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GILA

Krautrock • Germany


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Gila biography
This band was from Stuttgart and managed just two studio albums before splitting. Their guitarist leader Conny Veit will be known latter as collaborator of both POPOL VUH and GURU GURU, but this is another story.

Their first highly ambitious album - and one of the more important albums to come out of Western Germany - had a very odd concept to reflect the group's progression from aggression to communication. Quite a bloody program and I can assure you that they succeed quite well. The music on their debut runs continuously through the tracks is very trippy and atmospheric but not space rock either, In that regard , one thinks of PINK FLOYD. Their second album is very different and depicts the last and worst Indian massacre (native Americans) back in the early 70's.. The live album is posthumous but worthy of them.

In spite of their short discography, GILA is a very important group in the history of Krautrock and highly recommended to anyone looking for adventurous music.

: : : Hugues Chantraine, BELGIUM : : :

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Sacred Hebrew ChantsSacred Hebrew Chants
CD Baby 2010
Audio CD$14.65
$20.93 (used)
GilaGila
Second Battle
Audio CD$49.99
$31.89 (used)
Night WorksNight Works
Import
Audio CD$5.99
$19.49 (used)
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Piano Music of Paul Ben-Haim Gila Goldstein Centaur CD US $16.69 Buy It Now 2 days
Gila Ronen US 1974 LP Israeli ???? ???? US $50.00 Buy It Now 2 days
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Memories from a Distant Past by The Flute Keeper (CD, Mar-2002, GiLa Music... US $6.99 Buy It Now 29 days
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GILA discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

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

4.09 | 132 ratings
Gila - Free Electric Sound
1971
3.53 | 48 ratings
Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee
1973

GILA Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.35 | 26 ratings
Night Works
1999

GILA Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

GILA Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

GILA Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

GILA Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Gila - Free Electric Sound by GILA album cover Studio Album, 1971
4.09 | 132 ratings

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Gila - Free Electric Sound
Gila Krautrock

Review by Neu!mann
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Free Electric Sound: an ironic title for an album that survived many years only as an expensive prize for Krautrock treasure hunters. And in retrospect that rarity might have been the best thing about it. The music alone isn't very challenging, but it's all dynamic stuff: energetic guitar jams with more than a whiff of late '60s psychedelia, sounding not unlike early ASH RA TEMPEL but with one foot on terra firma (at least some of the time).

The aptly-titled "Aggression" raises the curtain in rip-roaring fashion, with lots of Hendrix- inspired riffing and some filthy organ runs. Little of what follows was able to match the same level of intensity, and the whole thing is perhaps too indebted to PINK FLOYD, like a lot of Krautrock in 1971. But it was the younger, more dangerous Floyd, circa "Ummagumma" (the live disc, thankfully) that inspired these grooves, filtered through the multi-colored creative sieve of radical German youth culture.

Thus, the blitzkrieg effect in "Kollaps", although it's the eerie sound of a crying baby later in the same track that never fails to send a shiver down my spine. Or the free-form collage introducing "Kontakt", just before the music blossoms in a gorgeous, Eastern-scented acoustic guitar episode. The last four cuts (Side Two, on the original vinyl) blend into a single, meandering space jam, like most of the album pleasantly unfocussed but played with conviction.

Guitarist Conny Veit was the hero of the set. His fluid technique and assorted effects helped lift what could have been a merely half-hearted freakout to near cosmic altitudes (he also sang, briefly and unintelligibly, in the 12-plus minute mini-epic "Kommunikation"). Under his able guidance there isn't a dull moment throughout the album's 37-whirlwind minutes. But at the same time it never quite managed to step forward from the middle of a very crowded Krautrock pack.

The original line-up didn't survive long enough to make a second album, and it was a very different band that returned two years later with the same name. Too bad, because with a little time and effort Gila could have easily made the leap into the upper ranks of Krautrock divinity, instead of settling for the diminished afterlife of a much coveted collector's item.

