maandag 25 oktober 2010

Abacus - 1971 - Abacus


01. Pipedream Revisited Part 1 & II
02. Cappucino
03. Don't Beat So On The Horses
04. Song For Brunhilde
05. Song For John And Yoko
06. Radbod Blues
07. Chestholder

- Felix Hans / drums, percussion
- Charlie Schade / guitar, sitar
- Chris Barutzky / keyboards
- Chris Williams / vocal
- Konstantin Bommarius / drums, percussion

ABACUS is surely a big name for everyone interested in rock music. The band formed in 1971 made their breakthrough at the Germersheim rock festival, where ABACUS drew not less applause from the 300,000 visitors than PINK FLOYD, SANTANA or ELP which appeared on stage as well. Jürgen Wimpelberg takes on himself to play keyboards, guitars, drum programming as well as vocals.

I was pleasantly surprised when I recently heard the album "Abacus", given the relative obscurity of this German prog act of the early 1970s. It contains all typical elements of symphonic style: long compositions, change of tempo and dynamics, multi-part suite-like themes and certain "grandeur" feeling.
The best example for this is the opener 9,5-minutes "Pipedream Revisited". Excellent melodies, interesting instrumental passages of organ, guitars and above all bass and effective vocals. Indeed, it is almost impossible to hear any bad music produced back in the year 1971, but "Abacus" is definitely above average. Another personal highlight is acid- folksy "Song for Brunhilde" with beautiful atmosphere underlined with sitar drone sounds, giving it a slight psych touch, which is quite captivating. "Song for John and Yoko" is of course an ode to the pop icon with slight cynical approach. Excellent Hammond and acoustic guitar leads into the song while later fast-stomping part has a healthy dose of pop irresistability.
"Radbod Blues" presents a deformed voice patterns and some drums solo acrobatics, while heavy Hammond sounds a bit like ELP or ATOMIC ROOSTER. There are also improvisational jazzy parts on piano followed by bombastic mechanical laughter device. "Chestholder" invokes bits of SWEET SMOKE laid back jazz jamming and similar vocals, strenghtened by nice Hammond solo.
The outro contains typical symphonic approach with re-cycling the previous themes of the album but also there are signs of experimentation with noise, loops and electronics. This portion reminds us of the current Krautrock scene in Germany from which ABACUS naturally took some elements. All in all, this is a fine, unpretentious album that should be listened to many times. The one deserving much more attention.

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