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Organisation - Tone Float CD (album) cover

TONE FLOAT

Organisation

Krautrock


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5 stars Great decision to add this album over here, PROGMAN. Indeed, I was thinking of adding this album (and I am the first one to review it anyway!), because it showed the embryonic phase of electronic music giants Ralf Hütter and Florian Schneider, a.k.a Kraftwerk. Speaking of which, it should be well understood by newcomers of Kraftwerk (or Krautrock / Electronic rock in general) that this album was originally released under the band name Organisation (hence the phrase in paranthesis), which broke up immediately after releasing this album, and Ralf and Florian went on to form Kraftwerk with two other musicians (one of which is Klaus Dinger, of later Neu!)

It is incomprehensible why many progheads point at ItCotCK and later albums as the beginning of progressive rock after listening to this one. Without even using a single guitar line, Hütter/Schneider & co. managed to produce one of the original experimantal/kraut/prog rock albums. Indeed, this should be regarded as the start of Krautrock, possibly along with Can's Monster Movie, though the two albums represent different aspects of the genre.

The album opens with the side long title track. The piece is dominated by various percussion sounds, and the textures are very sound. After several minutes, the organ joins in, and the transitions are so soft that you don't even notice!

The rest of the tracks are melodic instrumentals, Rhythm Salad being a shadow of the long title track, but different in approach. Most of the time you hear the mild, pleasant flute of Schneider, and only wish he carried on in Kraftwerk...

Essential for everyone who is interested in the roots of prog/krautrock!

Report this review (#54083)
Posted Monday, October 31, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars This is the pre Kraftwerk album, and probably the most underated album from the German Music scene and Organisation was the name of the outlet at the time not Kraftwerk.

May not be a Progheads favourite and not my personal favourite either as I have strong passion for Electronica and Prog Metal, but the Proto Prog/Prog era had a lot to offer.

A cult Kraut classic in it's very own right Indeed and is up there with the pioneering experimental German Rock scene and Can and Tangerine Dream were also the predecessors in this subject too, a Proto Kraut classic that is a must hear for all people who like underground and obsurred Progressive music.

Tone Float takes half the vinyl here, nothing new here as many other Prog Bands have also done this it is mainly percussion orientated and is a great masterpiece.

My other favourites include Rhythm Salad which has lovely flute works and is a funky track IMHO.

A great underated cult classic and Hutter and Schneider moves on and progresses on with another Kraut band and soon to be electronic pioneers PowerPlant well to you and me..yes that's Kraftwerk I'm talking about, Kraut fans / Obsurred fans will have the most pleasure out of this.. a criminally rare gem that should get an official release.

Report this review (#65402)
Posted Wednesday, January 18, 2006 | Review Permalink
oliverstoned
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars 4,5 stars

"Kraftwerk organisation" is the pre-Kraftwerk and they released this unique album in 1969, just before Kraftwerk's birth.

A very dense and innovative record, which escape to any classification: a blend of contemporary music, featuring many acoustic instruments and early german prog with a hint of psychedelism. The music is rich and cerebral (without being cold), not structured, but doesn't lack intensity at any moment.

There are various percussions, majestic organ, delicious soft ethereal flute, creating a fascinating mixture of avant-garde and bold electronic experimentations. "Tone float" is very ahead of its time, prefiguring the whole future Krautrock movement with its immediate follower : "Kraftwerk I", which continue these experimentations in a more electronic vein, and still manage to reach this perfect balance of natural and synthetic textures.

This highly inventive record is a gem with multiple facets, in one word a true masterpiece.

