Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
A.R. & Machines - Autovision CD (album) cover


A.R. & Machines



3.39 | 21 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

siLLy puPPy
4 stars By 1974, the times were a-changing as the psychedelic and progressive rock that exploded onto the scene just a few years earlier was already starting to collapse under its own overindulgence and Germany's burgeoning Krautrock scene was no exception to this phenomenon. Whereas some bands kind of burst onto the scene and exited without a trace, Achim Reichel had a gentler approach. While he started out as a fairly successful pop star in 1960s Germany, he transitioned into the psychedelic prog world without jettisoning his pop creds right away. Instead he kind of fused the two together on his first album"Die Grüne Reese" before jumping all the way into the more elevated freeform psych jam sessions that led him all the way to "A.R. IV." Around the time of the recording of that album though, Reichel knew that the days of his A.R. & MACHINES phase were coming to a close. Not only were times a- changing but the band never really courted the success they had hoped to achieve. In retrospect, Reichel deemed the whole period as a self-reflection in a sonic form event that would be years ahead of the public's musical tastes.

For the next phase, Achim Reichel would release the next album "AUTOVISION" under his own name however this was very much an A.R. & Machines album bringing back four of the most prominent players in that period. "AUTOVISION" is very much a transition album in Reichel's career and simultaneously pays tribute to his final Krautrock phase as it does give clues to his next move in the music industry. In some ways, this album is sort of a combo effect of the entire A.R & Machines historical overview with elements from the four albums prior coming together in one big farewell shebang. While the debut focused on pop-oriented songs based on the rhythmical relationships between echo loops the next three albums meandered more into extended jam sessions that displayed more interaction between the large pool of musicians. On "AUTOVISION," Reichel marries the echo loop guitar effects so prevalent on the debut with the improvisational jams that characterized the feel on the "Echo" and "A.R. IV" albums. The track "Turbulenzen" celebrates most enthusiastically the echo loop guitar effects and revisits the ethnic percussion days with in a more hyperactive mode.

Reichel explains that at this period in his life, he was studying at The Academy For The Development Of Personality where he was living in a small room with a daily practice of meditation and yoga. Beside his bed he kept his recording equipment and found that the best time to grab his instruments and lay down some tracks was after the practice of meditation, thus displaying a musical glimpse of that world that lies between two distinct layers of consciousness. The music very much feels different than the previous albums with a more energetic drive that is both somewhat more improvisational and yet somehow a bit more focused with the compositions differing more than "A.R. IV." Basically this is a Reichel solo album in composition with the Machines crew joining ranks to carry the sound into the recording studio. This one only has four musicians in addition to Reichel which gives it a somewhat stripped down feel from the previous albums but overall has the same tripped out lengthy sonic journeys into that zone between worlds.

One of the most noticeable differences on "AUTOVISION" is in the percussion department. The standard rock drumming is more prominent with the congas and ethnic influences having dispersed into the ethers however the vibraphone effects are back (with the exception of "Turbulenzen"). The jazzy touches are back but are less jazzy and more light and fluffy and merely subordinate to the guitar echoes and are too quite echoey in the production department. Personally i like this one quite a bit and unlike most Reichel fans find this one to be more dynamic and diverse than anything since the stunning debut as "AUTOVISION" as it simultaneously reflects on the short but mind-expanding career of the band and also looks to the future as displayed by the short but prescient "Kopf In Den Wolken - Beine Auf Der Erde" (Head in the clouds - feet on the ground) which is a tiny snippet of German folk music which ushers out the Krautrock leaning album and indicates to fans that this is the next step on the Reichel Reise (jounrey). This is probably one of the most under-appreciated Reichel albums in his A.R. & Machines Krautrock days most likely due to its scarcity but there is nothing on here to prevent you loving it like the rest. Another obscure gem in the world of 70s progressive rock from Germany.

siLLy puPPy | 4/5 |


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Share this A.R. & MACHINES review

Social review comments () BETA

Review related links

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives

Donate monthly and keep PA fast-loading and ad-free forever.