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Xhol Caravan / Xhol - Motherfuckers G.M.B.H & Co. KG CD (album) cover

MOTHERFUCKERS G.M.B.H & CO. KG

Xhol Caravan / Xhol

Krautrock


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hdfisch
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Xhol's last studio release is certainly the one with the highest portion of Krautrock atmosphere by them and a highly experimental one. Actually three of the six tracks on here consist mainly of sound experiments whereas the other three depict really brilliant jammin' jazz-rock done in the best tradition of Canterbury bands. BTW they cancelled the part Caravan from their name later on to avoid confusion with this well-known band. I guess it's worth mentioning that the material presented here has been recorded already in 1970 which is shown by the label "2 years old" on the cover. Taking this fact into account this band certainly has to be considered as one of the most inventive and adventurous ones of those days.

The album starts quite oddly with tuning of a radio and interferences, bits of announcements and excerpts from some soul/blues songs (all of them from their debut still under the name Soul Caravan BTW). The last one reminding slightly to SOFT MACHINE leads over to "Leistungsprinzip" which is basically jazz-rock in Canterbury vein with organ, playful sax, droning bass and drums. Next one "Orgelsolo" is exactly what it's titled that is a quite extended spacey and "kosmische" weird solo on organ. Last song on side one of the vinyl "Side One First Day" is a rather up-tempo jammin' piece of jazz-rock with organ, flute, bass and drums. Second side starts with the next sound experiment "Grille" which is actually just the recorded sound of a cricket with some descrete flute and percussion in the back. The rest of the record is occupied by the long jammin' piece "Love Potion 25" which is actually a jazz-rocking rendition of a song by doo-wop band The Clovers from 1959. Having plenty of slightly psychedelic organ sound and great sax playing in its middle part and quite a fiery and rocking finish, this song is for me the highlight on here and offers a kind of final reward for listening to this admittedly wearisome album.

This oddly named album is certainly not suitable for every Prog fan and might be considered as aquired taste, at least in its experimental parts but anyway I'd highly recommend it to any fan of Krautrock and adventurous music. ESSENTIAL EARLY GERMAN PROGRESSIVE ROCK!

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Send comments to hdfisch (BETA) | Report this review (#88114)
Posted Thursday, August 24, 2006 | Review Permalink
3 stars Apparently 'Xhol Caravan' lost the 'Caravan' moniker so as not to be confused with the Canterbury band of the same name.

I don't know why they bothered. They're as dissimilar as a loaf of bread and a carton of milk.

'Orgelsolo' - is a really dull and uninspiring track with mind numbingly bad keyboards which veer off in no direction whatsoever making me very annoyed. Things pick up a bit with 'Side One First Day' where the keyboardist, gives it his all. Unfortunately it's tuneless and random at best. 'Grille' goes on for ages with some crickets making the sound that crickets make before a bit of flute appears. Happily the flute and crickets get along famously, creating an atmosphere that belongs in Egypt and sounds quite nice really. Quite 'Floydy' circa 1970 in many respects but not as well recorded.

The 13 minute 'Love Potion 25' finally sees some vocals enter the foray. All of a sudden things burst into life with big fat organs all over the place. This is the best tune on the album making up for the previous rubbish I've had to endure even though there's a lot of 'blues' feel to it. There's horns, jazz bass and nutty vocals all over the place lifting this album up to a 3 star rating rather than the 2 it was dive-bombing towards.

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Send comments to Dobermensch (BETA) | Report this review (#402984)
Posted Friday, February 18, 2011 | Review Permalink
Sean Trane
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Prog Folk
3 stars The least we can say is that Xhol's last album is a typical Xhol thing, but they certainly didn't worry about dressing it up (most basic and untidy sleeve), other than give an offensive (for some) name. From what I know, MF is a posthumous release, since they'd disbanded by now and this album is made from various studio tidbits that predate their previous live album.

The opening Radio track tuning will feature glimpse of their early days, when they called themselves Soul Caravan and other Xholian weirdness, but right after (and we're already in the third track by then), we have an experimental drone by a slow almost-10-mins Organ Solo. You'll find further Hammond madness, in the following First Day but this time accompanied with a haunting flute, excellent bass and hypnotizing drums. On the flipside, Grille features crickets summer calls mixed in with flutes and bongos buried in. Very basic, and to be honest, without the slightest interest: basically a waste of 7 minutes on an album. The closing 13-mins Love Potion 25 is really where most of the substance of this album resides, the only sung-track with excellent Hammond and great sax lines, sometimes nearing dissonance. Definitely great stuff, where you can hear their early soulish soul mixed in with their improvisation.

MF is well in the line of Electrip and their Hau-Ruk live album, with plenty of usual madness. It might be a collection of tidbits, but the amalgam is well worth the acquisition if you're into their previous albums, despite the near-void of the 7-mins Grille. In both side-closing tracks, you can be reminded of Traffic's second era.

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Send comments to Sean Trane (BETA) | Report this review (#1090119)
Posted Sunday, December 15, 2013 | Review Permalink

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