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EMBRYO

Jazz Rock/Fusion • Germany


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Embryo picture
Embryo biography
EMBRYO (not to be confused with Italian and Swedish death metal bands of the same name) are a musical collective from Munich who, lead by former R&B and jazz organist Christian Burchard, boast the participation of some 400+ musicians since their beginnings in 1970. Over the years, the band went from classic space rock to jazz fusion, then Burchard soon started travelling the world and recording LPs with African bands and Middle Eastern musicians. They are still going strong and their 30 or so albums cover a wide spectrum of styles, but the constant remains a blend of Krautrock, fusion and ethnic music.

Of particular interest to progsters are four of their earlier albums: "Rache" (heavy, JETHRO TULL inspired), "Steig Aus" (for some warmer, jazzy prog), "Father, Son and Holy Ghost" (lots of ethnic influences) and "We Keep On" (a convincing blend of rock, ethnic and jazz). For fans who have already acquired the taste, "Zack Glück" ('80) is pleasantly quirky and more focussed than the rest of their repertoire; "Reise" ('79) is noteworthy for some interesting Indian fusion tracks; and "Opal" ('70), their very first, is considered their psychedelic masterpiece. For some samplers of more recent material, the album "Ni Hau" ('96), featuring music from China and Mongolia, and the double live cd "Istanboul-Casablanca - Tour 98" are particularly recommended.

If you're into Krautrock and are a wee bit curious to see what a jazzy FAUST, AMON DÜÜL II or GURU GURU sounds like, you could start with any of the first four albums mentioned above.

: : : Lise (HIBOU), CANADA : : :

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EMBRYO discography


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

3.78 | 76 ratings
Opal
1970
4.07 | 82 ratings
Embryo's Rache
1971
3.67 | 61 ratings
Father, Son And Holy Ghosts
1972
3.89 | 92 ratings
Steig Aus [also released as: This Is Embryo]
1973
4.03 | 77 ratings
Rocksession
1973
4.06 | 76 ratings
We Keep On
1973
2.88 | 26 ratings
Surfin'
1975
2.81 | 25 ratings
Bad Heads and Bad Cats
1976
2.67 | 23 ratings
Apo-Calypso
1977
4.17 | 50 ratings
Embryo's Reise
1979
3.50 | 8 ratings
La Blama sparozzi - Zwischenzonen
1982
3.73 | 16 ratings
Zack Glück
1984
4.00 | 6 ratings
Embryo & Yoruba Dun Dun Orchestra
1985
3.67 | 6 ratings
Africa
1987
3.38 | 8 ratings
Turn Peace
1989
4.00 | 8 ratings
Ibn Battuta
1994
3.20 | 11 ratings
Ni Hau
1996
3.89 | 10 ratings
Invisible Documents
1999
4.00 | 4 ratings
Freedom In Music
2008
4.60 | 5 ratings
It Do
2016
5.00 | 3 ratings
Auf Auf
2021

EMBRYO Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.05 | 11 ratings
Live Embryo
1977
2.91 | 10 ratings
Life - Karnataka College of Percussion
1980
4.00 | 3 ratings
Live In Berlin
1998
4.75 | 4 ratings
Istanbul-Casablanca - Tour 98
1999
3.04 | 5 ratings
One Night At The Joan Miró Foundation
1999
2.89 | 10 ratings
For Eva
1999
4.40 | 5 ratings
2000 Live Vol. 1
2000
4.00 | 6 ratings
2001 Live Vol. 1
2001
4.00 | 3 ratings
Hallo Mik - Live recordings 2002-2003
2003
3.99 | 17 ratings
Bremen 1971
2003
3.21 | 5 ratings
Live Im Wendland
2007
3.75 | 4 ratings
Live At Burg Herzberg Festival 2007
2008
4.00 | 10 ratings
Wiesbaden 1972
2008
4.00 | 1 ratings
Live Behind the Green Door
2020

EMBRYO Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

EMBRYO Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.00 | 2 ratings
Classic German Rock Scene - Embryo
1975
4.00 | 2 ratings
Embryo - Anthology
1980

EMBRYO Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

4.00 | 1 ratings
Message From Era Ora
2013
4.00 | 1 ratings
Una Gira Per Catalunya
2014
4.00 | 1 ratings
Eternal Forces
2014

