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Gila - Night Works CD (album) cover

NIGHT WORKS

Gila

Krautrock


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3 stars This album is a recording of an early 1972 show in Cologne, shortly before their first split. The sound is quite dirty (it's a stage sound), but is very good for that kind of rough psychedelic music. It really deserves the name ok krautrock. The song are often based on the same kind of dark, heavy, psychedelic, almost tribal rythmics, with a very simple structure of two or three chords, which is developped in long musical improvisations, played by either the organ, plugged into sometimes wah, delay or fuzz, or the guitar, with the same kind of effects. very few singing (only on the second track, "Braintwist", sung - not very well, but in harmony with their style - by Conny Veit). The global atmosphere reminds me the late '60s - early '70s Pink Floyd shows, with lots of improvisation, strange noisy guitar (and seldom organ) effects, that we can hear for example on "The Gila Symphony". In fact, it's pure space rock, where heavy rythms carry aerian, hypnotic or hallucinated solis. This is a very good album for a fan of this kind of music. I only heard once or twice their first album, "Free Electric Sound", which seemed to me more progressive - and more accessible - than this one. In conclusion, "Night Works" is a very good title for this album, which well describes the atmosphere, and the impression, due to the long endless improvisations, that it's in some way a work-in-progress, with very good titles, that might be improved. Although it remains for me a little jewel of german space rock.
Report this review (#28853)
Posted Tuesday, March 15, 2005 | Review Permalink
Sean Trane
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Prog Folk
3 stars 3.5 stars really!!!

Although this album was never officially released at the time, this should be the second Gila album and even if only played as a radio broadcast, all of the tracks were brand new and not available on their other two albums. We can thank once again the great label Garden Of Delights for releasing officially this great album out to the public. Unfortunately this is not a studio album, so the sound is not perfect, but it is rather good given the conditions and the complicated story of the tapes.

This album is a real gem if you enjoy psych/prog rock and confirms Gila's reputation as the German Pink Floyd (much more than Eloy will ever be), but by Floyd, one should understand the pre-DSOTM period. Yes we are dealing with mid-tempo tracks allowing for great mood swing and many semi-improvised instrumental interplay while the lyrics are generally open enough to allow flexibility. Most of the tracks have a feeling as if they were the extended versions of Floyd's More soundtrack and you could easily glide through the skies with a doobie at your disposal.

After this record, Veit will form Popol Vuh , but will come back with Fichelscher and Florian Fricke to record the following concept album Wounded Knee about the organized massacre of Amerindians. In the mean time this posthumous release is fo be seen as a full-fledged Gila album and right on par with the historical two albums. A must for psycheads and Krautheads.

Report this review (#61747)
Posted Monday, December 26, 2005 | Review Permalink
loserboy
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars "Night Works" was lifted from an old FM radio broadcast and really should be considered GILA's second album. In a similar fashion to the stunning debut album "Free Electric Sound", this album pulls out all the underground Krautrock vibes and is a truely great little album. Although the folks at Garden Of Delight have done a masterful job in restoring and presenting this snippet of Krautrock history, my only issue is the fair production quality (obviously the source tapes were not perfect). But having said, the music is still superb and I love the FLOYD like extended jams and spaciness of this album. "The Gila Symphony" is my favourite track which clocks in at around 14 mins and represents a great extended space jam not unlike early FLOYD. GILA was the early proving grounds for guitarist Conny Veit who would later play with others including POPOL VUH and GURU GURU.
Report this review (#72171)
Posted Friday, March 17, 2006 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars This is a live recording from Cologne in 1972 that was broadcast live by a radio station. As has been mentioned, all the songs on this album are new and different from the 2 studio albums they recorded. After this recording the band would eventually break up and guitarist Conny Veit would join POPUL VUH and play with them on their "Hosianna Mantra" and "Seligpreisung" albums. Conny decided between the recordings of those two records to reform GILA with 2 of the key POPOL VUH members(Florian and Daniel) and make one more album called "Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee" which would also sound more like POPOL VUH than the 2 earlier GILA recordings(i'm including this live one). Conny would then go on to play for GURU GURU after his stint with POPOL VUH. I was reminded of the live KOLLEKTIV record when listening to this because they both have no crowd noise at all. Maybe they were all too wired, I don't know. I have to say though that i love this record. I can listen to this all day long, it's so trippy and hypnotic and well played.

"Around Midnight" is just one of those songs i was talking about that you just close your eyes, relax and enjoy the catchy repetitive beat. It opens with different sounds starting to form a melody that slowly builds. Organ 3 minutes in before it settles down, then it kicks back in a minute later. "Braintwist" is a song that builds to a nice raw sound. The organ is great. Check out the guitar 1 1/2 minutes in that goes on and on for almost 2 minutes. Drums then lead the way with the organ helping out. Vocals after 4 minutes by Conny are theatrical at times. Maybe "crazy" is the right word, the lyrics sure fit that description anyway. Very trippy stuff man. Guitar is back before 7 minutes. "Trampelpfad" has such a good rhythm to it. It's mesmerizing to say the least. Amazing sound ! Guitar comes in before 3 1/2 minutes as the beat and organ continue. The guitar starts to get more aggressive. Nice.

