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WESERBERGLAND

Krautrock • Norway


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Weserbergland biography
Founded in Oslo, Norway in 2017

WESERBERGLAND is a special project comprised of well known prolific musicians and collected by Ketil Vestrum Einarsen, composer and veteran flutist of the Norwegian prog rock scene. He's mainly known being part of White Willow for almost 20 years, as well as collaborating with other groups like Jaga Jazzist, Motorpsycho, Panzerpappa, Kaukasus, to name a few.

The term Weserbergland is also standing for a region in Germany, and as Ketil has been a krautrock enthusiast since he discovered the music due to the record collection of his friend's hippie father in the early 90s, the project name has gained a rather serious background.

Consequently their debut album 'Sehr Kosmisch - Ganz Progisch' bears influences from bands like Tangerine Dream, Can, Cluster, Harmonia, and is spiked with a huge dose of 70s progressive rock in general. Though not appearing like a retro sounding effort, this is also influenced by his former band JAGA JAZZIST and similar.

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WESERBERGLAND top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.89 | 36 ratings
Sehr Kosmisch, Ganz Progisch
2017
4.17 | 31 ratings
Am Ende Der Welt
2020
3.96 | 28 ratings
Sacrae Symphonia No. 1
2022

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WESERBERGLAND Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Sehr Kosmisch, Ganz Progisch by WESERBERGLAND album cover Studio Album, 2017
3.89 | 36 ratings

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Sehr Kosmisch, Ganz Progisch
Weserbergland Krautrock

Review by WJA-K

3 stars This is the first album of Weserbergland. It is considerably more traditional than their second and third outing. It is as if this is an entirely different group of people entirely.

I can agree that this one is both cosmic and progressive. But firmly rooted in the tradition of what others did before years back.

A very enjoyable listen. These are great compositions and the musicianship is excellent. It is not nearly as adventurous as their later work. That said, it is probably the one that will find more fans.

This is a solid 3 star album for me. It is good. But look for later work of Weserbergland to find the essentials.

 Sacrae Symphonia No. 1 by WESERBERGLAND album cover Studio Album, 2022
3.96 | 28 ratings

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Sacrae Symphonia No. 1
Weserbergland Krautrock

Review by WJA-K

5 stars This is a progression of Am Ende der Welt. But it requires even more trust from the listener that the journey will be great. The previous record had more things to grasp, especially at the beginning. This one has them few and far in- between. Especially after the first few minutes.

The one track we have starts with a screaking noise as if a train makes a sudden stop. These train noises continue to be in the background of the first few minutes of ambience, dominated by synth and guitar soundscapes. At 4.03, a sax is added. The ambience remains.

Then, at 6.40, the furious drumming and bass playing starts. A frantic sax takes centre stage. Here, we are entirely into the sound experience. As we are lifting off. At 9.11, drumming and bass stop and the synth and sax bring back the ambience. Asif we are floating in space. Then, at 10.10, rhythmic drumming and bass playing helps us to go forward, still floating boldly.

At 14.40, the drum and bass stop. We are left floating, symbolized by a synth sound escapes and sax long haul. At 16.00 the different instruments die away gently. Until at 17.05, a bass re-emerges, ever so gently. Around minute 20, the bass and synth become more and more compelling. Something is coming.

Then, at 21.28. The frantic drum and bass are back. The synth soundscapes are similar, but the rhythmic section is going wild. This will also fade away, bringing us back afloat. But not long. Because at 27.40, a rhythmic drum, later accompanied by the bass pushes us forward again. A bit like we saw around 10 minutes. But barely two minutes later, we have the frantic drums and base again. We are at the home stretch though. It's absolutely mesmerizing how Vetle Larsen plays those drums and what Ingebrikt H'ker Flaten does on the base. Bringing the album to a climax.

Then, four minutes to go still, we arrive. The album leaves us with a synth soundscape that slowly fades. Giving us the time to land.

For me, the previous album was more tangible. And though I liked this third instalment of Weserbergland immediately, it took me multiple (six) listens to fully appreciate the work.

Some will call this art for the sake of art. Or closed music. I don't agree. It takes some investment for most, but the reward is great. This is awesome. 5 stars.

