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Dennis biography
Carsten Bohn was a pilllar of the first wave of German Rock bands. He drummed for the 'City Preachers' (1969) , then for 'Frumpy' (1970-1972) before creating in 1973, the band 'Dennis', named after his son, with 'Frumpy' bandmate Thomas Kretschmer. The band's headquarters was an old village school outside of Hamburg, where the band lived and rehearsed with often-changing line-ups including Manfred Rürup ('Tommorrow's Gift') and Michael Kops on keyboards, Thomas Kretschmer (Ex-Frumpy) on guitar, Klaus Briest ('Xhol') and Hans Hartmann on bass, Willi Pape ('Thirsty Moon') on sax and flute, Olaf Cassalich ('Ougenweide') on percussion and Carsten Bohn on drums & percussion. The music itself was based on collective improvisation, with either a rockier edge or a jazzier feeling, depending on the musicians, recalling 'Thirsty Moon' or 'Tommorrow's Gift'. In 1973, the band released 'Hyperthalamus' which presented different sessions with one rockier side and a side-long Jazz-Rock inspired track. Although an all-instrumental record, some field recordings, were credited, as a pun, to "M.I. .Real on lyrics". The band ceased to exist at the end of 1974.

The record is highly recommended.

Why this artist must be listed in :

-'Hyperthalamus' (1973)

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3.32 | 29 ratings

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DENNIS Reviews

Showing last 10 reviews only
 Hyperthalamus by DENNIS album cover Studio Album, 1975
3.32 | 29 ratings

Dennis Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by TCat
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin

4 stars This review is in memory of my cat "MaCavity" (pictured as my avatar) who passed away last week and who seriously loved to bliss out to this type of music. <3 <3 <3

This album by Krautrock supergroup Dennis is their only album, released way back in 1975. It is one of those albums that was pretty much ignored on the American continent, and now that it has been "discovered", is going for a high price for used copies. It is a bit hard to find and was never released on CD as far as I know. It is an interesting album mostly because it is somewhat split right down the middle as far as overall style. It is all instrumental and improvised. Some complain that it sounds a bit muddled, but that only works to make it all more authentic to its tone and style.

The first half is made up of three tracks which are definitely in the krautrock and psychedelic style. "Do Your Own Style" begins with a field recording from a loud speaker at a train station. Interesting effects eventually push the track into instrumental territory, but their is definitely a spooky vibe to this that will give you an uneasy feeling. By the time we get to the halfway point of this 7 minute track, though, we have slipped into a basic guitar/keyboard jam session that continues for the rest of the track. Tracks 2 and 3 are actually combined as one flows into the other. This one feels a bit more focused that the previous, but continues with the krautrock/psych improvisation. The sessions are quite interesting and make for a nice way to pass a Sunday afternoon.

The 2nd side of the album consists of the track "Grey Present Tense" which is a 20 minute jam that is more of a jazz/rock fusion with a lot more emphasis on keyboards and various wind instruments. It makes for an almost completely different listening experience than on the 1st side, but there are some sweet effects that bring back the psych vibe that will still reel in the krautrock lovers. This is probably the most dynamic of the tracks and also the most enjoyable in my opinion.

This is quite an excellent listening experience and a valuable find if you can locate a copy. It is one that lovers of improvised, instrumental jazz/rock fusion and krautrock should hear, though it might not be considered a masterpiece, it is well worth the time to look it up. I believe the entire album is available to stream, so you should at least give it a listen. If you don't like it, well, at least you had a nice experience.

 Hyperthalamus by DENNIS album cover Studio Album, 1975
3.32 | 29 ratings

Dennis Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

4 stars DENNIS was formed by the original drummer for FRUMPY Carsten Bohn who would also play percussion with A.R. & MACHINES. He's brought in the FRUMPY guitarist Thomas Kretschmer who also played on Jean-Jauques Kravetz amazing album. We get Michael Kobs from THIRSTY MOON on keys along with Manne Rurup also on keyboards and he played with RELEASE MUSIC ORCHESTRA, TOMORROW'S GIFT and A.R. & MACHINES. We get Klaus Briest on bass from XHOL CARAVAN along with Olaf Casalich on percussion and he's played with OUGENWEIDE, TOMORROW'S GIFT and A.R. & MACHINES. Finally Willi Pape on sax, clarinet and flute also from THIRSTY MOON.

The music is Krautrock all the way on side one with no hint of Jazz while the side two suite is a jazzy affair but there's still that strong Krautrock spirit that overall makes me file this one under Krautrock not Jazz/ Fusion. Side one was surprising the first time I heard it only because by 1975 Krautrock seemed like it was on the way out. Thankfully DENNIS has offered up one classic album right here that has Krautrock all over it. There's plenty of reverb and the sound is quite murky but man it all works big time as these qualities only add to it's charm.

