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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.

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Posted Tuesday, August 22, 2006 | Review Permalink

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