 Am Ende Der Welt by WESERBERGLAND album cover Studio Album, 2020
4.17 | 31 ratings

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Am Ende Der Welt
Weserbergland Krautrock

Review by WJA-K

5 stars I discovered this album after Sacrae Symphoniae No. 1. I was overwhelmed by this album, but I felt I could only do a proper review after listening to the album that preceded it. I'm glad I did.

This album contains of two tracks. But essentially, it is only one. I will discuss it as one.

Gentle melodic classical intro with strings, piano and around minute 1 an electronic beat that disappears quickly again. This beginning of the album is deceptively accessible.

2.45 the beat takes over and the strings and piano move to the background. In minute 4, we are in an electronic landscape. Reminiscent of the great experimental electronic acts of the nineties. I could easily imagine Autechre doing something like this. At 7.08 a synth and strings join the beats. We are still looking at a tasteful variation of the electronic sounds of past greats. 9.30, the strings are left alone before they cease as well.

9.50, we enter a stage of ambience with a distorted piano and synth soundscapes. Gradually the synths become stronger and stronger, taking over. At 14.18, the piano is hardly audible and the beats return. More frantically now, accompanied by a frenzy sax. Here, we are letting go of the training wheels. We can only take in the experience.

Around minute 20, the piano brings back some structure but is a far cry from what we had just minutes ago. Weserbergland really took off. Every instrument does its own thing. Still, it fits together perfectly. At minute 23, we are having the foothold again. We are more or less back where we were with the experimental electronics, combined with the strings.

At 24.19, the ambience is back. A sax playing long notes, a piano, and distorted noise in the background. The beats return 26.30. We know what this means. Slowly, we will return to the experience again. We still have the sax keeping us afloat. And around 28.35, we can also hold on to the piano. The drums continue to drive through frantically, more and more. The sax still has these longwinded notes. Then the piano is gone again. This third time though, we are prepared for the soundscape. Though Weserbergland pushes the envelope more and more. The frantic sax returns, in the background. While the slow sax is moving to the background.

At 38.15, the frantic beats stop suddenly. We are left with the frantic sax solo.

This album is an experience. Starting slowly, it takes you into a strange world. It may take a few listens. But the more you invest, the more you will get back from it. This is fantastic. I am happy to have learned Weserbergland.

Weserbergland takes more listens than an average progressive band to get into. But it is worth the investment. Am Ende der Welt is a 5-star album. Easily.

 Sacrae Symphonia No. 1 by WESERBERGLAND album cover Studio Album, 2022
3.96 | 28 ratings

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Sacrae Symphonia No. 1
Weserbergland Krautrock

Review by BrufordFreak
Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

5 stars What feels like a continuation of both the sound of 2020's incredible Am Ende der Welt as well as the evolution of the Weserbergland sound and vision, we have here a headlong hypersonic immersion into a mind-blowing blending of the worlds of the acoustic and electronic--one in which acoustic instruments are merged seemlessly into one soundscape. Though prog veteran Mattias Olsson seems to have left the project that he help start back in 2015, replacement drummer Vetle Larsen is everybit as impressive (though I'm never certain which drum/percussion parts are "live" with "real" instruments and which are electronically programmed and computer generated), and one of the other founding four from Sehr Kosmisch, Ganz Progisch, White Willow/The Opium Cartel's Jacob Holm- Lupo has moved back behind the scenes into the post-production role of mastering. Joining the project here is American producer/musician from the Post Rock scene, John McEntire (Tortoise, Stereolab, Gastr Del Sol, The Sea and Cake, Dave Grubbs, Red Krayola) on the mixing board. Though founding member, guitarist Gaute Storsve, is still very much a part of the scene, the project has really evolved into the hands of multi-talented visionary Ketil Vestrum Einarsen (White Willow, Motorpsycho, Tirill, Geir Lysne, Jaga Jazzist, Wobbler, Finn Coren, Frida Ånnevik, Kaukasus, Anima Morte, Galasphere 347), who is credited with composing, programming, fxing, synthesizing, and, I'm sure, more. What a vision!

