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Cannabis India - SWF Session 1973 CD (album) cover

SWF SESSION 1973

Cannabis India

 

Symphonic Prog

3.56 | 29 ratings

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AtomicCrimsonRush
Special Collaborator
Symphonic Team
3 stars A German version of ELP? Why not?

Cannabis India's "SWF Session 1973" is the one and only album recorded from the Sudwestfunk radio facilities of Germany is a genuine curio that has finally surfaced in 2009 on CD. The immediate influence that can be recognised is Emerson Lake & Palmer, in fact they sound so much like them it is quite astonishing. The keyboard wizardry of Oliver Petry is a key factor and he is a virtuoso of dynamic flawless innovation. 'Hand of the King' begins things with a moody dark textured vibe with sonic imbalances and extreme intricate rhythmic patterns. The attack of the staccato pounding on the Hammond is a delightful sound. I am reminded of "Tarkus" here. The engine room of the bass and drums provide a framework for Petry to revel in. Rudiger Braune is a great drummer and he really knows how to jazz out on these instrumentals. Dirk Fleck plays some awesome basslines and really carries the music into dynamic progressions. 'Lapis' is a 12 minute exploration of light and dark textures with 'Tarkus' motifs and Wakeman-esque flourishes, heck it even rhymes with 'Tarkus', well almost, 'Lapis, Tarkus'. It is not as good as 'Tarkus' but I was still taken back with the intricate fractured rhythms and overall approach. 'Revolver' is shorter at 4 minutes and sounds a lot darker in texture, and it all ends with the magnificent classical interpretation of 'Beethoven's 9th' that is instantly recognizable.

As Universe, Petry is joined by Detlev Krause on guitar, Bernd Frielingsdorf on drums, and Detlev Dalitz on bass. There are two tracks to pad the album out to a decent length, 'Mirror' and 'The Hunt', but this was far from a perfect addition, not as compelling as the CI sessions.

Overall this is a treasure dug up from the gold mines of prog and well worth seeking out.

AtomicCrimsonRush | 3/5 |

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