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Gam 1976 album cover
3.21 | 14 ratings | 2 reviews | 21% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 1986

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Gam Jam (21:05)
2. Abricot Brandy (12:35)
3. Für Elise Und Alice (11:55)

Total Time: 45:35

Line-up / Musicians

- Günter Schickert / guitar, vocals, trumpet
- Axel Struck / guitar, vocals
- Michael Leske / drums, percussion

Releases information

Live studio rehearsal jam session, recorded in Günter's cellar, Berlin, in 1976.

MC Auricle ‎- AMC 017 (1986, UK)

CDr Auricle ‎- AMCDR 021 (2002, UK) Remastered by Alan Freeman

Thanks to Philippe Blache for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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GAM 1976 ratings distribution

(14 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(21%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(36%)
Good, but non-essential (43%)
Collectors/fans only (0%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

GAM 1976 reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Rivertree
3 stars Weird guitar skills coming up from the cellar ...

Now this is an extraordinary krautrocked production from 1976 - three long tracks initially offered 1986 on music cassette only and then digitally remastered in 2002. GAM is an acronym, derived from the first letter of the members' forenames. Günther Schickert and Ax Struck are pioneers of the so-called 'Berlin School' as a part of the upcoming 'Kosmische Musik' style in the 70s. Differing from some other bands they never had a commercial approach for being always independent to realize their own concept of making music. Therefore they got less famous on the whole but are definitely cult though. Struck claims to be the follower of GAM today with his band THE WOOD for accomplishing a renaissance of the cosmic rock.

Recorded at Schickert's cellar in Berlin the songs provide a special atmosphere. The band is picking up wellknown classic or volkslied melodies and are decorating them with various improvisations using psychedelic echo guitar walls and unusual vocals. The recording equipment must have been quite simple and on the other hand the vocal performance is somewhat deranged. The 21 minute Gam jam for example is processed around the volkslied 'Auf der Reeperbahn nachts um halb eins', wellknown for german natives first of all, but this time arranged as a free crazy interpretation with some lyric variations. Hans Albers, actor and singer of the original, who died in 1960, would turn over in his grave for several times being able to listen to this piece.

Schickert's and Struck's guitar contributions are dominating compared to the decent drum/percussion work in the background. Freaky, acid with echoes and other effects. Very skillfull without a doubt and partially also reminding me at Manuel Göttsching. The following trippy and more catchy Apricot brandy shows a trumpet intro by Schickert and surprisingly good working polyphonic vocals. The second guitar is used similar to a bass here. Für Elise und Alice is another cover in the widest sense - a squeaky guitar intones the classical Beethoven theme which builds the frame for another very spacey improvisation part.

GAM is not for everyone's taste but if you are looking for obscure Krautrock output you're on the right way - 3.5 stars.

Review by admireArt
3 stars After some long time I finally acquired, at last, this "kind of underground", GAM's first 1976 album.

Having listened and liking very much their second release,"Eiszeit", 1978, my expectations were high but not unrealistic.

The first track "Gam Jam" as it title reveals is a spacey/electronic//Krautrock, with a "Hendrix like funk (without the Funky or Motown tone)", jam. Therefore it will be absurd to think of it otherwise. Add to that some kind of splashes which resemble Led Zeppelin's live Jimmy Page's bowed electric guitar solos. Its true beauty is found in between the lo-fi and crappy stop overs recordings in the form of 3 intense sections of creative and bombastic communion among the three musicians. 2.5 stars.

"Abricot Brandy", the second track lets simplicity step forward and lowers the thunderous previous aftertaste. A dream and drunken like heavy/metal mood eventually evolves, with GAM's detached sense of giving explanations or being liked. Its experimental nature is quiet groundbreaking if we consider that in 1976 nobody was talking about Post Rock/Math Rock, Shoegaze, etc.. 4 stars.

"Für Elise Und Alice", the closing track, is the kind of composition that makes some releases worth acquiring or at least being known. As its title also reveals, brings Ludwig shortly to the beginning and last scene, in the form of a comic like music box rendition of his famous composition, mismatched with GAM's own intentions. A fast paced, pulse driven, symphonic thought construction, which can be pin pointed as the blueprint of their future and most commonly known and very good rated, second and last album. 4.5 stars.

The real deal about GAM, as both of their releases show, are its non-existent or detectable close connections with the USA's R&B and Blues roots found in most Krautrock bands and musicians. Opposite to that (and to my benefit) they were strangely close to the electronic side of it. This marks a very clear distance between this trio and their other contemporaries of the genre.

As for rating it things can get kind of messy. A 3 track release, which first and longer track is by far non-essential, among almost, half the time each, very good and essential compositions. Not being a butcher....

***3.5 PA stars.

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