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The Cosmic Jokers - Planeten Sit-In CD (album) cover


The Cosmic Jokers


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3 stars If you are looking for an album to buy to really scare your aging grandma then Gottsching and friends have a mind -bender here in "Planeten Sit-In". Best described as sonic test patterns for your brain, "Planeten Sit-In" would rank as one of the freakiest albums in my collection. A cornucopia of sonic space colors and textures, blending in its path all the "dark nebula collages" of Klaus Schulze with the space mechanics of Dieter Dierks and Jurgen Dollase. "Planeten Sit-In" is the space'iest of all JOKERS albums and is a great headphone experience offering an epic space travel for your mind. Highly intoxicating yet wonderfully inventive music for your mind.

Report this review (#28815)
Posted Friday, March 19, 2004 | Review Permalink
Eetu Pellonpaa
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars This album has some quite experimental elements, but the tracks build up quite logically and evolve as an nice cosmic journey for the listener accepting the invitation. The listener is wakened up with strong drones, opening up a voyage trough the hallway of mirroring illusions, leading to a calm, large musical void. Heavy experimental zones follow up, leading to an acid rock jam building over pulsing synths and introducing a nice piano riff. Calm sequences resembling Tangerine Dream's "Rubycon" are presented, before the music fades to a romantic piano playing. Hovering cosmic corridors lead to more longer progressions in abstract electronic space, and a free form architecture of sounds is revealed. The long closing track has quite much similar elements than Pink Floyd's "Saucerful of Secrets", which influence to the sound of these musicians is evident.

I think this album is a compromise of the long logical space jams of the self title master piece, and the less coherent "Gilles Zeitschiff" recording, being more pleasant than the later but not as great as the first one. Quite interesting record still, I would claim.

Report this review (#207914)
Posted Saturday, March 21, 2009 | Review Permalink
Prog Metal Team
3 stars In the spring of 73, Rolf-Ulrich Kaiser, one of the main promoters of Krautrock, brought Göttsching and Schulze from Ash Ra Tempel together with musicians from Wallenstein for a couple of impromptu jams. He recorded and released those sessions without consulting or paying any of the musicians involved. Not much to their liking obviously, and the third album culled from these jam sessions gives ample reason for the artists to be angry at their lack of artistic control.

Contrary to the two preceding albums, Planeten Sit-In does not have long jams, but a couple of shorter pieces strung together to imply one continuous flow. The music is very free-form, to a point that it almost becomes 'chance-music', especially Schulze's contributions don't go much beyond producing sounds by turning and twisting knobs on his equipment. It's a way of working he has always integrated in his 70s work but I very much doubt he would have thought any of the results here fit for release.

Also Göttsching is hard to be spotted on this album and the absence of his unique space-blues style is a let-down. In fact, this album doesn't offer much more then pulsating bass guitars, subdued drums and percussion, and Schulze's sound effects. On the bright side, it still manages to create some fascinating music with a dark muddy atmosphere.

With a length of just 35 minutes and few memorable moments, I can agree with the point of view that the whole Cosmic Jokers affair is a rip-off. But I still find something to love in this mysterious murk, so despite my mixed feelings, I'd call this release worth investigating for fans of the dark cosmic force. 2.5 stars.

Report this review (#371992)
Posted Monday, January 3, 2011 | Review Permalink
2 stars If the musicians whose efforts were illegally sold by Rolf-Ulrich Kaiser (according to legend, at any rate) had any misgivings about the first two Cosmic Jokers albums, they must have been livid about this one: number three in the series, not counting the ersatz Kosmische Kuriere sampler "Sci-Fi Party".

Never mind the not unjustified legal complaints; this barely organized hodgepodge of musical snippets, effects, and fragmentary jams (half of the tracks hardly crack the one-minute mark) is the sound of R.U. Kaiser scraping the bottom of the Krautrock barrel. Clearly by this stage of the supergroup sessions the drugs had kicked into (appropriately) high gear: a good deal of it sounds like the players trying to simply tune their instruments, apparently not the easiest task when under the influence of LSD.

A couple of worthwhile grooves finally emerge in the last ten or twelve minutes of the album, during the haphazardly titled "Interstellar Rock: Kosmische Musik" and "Die Planet des Sternenmädchens". But by then it's too little too late, and I doubt even the novelty of quadraphonic sound was enough to save it at the time.

And yet the ringleaders of this cosmic circus deserve a lot of credit, for thrift and economy if not for musical unity. The original AMON DÜÜL only managed to squeeze three albums from a single 1968 jam session; R.U. Kaiser stretched his exploitation to five LPs before being hounded out of the business by legal action and negative press.

Questions of ethics aside, the first Cosmic Jokers album had some phenomenal music on it; "Galactic Supermarket" was almost as good; but this one is strictly for hardcore fans willing to overlook its obvious shortcomings. Four Stars to Three Stars to a very generous Two Star can see a trend here, and I wouldn't want to compromise my admiration for the whole misguided Cosmic Jokers experiment by delving any deeper into their catalogue.

Report this review (#626961)
Posted Sunday, February 5, 2012 | Review Permalink

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