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GOLEM

Krautrock • Germany


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Golem biography
Ecclectic, psychedelic epic rock with lot of Hammond organs, heavy drums and jamming guitars. Their album Orion Awakes (1973) belongs to Pyramid Records archives. Amazing, catchy improvised free spacey rockin' trip that can reminds the best efforts delivered by early Pink Floyd, Gila, Dies Irae, Jane.

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TanzTanz
Corason Digital 2014
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Citizen BorisCitizen Boris
JDub Records 2009
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Import
Imports 2014
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JDub Records 2006
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Homesick SongsHomesick Songs
Aeronaut Records 2004
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$6.18 (used)
Orion AwakesOrion Awakes
Lion Productions 2010
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GOLEM discography


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

3.38 | 26 ratings
Orion Awakes
1973

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GOLEM Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Orion Awakes by GOLEM album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.38 | 26 ratings

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Orion Awakes
Golem Krautrock

Review by Dobermensch

3 stars One of those alleged 'forgery' and 'fraud' albums released on the mysterious 'Pyramid' label.

After listening to this amongst a lot of Krautrock albums from the same era, I'm inclined to think it probably is a hoax after all. It just doesn't ring true. There's too much definite space between instruments that I don't think was possible in the early 70's (as mentioned by reviewer Bonnek), despite what the liner notes say. If there were any vocals present it would be a lot easier to determine it's authenticity.

Apparently the keyboard player Manfred Hof was in a band called 'Spirulina'. No... I've never heard of them either.

Oh and another thing - Genius P. Orridge on production? Give me a break, who comes out with these crumby half disguised names? The fact that they've obviously heard of Genesis P. Orridge of Throbbing Gristle proves that they're fraudsters as TG didn't exist until '75 and this LP was purportedly released in '73.

'Orion Awakes' one way or the other, is something of a surprise. I didn't hold out much hope for this one before hearing it, but have been pleasantly surprised. Starting off like Talk Talk's 'Spirit of Eden' it quickly morphs into a lot of wah-wah guitar fuzz and effected drums. The lack of vocals doesn't harm this album at all, in fact, now that I think on it, it's quite 'Ozric Tentacles' but in a more grubby and Tuetonic way.

'Godhead Dance' has a catchy little tune which actually has me drumming my fingers while typing this review up and I'm really liking those treated guitars. The best is left for last with 'The Returning ' with it's grumbling guitars and bass which to my ears sounds incredibly like Joy Division circa '79.

If you like spacey powerful acid guitars and organs that are a bit on the heavy side, you'll probably like this a lot.

In a way 'Orion Awakes' almost sounds like a collection of material from different sessions, which once again gets me wondering if it's authentic after all... Grrrr!! I hate unanswered questions...

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 Orion Awakes by GOLEM album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.38 | 26 ratings

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Orion Awakes
Golem Krautrock

Review by progbaby

4 stars Pretty cool album. I agree with many of the reviews. It's instrumental but don't let that concern you.

I'd have to say this sounds like a combination of Space Rock and Zheul. Imagine an instrumental Hawkwind "Warriors on the Edge of time" crossed with the percussive/driving rhythms of Dun Eros.

The driving guitars are really cool. It's like slowly pounding a nail into a piece wood and increasing the volume/force with each pounding until it's completely in the wood 7 minutes later. So the songs don't tend to really change much in the melody. The "slow" buildup to the rhythmic (sorry for my spelling) climax ending is the real hero.

I'd give this about 3.7 stars... Round up to 4. A pleasant surprise.

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 Orion Awakes by GOLEM album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.38 | 26 ratings

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Orion Awakes
Golem Krautrock

Review by Vibrationbaby

4 stars This psychedelic Krautrock abberration surfaced in 1972-73 and is said to feature some of the who's who of the early seventies Kosmische Musik scene according to the booklet that was included with the 2010 CD release by Lion Productions.

