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Galactic Explorers

Progressive Electronic

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Galactic Explorers Epitaph For Venus album cover
3.90 | 40 ratings | 7 reviews | 20% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 1974

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Lunarscape (17:59)
2. Ethereal Jazz (15:41)
3. Venus Rising (8:08)

Total Time: 41:48

Line-up / Musicians

- Johannes Lutz / MiniMoog, Hammond, Lunatron
- Holst Seisert / synths, Fender Rhodes, effects
- Reinhard Karwatky / synths, percussion, organ

Releases information

Artwork: Pixie

LP Pyramid (1974, Germany)

CD Psi-Fi ‎- PSCD0002 (1996, UK) Remastered
CD Mental Experience ‎- MENT014CD (2017, Europe) 24-bit remaster

Digital album

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
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GALACTIC EXPLORERS Epitaph For Venus ratings distribution

(40 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(20%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(38%)
Good, but non-essential (28%)
Collectors/fans only (10%)
Poor. Only for completionists (5%)

GALACTIC EXPLORERS Epitaph For Venus reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by philippe
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Mindblowing psychoelectronic work with abundant and flowing hypnotic electronic arpeggios (in the genre of Tangerine Dream but less obsessive). The music also features a vast collection of analog synth sounds for some "cosmic", immersive dronescapes. This album announces a turning point in the developpement of progressive electronic music; One of the first "implicit" uses of electronic arppegios in popular music (the reflective, introspective and minimalist "lunarscape"). The result is quite astonshing. It looks like (in a distinctive genre and in a more "simplistic"dimension) to Terry Riley in his extended organ "loops" improvisations (especially in the awesome and trance like "Persian Surgery Dervishes"). "ethereal jazz" investigates abstract electronic loops and rhythms, delivering repetitive "molecular", "atomic" sounds. "Venus Rising" is a dronological investigation with long, linear sytnh chords and a "prehistoric" ambient soundscape. The track ends up with emotional & enigmatic synth chords. A Very organic and stimulating electronic work. I give it 4 starts because it's so closed to the all time classic "Phaedra" (Tangerine Dream). Moreover it was published two years before.
Review by Eetu Pellonpaa
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars This record brought me a strong vision of a cosmic voyage, and after contemplating the elements of the music and the experience which it gave to me, I'm ready to claim this as a real masterpiece. The trip begins with sequencer runs resembling Tangerine Dream's early recordings. But as the music moves forward, its nature turns to towards more symbolic sound ambiences, where atonal layers of distant analog synthesizers paint slowly moving Magellans to the vast void of space, Random mechanical noises and humming resonate from the hulls of mechanical space vehicles and satellites, thus creating a very dense and powerful feeling of really being on a travel through cosmos. As the distances and measures of the universe are enormous, also the movements of this record progress slowly and also in minimalistic manner. Thus the listener should be able to appreciate hypnotic and slow music with little events in order to get kicks from this album. I do so, as long as the sounds and musical ideas are aesthetically pleasing. These warm analogue tones did please me very much, and I also adored the lovely psychedelic album cover. There has been interesting discussions about this record being fake, not being part of the original early 1970's space-kraut movement but a recording of later time, being in some success hoaxed to be part of the first wave of the scene. I do not have any opinions related to that, but find these investigations welcome. Even spite those, I would offer my warmest recommendations of this album for all who are interested of ambient and space themed music. Just do your homework before buying "the original press" with four-numbered amount from any auctions or such.
Review by Progfan97402
5 stars Let's just say that this album really blew me away. Now there's some rumors floating about that this was a '90s London-based fake. The fact that so few copies of the original LP were made and not sold at record outlets doesn't help matters any, with no real solid proof of the album's existence (like a posting of it on the internet). Same goes for all the other titles released on the Pyramid label. The '90s British fakes rumor only came around when these titles were reissued on CD on the Psi-FI label (which was British) in the 1990s, and they didn't come with much more than original album artwork, the tracklisting and personnel listings.

But there's two things making me believe that this is not a hoax: 1: It sounds too authentic to the time period to have been recorded in the 1990s. I am very familiar with the German prog rock, electronic, and Krautrock scene, so this recording is very consistent with those scenes. 2. Galactic Explorers featured Reinhard Karwatky, who, at the time, was also involved in Dzyan, so this is essentially a Dzyan side-project. At least no one disputes the existence of Dzyan. Toby Robinson was the guy behind the Pyramid label, and was also an assistance to Dieter Dierks. Toby also went by the name of The Mad Twiddler and Genius P. Orridge, not to be confused with the coincidentally named Genesis P. Orridge of Throbbing Gristle, whose real name is Neil Andrew Megson. I happen to own original LPs of Birth Control's Plastic People (which features Zeus B. Held, also involved in Temple, another one of those mystery Pyramid releases) and Dzyan's Electric Silence, featuring Reinhard Karwatky, naturally. Both mention Toby Robinson's name, the Birth Control LP also giving him the name of "The Mad Twiddler" and "Genius P. Orridge"). By the way, there were never any autobiographies of Genesis P. Orridge ever residing in Germany and working for Dieter Dierks, so Genesis P. Orridge and Genius P. Orridge were two separate people making me think Neil Andrew Megson (Genesis) named himself after Toby Robinson (Genius).