EMBRYO Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Auf Auf by EMBRYO album cover Studio Album, 2021
5.00 | 3 ratings

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Auf Auf
Embryo Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Progfan97402
Prog Reviewer

5 stars Back in 2018 I heard about the unfortunate passing of Christian Burchard. What I didn't realize was his daughter Marja Burchard has taken over the Embryo name, but she has and very much following in her father's footsteps, playing drums, vibraphone, santur (Iranian dulcimer), and keyboards, while having additional drummers when her hands are too full. At least she didn't name it Embryo 2.0 as that would make me cringe as it's been too trendy to throw in that "2.0" in everything, like bands with new generations of band members, cities that changed drastically in the last 20-40 years, etc. (people would refer to Portland, Oregon as portrayed in the TV series Portlandia as Portland 2.0), when it used to be using that "2.0" or similar numbering was for computer software revision (ie. Atari DOS 2.0, Windows 2.0, etc.). Can Marja succeed in continuing her father's legacy in Embryo? Definitely so! Although I'm hardly familiar with everything Embryo has done, I do have Rache, Father, Son and Holy Ghosts, Steig Aus, and We Keep On, and those are amazing albums, with probably Steig Aus being my all-time favorite. It's unbelievable to say that Auf Auf actually ranks with the best of those! It has a very serious retro feel to the point you'd swear this was recorded in the 1970s but was actually recorded during COVID lockdown. This album is truly a wonderful combination of jazz fusion, prog, Krautrock, and world music, in this case Middle Eastern and music styles from Afghanistan. Helps that Moroccan and Afghan musicians are included playing all sorts of obscure instruments including a Turkish stringed instrument called a cümbüş (which features a banjo-like body). Also we have none other than Embryo veteran Roman Bunka to play oud. "Besh" is the opening pieces and has a rather jazzy Middle Eastern feel to it, with piano, and no doubt Roman's oud playing to give it that Middle Eastern feel. "Yul Mala" features some ethnic vocals, but by and large a jazzy piece, in fact a good portion of this album during its jazzy moments leans more towards fusion with electric piano and saxophone dominating. The title track is also a truly wonderful jazzy piece with some truly wild moments that just blow me away. "Baran" is in a motif common to Afghanistan, but to be honest I'm not so familiar with the music styles of that area, but in this recording it sounds very Middle Eastern to my ears. I also love those nice synths that are also used. At 16 minutes is "Januar" and it's a truly wonderful fusion and world music combination complete with santur and cümbüş. Parts of this piece also has a bit of a Canterbury feel in the organ and electric piano department, and the end part with that electric piano riff reminds me a bit of Soft Machine. Then it ends with "Alphorn Prayer". I was suspicious with such a title hoping it wouldn't be polka with alphorn, thankfully far from it, Instead the alphorn is used in an ethereal meditative manner with a continuous drone, which I'm sure was done by circular breathing similar to a didgeridoo. It reminds me of an Indian raga but with the alphorn drone instead of tambura. There's some rather eastern sounding flute creeping in before it veers into more avant garde jazz territory with horns and piano. I can't believe it! Daughter of founding member of Embryo steps in and with the help of various musicians creates a truly amazing masterpiece every bit as good as what they did in the 1970s! While Christian is no longer with us, we all know he should proud of his daughter!
 Zack Glück  by EMBRYO album cover Studio Album, 1984
3.73 | 16 ratings

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Zack Glück
Embryo Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

4 stars EMBRYO started their careers with six straight amazing albums. This was followed by three records from 1975-1977 which I don't own then "Embryo's Reise" from 1979 which I have but not the 1982 album that follows it which brings us to this 1984 album called "Zack Gluck". While this record sounds totally different from the first six albums I would feel comfortable including this with them as my top seven EMBRYO studio albums. This is World music but man I feel they absolutely nailed it which I didn't feel with "Embryo's Reise" which many name as their favourite EMBRYO album. Yes we have Bunka, Burchard, Fischer and Hofmann on here thankfully plus a few others. This was recorded in February and March of 1984.