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 Gila - Free Electric Sound by GILA album cover Studio Album, 1971
4.09 | 132 ratings

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Gila - Free Electric Sound
Gila Krautrock

Review by Epignosis
Special Collaborator Eclectic Prog Team

3 stars Gila's 1971 semi-eponymous debut contains numerous psychedelic jams, exotic textures, and mystic passages. It does possess a fair deal of repetition, and the final track is essentially a drum solo. With that said, this is a great album that would please not only most fans of Krautrock, but fans of space rock too.

'Aggression' Following stormy atmospheric sounds, a spunky bass groove appears, bringing in a psychedelic jam. The organ quivers, blasting in here and there.

'Kommunikation' Dark noise and a Tex-Mex guitar tone introduce a thudding bass and easygoing percussion. I am reminded in some respects of Talk Talk's Spirit of Eden. There are some distant vocals, but primarily the piece stays in jam band mode, letting the lead instruments experiment over the same bass riffs. The final passage, tacked on to the end, has several Mellotrons and spacey slide guitar. The end is spoken word moving from right to left, almost a chant.

'Kollaps' Quieter and more mysterious, 'Kollaps' this has mythical organ and percussion, the Tex-Mex guitar tone, and the cry of an infant (which can be disconcerting if one has, say, delivered his own son four days ago). In a way, it makes me think of 'Magnum Opus' by Kansas, specifically the 'Father Padilla Meets the Perfect Gnat' segment.

'Kontakt' Another dark piece, this eventually brightens up with acoustic guitars.

'Kollektivitat' The acoustic guitars evaporate, leaving a low organ and a guitar fed through a wah pedal alone. The piece develops structure with the inclusion of exotic drums and lead guitar. The Eastern flair remains as the music flows from one rhythmic oasis to the next.

'Individualitat' The music from before fades like a mirage in the thirsty desert, leaving only the drums behind. It is very tribal, with jungle-like sounds and minimal input from the more traditional rock instruments.

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 Night Works by GILA album cover Live, 1999
3.35 | 26 ratings

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Night Works
Gila Krautrock

Review by Guldbamsen
Forum & Site Admin Group Site and Forum Admin

4 stars Milk and honey

When I think of the Krautrock movement, I often find myself dreaming up pictures of the rock n roll scene of the 60s - the wild appearances with long facial hair and some kind of installed antenna-bush instead of hair - but first and foremost, - it makes me think of the newly found appreciation of music. The magic of music - the thought that it could be something more - something beautiful and free - an epiphany in sound speaking of whatever you wanted it to describe. The empty spaces between people, events, spirituality or maybe just the local giraffe in your backyard.

This album by Gila is a live one with wild jams and lots of space to go mental, not that you´d notice it, because it is in fact recorded from the insides of a radio studio in down town Cologne, excluding any traces of an audience to go "clap clap". If the exteriors of the Krautrockers evoke those pictured in the Woodstock flick, the music on the other hand does its very best to keep up with it. Certainly bands like Agitation Free and Gila seem like the German counterparts of those bluesy, psychedelic, jamming, drug infused and tireless acts like The Grateful Dead and Quicksilver Messenger. I hear some similarities yeah, but that isn´t to say that Gila sound like a second hand version of a 1969 band that just woke up on the lawn after 3 years - with a massive hangover thinking: How did we get home from Woodstock - and how come we´re in Germany?

This music is an enchanting amalgamation of snarling and fiery guitar, fuzzed and trippy - wielded by the brilliant Conny Veit who has played with both Popol Vuh and Guru Guru. On this live album he sounds like he´s out of his mind, and most likely has a head full of acid, but then again who am I to judge anyone who can play like this - as if he´s trying to tame a psychopathic fire-hose with his guitar? Blended nicely in a big blurry cocktail along with the sizzling organs, the robust and hammering bass and the boom boom boom of the drums - the guitar feels at home, and if you´re into this band´s legendary debut album, you should feel right at home in this psychedelic milk and honey land.