Report this review (#88475)
Posted Wednesday, August 30, 2006 | Review Permalink
thellama73
COLLABORATOR
Eclectic Prog Team
4 stars I was lucky enough to find a copy of this on CD at my local record shop (although I suspect it's a bootleg.) The sound quality is not the best, with a bit of vinyl noise, but in a way that's part of its charm. Now, on to the music. The title track is amazing. A side long, free form Krautrock improvisation with bells and swirling organs and lovely flute. It's one of the best examples of early German experimental music, and I even prefer it to what Amon Düül II was doing at around the same time. It manages to be hypnotic and psychedelic while avoiding the common pitfalls of other such works, namely repetition and adhering to a formula. I find side 2 a great deal less compelling. It consists of shorter tracks, also mostly improvised, but they feel mainly like failed experiments. This record bears no resemblance to the Kraftwerk that would later produce The Man Machine and Trans Europe Express, so be prepared for that. In fact, there are no electronics present whatsoever. Overall, it is a worthy beginning and a milestone in the development in Krautrock.
Report this review (#118441)
Posted Sunday, April 15, 2007 | Review Permalink
philippe
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Amazing original Kraftwerk sound before deviations into hypno electro pop. This is free rock meets avant garde music, including a great variety of abstract noises, percussions and organ chords. Contrary to others Kraftwerk albums this one is really groovy and stoned (the catchy, confused and almost jazzy "milk rock"). "Silver Forest" is an esoteric, tripped out experimentation for "primitive" organs sequences. With its charming exotic, percussive appeal and cerebral organic atmosphere, "Tone Float" is a surprising musical piece. The acoustic inspired instrumental ambience of "rythm salad" is clearly enigmatic and immersive. "Noitasinagro" is an expressive, gently psychedelic musical exercise for organs, acoustic percussions and violin; really mysterious and almost incandescent by moments. The track finishes with a ferocious jam, including an interesting rhythmical background. The bonus track "Vor Dem Blauen Rock" is a furious, motorik and rocking jam that can ravish fans of Neu! The track also contains strangely beautiful sound experimentations. Kraftwerk's krautrock side with primitive but really efficient fuzzy/experimental ambiences.
Report this review (#125212)
Posted Saturday, June 9, 2007 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Ralf and Florian are perhaps famous for bringing the Electronic genre to the masses and making it popular, but their first band ORGANISATION were one of the first to put out a Krautrock album. So yes I would say these two men made some musical history in more ways than one. I need to thank Tom Ozric again for bringing this release to my attention not only for it's historical significance but because I like it a lot. This is experimental and often improvised music with percussion and drums usually beating away while other sounds like bass, organ, flute, violin and bells come and go. Conrad Plank produced this album and I should mention that Basil Hammoudi would go on to play with IBLISS.

"Tone Float" was originally the side long track to open the album at over 20 minutes in length. Not a lot going on for the first 4 1/2 minutes as different sounds come and go.Then we start to get a rhythm as the percussion beats away. A change 9 minutes in as organ from Ralf comes in as the drums and sounds build. Awesome section ! It then settles back down after 11 minutes. Organ is back 12 1/2 minutes in as drums and percussion continue. Flute 14 minutes in as another cool passage comes in around the 17 minute mark of catchy percussion and flute. Organ joins in too and begins to take over. "Milk Rock" is catchy as flute, organ and other sounds lead the way. Organ becomes more prominant 3 minutes in. It gets experimental sounding before 5 minutes. "Silver Forest" is slow paced and dark with organ and drum sounds. Very spacey 2 minutes in. I like this one. "Rhythm Salad" features a variety of percussion sounds throughout.

"Noitasinagro" opens with these experimental sounds that are joined by organ. A pleasant melody after 2 minutes of organ, percussion and other sounds that come and go. Violin 5 minutes in before it gets fairly chaotic after 6 minutes. Organ and a calm to end it. The bonus track is a live recording from The Beat Club in May of 1971. It fits in well with the style here. Experimental, noisy and spacey before becoming pastoral as we start to get a melody 3 minutes in. Nice. The tempo picks up 5 1/2 minutes in as we get a great sound with some excellent drumming. The tempo picks up even more 7 minutes in as they really rock out. An atmospheric calm begins before 8 minutes with sudden outbursts coming and going. The sound is slowly building until 10 minutes in they are letting it rip to the end of this 11 minute plus song. This track was a real eye opener for me, to hear them play live these experimental, spacey sections and then to really jam with some fury was just fantastic.

Easily 4 stars for this historic gem.

Report this review (#170282)
Posted Friday, May 9, 2008 | Review Permalink
UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
1 stars "Tone Float" is the debut and sole full-length studio album by German krautrock/experimental rock act Organisation. The album was released through RCA Victor in 1969. "Tone Float" was produced by prolific German producer and musician Konrad "Conny" Plank. The album saw an UK only release in August 1969 but due to poor sales the band was dropped by RCA Victor and disbanded soon after. Ralf Hütter and Florian Schneider-Esleben then went on to form Kraftwerk. Kraftwerk are widely known as pioneers of electronic music but this album by Organisation is very different from Kraftwerk´s trademark style.

The music on "Tone Float" is basically sound experiments and actually bears little resemblence to what I would charachterize as regular tracks (or music for that matter). Just a lot of ambient and repetitive sounds (created by organ, bass, flute, violin, triangle, bells, marimba) with various percussion underneath. To my ears the compositions sound directionless and very repetitive and monotone. It´s actually rather noisy and unpleasant on the ears. Only very seldom is there anything memorable that you can hold on to. The side-long 20:46 minutes long title track will probably be quite a trial to get through if you´re not a fan of music that almost solely consists of experimental sounds but the four shorter tracks that make up Side 2 of the original LP are more or less more of the same. The fact that they are shorter, just makes the trial a bit less punishing.