For me the only misstep is the chorus on "Montespertoli" which is lame in my opinion but man not bad considering I'm not a big World music fan. I have to say it helps that these guys are players and obviously really good composers. Some dulcimer and tavil on the opener but the violin leads the way as we also get beats and bass. "Dage Django" is pretty catchy and when the guitar arrives it really adds to the sound. Spacey flute on the title track but before 1 1/2 minutes it starts to get intense. Some passionate vocal expressions and violin. My favourite right there. That fourth track just seems to get better as it plays out ending with the guitar lighting it up. I really enjoy that seventh track especially the mixture of the guitar with the ethnic sounds. Violin late and I really dig Hofmann's violin work on here along with his sax and flute work.

4 stars is a no brainer for me and this really was a pleasant surprise and reveals just how talented this band was no matter the style they play.

 Ni Hau by EMBRYO album cover Studio Album, 1996
3.20 | 11 ratings

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Ni Hau
Embryo Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

3 stars EMBRYO always seemed to be interested in adding that ethnic vibe to their music and eventually their music would become full on World Music. We're talking Indian, African and Oriental mostly and the latter is on display here on this 1996 release. Up to 20 musicians are featured here as we get 12 tracks over 72 plus minutes. Christian Burchard and Roman Bunka are listed here but almost all of the names I don't recognize. Some call this Chinese Fusion and the band had been working with Chinese musicians for 6 years at this point. Man so many strange sounding instruments here but this is highly melodic. "Ni Hau" means "You good" in Chinese, it's like is saying hello to one another. I am not surprised Christian is into Chinese music considering his expertise in vibes, marimbas and percussions.

World Music has never been an interest to me but there are always exceptions it's just this isn't one of them(haha). I would refer you to Guldbamsen's excellent and detailed review for an idea of what is going on here. The album opens with this Indian talking quickly. We get so much percussion sounds and stringed sounds especially on this album. Too long for my tastes as well but overall it's hard not to be impressed at how legit this is. One of the band members is from China and an expert of sorts on Chinese instruments and music.

3 stars is all this is worth to your truly but if your into those Oriental sounds along with some Indian modes you need to check this out.

 Live Behind the Green Door by EMBRYO album cover Live, 2020
4.00 | 1 ratings

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Live Behind the Green Door
Embryo Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Rivertree
Special Collaborator PSIKE Team & Band Submissions

— First review of this album —
4 stars This is a reduced core trio acting here. When it comes to the development and presentation of progressive music in general, the band EMBRYO must be filed under the term 'big players' for sure, having a huge lifeline. One of the pioneers who were successfully adapting ethno folk influences from Middle East, Africa and Asia to their sound very early for example. Fairly different stuff has been recorded under this moniker during many decades up to now, while they are juggling with styles like krautrock, psychedelic, fusion, jazz rock, ethno folk and world music. Depends on general contemporary trends, and is of course also influenced by the respective musicians involved. Since some time Marja Burchard has taken EMBRYO's spirtual and musical lead, the daughter of Christian, who has been band co-founder in 1969. She could develop into a versatile multi-instrumentalist (who wonders?), and aims to continue the band's story, based on her own varianted approach.

Experiencing the band live has been and still is something special. Do not repeat yourself is one motto. I could attend and follow a lot of band appearances in the 1970's, mostly featuring sprawling jazz rock attitude, including lead guitarist Roman Bunka for example. Last year then I saw them playing in a local church, a completely different, more intimate, ethno and avantgarde tinged gig with Marja and Marcel 'Maasl' Maier, the second musician in the line up concerning this recordings. He's predominantly providing the electric bass, also known as a member of the related band Karaba, coming from Munich too. The third member then is drummer Sebastian Wolfgruber, who has substituted Jakob Thun some time ago. The instrumentation gives a little clue, what kind of music we can expect. This would mainly be jazz rock on this occasion, garnered with proper kraut and psychedelic appeal.

It was a livestream session which should develop in such an inspired manner that they decided to publish some best-of excerpts put together on vinyl length via Permakultur Schallplatten. The session is streamable on youtube in full length by the way (roundabout 100 minutes). Maybe the cherry on the cake would be a comfortable electric guitar accompaniment. But I don't want to complain, there's no need really. Never have noted Marja playing the electric piano and organ that much and that engaged. Awesome! And then she also takes the trombone, vibraphone or santur in between, if appropriate. Generally speaking bass and drums are the lively backbone for Marja's wizzardness. Side B, which practically is Three Tongues On Iron, turns out to be a real trendsetter, when it comes to this recommended band snapshot.

