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4 stars Dennis does his own thing ...

The band DENNIS has been something like a german Krautrock supergroup in the 70s. Members of FRUMPY, THIRSTY MOON, XHOL, TOMMORROW'S GIFT and OUGENWEIDE had a collaboration for nearly two years in 1973/74. 'Hyperthalamus' is the (first) result with four excerpts. This album contains a mix of studio and live sessions with an ordinary sound quality. Here you can listen to excellent Jazz Rock combined with some Space/Psychedelic.

Do Your Own Thing is an absolutely amazing song. It starts with an authentic recording from the central railway station in Hamburg and then moves into a psychedelic part dominated by Kretschmer's guitar accompanied by an accentuated bass and drum playing. Others Do and Already are typical two-in-one songs - a Jazz Rock based jam interaction of guitar, bass and drums.

The last track Grey Present Tense is very smooth, releaxed, inspired by TRAFFIC's 'On the Road'. Finally saxophone and electric piano are getting an effective role and enough space to evolve. This song seems to be the best to me. Just a gem not only because the sound quality is good here.

An album with a wonderful unique atmosphere which deserves to be more popular. Recommended to fans of improvised Jazz Rock but unfortunately hard to get because it is not yet released on CD. And there's nothing more to say than to hope there are existing more recordings of this excellent project.

Report this review (#136089)
Posted Monday, September 3, 2007 | Review Permalink
1 stars Calling this a 'Supergroup' is a violation of the Trade Descriptions Act.

'Frumpy', 'Thirsty Moon' and 'Tomorrow's Gift' decided to get together and go on the rampage, but fail to deliver anything of historical importance whatsoever.

'Hyperthalamus' is an extremely poorly recorded album which sounds muffled, live and rough. I expected much more from these three moderately respectable Krautrock artists. It sounds like it was recorded live onto a a second hand BASF audio cassette, resembling a pirate bootleg rather than a professional recording. This basically sounds like someone playing music too loud down the stairs when you're trying to get to sleep, where nothing sounds clear and the dynamics are lost in a sea of sludge.

Everything is so straightforward and run-of-the-mill. It's chock full of the aimless guitar jams I should have expected before purchase. The piano-like keyboards are quite nice in a 'Floyd' - ''Animals' kind of way, but then some dreaded saxophone rears its ugly head which has me running for cover as though there's been a bomb scare.

There's too many good Krautrock albums out there without having to bother with this. 'Hyperthalamus' has fleeting moments of respectability with flute and ambient keyboard work, but overall it's something of a disaster in my view.

I have very few commendable observations to make about this feckless, repetitive and one dimensional album. It's one recording that's finally heading for the bin after many years of lying around, wasting space and gathering dust. Calling it truly awful would be unkind but unfortunately it's true.

Report this review (#1392258)
Posted Thursday, April 2, 2015 | Review Permalink

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