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Kalacakra Crawling To Lhasa album cover
2.71 | 28 ratings | 6 reviews | 14% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Studio Album, released in 1972

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Naerby shiras (9:16)
2. Jaceline (6:15)
3. Raga No 11 (5:34)
4. September fullmoon (9:35)
5. Arapaho's circle dance (2:28)
6. Tante Olga (7:31)
Bonus tracks on cd release:
7. Vamos (6:48)
8. Deja vu (5:38)

Total Time: 53:35

Line-up / Musicians

- Claus Rauschenbach / Guitar, Congas, Percussion, Vocals, Harmonica, Slentem
- Heinz Martin / Guitar, Flute, Piano, Vibraphone, Schalmei, Cello, Violin, Synthesizer

Releases information

LP Private Pressing K-ST 2000
CD Lost Pipe Dreams (1993)
CD Garden of Delights GoD 053 (2001)

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to sheavy for the last updates
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KALACAKRA Crawling To Lhasa ratings distribution

(28 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(14%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(32%)
Good, but non-essential (36%)
Collectors/fans only (11%)
Poor. Only for completionists (7%)

KALACAKRA Crawling To Lhasa reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Sean Trane
3 stars One of those rarities that came from early 70's German rock presenting a psychey-hippy folk-blues laced with eastern wisdom. The Garden Of Delights label did as usual a very fine job of reissuing this under the cd format , to soothe many collectioners's curiosity . This album was counterfeited a few times and still fetched astronomical prices, due to this album's reputation.

The music developped here is certainly very worthwhile if you enjoy acoustic psychadelia lacing in folk , blues , strange eastern ranting, relatively poor recording techniques (nowadays we called this Lo-Fi), but good instrumental interplay. This album is certainly worth a few spin to any progheads, but I doubt that they will want to spin this more than a dozen time throughout their lifetime , because of the limited progressive content in this album. The musicianship is excellent but too many times the indulgent jam-like musical extrapolations will annoy very hard-to-please progheads.

The two bonus tracks are somewhat different-sounding to the rest of the album (much better produced) but remain within the psychey folk-blues spectrum of the album, adding up real value to the original album. Something rare enough to point out. Hardly essential for demanding proghead but nevertheless quite pleasant and worth hearing at least once in your lifetime.

Review by philippe
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Really gorgeous eastern psychedelic kraut (related) improv in the mood of Siloah, Parson Sound, Lamp of the Universe, Dom.Some sections contain primitive, blues damaged folk jams. The result is astonishing, highly mysterious and luminous. "Naerby Shiras" is an acoustic, repetitive, dreamy and druggy little piece, dominated by simplistic but efficient guitars motifs, some dancing flute lines and discreet narrations at the end. Really warm & acid stuff. "Jaceline" is a percussive, floating ballad within a forest ambience, accompanied by voices and words, violin contrasts and vibraphone. The "pastoral" acoustic guitar parts always prevail. "Raga no 11" features an intense, chanting like raga improvisation with rhythms and "mantra" sonorities. "September full moon" contain folkish strings and rhythms for a rather light, bucolic composition. "Arapaho's dancing dance" is bluesy like tune with circular rhythms, evasive guitar parts and kinda folky harmonica arrangements. A charming artefact with some tripped out moments!
Review by Rivertree
3 stars This is not the sole album from this band as such, but the one and only worked out in the 70's by the acid krautrock duo Heinz Martin and Claus Rauschenbach coming from Duisburg/Germany. Both were autodidacts with a freaky approach and used a lot of indo/raga elements. At first completely underrated 'Crawling To Lhasa' is an attractive collectors' item today ... at least when it comes to the original vinyl print. The songs were recorded by Willy Neubauer in his Düsseldorf studio during two days. Whatsoever has survived about the circumstances - they performed in a totally spaced out mood for sure, obviously inspired by Buddhistic mantras.

The trippy meandering Nearby Shiras opens the album, reflecting a multiple catastrophe, the Black Plague, coming over the Persian town called Shiraz hundreds of years ago. A sinister creature ... probably a witch ... is whispering and shouting some rezitative, repeating 'morgen kommt die Schwarze Pest' (tomorrow comes the Black Plague) all the way through. Definitely frightening and provided with some infatuating dramaturgy - however the instruments are also smooth on the contrary, speaking of flute, cymbal and acoustic guitar. And all this is made with a significant eastern touch.

