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Thrice Mice biography
A sextet from Hamburg, playing the patented, distinctive German type of progressive jazz-rock typified by underground legends like Xhol or Out Of Focus (2nd & 3rd album). The leading soloist in Thrice Mice was Wolfgang Buhre. Vocalist Karl-Heinz Blumenberg had little to do most of the time. Their self-titled album was recorded during November and December 1970 in Hamburg and released on Phillips in 1971. Buhre often tried to copy the wah-wah sax style of Ian Underwood of Mothers Of Invention, this was most apparent on opening track "Jo Joe". On "Vivaldi" the three soloists were playing duets with themselves in turn! Minnemann's organ sound was high, thin and cranky in a late sixties' way. The distinctive German underground sound (rooted in jazz) marked the track "Torekov". After a couple of years, the group resurfaced as Altona and made two further albums for RCA in 1974 and 1975.
Style - Underground jazz-progressive rock
Similar Artists: Altona (first album), Blodwyn Pig, Catapilla (second album), Xhol, Colosseum.
Their album is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED for underground jazz-prog-rock fans.

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THRICE MICE discography

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3.52 | 34 ratings
Thrice Mice

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 Thrice Mice by THRICE MICE album cover Studio Album, 1971
3.52 | 34 ratings

Thrice Mice
Thrice Mice Krautrock

Review by VianaProghead
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Review Nº 709

Not a lot of people realise that the music in Germany in the end of the 60's was a cesspool of various genres with their forced collisions. And for every trending genre they took in, they managed to recreate something truly new from them. In the rise of prog in the beginning of the 70's, Germany felt their head first into krautrock and jazz prog, besides the other prog sub-genres. So, amid the general relatively big German prog hits like Tangerine Dream, Klaus Schulze, Kraftwerk, Neu!, Ash Ra Tempel, Can, Amon Dull, Popol Vuh, Triumvirat, Grobschnitt, Novalis and Eloy, arose a smaller underground spawn of German prog rock bands. And Thrice Mice was one of them. They playfully incorporated sax into their music and write generally happier Pink Floyd-isms music wich was strongly influenced by jazz rock/fusion style.

Thrice Mice was a German progressive rock band, a sextet from Hamburg. Thrice Mice appeared in 1966 when the two brothers Rainer and Werner Von Gosen formed a beat trio with Arno Bredehoft. At the time, these three musicians were students at the Alexander Von Humboldt high school in the Hamburg district of Harburg. By 1970, the group grew up into a sextet, with the addition of Wolfgang Buhre, Wolfram Minnemann and Karl-Heinz Blumenberg. Then, Thrice Mice also turned into a bluesy jazz rock band, with which they also filled their debut and only album 'Thrice Mice', which was recorded in the same year but only released in the following year. Shortly thereafter, in the early of 1972, the band broke up. Some members of Thrice Mice were employed by the Hamburg jazz rock formation Altona later in that decade.

As I mentioned above, by 1970, when the first and only album of them, which is actually the subject to be discussed here was recorded, the line up of the band had already doubled and the style played by Thrice Mice had also developed significantly. So, the line up on the album is Karl-Heinz Blumenberg (vocals), Werner Von Gosen (guitar), Wolfram Minnemann (organ), Wolfgang Buhre (saxophone), Rainer Von Gosen (bass guitar) and Arno Bredehoft (drums).

I never heard anything about this album or this band before. And I'm not a specialist in krautrock either. So, to listen to this album was a shot in the dark. Still, I like the album. It seems to me a typical underground German prog jazz-rock album. This is a very singular album, a typical example of the early krautrock. It brings to us the echoes of the typical psychedelic sound of the 60's. So, it isn't really strange that it reminds me, sometimes, the sound of The Doors. The production isn't great and so the quality of its sound loses a bit, with that. Anyway, the quality of its music gets over it.

Thrice Mice plays a bluesy herbaceous jazz rock dominated by saxophone and organ, a reminiscent of the jazzed proto-prog of various British colleagues such as Colosseum, If, Mogul Thrash, Web, Blodwyn Pig or Warm Dust. However, the music is even more oriented towards the 60's, which is particularly noticed in Wolfram Minnemann's style ' la Ray Manzarek organ playing, which is somewhat thin and dusty. The progressivity is, of course, the length of the numbers, in which the band is more or less lively and complex is dominated mostly by Wolfgang Buhres' freaking sax playing or by several intricate saxophone lines and the swelling organ. And, from time to time, the electric guitar also plays in the foreground, while the rhythm department pushes the whole thing to forward rather solidly, but the singer is rarely used.

