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Gila - Gila - Free Electric Sound CD (album) cover





4.13 | 187 ratings

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4 stars 4 ½ stars for this masterly done Krautrock album!!

I used to own the highly sought after original vinyl edition of this one some 20 years ago but this type of Krautrock wasn't that much "my cup" back then and therefore I sold it for a quite good price (though nowadays I'd get twice as much). I preferred much their easier psyche folk album from 1973 at that time but meanwhile I've got the CD versions of both records in my collection since a couple of years. As usual taste preferences are changing over time and this excellent debut has really grown on me. Now I've got to say that Gila's first one of course had been much better than "Bury My Heart." (their second one just contains some live jam sessions) though they're hardly to be compared with each other being completely different since only guitarist and band founder Conny Veit had been left over from the original line-up. This debut had been a self production by the band and according to the CD booklet it's telling their story starting from 1969 to 1971 and their development from aggressive rock to balanced communicative music. Like some other bands from the early German progressive scene these guys really practised their ideology which means that by utilising their maximum creative potential they were trying to find their own fulfilment as well as to influence their environment. It was very important for them to be as much as possible free from restraints and forced order and therefore they preferred to use a free-form structure rather than arranged compositions for their music. Of course many bands and musicians from the Krautrock scene were taking this approach during that era - names like Ashra Tempel, Amon Düül, Faust, Can or Neu come to my mind - but actually I've to say the outcome was usually not very satisfactory (at least to my ears). Nonetheless all those bands were quite unique in their very own way and as well much different from the overall trend in progressive rock incorporating more classical forms like suites and movements and following more or less strictly the rules of music theory. Maybe it's due to the fact that I havn't grown up with classical music or it's the rebel in me that I mostly find such type of music more exciting than the classical Prog represented by bands like Genesis or Yes. But I've to say the music on here doesn't sound chaotic at all, not even really unstructured, it's rather floating very nicely without becoming ever dreary nor tedious which is the case for many records of this particular sub-genre. Certainly it's much rooted in late 60's psychedelic, comparable to Floyd's Ummagumma-period, just more enjoyable and easier accessible. Thus it might sound dated for some Prog fans being not that much into Krautrock but I think this record can offer much pleasure after several spins to anyone interested into unique and sophisticated music. Most of the tracks here are purely instrumental, sporadic vocals (both in English and German language) are used merely for emphasizing the keywords of the album concept, aggression and communication. A wide range of sounds had been used, including Mellotron, brilliant organ play and as well some oriental ones like tabla. The musicianship presented by all band members is absolutely impressing and I'm really seduced to give the full-score rating for this excellent debut. But since it might be considered not that much progressive for the year of 1971 and it might not appeal to everyone I think it wouldn't be quite justified. But anyway this album is an excellent addition to any Prog collection and for sure a must-have for fans of Krautrock or Spacerock.

hdfisch | 4/5 |


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