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Electric Orange


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Sean Trane
Prog Folk
3 stars 3.5 stars really!!

Debut album for this German combo that did most of their works in the 90's, and probably their better works, it was released in late 93. The group is mostly keyboardist Muller's project and he plays a multitude of vintage keyboards, including trons of mello. But Dirk-Jan is well seconded by a brilliant guitarist (that knows when to stop playing), a splendid flute player and a rather correct rhythm section, even if the drummer plays like the industry wanted it in those years. You could almost say that EO would be a retro-prog band if it had a drummer that had played like in the 70's. Instead we've got a group that sounds more modern and approaches much Ozric Tentacles. So much so, that you could easily confuse between the two, except that there is no reggae influence in EO. Coming with a cute Hi- Voltage pylon under a psychedelic-coloured sky, it illustrates the music quite well.

Yes, Electric Orange is much reminiscent of Ozric with sometimes a touch of Floyd and it holds the same energy that grabs you and sends you to the dance floor or at least has you moving to the music. Exactly the kind of prog that you could get your female company to groove to. Clearly the all members of the band are rather virtuoso at their respective instruments (except for that drummer IMHO), but you won't catch anyone in the group making blatant useless heroics. As the mostly-instrumental tracks unravel, the Floyd ambiance increases and by the fourth track, we've got a rework of Eugene's Axe and the follow-up is a bit in the same vein. Whatever vocals there are, are handled by Kristina Leu and they're the usual 90's female prog, and it fits the music quite well without much clichés. The only hint of Krautrock present in their music is in the binary rhythm and there are times when you could picture yourself on TD's; Ricochet or on a calm Can track.

Actually I hold the second version of this album and it comes with a second disc filled with tracks from a later session, and some more from a 92 session, the whole thing (the two discs) being remastered in 97 and released with an alternate artwork that resembles like an electronically-cabled skull waiting for the brains, but the back cover reminds us of the original artwork. The second disc is a much less accessible album, almost doing the exact opposite the historical disc had achieved. If the historical disc sounded like Ozric, the bonus disc is definitely more Krautrock, mechanic and electronic, in some ways not too far from The Orb another big name of the early 90's and can be derivative of techno music, but with plenty of vintage instruments sampling happening. The first track has a Santana- esque organ sample and aims at Jingo. But not all tracks benefit from such positive trickery, many of them being close to abstract and dissonant music. Early Popol Vuh, Cone- era Kraftwerk and Pink-era Tangerine dream are not far away. You won't have calling it useless, but I can't help but wondering what the point is to revive this kind of musical delirium. Only Wellensallat bears some organ and is slightly reminiscent of early Floyd, the rest being much more Kraut-y. Too bad this second and bonus disc is binging down the good rating of the original album, though.

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Posted Friday, February 19, 2010 | Review Permalink

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