1. "Sacrae Symphonia No. 1" (39:49) starts off like a rocket out of a rocket launcher and though the Magma-like bass and wild drums only enter in the seventh minute, it finally peaks in its trajectory in the second stage, begins to lose steam and layers of support tracks from the 14th minute from which it's rather peaceful (outer-atmosphere) mid- flight feels almost peaceful, maybe even weightless. At the halfway mark searing, screaming cacophony (of frictional re-entry?) takes over before the full-on barrage of drums and bass et al. begin hurtling through the air again--all the while the discordant notes of orchestral instruments hold in sustained ribbons like trail kites until the 26th minute when forward motion is minuscule while a trail of echoes seems to be left to fall into the distance. At 27:37 the drums reenter, not quite as frenetically, more robotically. Perhaps this is the missile's guided cruise control as it scours the earth's surface in search of its target/final destination. By the 30-minute mark, the musical tapestry has thickened again, though both the electric and orchestral contributions all feel more copacetic and even cohesive: there is less discord and cacophony and more "sacred." (Man is this drummer having to work hard!) Were I to try to convert my metaphoric imagery to fit the song's title, I might use language and terms from a vocabulary based in celestial astronomy or quantum physics, or even Biblical references: The Fall of Lucifer; a struggle against the forces of a black hole/singularity; the journey of a subatomic particle as it passes through the subspace ether of Jesus on the Cross. I do appreciate and like the subtle, gradual transition from what seems and feels like entropic dissonance to coordinated, harmonic organization.

Total Time 39:49

How to rate--how to assign numerical value to such a work?! I don't think I'm going to. I will, however, issue my declaration of praise for this work of art in the form of five stars: I consider Sacrae Symphonia No. 1 as a masterpiece of human creativity.

 Am Ende Der Welt by WESERBERGLAND album cover Studio Album, 2020
4.17 | 31 ratings

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Am Ende Der Welt
Weserbergland Krautrock

Review by BrufordFreak
Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

5 stars The vastly creative mind of Ketil Vestrum Einarsen and collaborators Matthias Olsson and Jacob Holm-Lupo are at it again. While their previous effort, 2017's masterful "update" of the Krautrock musical scene, Sehr Kosmiche, Ganz Progisch, this one is far more futuristic--employing extreme computer processing techniques in both the treatment and recording of the instrumental sounds captured here but also in the final rendering of said sound. While the album does have some similarities to Sehr Kosmiche, Ganz Progisch, but is definitely its own beast. The composition is intended to be singular but due to the limitations imposed by Bandcamp has been renderd into two "separate" entities. The music is, to my ears, some kind of modern classical music ' la Karlheinz Stockhausen. If one has the opportunity to hear Jacob Holm-Lupo's "binaural" rendering of the music, you will definitely feel the distinctive "classical" component parts and musical styles being here "modernized"; the other version gives more of the impression of a linear assault on the brain.

Line-up / Musicians: - Ketil Vestrum Einarsen / computer - J'rgen Mathisen / saxophone harmonics - Gaute Storsve / guitar - Jan Terje Augestad / treated piano - Maria Grigoryeva / strings - Molesome (Mattias Olsson) / turntables

1. "Am Ende Der Welt" (Side A) (24:18) The way this starts--with a kind of experiment in modern recording techniques and wave-treatment effects of strings, horns, electric guitar, and piano, I thought I was in for something like a GODSPEED /YOU! BLACK EMPEROR song, but then the computer drum beats and other glitch noises begin. This is not the same music as that produced for the band's heavy-into-Krautrock 2017 debut album. It turns very experimental--a kind of cross between the primal "tribal" music of Yoshimi P-We and some the most "out there" music of Markus Pajakkala--all accompanied by the steady strings of the Kronos Quartet! The odd thing is, I really like this! Especially the Steve Reichian third, chamber first and fourth motifs and the drawn-out drone and experimental glitch "dulcimer" (treated piano) middle. Int he fifteenth minute, the cacophony of earlier sounds and layers climbs back into the soundscape, taking over with the insistence of a race car cruising through open country vistas. After the stark sparseness of that middle section, the return of craziness almost feels comforting, "normal" which I find very interesting; being a nature lover and city-hater, this is not what I would have expected my reaction to be. The scale back to the third Steve Reichian motif in the twentieth minute is equally fascinating for my bodymind's reaction to it: as if there are essential melodies being woven together here. I am blown away! What a ride! And now, after my third "trip" through "Side A" I think I'm in love! I am Pan, primal goat-man, looking for a place to sow my seed. Any place! Please! It's all so beautiful! (48/50)