I recommend this album(and their debut as well) to anybody who thinks that Pink Floyd should have made another More album - or maybe just recorded Embryo in a studio. It´s music for the desert, for walking barefooted in orange sand. It´s music for a quiet evening in Ali Baba´s cave with a drunk Elvis on your lap - humming El Dorado with a wah wah pedal attached to his throat.

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 Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee by GILA album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.53 | 48 ratings

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Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee
Gila Krautrock

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

2 stars Gila guitarist Conny Veit's new boss Florian Fricke (from Veit's day job in Popol Vuh) sits in on the recording of this last album from a briefly reunited Gila. It's certainly an odd little proposition - with more in common with psychedelia-tinged Americana than Krautrock - but an uninspiring production job combined with a lack of focus (despite the concept) yields a boring listen that doesn't much sound either like Gila's previous work or like Veit's excellent collaborations with Fricke over in Popol Vuh. The Gila project would go dormant after this brief sputtering into life, and I can't say a whole lot was lost - especially since this entire lineup (bar the vocalist) ended up making wonderful music together as Popol Vuh anyway.

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 Gila - Free Electric Sound by GILA album cover Studio Album, 1971
4.09 | 132 ratings

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Gila - Free Electric Sound
Gila Krautrock

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Yet another free jam freakout band from the Krautrock scene, Gila's Free Electric Sound begins with the dynamite Aggression, which combines hard rock guitar and heavy funk basswork with a typically psychedelic Krautrock format. The subsequent tracks do not quite manage to show the same level of innovation, and to be honest don't hold my interest to the same extent, though Conny Veit's guitar work is without a doubt the best asset the band had - no wonder Florian Fricke invited him into Popol Vuh! On balance, a good second-tier Krautrock album, but hardly a high priority for those beginning to explore the genre. I'd exhaust the outright classics of the field before turning my attention to this one, personally.

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 Night Works by GILA album cover Live, 1999
3.35 | 26 ratings

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Night Works
Gila Krautrock

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Taken from a live-in-the-studio performance for radio from 1972 the all-new tracks on Night Works more or less make up Gila's second album, as it might have sounded has the group not split up later that year. (They'd reform in time to make Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee.) It's a fairly typical Krautrock jam session, distinguished mainly by an interplay between Scheyhing's organ work and Conny Velt's guitar riffs that's more than a little reminiscent of Deep Purple from the In Rock period. This is most evident on The Gila Symphony, but throughout the album Velt's guitar sound is heavier and more closely aligned with hard rock from the era than most of his contemporaries in the Krautrock scene. This fusion between cosmic rock and classic rock is interesting, but isn't quite enough to elevate the album beyond being an interesting piece for Gila fans which won't get as much play in most people's collections as Free Electric Sound.

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 Gila - Free Electric Sound by GILA album cover Studio Album, 1971
4.09 | 132 ratings

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Gila - Free Electric Sound
Gila Krautrock

Review by colorofmoney91
Prog Reviewer

5 stars This is some seriously jammin' music, complete with Hendrix-esque guitar playing, heavy organ sounds, and a spacey atmosphere backing it all up. Free Electric Sound, the debut album by krautrockers Gila, is one of the most consistent albums in the krautrock genre, though I wasn't entirely convinced upon first listening about 4 years ago. Luckily, this album's impression on me improved over time.

First of all, the album cover; it's awesome looking. It reminds me of the video games I used to play back in the '90s, and that was what first initially drew me to listen to this album (album covers are very important). Second, the music is great. This album, unlike countless other krautrock albums, doesn't contain any amounts of pointlessness that I can detect. Every element of the all the music seems to have a purpose and it all flows so incredibly well. There are occasional vocals, but they are used more like just another instrument in that they mostly just make sounds. This is very trippy and groovy music, but fairly accessible for krautrock, so I'd say this is a nice introduction to the genre as well as one of the best.

