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Moira - Crazy Countdown CD (album) cover

CRAZY COUNTDOWN

Moira

Jazz Rock/Fusion


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hdfisch
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars 4 1/2 stars really for this highly valuable lost gem created by a bunch of (almost) nobodies!

This was another obscure release from a mysterious 70's jazz/krautrock band which was a kind of melting pot of musicians coming from Munich and as Lise mentioned already in their biography informations about those guys are either non-existing or confusing. Best-known musician was Edgar Hofmann playing with EMBRYO where Butze Fischer was involved occasionally as well (i.e on "Apo-Calypse). Burkhard Plenge is obviously still busy in terms of music as a composer, arranger, producer and as guest keyboardist at some concerts. Jofrey Ramos played Kongas as well on JULIUS SCHITTENHELM's (songwriter, artist and producer for OHR records) album "Aristoteles" but both Rainer Frank and Jürgen Kanwischer did not leave any other trace behind than this sole album here which is most remarkable in case of the latter one since he obviously was a really talented guitarist. But apart from him the musicianship presented by all members on here is absolutely brilliant. Unfortunately I don't have the original album in my hands instead just a vinyl-rip that I luckily found in the huge collection of a fellow music maniac. On this copy each side has been ripped as one file thus I even couldn't tell any titles of the seven compositions since here on PA there isn't any tracklist assigned as well. Nonetheless I'll try to describe briefly what's been offered here on this rare gem:

Side one (19:14) starts with track #1 having a running time of about 8 minutes in a rather relaxed vein with some laid-back jazz fusion though being played quite oddly and highly interestingly for any proghead. Track #2 (ca. 6:15) starts a bit weird with some ambient noises spreading an authentic Krautrock atmosphere but after about 1 1/2 minutes the band starts playing again great jazz-rock, here somewhat more vitally than in the first track and centered around electric guitar and keyboards with great drums/percussion and bass work. The remaining 5 minutes of side one are occupied by great again more laid-back jazz fusion played on flute, electric guitar, bass and drums with some keys added up.

Side two (19:42) is even better than side one containing more free-form jazz/rock fusion with great fuzz guitar and awesome sax playing by Edgar Hofmann best examplified in the first track having a running time of about 6:45 minutes. Second one contains some four minutes or so of extraordinary jazzy acoustic guitar bringing guitar heros like DI MEOLA or McLAUGHLIN into one's mind. Absolutely stunning morever if keeping in mind that the player was more or less a complete nobody. In the third track (about 5:00) we get to hear some more brilliant soloing this time on electric guitar combined with really strange and odd percussion,flute and sound effects. The remaining 3 ½ minutes are occupied with the last track which consists of some great driving jazz-rock not that far away from NUCLEUS to name just one reference point.

I guess the material on "Crazy Countdown" had been recorded already a few years before its actual release since it's sounding a bit inappropriate for the year of 1977. But anyway I'd consider it a real lost gem and an absolute worthy addition to any Prog collection. I didn't have the chance so far of getting hold of the second album listed here which has been done with a complete different line-up and had been released also by independent label SCHNELLBALL but possibly hasn't to do anything with the first one. I read a very positive review about it saying that it's jazz-rock as well with a strong psyche and Krautrock touch. Obviously even weirder for 1984 as year of release. Thus I can just advice any lover of rare obscure AND excellent jazzrock to grab a copy whenever he/she comes across a vinyl assigned with this band's name.

Report this review (#87927)
Posted Tuesday, August 22, 2006 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars MOIRA were an obscure German band who released two albums with this being the debut from 1977. Interesting to have Butze Fischer on board playing drums as he was part of EMBRYO, GURU GURU and MISSUS BEASTLY. Also we get Edgar Hofmann playing sax and flute and he also played with EMBRYO. And not to be outdone Geoffry Ramos who plays percussion here also played live with EMBRYO. The leader of this band though is guitarist Jorgen Kanwischer and he composed all the songs and man he can play acoustic guitar incredibly well sounding classical much of the time but thankfully he plays electric guitar as well.

"Papa Jefrey" opens with relaxed flute, guitar and atmosphere before it changes to an "island" vibe a minute in. Not into this section at all but then pulsating keys arrive 3 minutes in as the acoustic guitar is played in the classical style. Percussion and organ standout before 5 minutes then electric piano leads 6 minutes in followed by guitar a minute later. "Crazy Countdown" is my favourite track by far. It opens with percussion and the sound of many people speaking like at a party. It doesn't kick into gear until 1 1/2 minutes in and it's fairly jazzy here. I like this! The guitar takes the lead after 2 1/2 minutes and he's lighting it up pretty good. Some nice bass as well then the keys replace the guitar before 4 minutes but the guitar returns late.

"Smile" has these sparse sounds with not much going on. We get a melody that starts to slowly appear before 2 minutes with flute and picked guitar. It's building a minute later. "Mata Meme" has slow paced sax, a beat, electric piano and bass to start but it's the dissonant sax that impresses. The tempo picks up before 3 1/2 minutes to a jazzy KRAAN-like groove. The guitar arrives before 5 minutes with prominent bass as the sax returns late. "Gemni" is all about the acoustic guitar and it's impressive but not enjoyable for me. "Always Later" is guitar and percussion mainly along with other sounds that come and go as this song meanders along sounding like an improv really. "Spain Mandala" ends it in a catchy and uptempo manner. It's picked and strummed acoustic guitar early but thankfully the electric guitar starts to light it up over the drums, bass and keys.

A good record but like the foggy album cover I feel like I must be missing something because it's all over the place and there's just not enough enjoyment for me to give 4 stars.

Report this review (#1636993)
Posted Saturday, October 29, 2016 | Review Permalink

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