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Uli Trepte biography
Spacebox is the solo project of Uli Trepte (Guru Guru bass player, also member of early Neu! and Faust). Two albums have been released; "spacebox" (1979) with Geoff Leigh and Catherine Williams as guests and "Kick Up" (1984)as a collective : it features an electric, eclectic, primitive "jazzy" rock "trip". These intriguing "obscure" German improvisations have recently been reissued by the Japanese label "Captain trip".

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Portrait by TREPTE, ULI (2009-11-27)Portrait by TREPTE, ULI (2009-11-27)
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2.42 | 6 ratings
3.00 | 4 ratings
Spacebox - Kick Up

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Showing last 10 reviews only
 Spacebox by TREPTE, ULI album cover Studio Album, 1979
2.42 | 6 ratings

Uli Trepte Krautrock

Review by Dobermensch
Prog Reviewer

1 stars A dreadfully disappointing album. For 1979 the production values are abominable considering Uli Trepte had a bit of a name for himself at that point through his involvement with 'Guru Guru'.

This is an incredibly dreary, one dimensional album that does nothing for me at all.

Raw, basic guitars, drums and a flute are pretty much all you'll get while listening to this slate grey dirge. The vocals by Trepte do nothing to enhance proceedings - he sounds like he's singing inside a cardboard box and I find it increasingly difficult to continue listening to this album lest my ears start to bleed.

Blimey!, this is SO incredibly redundant as a work of art it could reduce a man to tears.

 Spacebox by TREPTE, ULI album cover Studio Album, 1979
2.42 | 6 ratings

Uli Trepte Krautrock

Review by Ricochet
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars A seminal work for some, a music from another planet for others, Spacebox's (Uli Trepte's project, after departing from Guru Guru) set of kraut rock experiments and grobian elations is a significant spot and work, inside the plural German Rock scene and the tough avant-garde of old music itself. It is perhaps only a very difficult code to break, a highly pretentious agitation and claustrophobia, plus a brief kind of an implosive and strangling virtuous art, that, first of all, sends the message that all the classic kraut and shock-rock bands have sent, then, second of all, speaks only towards those that, themselves, choose a difficult, gnashed and introverted value in music.

Within kraut rock, Spacebox's sense comes late and definitely non-innovative, but it shakes the beliefs of harmony and aestheticism, the same way any master or old-rocker did before, drastically, even hurtfully, mixing numbness with aggressiveness, turning rock and acid music in a turmoil of a plumber exploration.

In Spacebox the pleasure point meets with the boiling and excruciating one, reason for which the program and the shuffle of extreme music this album has is, relatively, ecstatic but not wonderful, and intriguing but not undisturbing. Kraut rock itself is a movement surfacing the artists and their advanced art, not the music or its taste reach; Spacebox emphasizes that a lot, Spacebox being the most precious of the two project, putting a brave edge between what's a temperamental and torrential music and what can be called music at all, since it melds and improvised until the best qualities are those suffocating, strange, diluted and sequential bites and essences; commonly said, it's quite something for any fan, acid listener and kraut-head, and quite nothing for anyone too "faint-hearted" or even calofile.

The wide sum of caustic elements are well able to place an original caliber in Spacebox, still (rather helpfully then conventionally) the influences bare the characteristic s of jazzy and acid sound kraut, with a space and psychedelic ironic elegance and a full practice of heavy and untidy rock. There is an undeniable hint towards the grands from the late 60s-early 70s that processed their raw chemical so intensely it became an indescribable and infernal "complexity" - Spacebox, still, keep a straight line of rock and lyrical psych, even if it is protuberant and nervous.

Uli Trepte is Spacebox's kraut-meister, leading with a strong hand and an unstirred ideal the whole experiment, tough race and cold expression of Spacebox. He punches in a perfect way the atmosphere and rapture, so that his vision could only go, unnoticeable!, into an excessive dream, during a couple of pieces and some minor blokes.

