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Embryo - Steig Aus [also released as: This Is Embryo] CD (album) cover




Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.80 | 80 ratings

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4 stars "Steig Aus" is Embryo's first album for Brain records and consists of material that was recorded a year earlier but refused by their previous label United Artists. The music has made a dramatic shift towards jazz-rock fusion, which had always been part of their sound, but never to this extent. The Kraut element has completely disappeared and Embryo would never return to it anymore. So it's quite interesting that the album has an alternative title "This is Embryo", as a statement of their new-found identity.

The music is still a very German take on jazz-rock, psychedelic, experimental and a tad rough. Also the influence from world music has become more important, especially on the opener "Orient Express", which starts with a Turkish saz intro before developing into an enticing funky jam. The line-up on this album included two American guest players, Jimmy Jkackson and Mal Waldron, on organs and Rhodes piano respectively. The result is a very keyboard dominated album, though the opener also has large guitar parts from Roman Bunka.

"Dreaming Girls" is a more composed piece. It's an alternate take of "Forgotten Sea" from the previous album and a huge improvement, with beautiful dreamy vibraphone from drummer and bandleader Burchard. Spacey keyboards, sound effects, and gorgeous violin touches from Hoffmann make this into one of my favorite Embryo pieces.

Also the 17 minute "Call" is a marvel , be it a lot to stomach. It's largely improvised and very dense, it's first half dominated by urgent drumming, droning mellotrons and psychedelic electric piano, the second half by a slower groove and melodious accents from the violin and organs. Somehow, and despite the ethnic rhythms, it leaves an impression similar to early Tangerine Dream.

Amidst all the marvelous albums that Embryo made, it's hard to refrain from calling this another essential, but again I will leave that honor for an album further ahead in their discography.

Bonnek | 4/5 |


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