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Agitation Free Shibuya Nights - Live in Tokyo album cover
3.82 | 28 ratings | 4 reviews | 21% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Live, released in 2011

Songs / Tracks Listing

recorded at Shibuya O-West, Tokyo, February 2007

1. You Play For Us Today (6:12)
2. Sahara City (2:48)
3. In The Silence Of The Morning Sunrise (6:22)
4. Shibuya Nights (6:15)
5. First Communication (6:25)
6. Dialogue & Random (1:22)
7. Ala Tul (6:15)
8. Laila (7:38)
9. Nomads (6:47)
10. A Quite Walk (6:27)
11. Das Kleine Uhrwerk (4:48)
12. Malesch (5:42)
13. Drifting (3:54)
14. Rücksturz (2:57)

Total Time: 73:52

recorded 2013 at Kesselhaus/Berlin* as well as Burg Herzberg-Festival**

1. Ala Tul* (6:48)
2. Laila* (8:29)
3. Shibuya Nights* (8:13)
4. Nomads** (7:57)
5. In Da Jungl** (6:54)
6. Rücksturz** (4:32)

Total Time: 42:53

1. You Play For Us Today (6:12)
2. Sahara City (2:48)
3. In The Silence Of The Morning Sunrise (6:22)
4. Shibuya Nights (6:15)
5. First Communication (6:25)
6. Dialogue & Random (1:22)
7. Ala Tul (6:15)
8. Laila (7:38)
9. Nomads (6:47)
10. A Quite Walk (6:27)
11. Das Kleine Uhrwerk (4:48)
12. Malesch (5:42)
13. Drifting (3:54)
14. Rücksturz (2:57)
15. In Da Jungl (6:54)

Total Time: 80:46

Line-up / Musicians

- Michael Hoenig / keyboards, synths
- Gustl Lütjens / acoustic & electric guitars
- Lutz ?Lüül? Graf-Ullrich / acoustic & electric guitars, ukelele
- Burghard Rausch / drums, percussion
- Michael ?Fame? Günter / bass (Tokyo)
- Daniel Cordes / bass (Berlin, Burg Herzberg)

guest musician:
- Issey Ogata / ukelele (Tokyo)

Releases information

CD Esoteric/Cherry Red EAGFCD1001 (2011 UK)
2LP MIG-Music MIG 01161 (2014 Germany)
CD/DVD MIG-Music MIG01162 (2014 Germany)

Thanks to rivertree for the addition
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AGITATION FREE Shibuya Nights - Live in Tokyo ratings distribution

(28 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(21%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(64%)
Good, but non-essential (14%)
Collectors/fans only (0%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

AGITATION FREE Shibuya Nights - Live in Tokyo reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Rivertree
4 stars AGITATION FREE were invited to play three gigs in Shibuya/Tokio some years ago, February 2007 exactly. It was a passionated Japanese fan who sponsered their mini tour. This also connoted the first band reunion since 1974, at least when speaking of the line-up consisting of Lutz 'Lüül' Ulbrich, Michael Hoenig, Burghard Rausch, Gustl Lütjens and Michael 'Fame' Günther. So this should be regarded as a sensation for sure, so much the more in Japan. The band has a relatively big reputation there, Hoenig and Lüül both are immortalized in the prog rock section of the Tokyo Tower Wax museum for example.

Their song compilation predominantly represents the first two studio albums 'Malesch' and 'Second', besides the legendary live performances highly acclaimed while certainly contributing to the establishment of the krautrock genre. But also two new elaborations are given, which therefore even means something new to the table. 'I'll fly the airplane ... and you play for us today' - it all starts with the original airport samples recorded on their 1971 tour in North Africa. Die-hard fans will adore this renewed intro, I'm sure. However, I took the chance to see them live in Berlin March 2012 ... and the lift-off there has been way more extended and experimental - a revelation really.

Now back to Japan 2007, the origin ... or maybe 2011 because some years are admittedly gone in the meanwhile when considering the release date. No hurry, the band took all the time in the world to offer a technically flawless production finally, an amalgamation handed out by Michael Hoenig. Musically they turn into a tribal groove with excellent spacey guitar and synth interaction where the short Sahara City appears in an oriental and hallucinogenic outfit. Shibuya Nights is a completely new song, a reminiscence to the gig location called 'Shibuya O-West'.

The songs often live from the interaction between both guitars and are trimmed with a modernized approach a bit. However the spirit of the good old days is still noticeable for sure. AGITATION FREE deliver a prolific presentation of their musical legacy on 'Shibuya Nights' after more than 30 years. And there's still a shimmer of hope that this won't be the end of the story.

