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Embryo - Steig Aus [also released as: This Is Embryo] CD (album) cover

STEIG AUS [ALSO RELEASED AS: THIS IS EMBRYO]

Embryo

Jazz Rock/Fusion


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diddy
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars Embryo is a german Krautrock band. They represent the jazzier side of the genre. Most of the Songs are very improvisational. But what would a Krautrock band be without the typical sound of the genre? Of course They sound as if they were totally stoned while recording the album, just like nearly every Krautrock band. But I don't think that it is a negative point. Maybe the whole genre wouldn't be so experimental without the various types of drugs. And the experimental and improvisational music is what Krautrock is all about.

"Steig aus" ("Get out", "Get off") is a karautrock album sounding much jazzier than other Krautrock releases by Amon Düül II or Guru Guru for example but also features the experimental, improvisational and free form type of music. The album consists of 3 tracks, "Radio Marrakesch/Orient-Express" wich is about 10 minutes long. Also about 10 minutes is the really great track "Dreaming girls". But the highlight of the album for sure is the very experimental longtrack "call" wich lasts more than 17 minutes. I recall that there's a new remaster version of this album, but I give no warranty about this.

Embryo is a good addition to any prog rock collection for sure, but if you want to get into the world of Krautrock start with Guru Guru, Amon Düül II or Faust. Embryo is a good addition if you really like the genre.

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Send comments to diddy (BETA) | Report this review (#30619)
Posted Wednesday, July 07, 2004 | Review Permalink
5 stars A must-have reference for prog fans. This is the most progressive album of Embryo. The totally instrumental the three parts album is one example of rock-jazz-classical fusion. The first track is a thriller/tour the force prog grandiloquent example with all instrumentists fine interaction. The second track is a pretty composition with classical influences and great violin work. The final track is a suite with five parts and much more experimental sessions. A essential ambum for prog and all passionate music fans.

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Send comments to Décio Coimbra (BETA) | Report this review (#38478)
Posted Monday, July 04, 2005 | Review Permalink
Cesar Inca
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Embryo is, basically, the project of drummer/percussionist Christian Bruchard joining forces with whoever happens to be in the ensemble at the moment. Embryo's golden moments come from the time in which his Lieutenant Edgar Hoffmann (sax and violin) shared center sot. "Steig Aus" is the band's fourth effort, and definitely one of their masterworks: you can clearly tell that the band is well rooted in its fusion-rock leanings, and that means that the psychedelic factor has only become an adorning ingredient after being half part of the band's nuclear sound for the first two albums. The band's sound is harsh and mysterious, in a way related to the rough approach pursed by many krautrock bands, but that's where the similarities with the peculiar German psychedelic prog movement ends. The swing of American-inspired jazz-rock and the vibe of standardiez funky bear a heavy presence as catalyzers of the various exotic sources that the compositions take inspiration from. The jamming is continuous and the display of energy is ver ysolid, in both the explicit and introvertive passages of the repertoire. 'Radio Marrakesch' kicks off the album with Northern African sounds of tuned percussions and hand drums, joined by guitar effects emultating Moorish woodwinds. Soon the keyboard and percussion input from the band itself appears and builds up the starting point for the main jam, a powerful funky-meets-R'n'B section in which the Hammond organ and the mellotron occupy a leading role while the rhythm section keeps a catchy cadence. With the solos on electric piano and guitar, teh jazz thing enters to add sophistication to the frenzy. This effective opener really sounds very East Coast, there is basically little Teutonic in it, and that's okay since it works well. After this excellent exercise on acid tripping on funky terrain, 'Draming Girls' changes things quite a bit. A very ethereal relaxing track, it features magical violin lines that go floating in the air in a very evocative fashion. The appearance of the married vibraphone and electric piano and the occasional flute mellotron also helps to create this track's particular mood. It sort of mixes the influences from early Weather Report and "Ummagumma"-era Pink Floyd: the latter is evoked by the surreal melancholy that fills every fibre of the track. The last track 'Call' occupies the las t17 minutes of the album. The succession of all diverse cadences emerging from bruchard's drumming (ranging from the tribal to the bluesy and from the fusionesque to the rocker) marks the continuum across all sections. Despite tha fact tha Bruchard serves as a leader, the ensemble makes 'Call' work as a genuine group effort from start to finish. The organ violin and electric piano solos, the absorbing mellotron layers that appear in places, the additional percussions,... all these elements conform a sonic forest that expands itself restlessly in total enthusiasm. The series of the last two sections, 'Clouds' and 'Call (Part 2)', build an impressive climax, exploiting the overall groove to its maximum level. "Steig Aus" is a must for every prog collector with strong jazzy sensibilities. Embryo is a musical world on its own, creating its own voice within the "rules" of jazz- fusion.