2. "Am Ende Der Welt" (Side B) (18:20) And the party continues! (Apparently this was recorded as a single song that had to be split into two due to Bandcamp's restrictions.) This half opens with sustained horns and piano hits behind "alien radio static." Very cool. For some reason I'm reminded of the evocative warmth of MARK ISHAM soundtrack music being used for some moving like Contact. At 2:18 heavily-treated computer drums enter--adding more to the "alien" feeling than to the human emotional side. The droning horns and strings try to drown out the drums as a syncopated bass note (coming from the treated piano) becomes equally insistent. In the eighth minute the horns drop back revealing layers of electric guitar and synth that were playing there all along, hidden beneath the scream- squeal-and-bark cacophony going on up front. It's unnerving, it's beautiful; unsettling and calming all at once, depending on your "distance"--and it goes on for 12 minutes before showing any signs of letting up! At times I'm thinking I'm in the Scottish highlands, at others hearing a mother's lullaby, and others the vicious sounds of a pack of wolves in pursuit of and ripping apart their prey. Amazing! As it does let up in the 14th minute--various instrument tracks being removed or whatever--it becomes monomaniacal in an Ornette Coleman kind of way. Hard to believe that crazed sax was there the whole time! I think it genius--though I'm not sure I'd ever play this for easy listening background music. (38/40)

Total Time 42:38

Now this is progressive rock! Ketil & Co. have definitely used all the tools to take there sound experiments into seldom-traveled territories. Bravo! Kudos! This won't be everyone's cup of tea, but you have to respect the vision and cajones it took to see this through from conception to release! I'm not sure which I prefer, the "standard" rendering that I first heard (three times) or the more humanely dissected soundstage of the "binaural" version. Both are worth the time for the different experiences. Compare and tell me which you prefer and why!

Five stars. While I think this album release a masterpiece of truly progressive rock music, I extend this precautionary warning: THIS MUSIC IS NOT FOR THE WIMPY, LIGHT--OF-HEART, OR GUTLESS; it will take curiosity, patience, courage, and and open-mind in order to appreciate. If this is not you, then I recommend staying far away. If you are at all curious about Ketil's intentions when creating this album, check out the excellent interview with him by Sander Roscoe Wolff at positive-feedback.com, Issue 104, August 14, 2019.

 Am Ende Der Welt by WESERBERGLAND album cover Studio Album, 2020
4.17 | 31 ratings

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Am Ende Der Welt
Weserbergland Krautrock

Review by TCat
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin

5 stars Weserbergland is made up of Norwegian progger Ketil Vestrum Einarsen who has been with the band "White Willow" for 20 years and has also worked with "Motorpsycho", "Jaga Jazzist" and others. In 2017, he released the first album "Sehr Kosmisch, Ganz Progisch" under this project name and that album, being a study in Krautrock born out of his love of his fathers record collection, landed the project under the Krautrock sub-genre.

In 2020, he gathered another set of musicians and created another album "Am Ende Der Welt". This album was aiming at a different kind of sound, and for that, he included Gaute Storsve on guitar, Jan Terje Augestad on piano, Maria Grigoryeva on strings and Molesom creating effects from turntables. These artists, along with himself manipulating sounds and etc on his computer, created this two track album, which is actually one track split into two tracks in order to place it on Bandcamp.

Listening to this wonderful and interesting melding of sound, the listener will notice that it is almost nothing like the traditional Krautrock at all. While it is true that Einarsen takes the basic idea of krautrock in creating a piece of art that follows the drone-like, seldom changing chord structure of the genre, he completely goes beyond any other boundaries of the genre, stepping freely into avant-garde and electronic territory and then surrounding everything with the organic sounds of traditional instruments. It takes the krautrock roots and transforms them into an almost alternative universe of "What if Krautrock ended up sounding more complex and sans melodies and constant rhythms?" The result is something almost completely unlike anything else.

