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Sixty-Nine - Circle Of The Crayfish CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.22 | 24 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars The only album of German duo "Sixty-Nine" is very good example of organ-driven Krautrock madness. Music on this disk is a mix of "The Nice"/"ELP" symphonic rock school of prog, jazz-rock in the vain of Brian Auger and some experimental, avantgarde elements.

"Circle of the Crayfish" includes only 6 compositions but they are long enough to occupy more than 43 minutes space and...your attention.

1. "Ballast" - dynamic instrumental rocker with incredibly heavy organ chops very similar to Billy Joel's style in his own "Attila" duo from early 70s. It's a truly killer track! I also love middle section where Armin St÷we plays thundering notes of Edvard Grieg's "In the Hall of the Mountain King". Stunning piece of music with clear "Attila" and "Atomic Rooster" influences.

2. "Kolibri" - another instrumental but this time with more jazz-rock flavor. As usual it's filled with swirling organ to maximum but we can also listen to few piano passages. Can be easily compared to Brian Auger's work but it's more rocky.

3. "Becoming Older" - first track with vocals (don't worry, everything is sang in English language). For sure St÷we's singin' isn't as good as his organ playin' but it's still passable. Tons of wild eruptions organ, flashy solos and groovy rhythm. Very enjoyable song which reminds me such British bands as "Beggar's Opera", "Still Life", "Atomic Rooster" and (especially!) "Bram Stoker".

4. "Journey" - along with "Ballast" this is my favorite track on this record. While it includes some vocal parts it's mainly instrumental Hammond organ show-off. There are so many mighty B-3 riffs, melodies and solos that every Hammond freak should be satisfied. Sounds like cross between "The Nice", "Deep Purple" and "Frumpy".

5. "Paradise Lost" - first composition where things starts to go wrong. When I saw that it's 15+ minutes long, I suspected it will be some real epic track. Unfortunately the whole first part of this "suite" is fulfilled with extremely annoying synthesizer noises, random percussion sounds and sheer boredom. And it could be just some dumb gimmick, but it's more than 6 minutes long!! Torture... Thanks God after this disastrous episode "Sixty-Nine" comes back what they can do best - wild, organ-led prog (seems that usually played via Marshall Amplifier to create guitar-like overwhelming power). Some vocals parts which sound like some kind of Eastern religion prayers aren't so good, but overall Hammond freak outs are great.

6. "Crayfish" - the last track is a return to pure instrumental composition and this one really rocks hard. St÷we's Hammond chops are really skull blasting and together with crazy, high-pitched analog synthesizers shrieks they violate your ears. But in a good way of course :-). No guitar needed!

Overall "Circle of the Crayfish" is a great album with interesting Hammond B-3-driven seventies prog rock. This release is a must have for organ fanatics along with other little-known German groups: "Tyburn Tall", "Trikolon"/"Tetragon", "Murphy Blend", "Amos Key", "Twenty Sixty Six and Then", "Odin", "Frame", "Pell Mell", "Virus" or "Frumpy". If you like keyboards-oriented duos, you should also check such "micro-bands" as: "Twogether", "Magma", "Attila", "Hardin & York", "Bondar & Wise", "Rustichelli & Bordini", "Hansson & Karlsson", "Atlantis Philharmonic", "Sound Express" and "Bootcut".

4,5 stars

ozzy_tom | 4/5 |


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