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KOLLEKTIV

Kollektiv

Krautrock


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hdfisch
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars Kollektiv was an almost unknown Krautrock formation hailing from Krefeld and originally consisted of Waldo Karpenziel (drums), his twin brother Jogi (bass), Jürgen Havix (guitars) and Klaus Dapper (flute and sax) who played before together with Ralf Hütter (who founded pre-Kraftwerk band Organisation soon after) in a band called "The Phantoms". Waldo, Jogi and Jürgen started playing together in a school band already back in 1964. After listening to Frank Zappa, Blodwyn Pig and King Crimson records and a couple of jazz musicians like Jimmy Smith, Wes Montgomery and Cannonball Adderly they gradually got bored by Beat music and decided to do something completely different and much more exciting. They started using effect machines, sometimes homemade, a zither played with drumsticks on an amplifier, metal sheets and rotating discs, played the bass with a bow and employed any type of exotic instrument. To make a long story short Kollektiv had been a Krautrock band in its very original sense doing really inventive music mainly based on improvisations of minimal themes, often in excess of 10, 15 or more minutes. Some people compare them with closely related band Neu! but if one should draw comparisons at all I hear rather some similarities with Organisation's "Tone Float"-album (which is for me the best work done by Kraftwerk). I've to say that the music presented here is much more diversified and elaborate than the one of Neu! and moreover despite all free-form and loosely structured nature much more enjoyable and comprehensible. Honestly this album has even reinforced my interest in such type of music which gave initially a rather disappointing impression for me after listening exclusively to its famous forerunners. I read an interview with Klaus Dapper published in Sounds magazine in 1974 explaining very well how collectively organised this band was and how they finally reached to the type of music they were actually doing. Basically they were using rock, jazz and pop music as stocks and extracted the best ingredients from each of them or in other words omitted their individual drawbacks. Let me say it in his very own words:

"The high complexity in harmony and melody of jazz music and its overvaluation of instrumental virtuosity is quite disturbing for some of us and a non-expert can easily get the impression that it's a kind of competition between musician and listener which is successful for the former if he plays more complicated than the latter is able to support. In several domains of rock and pop music on the other hand melodies, lyrics, arrangements and improvisations are sometimes that much uninspired and poor. We're trying to find a blend between those genres and other forms of music (free-form and electronic) without taking over those mistakes mentioned. Our music has a structure which is simpler than it's used to be in jazz, instead we pay more attention to tones and moods. It's predominantly improvised music what we're doing. Even most of the themes and determined parts are originally based on improvisation. We broaden the common range of tone colours by using sometimes a rather strong electronic alienation of guitar, flute or saxophone. According to our experience our music is well appreciated by both jazz and rock fans since each of them can find sufficient elements of their preferred style respectively."

I think it's rather futile and redundant to describe the six musical pieces presented here in detail. Nonetheless I'd like to contribute with my review a bit to provide more recognition for this unique band than it actually gets. I'd highly recommend both their debut, the one with recorded SWF-studio sessions and as well the one done after their reformation with exceptional Swedish bassist Jonas Hellborg not only to all Krautrock fans but to anyone open for free-form rock/jazz/electronic who might have been alienated so far by music done by Can, Neu! or Kraftwerk for example. That's why I'll use here the maximum rating option since this work must be considered a masterpiece in progressive music IMO.

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Send comments to hdfisch (BETA) | Report this review (#87640)
Posted Saturday, August 19, 2006 | Review Permalink
philippe
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Content Development & Krautrock Team
4 stars Early 70's kraut-jazz fusion that contributes to the best of the genre. The music is really, cool, imaginative, intense, improvised and still fresh after all these years. These intuitive jazzy improvisations also introduce some sunny, enchanting flute parts and groovy sax solos. It's largely instrumental and devoted to dynamic prog injections with some flowing, spaced-out sessions. "Rambo Zambo" starts with a high quality improvisation, delivering very colourful free jazz freakout. "Baldrian" introduction delivers a dreamy, psychedelic soundscape, then it provides a kind of ethereal country-rock "trip". "Foirsterlied" is an eccentric, humorous improvisation in the genre of some RIO musical provocations. "Gagen-Andante" is full of tripped out effects, mixing floating flute lines and e- guitars disharmonies in a relative calm tempo. An adventurous & talented effort, moreover the sound is really refined, sophisticated contrary to most of krautrock albums.

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Send comments to philippe (BETA) | Report this review (#127495)
Posted Wednesday, July 04, 2007 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars In the liner notes it says "Acclaimed by Progressive and Krautrock fans and critics alike, it showed a different, more innovative style of playing contemporary German rock music and was honoured with a nomination for the German Schallplattenpreis.They produced an incomparable, unmistakeable sound with echoes of ORGANISATION and early KRAFTWERK:spacey but melodic, elevated yet rocking, innovative : progressive in the best sense, consequent in the realisation of intent, forging new musical territory without denying it's roots". In fact 2 members of KOLLEKTIV played in a band with Ralf Hutten before he formed ORGANISATION. One being bass player Jogi Karpenkiel who would leave KOLLEKTIV in 1975 to join GURU GURU. Early influences for this band were KING CRIMSON and Frank Zappa. The first 3 tracks on this disc have a rather experimental and improvised feeling to them, while the side long suite "Gages" has more structure to it along with lots of Fripp-like guitar.