On Jaceline Martin's vibraphone is striking, it serves a pleasant spacey/ambient atmosphere. Possibly improvised from start to finish, the lyrics about a girl seem to be completely pointless. The trance-like Raga No.11 features the Minimoog synthesizer, a novelty because nearly uncommon at that time in Europe. A nice song including electric guitar which has some speed this time and proves their technical skills. As from now it all runs out of inspiration a bit with simple folk impressions mainly ... until the blues based Tante Olga shows some new crazy weird vocal ideas, for example including Captain Beefheart reminiscent vocals in English.

That's it ... concerning the original vinyl. The digital releases additionally cover two songs from 1993 recorded by Heinz Martin with a better sound quality. The acid blend of folk, psych and raga is completely missing here to the benefit of a spacey new age atmosphere where Vamos is definitely enjoyable. The Garden Of Delights re-issue of this ethno trance effort is featuring a detailed history of the band and their community in Duisburg including several pictures, which are reflecting the stoned atmosphere of the recording sessions. Not a ground-breaking album because running out of breath in between - nevertheless a worthwhile purchase for krautrock and indo/raga lovers.

Review by Warthur
1 stars This German take on raga-influenced psychedelic jamming is unfortunately probably one of those obscure releases which is obscure for a reason. To be blunt, the album is just kind of boring. Between tracks like September Fullmoon, which take a simple musical idea and then drive it right into the ground by repeating it over and over again without variation, and misguided experiments like Tante Olga, which sounds like the Mothers of Invention parodying the blues (except Zappa and the Mothers wouldn't keep that joke going for over 7 minutes), it's just one botched effort after another. Maybe people who really like Indo-prog could get more out of this album (and goodness knows it's one of the least appreciated and least populated subgenres on this site), but I can honestly do without it.
Review by Dobermensch
1 stars An extremely unimpressive album that sounds as black and white as the cover looks. Quite similar in sound to Amon Duul's 'Paradieswarts' but no-where near as much fun.

'Crawling to Lhasa' does have its moments, but only on the first track 'Naerby shiras' which has some nice 'n creepy whispered German vocals. However, the recording sounds primitive which you'd think would add to the atmosphere. Unfortunately it doesn't. It just sounds cheap and trashy.

Kalacakra' approach to this recording is almost 'blues' in nature. It's such a pity then, that it all sounds like a teenagers bedroom recording from the early 70's.

'September Fullmoon' is certainly the dullest tune on the album, with repetitive acoustic guitar strumming that leads nowhere. Flutes float around at the same time in a very non spectacular way just following the guitar for no other reason than that it's there. This whole track sounds wobbly and off key which just goes to highlight the production failures. Ten whole minutes of this have to be endured before we can continue into choppier waters.

A harmonica rears its ugly head in 'Arapaho's circle dance' which sounds like a bored Captain Beefheart first take from 'Strictly Personal'. I'm afraid it's all downhill from here with an ever increasing blues feel which negates the rather promising opener.

The second half seriously runs out of steam and ideas, where they just seem to repeat themselves. Eastern influences are prevalent during the first half with lots of bongos pitter pattering away as if they have a life of their own but are happily oblivious to what else is occurring around them.

Just when things couldn't get much worse, we're subjected to the jarringly awkward shift into 1980's territory with 'Vamos', which is completely out of place on this recording with its mid eighties funky bass, drum machine and ugly guitars. And by God - it's repetitive!

The nadir is left for last with 'Deja vu' - a track so uninteresting with the aforementioned faults that it's enough to make a grown man burst into tears... Truly awful...

Latest members reviews

4 stars Very well done psychedelic German album with plenty of eastern influences. Really stoned at times, even the new recorded tracks are great bands. If you'r into early AMON DUUL, around "Para dies wärts duul", this is a great and recommended album. Not all tracks are fillers, but still a very enjoy ... (read more)

Report this review (#135387) | Posted by JohnnyC | Wednesday, August 29, 2007 | Review Permanlink

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