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Indo-Prog/Raga Rock • Germany

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Langsyne biography
Langsyne is a German trio which released one album in its whole career. Self titled, their first only effort was recorded in 1976. The music is a consistent mixture between folk rock and eastern influences with lot of acoustic guitar, sitar elements. The presence of the electric organ provides to the relative "pastoral" and "ethnic" mood a spacey felt. Advanced instrumental improvisations & interludes are combined with a couple of structured songs with English lyrics. This experimental, peaceful folk rock can sometimes resonates with early kraut folk bands as Witthuser & Westrupp, Hoelderlin, and Broselmaschine. This is in most part an acoustic, contemplative journey deliberately orientated to additional "world" instruments, musical arrangements and imaginary inspired by the eastern, India "raga"universe.

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3.45 | 20 ratings
5.00 | 1 ratings
Langsyne 2

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Showing last 10 reviews only
 Lang'syne by LANGSYNE album cover Studio Album, 1976
3.45 | 20 ratings

Langsyne Indo-Prog/Raga Rock

Review by Matti
Prog Reviewer

4 stars The German folk trio LANGSYNE from Wuppertal area never got support from record companies during their eight years of activity, but their self-budgeted sole album has become a valuable collector's item and has seen numerous re-releases on vinyl and CD. I was happy to receive the Garden of Delights edition with 15 (!) bonus tracks and an exhausting article. Not that I'd ever care to read all details about the various re-releases. I'm surprisingly only the third reviewer.

I couldn't invent a better name than the Scottish word for "long since" for this group, who doesn't sound German at all. Indo-Prog / Raga-Rock is a bit misleading category, as this is primarily Medieval / Renaissance -inspired folk. GRYPHON is mentioned as the trio's mutual idol, but the music comes closer to AMAZING BLONDEL, slightly seasoned with INCREDIBLE STRING BAND's Indo-flavoured psychedelia. Ethnic instruments such as psalter, sitar or koto are used to a small degree. Multiple acoustic guitars form the spine, even flute, organ and percussion are often put aside.

Perhaps the main album's long tracks are the clearest highlights in their melancholic and nearly mystic atmosphere. I prefer the earthly, unspectacular vocals and vocal harmonies over the oversweetness of Blondel. One guy occasionally resembles distantly Neil Young. Well, thankfully only a little.

Also the luxurious bonuses have a very good sound quality. Strangely the text doesn't seem to tell anything about them. They're much shorter in average: they take the same 39-minute space as the seven album tracks. They are less atavistic, more contemporary sounding songs and instrumentals. Instead of tasting like inferior bonus material as usual, they practically from a whole decent folk album of their own. A very worthy release to all friends of acoustic folk-rock and especially of the aforementioned British bands.

 Lang'syne by LANGSYNE album cover Studio Album, 1976
3.45 | 20 ratings

Langsyne Indo-Prog/Raga Rock

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

2 stars Langsyne came from Bramen, near Wuppertal, and were formed in 1969, when Egbert Froese met Ulrich Naehle.They were both fond of Renaissance Music and classic Prog Folk acts such as Gryphon and Incredible String Band.They begun jamming together, while they were geeting deep into 70's Prog Rock and religion cultures such as Budhism.They had to break up around 1971 for couple of years to fullfill their military service and got back in 1973 more focused and tight than ever.Around mid-70's they met Matthias Mertler, who soon became the third regular member of Langsyne.In 1976 they recorded pieces of their six year history at the studio of their friend Hartmut Oberhoff, by the time all members had become accomplished multi-instrumentalists and handled a nice bunch of different instruments.They managed to release it via Duesselton, an obscure label specialized in German Schlager, but the album was pressed in about 200 copies.

The album swirled worldwide as a rare German Prog Folk obscurity, but I fail to locate the true progressive tendencies of the album.This is actually a mystic Psych/Folk work with a deeply esoteric mood, built around acoustic instrumentation and soft singing lines.The opening ''Medina'' sounds interesting, a good mix of acoustic Folk with laid-back keyboards and ancient flutes,but the rest of the album is a trippy Folk effort with dreamy, sophisticated, psychedelic soundscapes, much in a loose mood with stretched passages and use of pre-recorded effects, which are propably natural sounds.Vey hypnotic material with traditional instruments like banjo, harp, sitar, flute and percussion interrupted by monotonous keyboard tones.I do not see the reason why this should be considered as a lost and hidden album of the genre.There are certain African/Indian influences with the sitar and banjo occasionally creating imaginery soundscapes of the past and the vocals are nice, but the lack of energy, the rather minimalistic textures and the outdated sound actually make Langsyne sound pretty pale.

Froese and Naehle tried to resurrect the band a few times after its demise in 1977 and they teamed up briefly in 1992, when this album was re-released on Lost Pipedreams.Together they recorded a handful of new pieces, 15 short ones made it to the Garden of Delights reissue many years later.The stylle follows more or less the same style, mainly acoustic Folk with lots of acoustic tunes, maybe with an updated sound, even flirting with the works of MIKE OLDFIELD or RICCARDO ZAPPA at moments.

Not a really great effort.This is acidic Psych/Folk with an unfocused direction, mainly structured to be performed with nice vocals and trippy orientations, but lacking the actual depth.Recommended only to fans of the style.

 Lang'syne by LANGSYNE album cover Studio Album, 1976
3.45 | 20 ratings

Langsyne Indo-Prog/Raga Rock

Review by Sean Trane
Special Collaborator Prog Folk

4 stars Lang'syne 's sole album is one of the top 10 folk-prog album out of Germany along with Holderlin's Traum, Emtidi , Borselmachine , Ougenmweide , Carol Of Harvest and a few more. Unlike most German folk prog, it is sung in English which rather sad but the qualty of the songs as well as the musicianship more than makes up for.

The music is for the most part acoustic but sometinmes full-blown electric but giving more of a British Isles feel. Moonkyte and early Fairport Convention come to mind when this album is playing. Although quite an enjoyable spin , this was hardly groundbreaking, though as it got released in 76 and was sort of fighting an Arriere-Guarde battle.

This album has been released in Cd format on Lost Pipe Dream label in 92.

Thanks to Philippe Blache for the artist addition. and to NotAProghead for the last updates

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