 Steig Aus [also released as: This Is Embryo] by EMBRYO album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.89 | 92 ratings

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Steig Aus [also released as: This Is Embryo]
Embryo Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars The product of a series of intense studio sessions from 1971 to 1972 which also yielded the material released as Rocksession, this finds Embryo getting so deep into their Krautrock-tinged mashup of jazz fusion and world music that United Artists simply didn't know what to make of it - resulting in the album eventually emerging on the Brain label. With Mal Waldron contributing parts here and there on piano, the album is a generation-bridging affair which (via Radio Marrakesch) begins with Middle Eastern devotional music and ends up on the fringes of outer space. Not something I expect to put on heavy rotation, but a pretty decent effort in its own right.
 Steig Aus [also released as: This Is Embryo] by EMBRYO album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.89 | 92 ratings

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Steig Aus [also released as: This Is Embryo]
Embryo Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Progfan97402
Prog Reviewer

5 stars This is probably the finest album Embryo had ever done. As usual, it's really difficult to keep track who was in this group, but here it's Christian Burchard, as usual, with Mal Waldron, Jimmy Jackson, and others. The album starts off with "Radio Marrakesch/Orient Express". It starts with the call of a muezzin from a mosque in Marrakech (probably the Koutoubia mosque as it's the largest mosque in the city), it clearly came from a field recording. Then some incredible use of a Turkish stringed instrument called the Saz (I thought it was an oud, but the strings sounded far too metallic to be an oud), but then the Saz gives way to much more western jamming with Mal Waldron giving us electric piano (sounds like a Farfisa) and Jimmy Jackson giving some Mellotron from time to time. "Dreaming Girls" is a great remake of "Forgotten Sea" from Father, Son and Holy Ghosts. It's completely recognizable from the original, but I really love the added on vibraphone. Then there's "Call". It's a multi-suite movement, but you really can't tell. Basically another killer jam with Jimmy Jackson sticking in Mellotron from time to time, without a single moment that'll bore you, makes you wished the Grateful Dead would give out such solid jams consistently. The only real Eastern influence in the music was the "Radio Marrakesch" beginning with the call of a muezzin and the use of Saz, other than that's it's pretty much straight up Western prog with great jamming all around. This album is real solid and totally blows me away every time I hear it. Oh, by the way, it's all instrumental, which is also a plus (I love Rache, but those vocals and badly written lyrics only prove how much these guys are much better at instrumentals). This album is a total must have and totally worthy of five stars!
 Opal by EMBRYO album cover Studio Album, 1970
3.78 | 76 ratings

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Opal
Embryo Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams

4 stars Out of all the bands that emerged out of Germany from the big bang of progressive rock developing during the late 1960s, EMBRYO has sustained itself throughout the decades into the modern day mostly due to its being a musical collective that has seen over 400 members come and go throughout the years with Christian Burchard serving as the founder and driving force, however much of this longevity also comes from it having emerged as one of the most creative and versatile bands that has been filed under the umbrella term Krautrock. While that label more often than not connotes some sort of psychedelic mind bending qualities (Amon Duul II, Exmagma, Guru Guru) prevalent in the music, it also covers the heavier blues oriented rock bands with progressive touches (Birth Control, Electric Sandwich), the more electronic oriented artists with rock elements (Kraftwerk, Neu!) as well as the jazz-fusion crowds such as Eiliff, Brainstorm and Out Of Focus.

EMBRYO stood out in that it pretty much tackled all of the above with not only a heavy emphasis on jazz-rock but also managed to slip in healthy doses of 60s infused psychedelia, traces of blues oriented rock, electronic atmospheric ambience and went even further by tackling a wide variety of the world music stock by incorporating many styles of ethnic music. The tale of Munich based EMBRYO actually had its origins as far back as the mid-1950s when multi-instrumentalist Christian Burchard began his eclectic musical origins at the tender age of 10 after meeting his childhood friend percussionist Dieter Serfas. Eventually they formed their first band Contemporary Trio in 1964 and when the two parted ways, Burchard would finally create his dream band EMBRYO in 1969 as he was riding the wave of the progressive rock trends that were emerging at breakneck speed. The initial lineup consisted of Burchard (drums, vocals), Ralph Fischer (bass, vocals), Edgar Hofmann (saxophone, flute, percussion) and John Kelly (guitar, vocals). In addition to these core musicians there are also four guest musicians playing cello as well as backing vocals.

