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COSMIC CIRCUS MUSIC

Krautrock • Germany


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Cosmic Circus Music biography
Furiously tripped out jamming sequences with a solid rockin' instrumentation. Astral rockin voyage and occult early 70s trio whose music is at the level of the best improvised krautrock acts. With members of Xhol (Karl-Heinz Keffer) and Catharsis (Ulrich Masshöfer, Bernd Diesner).

Similar artists : Agitation Free, Ashra Tempel, Gila, Gää, Gam trio, Xhol, The Cosmic jokers

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COSMIC CIRCUS MUSIC discography


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COSMIC CIRCUS MUSIC top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.95 | 8 ratings
Sternenmaskerade
1972

COSMIC CIRCUS MUSIC Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

2.18 | 3 ratings
Wiesbaden 1973
2013

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COSMIC CIRCUS MUSIC Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Wiesbaden 1973 by COSMIC CIRCUS MUSIC album cover Live, 2013
2.18 | 3 ratings

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Wiesbaden 1973
Cosmic Circus Music Krautrock

Review by Matti
Collaborator Neo-Prog Team

2 stars This rather stupidly named instrumental Krautrock trio from Göttingen released their music only in a cassette form in their three years of activity in the early seventies, as they concentrated on playing live. Last year Garden Of Delights released this live performance as a CD, accompanied by a detailed group history etc. It's unusual to see an 82-minute CD - and all music divided in only two parts under the title 'Sternenmaskerade', Teils 1 und 2.

The nearest comparisons in my experience are the early TANGERINE DREAM and ASH RA TEMPEL. Unless you enjoy those too, I wouldn't recommend you this one, which seems to be very improvisational trip into cosmos. But as tiresome as it may be, it is not without some sort of beauty. Bernd Diesner's guitar has a melancholic and meditative flavour, and Karl-Heinz Keffer's bass succesfully increases the music's depth. The drummer Ulrich Masshoefer handles also the early EMS synthesizer; its bubbling and twittering sounds complete the sense of cosmic journey. But 82 minutes is definitely too much and too samey to a casual listener of Kosmische Musik. The latter half is better as it partly features Tim Belbe of XHOL [CARAVAN] on flute. This release is suitable for the most dedicated cosmic Krautrock fans, but for those it may indeed be worth purchasing. Lots of detailed information (in German and English) and pictures are included in the leaflet.

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 Sternenmaskerade by COSMIC CIRCUS MUSIC album cover Studio Album, 1972
3.95 | 8 ratings

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Sternenmaskerade
Cosmic Circus Music Krautrock

Review by Eetu Pellonpää
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

5 stars Luckily this Cosmic Circus Music cassette has been brought to daylight from the shadows of obscurity, revealing rustic but very sacral moment of contemplative musical devotion. The long gaze into the atavistic corridors has been conducted with serene piety, not straying to paths of insanity but focusing on yearning of unconscious divinity. This process reminds certainly the hallucinogenic masterpieces of Ash Ra Tempel, The Cosmic Jokers and Yatha Sihdra; I would associate the sound texture of the recording with the two first mentioned, but I felt the third group of comparison describing further the compact characteristics of the jam, along with the spiritual content I felt shining from this forty years old artifact. From contemporary retro groups I think My Brother The Wind have continued carrying forward this heritage of spiritual vintage psychedelic rock astral travelling.

The long opening sequence vibrates freely in rhythmless open space, string instruments searching beautiful harmonies with Tim Belbe's flute, and scarce atonal effect layers strengthen the presence of surreal aura. Bernd Diesner's guitar playing is very focused, deploying acid rock sound's effect portfolio with fine sense of style, and reaching via to moderation the latency of quiet moments' aether. Ulrich Masshöfer introduces his percussion presence after ten minutes of warming up of the melodic instruments, initiating the magic cauldron spout a powerful whirl mystic haze, elevating through the spirals circling around a constant basic key note towards infinity. Karl-Heinz Keffer's firm bass lines keeps this progression solid, and brings extra value to both rhythmic nuances and melodic charms for the epic sonic prayer. The twenty five minutes long groovy twist in krautrock dynamics return later to electrically charged void of slowly moving aural shapes, eventually rising for a final thrust of motioning sequences before disappearing past the horizon. I felt the semi-circular arrangement of this "sea of birth" holding simple but powerful universal characteristics of life and universe we humans observe trough senses, science and religious offsets; The forms of larger complexity arise from the void and chaos, mature to functional entities, and dissolve to the tranquility where they have appeared. Whatever should the position of consideration be, spiritual or logical, I find this configuration peaceful, serene and blessed.