What can I say ? 5 groovin' tripped out instrumental tracks including a Grateful dead-like extended jam which draws influences from everyone from Hendrix to Neu! Each individual track has dynamic developmental musical structures that morph and segue into different ideas. The standout track, The Returning, with a plodding beat reminiscient of tempos used by Jane and pre-dates anything that it can be compared to. Some afficionados suggest that some tracks were laid down as late as the early 90s when some of the material appeared on a Virgin compilation series of albums entitled "Unknown Duetschland". I recieved a cassette copy in the early 80s so I sort of dismiss this theory. I have also heard of "sightings" of tattered vinyl specimens ( reportedly limited to 25 copies ) in Germany and the United States. One thing that I do agree with is that the 5 spaced out recordings certainly came from different recording sessions with different combinations of musicians whoever they were as the individual musician credits are noms de plume.

Difficult to locate even on CD, the mystique surrounding Orion Awakes nonetheless presents a fascinating conundrum for fans of underground krautrock bands such as Brainticket, Nue!, Harmonium, Cluster featuring an engrossing combination of structured music and free-form improvisation.

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 Orion Awakes by GOLEM album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.38 | 26 ratings

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Orion Awakes
Golem Krautrock

Review by seventhsojourn
Special Collaborator RPI

3 stars German 5-piece Golem's only album sees its theme of space travel acting as a metaphor for spiritual and psychological growth. The tracks here broadly represent a hero's journey; something that American mythologist Joseph Campbell called a ''monomyth''. He had a profound influence on Grateful Dead (funnily enough he lived next door to rhythm guitarist Bobby Weir) who in turn had an influence on Krautrock. Campbell argued that mythic patterns carried through into contemporary life, and his monomyth schema of self-transcendence incorporated stages of Departure, Initiation (meeting the godhead, or all-knowing presence), and Return. A cursory glance at the track-titles here confirms that ''Orion Awakes'' represents a similar psychedelic or spiritual experience.

The music is entirely instrumental and most tracks seem to adhere to a musical template of soft, moody introduction, the music then gradually taking shape and becoming loud and rhythmic with treated guitars and throbbing pulses. The last two tracks don't really follow this well-worn path though, with the epic ''Jupiter And Beyond'' beginning in urgent mood and developing into a montage of contrasting sections. The dirge-like ''The Returning'' sounds like The Velvet Underground's ''Sister Ray'', complete with psychedelic organ. And it's nothing like Jonathan Richman's ''Roadrunner'' homage to the same Velvets' song. Worth mentioning is the fact that Karl and John have questioned whether this is an authentic '70s release. Be that as it may, for fans of this type of music ''Orion Awakes'' is definitely worth checking out.

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 Orion Awakes by GOLEM album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.38 | 26 ratings

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Orion Awakes
Golem Krautrock

Review by ChileProg

3 stars For my it was a surprise to listen to this group. It made me remember to Atila (Spain) something of Paradise Space Cllective, Golem, Ozric Tentacle.

German group of the decade of the 70, not known enough of the Pyramid records. This one was discontinued several years ago. Recently published by English records ACME.

Has very influences of space Rock, Krautrock and something of Psychedelic. He is interesting, good chords much keyboard, distorted guitars. For my taste perhaps something monotonous, with parts high and very linear others.

Recommended to listen when you are studying or you need to become disconnected of the ambient sound.

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 Orion Awakes by GOLEM album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.38 | 26 ratings

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Orion Awakes
Golem Krautrock

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

3 stars As Bonnek has pointed out in his review of this album there is some controversy as to how legit this album is. Pyramid Records printed off around 25 copies of vinyl and sold them at art galleries etc. No original copy has ever shown up to verify this and since the cds came out in the nineties many feel these were actually recorded in the nineties but made to sound like a long lost Krautrock classic.The names of the band members led to nowhere when they tried to investigate which is another question mark of course. Like Bonnek I do question how authentic this is just on how it sounds. For most though the bottom line is the music and how good it is. I've really been enjoying the vibe of this record but it wasn't until I had a close listen that I realized that there's something missing.The music doesn't really grab me.The mellotron, organ and synths aren't that upfront and the songs do come across as improvs so...