It's a shame that the follow up to this album isn't quite as fantastic, but the fact that the band couldn't do better just emphasizes the masterpiece quality of this album.

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 Gila - Free Electric Sound by GILA album cover Studio Album, 1971
4.09 | 132 ratings

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Gila - Free Electric Sound
Gila Krautrock

Review by seventhsojourn
Special Collaborator RPI

4 stars I'm holding this Gila album in my hand and thinking it's probably one of my favourite Krautrock releases. It's certainly one of the more accessible I've heard. Among the six tracks there are no lengthy musical meanderings, or what Huxley might have called 'labyrinth(s) of endlessly significant complexity'. And you don't need to undergo a perception-altering spiritual exercise to enjoy the album.

Directed by the genius of Conny Veit, Gila present a series of fairly compact pieces but the results are no less favourable for that. Other than some intermittent sound effects the album is largely free of any unnecessary clutter, with primarily guitar and organ holding poll positions. The guitar has something of a Hendrix flavour on opening track 'Aggression', a neat jam that's underpinned by punchy, percussive bass lines. In fact the bass is pretty impressive throughout the album. The mood changes with the languid, spacey aura of 'Kommunikation', although this in turn undergoes a change with sinister-sounding Mellotron and a disorienting rhythm towards its end.

Matters become more intense with the dark-toned organ of 'Kollaps', a track that sounds to me like The Shadows' 'Apache' on a mescaline terror trip. This makes the acoustic interludings of 'Kontakt' stick out like a sore thumb although 'Kollektivitat' also has a strong, almost West Coast, melodic sensibility. The generally laconic spirit of the album is savaged by the delirium of the closing track 'Individualitat'. Consisting of eerie sound effects of flocking birds and tribal percussions this one sounds like it could have come from the depths of a primordial forest.

This is a tremendous listen, surprisingly approachable and a near perfect introduction for newcomers to Krautrock.

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 Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee by GILA album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.53 | 48 ratings

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Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee
Gila Krautrock

Review by Bonnek
Special Collaborator Prog Metal Team

3 stars With only Conny Veit remaining from the original Gila line-up, this album is a complete departure from the previous Gila albums. With a female vocalist and with Florian Fricke from Popol Vuh this rather sounds like a Popol Vuh album then like the Floydian blues-psych jams that Gila had done before.

In the instrumental parts there are still traces of the band's psychedelic roots but due to the vocals and the more acoustic sound this is a folk album before anything else. At its strongest moments it marries Popol Vuh to Sandy Denny. But there are also some mellow pop-folk tracks here that might be better fit for folk fans then for me. Despite the good instrumental backbone, a song like Sundance Chant does little for me.

After this album, Florian Fricke would take Conny Veit and Fichelser (formerly from Amon Düül II) along with him to Popol Vuh and Gila ceased to exist. 3.5 stars

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 Night Works by GILA album cover Live, 1999
3.35 | 26 ratings

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Night Works
Gila Krautrock

Review by Bonnek
Special Collaborator Prog Metal Team

2 stars Released in 1999 but a featuring a 1972 radio broadcast recording featuring all new material that was supposed to be Gila's second album. Given the rather poor quality of the recordings, this release is only of interest to dedicated Gila and Agitation Free fans.

But the quality of the material is quite strong in places and with a bit more time and fine-tuning this could have been a potentially excellent follow up for the Gila debut. The music is perfectly in line with that album and offers mid-paced psych-blues-jams with a clear nod to pre-Dark Side Pink Floyd. The first two or three tracks are excellent but from then onwards the jamming gets gradually more predictable. The Gila Symphony / Communication II suite sounds entirely dull and uninspired in my ears.

Conny Veit would take Gila into an entirely different direction with the next studio album and he wouldn't use a single note from the material of these sessions. That doesn't sound to me like he was too happy with them either. 3 stars if you don't mind the average recording quality. 2 stars because I do.

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