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Send comments to Cesar Inca (BETA) | Report this review (#120846)
Posted Saturday, May 05, 2007 | Review Permalink
Sean Trane
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Prog Folk
4 stars Apparently, Embryo's record label (Liberty/UA) didn't find that their music held enough commercial potential and refused to release the music recorded during three late71 and early 72 sessions, so drummer Christian Burchard brought the tapes to Metronomùe Brain label, who released them no problems in early 73 alonside Rocksession later that year. Released with slightly different arworks (clowns on stage with amplifiers), Steig Aus had two Us keyboardists where the Father Son line-up had none, but if jackson was nobig deal, having Mal Waldren (Max Roach, Eric Dolphy amongst others) on your roster is indeed quite a coup.

Only three tracks on this killer album and past the the first two minutes of Morrocan-soundtrack of Radio Marrakesh, Orient Express is a great lengthy jam on which Jackson's organ and mellotrons takes first lead, than Roman Bunka's guitar, then followed by Waldren's electric piano and Hoffman's violin. Finishing on Burchard's percussions. Slowly rising like a sunset is Waldren's piano on Dreaming Girls (originally called Filles De La Mer) and is taking us on similar grounds. The 17-mins sidelong suite Call is a bit more of the same. While the jams on all three tracks are fascinating and enthusiasming, they also sound a bit the same. An exciting jam-filled album, Steig As managed in just three tracks to take the excitement of discovery. Run for it...

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Send comments to Sean Trane (BETA) | Report this review (#173000)
Posted Wednesday, June 04, 2008 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars I love this kind of music where they just seem to jam endlessly. In December 1971 as well as in March and September of 1972, EMBRYO did three studio sessions with their engineer Dieter Dierks, recording enough material for two albums. In the end the record company refused to release the recordings. Christian Burchard immediately decided to sell the rights to both works to the "Brain" label. These two albums became "Steig Aus" and "Rocksession" and were both released in 1973. There are two different bass players listed on this album because 2 of the 3 songs were recorded in December of 1971 with Jorg Evans on bass, but he left the band shortly afterwards so the third song recorded 3 months later had Dave King on bass. Interesting that on the album cover we find the words "Featuring Jimmy Jackson". Interesting because he was with the band originally in 1969 leaving before they released their first record "Opal". He came back for the "Rache" album and this one. He also played on TANGERINE DREAM's debut "Electronic Meditation" as well on AMON DUUL II's "Tanz Der Lemminge" and "Wolf City". He's all over this album with mellotron and organ.

"Radio Marrakesch / Orient Express" opens with an actual recording the band had made when travelling through Morocco of a sample from "Radio Marrakesch" of someone chanting. Then we hear the sound of the saz. The tempo starts to pick up as percussion and drums arrive. We then get some mellotron after 2 minutes as a full sound comes in including some dirty organ and then guitar after 3 minutes. The organ and bass become prominant a minute later. They're just jamming at this point and it sounds great. Guitar starts to rip it up 6 minutes in.

