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Rufus Zuphall - Phallobst CD (album) cover

PHALLOBST

Rufus Zuphall

 

Krautrock

4.10 | 51 ratings

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Sean Trane
Special Collaborator
Prog Folk
4 stars RZ's second album, released on the now-legendary Pilz label, was recorded in Dieter Dierks's studios. Two personnel changes: the bassist (departing Lieblang was the lyric writer in the first line-up, and he contributes to three songs without playing) and the addition of a second guitarist Kittel. Early 70's German prog group always shared some doubtful tastes regarding their artwork (in this regard the rebel-rock attitude was more respected than their English counterparts), but here we are definitely with one of the top 10 tasteless artwork depicting a rotten pear getting devoured by worms and the just-as-ugly inside gatefold shows their faces as the worms >> yummyyyyyyyyyyy!!!!

Clearly better produced, with more musical possibilities (both guitarist play a bit of KB now and then and even a tad of Mellotron), with much shorter track length (max 6 minutes), this album is more concise and maybe proggier than the debut. If the first two tracks go unsurprisingly by with their lot of happy sounds, we are more intrigued with the lengthier Schupfner with its medieval-like guitars and superb flute: very reminiscent of the first album, it is the highlight of the A-side of the album along with a much calmer and reflective Waste Land.

The second side of the album is a bit more uplifting with the instrumental Makrojel opening strongly, with a jazzy feeling, but we are again in the typical sound of theirs. Actually, it is quite hard to recognize instantly which RZ track you are listening to without the help of the albums, as they had a "sound with which they rarely digressed from. Another instrumental track, Prickel Pit, follows with heavier riffy guitars, while an Derroll Adams track, Portland Town will become a concert favourite. The closing track is a rather slow developer (with them Mellotrons and a clavinet in the intro). But while there are some Folk influences on this album, to call this their main influences would be grossly exaggerating as they take up as much from the blues or jazz in the studio and live they were even bluesier..

As with the debut album in its Cd version, Phallobst now comes with 8 bonus tracks: the second part of the farewell concert in 72, and as you might've guessed if you read my review of the debut, the sound is bootleg-quality (marginally better at times) and them tracks do not really add any kind of value to the original album.

Again RZ was not essential to the development of progressive rock, but they were a small brick that was integral part of the pyramid, this album being just as good or pleasant as the debut. But if nothing worth writing home about, both albums do deserve the odd spin now and then.

Sean Trane | 4/5 |

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