Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
Holger Czukay - Der Osten Ist Rot CD (album) cover


Holger Czukay



3.00 | 7 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Prog Reviewer
3 stars Holger Czukay's fourth solo album found the always unpredictable ex-CAN bass player working in a shorter format, with most of the selections here clocking in at less than four minutes, and hardly stretching the limits of his idiosyncratic talent. The majority of the cuts could almost be called negligible filler, with two notable exceptions, worth the purchase price all by themselves.

The first is the amazing title track, an affectionate (if suitably loony) Krautrock demolition of the Red Chinese national anthem, with Czukay and Can drummer Jaki Liebezeit interrupting and embellishing a legitimate orchestral arrangement of the piece: Czukay on guitar and his ubiquitous French horn, and Liebezeit attacking his timbales with raucous abandon. Haphazard editing gives the song a peculiar spasmodic momentum, making it sound not unlike an extension of their former band's beloved Ethnological Forgery Series of cross-cultural hybrid experiments.

In contrast is the uncanny album closer "Träum Mal Wieder" (rough translation: "Dream Time Again"), a model of ambient subtlety at the opposite end of the musical spectrum. Ghostly Arabic radio waves, understated electronics, and Liebezeit's evocative voodoo percussion all combine into a soundscape of otherworldly beauty and power.

The rest of the album can't help but suffer by comparison, playing more like a series of loosely organized and half-assembles sketches, although Czukay's trademark humor and offhand studio wizardry is everywhere in evidence. The bluntly titled "Photo Song" is a simple, upbeat approximation of a genuine pop composition; the toneless warble of Czukay's girlfriend in "Michy" is a throwback to Damo Suzuki's brainwave mumbling on earlier Can recordings; and on "Rhönrad" a cheap piano rehearses what sounds like a Folies Bergere number over Czukay's usual background of pirated Middle Eastern radio signals, judging by the static from a station just beyond optimum transmission range.

The scant 39-minute running time of the album is a liability, but most of it, including all the highlights mentioned here, was later combined with Czukay's subsequent (and excellent) "Rome Remains Rome" LP onto a single CD, long out of print but well worth a search for anyone wanting an ideal introduction to one of the true musical misfits of our time.

As a postscript, it might also be worth noting that Czukay was approaching 50 years of age when he recorded this set, and showing no signs that he was ready to slow down.

Neu!mann | 3/5 |


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Share this HOLGER CZUKAY review

Social review comments () BETA

Review related links

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives