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A.R. & Machines - AR4 [Aka: A. R. IV] CD (album) cover

AR4 [AKA: A. R. IV]

A.R. & Machines



4.00 | 66 ratings

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5 stars Meeting the spirits of krautrock ...

The civilisation makes everyone of us to a link in any chain which has its defined task, which has to function. Ponderous laws, regulations, commandments, prohibitions and instructions are controlling our life. Behaviours and thoughts were adopted like a ready-made meal out of the refrigerator. Creativity is not worth it? To improve life you need even power and goodness, first of all conciousness and fantasy. This is music for people with fantasy. It asks and answers, tells stories of yesterday, today and tomorrow. It paints pictures and holds your hand. Always in the way you hear it. Put on your headphones and close your eyes. Listen to the music and listen to yourself. And now you're already playing with us.

Achim Reichel's message on the LP backside is typical for the restless, rebellious times with a special atmosphere of departure in the late 60s and early 70s. Completely everything was challenged and put to the test. So this reflects the background for the development of krautrock with fascinating bands and albums as the result.

Being successful with THE RATTLES and later managing the famous STAR-CLUB in Hamburg, he also wanted to do something completely different. Unmistakeably influenced by upcoming electronic bands like TANGERINE DREAM for example he transmitted to a pioneer of this genre with his meditative improvisations. So five albums were produced under the moniker A.R. & MACHINES within the years from 1971 to 1974 but also efforts for other groundbreaking projects for example YATHA SIDHRA and the album 'A Meditation Mass'.

Now this vinyl from 1973 was recorded at Windrose Dumont Time studios by the wellknown engineer Conny Plank. Compared to the forerunner 'AR3' Reichel offers long jams again with his staff which consists of eleven musicians and Frank Dostal who is responsible for the lyrics. The band uses a wide range of instruments and the album manages a special melange of spaced out and jazzy elements - eclectic despite of the repetitive sequences.

The title Vita hits the nail right on the head with a joy of playing. The song radiates a happy flavour supported by an irresistible twin guitar, bass and percussion work. It looks like the instruments are hunting each others during 22 minutes of fantastic spacy jazz rock. This is provided with some ethnic additions per soprano sax, flute and sitar and the electric piano is swirling all around. This is sometimes sounding near to EMBRYO's work. The second jam Aqua is a lot more meditative and psychedelic first with sparkling piano and water, birds twittering and other animal voices. The song hurrries up in the second half to reach the 'aqua' respectively the ocean for being adrift on the sea of life ....

This album is definetely a masterpiece and belongs to the classics of krautrock. And just do what Achim Reichel advises - use your headphones!

Rivertree | 5/5 |


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