The music starts off simple enough, seemingly naïve and almost ambient. But almost right away, there are some infusions of minimal electronics and effects that create this lovely soundscape. As the track continues with no real agenda or hurry of any kind, it transforms as it goes, until eventually you are in this drone-like atmosphere of otherworldly sounds and layers, all of the instruments contributing their usual sounds but being manipulated here and there by effects and etc. The music ventured away from anything resembling a melody as its real purpose is to explore sounds and combined layers of sound. The first part does rely on dynamics much more as it flows from walls of sound to softer and more intimate sections that all eventually build back up again. The second part of the track, however, is much more thick and heavy, most of it made up of several layers of improvised sounds that gel together by fluctuating around the same key. The center of the 2nd part is very dense and demanding, but listening closely, you will notice that each instrument has it's individual part as the effects continue to manipulate an growling and almost vocal sound along with it. During the last 4 minutes of the 2nd part, the sound all starts to deconstruct itself and Einarsen manipulates his flute by torturing the sounds that come out of it.

The translation of the title means at the end of the world. It really fits is you let your imagination wander. The album is dark and demanding, yet the instruments are bright. It is quite pleasant to listen to at times, but wanders off into extensive sections of noise and chaos. It all seems to hang on a very thin line between electronic avant-gard music and contemporary straight-out classical music. It is definitely not for everybody and those that love krautrock will probably be uneasy with the genre designation, but the basics of the genre are there, they are just overtaken by a modern impressionistic style. During the first half of the track, it was easily hinting at being a 5-star recording, but the long, noisy section that makes up most of the 2nd half brings it down a bit. However, I will still highly recommend this to someone that loves the avant-garde style with a lot of electronic manipulation paired with traditional sound. Definitely a very intriguing and interesting album, but very dense at times and difficult to penetrate. I can see it possibly getting better with more listens, but for now it is a 4.5 star album rounded down to 4 stars, but showing a lot of promise.

EDIT: Coming back to this album over and over again, I have come to appreciate it even more so much as to include it in my AOTY list for 2021. Honestly, now I don't know how I could have given it only 4 stars. It has grown on me immensely, so I changed my rating to 5 stars. This is one that takes time to be fully appreciated.

 Sehr Kosmisch, Ganz Progisch by WESERBERGLAND album cover Studio Album, 2017
3.89 | 36 ratings

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Sehr Kosmisch, Ganz Progisch
Weserbergland Krautrock

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

4 stars This is the project of Ketil Einarsen probably most known being part of WHITE WILLOW and JAGA JAZZIST but he's played on so many albums over the years. And he's enlisted many of those musicians he's played with to help him out here. Ketil wrote all the music and produced this recording, while playing flute, clarinet, keys, guitar and he adds programmed sounds. His buddy in WHITE WILLOW Jacob Holm-Lupo adds bass and guitar but he also mixed and mastered this album. Many of these musicians have played together. In fact five of these guys play in THE OPIUM CARTEL. Mattias Olsson from ANGLAGARD fame and more adds drums and he's very important to the sound here. Stephen Bennett adds keys and he's from HENRY FOOL, of course there's Lars Fredrik Froislie from WOBBLER adding synths and clavinet. How about Einer Baldursson the guitarist for GOSTA BERLINGS SAGA but also he's played with WHITE WILLOW and NECROMONKEY.

So a Krautrock album from Norway? Well Ketil was introduced to Krautrock in the 90's and fell in love with it. The band's name comes from a very beautiful area of Germany where the mountains and that river create gorgeous scenes. The music reminds me of HARMONIA, LA DUSSELDORF along with some CLUSTER and Eno influences I believe. Lots of higher pitched synths and keys but really the more I have listened to this the more intrigued and impressed I become. It's all instrumental but for some brief vocal melodies from Ketil. This is a homage to the 70's Krautrock scene. What an interesting album and there's so much talent on display here and so many connections.

"Tanzen Und Springen" gets us started and it's percussion and drums at first before a full sound arrives with guitar, keys and more. HARMONIA comes to mind here. It settles down after 2 minutes with bass and more before kicking back in. High pitched sounds after 3 1/2 minutes followed by an interesting sounding guitar solo. I do like that bass 5 minutes in. Drums and percussion like the intro follow after 5 1/2 minutes. A change before 7 minutes as spacey sounds dominate before some atmosphere adds depth. A full sound returns before 8 minutes with guitar, drums and much more. Percussion ends it.

