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Altona (GER)


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Altona (GER) Altona album cover
3.55 | 43 ratings | 4 reviews | 12% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 1975

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Can't Live Without You (4:05)
2. Cocopus (5:36)
3. Überlandfahrt (4:03)
4. 7/4 (4:13)
5. Boulevard (4:59)
6. Frustration (6:44)
7. Hide Yourself (5:48)

Total Time 35:28

Line-up / Musicians

- Karl-Heinz "Carlo" Blumenberg / vocals, soprano & baritone saxophones, bass
- Klaus Gerlach / guitar
- Werner von Gosen / guitar
- Wolfgang Wülff / tenor saxophone
- Michael von Rönn / tenor saxophone
- Fritz Kahl / bass
- Hans-Heinz Gossler / drums

Releases information

LP RCA Victor ‎- PPL1-4049 (1975, Germany)
LP Long Hair ‎- LHC159 (2015, Germany) Remastered by Jörg Scheuermann

CD Disconforme SL ‎- DISC 1977 CD (2000, Andorra)
CD Long Hair ‎- LHC00179 (2016, Germany)

Thanks to snobb for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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ALTONA (GER) Altona ratings distribution

(43 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(12%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(49%)
Good, but non-essential (33%)
Collectors/fans only (7%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

ALTONA (GER) Altona reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by snobb
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Altona is almost forgotten German kraut-rock band, in fact - reincarnation of early krautrock band Thrice Mice. Their debut is excellent example of slightly psychedelic heavy jazz-rock, in moments similar to Colosseum music.

Sound is very dynamic, full of heavy rhythms, sax soloing and some vocals ( Karl-Heinz Blumenberg is ex-Thrice Mice vocalist). It's a bit pity, that this album is rarity, because it represents krautrock at its best.

All compositions are different, has own melodies and complex and very competent musicianship. Happily, this album was re-released on CD in 2000 ( by Disconforme), so it is possible to find it for listening.

If you like jazz-rock ( in best Colosseum style) and heavy energetic krautrock, this album is excellent addition to your collection.

Really 4,5!

Review by Bonnek
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Take the opening tracks from Chicago's debut and Colosseum's Valentyne Suite. Clutch them together and add rough heavy vocals. That's what Altona sounds like, raw acid-rock with a jazzy brass section and powerful vocals. An ultra-rare gem but if you want some more of that great upbeat 60's vibe, here you go.

The album starts with a swinging heavy rock groove. The brass section and Beefheart-alike vocals give it a nice twist. It's a bit of a stretch but the brass instruments somehow remind me of Morphine. Altona's mood isn't morose though, this must be the most energetic and vivacious music I know. Oh yes this is prog you can boogie to!

Cocopus partially continues the upbeat pace, but also adds some more reflective bluesy pieces that could have been from Pink Floyd's More or Ash Ra Tempel. Uberlandfarth shifts up the gear another notch. One day I'll throw in this song at a party at home. Guaranteed swinging and air-guitar fun. 7/4 is a bit of an old-fashioned rockabilly track but from here on the album doesn't let go of its tight rocking energy anymore.

Is it kraut? Is it acid-rock? Jazz-rock? It's sure heavy energetic fun!

Review by apps79
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Altona were actually a continuation of the Kraut Rock act Thrice Mice,found in 1972 just four months after the demise of the later with a slightly different and expanded line-up.Gone are sax player Wolfgang Buhre, keyboardist Wolfgang Minnemann, bassist Rainer von Gosen and drummer Arno Bredehöft, replaced by Fritz Kahl on bass, Klaus Gerlach on guitars, Wolfgang Wulff and Michael von Rönn on tenor saxes, Karl-Heinz Gossler on drums, next to the remaining Thrice Mice members multi-instrumentalist Karl-Heinz Blumenberg and guitarist Werner von Gosen.Named after a borough of Hamburg,the band had switched on to a more jazz-oriented sound as presented on their self-titled debut (1975 on RCA).

Keeping all the energy of Thrice Mice, Altona focused on filling their sound with dominant sax attacks and dynamic grooves,like if CHICAGO were actually a Kraut Rock band.Present also some psychedelic influences here and there.With the absence of a keyboard player more than evident,the style became more rhythmic with leading sax solos and Blumenberg's voice in great shape,not particularly complex, but definitely powerful and rich.Very interesting are the dual sax parts often delivered under sudden breaks and the dynamic bass/drums duo of Kahl and Gossler.When the saxes remain silent, Von Gosen's fuzz guitar playing comes on the forefront in a typical Heavy/Kraut Rock style.The sound of Altona though did not break any new grounds,plenty of Kraut Rock bands played this specific style much earlier,but the album keeps a good consistency between the song-based parts and the more jazzy instrumental parts.

If you like your Kraut Rock menu to have some good dose of Jazz taste, ''Altona'' should be among your main preferences.Decent proggy Jazz-Rock,not very personal but well-executed and performed and for this reason recommended.

Review by Mellotron Storm
3 stars ALTONA were a Jazz Rock band out of Germany who released two studio albums in the mid seventies, this is the debut from 1974. A seven piece with three of the guys playing sax and there's two guitarists. Vocals are loud and rough and an acquired taste I would say. He sings in English. I like Bonnek's description in the opening of his review but he's being polite, this just isn't that good. This is uptempo for the most part, tons of energy and the horns just blast in your face throughout, if it's not the horns it's the vocals(haha). Just not an album that I can enjoy for these reasons.

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