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Jazz Rock/Fusion • Germany

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PSI biography
PSI is a classic defined German band formed in 1975, consisting of five musicians:, Matthias Frey as keyboardist and vocalist, Volkmar Zimmermann as guitarist, Bodo Feldmann as bassist Robert Jahn as drummer, and Wilfried Junkler as saxophonist (also mentioned as percussionist). Frey is a more prominent artist, by solo works and collaborations in the genre, Trilok Gurtu or Wolfgang Tiepold being top personalities with whom he played or made music.

PSI's referential style is jazz-rock, typical for the German influence, drawing on the Bavarian School of Missus Beastly, Passport, Muniu, taking however the progressive rock angle through some Kraan-like methods. Keen on an artistically music and satisfied by their improvisation impulse, the band shows class and distinguishes memorably. Receptive to ideas and forms, but never estranged by their personal style, warm and comfortable in the end by music flow, by melody arrangement, by maturely shaped harmony and by an uplifting sensation. The routines of the band members (the implied musicianship, of course), their originality and spontaneity together with elaborated compositions make PSI a richly varied and captivating listening experience.

Other style impulses are around the corner, but it's mainly the impression of being diverse. Thus the guitar works seems to speak for themselves. Psi have also been, at first, a krautrock addition. Outside the German possible encouragement, there are small moments to make you think of deep rock.

Their "Horizonte" accomplishment stands as the sole movement and, even more, their exposed history. As little is known in words, music tells the story, creates the impression and gives the focus on the essential. Released in 1977, it summarizes a long and distinct tempo and gives the succinct, but complete sense of two and half years music effort. Solitary but strong, it affirms itself better than the sometimes too often vast but vague. In quality and in refinement, everything played within the album is of a natural mood and an un-shadowed pleasure.

Psi won't be the best word: one album, one expression, soft complexity in a singular fashionably sense, a rarity and an individuality. If there is however something to demonstrate regarding that, it's that music counts and that the particular can mean much more than expected - at least in a contrast with the popular, the enlarged, the characteristic. Strong tone, mature consciousness and interesting spur - that m...
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PSI discography

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

3.58 | 34 ratings

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PSI Reviews

Showing last 10 reviews only
 Horizonte by PSI album cover Studio Album, 1977
3.58 | 34 ratings

PSI Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

4 stars With the sheer amount of Jazz Rock and Jazz Fusion albums released in the late seventies it's almost like getting woken from a sleep when a gem like this shows up. I'm so much more into consistent records over ones that have a lot of highs and lows. I'm also a huge electric piano and bass fan and man both are incredible on here. A five piece band out of Germany this was their sole release from 1977 after playing and jamming for almost 3 years prior. The keyboardist is the sole composer here and we also get sax and guitar with the sax being the more prominent of the two. How about that album cover! I mean this should be on a classic Krautrock album shouldn't it? One of the more inventive and freaky pieces of art I've seen. I mentioned I like consistent albums, well when all the tracks are good with no weak links I would say this fits the bill. I can't even pick a top three, they're all so good. The bass player is credited with vocals but it's just a yell on the shortest piece on here. This is all instrumental. We get some spoken word samples to start "Breikopf" but other than that it's all about the amazing instrumental work. Love these compositions.
 Horizonte by PSI album cover Studio Album, 1977
3.58 | 34 ratings

PSI Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Speesh

5 stars With their sole output 'Horizonte', Psi managed to fit everything I love about jazz fusion into one concise package. Virtuosity, creativity, delicious improv, great songwriting, energy, progressive leanings, they all shine here. They have an interesting and unique sound that is distinctively theirs, but dynamic enough to create different atmospheres throughout the album.

Don't be fooled by the deceptively simple 2 minute opener. Don't get me wrong, its a solid fusion track, but only a sampler of sounds and songs to come. In Bettgerausche, the quiet reverberated guitar licks and melancholy accompanying saxophone lay the groundwork for a gorgeous progressive fusion track that sets the bar high for the rest of the album. And it never loses that high. The self titled track is certainly a highlight, opening with complex keyboard melodies that sonically dart around almost too quickly to keep up with. The rest of the track seamlessly entwines these melodies with jaw-dropping improv from the keys, guitar, and sax player.

Also worth mentioning is the virtuosity of the musicians here, especially the keyboard playing of Mathias Fray. Maybe I'm a bit biased being a keys player myself and fully realizing how far his talents reach, but nonetheless he surprised me time and time again throughout each track. Certainly not to understate the efforts of the other musicians, the guitar playing is as fast as it is inspired, and the saxophone adds a lot of great sound to the band. Needless to say the rhythm section does its job, and very well at that. Their chops match the often quirky music exceptionally well.

Tough to recommend anything quite like this, as it is very unique music. Lotus' two albums come close, though this has more of an easy-listening vibe to it. Perhaps a better known comparison would be Brand X. It reminds me of a quirkier 'Unorthodox Behavior' at times, and the jazzy vibe is similar.

All in all it is one of the best fusion albums I've discovered here, and I'll recommend it in a heartbeat to anyone with an interest in the genre.

 Horizonte by PSI album cover Studio Album, 1977
3.58 | 34 ratings

PSI Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Easy Livin
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin

2 stars You've probably heard it before. . . while checking in

This release from 1977 is German band PSI's only legacy in terms of albums. Their classification in the jazz rock sub-genre is entirely appropriate, although the jazz side of their music is much more pronounced than the rock. There are no thundering rhythms or screaming horns here, this is lounge jazz pure and simple. It is the sort of music for whiling away a few hours in soft romantic lighting, with nothing much to do.

The music is roughly evenly spilt between the sax playing of the wonderfully named Wilfried Kunkler, the mainly funky electric piano or keyboard player Mathias Frey, and the jazz guitar of Volkmar Zimmermann.

The best track for me by some way is the 8 minute "Breikopf", where the band actually infuse a degree of energy into the music. Here, we border on the rock side of jazz, but never actually take that leap of faith across the wall.

Listening to this album of what is unquestionably pure jazz, it does lead me to ponder where the boundary between prog and jazz actually lies. For me, while this album may contain elements used in prog, there is nothing which is actually prog here at all. That is not to say that prog fans will not enjoy it. Those who enjoy the looser sounds of bands such as Brand X and perhaps Soft Machine may well find this to their liking.

For the rest of us, the music here is inoffensive and pleasant. The musicianship is clearly highly competent, something which shines through even though the album was recorded and mixed in one week. It is in the end though unchallenging and far from attention grabbing. This is the sort of music you will hear in the background in a hotel lobby.

Thanks to ProgLucky for the artist addition.

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