"Das Trinklied Vom Jammer Der Erde" opens with experimental sounds. Interesting stuff as a beat starts to slowly build. Faint sitar can be heard eventually then some dark and melancholic synths arrive changing the mood. It turns louder after 2 1/2 minutes and the drums speed up as we hear mostly drums and synths here. It slows down a minute later before picking back up before 4 minutes. Lots of drums and synths once again. There's so much going on after 5 1/2 minutes. Incredible! Flute before 7 minutes with drums and synths. A calm a minute later as different sounds come and go until it kicks in with power. Nice. Check out that bass before 9 1/2 minutes, then those high pitched synths come to the fore. Love the drumming and guitar before 11 minutes. A dark and spacey calm takes over before 12 minutes and it becomes experimental with some avant Krautrock stuff to the end.

"Kunst Der Fuge" opens with light keys and spacey sounds. Drums and deep sounds join in just after a minute. It then picks up in pace, organ too. That drumming is relentless. Some brief vocal melodies after 3 1/2 minutes but the drums and synths continue to lead the way. Spacey synths 8 1/2 minutes in with the drums and bass standing out. The guitar comes in late then electronics ends it.

"Tristrant" is my favourite. Drums to start as spacey sounds join in. Bass and synths will arrive as well in this catchy soundscape. Man this reminds me of HARMONIA. Love the sound 2 minutes in, it's quite moving for some reason. A change before 3 minutes as it all stops and horns kick in. Back to that previous sound rather quickly though. More of that moving section before 5 minutes. The horns are back 7 minutes in. there's so much going on at this point but it will wind down to the end.

A solid 4 stars and an album that I'll get a lot of mileage out of given how unique it sounds. Well done!

 Sehr Kosmisch, Ganz Progisch by WESERBERGLAND album cover Studio Album, 2017
3.89 | 36 ratings

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Sehr Kosmisch, Ganz Progisch
Weserbergland Krautrock

Review by BrufordFreak
Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars When guitarist-producer Jacob HOLM-LUPO (WHITE WILLOW, THE OPIUM CARTEL), flutist-keyboard player Ketil Vestrum EINARSEN (WHITE WILLOW, JAGA JAZZIST, WOBBLER, MOTORPSYCHO), guitarist Gaute STORSVE (RHYS MARSH) and drummer extraordinaire Mattias OLSSON (ÄNGLAGÅRD, PINEFOREST CRUNCH, PÄR LINDH, WHITE WILLOW, THE OPIUM CARTEL, NECROMONKEY) get together to create an album of music in tribute to the Kosmische Music (Krautrock) artists of the 1970s you can bet it's going to be a good one. And it is! Each song on the album is like listening to a drum, keyboard, and guitar clinic. It's as if JAGA JAZZIST and CAN were merged--as if Lars and Martin HORNTVETH were collaborating with Jaki LIEBEZEIT in this, the 21st Century, with all of the gizmos and effects that give 21st Century musicians such versatility and variety. The bass is often keyboard or computer driven, but it works. Mattias' drumming blends computer technologies with the live kit sounds. The keyboard and guitar sounds and techniques used are all over the place. Overall, the music is derivative, yet experimental; it's rhythmic and yet avant; it's militaristic yet psychedelic. It's genius!

1. "Tanzen Und Springen" (9:44) the most melodically memorable song on the album but perhaps the least adventurous. Nice lead guitar work (especially the Todd Rundgren-like work in the ninth and tenth minutes). (9.25/10)

2. "Das Trinklied vom Jammer der Erde" (15:42) starts off very etheral/ambient before electronic drums and deep synth washes take over. Such a deeply engaging song--definitely one of the highlights of 2016/2017 for me. Even the "copied" Pink Floyd "Time" reverbed rototoms and the Holger Czukay-like radio samples in the last three minutes are wonderful inclusions. (9.75/10)

3. "Kunst Der Fuge" (12:02) AMAZING drums and awesome organ/keyboard work. (9.5/10)

4. "Tristrant" (8:48) with the sound base of a 1980s song by ABC (there's so much of that 80s retro sound going around, why not in Kosmische Musik?) Great synth, winds, and percussion work. I love the cacophonic buildup in the second half and then the slow release toward the end. (9.25/10)

Five stars; a masterpiece of progressive rock music and a brilliant shot in the arm for the resurgent Kosmische Musick scene.

