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

KNIRSCH

Et Cetera (DE)

Krautrock


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Mellotron Storm
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars Guldbamsen recommended this album in the Krautrock thread on this site some time ago and when I saw who was part of the band I picked this cd up right away. The leader and composer of all but one track is Wolfgang Dauner a pioneer when it comes to Jazz / Fusion and experimental music in Europe. He is a keyboard player but adds electronics on this album as well. The one song he didn't compose was written by the very talented American guitarist Larry Coryell who adds his unique playing to this album. We also get bass player Gunter Lenz who's played with Volker Kriegel and many others, as well as COLOSSEUM drummer Jon Hiseman who guests on here. Fred Braceful the drummer is an American who came to Germany in the fifties with the army. He stayed and played in Jazz bands originally but tired of that and joined ET CETERA. He actually left this band when they started drifting into Jazz territory and joined EXMAGMA who played a more adventerous and avant syle. If there's anything more impressive than the lineup here it's the music itself. Listed under Krautrock but it could have easily gone under Jazz / Fusion. This is a blending of styles really but Krautrock and Jazz / Fusion standout the most. I love the fuzzed out keyboards and bass but it makes it hard to know what i'm hearing at times much like on a lot of Canterbury music.

"The Really Great Escape" is Coryell's composition. This really gets my blood flowing. We get this nasty distorted keyboard sound throughout as the drums pound away. The guitar and vocals come in around a minute. How good is this ! Amazing sound 2 1/2 minutes in. Nothing like headbanging to some fuzzed out keyboards. Incredible track ! "Sun" is a Jazz / Fusion track with piano and a pastoral setting to start. Other sounds join in at a minute as it slowly builds.The guitar 2 minutes in reminds me of Santana.There is so much going on here. Great tune.

"Yan" is the almost 13 minute experimental piece. No melody to start just this freaky electronic soundscape with sounds coming and going. We get piano melodies 2 minutes in. Percussion then takes over around 4 minutes then these strange sounds come and go in the background. This gets louder before 8 minutes as the percussion continues. Drugged out vocals before 10 minutes followed by a silent calm after 10 1/2 minutes. Piano and an eerie vibe follow. A very Krauty tune. "Tuning Spread" is an 11 minute Jazz / Fusion track. It kicks in quickly with fuzz, drums, piano and more. Great sound ! Love the drumming after 2 minutes. I like the guitar too that joins in. Piano comes to the fore 5 minutes in. More fuzz 7 1/2 minutes in. The guitar is back before 10 1/2 minutes and check out the drum work. "Yin" opens with percussion, keyboards and atmosphere.The guitar joins in and we get distortion as well. So good. Intense is the word here. Some nice bass after 7 1/2 minutes.

This album is a must for fans of Jazzy and experimental Krautrock.

Report this review (#564760)
Posted Wednesday, November 9, 2011 | Review Permalink
4 stars With the recent passing of the great Larry Coryell, I made it a point to put on this monster of an album on in his honor the other day. This was the only Et Cetera album that he played on, but man did he leave his mark! The previous LP had the excellent German guitarist, Sigi Schwab, who injected his ethnic style into the music. Coryell, an American, brought in more of a West Coast, psychedelic, jazzrock style to Et Cetera's Kraut-jazz. Experimental German jazz keyboardist Wolfgang Dauner, of course, was the leader of Et Cetera and composed all but the opening track.

That opening track, "The Really Great Escape" is Coryell's, and it is a one of the grooviest, stoned-out tracks from that era. The song reeks of the 70's, and is sticky with resin. Some might call it dated, but I call it pure awesomeness. Coryell's guitar work is superb, and his vocals are stunning. He wasn't known for his vocal skills, but here he kills it. It is the only song to feature vocals and it really differs from the rest of the album, but the album definitely benefits from it being on there. Coryell released a different version of this song on one of his own albums, which is longer and features horns, but it does not compare to the version on Knirsch.

There rest of Knirsh is pure Dauner, and Coryell's stunning guitar work helps lift it to great heights. The rest of the band, long-time Dauner drummer/percussionist Fred Braceful, Colosseum drummer Jon Hiseman, and German jazz bassist Günter Lenz, all shine on their performances.

The second track, "Sun" is a piano driven jazz number, which also displays Coryell's jazz chops. "Yan" is the most avant-garde piece on the LP, and is devoid of structure, melody, or rhythm. There is lots of experimental noodling and noise here, parts of it reminding me of the studio disc of Pink Floyd's Ummagumma, "The Grand Vizier's Garden Party" in particular. Next up is the stellar track, "Tuning Spread," which is a nice mix of Krautrock unconventionality and jazzrock. It has an excellent groove in parts, with Jon Hiseman laying down a funky-as-hell beat. The closing cut is "Yin," which gradually builds from a quiet jazz tune to a more energetic jazzrock.

