zondag 21 november 2010

Altona - 1974 - Altona


01. Can't Live Without You - 4:05
02. Cocopus - 5:36
03. Überlandfahrt - 4:03
04. 7/4 - 4:13
05. Boulevard - 4:59
06. Frustration - 6:44
07. Hide Yourself - 5:48

- Klaus Gerlach - guitar
- Karl-Heinz "Carlo" Blumenberg - vocals, soprano sax
- Karl-Heinz Gossler - drums
- Fritz Kahl - bass
- Werner von Gosen - guitar
- Wolfgang Wülff - tenor sax
- Michael von Rönn - tenor sax

Altona is a German band, founded in 1971 in Hamburg suburbs as reincarnation of krautrock band Thrice Mice. Dropping former band's classical edge in preference for a jazzier front on their debut ,Altona played a lively fusion that crossed many boundaries, but kept the Blodwyn Pig feel that dominated the early Thrice Mice recordings. Mixing excellent early jazz fusion with psychedelic rock elements album's music is a real gem.

Take the opening tracks from Chicago's debut and Colosseum's Valentyne Suite. Clutch them together and add rough heavy vocals. That's what Altona sounds like, raw acid-rock with a jazzy brass section and powerful vocals. An ultra-rare gem but if you want some more of that great upbeat 60's vibe, here you go.The album starts with a swinging heavy rock groove. The brass section and Beefheart-alike vocals give it a nice twist. It's a bit of a stretch but the brass instruments somehow remind me of Morphine. Altona's mood isn't morose though, this must be the most energetic and vivacious music I know. Oh yes this is prog you can boogie to!
Cocopus partially continues the upbeat pace, but also adds some more reflective bluesy pieces that could have been from Pink Floyd's More or Ash Ra Tempel. Uberlandfarth shifts up the gear another notch. One day I'll throw in this song at a party at home. Guaranteed swinging and air-guitar fun. 7/4 is a bit of an old-fashioned rockabilly track but from here on the album doesn't let go of its tight rocking energy anymore.
Is it kraut? Is it acid-rock? Jazz-rock? It's sure heavy energetic fun!

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