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Electric Orange - Krautrock From Hell CD (album) cover

KRAUTROCK FROM HELL

Electric Orange

 

Krautrock

3.77 | 55 ratings

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octopus-4
Special Collaborator
RIO/Avant/Zeuhl Team
4 stars I can't believe that an album like this has been released in 2010. Before it I didn't know anything about this neo-kraut band, not that I know much even now, but at least I know this album that's extremely good.

I want to start from the best: the last two tracks are an epic and a spacey drone the first is a 25 minutes track full of different things, the other is very reminding of very early Tangerine Dreams. What is very remarkable is that the instruments are not "so much" electronics as one could expect. They have flute, guitars, percussions, they are closer to Electronic Meditation than to Atem.

All the other songs are good, with a strong old-krautrock fashion. Ash Ra, Can and Amon Duul II can be some references.

Now by order: "Bandwurm" is opened by German speech, not infrequent in Krautrock, then a bass riff comes from behind toether with some electronic noises. The production is typical of Krautrock but the track is more easily listenable than most of the 70s krauts It's not as challenging as some Can's tracks for example. The bass riff is a sort of 70s spy movie soundtrack. The noises are not dissonants and the last part of the song with more drums sounds like early Pink Floyd.

"Sundos" is not very different, but there's an upbeat section in the middle that shows its modernity. Try to imagine it with some distorted guitar and a bit of growl. Drums and organ are in evidence on this song.

"Chorg" starts with a bass organ note, but when guitar and drums enter we are in proximity of a Tsunami. I mean the omonimous track of the Dutch band 35007(LOOSE). At half the song, it's again the bass which starts repeating its riff, quickly joined by guitar, organ and drums. It's just a passage to another section more relaxed. A very good and hypnotic track.

"Hers" opens between Syd Barrett (Lucifer Sam) and Amon Duul II (is it psychedelic enough?) but after about three minutes we are back to the 60s in the psychedelic period of the Beatles. Amazing.

With "Kunstkopf" we are again in the Barret's territory. The opening has the same flavor of Astronomy Domine but after the drum crescendo instead of an acid guitar it goes repetitive, even more acid. At about half of the song the drums stop for a while. If you like this part, give a listen to a 80s band called "Felt" and their "The Splendour of Fear". The last minute and half is very Floydian instead.

A Paraphrase of the HP Lovecraft's invented grimoire Necronomicon gives the title to the epic "Neuronomicon". A simple acoustic guitar harping occupies the first minute and half, then a rhythm a-la-Jarre brings in chord passages a-la-Senmuth. Just one minute and there's a part with the drums in the frontline just backed by the other instruments. The guitar sounds "end 60s" but not properly acid. At minute 5 there's a bit of piano solo. Just chords (and harpsichord?). then drums and keyboards. A bass note over a slow rhythm and few bass, like the intro of Floyd's Obscured by Clouds on which there's some distorted speech in the background, maybe recorded reversed. There's a crescendo including a more than decent guitar riff while the bass becomes obsessive. until at minute11:30 the music stops and there's time for bass and keyboards. Here the sound is cold and subtle. It reminds me to Bo Hansson's Lord of the Rings, but in general the band is never too distant from Barrett or from the early Waters. The sounds used are "retro" enough to make it sound like it was written 40 years ago. A long slow hypnotic part in 6/8 (I think) proceeds for some minutes. At 16:00 its coda leaves only a ooh keyboard and some noises behind. It's a transition to the following part which starts with a sequence of long guitar notes. Well, it can be a guitar with a lot of sustain or a keyboard. The Korg M1 has a similar sound in its default bank. On those six notes we proceed repeating and adding drums, bass and violins (keys). It slightly develops in a slow crescendo. Tracks like Camel's Nimrodel come to my mind until the drums stop leaving only spacey sounds and drums behind. At minute 22 another section. The six notes are now six chords, not exactly the same as before but similar. The tempo is increased and we are now in the Ozric Tentacles realm, with a touch of Porcupine Tree. All the instruments leave one by one, the drums slow down and the track ends.

There is still time for a travel in the deep space inside a wormhole (Wurmloch). Think to a starship approaching a black hole, the noises produced by the structure under the pressure of the gravity, All around is dark and silent. In the vein of Zeit and Aplha Centauri this could be considered a drone, but as in the works of the pink period of Tangerine Dream it's not just a keyboard. The bass is a constant presence, we can hear an ethereal flute while the drums add some accents here and there. In the middle of the track it's like the second section of Saucerful of Secrets but when at minute 9:30 a sequence of bass supports a drum riff, the track is more reminding of Phedra and Stratosfear. The flute is always present and even in the background plays a very important role in this track. Probably this part represents the passage in the wormhole, so that one may wonder what the starship will find out of it. The track ends suddenly with some drum hits. The starship is out. No information about what's next. Hopefully another great album like this.

This band has interpreted the best of the German electronic (and not only) music of the 70s, composing and playing like the time was not passed, taking into account the various influences but creating something fresh and technically speaking at the level of the best Tangerine Dream. It's a band that I will surely explore more deeply. If the whole album was on the same level of the last two tracks I would not hesitate in rating it five stars. It's "only" 4 but it's one of the best things that I have heard in the last two years.

octopus-4 | 4/5 |

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