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TAGO MAGO

Can

 

Krautrock

3.92 | 408 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Man With Hat
5 stars The definitive Krautrock album.

The review can be stopped there, as it is the perfect statement about this album. Tago Mago shows every facet of this Krautrock. Jammy, psychedelic, avant-garde, rocky, floating, anarchist, rambling, soothing, repetitive, drugged out...any adjective you can use to describe Krautrock can be applied in some way to Tago Mago. Naturally, something like this can alienate listeners. Those who prefer the drugged out jams with probably be disappointed with the more out there moments. Those who prefer the crazier/avant side of Krautrock with probably be disappointed with the straighter and more repetitive moments. This can be seen by the reviews posted here that range from distain to love, with plenty in the middle. However, despite all this, if you only own one Krautrock album, this is the one.

Paperhouse And Oh Yeah represent the jam side of the Kraut, with Oh Yeah being much more floating and repetitious and Paperhouse being more driven and heavy, with a killer guitar solo from Michael Karoli. Mushroom expresses a more straight forward rock based approached, that for me acts more as an interlude between the surrounding pieces. (Of course, this straight forwardness is relative to the rest of the album.) Side two contains the infamous mammoth piece, Halleluhwah. This track is easily the worst on the album, for the simple fact that it is too long (or that the amount of action happening in the track doesn't justify it's length). The track is based around a relatively simple drum beat, that more or less continues throughout the whole piece. There is a brief interlude and change, but it is by no means enough. So, in essence you have 18 minutes of the same thing. Which, even for me, is a bit too much. This track as is would work for 5 or even 10 minutes, but unfortunately there is 8 more to go. However, after this valley, the album is pure bliss. Aumgn and Peking O represent the avant-garde side of Krautrock with all sorts of odd sounds, screams, and general madness flying about (with some excellent percussion towards the end of Aumgn). Music that definitely needs to be heard. And at the end, a wonderful soothing song of Bring Me Coffee Or Tea, stopping the crazed atmosphere of most of the album, and replacing it with some floating, spacy, and soothing sounds. It acts as the perfect ending (almost like an after dinner mint following a bizarrely diverse meal).

All in all, this is an album all prog fans should have, even if just to represent this side of the progressive rock universe. This is the perfect little Krautrock package. Sure, it would probably be silly to say that if you don't like this album you won't like any Krautrock, but if you can't find something here you enjoy it's a good bet that Krautrock isn't for you. Even though this album is flawed, it contains some truly awesome music and still deserves the full five star rating, as it is absolutely essential. Recommended.

Man With Hat | 5/5 |

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