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Cosmic Circus Music - Wiesbaden 1973 CD (album) cover


Cosmic Circus Music


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2 stars This rather stupidly named instrumental Krautrock trio from Göttingen released their music only in a cassette form in their three years of activity in the early seventies, as they concentrated on playing live. Last year Garden Of Delights released this live performance as a CD, accompanied by a detailed group history etc. It's unusual to see an 82-minute CD - and all music divided in only two parts under the title 'Sternenmaskerade', Teils 1 und 2.

The nearest comparisons in my experience are the early TANGERINE DREAM and ASH RA TEMPEL. Unless you enjoy those too, I wouldn't recommend you this one, which seems to be very improvisational trip into cosmos. But as tiresome as it may be, it is not without some sort of beauty. Bernd Diesner's guitar has a melancholic and meditative flavour, and Karl-Heinz Keffer's bass succesfully increases the music's depth. The drummer Ulrich Masshoefer handles also the early EMS synthesizer; its bubbling and twittering sounds complete the sense of cosmic journey. But 82 minutes is definitely too much and too samey to a casual listener of Kosmische Musik. The latter half is better as it partly features Tim Belbe of XHOL [CARAVAN] on flute. This release is suitable for the most dedicated cosmic Krautrock fans, but for those it may indeed be worth purchasing. Lots of detailed information (in German and English) and pictures are included in the leaflet.

Report this review (#1181781)
Posted Sunday, June 1, 2014 | Review Permalink
Rock Progressivo Italiano Team
5 stars Some rough around the edges cassette recordings are all that survive of krautrock trio Cosmic Circus Music, a group that were based in based in Göttingen, Germany and only active for a few years in the early Seventies. The Garden of Delights label have compiled this one continuous 78 minute live performance from July 14 1973 at the Wiesbaden Wartburg Auditorium July 14, 1973 onto a single CD release, and the band perform a fully improvised cosmic music set in the exploratory vein of diverse Krautrock-related acts such as the Ash Ra Tempel, DOM, the Cosmic Jokers, Agitation Free and the early recordings of both Klaus Schulze and the Pink Floyd.

Delicate acoustic guitar ruminations and harsh electric distortion waves crash together in `Sternenmaskerade' around Ulrich Maßhöfer's shimmering electronic drones. Bernd Diesner's contemplative electric guitar strains reach for the heavens, sometimes burning slowly with middle- eastern vibes, cutting slyly like a buzzsaw the next. Karl-Heinz Keffer's bass grumbles and murmurs with lethargic delight, and Ulrich's plodding drums a thrashing storm of ferocious feral noise. Flautist Tim Belbe of Xhol Caravan eventually drifts in and out, flitting between electronic chirping ebbs as the piece grows in intensity and power. The whole performance is relaxed one moment, overwhelming and wild the next, and there's that delicious faint touch of darkness grafted to the lo-fi recording that permeates all the best Krautrock recordings.

Equally beautifully melancholic and rapturously meditative, completely hypnotic and truly immersive, `Wiesbaden 1973' is a genuine lost Krautrock gem far superior to being some mere desperate product belatedly released to make a quick buck. Listeners who prefer structure and focus will likely find it fairly tedious, but for the lovers who dig lo-fi fully improvised spacey krautrock sounds, it holds truly timeless Kosmische music you could listen to and disappear into forever.

Five stars.

Report this review (#1533434)
Posted Saturday, February 27, 2016 | Review Permalink

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