"Viva Arabica" opens with a steady beat that eventually starts to speed up. The guitar joins in at 1 1/2 minutes. The organ starts to rip it up after 4 minutes. "The Gila Symphony" is almost 14 minutes long. It opens with experimental sounds with no real melody. These sounds do stop as organ, bass, drums and other sounds come and go. A beat arrives 3 minutes in. A minute later a full sound kicks in including the guitar soloing over top. The sound starts to get more intense and the guitar is back 6 minutes in. It settles down 7 1/2 minutes in. Organ is back. Guitar is too 11 minutes in as this song blends into "Communication II" with no change at all as drums, guitar and organ continue to mesmerize. "The Needle" was cut short by the radio station because the alloted time was up. That's disappointing as we get but 52 seconds of this final track.

So this is in the same style as "Free Electric Sound" and is for me a valuable historical document,and besides I love the music presented here. Easily 4 stars.

Report this review (#168345)
Posted Tuesday, April 22, 2008 | Review Permalink
Bonnek
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Prog Metal Team
2 stars Released in 1999 but a featuring a 1972 radio broadcast recording featuring all new material that was supposed to be Gila's second album. Given the rather poor quality of the recordings, this release is only of interest to dedicated Gila and Agitation Free fans.

But the quality of the material is quite strong in places and with a bit more time and fine-tuning this could have been a potentially excellent follow up for the Gila debut. The music is perfectly in line with that album and offers mid-paced psych-blues-jams with a clear nod to pre-Dark Side Pink Floyd. The first two or three tracks are excellent but from then onwards the jamming gets gradually more predictable. The Gila Symphony / Communication II suite sounds entirely dull and uninspired in my ears.

Conny Veit would take Gila into an entirely different direction with the next studio album and he wouldn't use a single note from the material of these sessions. That doesn't sound to me like he was too happy with them either. 3 stars if you don't mind the average recording quality. 2 stars because I do.

Report this review (#384602)
Posted Saturday, January 22, 2011 | Review Permalink
Warthur
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars Taken from a live-in-the-studio performance for radio from 1972 the all-new tracks on Night Works more or less make up Gila's second album, as it might have sounded has the group not split up later that year. (They'd reform in time to make Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee.) It's a fairly typical Krautrock jam session, distinguished mainly by an interplay between Scheyhing's organ work and Conny Velt's guitar riffs that's more than a little reminiscent of Deep Purple from the In Rock period. This is most evident on The Gila Symphony, but throughout the album Velt's guitar sound is heavier and more closely aligned with hard rock from the era than most of his contemporaries in the Krautrock scene. This fusion between cosmic rock and classic rock is interesting, but isn't quite enough to elevate the album beyond being an interesting piece for Gila fans which won't get as much play in most people's collections as Free Electric Sound.
Report this review (#492445)
Posted Friday, July 29, 2011 | Review Permalink
Guldbamsen
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Retired Admin
4 stars Milk and honey

When I think of the Krautrock movement, I often find myself dreaming up pictures of the rock n roll scene of the 60s - the wild appearances with long facial hair and some kind of installed antenna-bush instead of hair - but first and foremost, - it makes me think of the newly found appreciation of music. The magic of music - the thought that it could be something more - something beautiful and free - an epiphany in sound speaking of whatever you wanted it to describe. The empty spaces between people, events, spirituality or maybe just the local giraffe in your backyard.

This album by Gila is a live one with wild jams and lots of space to go mental, not that you´d notice it, because it is in fact recorded from the insides of a radio studio in down town Cologne, excluding any traces of an audience to go "clap clap". If the exteriors of the Krautrockers evoke those pictured in the Woodstock flick, the music on the other hand does its very best to keep up with it. Certainly bands like Agitation Free and Gila seem like the German counterparts of those bluesy, psychedelic, jamming, drug infused and tireless acts like The Grateful Dead and Quicksilver Messenger. I hear some similarities yeah, but that isn´t to say that Gila sound like a second hand version of a 1969 band that just woke up on the lawn after 3 years - with a massive hangover thinking: How did we get home from Woodstock - and how come we´re in Germany?

This music is an enchanting amalgamation of snarling and fiery guitar, fuzzed and trippy - wielded by the brilliant Conny Veit who has played with both Popol Vuh and Guru Guru. On this live album he sounds like he´s out of his mind, and most likely has a head full of acid, but then again who am I to judge anyone who can play like this - as if he´s trying to tame a psychopathic fire-hose with his guitar? Blended nicely in a big blurry cocktail along with the sizzling organs, the robust and hammering bass and the boom boom boom of the drums - the guitar feels at home, and if you´re into this band´s legendary debut album, you should feel right at home in this psychedelic milk and honey land.

I recommend this album(and their debut as well) to anybody who thinks that Pink Floyd should have made another More album - or maybe just recorded Embryo in a studio. It´s music for the desert, for walking barefooted in orange sand. It´s music for a quiet evening in Ali Baba´s cave with a drunk Elvis on your lap - humming El Dorado with a wah wah pedal attached to his throat.

Report this review (#561865)
Posted Thursday, November 3, 2011 | Review Permalink

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