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Bayon First Recordings 1971-  1973 album cover
3.14 | 10 ratings | 5 reviews | 0% 5 stars

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Boxset/Compilation, released in 1999

Songs / Tracks Listing

1- Stell Dich In Mittel Den Regen (5:09)
2- Die Nacht (5:47)
3- Die Lerche (2:44)
4- O Mangobaum (4:00)
5- Synthetic Waltzer (7:34)
6- Bayon Suite (12:35)
I. Auf Der Brüche I
II. Intermezzo
III. Auf Der Brüche II

Line-up / Musicians

-Christoph Theusner /g, voc, fl, p
-Sonny Thet /vc, g,vlc
-Sam Ay Neou /v
-Reinhard Pätzold /bg

Releases information

Wydawnicto 21 21.003

Thanks to Sean Trane for the addition
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BAYON First Recordings 1971- 1973 ratings distribution

(10 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(0%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(25%)
Good, but non-essential (75%)
Collectors/fans only (0%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

BAYON First Recordings 1971- 1973 reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Sean Trane
3 stars 3.5 stars really!!!

This Germanic-Cambodian duo is a rare East Germany group that played progressive pop or rock, and they played as a pair (with whoever else they chose at a given time) for some 15 years. To get such a long and productive partnership during the cold war in the GDR, there were obviously some kind of political agreement to go on ahead, the group starting out with Cubans and Vietnamese "brothers", played as an acoustic quartet and the political correctness of the Stasi-dominated regime was respected.

However they also delved in more electric prog rock as indicates the superb 12-mins+ epic Suite Auf Der Brüche, a full-blown prog track with flute, organ, violin, double bass, electric guitar and drums/percussion recorded still in 71, and sometimes reminiscent of Out Of Focus. Excellent sound quality, flawless execution, a certain kind of virtuosity and everything else.. In some ways the two Cd- opening tracks are the logical successors, Stell Dich and Die Nacht (both recorded in 72) are in the same vein of that 71 epic, developing an enthralling and inventive type of folk rock. Right up to now, we'd swear we're more with Pentangle than some ethnic folk rock group.

But the following short Die Lerche (also from72) is a far-eastern folk music song that contrast highly with what went on before, even if it's obviously the same band that recorded both types of songs. The disc goes on with next year's Mangobaum, which reflects some kind of cross between Hawaiian music with far eastern "jig". Both tracks I find annoying knowing the group could play some superb adventurous music, playing such "tourist trap tracks" could only discredit them. The live Synthetic Waltzer, still from73 shows them opening towards some excellent jazz-rock, but also returning to their previous direction.

One remark about the Cd track list, though: I can only regret the fact that the chronological order is not respected, even for that one exception. Another heavy duty negative point is the lack of information regarding the different (at least I suppose there were more than one) line-ups. Outside these inherent flaws (which I suspect will repeat in succeeding releases), it wouls seem that this writer is enthused enough to proceed with the following compilation from 73 to 77 where the group investigated chamber rock and jazz-rock. Definitely worth a shot;

Review by memowakeman
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Their first sounds, some beautiful moments!

A clear advantage of having a girlfriend who also knows and loves the realm of progressive rock, is that she can surprise you every once in a while. I am saying that because she highly recommended this Bayon music to me, it is probably one of those albums whose music makes her happy, so well, I accepted the recommendation of course.

Honestly I know nothing about the band´s formation or even musicians, so this time i won't write a band's background as i use to do, now I will focus only in this album which is named "First Recordings 1971-1973", if you go to their PA discography you will notice that their first studio album was released until 1977, so yes this are really their first tracks, maybe a premature sound of the band, but a nice way of getting to know them I believe.

This album features 6 songs and a total time of 38 minutes, it starts with "Stell Dich In Mittel Den Regen" which will show since the very first notes the kind of music they are playing, this is a kind of soft and delicate prog folk containing nice acoustic guitars, flutes, percussion and some other wind instruments, the music in some moments has a feeling closer to relaxation, when you can close your eyes, listen to it and rest like a king.

The second song is "Die Nacht", I forgot to mention that the vocals are in German, so this song in some way follows up the previous one, the structure and instrumentation is very similar, though here there is a kind of interlude where the flute sound takes you inside the song, then guitars and soft percussion starts again and seconds later a faster sound begins making an acid folk sound.

"Die Lerche" has a different sound, this time the vocals are different I honestly don't recognize if it is still German or another language, but the music has some African flavor on it, violin, percussion and a constant singing, it may be used for a ritual, though I may say that the music here has nothing new to add to my book, I should say that there are some beautiful moments inside this album, this song is one of those I liked the most.

"O Mangobaum" follows up the previous one immediately, the style is the same and the rhythm kind of, so both songs are completely linked one to another, here you can have a very enjoyable time, but it also may be boring for you, your choice.