Review by Mellotron Storm
4 stars 4.5 stars. A couple of bands that I have a huge admiration for namely AGITATION FREE and ALPHATAURUS have released live albums recently. Now you have to keep in mind that neither band has released anything of relevance for some 40 years, so lets just say with both bands I was a little skepticle. I certainly didn't rush out and order them, in fact with both it wasn't until I kept reading all these positive comments that I decided to take the plunge. Best dive I ever took. A rich man in Japan is the reason AGITATION FREE's original lineup got back together for three shows in Tokyo. It was their first time playing together in some 35 years, although I have no doubt they practiced a lot before these gigs. The fear of course with a recording like this is that the band may have lost the passion, skills and magic that was there in the early seventies. Well I still can't believe how incredible this band sounds after all these years. I have to say it was an emotional experience for me and that I did not see coming. We get five tracks from "Malesch" and five from "Second" while two are new and two are from the re-union album back in 1999 that Hoenig did not participate in.

The first bit of emotion comes with hearing that familiar conversation from the start of "You Play For Us Today" from the "Malesch" album. The atmosphere rolls in after a minute, then bass followed by drums then guitar. This is so good ! "Sahara City" from "Malesch" was also the second track after "You Play For Us Today" so this is significant for fans. Lots of percussion and a mid-eastern vibe. Lots of atmosphere late. "In The Silence Of The Morning" is a top three for me. This is from "Second" and reminds me a lot of ALCATRAZ's "Simple Headphone Mind" song. Just a feel good groove that is laid back. "Shubya Nights" is new and we get loud drums and guitar eventually leading. "First Communication" from "Second" opens with an explosion then it becomes spacey and atmospheric. Great sound with the guitar as the organ floats in the background. "Dialogue & Random" from "Second" is dominated with drums.

"Ala Tul" from "Malesch" has samples of voices then atmosphere takes over and it's loud. Drums and guitar follow and then it picks up. So much going on. "Laila" from "Second" is a top three and it opens with a loud bang that echoes then the guitar, bass and drums take over. This is so uplifting as the guitar solos over top. A calm 2 1/2 minutes in and then it builds. So freaking good. The guitar rips it up late Santana-like. "Nomads" is from "River Of Return" and has native-like drumming as the guitar comes in and solos. Back to the drums only. "A Quiet Walk" opens with water sounds as the atmosphere rolls in. Sparse sounds and voices too. A beat 3 minutes in then it picks up wirth guitar. Great tune. "Das Kleine Uhrwerk" from "River Of Return" has intricate guitar melodies as a beat joins in. Ukelele before 2 1/2 minutes. it's okay. "Malesch" has floating organ and keys to start but it gets fuller before a minute. Feel good music right there. "Drifting" is new and one of my favourites. The sound is spacey and drifting throughout.. Beautiful. "Rucksturz" from "Malesch" ends it and it's my final top three. Spacey winds to open as a beat comes in then guitar. My God ! So gorgeous.

I will treasure this album and hold it and pet I mean I highly recommend this to AGITATION FREE fans everywhere. A must !

Review by Neu!mann
3 stars Old Krautrockers never die, but they do occasionally drift back to Planet Earth from deep space. For Agitation Free, that return to terra firma landed the newly reconstituted band a series of gigs in Tokyo, far removed (in both time and space) from their counterculture barnstorming in late 1960s Berlin.

First the good news: this wasn't another of those strictly mercenary nostalgia tours, featuring only one or two surviving players from the original group. The core of the classic Agitation Free line-up was back, and showing little sign of their advancing age (drummer Burghard Rausch had just turned sixty; the rest of the band wasn't far behind).

They sound incredibly sharp for a bunch of codgers who hadn't shared a stage in decades, showing here what a well-balanced group they could have been with a little more studio time behind them. Keep in mind the band produced only two albums in their heyday; three if you count the 1999 semi-reunion "River of Return". The Tokyo set-list includes a couple of tunes off that later session, but most of the show exhumes their best material from the 1970s, nicely updated to the new millennium.

The Arabic "Ala Tul", for example, re-imagines material from their debut album "Malesch", enhancing Lutz Ulbrich's Krautrock guitar groove with digital sound samples unavailable 25-years earlier. And the newly composed title track is a brooding slice of the same Space Rock Orientalism common in Germany a quarter century ago.

The sound quality of the CD is also thrilling, if somewhat impersonal in its digital perfection. And therein lies my one, nagging reservation about the album: it can be just a little too calculated at times. The crowd is unfailingly polite and attentive; the performances are all but flawless; and the production is so bright and clean it could have earned the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval.

It's wonderful to hear the band still alive and kicking, and with such youthful vitality. And the album succeeds in providing a comprehensive sampler for newcomers plus an exciting live document for older fans. But the mind-altering exploratory ethos of the early '70s ended ages ago, and (sadly) no one expects to change the world through music anymore. Maybe it's too late in the day to go home again, but here at least is a convincing digital-age facsimile of the original destination.

Latest members reviews

4 stars "Back in the '70's we were trying to tell a story, today we are able to do so" says Gustl Lutjens, Agitation Free guitar maestro. This newly issued 75 minute recording from a series of Tokyo reunion concerts in 2007 is remarkable for several reasons: it is the original line-up including keybo ... (read more)

Report this review (#558923) | Posted by beebfader | Saturday, October 29, 2011 | Review Permanlink

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