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Et Cetera (DE) - Et Cetera  CD (album) cover

ET CETERA

Et Cetera (DE)

 

Krautrock

4.00 | 6 ratings

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Neu!mann
Prog Reviewer
4 stars It's not clear if Et Cetera was the name of the band or the album, or both. But either way here's another stunning gem from the German counterculture, in this case buried perhaps a little too deep in the seemingly bottomless Krautrock treasure chest (mine is the only review so far). The guiding light behind the project was Wolfgang Dauner, at age 36 already a veteran Jazz pianist and trumpeter, but Krautrock was never entirely a youth movement: CAN's Irmin Schmidt turned 34 the same year this album was released; CLUSTER's Hans-Joachim Roedelius was 37.

And Dauner certainly borrowed a few cues from the local kids, stretching his musical horizons outward in every direction known to physics (plus a few yet to be discovered). Only in Germany circa 1971 could you expect to find such an unlikely amalgam of ethnic-psychedelic-jazz-funk-acid-folk-rock-trance music, all tossed into a boiling stew of beautiful noise and stirred to a uniform consistency. The closest local equivalent might have been the anarchists of FAUST, reinvented as a Fusion combo but with even less obligation toward convention than usual.

The album opens not too far from a Canterbury-like sound, but in classic Krautrock fashion the music loses its grip on reality very quickly, cued by Dauner's increasingly distorted electric piano (sounding not unlike a broken Toys R Us saxophone), and by two percussionists competing to see who could bash a cymbal harder. "Lady Blue" then adds some groovy beatnik poetry to the mix ("I have seen everything / I have found everything to be everything / and everything came out very together..."), the voice heard through a maelstrom of classical guitar, choirs, echo effects, and whatever else Dauner could pack into the song's three minutes.

The tell-tale misspelling of "Mellodrama Nr.2A" hints at the pastoral beauty of the next title, adrift on an unruffled sea of mellotrons and 12-string guitars. But the rest of the album (Side Two of the original LP) is more abstract, starting with the bluntly-titled "Raga", in which the expected sitars drive an epic Oriental Kraut-Funk groove, with Dauner's warped trumpet accents recalling the comic relief French horn of kindred spirit HOLGER CZUKAY.

The epilog of "Milkstreets" is another CAN-like slice of free-form 'instant composition', but the album isn't over yet: a trio of CD bonus tracks from the original recording session adds enough quality music to fill another full side of vinyl.

Maybe Dauner should have chosen a more unique moniker for his outfit: currently three separate bands with similar names are featured on this site alone. A sophomore Et Cetera album appeared the following year, but the crazy Krautrock experimentation was (somewhat) compromised by a guest appearance by American jazz guitarist LARRY CORYELL. The debut should be the first choice for anyone on the lookout for something more bizarre and eclectic. On a personal level, it knocked my socks off with my feet still in them.

Neu!mann | 4/5 |

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