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Agitation Free - Malesch CD (album) cover

MALESCH

Agitation Free

 

Krautrock

4.01 | 186 ratings

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seventhsojourn
Special Collaborator
RPI
3 stars 1972 was an auspicious year for progressive music and, although they had formed five years earlier, it wasn't until that year that Agitation Free released their first album. ''Malesch'' was influenced by the band's journeys in Egypt and it's like a strange psychedelic artefact, a passageway into the memories and images of the band's travels. While it includes intermittent sound effects intended to reflect their physical journeys, the album also seems to point to Agitation Free's reluctance to go anywhere melodically.

''You Play For Us Today'' is like a slow, brooding cosmic dance that's bathed in a powerful bass riff, while ''Sahara City'' is a complex of seemingly directionless noodling, as dark and still as the great granite sarcophagi that house the mummified remains of the Apis bulls. There's a brief shift in tempo towards the end and from this emerges ''Ala Tul'', Arabic for ''straight ahead'', a lively piece that swells and expands with a sumptuous texture of vibrating organ and polyrhythmic percussion. In contrast to this is ''Pulse'', another largely formless piece that begins mysteriously and builds gradually. It features an incessant sound effect that sounds like a demented bottlebee buzzing around an echo chamber. The musical snapshot of the bazaar in Cairo ''Khan El Khalili'' sounds like a psychedelic lament and this is followed by the title-track, arguably the album's key track. The album concludes with the catchy riff of ''Rucksturz'', an unusually bright and energetic foray into the mainstream that seems at odds with the foregoing tracks.

All in all ''Malesch'' has a fairly downbeat aura that relies on abstract, though fairly accessible, sound sculptures and that accessibility probably makes the album a good point of entry for newcomers to this style of music.

seventhsojourn | 3/5 |

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