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Ainigma - Diluvium CD (album) cover

DILUVIUM

Ainigma

 

Krautrock

3.09 | 47 ratings

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Ricochet
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Here's another group from the German stage -and, in extenso, from the progressive golden decade - that made only one album, impressive in power and not too deteriorated by time, but neither truly essential. The sole album itself, Diluvium, is now a rarity, though a second print of it, with different covers and bonus tracks, was successfully done twice. The trio formed in 1972, recorded the short but sturdy album a year later, and is certified to have lasted together one more year, till 1974. Nothing far from a rare and short-lasting kraut band's tale so far. A bit more impressive should be the age at which the Ainigma trio played together: very young, but very determined and talented too. At 15-17 years, nowadays, many young musicians, with an appetite in rock, metal or other styles, do the same thing, taking music into their own hands, but half of times it all symbolizes a trash session or an oriented play that lacks fluency.

Instead, Ainigma's example is, by any chance, kind of "classic": taking on the heat of stoned psychedelic, heavy rock and kraut rough structures, the level of experimentation isn't remarkable, the quality and temperament don't add to make the album perfect (in fact, this too furious expression pays its price, showing either a slip of youthfulness, either a glitch or a pretentious tone raised by these kraut-heads), but the style is administered in strong doses. Druggy psychedelia, organ space sounds, heavy raw guitars, excerpts of bluesy or progressive main rhythms. It's a good mix. Even better, the ratio is worthy: three short pieces, contrasted by an epic that's not flawless, but neither sloppy. And speaking of contrasts, we don't get too much of that in terms of sensible-powerful music, because melancholy or (more appropriately krautrock-ish) soft hallucinations are almost unremarked throughout the entire recital. Instead, powerful shocks and simple but virile bursts of energy are the saucerful ingredients. However, between the vocals and the instruments, there's a classic-experimental or an emotional-instinctual constant ceasure. Diluvium can be complimented for its different shades of roughness and kraut-zest, instrumentally speaking. The epic does wonders in showing the trio's artistic side, while the first two songs are a bit too consumed by the "burn" and do sound more jammed than neatly composed.

What's disappointing in Ainigma's work and potential? First of all, getting back to the things said in the first paragraph, that these boys were 16 or 17 delivered such a hot-tempered record, yet they've stopped to this. Sure, they would have been *considered* mature by the time prog and kraut bands would have burned out, in the late 70s. But, even if such the psychedelic squeeze was enjoyed in the peak of the 60s, respectively the early phase of the 70s, it's a shame Ainigma disbanded, when they had reasons to keep pedalling. Inside Diluvium, talking about age is pointless when you hear how Willy Klüter glisses or improvises on organs, how Netzer can apparently crunch the guitar with his right hand and keep a good bass pace with his left hand and how well the second member of the Klüter family, Michael, can play drums (he gets a solo in the middle of the title-track epic, but it's not really more impressive than the rest he does). Instead, I think Willy's vocals are affected by his youth skills, because it's a low on Ainigma. Sure, songs like All Things Are Fading wouldn't be the same without the luscious dialogue and mentioned contrast between the voice and the steam of rock, electric instruments, still Willy's singing isn't apt for a good grade. It's sad this way, yet it's a fact for me. Now, to end upon the subject of disappointments, the pleasure of the album lies more into the middle part of it, since a worse kick-off like Prejudice I've yet to judge. Meanwhile, the bonus track on the different edition of this album, Thunderstorm, is both damaged in sound and mastering and weak in music and growl. The production is probably low because the style is "underdone", but that makes anyway the album less enjoyable. Finally, you do have to stylistically prefer, on one hand, and to have a cooled-down mood in order to enjoy listening, on the other hand, such a loud, mentally acid session of par-psych par-heavy rock cloudride.

If Prejudice is simply too twitchy and unpleasant and it would be better off to stop the play right after the epic ends intensely, in case you've got Thunderstorm as a bonus, Diluvium is instead good to very good when you hear a progressive rock felt core rhythm in You Must Run, when the instrumental improvisations sound so cracking in mixture with Klüter's lackadaisical sad poetry in All Things Are Fading (which isn't close to my favourite moment by Ainigma, but can impress generally) and, finally, in how complex should, under normal circumstances, be regarded the title-track epic. Simple in terms of music, strong in terms of long drifts and bangs, yet complex in its fibber and to a point artistic in its musical arrangement (A-B-A, meaning a first progressive/kraut shake, followed by a drum solo and a psych-refreshing mid-melody, to finally bring the sum of nuances and jamming riffs back to an honourably long & cool second drift - organ leitmotifs included as "easter egg"). After all this, unless you weren't in the right disposition for such a big dipper, or you just don't appreciate the virtuous - in a gripping sense - expression of this orientation, you have to give credit to Ainigma, for a psych/kraut work that sounds well and infuses even more than that.

Lopsided yet crazy and cool, with flaws but not with strong defects (the different nuance of these close terms should be understood), rare but also worth collecting, succinct but also build-up, Ainigma do deserve, in the end, a recommendation. Diluvium is a jam-based moment of krautrock that's worth looking into, even if on your way up to the giants, the freaks or the unbounded minds and names.

Ricochet | 3/5 |

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