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Deuter - D CD (album) cover





3.74 | 47 ratings

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4 stars Multi-Instrumental German masterpiece from 1971, 20 Oct 2010

(Reactive 2010 Reissue)

Deuter may not be a name familiar to many. His extensive catalogue consists largely of what most people would describe as `New Age' music. This is not the case here, on his debut work. Coming from the motherlode of classic and forgotten Krautrock, Esoteric Records' Reactive imprint has once again uncovered a gem (see also the follow up release the very different `Aum' also on Reactive).

Originally issued in 1971 on the Kuckuck (Cuckoo) label, `D' is a fascinating early attempt at a multitracked solo album, which is interesting not least for the technical limitations it overcomes. Using a single two track Revox tape machine, Deuter overdubbed layers of instruments and `found sounds' by bouncing tracks between left and right channels to create a captivating one man work. It is a triumph in that the sound quality is superb, it is wonderful in stereo throughout and a superbly conceived set of sound pictures and layered and varied instruments. Deuter was as the excellent sleevenotes point out, working with about 1% of the technology available on a laptop today, and it is largely a triumph.

The emphasis is on the textural rather than the melodic but there is much to hold the attention. The opening 15 minute epic `Babylon' is an excellent demonstration of recording techniques using found sounds, organ, and varispeed, glissando and backwards guitar to fully realise a constantly shifting soundscape suitable for late night contemplation. The ideas come thick and fast over its long duration covering all points between `Kosmische' and `Raga' rock, all expertly spliced into a satisfying whole. Flip it metaphorically over to side two and you have a suite of captivating music influenced as much by Stockhausen as early Pink Floyd. There are echoes of Klaus Schulze in the organ work, although it is far more economical than Schulze's sometimes overlong and crude extemporisations of the era (Deuter takes five minutes to say what Schulze might have said in twenty-five).

Deuter blends natural sounds, using water for its musical qualities, and `Krishna Eating Fish and Chips' is a lovely sitar work out (despite the frivolous title) that seeks to find the beauty in the instrument rather than any superficial treatment of it. `Atlantis' is a suitably watery textural piece, and closer `Gammastrahlen-Lamm' again uses organ drones to full effect.

There are a wide range of fascinating musical movements over the course of this 40 minute album, yes it was recorded in a one bedroom apartment, but it is a triumph of imagination both in music and recording/engineering techniques and overall is a dark mystery well worth investigating.

beebfader | 4/5 |


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