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The Cosmic Jokers - The Cosmic Jokers CD (album) cover


The Cosmic Jokers



3.95 | 137 ratings

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3 stars In the spring of 73, Rolf-Ulrich Kaiser, one of the leading promoters of Krautrock, brought musicians from Ash Ra Tempel and Wallenstein together for a couple of impromptu jams. He recorded and released those sessions without ever consulting or paying any of the musicians involved. Needless to say, they were very displeased. It's a well known anecdote that Göttsching first heard the album in a record shop and had to ask what was playing. Also Schulze overtly disowns the albums stating that these sessions were never intended for release.

The artists' objections are entirely justified, but for the fans of cosmic rock this project is a gift from heaven, or rather, from deep space. The quality of the albums is very high and it's a delight hearing those musicians run wild with ideas without worrying for a second about the commercial potential of the material. Total freedom, resulting in one of the strongest 'out-there' recordings of the 70s.

The self-titled Cosmic Jokers album was the first album released and is generally regarded as the best. Which is only logical as Kaiser sure wanted to select the strongest cuts for the first release, the two ensuing albums are not far behind though. The 4th and 5th albums are no real Cosmic Joker album but compilations from various artist of Kaiser's record labels.

The album consists of two lengthy jams split into 5 tracks. The Cosmic Joke jam is a masterpiece of space-rock, a unique acid trip that has enough groove and melody to make it an engaging listen. The second track is a lot weirder, darker and more abstract, but even without clear melodic or rhythmic patterns, it's still a feast of guitar effect, phasing and reverb.

Despite its questionable origins, this is an essential album in the cosmic division of Krautrock. Obviously recommended for fans of Ash Ra Tempel and early Schulze, Cluster, Ummagumma-era Floyd and Tangerine Dream's so-called 'Pink' years.

Bonnek | 3/5 |


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