderful mellow groove. At about 5.20 the meter changes taking us into another groove which builds and builds until a cloud of white noise washes in to take us to ....

the final track 'Rucksturz' - a short musical epilogue - starting with a delicate cyclical electric guitar pattern the track erupts into a slow forceful rocking finale which ends suddenly. (4/5)

I believe 'Malesch' shares a lot of the stylistic traits of classic space rock, especially Pompei era Floyd - however, in a way Agitation Free pull it off better than the Floyd in terms of sheer musicianship. Agitation Free combine these space rock drones and slow tripped out grooves with influences from world music and early minimalism, especially Terry Riley - which for me is also no bad thing.... You will not walk away from listening to this album humming melodies - the emphasis is on the feel and atmosphere of the pieces and the masterful ability of the band to build up (usually) or break down levels of intensity throughout the course of tracks.

Neil C | 4/5 |

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