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Kalacakra - Crawling To Lhasa CD (album) cover




Indo-Prog/Raga Rock

2.71 | 28 ratings

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3 stars This is not the sole album from this band as such, but the one and only worked out in the 70's by the acid krautrock duo Heinz Martin and Claus Rauschenbach coming from Duisburg/Germany. Both were autodidacts with a freaky approach and used a lot of indo/raga elements. At first completely underrated 'Crawling To Lhasa' is an attractive collectors' item today ... at least when it comes to the original vinyl print. The songs were recorded by Willy Neubauer in his Düsseldorf studio during two days. Whatsoever has survived about the circumstances - they performed in a totally spaced out mood for sure, obviously inspired by Buddhistic mantras.

The trippy meandering Nearby Shiras opens the album, reflecting a multiple catastrophe, the Black Plague, coming over the Persian town called Shiraz hundreds of years ago. A sinister creature ... probably a witch ... is whispering and shouting some rezitative, repeating 'morgen kommt die Schwarze Pest' (tomorrow comes the Black Plague) all the way through. Definitely frightening and provided with some infatuating dramaturgy - however the instruments are also smooth on the contrary, speaking of flute, cymbal and acoustic guitar. And all this is made with a significant eastern touch.

On Jaceline Martin's vibraphone is striking, it serves a pleasant spacey/ambient atmosphere. Possibly improvised from start to finish, the lyrics about a girl seem to be completely pointless. The trance-like Raga No.11 features the Minimoog synthesizer, a novelty because nearly uncommon at that time in Europe. A nice song including electric guitar which has some speed this time and proves their technical skills. As from now it all runs out of inspiration a bit with simple folk impressions mainly ... until the blues based Tante Olga shows some new crazy weird vocal ideas, for example including Captain Beefheart reminiscent vocals in English.

That's it ... concerning the original vinyl. The digital releases additionally cover two songs from 1993 recorded by Heinz Martin with a better sound quality. The acid blend of folk, psych and raga is completely missing here to the benefit of a spacey new age atmosphere where Vamos is definitely enjoyable. The Garden Of Delights re-issue of this ethno trance effort is featuring a detailed history of the band and their community in Duisburg including several pictures, which are reflecting the stoned atmosphere of the recording sessions. Not a ground-breaking album because running out of breath in between - nevertheless a worthwhile purchase for krautrock and indo/raga lovers.

Rivertree | 3/5 |


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