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Electric Orange - Unterwasser - Live 2002 CD (album) cover


Electric Orange



4.49 | 7 ratings

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Rock Progressivo Italiano Team
5 stars Getting a fresh release in two lavish and expanded separate double vinyl editions from Adansonia Records is a special live performance from modern German krautrockers Electric Orange, or at least the core line-up of two of its founding members in Dirk Bittner and Dirk Jan Müller. Recorded all the way back in April 2002 at the Manikan Records 10 year Anniversary Festival at a thermal bath/spa in Bad Sulza, Germany, the duo lugged in their collection of analogue synthesizers, Mellotron, guitars, organ, samplers and tapes and performed two fully improvised sets - one in the morning, one at night - running over two hours each. The results are a hypnotic drift of hazy electronics and dreamy psychedelic atmospheres, perfectly suited to the relaxed and warm atmosphere of the bath and those drifting in, around and under the water!

The side-long opener of the first LP, `Ffurg', offers many of the kind of sounds you can expect on the entire set, being a collage of incoherent vocoder ramblings, groaning electronics, fizzing synth spirals and a subdued pattering of lurching programmed beats all melting together into an unhurried and hypnotic aural stew.`Sauerkirsch' evolves from a cavernous drone into a swirling white-noise vacuum, and `Transit Ins Jenseits' sounds like a late Sixties jam from Pink Floyd at their most mellow, all dreamy guitar wisps, shimmering organ and stuttering bass (and throw in a pinch of Tangerine Dream's `Rubycon' while you're at it!).

`Myd' holds ebbing and seeping Cluster-like electronic drones flecked with unhinged spoken proclamations, stalking sequencer pulses and eastern-flavoured mantra-like ringing guitar reverberations to take on an eerie menace. `Not Off' is a meander of rising/falling grumbling distortion and twitching electronics with shambling guitar strums and tastily lethargic soloing, and `Wet Cake' is a shorter mix of bubbling electronica and loopy psychedelic ambling.

Volume Two's nineteen minute `Ortat' sounds like Pink Floyd and Hawkwind jamming in an alien nightclub before slinking into a grooving trance of the chilled dance sounds that used to pop up much more frequently on the earlier Electric Orange discs. Side F takes a darker turn with `Span' an unrelenting sequencer stalk and `Lake' a maddening tribal cult initiation (probably!). A relentless and punchy programmed beat charges the Neu!-like `Hydrog' stridently ahead amidst bleeding synth melts, there's plenty of fuzzed out guitars and electronics throughout `Quiet Party', and `Mk' is a final mellow Mellotron-seared come-down.

Every side of music on `Unterwasser' is a constantly floating, deeply spacey and endlessly trippy performance with that scuzzy trace of dirt and uneasy danger found in all the best `krautrock' works. Think Agitation Free, Cluster, `Alpha Centauri - Phaedra'-era of Tangerine Dream and early Floyd, and the sparse production of the analogue equipment makes it sound even more like a genuine lost Seventies relic. This might be a reissue, but it is one of the absolute standout releases of 2018, and a truly essential pick-up for Krautrock fans.

Five stars for an album you could keep disappearing into forever.

Aussie-Byrd-Brother | 5/5 |


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