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Krokodil - An Invisible World Revealed  CD (album) cover

AN INVISIBLE WORLD REVEALED

Krokodil

Krautrock


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philippe
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Content Development & Krautrock Team
3 stars In this intricate album the Swiss of Krokodil present an original blend of massive bluesy folk compositions and weird experimentations. It's certain that this band has a krautrock sensibility, mainly due to their primitive improvisations, a taste for sound experimentations and freak out instrumentals. The difference with krautrock bands is that their musical influences are not cryptic and keep a feeling for the late 60s pop music. "Lady of attraction" is an emotive psychedelic piece with evident folk arguments thanks to the acoustic guitar and flute sequences. The vocals have something plaintive. The track includes some brilliant spacey rock arrangements thanks to the Mellotron. The bluesy tone is given by the Harmonica parts. "With Little Miss Trimmings" is an accessible folk composition dominated by guitars and simplistic melodies. "Oddissey in Om" is a pure krautrock hymn, a totally stoned composition starting with eastern psych harmonies thanks to percussions and sitar. It carries on a stumbling cosmic krautrock with perpetual jams. "Green Fly" is a nice psychedelic pop composition with a discreet garage rock flavour of the sixties. "Looking At Time" is an other propulsive, dynamic bluesy rock attack with lot of Harmonica. Well thought with lot of fantasies, weird & cool things this album can be an interesting recommendation for those who like the most "indulgent" side of progressive rock.

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Send comments to philippe (BETA) | Report this review (#86131)
Posted Tuesday, August 08, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars A flat out masterpiece of original experiments and sonic juxtapositions. If you never thought a harmonica could solo on top of a mellotron and sound as cosmic as the best guitar solos from early 70s Germany, prepare to be surprised. And for the record, this is Swiss.

If that weren't enough, imagine yet another experiment where Indian music that sounds as authentic as you'll hear in the 'pop music' world suddenly bursts into a hard rock groove that will have you feeling like you've entered some dance contest on Saturn and you've encountered yet another of element of this album that brings to it an originality that is almost peerless. This sounds like nothing else anybody has ever accomplished, and despite another great effort after this, even Krokodil themselves would never quite touch it again.

The original vinyl goes for megabucks, and I have never heard it. Second Battle has released this with some absolutely sensational bonus tracks that really feature the band improvising beautifully within the 'jam' mode, but be advised that the Second Battle CD is heavily compressed like most of the other releases they did from the late nineties, so tracking down the Germanofon pirate CD is not a bad idea if you want to hear this album with its dynamics more intact.

5 stars, firm. Absolutely brilliant.

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Send comments to Jeff Carney (BETA) | Report this review (#184965)
Posted Tuesday, October 07, 2008 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars KROKIDIL were one of the few bands outside of Germany who played what could be called Krautrock. These guys are from Switzerland and this album is widly considered to be their best. In the liner notes they tell us how absolutely excited they were to record this record in Dieter Dierks studio, because he had state of the art equipment including a mellotron which they made good use of on 3 of the 6 tracks. Of course Dieter recorded and mixed this album for them. The music here is very psychedelic at times with lots of flute and harmonica. Some aggressive guitar moments, but the folky passages are more prominant. Man these guys are pretty freaky looking (in a good way)haha.

"Lady Of Attraction" opens with strummed guitar as psychedelic vocals come in along with percussion and flute. Harmonica before 3 1/2 minutes with mellotron ends it. The old mellotron / harmonica combo. Possibly a first. Haha. "With Little Miss Trimmings" is a short track that opens with the sound of someone squeeling their tires before a good melody with vocal melodies takes over. "Odyssey In Om" is an over 15 minute trip to the land of purple. Percussion to start with as sitar joins in. The beat stops at 3 1/2 minutes as flute arrives.Then the sitar stop after 4 minutes as it turns spacey with lots of reserved flute. Harmonica then takes over followed by some heavy guitar around 6 minutes with drums. Great sound. Mellotron with a calm 9 minutes in as spoken vocals arrive.The guitar comes ripping in a minute later. Nice bass too and harmonica. Mellotron and spoken words are back 11 minutes in then it kicks back in. Settles again 13 minutes in with harmonica. More psychedelia before the guitar comes crashing in to end it with mellotron.

"Green Fly" has such a good sound to it with the bass, flute, drums and mellotron standing out. Vocals a minute in with harmonica. More mellotron after 2 minutes as drums pound away. Themes are repeated. "Looking At Time" is a 14 minute track and possibly my favourite. I like the intro with both acoustic and electric guitars playing with drums. A nice heavy sound 2 minutes in then harmonica and drums take over. Vocals also join in. A beautiful and pleasant sound 6 minutes in. Flute 9 minutes in and then we get strummed guitar as the electric guitar grinds away. The tempo picks up 11 1/2 minutes in and it gets kind of crazy. Guitar then lights it up followed by vocals and harmonica. "Last Doors" is led early by harmonica, guitar and drums before the vocals come in. Nice guitar solo before 2 1/2 minutes.

