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Sean Trane
Prog Folk
2 stars My first contact (loooooong ago) with multi-instrumentalist Deuter's works was with this album, which was released on the legendary Munich-based Kuckuck label. A far cry from Deuter's early experimental works (he had stopped after two albums before starting again four years later after a religious revival and finding his guru Baghwan Rajneesh - the man with the 72 Rolls Royce in his exile in Idaho, US nowadays), we are close to new age music, and most certainly in ambient music. Deuter always a mystical inspiration and his eastern influences came from his travels to the mid-east. But with this album, we are nearing much more the far east

In itself, not a bad album if you like this sort of new age stuff (Deuter is regarded as one of the originator of the style), but to me, this kind of album ricochets over the shell of my indifference. Rather useless unless falling into mystical crisis, but by no means a bad album, either. His future releases will be in the same spirit as this one, and if you must choose one of those new age albums, might as well make the one that started it all, this one.

Report this review (#99602)
Posted Monday, November 20, 2006 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Georg Deuter is a German born instrumentalist who has released more than sixty albums to date since beginning his musical journey back at the start of the early Seventies. These days he is mostly associated with New Age and meditation music, but at the very start of his career, his first few releases were frequently in a Krautrock mold, where rough-around-the-edges ethnic instrumentation blended with organ, electronics and both electric and acoustic guitar passages. His classic debut `D' from 1971 was comprised of schizophrenic and psychedelic sound collages, the follow up `Aum' a year later focused on a variety of shorter eastern-flavoured fragments with strong world music elements. Fortunately, 1976's `Celebration' was still quite a way from the placid New Age flavours he would eventually move in to, embracing a frequently acoustic hippie-folk vibe whilst still making time for experimental Krautrock-styles electronic and ethnic-laced drones.

The trio of the two part `Celebration of the Moment' that opens and closes the first side of the LP and the purposeful `Life is Love' are mostly contemplative flute ruminations crossed with vigorous acoustic guitar rambles that at least remain quite lo-fi enough to maintain just the tiniest trace of grit, pretty much a constant to all the acoustic playing throughout the album. But it's the eleven-plus minute ` Von Hohen Himmel Ein Leuchtendes Schweigen' that proves to be exceptional and completely intoxicating. A seeping and humming electronic drone consuming a blur of groaning chants and uplifting acoustic themes, it reminds of the best of the Krautrock-associated groups that blended ethnic elements with electronics and is truly one of the best pieces to appear on a Deuter album.

Side B's spontaneous `Grass Grows by Itself' initially opens with lightly trilling synth wisps over placid acoustic guitar strums and gradually emerging low-key groaning sitar strains before diverting into a sweetly joyous flute dance. The hypnotic chiming guitars flecked with delay of `Solitary Bird' briefly call to mind the classic Manuel Gottsching/Ashra works, soon joined by eerie wavering synths that hold just a hint of unease next to drifting flute drones. `Le Ciel est Bleu' is an experiment in cut-up harmonica and ringing sitar over glistening electronic programming, and the field recordings of nature that pepper the background of `Easy is Right' (almost reminding of Pink Floyd's `Cirrus Minor' off their classic `More' soundtrack!) close the disc behind spirited and toasty acid-folk guitar strums with just enough of a deliciously shambling manner to really nail the laid back summer vibe.

Deuter's third album may be gentle, but there's a massive difference between faceless, overly- pretty and pleasant New Age pap and intelligent, undemanding music that is meditative and full of personality and atmosphere. Truly the soundtrack to a hazy warm afternoon with its sunny and embracing vibe, `Celebration' is a very respectable and dignified work that still finds the time to carefully experiment within its affable acoustics.

Three and a half stars.

Report this review (#1695737)
Posted Tuesday, February 21, 2017 | Review Permalink

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