While I generally praise experiments and weird innovative approaches to writing music some releases just cross the line and become too inaccessible and weird for the sake of it. Such is the case with "Tone Float" which to my ears is art for art´s sake. The album is of course historically significant as it portrays some early experiments with free structures, noise, drone and other stylistic elements within rock music, but as a listening piece, it´s very much an aquired taste. a 1.5 star (25%) rating is warranted.

Report this review (#234832)
Posted Monday, August 24, 2009 | Review Permalink
Bonnek
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Prog Metal Team
3 stars Tone Float is the debut album of Organisation, a pioneering Kraut band around Florian Schneider and Ralf Hutter who would continue as Kraftwerk after this sole Organisation release. The album doesn't betray any of their future electronic music but is a pure experimental Kraut album with massive amounts of percussion, psych organs, flutes and violin.

With half of its 20 minute length taken up by seemingly random percussion and sounds right out of free jazz, the opening piece is a challenging listen, but the way the tracks develops from its initial incoherence to an enchanting psychedelic groove is pure bliss. Milk Rock is a short groovy track wriggling its way through flute dissonance and percussive bass work. Silver Forest is more enigmatic, with slow solemn percussion and spacious and dissonant droning organs. Percussive chaos follows on Rhythm Salad. Noitasinagro is more relaxed, with a rhythm not unlike Floyd's Main Theme from More, but the organ and violins are far more experimental and avant-garde then Floyd's bluesy approach.

The CD bonus Vor Dem Blauen Rock is a live recording from May 1971, when Organisation had already ceased to be and the band was performing under the Kraftwerk banner, be it in a very peculiar and short-lived line-up with drums and guitar by Klaus Dinger and Michael Rother, who would both go on as Neu! With its insistent beat and noisy minimal guitars, the track actually sounds more Neu! Then Kraftwerk. An interesting Kraut curiosity at least.

A mandatory album if you want to explore the avant side of Krautrock, but to be approached with care by Kraut-virgins and avant-skeptics.

Report this review (#339966)
Posted Wednesday, December 1, 2010 | Review Permalink
colorofmoney91
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Tone Float was released back when Kraftwerk was known as Organisation, and the material here is not electronic, but fantastic krautrock. In fact, it's very primitive - bongos, conga, flue, violin and organ make up most of the sound. The title-track is a long, slow jam that has spiritual hints and occasionally comes off as sounding almost tribal. The rest of the albums follows the example set by the first track with a few variations here-and-there. "Milk Rock" has kind of a kraut-meets-Sun Ra kind of avant-garde jam feel, "Silver Forest" is a bleak collection of droning instruments held together by a steady but slow beat on the gong and triangle, "Rhythm Salad" is a near-tribal percussion solo, and "Noitasinagro" is more straight-forward krautrock that reminds me of Agitation Free.

I make it sound boring, but this actually is a rather nice collection of original krautrock material from pre-Kraftwerk. I really did enjoy this album, but the next few albums and their electronic material both are better than this, in my opinion. However, it's always good to listen to band's roots. After listening to this, it would've been hard to determine the path that Kraftwerk would eventually take from this point in time.

Report this review (#438645)
Posted Sunday, April 24, 2011 | Review Permalink
Warthur
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars Yet another Krautrock outfit announcing itself on the scene with an album structured around instrumental jamming, Organisation's sole album is pleasant enough... but if Ralf and Florian hadn't gone on to form Kraftwerk, it almost certainly wouldn't be very well remembered, and that obscurity wouldn't be completely unjust. The group show heavy influences from free jazz and world music alike, and Florian's flute work at times is quite engaging, but at the end of the day if you want Krautrock jams showing the influence of Saucerful of Secrets-era Pink Floyd there are better albums out there - Tangerine Dream's debut, for example, does a much better job of establishing its own unique atmosphere, whereas here it doesn't seem like Organisation had much of an idea what sort of mood they were aiming for.

Kraftwerk fans should tread cautiously because this is absolutely nothing like the sort of music that band would become known for, but those who simply can't get enough early Kraut jams will find this one pretty satisfying.

Report this review (#466627)
Posted Wednesday, June 22, 2011 | Review Permalink
Neu!mann
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars Organisation was hardly a fitting name for such a ramshackle outfit. And if the band hadn't been an incubator for the man-machines of KRAFTWERK it's doubtful many people would even remember them now.

Their only studio album was actually one of the earliest expressions of the German counterculture on record, but it never enjoyed the same influence or significance as other embryonic Krautrock: compare it to the more passionate racket of early CAN or AMON DÜÜL, for example. A lot of circumstances conspired to undermine the effort, including the decision to release it through the British RCA label, which didn't exactly raise the band's local profile at home. The English-language name and track titles effectively camouflaged the band's German identity as well, reducing the album's novelty value just when the market for Krautrock was shifting to interstellar overdrive.