"Orion Awakes" opens with a beat as sound echo in a psychedelic manner.The guitar before 2 minutes starts to solo as the sound builds. It settles back after 2 1/2 minutes then it rebuilds. Guitar before 4 1/2 minutes. Check out the sound 6 1/2 minutes in. Quite the echo. "Stellar Launch" opens with sounds coming and going then we get a steady beat that picks up. Great sound 2 1/2 minutes in then it settles back after 3 minutes. It's building again then it settles back 5 minutes then builds to an intense jam. An insane finish too. "Godhead Dance" opens with percussion then the guitar comes in playing over top with some aggression as they jam.

"Jupiter & Beyond" has some energy with lots of bottom end. A calm before 3 minutes as it turns psychedelic. It kicks back in quickly but it's not as uptempo. Another calm before 4 1/2 minutes then it slowly builds.The tempo slows down again before 9 minutes but the atmosphere is thick and it's psychedelic. It's picking back up 11 1/2 minutes in then settles back. "The Returning" is mid paced with drums outfront. It's fuller a minute in with guitar. It picks up before 6 minutes to end it.

3.5 stars for now. As I said earlier it's missing something.

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 Orion Awakes by GOLEM album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.38 | 26 ratings

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Orion Awakes
Golem Krautrock

Review by Bonnek
Special Collaborator Prog Metal Team

3 stars The origins of this band and album are somewhat obscure. It was originally released on the small label 'Pyramid Records' that reportedly only pressed a couple of hundred issues of this release, meant for selling them at art galleries and exhibitions. When the album was re-issued on CD in the 90s, many specialists contested if this was genuine 70s material at all, as no one had seen an original vynil copy.

The CD booklet of the 2010 reissue addresses this issue and obviously arguments in favor of the authenticity, but judging by my own ears, the album can hardly be from 1973. The production is too spacious, with a drum sound that is too big and guitar effects (wah-wah, flange, reverb, delay) that sound too clear and professional to be of such ancient origins. Later in the 70's could be possible, but early 90's sounds most probable to me. After all, this album pretty much sounds like Loop's Fade Out from 1989.

Anyways, this is all interesting discussion material for Kraut aficionados, but what about the album itself? When it concerns the quality of this material, you can rest assured, this sounds exactly like your beloved vintage instrumental trip-kraut, with entrancing heavy riffs and layers of fuzzy guitars, effects and organ. It's a perfect album if you like bands such as Agitation Free, Gila and Guru Guru on acid. Each of the 5 tracks offers a distinctly different psych jam, sometimes funky, droning, heavy or more upbeat, but always catchy and groovy.

An excellent soundtrack for your acid parties and recommend title to fans of space-rock and trippy Kraut jams. 3.5 stars.

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 Orion Awakes by GOLEM album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.38 | 26 ratings

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Orion Awakes
Golem Krautrock

Review by philippe
Special Collaborator Content Development & Krautrock Team

4 stars Surprising heavy kraut rockin' effort from Pyramid records. In this unique and explosive essay, Golem experiments dirty, fuzzy, obsessional improvisations largely dominated by killer guitar riffs, epic organs, hammering drums and subtle electronic manipulations. Not weird or cryptical, this album is almost an easy listening and can be considered as a legitimate recommendation for krautrock neophyts. Each track develops its own style, theme and atmosphere, sometimes sounding like an evident bluesy space rock (the opening tune), sometimes more adventurous and progressive, like in the hallucinogenic and jazzy electronic "Jupiter" or more heavy, in the freak 'n roll "the returning" with its crushing guitars and massive repetitive rhythm, almost funky and really electrified in the Hendrixian "Godhead Dance". Still fresh despite the years. To play loud.

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Thanks to Philippe Blache for the artist addition.

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