In 2003 'Thrice Mice' was released on the CD format and was expanded with several bonus tracks. As I mentioned above, Thrice Mice, around the brothers Rainer and Werner Von Gosen, started out as a beat trio. That can be perfectly experienced, particularly on the last track on the CD, 'An Invitation'. 'An Invitation' sounds a bit like The Who and was recorded in February 1967 at a beat competition organized by the Harburger Werbung und Nachrichten, the local newspaper in Hamburg's Harburg district, where the group was at their home. Thrice Mice took the first place out of the twenty four bands on that competition. The first six bands were each allowed to publish one of the tracks recorded at the concert on a joint EP, which now gives to us the opportunity to listen to the first sound document by Thrice Mice. Something similar can be heard on many of the other bonus tracks on the album. Some of the pieces recorded on this re-released version are live recordings with quite good quality. They came from three different concerts from 1969-70.

Conclusion: I really think we have here some good stuff. I felt here the presence of the sound of The Doors, at times, and the psychedelic sound with a mix of rock'n'roll and jazz. You know, the sound of the 60's. A lot of the music here is hot, energetic and enthusiastic. Still, we can say that 'Thrice Mice' sounds, especially from the perspective of the 70's, is quite out of date. But, in general, this music is very well made, but not particularly original, somewhat stale and also not terribly herbaceous jazz/blues rock. So, all in all, this is a nice album, but nothing outstanding. When the band fused jazz and less The Doors sound, then they sounded great. However, if you value the above mentioned comparisons and you can imagine music to be a bit more unstructured, freer, harder, more 60's, heavy and a bit bumpier, maybe you should give to 'Thrice Mice' a try. So, as a final conclusion, 'Thrice Mice' is a good album, but nothing more than that.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

 Thrice Mice by THRICE MICE album cover Studio Album, 1971
3.52 | 34 ratings

Thrice Mice
Thrice Mice Krautrock

Review by siLLy puPPy
Special Collaborator PSIKE, JRF/Canterbury, P Metal, Eclectic

4 stars I have to admit that i avoid albums that have hideous cover art along with bad band names for the most part. After all, if a band can't lure you in with some eye-catching visuals and a clever moniker then why would i want to check out the music? Well, as the old adage goes, never judge a book by its cover and that is exactly the case for this classic Krautrock band THRICE MICE which formed all the way back in 1966 as a beat pop band but evolved with its native Germany into a much more sophisticated group of clever musicians. BTW the ridiculous album cover makes more sense if you take in the entire fold out where it displays the polka-dotted damsel perched on a chair while six white mice lurk below. OK, German bands of the early 70s often reveled in nauseating lame album covers but if you are brave enough to dig deeper, often there is innovative and even mesmerizing music to be heard.

THRICE MICE got an earlier start than a lot of its Krautrock contemporaries with its members paying their dues in various local Hamburg based bands before congregating into the sextet of Wolfgang Buhre (tenor, alto and soprano saxophones, clarinet, percussion), Karl-Heinz Blumenberg (vocals, alto saxophone, percussion, flute, guitar), Werner von Gosen (guitar), Wolfram Minnemann (organ, piano, guitar), Arno Bredehöft (drums) and Rainer von Gosen (bass). All this talent meant that by the time the band went into the recording studio to craft its one and only self-titled album that emerged in the year 1970 that this was a tight-knit band that had already figured out how to craft its own sound and stand out amongst the early Krautrock initiates. With its values still firmly planted into the Beatlesque 60s with catchy hooks and sensual soul, THRICE MICE adopted all the different attributes of the nascent Krautrock scene and in the process created a unique mix of blues, jazz and classical complete with a touch of 60s psychedelia.

