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The Cosmic Jokers - Sci-Fi Party CD (album) cover

SCI-FI PARTY

The Cosmic Jokers

 

Krautrock

3.42 | 18 ratings

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stefro
Prog Reviewer
4 stars A band in name only, kosmische krautrock supergroup The Cosmic Jokers was in actuality a studio-only affair constructed mainly by producer Rolf-Ulrich Kaiser, who gathered in a stellar cast of early-1970's German musicians, a liberal dose of LSD, and proceeded to construct four albums worth of supremely trippy cosmic rock, all of which saw the light of day in 1974. The fourth to be released after 'The Cosmic Jokers', 'Galactic Supermarket' and 'Planeten Sit-In', 'Sci-Fi Party' featured former Tangerine Dream drummer Klaus Schulze, Ash Ra Tempel's Manuel Gottsching and producer Dieter Dierks on bass, and is possibly, with the exception of the first self-titled album, The Jokers most adventurous release, featuring as it does a fairly-strong symphonic prog influence mashed into the psychedelic soundscapes. Klaus Schulze, who had by this time put down the drumsticks and started what would become a long and successful career as one of the early innovators of the electronic music scene, is the central figure on 'Sci-Fi Party', coating everything with dreamy synths and creating a collage of strange electronic sounds upon which all else hangs. Indeed, 'Sci-Fi Party' can be seen to be a precursor for Schulze's classic album 'Timewind', which was released in the same year, sealing Schulze's international reputation. His array of synthesized tricks unwinds across eight drifting tracks, creating a highly ambient dynamic that is only broken by the oddly up-temp guitar led kraut-rock of 'The Cosmic Jokers Meet South Philly Willy', which finds Manuel Gottsching taking turn and letting rip with some earthy-yet-intricate guitar riffs that almost bring to mind the likes of Family, Led Zeppelin and, most of all, early 'The Knife-era Genesis. The hint, of course, is in the blues-flecked title. The rest of 'Sci-Fi Party' shares much in common with it's two main protagonists burgeoning solo careers, with the soft, slowly-unfurling rhythms of Ash Ra Tempel more and more evident as the album progresses and Schulze's primal electronic sounds never far away. Their are bluesy hints of Grateful Dead-esque guitars - see the drowsy rocker 'Interplay Of Forces' - but for the most, this is an album that sticks closely to the psychedelic mantra of classic kosmische krautrock. Those who dig Ash Ra Tempel's 'Join Inn', Schulze's 'Irrlicht' or 'Timewind', or the ethnic- flavoured kosmische music of Yath Sidhra's 'A Meditation Mass', will to well to start investigating the strange and wonderful back catalogue of 'The Cosmic Jokers'. You cosmic kids out there will gte a trip out of this. STEFAN TURNER, LONDON, 2010
stefro | 4/5 |

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