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ANIMA-SOUND

Krautrock • Germany


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Anima-Sound biography
Formed by a male / female hippie pagan duet, Anima is an obscure and enthralling krauty-folkish project which emerged from the now cult 70s German kosmische underground. Craft artists and home made instruments for massive lysergic experience punctuated by pastoral-percussive ritual sequences and avant-jazz grooves. A cryptical musical identity, their legendary album Stürmischer Himmel is entirely artisanal, very singular and exuberant. It clearly deserves several listenings to be fully appreciated. The CD reissue is still available on Spalax. Front woman of Anima, Limpe Fuchs is still active, delivering occasional gigs and sound installations, always bringing to the fore an uncompromised avant-garde musical magma and weird acoustic experimentalism.

::: philippe Blache :::

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ANIMA-SOUND discography


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

2.64 | 7 ratings
Stürmischer Himmel
1971
2.10 | 2 ratings
Musik Für Alle
1972

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ANIMA-SOUND Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Musik Für Alle  by ANIMA-SOUND album cover Studio Album, 1972
2.10 | 2 ratings

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Musik Für Alle
Anima-Sound Krautrock

Review by Neu!mann
Prog Reviewer

2 stars Anima-Sound was one of many also-rans in the Krautrock derbies of the early 1970s, in retrospect galloping so far in a contrary direction they were never seen again. Actually that's not entirely true: at this late writing percussionist Limpe Fuchs maintains a vital presence on the outer edge of Germany's avant-garde musical art circuit. The goal, in her own words, has always been to capture "the resonance of the location where the performance takes place".

And not only the location, but the specific time as well: a key to understanding this relic from 1971, obscure even to Krautrock treasure hunters. Of course it wasn't really Krautrock, and in truth isn't much of a treasure either. The group's second LP, named with utopian wishful thinking "Music For Everybody", is less structured and even more lo-fi than the duo's ramshackle 1971 debut ("Stürmischer Himmel"). It might have been intended as a crude audio-vérité transcript of a typical Anima-Sound gig, with Limpe hitting anything within reach, and husband Paul blatting away on an ersatz collection of homemade horn devices.

Each half of the original vinyl is a complete track, sounding almost identical to its flipside. The inscrutably titled "N Da Da Uum Da" (my thoughts exactly, after first hearing it) is a time-capsule model of post-'60s free expression. Ditto "Tractor Go Go Go", named in honor of the barnstorming hippie performance vehicle which held their makeshift stage, all their instruments, and several sheep.

The album is only a very minor slice of a much larger musical history. Thankfully, the Berlin-based film and music label Play Loud! has announced plans to re-release the entire catalogue of Anima, Anima-Sound, and Limpe Fuchs: a massive discography that extends far beyond the limits of even these extensive Archives. The name of the label itself is an invitation: play this album loud enough, and it almost begins to make a perfectly warped sort of historical sense.

[ Collector's addendum: an even less inhibited portrait of Paul and Limpe Fuchs can be found in the semi-exploitation 1970 documentary film "Wunderland der Liebe: Der Große Deutsche Sexreport" (aka "Sex Freedom in Germany", directed by Dieter Geissler). No, I haven't seen it myself, except for a brief excerpt of the Anima-Sound duo in concert: Paul in flowing white robes and Limpe buck-naked, completely slathered in black paint. One first-hand reviewer called it a "howlingly inept celluloid nutbar", which is just another way of saying you probably had to be there to appreciate it..."the resonance of the location", so forth]

 Stürmischer Himmel  by ANIMA-SOUND album cover Studio Album, 1971
2.64 | 7 ratings

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Stürmischer Himmel
Anima-Sound Krautrock

Review by Neu!mann
Prog Reviewer

3 stars After digesting the more savory albums on the kosmische smorgasbord, where would a still ravenous Krautrocker turn for his next meal? One option on a seemingly endless menu would be the (almost) undeservedly forgotten husband/wife team of Paul and Limpe Fuchs, bucolic misfits who in the wide-open musical culture of the early 1970s performed under the name Anima-Sound.

The couple's best-known effort, among Krautrock cognoscenti at any rate, was recorded for R.U. Kaiser's Ohr Records, a label renowned for its willfully offbeat talent roster (famously signing Tangerine Dream in 1970 precisely because the band had no commercial potential at the time). The closest contemporary equivalent to Anima-Sound was probably early Cluster/Kluster, but the difference is extreme. Instead of exploring the brave new world of electronics and synthesizers, Paul and Limpe pursued a strictly acoustic muse, using homemade instruments named with tongue-in-cheek vanity: Fuchshorn, Fuchsbass, and (my favorite) the onomatopoetic Klangbleche.

Don't let their unplugged hippie ethic fool you: the music is no less freeform or challenging than any other amateur, avant-noise freakfest. The word anima refers of course to the soul: the sustaining force inside all living creatures, including the livestock in the Fuchs family barnyard, denied the performance credit they so richly deserved here. The LP actually fades in on a rough field recording of sheep bleating in a very windy meadow, and the balance of the album sounds (not unpleasantly, to these crackpot ears) as if the same animals were somehow trained to play rudimentary percussion fills.