"Rambo Zambo" opens with spacey flute sounds that echo, then they are joined 1 1/2 minutes in by the drums with a cool rhythm. The guitar,bass and flute stand out as it gets pretty intense. Great sound ! The guitar after 5 1/2 minutes is more prominant. The flute returns before 9 minutes. "Baldrain" also has a spacey intro and is a very atmospheric piece. Actually Jurgen plays a self-made instrument with 56 strings, built from a zither and parts of a guitar. Some dissonant sax 3 1/2 minutes in as drums come in and bass as we start to get a melody(although it's still spacey). "Forsterlied" is a freaky tune with spoken words that are followed each time with an outburst of sound. This happens over and over in this 1:50 track.

"Gageg" is a 20 minute tune divided into 3 parts. It's very pastoral to start with flute leading the way gently with other gentle sounds coming and going. I like before 3 minutes the way the flute melodies are copied by the guitar. This is dreamy, laid back music.The guitar starts to lay down some angular melodies. Awesome sound. I had this song on when we were pulling into the Wal-Mart parking lot. My youngest daughter needed some school supplies, and it was just the two of us and our dog. Anyway we park and i'm waiting for her to get out but she's looking straight ahead like she's intoxicated by the hypnotising sounds. I didn't say anything for a couple of minutes, then when I did she said "Oh yeah, lets go". Funny. The flute stops after 5 minutes as the bass, guitar and drums create wonder. The flute is back before 7 minutes. The tempo picks up 9 minutes in and becomes jazzy. The guitar then starts to rip it up. The bass and sax shine as well. This section ends 12 1/2 minutes in although the bass continues. Angular guitar melodies arrive and drums. Amazing sound ! The sax takes over for the guitar 14 1/2 minutes in then the guitar returns after 17 minutes with more angular melodies. Nice.

4.5 stars and a must have for all you Krautrock fans out there.

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Send comments to Mellotron Storm (BETA) | Report this review (#168259)
Posted Monday, April 21, 2008 | Review Permalink
Bonnek
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Prog Metal Team
4 stars Kollektiv is a German kraut rock band with roots going back to the mid 60's. Their early history is tied-up with that of Kraftwerk, back when that band was still called Organisation. Two of Kollektiv's members featured in an early Organisation line-up. The band brings free instrumental Kraut improvisations with jazz and avant leanings.

The Kraftwerk/Organisation roots are still very evident on the first two tracks. Rambo Zambo is an entrancing improvisation with psych flutes and steadily rocking drums much like Kraftwerk's Ruckzuck. Also the first half of Baldrian brings back the droning cosmic experimentations of Kraftwerk. The second half of the track takes a more melodic and bluesy direction, reminiscent of Floyd's early soundtrack work. Both tracks may not be the most original Kraut material but they are both equally outstanding.

After a bit of Kraut chaos with silly Guru Guru-like vocals and lots of noise, the majestic 20 minute Gageg forms the heart of the original album. Again early Floyd blues and early Kraftwerk flutes come to mind but the guitar adds a King Crimson touch, almost like Fripp is doing the sustained guitar improvisations here. The excellent distorted saxophone add a more prominent jazzy flavor.

The 2007 CD reissue adds four live tracks that show the band in full-on jazz-rock-kraut mode, reminding of Soft Machine and Embryo. The sound quality of these tracks is slightly less then the perfectly produced sound of the CD, but it sure is more then good enough to follow all the individual instruments and to feel the power of these performances.

Due to its rather late release date, Kollektiv isn't an essential or historically important Kraut album but it sure is a superb one that comes highly recommended if you want to explore the jazzy/avant side of Krautrock. 4.5 stars

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Send comments to Bonnek (BETA) | Report this review (#349740)
Posted Saturday, December 11, 2010 | Review Permalink
apps79
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Neo Prog Team
3 stars Kollektiv emerged in 1970 out of the mid-60's Beat group The Generals, where brothers Jogi Karpenkiel and Waldo Karpenkiel played together along with guitarist Jürgen Havix.In late-60's Jogi joined The Phantoms, where he played along with later Kraftwerk member Ralf Hutter and wind instrumentalist Klaus Dapper.When he left to rejoin The Generals he brought also Dapper to the band and the quartet eventually became Kollektiv.Playing in every single corner they could and with an aim to produce free and experimental Rock music, Kollektiv were finally rewarded in 1973 with a self-titled debut LP, released on the legendary Brain label.

And Kollektiv were actually doing that.Pushing the rock limits to the maximum, not always succesful but definitely with a certain dose of originality.The 11-min. opening ''Rambo Zambo'' is a long, free Kraut Rock improvisation with strong psych and jazzy overtones, featuring the extended flute solos of Dapper, the psychedelic guitars of Havix and the powerful grooves of the Karpenkiel brothers' rhythm section, a good attempt in producing an experimental but still energetic piece of music.With ''Baldrian'' things become dangerously serious.Hypnotic, spacey and deeply psychedelic soundscapes with Dapper's sax as the leading instrument.''Försterlied'' needs no presentation at all.A short lyrical track with constant breaks between narration and improvised music.The flipside of the original LP is dedicated to the 20- min. four-piece epic ''Gageg'', which shows Kollektiv at their best.From the hypnotic experience of its first part and the flute-driven Jazz Rock with the smooth grooves to its second powerful phase with saxes in the forefront and the interesting guitar exercises of Havix, ''Gageg'' is sure to please any Kraut Rock fan starving for full instrumental dynamics.

Half interesting and challenging, half too experimental for the tastes of the average prog fan, ''Kollektiv'' is an album with a postive feeling at the end by a group of Germans determined to produce intricate, sonic soundscapes.Recommended and go the for the Long Hair reissue, which contains four bonus tracks from Kollektiv's second incarnation in 1976.

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Send comments to apps79 (BETA) | Report this review (#861450)
Posted Saturday, November 17, 2012 | Review Permalink

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