While I feel it is a stretch to call this album Krautrock, it definitely encompasses a good deal of that genre into its jazzrock cocktail. This is a great record to chill to with friends late at night, or with headphones on your own, if you prefer. I would have given this a five star rating had it not been for the track "Yan." While I can appreciate some good old experimentation in music, when it lacks any kind of structure, rhythm, or melody, and goes on past the five minute mark, I will often begin to get bored and/or annoyed. "Yan" goes on for thirteen minutes.

I highly recommend Et Cetera's Knirsch for those who are into Krautrock and/or experimental jazzrock. It does have a very early 70's vibe to it, but the experimental structures and performances keep it from sounding dated, in my opinion anyway. I give it four stars. Larry Coryell R.I.P.

Report this review (#1696510)
Posted Friday, February 24, 2017 | Review Permalink
siLLy puPPy
COLLABORATOR
PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams
4 stars After the eponymous debut album, Wolfgang Dauner's ET CETERA returned the following year with a whole new lineup for the second album KNIRSCH, the German word for "crunch" which apparently was made clear by the combo effect of the cover art and the continued theme art inside the album spread. American percussionist Fred Braceful (soon to join Exmagma) was the only musician (other than Dauner) to appear on both ET CETERA albums. Joining the band was American guitarist Larry Coryell (Chico Hamilton, Free Spirits, Gary Burton) and British drummer Jon Hiseman (aka John Hiseman, co-founder of the jazz-rock bands Colosseum and Tempest and, later, with Wolfgang Dauner, the all-star band United Jazz + Rock Ensemble) along with bassist Günter Lenz (most prominently known for his work with Peter Herbolzheimer Rhythm Combination & Brass, a mix of big band, jazz-funk and fusion).

After the wickedly wild debut release KNIRSCH sounds downright tame with the focus much more drawn to tight jazz-fusion instrumental interplay augmented by Dauner's idiosyncratic keyboard style however it wouldn't be a proper Dauner related project without at least some experimental freakery in the works so despite a tamer sophomore release, KNIRSCH manages to squeeze in some avant-garde weirdness just because it was the early 70s after all! Stylistically KNIRSCH is a much more streamlined jazz-fusion event which in many ways is much more similar to Embryo's "Rache" album that came out in 1971 than to the first ET CETERA release, as it focuses on the same lengthy jam driven instrumental improvisation with the stealthy double percussive bombast of Braceful and Hiseman that mix and meld traditional jazz drumming with a wide range of ethnic influences such as the Indian and Arabic touches that graced the debut album.

Likewise Dauner himself behaves and correspondingly delivers the expected proper jazz-fusion responses. While the opening track "The Really Great Escape" misleads with a fuzzed out guitar driven rock and bass groove accompanied by tribal drumming patterns with Richard Ketterer joining in to provide lyrics, the following tracks completely derail this rather mainstream and rather ho hum affair. "Sun" immediately brings the jazzy touches into full context with Dauner's tinkling of the ivories evoking an early Chic Corea with the rest of the album remaining instrumental and airy as the guitar, bass and drums are placed lower in the mix than the dominant keys. "Yan" begins the three longer tracks that all hover around the ten minute mark or longer. It is by far the most experimental of the five tracks with an emphasis on the greater visionary prospects of fusing jazz and rock with electronica. This track is really the only one that resembles the debut ET CETERA album with its emphasis on experimentalism above all else.

"Turning Spread" dishes out a heavy piano driven groove but the bass and drum cannonade is on fire as a feisty funk flair begins to strut its badass stuff and all the jazz-fusion to bring some soul into its ranks. This track probably has a distinct Herbie Hancock feel with its easy to digest rhythmic flow and an almost Santana inspired percussive drive and virtuosic guitar solos of Coryell. The album ends with "Yan" which perhaps is the track that incorporates the main gist of both ET CETERA in a musical summary so to speak. While it provides the overall backdrop of jazz-fusion as its centerpiece, the track also allows healthy doses of experimental offerings. The track is graced by a strong percussive beat, spaced out keyboard, wah-wah guitar licks and drifts along rather nonchalantly as the instrumentalists find room to improvise as the groovy drive banters on ad infinitum. Dauner is off the charts with some of the more daring synthesizer nosedives as notes fluctuate high on the resister and drop without a parachute from the sky.

This was the end of the road for the ET CETERA project but a mere blip on the radar for all the musicians involved. Dauner would continue on with an endless series of collaborative efforts all throughout the 70s whereas Fred Braceful soon joined Exmagma for another two albums of psychedelic Krautrock head trips. KNIRSCH is a mixed bag and seems quite tame after the unhinged nature of the debut but still is the more unified of the two if not nearly as original as the jam aspects were fairly standard for the day as well as the style of jazz-fusion that would dominate the album, still though the musical meanderings are performed by strong competent instrumentalists who were capable of weaving magical passages of jazz-rock while allowing experimental electronic effects to incorporate themselves into mix. Personally i prefer the debut album to this one however except for the mediocre opening track, this one has a charm all its own and although not as experimental delivers with exceedingly strong instrumental prowess.

Report this review (#2115608)
Posted Sunday, January 6, 2019 | Review Permalink

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