"Dreaming Girls" is dark to open with bass, vibes, drums and then violin after a minute. Very atmospheric early. Piano comes in replacing the violin 5 1/2 minutes in. The song ends much like it began with a dark atmosphere. "Call" is the side long 17 1/2 minute track to end it. It opens with a catchy beat as organ comes and goes. Violin after 1 1/2 minutes. A collage of sounds a minute later. Nice. Some great bass as they jam away. Love the sound 4 minutes in as Jackson goes crazy. Drums and percussion dominate after 9 minutes. Organ and violin are back 10 1/2 minutes in.

Just a joy to listen to these jazz flavoured improvs that these amazing players create.

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Send comments to Mellotron Storm (BETA) | Report this review (#178563)
Posted Thursday, July 31, 2008 | Review Permalink
Kazuhiro
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars In scene of Krautrock at that time, the derivation and the activity of various bands were indeed done in the region. The element of the music character that this Embryo established in the flow might be one of the bands to which the appearance of originality and the culture is remarkably indeed expressed. They might always have them revolutionize music and it be evaluated to keep announcing the work.

The music character at time when the flow was active indeed had diversity in the region for the item of Krautrock in the latter half of the 1960's. Tangerine Dream in Berlin. Or, Can in Koln. And, the activity of various bands such as Frumpy in Hamburg will have been one exactly main currents.

It is said that the exchange had already been performed having it with musicians who are related to Embryo of Chris Karrer of the kingpin of Amon Duul 2 before 1967. And, Lothar Meid of the Bass player known on business with Amon Duul 2 had the exchange with them from Embryo. Therefore, it might have had the sense that looked like the brother as a relation between them also in the flow that derived through the music that they had been doing at that time. They deepened the exchange through music while esteeming the music character.

They debuted in "Opal" in 1970. It was gradually established, and their music took the part of an original element and ethnical to Jazz Rock and aimed at the enhancement of the music character in the work.

They have been daring the tour for about one month in 1972. It is said that the band at this time was doing live by using the shape of the musical. These elements will be able to hear the expression by appearing in this album as a glimpse in Album Art.

As for "Radio Marrakesch-Orient Express", it can know the music of the band completely established for the music character. An element of ethnical and an enchantment part complete directionality and the composition of the tune. The tune dashes by a fast demiquaver. The performance of E-Piano by Mal Waldron might be splendid as the point that should make a special mention. The performance and ensemble that progresses while making the best use of the characteristic of the band might be splendid. The establishment of music that gives an original interpretation to the element of Jazz Rock has succeeded.

A piano melody to make the melody of quiet Bass anxious twines round "Dreaming Girls". The part of the hit that frequently visits the part of Violin repeatedly has an indeed sensual flow. It might be important in the point also for this tune that progresses with the part where initial Soft Machine is reminiscent to compose the album.

"Call" progresses with a racial rhythm. The melody of E-Piano has the atmosphere of Jazz Rock to the end and twines with the melody of Violin. The obbligato of Piano and the line of Bass are good each other. It is ..Jazz Rock with the dash feeling indeed partly because of the element of Groove.. finished. The tune emphasizes Groove further and dashes. An element advanced as fast and slow is put on the composition of the tune has succeeded.

The point to have transfered the register label to express the directionality of the music that this band had been doing at that time might have been convenient for the band. The band exactly made one shape in this album.

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Send comments to Kazuhiro (BETA) | Report this review (#247022)
Posted Wednesday, October 28, 2009 | Review Permalink
Negoba
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars Endless Jamming with Some Points of Interest

I picked up this Embryo album, STEIG AUS, as I had heard that it was a mixture of world music and jazz fusion. While bandleader Christian Burchard would go on to explore world influences to a much larger extent later in his career, there is very little of it here. What we get instead is solid jazz-fusion jamming with a Krautrock sense of freedom. That is, there is no need for melodic theme, plenty of repetition, but also some nice exploration of timbre and raw sound.