The original band arrangement wouldn't last long and would only play together on this debut album OPAL, which gives album #1 a very unique overall sound in the vast canon of EMBRYO's eclectic output. Even right from the start EMBRYO stood out in the pack of the Krautrock scene with a keen musical vision already polished to near perfection as they delivered tight jazz-rock compositions with African percussive drive and plenty of throwbacks to the most kosmsiche representations of the German psychedelic scene. OPAL deftly straddles the line between the psychedelic aspects of Amon Duul II type of Krautrock with that same heavy bass driven groove as heard on their first two albums "Phallus Dei" and "Yeti," yet incorporates a seriously fierce delivery of not only post-bop driven jazz but also the more avant-garde sax frenzied touches ("Glockenspiel") of what Ornette Coleman created all throughout the 60s. The tracks keep a fairly busy high-powered tempo with nice chord changes and instrumental tightness that was above average for many bands of the era in the Krautrock world.

While most tracks are instrumental there are brief moments of vocals (in English) such as on the opening title track but are usually semi-spoken in dramatic poetic prose rather than bursting into fully-fledged singing but soulful outbursts of singing do occur ("You Don't Know What's Happening" for example.) Needless to say, the vocals are not the strong point and hint to a clear Can connection however the music itself is much more dynamically performed with a strong emphasis on a heavy busy groove with lots of jazzy touches alongside various ethnic influences ranging from the African percussive drive to the rather Middle Eastern touches on the closer "People From Out The Space." While EMBRYO would go on to develop even more sophisticated albums and become one of the most revered and well known of the German bands that outlasted the majority of its contemporaries, this first offering that finds itself more rooted in the 60s heavy psych scene is quite the treat itself as there are no weak tracks but rather one grooviliscious ethnic jazz jam after another. While this seems to be the more neglected origins of EMBRYO's nascency, i find this one to be quite exciting.

 Wiesbaden 1972 by EMBRYO album cover Live, 2008
4.00 | 10 ratings

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Wiesbaden 1972
Embryo Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

4 stars This is an archival live document of EMBRYO playing in Wiesbaden back in 1972 but not released until 2008. We get the legendary duo of Roman Bunka and Christian Burchard, the latter I just found out passed away a month ago sadly. Dieter Miekautsch plays electric piano mostly. He played as well with MISSING LINK and MISSUS BEASTLY. Hansi Fischer from XHOL CARAVAN and XHOL plays sax on that last 21 minute plus track. Klaus Gotzner adds percussion he would go on to play drums in TON STEINE SCHERBEN. It was strange reading all these song titles and not recognizing them but Uwe points out in his excellent review that some of these songs and sections would appear later under different names. By the way, if you don't have EMBRYO's first six studio albums you need to rectify that, all classics. Happy birthday Uwe!

"Ouverture Marimbasaz" is as the title suggests filled with lots of marimba from drummer Burchard along with saz from guitarist Bunka. A very ethnic sounding track that blends into "Sunrising" where the saz and marimba continue. Drums arrive around 3 1/2 minutes as they continue to jam. Like SOFT MACHINE they go from one song to the next in this live setting without missing a beat. It blends into "Dieter Plays" where we get guitar after 2 minutes as the drums pound away, bass too then keyboards from Dieter. So the first three tracks really aren't my thing but man these last four songs are very much my thing.

"Space To No Place To Go" features drums and guitar leading the way making this more my thing. I like that sound a minute in with bass and drums as the guitar solos over top. Really good! Check out that guitar 2 minutes in, oh my! A calm after 3 minutes with guitar expressions and atmosphere. The bass starts to come to the fore. Some spoken words before 5 1/2 minutes and then it kicks in again before 6 minutes, vocals too. The guitar lights it up 6 1/2 minutes in.

"Andalucia Si" continues with the bass, guitar and drums as keys join in quickly. This sounds amazing. It settles after 2 1/2 minutes with some impressive guitar. Some vocals then it starts to build. So good! A jazzy section that I recognize takes over after 4 minutes. Not worthy as we get more vocals. Guitar to the fore 5 1/2 minutes in. Love this relaxed jazzy sound, reminds me of NUCLEUS.