"Synthetic Waltzer" is a live track, starting with some guitar that little by little is building up a solid structure, there is a beautiful flute sound taking your attention, as well as some violin sound that in moments reminds me to a slow tempo Mahavishnu sound, so yes besides the obvious folky sound, thanks to some elements like violin and drumming the fusion sound is also valid in this song, which is very nice.

"Bayon Suite" finishes the album, it's starting reminded me to A Saucerful of Secrets organ notes, the vocals appear, the flute and the organ prevails, but there are also some electric guitar riffs so the sound might be different to the first 5 songs of the album. After a couple of minutes the song changes a little bit, the rhythm spins in several moments, so the song is not that constant, which at the same time could be either interesting or boring to the listener, I particularly prefer the shorter songs on this album, but this is not bad at all.

Nice album, always good to receive recommendations, what better if those come from a person you love, my final grade 3 stars, good but non-essential.

Enjoy it!

Review by ClemofNazareth
3 stars I'm not sure progressive folk is the right label for Bayon, any more than it is for Flairck but both bands have ended up being pigeonholed somewhat with that label simply because of their unique ethnic/national attributes.

In the case of Bayon, an East German/Cambodian collaboration formed by someone (Christoph Theusner) who was formally trained as an architect, those attributes make for a trademark and recognizable sound that can't really be head anywhere else. While most of the music is instrumental, one of the more interesting challenges with the vocals is trying to figure out what language(s) they are sung in. Certainly not English, at least on this collection of early material, and as near as I can tell the band swerves away from German fairly regularly as well.

These songs tend to be just a tad bit self-indulgent at times, although Theusner and Sonny Thet can be excused for considering themselves a bit clever and special given the times and their circumstances. 'Die Nacht' and 'Die Lerche' especially present interesting combinations of Eastern string arrangements and vocals along with continental flavorings, especially on guitar. Clever, but it's pretty obvious the group was still working out how to best leverage their unique situation to make music. Things would get much better and by the time the first studio album 'Bayon' was released in 1977 this was a group fully jelled and in firm control of their musical legacy.

The most obvious 'folk' song here is 'O Mangobaum' with its almost African percussive rhythm and what I assume is Thet's singing and the most prominent vocals anywhere on the album. Clearly there's a story being told here is some language, and while I can't figure out what the tale is about the combination of percussion, simple acoustic guitar fingering and Thet's easy vocals gives the song that sort of special charm that tends to land bands with the 'world music' label. In this case one could almost be excused for using that term.

The grand finale comes with the twelve-minute plus 'Bayon Suite', which at the time was a pretty ambitious effort given the band's relative inexperience and broad cultural differences. The backing chamber vocals, heavy and almost Krautrock organ and thick electric guitar demonstrate the heavy influence of seventies German rock on this song, presumably thanks more to Theusner's contributions but I suppose one can't be sure especially given the relative sparseness of supporting information with this package. There are clear tempo and thematic shifts during the various 'acts' of the suite although I'll admit I can't really follow what the band was trying to convey either lyrically or thematically given the range of languages, which at a couple points in the middle are not recognizable at all. And the fadeout ending is pretty abrupt and surprising, not something you hear very often with a rock 'suite'.

I don't know a lot about this band but have started to get into them lately so I'm sure more discoveries are forthcoming. For now I like this sampler of their early work which shows a band of excellent musicians coming together across cultures and working to figure out how to leverage their divergent skills and experiences to create something completely new. A good start here. A high three out of five stars and well recommended.


Review by GruvanDahlman
3 stars This is actually a piece of very interesting music. Or several pieces, really. Bayon played a sort of progressive folk music that manages to be both interesting, charming and baffling. Their music cannot really be said to reflect the west european tradition, not the eastern either. It is more of "world music goes progressive".

The first two tracks, in paricular Die Nacht, is enchanting pieces of music in an acoustic setting. The music is as a whole acoustically driven, whish gives it a very organic feeling. Nice and soothing. The final track is by far the most progressive, in my mind. Bayoun Suite is a multifacetted piece of music played before a live audience. That is true progressive folk and brings to mind Pentangle. Maybe not in style but in progressive ableness, the ability to expand the borders of folk into something completely different.

I think that Bayon is well worth checking out if you are into to prog folk and would like to try something that stands apart from the more well known bands from the british isles, like Fairport Convention or Pentangle. Best track? Bayon Suite, I think. It is a tour de force.

Latest members reviews

4 stars Band of the seventies of the obscure East Germany, which was very rigid in relation to music, especially rock in Western Europe. This album is Progressive Folk, and was recorded playback of the vinyl, listening to the background noise characteristic of the playback device. It has a stereo very ... (read more)

Report this review (#499551) | Posted by João Paulo | Monday, August 8, 2011 | Review Permanlink

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