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3 stars DEAF were an extremely obscure Swiss Krautrock outfit around 1970 and we can hear their "real" soundscape only from their one and only compilation "Alpha" including the longest album-titled suite and three live sessions. Of the whole album, such a mixture of heavy & peppery guitar-based kick and drunken keyboard walk can notify us some fragrance of Krautrock.

From the beginning "No Time" we can be knocked out by freak out flute, percussive rhythm section, simple and persistently fluctuate bass, and sometimes familiar sometimes heavy attacking Samuraish rock ensemble. Against clear heavy rock texture, obscure voices (like this band's history ... cannot understand what they said) are there. In the latter half, eerie keyboards catecholamine intermittently follows drumming solo. A mysterious and interesting stuff. The second "Run You Off The Hill" can shoot into our brain dreamy drowsy bluesy heavy missiles from Swiss Deaf-y launcher. Basically a simple blues number, but simultaneously with groovy keyboard-based glimmering psychedelia. In "The Galactic Pack Of Kari" a warped flute and a greasy acoustic guitar can be very active and aggressive over the percussive rhythm stage especially in the middle part. Definitely not a single poppy ballad but delightful tragedy theme we can hear alright?

The last Ravel's Boléro-based extreme suite "Alpha", one of their few and rare studio sessions, should be absolutely beyond expression. Calm and gracious falsetto chorus with exotic, ethnic woody-moody percussive melodies by flute and clarinet solos, plus a bit weird shouts, not entirely united and polished but slightly scattered into each of instrumental pieces. Nutty and dry-fruity merged organ sounds themselves can remind us some Kraut-ish keyboard-based soundshower. Quirky percussion and a bass solo with spacey synthesizer-elevated tribal jamming ensemble is not fundamentally honest at all but a bit whacked-out with merry-go-rounder flute sounds and complex, flexible drumming. Certainly shoegazey garagey made-on-trip sounds follow the whackey bloody footprints by struggle between a guitar and a synthesizer. Maybe they cannot be too soft nor too heavy in the last part. Well-balanced bluesy boogie fever can rush into confusion world. We cannot realize and well-read where and how this longest suite goes until the very last, and just after listening to it, no fresh air nor comfort but something missing (maybe DEAF themselves I do consider!) should be left around us surely.

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Posted Monday, June 21, 2010 | Review Permalink

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