The singing too - if that's what this is - exists on the same spontaneous plane. One minute Limpe can be heard muttering quietly in a pre-verbal tongue; the next she's suddenly whooping as if Paul had just goosed her with his Schilfzinken. Laugh all you want (or cringe in embarrassed torment), but if the Fuchs had worn giant eyeball masks and tuxedos, instead of performing naked in black body paint, they might have been the world's first Residents, and be remembered today as pioneers of Rock in Opposition nonconformity.

The album is definitely an acquired taste, even for adventurous listeners able to forgive the dated lo-fi aesthetic. But there's a certain purity to their non-professional noisemaking, audible even today: rarely has grass-roots music ever been so deeply rooted in actual grass, or sheep manure.

 Stürmischer Himmel  by ANIMA-SOUND album cover Studio Album, 1971
2.64 | 7 ratings

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Stürmischer Himmel
Anima-Sound Krautrock

Review by Dobermensch
Prog Reviewer

1 stars 'Stürmischer Himmel' begins promisingly - for a full 6 seconds - with the pretty sound of bleating lambs but is on an immediate downward slope as it becomes abundantly clear that this was recorded on a windy day. They couldn't even be bothered to wait until the gale died down. Horrible microphone distortion is basically all you'll remember on this field recording.

God's teeth! What have I done to deserve such punishment? Listening to Anima Sound is as annoying as watching a chicken try to fly - clumsy, ugly, ungainly and doomed to failure. Replete with simply atrocious production values the two members of this band bash, blow and warble incoherently and tunelessly for the best part of 40 minutes. All the while deep furrows appear on my forehead throughout its duration.

All sounds are acoustic and quite frankly sound awful. It's as though it was recorded on one track direct to a 1970 BASF blank cassette. Everything appears tinny and distant. There's no depth of sound whatsoever. Even the drug addled vocals by the amusingly named Limpe Fuchs lend nothing to it's enhancement. Usually crazy people make hilarious listening when recorded, this however, is deeply irritating. It basically sounds like two corpses from 'Zombie Flesh Eaters' have been given instruments they've never seen before and have been told to record on the spot at gunpoint - or else suffer the consequences.

To cut it short - 'Stürmischer Himmel' sounds like a walrus with a bugle strapped to it's muzzle trying to escape from a wardrobe as a loud shouting woman covered in cymbals tries to rescue the creature using clubs and hammers.

Whilst not the poorest record I've reviewed by a long shot (see Hairy Chapter, Gnidrolog or Chillum) it's certainly the most disappointing due to the enthusiasm I held before hearing it. Partucularly as it was on the 'Nurse With Wound' list. Oh well, I guess I should look on the bright side - at least I've lost my copy of the follow-up 'Musik Für Alle'. If I remember correctly, it was even worse than this.

By the end of this recording I'm in such a stupor that I must look like Frankenstein's monster gazing in wonder at his first daisy just before he drowns that little girl by the pond.

 Stürmischer Himmel  by ANIMA-SOUND album cover Studio Album, 1971
2.64 | 7 ratings

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Stürmischer Himmel
Anima-Sound Krautrock

Review by DamoXt7942
Forum & Site Admin Group RIO/Avant/Zeuhl & Neo Teams

4 stars Another Krautrock obscurity created / released in 1971 from Germany.

ANIMA (ANIMA SOUND / ANIMA MUSICA), a German experimental / avantgarde / folk music duo founded by a sculptor Paul FUCHS (horns, voices) and his partner Limpe FUCHS (percussion, voices), had burst upon the early 70s Krautrock scene and launched two official releases. This "Stürmischer Himmel", released in 1971 as their debut work, definitely notifies us of their innovative music tribalism and experimental crossover between human beings and animals upon the soundgarden. There are five tracks, each of which can be divided in some pieces, but I guess it may be nonsense we go into details about each piece. Let me say this whole album should be one world of mixture, constructed by such an intriguing duo.

Anyway what a mystery. Always wondering why I can get quite relaxed under such an experimental / quirky sound cloud. Sounds like they should be in a mind-altering state formed either by their meditative tribal sound stream or by some hallucinogenic agents (especially the former I believe) and they sang or shouted flexibly as though they'd got animalized or got possessed by animal spirits. Suggest they should have got completely deaf whilst playing for this album (or on stage). Yes their horn section and percussion were pretty simple and straight indeed, but they might squeeze their "mind expanded fully" into their soundscape I imagine. Sometimes quiet and gentle, and sometimes enthusiastic and crazy ... the two animalized naked humans could give freedom of expression perfectly.

In conclusion, they played "rock" definitely. "Rock" can be defined as rebellion / invasion against the existing music scene. They'd completed this "rock" creation under such a hallucinogenic trip, what a fantastic matter really.

Thanks to philippe for the artist addition.

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