Galactic Explorers is really nothing like Dzyan, but much closer to Terry Riley's keyboard work like A Rainbow in Curved Air with some early Tangerine Dream, and early Popol Vuh. A lot of the music features this nice pulsing sound that often gives way to some eerie droning sounds. Lots of organ with some synths and electronic effects. I love that 1970s vibe of the album, something I'd seriously doubt I'd detect if this was recorded in 1990s London.

This is truly a great surprise to me, many obscure releases deserve to be that because they aren't that great, or its overhyped. Not this album!

Review by Warthur
4 stars A very impressive piece of early progressive electronic music. Fans of the noisier end of Krautrock will be disappointed: what we have here is a very early blueprint for New Age music, with jazz-tinged instrumental interjections occurring sufficiently often to make sure the album doesn't become monotonous but sufficiently subtly so as not to disrupt the spacey, relaxing effect of the music.

The supposed rumours that this is a fake recorded in the 1990s didn't seem credible to me - musically speaking, the album sounds extremely authentic for the Krautrock scene of the time, with commonalities with Klaus Schulze's early work and Tangerine Dream's Zeit. In particular, the other two bands who were involved in this supposed fakery scandal - The Nazgul and Cosmic Corridors - supposedly consisted of complete unknowns, whereas this one is presented as a side project of a member of Dzyan, and it would be an *extremely* stupid move for forgers to try and pass the album off as the work of a real person who could contradict their story!

Nonetheless, here and there a careful listener can catch hints that all is not as it should be here; having heard the Cozmic Corridors release, which I think is a less capable fake, I think the odds are in favour of this being a very well-observed forgery. But even if it is fake, what of it? The music on here is good enough that any fan of progressive electronic or the more ambient end of Krautrock will be satisfied regardless.

Review by Dobermensch
3 stars Probably the best of the 'fakes' on the 'Pyramid' label. This one's just too smooth and clear for a 1972 recording. And I'm afraid they don't fool me with that very 1972 cover either! '

Startlingly similar to old electronic 'Popol Vuh', 'Epitaph for Venus' is a quiet, meditative and fairly dark electronic recording with no drums, bass or guitar, although some metallic percussion does enter the fray later on.

Very hypnotic and unobtrusive but never dull, it meanders along at it's own pace without any sense of urgency. That's not a bad thing - far from it. Outside influences are not present and they certainly couldn't have expected glory and stardom with this recording. It's like a self contained album in it's own right, disconnected from pretty much everything that was happening in 1972.

'Epitaph for Venus' sounds quite similar to some of Robert Rich's recordings made the 90's, only this is done using old 70's analogue instruments. It's all a bit like listening to a game of Space Invaders underwater!

Fans of early Tangerine Dream and Klaus Schulze should definitely check this out as it's full of bloops and bleeps although not in the arpeggiator style that the aforementioned are famous for. This sounds a bit more random.

A competent album that hangs together very nicely and displays a consistently dark and murky atmosphere. 'The Galactic Explorers' set out with a goal and didn't deviate from the path they chose.

Review by Epignosis
2 stars Such little occurs. This is minimalistic progressive electronic, and while many of the ideas and passages could take the listener on a cosmic journey of the mind, the "colors" of the album only evoke the black emptiness and loneliness of outer space. It is an album meant for those who adore droning or cyclic synthetic sequences with scarce melodic interruptions. I wish the musicians would have expended more creative energy in fleshing out the pieces and adding other textures, but others will counter that further sonic ornamentation would have ruined this. Perhaps it is suitable music for meditation.

"Lunarscape" A slightly off-sounding series of rhythmic tones sets the repetitive foundation for this extended track; it does not end until seven-and-a-half minutes, where it leaves the sputtering and smooth washes of sound to themselves. Out of the ether, the initial rhythm sequence returns, like a figure from a fog. It peters along from there until a sudden noise removes the composition from existence.

"Ethereal Jazz" This is indeed a jazz-inspired piece, as though a 1973 Herbie Hancock had replaced Miles Davis on Bitches Brew. Cymbal rolls and electronic bleeps abound. The final moments are eerily beautiful, with a "lost at sea" electric piano.

"Venus Rising" Empty, ventilated tones wax and drone forward, reminiscent of a certain section of Pink Floyd's "Echoes."

Review by admireArt
5 stars The year 1972, the band GALACTIC EXPLORERS, the music: progressive electronic, meditative "kosmische" ambient, the unique, way ahead of its time result: FLAWLESS!

In the best spirit of early electronic music pioneers (1940), without the hassles of the inherent experimentation of its then "primitive" discoveries, Galactic Explorers does not play as if never having heard electronic music, opposite to that, they are in the look out for more refinement to what concerns melody more than mere novel "electronic" noises.

The slow electronics paced mood foretells, the future to come, in many ways to this ever-changing kind of music (electronic music that is, beyond the borders delimited here as prog/electronic music.)

The focus on the songwriting reveals how deep and conscious the Galactic Explorers were of their "earthly" musical surroundings, they simply do not sound like no one else at the time, do not let "unknowledgeable" reviewers tell you otherwise.

A classic, undercovered progressive electronic, 1972, MASTERPIECE, which perfection in music-composition stands poignant and untouched, even up to these days !!!

*****5 "a masterpiece, for any kind of prog-audiophile" PA stars.

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