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Agitation Free - 2nd CD (album) cover


Agitation Free



3.83 | 195 ratings

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3 stars After the ethnic experimentation of debut album 'Malesch' - which had come about thanks to an invitation to tour Egypt from the Goethe institute - German kraturock pioneers Agitation Free set to work on their second full-length studio album in 1973. Despite barely being together a full year, the group had enjoyed much success on the road, with their Egypt trip followed up by a performance at the ill-fated Munich Olympic games of 1972, a performance which gave the group some much needed national exposure. Featuring Stefan Diez(guitar), Michael Hoenig(keyboards), Michael Gunther(bass), Burghard Rausch(drums, Mellotron) and Lutz Ulbrich(guitar, bouzouki), '2nd' would eschew the Eastern sound of 'Malesch' for a much more tripped-out, acid-rock sound complete with bubbling synths and mystical sound effects that brought the group's sound closer to the likes of Amon Duul II and Gaa, though the melodic guitars of Diez and Ulbrich also hinted at Jefferson Airplane-sized aspirations. The key track on '2nd' is the acid-blues drenched 'Laila', a live favourite that can be found in several different - and lengthier - versions on Agitation Free's highly-recommended live albums 'Last' and 'Fragments'. Indeed, there are many similarities to be had between this sophomore studio effort and 'Last', with the live arena adding a free-form vibe that, for obvious reasons, couldn't be recreated within the confines of the recording studio, to many of the tracks found on '2nd'. Those two albums, along with the spacier and much more experimental 'Malesch', represent the apex of Agitation Free's sadly rather truncated career, which explains why many of the same tracks can be found across the group's tiny discography. Some fans may well feel a little short- changed by the lack of variety on both 'Last' and '2nd'(none of the 'Malesch' material seems to have been considered for the groups live shows) yet there is no denying the moments of pure beauty that can be found in the best parts of this Berlin five-pieces compositions. All the tracks on this release are highly recommended to those who enjoy genuinely melodic, tripped-out space-rock, though the lack of more material does tinge Agitation Free's otherwise impressive musical canon with a slight feeling of disappointment - if only because their synth-and-guitar led dynamic leaves one craving for so much more.
stefro | 3/5 |


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