 Sehr Kosmisch, Ganz Progisch by WESERBERGLAND album cover Studio Album, 2017
3.89 | 36 ratings

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Sehr Kosmisch, Ganz Progisch
Weserbergland Krautrock

Review by Windhawk
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars Norwegian band WESERBERGLAND is the creative vehicle of composer and musician Ketil Vestrum Einarsen, an active musician with a long resume, albeit of the kind often found in liner notes rather than in more prominent, bold letters on an album. With this new venture he steps up as a band leader for the first time, and this debut album was released in the spring if 2017 through Norwegian label Apollon Records.

While I do not find this CD to be a krautrock production in a purebred manner, I do suspect that the main audience for this album will be found in that crowd somewhere. Most likely those among this audience that enjoys an artist with a modern take on old traditions and the inclusion of elements also outside of this specific field. Otherwise many people with an affection for instrumental progressive rock in general should find this album to be a rewarding one I suspect.

 Sehr Kosmisch, Ganz Progisch by WESERBERGLAND album cover Studio Album, 2017
3.89 | 36 ratings

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Sehr Kosmisch, Ganz Progisch
Weserbergland Krautrock

Review by Rivertree
Special Collaborator PSIKE Team & Band Submissions

4 stars Due to uncounted contributions to diverse bands, respectively music projects, Ketil Vestrum Einarsen can be seen as a real key figure when it comes to the prog rock scene in Norway. Now recently he could form a unit that should implement his personal vision of a krautrock inspired progressive rock album. And so 'Sehr Kosmisch Ganz Progisch' appears with a German title of course, moreover this is pointing to an Harmonia song. Besides a bunch of guest musicians the bands core is completed by Gaute Storsve and White Willow's Jacob Holm-Lupo, both on guitar as well as bass, and finally drummer Mattias Olsson of Änglagård fame.

While residing at the Weserbergland border since my birth, this issue attracted my attention in particular, you bet! But, are there even any specific relations to notice concerning krautrock and this region in Germany? Oh yes, there are some. The initial Umsonst & Draussen festivals launched in Vlotho for example. And temporarily, similiar to Kraan residing in Wintrup for some time, the Weserbergland has been a retreat for Hans-Joachim Roedelius and Dieter Moebius above all, both representing the band Cluster. This probably might have helped to name the project just like that.

The album shows a very unique flow and flavour. Although some references are given, for me it doesn't sound like blatantly leaning at any well known kraut outfit, fortunately. Thus 'Sehr Kosmisch Ganz Progisch' evolves to a revelation per se for every prog fan, especially when looking for something new and innovative. The particular songs are skillfully weaving diverse music styles and ideas, deriving from different epochs, to something very open minded and experimental. Well, that is mirroring a krautrock spirit, isn't it? Furthermore Mattias Olsson's drum presence is motoric, very special in general.

The approach to combine kosmische electronics and rock music is fulfilled. And so somewhat in the vein of Harmonia, Cluster, Neu! the charming and relaxed Tanzen und Springen - originally an old folk traditional - appears in a cinematic, symphonic manner, decorated with some nice guitar work. Followed by the Gustav Mahler adapted Das Trinklied Vom Jammer Der Erde, starting very melancholic, concerning the mood reminding of Kaukasus, but then provided with a very strong and dynamic flow furthermore. Kunst Der Fuge is picking up the legacy of baroque composer Johann Sebstian Bach with industrial alike implemented drums, partially just like forced by a machine, partially very tricky - a great challenge.

Finally tending to some free formed jazz in between Tristrant spiritually seems longing back to the 12th Century after all, pointing to the love story of Tristan and Iseult, which has been nothing but an emotional rollercoaster affair to them. Musically this is realized in a rather dramatic manner. And no wonder, most of the guest musicians are involved in this song. While taking some episodes from the German cultural history as a template, Ketil Vestrum Einarsen has started something really unusual and precious here with 'Sehr Kosmisch Ganz Progisch'. Krautrock? What else? Maybe for some reason, but if, surely equipped with the prefix Neo.

Thanks to rivertree for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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