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Drum Circus - Magic Theatre CD (album) cover


Drum Circus



3.78 | 21 ratings

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Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer
4 stars DRUM CIRCUS' sole album was recorded in 1971 but not released until 2003. Peter Giger the man behind this project said that Horst Jankowski the owner of the Swiss studio was very enthusiastic about DRUM CIRCUS but then he never did release it. Too "out there" I suppose. Anyway Horst was kind enough to give Peter the master-tapes before he died which i'm very thankful for because this is a unique Krautrock album, a classic if there ever was one.There's not too many bands outside of Germany that are considered Krautrock but most that are, are from Switzerland just like DRUM CIRCUS. Several of the band members went on to have significant careers. Before I get to that i'd like to share Peter's vision that he had for this band. He dreamed that this band like a small circus would go from town to town all over the world sharing their music.This lineup had three drummers, hence the band name.We also get bass, organ, flute, sax, Fender Rhodes and sitar.The music was a blend of psychedelia, free Jazz, Eastern and more. Peter was actually known in Switzerland as "A giant on drums". He would go on to join DZYAN and play on their final two studio albums and eventually he formed his own band. Drummer Alex Bally has worked with some Jazz giants like Donald Byrd, Herbie Hancock, Jan Hammer and many more. Joel Vandroogenbroeck and his then girlfriend Carol Muriel would go onto form the legendary Swiss Krautrock band BRAINTICKET. In fact the first side long track with her speaking out reminds me of that band.

"Magic Theatre" is the side long suite that is classic Krautrock as far as i'm concerned.This is a trip ! It opens with drums and percussion then electronics take over before 1 1/2 minutes. Deep organ runs are next then we get a calm 2 minutes in as sparse sounds including flute come and go.The sound of soldiers marching takes over with marching styled drums 3 1/2 minutes in.They start to chant. An exotic eastern vibe with sitar takes over before 5 1/2 minutes.Vocal melodies a minute later. Female spoken words after 8 minutes then dissonant sax a minute later as random drum patterns come and go. Male and female spoken words are shouted out in this intense section. A gong ends that then a peaceful section takes over with sitar, percussion and flute. A change before 17 minutes as the bass and piano take over. Sax 18 minutes in then drums and percussion end it. Incredible !

"Now It Hurts You" is a short piece with drums, percussion, sitar and processed vocals. "Papera" opens with sax, bass, piano and atmosphere.The drums roll in and out. It picks up 1 1/2 minutes in reminding me a lot of SOFT MACHINE. "La-Si-Do" is mostly drums and percussion with words from a Timothy leary poem.

While the side long suite "Magic Theatre" might be worth the price of admission alone, for me "Groove Rock" ranks right up there as well.This is like a Miles Davis electric Jazz piece with that Fender Rhodes but sax instead of trumpet leading the way. It opens with bass and drums. Such an intense ending to this over 8 1/2 minute delight as well. "All Things Pass" opens with piano, cymbals, bass and vocals.The lyrics here are also from a Timothy Leary poem. A very cool sounding track.

Easily 4 stars and a must for Krautrock fans.

Mellotron Storm | 4/5 |


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