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Embryo Surfin'  album cover
2.88 | 25 ratings | 4 reviews | 16% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Studio Album, released in 1975

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. You can turn on me (5:11)
2. Music of today (4:12)
3. Secret (6:23)
4. Surfin' (3:22)
5. New ridin' (3:44)
6. In my lunamatic (1:28)
7. Dance of some broken glasses (9:01)
8. Sidetrack (6:03)

Total Time: 39:24

Line-up / Musicians

- Roman Bunka / guitar, bass, ring modulator, clavinet, sitar, saxophone, percussion, vocals
- Christian Burchard / drums, vibes, percussion, marimba, pianos, organ, Mellotron, vocals
- Uwe Müllrich / bass (2 to 7)

+ Edgar Hofmann / Soprano saxophone (2-8), violin (3-7)
- Charlie Mariano / Alto saxophone (1), Soprano saxophone (3-8), flute (4-7), nagasuram (7)

Releases information

LP BASF Systems BC 22385 / CD Disconforme Records 1937 (1999)

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
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EMBRYO Surfin' ratings distribution

(25 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(16%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(12%)
Good, but non-essential (60%)
Collectors/fans only (8%)
Poor. Only for completionists (4%)

EMBRYO Surfin' reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Sean Trane
2 stars This album has a horrible reputation and I must say that it is at least partially merited, but it's not quite as dreadful as it generally thought. Given that this is an Embryo album and it is surrounded by a series of excellent (if not nearing to perfection) albums, Surfin' has a few serious flaws, including a stupid name and an awful comic book artwork, but it's the only bad album in their 70's career. Given that this album IS indeed an Embryo album, it can't be that bad an album, and indeed there are far worst albums around. It might even be argued that Surfin' might be best worst album around and that most groups would love to have their worst album of Surfin's quality/calibre. (Are you sure, you're following me?)

Up to now we could call most of Embryo's album jazz-rock or fusion albums, but with Surfin' we're definitely heading in the funk or jazz-funk spectrum, but also dips a bit all over the place with Caribbean musics such as calypso and more.. After the opening ultra-funk with almost rap vocals Turn Me On (not really their cleverest idea, you'll easily imagine), the album heads into a bizarre mix of straight rock with more experimental passages (Music Of Today) and later in a weird funky jazz (Secret) that does hold some merits (Bunka's guitar is quite excellent) and finally with the short title track, reeking of bad funk. The same bad funk opens up the flipside on New Ridin', but this time adding almost convincingly (the key word being almost) an Indian sitar to the mix. I can imagine a few LSD trip going awry at this point. A short intriguing LunaMatic and a lengthy Broken Glasses (where the group gets into calypso music (they'll have an album worth of it later on in the 70's), and although this track has definitive lengths, I gather that there are a few musicians who dissected these solos and breaks. The cosing Side Traclk is IMHO, the best of the album, most likely because it relates mostly with the other albums they did in that era.

Well if you're into adventurous music and an Embryo fan, you might still want to check out Surfin' because it has moments, but let's face it, once the initial discovery, this album will be a rare spinner and collect dust on the shelves, so you'd better stay away from it. But I gather that by shelf-clearance time, you'll throw/discard away a lot of other albums before sending this one by the trap..

Review by loserboy
3 stars I have been a big fan of Embryo for a long time and are what I would consider one of the most original and sigificant bands of the Krautrock era. Led by band leader and percussionist god Christian Burchard, this act take the complex disciplines of fusion-era Miles Davis and blend in the 70's German Krautrock and Eastern influences throughout. If you are into rhythms (and I know a few who are) then this is your album and maybe your band ! Surfin' was another creation of Burchard's imagination, this time blending ethereal vibes, Eastern raga-like structures and stoner rock into a swirl of complex and angular pieces. Bong'tastic
Review by Bonnek
4 stars Two years after their masterpiece "We Keep On", "Surfin" is Embryo's second release for BASF. It's a much more accessible album, focusing on songwriting and funky grooves rather then the experimental jams of old. Still, it can hardly be called commercial, and due to the lack of success, BASF would soon drop them after this release.

The album isn't as remarkable as the preceding releases but still it deserves more love then what it garnered here so far. Actually, I can think of only one negative point about this album, Embryo was quite late to jump on the funk-fusion bandwagon and in doing so, the band gave up some of their originality and uniqueness. But the world fusion element is still strongly integrated in the sound and they remained recognizably German. Above all, it's still a very fine album, not dissimilar to concurrent releases from Can, Passport and Kraan. Especially Kraan's album "Let It Out" from the same year comes to mind, as it also sounds slightly proto-new wave in places, which might explain some of the dislike Prog fans might feel towards it.

With the shorter pieces and more frequent use of vocals, "Surfin" brings back the fun rocking songwriting of the debut and of "Father Son and Holy Ghosts", be it in a funkier and more mainstream format. It's a different Embryo but still a very good one. 3.5 stars.

PS. Didn't some recent Progband totally nick this artwork?

Latest members reviews

1 stars This is the less interesting album for the first Embryo cicle. Tracks poor rythmics and creativity, one the most valuable traces of the band. Some songs are good but not great at alland there others very boring like the second one "Music of today". My impression is that " excellent musicians p ... (read more)

Report this review (#42398) | Posted by | Wednesday, August 10, 2005 | Review Permanlink

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