I personally did not associate this psychedelic suite with the word "freak out" so much, but more with seriousness of searching deeper truths from spontaneous unconscious activity. The alluring developments in melodic rhythm-space really bend time, making the forty-five minutes pass in ecstatic rejoicing in spheres of imagination and reality-shadowing themes. Though the recording quality is not optimal, I personally have grown to like raw analogue bootleg sounds from my earlier King Crimson live conquest decade. Certainly from my own yet maturing and limited perspective I consider "Sternenmaskerade" as larger than life statement of spiritual musical expressionism.

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 Sternenmaskerade by COSMIC CIRCUS MUSIC album cover Studio Album, 1972
3.95 | 8 ratings

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Sternenmaskerade
Cosmic Circus Music Krautrock

Review by Neu!mann
Prog Reviewer

3 stars The band had a silly name, and their only surviving recorded effort is a bootleg-quality dupe, at best. But this ultra-rare collector's item is close to essential listening, and one of the best undiscovered Krautrock freakouts from the early 1970s.

It was originally available only as a mail-order cassette tape, advertised in a single 1972 issue of Sounds Magazine (the German edition). Who knows how few people accepted the offer; what the rest of us missed was an unbroken 45-minutes of thrilling psychedelic guitar rock, resembling a lost Ash Ra Tempel rehearsal recorded live in an empty warehouse.

How such a strong ensemble never found an audience is anyone's guess. Not many power trios have this much voltage to spare, and the guest flautist / sax player (Tim Belbe of XHOL CARAVAN) adds a touch of HAWKWIND Space Ritual to an already far-out piece of music. But calling it a freakout is actually a little misleading. There's a focus and determination here beyond the usual anarchy of Krautrock, with just enough method to keep the madness in check.

Not once do the musicians lose their grip on the material. After a slow, yearning one-chord introduction the pace gradually builds to immense proportions, as if all four players were succumbing to a brain-melting virus that increased the intensity of their performance even as it sapped their will to resist. Cymbals and percussion enter at around the ten-minute mark, and the tempo picks up after another ten minutes, with the addition of a second chord lifting the sound above the stratosphere. From there the track ebbs and flows toward its final, five-minute coda, ending an epic journey on a note of melancholy grace.

All without a dull moment too, at least for aficionados of cosmic guitar workouts. The rough production actually enhances the immediacy of the experience, especially when played loud enough to scramble your synapses. Which of course ought to be the goal of any good Space Rock jam.

Mine is probably a third (or more) generation copy, but at least the music is still available, after a fashion. Rumors on the web say the entire session (a full 80-minutes: this was apparently only the second half!) will be given a long-overdue CD release on the Garden of Delights label sometime this year (2013). When or if that happens (and I'm pleased to report it already has a catalogue number), the album will hopefully earn all the belated praise it never had a chance to enjoy four decades ago.

Three conservative but very enthusiastic stars for the aging analog cassette, with a fourth supernova reserved for the anticipated digital re-issue.

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 Sternenmaskerade by COSMIC CIRCUS MUSIC album cover Studio Album, 1972
3.95 | 8 ratings

BUY
Sternenmaskerade
Cosmic Circus Music Krautrock

Review by DamoXt7942
Forum & Site Admin Group Moderator / Psych Team

4 stars Felt hot breath and dry magic via their circus stage.

Strange, and addictive show indeed. Their only one 'cassette' album "Wiesbaden" tells us that they might not have played pure 'rock music' but done 'artistic colourful cosmic circus', featuring their quirky, sticky instrumental acrobatic illusion all through the one shot "Sternenmaskerade".

As if we could touch their meditative hospitality and illusive, delusive voyage, their freakout playing fully flooded with mind-altering agent-ish atmosphere sounds somewhat like a drastic measure for us. We can get drenched directly in crazy flute, phantasmagoric guitar, deeply hedonic bass, and dark-space-merged drum sounds ... namely, we should be immersed deeply into cosmic circus 'abuse' without any intention.

So difficult for us to clarify their magical obscurity but no problem. Guess we listeners cannot understand such an addictive atmosphere, unless we attend this cosmic circus show. However, we can grab something abusive instead of feeling their freaky estery breath and extensive fruit-like colour directly. Listen, and put yourself deeply into them.

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Thanks to Philippe Blache for the artist addition.

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