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Cosmic Circus Music


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Cosmic Circus Music Sternenmaskerade album cover
3.97 | 18 ratings | 3 reviews | 33% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 1972

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Sternenmaskerade (45:33)

Total time 45:33

Line-up / Musicians

- Bernd Diesner / guitar
- Karl-Heinz Keffer / bass
- Ulrich Masshöfer / drums, synth

- Tim Belbe / flute

Releases information

MC self-released (1972, mail-order)

Thanks to philippe for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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Buy COSMIC CIRCUS MUSIC Sternenmaskerade Music

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Wiesbaden 1973Wiesbaden 1973
Garden of Delight 2013

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COSMIC CIRCUS MUSIC Sternenmaskerade ratings distribution

(18 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(33%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(39%)
Good, but non-essential (11%)
Collectors/fans only (17%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

COSMIC CIRCUS MUSIC Sternenmaskerade reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by DamoXt7942
FORUM & SITE ADMIN GROUP Avant/Cross/Neo/Post Teams
4 stars Felt hot breath and dry magic via their circus stage.

Strange, and addictive show indeed. Their only one 'cassette' album "Wiesbaden" tells us that they might not have played pure 'rock music' but done 'artistic colourful cosmic circus', featuring their quirky, sticky instrumental acrobatic illusion all through the one shot "Sternenmaskerade".

As if we could touch their meditative hospitality and illusive, delusive voyage, their freakout playing fully flooded with mind-altering agent-ish atmosphere sounds somewhat like a drastic measure for us. We can get drenched directly in crazy flute, phantasmagoric guitar, deeply hedonic bass, and dark-space-merged drum sounds ... namely, we should be immersed deeply into cosmic circus 'abuse' without any intention.

So difficult for us to clarify their magical obscurity but no problem. Guess we listeners cannot understand such an addictive atmosphere, unless we attend this cosmic circus show. However, we can grab something abusive instead of feeling their freaky estery breath and extensive fruit-like colour directly. Listen, and put yourself deeply into them.

Review by Neu!mann
3 stars The band had a silly name, and their only surviving recorded effort is a bootleg-quality dupe, at best. But this ultra-rare collector's item is close to essential listening, and one of the best undiscovered Krautrock freakouts from the early 1970s.

It was originally available only as a mail-order cassette tape, advertised in a single 1972 issue of Sounds Magazine (the German edition). Who knows how few people accepted the offer; what the rest of us missed was an unbroken 45-minutes of thrilling psychedelic guitar rock, resembling a lost Ash Ra Tempel rehearsal recorded live in an empty warehouse.

How such a strong ensemble never found an audience is anyone's guess. Not many power trios have this much voltage to spare, and the guest flautist / sax player (Tim Belbe of XHOL CARAVAN) adds a touch of HAWKWIND Space Ritual to an already far-out piece of music. But calling it a freakout is actually a little misleading. There's a focus and determination here beyond the usual anarchy of Krautrock, with just enough method to keep the madness in check.

Not once do the musicians lose their grip on the material. After a slow, yearning one-chord introduction the pace gradually builds to immense proportions, as if all four players were succumbing to a brain-melting virus that increased the intensity of their performance even as it sapped their will to resist. Cymbals and percussion enter at around the ten-minute mark, and the tempo picks up after another ten minutes, with the addition of a second chord lifting the sound above the stratosphere. From there the track ebbs and flows toward its final, five-minute coda, ending an epic journey on a note of melancholy grace.

All without a dull moment too, at least for aficionados of cosmic guitar workouts. The rough production actually enhances the immediacy of the experience, especially when played loud enough to scramble your synapses. Which of course ought to be the goal of any good Space Rock jam.

Mine is probably a third (or more) generation copy, but at least the music is still available, after a fashion. Rumors on the web say the entire session (a full 80-minutes: this was apparently only the second half!) will be given a long-overdue CD release on the Garden of Delights label sometime this year (2013). When or if that happens (and I'm pleased to report it already has a catalogue number), the album will hopefully earn all the belated praise it never had a chance to enjoy four decades ago.

Three conservative but very enthusiastic stars for the aging analog cassette, with a fourth supernova reserved for the anticipated digital re-issue.

Review by Eetu Pellonpaa
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Luckily this Cosmic Circus Music cassette has been brought to daylight from the shadows of obscurity, revealing rustic but very sacral moment of contemplative musical devotion. The long gaze into the atavistic corridors has been conducted with serene piety, not straying to paths of insanity but focusing on yearning of unconscious divinity. This process reminds certainly the hallucinogenic masterpieces of Ash Ra Tempel, The Cosmic Jokers and Yatha Sihdra; I would associate the sound texture of the recording with the two first mentioned, but I felt the third group of comparison describing further the compact characteristics of the jam, along with the spiritual content I felt shining from this forty years old artifact. From contemporary retro groups I think My Brother The Wind have continued carrying forward this heritage of spiritual vintage psychedelic rock astral travelling.

The long opening sequence vibrates freely in rhythmless open space, string instruments searching beautiful harmonies with Tim Belbe's flute, and scarce atonal effect layers strengthen the presence of surreal aura. Bernd Diesner's guitar playing is very focused, deploying acid rock sound's effect portfolio with fine sense of style, and reaching via to moderation the latency of quiet moments' aether. Ulrich Masshöfer introduces his percussion presence after ten minutes of warming up of the melodic instruments, initiating the magic cauldron spout a powerful whirl mystic haze, elevating through the spirals circling around a constant basic key note towards infinity. Karl-Heinz Keffer's firm bass lines keeps this progression solid, and brings extra value to both rhythmic nuances and melodic charms for the epic sonic prayer. The twenty five minutes long groovy twist in krautrock dynamics return later to electrically charged void of slowly moving aural shapes, eventually rising for a final thrust of motioning sequences before disappearing past the horizon. I felt the semi-circular arrangement of this "sea of birth" holding simple but powerful universal characteristics of life and universe we humans observe trough senses, science and religious offsets; The forms of larger complexity arise from the void and chaos, mature to functional entities, and dissolve to the tranquility where they have appeared. Whatever should the position of consideration be, spiritual or logical, I find this configuration peaceful, serene and blessed.

I personally did not associate this psychedelic suite with the word "freak out" so much, but more with seriousness of searching deeper truths from spontaneous unconscious activity. The alluring developments in melodic rhythm-space really bend time, making the forty-five minutes pass in ecstatic rejoicing in spheres of imagination and reality-shadowing themes. Though the recording quality is not optimal, I personally have grown to like raw analogue bootleg sounds from my earlier King Crimson live conquest decade. Certainly from my own yet maturing and limited perspective I consider "Sternenmaskerade" as larger than life statement of spiritual musical expressionism.

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