Spacebox has an epic composition that tends to be apart from anything else, still most of the short pieces are equally "scrumptious" and characteristic, flooding with different tensions and acid exhilarations, plus with some art techniques and sound phobic airs that define the mood and clean the space-plug of your mind thoroughly. The first two pieces seem raw gems, distorting as much bass and jazz kraut as possible. Further on, Trepte's improvisation and bloody cuts of lyrical and instrumental frenzy make a noisy impact, along some stormy and sloppy cliques. A lot of Spacebox is music of the void, of acid rock, of a sulphuric blow-up art, or of an eccentric collage of ripper-open convolutions and soft-experimental trepidation - a music pretty impulsive, howling and far from tidy or balanced moods.

Uli Trepte fills a good solo moment of dark and dense kraut, by the book, with his two Spacebook works, the first one being the best and the most "far out".

 Spacebox - Kick Up by TREPTE, ULI album cover Studio Album, 1984
3.00 | 4 ratings

Spacebox - Kick Up
Uli Trepte Krautrock

Review by Sean Trane
Special Collaborator Prog Folk

3 stars I still haven't been able to find out exactly what Uli Trepte spent most of the 70's with after leaving Guru Guru in 72 and their third album Kan Guru. But indeed the double Guru lost a big part of its soul when he left them. Apparently he worked for a while with Faust and Neu! before creating this project around 75. But it was not before the late 70's (79 if memory serves) that he resurfaced (to the record buyers) with a new group called Spacebox, the present one dating from 83, but some certainly dating from 70's recordings (or else they were completely anachronistic), but the means were simply derisory: two mikes and a two-track recording deck - in 84.

In many ways the music on Kick-up is completely out of the 80's context and is much closer to early Guru Guru recordings than anything later. The recording quality is so-so as well, but this was most likely voluntary since the music is rough, raw, dirty and gritty. But there are some excellent moments also; most notably the opening Session Groove where Uli rules on his bass, but Hofman's flute leaves nothing to be desired. But some of those improvs can be a bit irritating, like the title track, but more because of the poor recording, than the spacebox through which goes Trepte's singing and most likely Golombeck's guitars. Intermodulator is one of the most interesting tracks (and better recorded too) with Hofman's sax verging on Arabian for a few second before coming back to more standard grounds. Other tracks are close to a straight blues (would you believe Blue Blues is one of them), while the closing Introfunction can sound like Floyd (Saucerful-era) on speed.

Not really essential, rather messy (as in raw and unfinished), but if you are a fan of early Guru stuff, this should be of some interest, although I wouldn't risk calling it essential.

 Spacebox by TREPTE, ULI album cover Studio Album, 1979
2.42 | 6 ratings

Uli Trepte Krautrock

Review by Doobie

4 stars Ok, this was recorded at the end of the 70´s long after Uli Trepte´s history with Guru Guru. This album is also a type of collective, featuring guys from even the earliest of line- ups of Embryo for example, Edgar Hofman. It is said on the back cover of the second album "Kick-Up" that it was recorded only using two microphones on two-track, the sound quality prooves it and its really similar to that on this album, self-titled Spacebox... This album incorportates a wide viriaty of styles close to Uli Trepte´s heart. First what I would like to point out is the idea of Free-Rock that Trepte has mentioned before, especially early on with Guru Guru, the idea of creating and unstructured/improvised song...structure (jejejeje) that would move and sound fluidly,or even creating a totally structured song that would sound like it was complete insanity! through out the whole album you can hear the heavy,saturated parts wich add a familiar touch..."sing sung song" okey thats one, then there is the use of the Sax and the rest of the wind instruments on the album that kind of gives it a jazzy-more mellow sound to album, sometimes it is accompanied by the guitar, creating a soft atmosphere before bursting into colors!!!"Ich Bin Suchtig" Then there is the use of the Spacebox, and other instruments like the violin, and the same wind instruments that also add a nice psyche-spacey feel to the album."Tape Talk" All this elements put together make the album and interesiting and highly enjoyable album. All this added of course to the lyrics made and sung by Trepte himself, and his own trance like repetitive bass line.
Thanks to Philippe Blache for the artist addition.

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