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Dzyan - Electric Silence CD (album) cover





4.02 | 205 ratings

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4 stars This was my introduction album into krautrock, and it was no small part thanks to the extremely strange, colourful album cover that immediately grabbed my attention. I admit that this probably wasn't the best start in terms of how indicative of the genre it was, as while I do love this album, it falls under the more difficult, free flowing soundscape side of krautrock, the likes of early Tangerine Dream and Guru Guru, rather than the repetitive groove of bands such as Can and Neu!. Furthermore, I believe that this record in itself is also quite unique in the strong ethnic influence of each song, especially in terms of the exotic percussion and string instruments such as sitar. All of this comes together to make such an awesome, trippy album that I find myself frequently putting on, as there is an otherworldly quality it has that I really enjoy.

The album starts off with one of my favourite tracks, largely for that incredible intro, moments of screeching guitars mixed with a soothing line on a marimba. I love the way that the instruments fade out, leaving a conflicting drum beat and underlying melody from the marimba, starting off sounding muddled and discordqant before slowly developing into a really great rhythm that's then further added onto with the bass. The instruments all increase in pace and eergy immensely other than that bassline, providing a really interesting effect where the song still feels incredibly slow and laid back despite the absolute insanity unfolding. If there's one issue I have with this album, it's the fact that the majority of the tracks after this sound almost the same, which I'd dislike more if not for the fact that they still do all sound quite good. A Day in My Life is even more chaotic from an instrumenta standpoint while maintaining the extremely trippy nature of the album, as does The Road Not Taken. although with less Indo influence and more focus on a sparse soundscape of noise that builds towards the end. The approach Khali takes is once again fairly similar, but more minimalistic. For Earthly Thinking is definitely the other highlight of the album however, staring off with a sinister, foreboding sensation with soft flutes as the percussion is lightly tapped at, this gives way to a build up of noise, a constant ebb and flow throughout, with good use of steel drums. The song definitely has more of a set structure to it than others, essentially being one massive crescendo into cacophonous, atonal jamming. The title track ends up providing more of the same and continues to explore more of this soundscape, providing a decent end to the album.

Overall, while I do believe that this album could have become even greater by further extending certain pieces and providing slightly more identity for each track, this is nonetheless a really great, psychedelic album. I love the ethnic, jazzy sound brought forth, and definitely find it to be an incredibly compelling listen. While I stand by there being many better entry points into krautrock, this is definitely not an album to be missed if you like spacey minimalism and explorative soundscapes.

Best songs: Back To Where We Come From, For Earthly Thinking

Weakest songs: none

Verdict: While the songs under 5 minutes may all sound somewhat too similar, the sound here is far too compelling for me to say to give it a miss. I'd recommend this album to those who really like music that focuses on soundscapes and ambience, as this album has that in spades, while balancing it out perfectly with some more frenetic sections of music.

Kempokid | 4/5 |


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