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Gila - Gila - Free Electric Sound CD (album) cover





4.13 | 185 ratings

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4 stars I'm holding this Gila album in my hand and thinking it's probably one of my favourite Krautrock releases. It's certainly one of the more accessible I've heard. Among the six tracks there are no lengthy musical meanderings, or what Huxley might have called 'labyrinth(s) of endlessly significant complexity'. And you don't need to undergo a perception-altering spiritual exercise to enjoy the album.

Directed by the genius of Conny Veit, Gila present a series of fairly compact pieces but the results are no less favourable for that. Other than some intermittent sound effects the album is largely free of any unnecessary clutter, with primarily guitar and organ holding poll positions. The guitar has something of a Hendrix flavour on opening track 'Aggression', a neat jam that's underpinned by punchy, percussive bass lines. In fact the bass is pretty impressive throughout the album. The mood changes with the languid, spacey aura of 'Kommunikation', although this in turn undergoes a change with sinister-sounding Mellotron and a disorienting rhythm towards its end.

Matters become more intense with the dark-toned organ of 'Kollaps', a track that sounds to me like The Shadows' 'Apache' on a mescaline terror trip. This makes the acoustic interludings of 'Kontakt' stick out like a sore thumb although 'Kollektivitat' also has a strong, almost West Coast, melodic sensibility. The generally laconic spirit of the album is savaged by the delirium of the closing track 'Individualitat'. Consisting of eerie sound effects of flocking birds and tribal percussions this one sounds like it could have come from the depths of a primordial forest.

This is a tremendous listen, surprisingly approachable and a near perfect introduction for newcomers to Krautrock.

seventhsojourn | 4/5 |


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