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Toto Blanke - Electric Circus CD (album) cover


Toto Blanke

Jazz Rock/Fusion

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4 stars German guitarist Toto Blanke (1939-2013) came to prominence as a member of the excellent avant-jazz rock outfit Association P.C. "Electric Circus," Blanke's second solo effort, is quite different from his first, "Spider's Dance." While his first album consisted of Anglo-American style jazz-rock (which was very good), "Electric Circus" finds Blanke incorporating the ground-breaking sounds of his home country at the time.

Blanke not only handles the guitars on this album, he also plays a ppg synth, ppg sequencer, moog taurus, as well as the banjo. As you may guess, the modern (at the time) synths, sequencers and moog make this quite different from your average fusion LP. Joining Blanke is his former band mate from Association P.C., Jasper van't Hof on keyboards. Also in the mix is American bassist Dave King, who also played with Embryo and the Curt Cress Clan, as well as others. Drums and percussion duties were handled by Edward Vesala of Finland.

The result is an interesting blend of jazz rock and Krautrock. Blanke's guitar (and Banjo) playing is magnificent as ever, but "Electric Circus" is not a guitar album. The synths take center stage on most tracks, layered over spacey, Kraut grooves. Experimental in nature, the album captures the best of both of the worlds it straddles. Recommended to those who like experimental music like Et Cetera / Wolfgang Dauner and other like-minded Teutonic musicians. 4 stars.

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Posted Thursday, February 28, 2019 | Review Permalink

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