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The Cosmic Jokers - Galactic Supermarket CD (album) cover


The Cosmic Jokers



3.70 | 87 ratings

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Cesar Inca
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars What a cosmic joke did the Fates of Music bring to all prog rock lovers around the world when the (arguably) best krautrock ensemble ever never happened to be a proper band but a congregation of accomplished musicians who out of friendship and pleasure managed to do some excellent jam sessions in a recording studio. This is what The Cosmic Jokers were all about, and the second release "Galactic Supermarket" happens to be my personal favorite of the whole bunch released by Mr. Dierks. The reasons why this sophomore release by this (non-) krautrock project appeals to be as the apex are: 1) the sonic pallet is wider, hence allowing the musicians to expand more effectively on the magic that was occurring at the time; 2) the ensemble's sound in itself feels tighter and more focused, without losing that sort of free-form edge that usually makes the best of the special atmospheres we appreciate as typical of hard edged krautrock. The guitar leads happen to enjoy a more focused protagonist role, as the soaring moods and spacey displays provided by the dual keyboard inputs get conveniently enhanced in the mix. Regarding the latter point, the way in which the electric and grand pianos and the mellotron enter in places to state specific orchestrations and ornaments is just lovely. Grosskopf's drum kit also happens to be enhanced in the mix, in this way generating a strengthened role for the rhythmic pulsations evolving throughout the jams. Like I said, this ensemble sounds more powerful than in their already great debut release. 'Kinder des Alls' fills the album's first half, bearing a solid presence of jazz-rock cadences fueled by Grottsching's stylish phrases (somewhere between McLaughlin and Hendrix). The second section slows down into a set of cosmic languidness, featuring synthesizer and mellotron, building up a dreamy ambience closely related to pre-"Phaedra" TD. With the arrival of the third section, the lead guitar returns to the front, only this time sharing the spotlight with the pairing of Dollase's organ and Schulze's synthesizer, in a sort of refurbishment of the framework that had been elaborated in the first section. IMHO, this is the album's peak, but I won't dismiss the other sidelong track at all. Not at all. 'Galactic Supermarket' is constructed in the psychedelic prog rock parameters, with Schulze and Dollase emerging many times as the dual leaders of the musical journey. The third and last section happens to be more oriented toward the free-form logic, with all musicians gathered in a somewhat challenging chaos, yet still revealing how well each musician is paying attention to the others. For instance, we've got synthesized machine gun effects that punctuate some funky guitar strumming, while, in some other passage, Dollase's playful piano chords counteract against the rhythm duo's delivery. We've got also some spoken female vocals that seem to work as priestess' evocations. It is a pity that the fade-out should get in so soon. Anyway, I thank these guys for the music, which I regard as indispensable for all true lovers of Ash Ra Tempel, first-era Guru Guru and Agitation Free. A krautrock masterpiece, this is, indeed.
Cesar Inca | 5/5 |


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