"Do Your Own Thing" opens with the sounds of a subway station as we hear the trains brakes, people talking and milling about while announcements are made over the intercom. It sounds like a backwards loops before 2 minutes then the sounds of a guitar which has been manipulated big time. Bass, intricate guitar and cymbals take over before 3 1/2 minutes but then this beautiful section is disturbed before 6 minutes by some experimental outbursts.

"Others Do" opens with the sound of a plane flying over head before a guitar/ bass melody takes over sounding dark and dirty. "Already" features some killer guitar leads as the sound starts to build. It turns spacey a minute later as the guitar and beat stops. A trippy beat then takes over and slowly speeds up. The guitar is back and it's dark before they start to trip along and we get some organ as well. So that's side one and Krautrock all the way.

"Grey Present Tense" is the 19 1/2 minute closer where we hear horns and electric piano for the first time which helps give us that jazzy flavour. Love the atmosphere with the electric piano to start out. Flute joins in as we still get plenty of atmosphere. It starts to pick up around 5 minutes and this is both trippy and jazzy with electric piano leading the way. The sax joins in before 7 minutes as they continue to trip along. Some clarinet then it's like the song is about to end after 10 1/2 minutes but it's not over by a long shot as electric piano, drums and atmosphere keep this track alive. The sax starts to play some melancholic melodies here as they jam. Some crazy sounding synths then It picks up at 16 1/2 minutes and ends in a spacey manner.

Easily 4 stars. This is my kind of music, especially that jazzy closing number but I dig all of this.

 Hyperthalamus by DENNIS album cover Studio Album, 1975
3.32 | 29 ratings

Dennis Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Dobermensch
Prog Reviewer

1 stars Calling this a 'Supergroup' is a violation of the Trade Descriptions Act.

'Frumpy', 'Thirsty Moon' and 'Tomorrow's Gift' decided to get together and go on the rampage, but fail to deliver anything of historical importance whatsoever.

'Hyperthalamus' is an extremely poorly recorded album which sounds muffled, live and rough. I expected much more from these three moderately respectable Krautrock artists. It sounds like it was recorded live onto a a second hand BASF audio cassette, resembling a pirate bootleg rather than a professional recording. This basically sounds like someone playing music too loud down the stairs when you're trying to get to sleep, where nothing sounds clear and the dynamics are lost in a sea of sludge.

Everything is so straightforward and run-of-the-mill. It's chock full of the aimless guitar jams I should have expected before purchase. The piano-like keyboards are quite nice in a 'Floyd' - ''Animals' kind of way, but then some dreaded saxophone rears its ugly head which has me running for cover as though there's been a bomb scare.

There's too many good Krautrock albums out there without having to bother with this. 'Hyperthalamus' has fleeting moments of respectability with flute and ambient keyboard work, but overall it's something of a disaster in my view.

I have very few commendable observations to make about this feckless, repetitive and one dimensional album. It's one recording that's finally heading for the bin after many years of lying around, wasting space and gathering dust. Calling it truly awful would be unkind but unfortunately it's true.

 Hyperthalamus by DENNIS album cover Studio Album, 1975
3.32 | 29 ratings

Dennis Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Rivertree
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator / Band Submissions

4 stars Dennis does his own thing ...

The band DENNIS has been something like a german Krautrock supergroup in the 70s. Members of FRUMPY, THIRSTY MOON, XHOL, TOMMORROW'S GIFT and OUGENWEIDE had a collaboration for nearly two years in 1973/74. 'Hyperthalamus' is the (first) result with four excerpts. This album contains a mix of studio and live sessions with an ordinary sound quality. Here you can listen to excellent Jazz Rock combined with some Space/Psychedelic.

Do Your Own Thing is an absolutely amazing song. It starts with an authentic recording from the central railway station in Hamburg and then moves into a psychedelic part dominated by Kretschmer's guitar accompanied by an accentuated bass and drum playing. Others Do and Already are typical two-in-one songs - a Jazz Rock based jam interaction of guitar, bass and drums.

The last track Grey Present Tense is very smooth, releaxed, inspired by TRAFFIC's 'On the Road'. Finally saxophone and electric piano are getting an effective role and enough space to evolve. This song seems to be the best to me. Just a gem not only because the sound quality is good here.

An album with a wonderful unique atmosphere which deserves to be more popular. Recommended to fans of improvised Jazz Rock but unfortunately hard to get because it is not yet released on CD. And there's nothing more to say than to hope there are existing more recordings of this excellent project.

Thanks to alucard for the artist addition.

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