Because of the later Kraftwerk connection it's a fascinating album in retrospect, but hardly successful even on its own naïve yet charming hippie-trippy terms. Opening Side One of the original LP with a too-loosely structured twenty-plus minute jam, that itself begins with almost ten rhythm-deprived minutes of haphazard percussion, was probably a miscalculation, serving only to underline an absence of any true musical direction.

Organisation lacked the sterling underground credentials of their better-known contemporaries, and the impression left by "Tone Float" is of a young band riding the coattails of other, more dedicated Krautrock troublemakers. Ralf and Florian were smart enough to ditch the bongo drums soon afterward, on their way toward becoming household names (in smarter cosmopolitan neighborhoods). But their ex-bandmates Basil, Butch and Fred would sadly become minor footnotes in Krautrock history, as would the album itself: a collector's treasure for Kraftwerk completists but otherwise lacking enough sparks to even qualify as a flash in the pan.

Report this review (#962907)
Posted Monday, May 20, 2013 | Review Permalink
1 stars I really had not expected an entrance like this from the electronic band Kraftwerk. In fact, this album is the very last thing I'd think they'd come out with.

This little krautrock gem is a five track release that was recorded by Organisation (pre-Kraftwerk) back in 1969. Mind you, this was before they became Kraftwerk with their 1970 eponymous release. I'd hate to bash on a genre so innocent as krautrock, because I happen to enjoy a number of bands that apply to it, especially Can. But it is obvious after listening why Organisation couldn't stay the way they were.

Wow, these guys tried WAAY too hard to be as experimental as they could possibly be. And when I say that, I mean that they made their music sound excruciating in the name of art. I honestly don't know how people can seem to enjoy this. Sure, I guess you could say that it was 'influencial', but I haven't exactly seen any band that says: "Oh, well we were inspired by the band Organisation. Me and my friends would listen to them all the time while we were kids. Their 1969 album Tone Float really inspired us to make our own sound." If you've heard that from a person, please let me know, because I sure haven't.

I really hate the fact that I have to hate this album. I mean, these guys sure did try and all on this, and it's true that it doesn't sound anything like Kraftwerk, but oh my god. I couldn't even make it through any of the songs during this review. The album has the twenty minute long title track, a compilation of echoes and rhythms, with a third quarter that actually sounds nice. Other than that, this album is completely worthless. 'Milk Rock' could have managed to be a standable track, but instead we get some guitar doodling and incoherent keyboard, all the while a stabbing synth rhythm buries itself in your brain. 'Silver Forest' is worthless, floaty fanfare with unnecessary cymbal crashes and glittery synthesizer. 'Rhythm Salad' is probably one of the most annoying songs I've ever heard, with a ton of people randomly jamming on what seem to be bongos, castanets, and maracas to make something to use as an excuse for art. The finale epic, 'Noitasinagro', is a strange yet painfully boring song with very little context or overall need.

So if you are seeking some good old classic krautrock, here you go. This would be perfect for you, but be warned; if you are searching for krautrock like Can or Neu!, then you are sadly mistaken.

I do not recommend this album.

Report this review (#1271128)
Posted Saturday, September 6, 2014 | Review Permalink
Tarcisio Moura
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars I got this one out of pure curiosity. I am currently reading Kraftwerk´s excellent biography Publikation and I was interested in learning a bit more about their early days. As I was expecting, this one has very little to do with the Kraftwerk sounds we all know. this is a far more experimental/krautrock/psychedelic act of the day. There are no songs as such, they are more like jams and seem to be more or less created at the moment. Although both main members Ralf Hütter and Florian Schneider are here, you´ll hardly notice. Lots of percussion by courtesy of indian born Basil Hammoud. In fact, the whole side 1 of the original vinyl is an exercise of percussive instruments laced with some other instruments here and there. I found it rather hard to listen to its 20:46 minutes of running time, although I must admit that some flute playing by Schneider is indeed interesting (he was much more an accomplished flutist than I thought).

By the end of side two things improve a little, which is not much, but at least the tunes seem to have a little more direction and melodies. Still, like so many other free styled jams of the period, it is not my cup of tea. Most of the stuff just seems pointless exercises that, if recorded, should be used only to pick up the best bits for use on more structured and and dynamic stuff known as songs. If it was not that flimsy link with Kraftwerk I wonder if this record would be of any interest at all (expect for those few who really enjoy this kind of music - and there were far better groups doing the same genre).

Recommended only for Kraftwerk completionists and die hard fans of long, improvised, spacey jams. 2 stars.

Report this review (#1494549)
Posted Monday, November 30, 2015 | Review Permalink

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