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Thirsty Moon - Thirsty Moon CD (album) cover

THIRSTY MOON

Thirsty Moon

 

Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.70 | 41 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

siLLy puPPy
4 stars By 1972, the Krautrock scene had blossomed way beyond the hub cities of Berlin, Hamburg, Munich and Düsseldorf into a national phenomena attracting an unprecedented number of talented musicians taking a stab at their best spaced out prog rock. Bremen wasn't exactly the epicenter of the scene but did produce some top notch acts like THIRSTY MOON. The band was initiated by the two brothers, guitarist Jürgen Drogies and percussionist Norbert Drogies after splitting up from a band called DRP. After recruiting a whopping five other members they formed THIRSTY MOON, then recorded some demos and sent them out to Brain Records which was one of the Krautrock heavy hitters of the day pumping out many of the well known names such as New!, Cluster, Grobschnitt, Caravan, Atomic Rooster as well as lesser known acts such as the Wolfgang Dauner Group. The band gained a record deal and released their eponymous debut album in 1972 which included the mixing duties of Conny Planck who would become famous for his 80s involvement with Ultravox and the Eurythmics.

The Drogies brothers managed to recruit a stable lineup but one that didn't see eye to eye in musical taste. While the brothers themselves preferred the harder edged blues rock style of Hendrix and Steve Winwood's traffic, most of the other members were more into the jazz-rock styles of bands like Soft Machine and the "Bitch's Brew" era of Miles Davis. The result of their first album is a creative mishmash of both these musical worlds and dished out in creative doses that allow each track to stand out as totally distinct from the other. The album consists of only five tracks with the first four completing the first side of the original vinyl edition and the monstrously long "Yellow Sunshine" swallowing up the entire B side at 21 minutes and 25 seconds. The seven musicians on board unleash a plethora of sounds including electric guitar, bass, saxophone, clarinet and flute. There are two keyboardists with Hans Werner Ranwig dishing out the ubiquitous organ sounds while Michael Kobs handles the electric piano. There is also a larger than usual percussion section with Erwin Noack contributing congas and regular rock drums as well as the Drogies brothers both adding extra percussive touches.

"Morning Sun" begins the albums with a rather typical jazz-rock style that wouldn't sound out of place on, say, an Embryo album but beginning with "Love Me," the band gets more creative and progressive with not only catchy jazz-infused melodies but jumpy, jittery time signature workouts as well as an extra serving of percussive delights. This one is super cool as it has quirky key changes with energetic bombast before simmering down into a mellow jazzy rocker. "Rooms Behind Your Mind" is a short little heavy rocker that offers some substantial guitar delivery as well as a rather funk inspired bass section. While most of the music focuses on instrumental heft, this one displays the Ranwig's lead vocals as well as an Ornette Coleman inspired sax solo that is electrified and sounds like what John Zorn would make famous a decade later. One again the tribal conga drumming offers an intense percussive spine while the dreamy organ fills add an atmospheric touch to the heavy rock drive. "Big City" clocks in at over eight minutes and is a cool original sounding track that offers background sound effects of "Big City" activities with some sort of "dripping" metal percussion that creates a totally indescribable sound. This one is also a nice mixture of Krauty psychedelic rock with jazz-rock. The grand finale is the epic "Yellow Sunshine" which wends and winds through many different moods throughout its 20 minute plus timespan. It begins as a totally ambient spaced out affair but evolves into a melodic rocker that offer moments of bombast as well as freakier segments with none outlasting their welcome.

THIRSTY MOON remains one of the more obscure Krautrock bands to have emerged from Germany's fertile progressive rock scene and admittedly this debut eponymous release failed to inspire me upon first listen. After a few more spins though the entire thing clicked and began to display its creative uniqueness that separates them from the usual Krautrock suspects. While not jazzy enough to be considered a true jazz-rock band, there are more than enough brass moments and compositional approaches that are only a couple steps away from that labeling. This debut album is a brilliant mix of the heavy psych rock of the late 60s and the tripped out ambience of artists like Klaus Schulze or Tangeine Dreamn all topped off with the jazzy and occasionally folk flavored aspects. For me the extra percussive drive makes this one all the more addictive but all the elements are laid out in highly original compositional approaches. Definitely a band that deserves a lot more recognition in the modern day.

siLLy puPPy | 4/5 |

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