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Frumpy - Frumpy 2 CD (album) cover




Eclectic Prog

3.96 | 116 ratings

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4 stars Sounding like a psychedelic reincarnation of blues legend Bessie Smith, the blazing vocal power of Inga Rumpf sets the stage for this 1971 blues / rock blowout. Grooving through 4 intense and rather lengthy compositions that meld the fire and passion of the blues with traits of the UK progressive rock movement, Frumpy' s second LP, simply titled 2, is arguably their finest.

Somewhat detatched from the freaky sounds that were materializing in the communes and basement bars that were associated with the underground Krautrock scene in their homeland of West Germany in the early seventies there is a marked American R&B tendancy here. This can be largely attributed to vocalist Rumpf's affections for early female blues artists as well as the music of Elvis Presley but what really makes Frumpy 2 jive is the unremitting chemistry that flows between the individual players. Unlike some of the abstract studio jams of contemporaries such as Amon Duul II there is more consonance here and one doesn't have to be tripped out on LSD to appreciate these exuberant compositions that can be melodic, ferocious and sublime while sustaining a meaningful flow.

Solid Hammond Organ power chordings from Jean-Jacques Kravetz lay the foundation for the 4 pieces which have often been compared to UK contemporaries such as Uriah Heep and Deep Purple but have more parallells to the uniquitous organ work of Peter Hecht on Lucifer's Friend's eponymous debut . Fiery Hendrixy electric guitar flourishes from Rainer Baumann colour the four intense pieces and bond well with the Hammond substructures and are the only suggestions of Krautrock predelictions. A noticeable common pattern becomes evident on the record by the beginning of side two that gives the band a two dimensional quality with Rumpf's vocals bookending the adventurous instrumental sections often joining and accenting them with effectual wordless vocalizations.

In spite of the rather straightforward playing and musicianship on two cosmic blues rave ups Take care Of Illusion and How The Gypsy Was Born ( no John McLaughlins or Rick Wakemans here ), the band's energy and execution are impeccable and atone for any lack of musical profoundness. The latter, How The Gypsy Was Born attainied moderate success as a cut down single version on the German charts during the spring of '71. More musical and compositional exploration takes place on the other two pieces Good Winds and Duty which appropriately open and close the album respectively. Even more depth is created by interpolating some classical organ themes, the most notable being the Bach fugue at the conclusion of Duty which also features some groovy Hammond / guitar interplay and a blistering guitar freakout by Baumann. The album opener, Good Winds ( which should have been placed at the conclusion ) has the potential for a side long epic with it's dreamy lyrics that unite the Earth & universe with Rumpf stepping out of character with the rest of the album providing some spectral vocals on this ethereal piece that rivals anything from Annie Halsam or Sonja Kristina of British bands Renaissance and Curved Air.

A long lost classic confined to the vaults and dusty old vinyl collections prior to being resurrected by the age of the compact disc, perhaps the only qualm I have with Frumpy 2 is the track sequence and this is easily solved with the CD format. After listening to this blast from the past one can only wonder why Frumpy did not attain more international acclaim. So put the cat out, strap yourself into the ejection seat and crank this jewel from the glorious seventies to eleven.

Vibrationbaby | 4/5 |


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