"Master Plan Of Pharoa" features bass and drums with guitar playing over top. The guitar actually reminds me of Carlos Santana here. And man that guitar really steals the show on this 9 1/2 minute track. Keyboards before 2 1/2 minutes as the guitar steps aside. Vocals after 3 1/2 minutes and they will come and go. Love that guitar 7 minutes in and there's a jazzy section a minute later.

"Pygmaen Uberall/ Back From Africa" ends the album with a 21 plus minute tour de force. Bass, percussion, drums and more to start. Guitar just before a minute and it will impress as this plays out. Sax from Hansi arrives before 7 minutes and continues until 9 minutes in when the guitar takes over. Sax is back before 11 minutes then we get drums only after 11 1/2 minutes then bass and more as it builds. The guitar really shines the rest of the way, man Roman has some skills. Some fuzz 19 minutes in as it settles back. Some vocals after 20 minutes as it comes to a close.

A really excellent archival release as we get both their World Music leanings along with classic sounding EMBRYO. While I prefer the latter by far this is a really solid album. And it's pretty cool to get all these songs I haven't heard before but there is some familiarity regardless.

 Embryo's Reise by EMBRYO album cover Studio Album, 1979
4.17 | 50 ratings

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Embryo's Reise
Embryo Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Modrigue
Prog Reviewer

5 stars The ultimate prog rock journey to Asia

"Reise" is the German word for "Travel", and that's exactly what the album has to offer here: a genuine musical journey... to the East. After the band's average jazz/rock/world releases during the second half of the 70's (last good album being 1973's "We Keep On"), EMBRYO's leader Christian Burchard decided to save his baby and brought with him the other members for a long trip, from Middle-East to India. During their journey, they met various local musicians, played jam sessions and recorded tracks in their company.

Instead of the band's initial jazz/rock/ethnic approach, the music is clearly oriented towards middle-eastern, oriental and Indian styles this time. Most compositions combine these genres with progressive rock (like the great "Kurdistan" and "Farid"), or even punk ("Eis Ist, Wie's Ist"), while others are fully oriental (like the Indian "Chan Delawar Khan" and "Rog de Quadamuna Achna"). As you may expect, the palette of instruments used is very large. The result is astonishing and mesmerizing. This fusion of musical genres was quite original at the time. Furthermore, there are no weak on the record. Such a little treasure will make you travel from desert sands to ancient Asian temples, through mystical lands.

This 1979 opus was the first double album of the band. However, the most common released version nowadays is the single CD edition, which does not include the songs "Paki Funk", "Maharaj" and "Lassie, Lassie", but this does not matter much.

"Embryo's Reise" is one of the finest examples of "world music", presenting a genuine and unique crossing of Occidental and Eastern genres. Even 40 years after, such mastery in mixing these musical ingredients from opposite origins remains still rare. Highly recommended if you enjoy middle-eastern and Indian music! Simply one of the best albums from EMBRYO!

 Opal by EMBRYO album cover Studio Album, 1970
3.78 | 76 ratings

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Opal
Embryo Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Igor91

4 stars The German band Embryo is labeled Jazz rock/fusion here on PA, and based on their total output, that label is pretty accurate. However, Embryo's debut, "Opal," is the lone true Krautrock album of the band's career. That's not to say that none of their other works contain elements of Krautrock, but "Opal" is by far the furthest they went in that direction. Each song is jazzy, but the Krautrock vibe is dominant here. Lots of cool sax and violin are in the mix, and the splendid guitar work of John Kelly (also of Ten Years After fame) really gives the tunes a good heaping of late 60's Anglo-American psychedelic rock influence, but filtered through the West German sensibilities of the time. While mostly instrumental, the first two tracks, "Opal," and "You don't know what's Happening" both include the unique singing styles that are a bit of an acquired taste, and "End of Soul" has cool, quirky, spoken word parts that are quite humorous. I have the Materiali Sonori CD version of this, and it includes 2 bonus tracks that are basically endless jazzy noodling (clocking in at about 30 minutes) that don't offer much additional substance to the album, at least in my opinion anyway. All in all, a wondrous, jazz-tinged, psychedelic/Krautrock, opus that I highly recommend to anyone who can appreciate that eccentric genre that came out of West Germany in the late 60's/early 70's. 4 stars.
Thanks to ProgLucky for the artist addition. and to easy livin for the last updates

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