This has really grown on me a lot. From not liking it at first to really appreciating just about everything about it. Fans of Krautrock should check this out and be patient.

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Send comments to Mellotron Storm (BETA) | Report this review (#202398)
Posted Wednesday, February 11, 2009 | Review Permalink
2 stars If there's one instrument I hate more than bagpipes it's the mouth organ. Unfortunately for me, this is used frequently throughout this album. After the promising opening track things quickly deteriorate into run of the mill early 70's pastiche.

Krokodil have a very Anglicised / American approach to song construction which in no way do I associate with Krautrock.

The vocals are pretty ropey at best. They get away with it in the first track 'Lady of Attraction' because there's an electronic effect put through the voice. A lot of this album sounds like a very straight Captain Beefheart from his dodgy mid 70's period. It's a pity because judging by the front cover it looks as though this could be something really unusual. Believe me... it's not.

Despite the addition of sitar and generally excellent production values this fails on many counts. Most importantly it fails due to lack of originality coupled with a Swiss guy singing in English with a cod American accent. That's always a bug bear of mine.

The alleged 'bonus' of three tracks at the end don't improve matters either. They're just long jams that go on interminably. I'm afraid I find this kind of music mind numbingly dull and if I'm honest it barely deserves two stars, although I'm sure it will appeal to some prog fans. The only positive thing I can recommend about this is that it has a classic early 70's feel to it and is indeed very well produced.

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Send comments to Dobermensch (BETA) | Report this review (#296327)
Posted Thursday, August 26, 2010 | Review Permalink
Sean Trane
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Prog Folk
3 stars 3.5 stars really!!!

After Hardy Heep had left, Krokodil soldiered on as a quartet, but found life increasingly difficult, because the tours to neighbouring countries (Ger & Fra) meant hiring a regular crew, and revenues were not sufficient, so they had to take part-time jobs, like session work, accompanying band (for Demon Thor) or music lessons. It is through these jobs that they met the unavoidable German producer Dieter Dierks, who offered to record their following album in his studio. So drummer and leader Durst lead the troupes into the group's best album to date: Invisible World revealed, released in early 72 with a splendid heroic-fantasy artwork on a gatefold sleeve and a group picture in a cemetery on the innerfold.

Opening on the pure-psych Lady Of Attraction, the album is a relatively fine (but rather belated, in retrospect to its date) psychedelic rock album, that could be coming out of TYA's Stonedhenge or Cricklewood Green albums. After the short and forgettable acoustic Miss Trimmings, the album plunges into a 15-mins Indian-raga extravaganza Odyssey In Om, where guitarist Anselmo gives a credible performance on the sitar and singer Weideli uses some freaked-out flute and harmonica, the whole thing being arranged by the great Dieter Dirks. Once Anselmo returns to his guitar, the track veers crunchy bluesy/hard-rock and goes on a jam ala Steamhammer on Speech or Tritteoria Kriget-style with some (loads) good Mellotron (just lying in Dierks' studio)., making the whole thing enjoyable, but still raw enough for my liking.

Past the almost-forgettable hard-rocking Green Fly opening the flipside (but there are trons of mello in it), the 14-mins Looking At Time is the album's other cornerstone, starting acoustically, but soon crescendoing at cruising speed and developing into an excellent lengthy mainly-instrumental finale. The album-closing Last Doors could also be a TYE track, this time from Shhhh or Watt.

This album had seen a cheap Cd bootleg, but when the good Second Battle label reissued it legitimately in nice digipak, they found three bonus tracks; the first of which, Pollution, fits the album's rockier songs' mould. Two lengthy 11-mins+ Krokodil -Session tracks are also tacked on, both recorded a tad louder than the rest of the album. Obviously the jam had already started a while ago when the tapes started rolling and we get a wild and half- improvised slightly jazzy loose rock track ala Grateful Dead. The second part is a blusier mainly-instrumental TYA-like jam, but again nothing far removed from the album's general soundscapes.

Unfortunately for the band, once this album released, their UA label went broke, but found Bellaphon soon enough, but it would be the beginning of the end for the reptile. Anyway, AIWR is a rather good album coming from the Swiss Alps, and is enhanced by three bonus tracks, so what does the people want more?

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Send comments to Sean Trane (BETA) | Report this review (#297228)
Posted Friday, September 03, 2010 | Review Permalink
Warthur
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Krokodil may have started out as a psychedelic blues rock outfit, but from An Invisible World Revealed you wouldn't have guessed it, since it sounds like the Swiss band have been reared on a diet of early Hawkwind and Amon Duul II. Mojo Weideli juggles his flute and harmonica and is an asset to the proceedings whichever he happens to be playing. With each side combining two shorter tracks and a longer workout, the band establish reasonable prog credentials, and though it isn't the sort of performance which really helps them break through to the top tier of krautrock it's a decent enough listen.

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Send comments to Warthur (BETA) | Report this review (#1187895)
Posted Saturday, June 07, 2014 | Review Permalink

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