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Release Music Orchestra - Garuda CD (album) cover

GARUDA

Release Music Orchestra

Jazz Rock/Fusion


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Sean Trane
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Prog Folk
3 stars RMO's second album is along the same lines of what we heard from their first: a good jazz rock on the borderline between the early 70's JR and the later 70's Fusion music. The quintet (KB, drummer, bassist and wind player plus androgyn frontperson Margit Haberland on vocals, percussions and ac guitar) released on the legendary Brain (green) label in Conny Plank's studios Garuda (with a cool and intriguing artwork), which might appear to be if not conceptual at least thematic.

As all tracks are linked by short (never above one minute length) interludes of Swiss Games separating the main compositions: the five Zwischenspiel pieces, each penned by a member of the group), but even then I don't think there is much of a message to catch. It seems that the group's message was mostly the good times, abundant and precise interplays between all members. Right from the opening 10-min Slapstick (which is anything but), you know that you won't be rocking your socks off: while there are some Nucleus elements in the music, the group lack the sheer power of their UK counterparts, while Passport is not far away. The first side's best track is Torso Im Sommerwind, but nothing that enthusiasting either.

The second side starts on the deep and introverted 12-min title track, which shines as the album's highlight, but I have trouble getting interested in the unfocused and slightly ethnic Mama Kubu, sounding like a cheap but more psych Osibisa crossing Doldinger's Passport.

While I wouldn't consider anything of Release Music Orchestra as essential, their early albums are definitely worth hearing if you are into JR/F. And since I am one of them, I'll add another half star.

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Send comments to Sean Trane (BETA) | Report this review (#131299)
Posted Thursday, August 02, 2007 | Review Permalink
apps79
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Neo Prog Team
3 stars Moving forward, Release Music Orchestra suffered the departure of bassist Bernd Kiefer, but were glad to welcome two more members, his replacement on Holger Dunkel and the unique female singer, guitarist and percussionist Margit Maya Haberland (aka Ma Gita).The second album ''Garuda'' was again released on Brain, recorded at Cony Plank's Studio with guest performances by Jochen Petersen (whom Norbert Jacobsen already knew from A.R. & Machines and formerly of Ikarus) and Kraan's Johannes Pappert on saxes.

Three long compositions along with a bunch of shorter pieces point out the new direction of the band, who now leans toward more Kraut Rock realms with less focus on tight interplays and more space for looser material.The British influences though are still apparent with the band having however a more Horn Rock approach akin to IF with three sax player in the line-up.KRAAN remain an obvious influence, moreover with the presence of Pappert around.The very short tracks even have a slight Avant-Garde and more experintal edge.However the base of the album are the three long arrangements, taking over 3/4 of the album.The talent is always there, however the material has lost much of the fresh orientation of the debut.Still Release Music Orchestra tend to propose a sound of their own, changing from powerful jamming parts, typical of the German Kraut Rock movement, to lighter passages with a strong Canterbury edge and characterized by some melodic saxes, nervous organs and delicate electric piano, not to mention some sporadic synthesizers.What makes ''Garuda'' a bit different though is the mass of improvised passages over the structured arrangements, but even these are played with passion, featuring very strong individual performances and an overall dense musicianship.

Compared to ''Life'', ''Garuda'' sounds like a step towards a more compatible Kraut/Jazz Rock form.The moments of great music are however still present, performed by a solid group of musicians, that could do much better.Recommended.

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Send comments to apps79 (BETA) | Report this review (#992109)
Posted Friday, July 05, 2013 | Review Permalink

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