The first track, Radio Marrakesh / Orient Express starts with some nice ethnic flavors before settling back into a Santana-esque groove. Unfortunately, no one in this band has the lyric solo presence of a Carlos. The jamming is well performed but very meandering and in the end directionless. Though there is nothing wrong with the music, this is not music that demands a lot of attention. Live, this could have been great fun, as the rhythm moves and the sounds are nice and spacey, and I can see the crowd just dancing away. As a prog fan, there's not much to sink my teeth into. Later songs continue in the same vein, but without the ethnic influences.

The album gets special mention for one of the most incomprehensible covers, consisting of a doll arm and what appears to be a modern black metal singer's head popping out of an amplifier. The name of the group and album are also spray-painted on the amp. Given that the music is 70's groove-jazz, this image is completely baffling. In the words of Frank Zappa, "Now that's Cheepnis."

I actually do enjoy this album and it's nice background music for rides in the car or collapsing after a day of work. I rate it between 2 and 3 stars but for prog fans looking for something with a little more substance, I think I have to give a 2.

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Send comments to Negoba (BETA) | Report this review (#248175)
Posted Wednesday, November 04, 2009 | Review Permalink
snobb
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars German fusion band grew up from it's kraut rock roots and shows his best sides on this great but too short album! Just three compositions based on the mix of German psychedelic, best keyboards-led jazz fusion tradition of it's time and African rhythms.

Embryo is band ,based on its drummer Christian Burchard 's projects with different musicians. For Steig Aus album they were not only Germans bassist Jörg Evers, violinist Edgar Hoffmann, but American jazz musicians organist Jimmy Jackson, and jazz keyboardist Mal Waldron. As a result you can hear excellent combination of keyboards free-jazz jamming passages and kraut psychedelic atmosphere.

Possibly this album could disappear early krautrock Embryo fans - music became free-form jamming against more accessible melodic earlier recordings. But this move towards jazz-fusion, still being rooted in psychedelic tradition, gave excellent result, at least for lovers of keyboards passages, African rhythms and spacey jazz fusion from early 70-s.

My rating is 4+!

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Send comments to snobb (BETA) | Report this review (#293214)
Posted Tuesday, August 03, 2010 | Review Permalink
Bonnek
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Prog Metal Team
4 stars "Steig Aus" is Embryo's first album for Brain records and consists of material that was recorded a year earlier but refused by their previous label United Artists. The music has made a dramatic shift towards jazz-rock fusion, which had always been part of their sound, but never to this extent. The Kraut element has completely disappeared and Embryo would never return to it anymore. So it's quite interesting that the album has an alternative title "This is Embryo", as a statement of their new-found identity.

The music is still a very German take on jazz-rock, psychedelic, experimental and a tad rough. Also the influence from world music has become more important, especially on the opener "Orient Express", which starts with a Turkish saz intro before developing into an enticing funky jam. The line-up on this album included two American guest players, Jimmy Jkackson and Mal Waldron, on organs and Rhodes piano respectively. The result is a very keyboard dominated album, though the opener also has large guitar parts from Roman Bunka.

"Dreaming Girls" is a more composed piece. It's an alternate take of "Forgotten Sea" from the previous album and a huge improvement, with beautiful dreamy vibraphone from drummer and bandleader Burchard. Spacey keyboards, sound effects, and gorgeous violin touches from Hoffmann make this into one of my favorite Embryo pieces.

Also the 17 minute "Call" is a marvel , be it a lot to stomach. It's largely improvised and very dense, it's first half dominated by urgent drumming, droning mellotrons and psychedelic electric piano, the second half by a slower groove and melodious accents from the violin and organs. Somehow, and despite the ethnic rhythms, it leaves an impression similar to early Tangerine Dream.

Amidst all the marvelous albums that Embryo made, it's hard to refrain from calling this another essential, but again I will leave that honor for an album further ahead in their discography.

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Send comments to Bonnek (BETA) | Report this review (#400535)
Posted Monday, February 14, 2011 | Review Permalink

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