This album only featured four lengthy tracks with the shortest closing track "Fancy Desire" hitting the 8-minute mark. The opening track "Jo Joe" begins with a wailing saxophone that leads you to believe this is going to be some sort of Ornette Coleman inspired avant-garde noise-a-thon but after about two minutes of squawking sensationalism the band reveals its true nature and that is a very melodic blues based form of psychedelic rock that features double saxophone attacks with a soulful vocal presentation that overall reminds a bit of early Traffic. The band clearly was inspired more by the British scene rather than the escapist trends of the contemporary German scene as evidenced by the bonus tracks on newer editions that cover Bloodwyn Pig and Curved Air. The track displayed the band's unique metrology of trading off martial mod beats with psychedelic organs and a heavy brass contrapuntal process. Wow. Wasn't expecting the music to actually be cool!

The second track "Vivaldi" was a huge hit for THRICE MICE with classical interpretations redirected into fuzzy wah-wah guitars along with a rather soulful brass sound that reminds me of gypsy jazz. The various movements show the underlying classical motifs come out of the woodworks but then gracefully tucked away beneath an aggressive organ having a very wild ride as well as the jazzy brass components providing the ultimate call and response. This particular track was very popular in live settings. "Trakov," the lengthiest track at nearly 13 minutes starts out with a menacing organ freakery worthy of Amon Dull II territory but then tames itself to a slow drifting parade of detached slow moving psychedelic rock with a completely different sound than the previous two songs as the brass is set in the background and the lysergic organs and guitar effects strut their heft. The final "Fancy Desire" continues the oscillating organs cranking out classically inspired melodies but accompanied by a strong rock presence and overall feels more like the psychedelic rock of The Doors only with stronger connections to classical and jazz excesses. The horns exhibit a klezmer feel and the whole thing is quite surreal actually.

Wondering why i avoided this for so long due to the cover art, i'm utterly amazed at how beautiful this album is! Not only is it instantly addictive with ridiculously catchy melodic hooks but the ingenuity in perfectly fusing the blues, jazz, classical, psychedelic rock and ethnic elements is uncanny! THRICE MICE was so much better than the ridiculous cover art could ever imply and even the bonus tracks on the 2003 reissue are excellent. Think of this band as a mix of The Doors, a klezmer band, Chicago, Amon Duul II and maybe The Nice and you're on to something! Unfortunately this band folded in 1972 after Rainer von Gosen departed but both he and Karl-Heinz Blumenberg would collaborate together in their next band called Altona which released two albums. While THRICE MICE isn't even close to your typical Krautrock band of the era, this band managed to effortlessly straddle the line between 60s beat, psychedelic rock, jazz-rock and classical sensibilities without making anything sound forced or contrived. Not sure why this band is not more revered. If you love brassy jazz driven melodic rock with blues and classical underpinnings, this band is for you!

 Thrice Mice by THRICE MICE album cover Studio Album, 1971
3.52 | 34 ratings

Thrice Mice
Thrice Mice Krautrock

Review by hdfisch
Prog Reviewer

3 stars This singular album by Hamburg based band THRICE MICE is a nice example of early Krautrock exhibiting influences by Blodwyn Pig and Curved Air, both bands they're paying tribute to by cover versions added up on the CD re-release. After some local success and a gig on legendary Fehmarn festival in 1970 (where Jimi Hendrix gave his last concert) they disbanded in 1972 when Rainer von Gosen decided to leave. His brother Werner and Karl-Heinz Blumenberg continued their progressive jazz-rock style with the band ALTONA.

Thrice Mice which grew up from a beat school band originally presented here a quite noteable and for those days very unique blend of jazz elements, influences from classical themes and heavy rock using some technical sound effects that bring HAWKWIND into one's mind. Although the four compositions are basically rather melodic and straightforward they're highly enriched by improvising solos, intricate dual sax playing and use of big band-alike brass. The classically inspired "Vivaldi" was quite a big success for them when they played it live (can be heard as well on the CD release). Each one of the other three tracks is based on either a particular theme or story. "Jo Joe" is about someone's idiosyncratic philosophy, "Pancy Desiree" is inspired by Joachim Ringelnatz's novel "Fancy Desire" and "Torekov" is telling the very personal experiences of some band members with a Finnish girl on a camp tour in Sweden.

Overall this album is a quite unique and noteworthy one, certainly not to be considered essential but anyway good for 3 ½ stars. Highly recommended to collectors of rare and obscure German progressive albums!

Thanks to ProgLucky for the artist addition. and to Tuzvihar for the last updates

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