zaterdag 23 oktober 2010

A.R. & Machines - 1972 - Echo

A.R. & Machines 

01. Einladung (Invitation) (20:32)
02. Das Echo Der Gegenwart (The Echo Of The Presence) (10:08)
03. Das Echo Der Zeit (The Echo Of Time) (13:05)
04. Das Echo Der Zukunft (The Echo Of The Future) (18:13)
05. Das Echo Der Vergangenheit (The Echo Of The Past) (19:38)

- Achim Reichel / guitar, vocals
- Arthur Carstens / jews harp
- Dicky Tarrach / drums
- Hans Lampe / percussion
- Helmuth Franke / guitar
- Jochen Petersen / saxophone
- Kalle Trapp / percussion
- Klaus Schulze / vocals
- Lemmy Lembrecht / drums, percussion
- Matti Klatt / vocals
- Norbert Jacobsen / clarinet
- Peter Becker / sirenes
- Rolf Köhler / percussion
- Peter Hecht / orchestral arrangements
- Frank Dostal / lyrics

It's not every day I run into an album that totally blew me away the first time I listened to it, but this album by A.R & the Machines called Echo released in 1972 on Polydor is that example. Achim Reichel was a big figure in the German pop scene, being a member of the Rattles (that country's answer to the Beatles, and in fact had opened for them, and even replaced the Beatles at the Star Club in Hamburg when the Beatles returned to England to earn their fame). But in the early '70s he was exploring Krautrock. Yes, the variety that isn't a million miles away from Ash Ra Tempel. In fact if you're an Ash Ra Tempel fan you need this album, there's no getting around that. Klaus Schulze is said to have appeared on this album, on vocals, of all weird things (remember in '72 he hadn't got hold of decent equipment yet, after all look at Irrlicht where he used a primitive organ and messed with the organ and amplifier to get those spacy sound effects that he'd later get on synthesizers). Tons of guitar processed by echo chambers, with the usual rock set like drums and bass, plus percussion. There's also an orchestra on two cuts, but contrary to popular belief, no Mellotron to be found anywhere. This is tripped out space rock to say the least. Much of it emphasizes some truly killer jams and the occasional electronic effects, while the last piece, "The Echo of the Past" consists of lots of vocal experiments, before it ends on a more ambient note. There is singing on most of the cuts, and it works great. Unsurprisingly the lyrics of the hippie variety. Just totally mindblowing stuff that no Ash Ra Tempel fan should be without!

This album and the next two are absolute necessities for Krautheads. Warning: you may not appreciate the album's status as a masterpiece if you're not already into the aforementioned artists (along with Ash Ra Tempel) and other definitive bands of the genre, such as Can, Amon Düül, Tangerine Dream etc. It is a masterpiece in its own genre, that is, Krautrock. If you're looking for a symphonic rock masterwork, look elsewhere... 

1 opmerking: