Friday, January 28, 2011
Teldec*, 1977; reissued by Revisited/SPV; available
Reissue: 15 tracks, 57:29
Eberhard Kranemann is an interesting character. Active in art and music since the Sixties, he's always managed to surprise. He was in early lineups of both Kraftwerk and Neu!, and his early band Pissoff counted Florian Schneider among its members. An archival release even documents him with avant artist Joseph Beuys! For this album, Kranemann assumes the guise of Fritz Müller. The rest of the personnel are too numerous to list, but it's worth noting that the legendary Conny Plank produced this, provided backup vocals, and contributed text to one song and music to another. As for the sound itself, well......... Imagine a cross between then-emerging New Wave, krautrock a la Neu!, and good old fashioned hard rock. I know this sounds like a train wreck, but it WORKS! Standouts include the rockin' "Postmann" and "Bratkartoffel Rock 'n' Roll", the spaced-out "I'm Sittin' By The Sea-Side", and the nearly punk "Yes, We Can". The album's definite masterpiece, however, is the completely unexpected "Fritz Müller Traum". This nearly nine minute gem sounds like a cross between cosmic music and musique concrete, and it's absolutely disorienting and wonderful. While a few tracks come across as slightly goofy, repeated listens should make you warm up to them. The CD reissue includes four bonus tracks. Two appear to be radio ads for Fritz Müller shows, and two were made by Kranemann in 2002 with a computer. The latter two are surprisingly amazing; the drum'n'bass-meets-didgeridoo "Blow Job" and near-EBM "Say No!" show that Kranemann is still VERY much active in music, and every bit as creative. Now that it's more widely available, every self-respecting krautrock fan needs this in their collection. If you'd like to get some early Neu!/Kraftwerk/Pissoff stuff with Kranemann, please visit www.fritzmueller.info or www.e-kranemann.de/ to contact the man himself.
*Originally, German tobacco company Roth-Händle were to release this, but that never happened. Even discogs lists that as the record company, but this is erroneous according to Kranemann.
Thursday, January 27, 2011
Note: The reissue is credited to Wolfgang Dauner on the spine
MPS, 1972; reissued by HGBS; available
5 tracks, 44:55
Ah, Wolfgang Dauner. He's definitely been mentioned here before! The man has covered so much ground in his career, but his experimental work is what I like best (shocking, I know). This was the second album by his band Et Cetera. While they never had a truly set lineup, Dauner and usual percussionist Fred Braceful appear on all three of their releases. On KNIRSCH, Braceful and Dauner are joined by guitarist Larry Coryell, drummer Jon Hiseman, and bassist Günter Lenz. Coryell gets writing credit on opening number "The Really Great Escape", which is honestly quite out of place, being a scorching hard rock tune! The remaining four pieces are all written by Dauner, and they're far more abstract. "Sun" is a pretty jazz number, filled with inventive guitar lines and delicious interplay between the percussionists. The epic "Yan" takes things way out there, sounding something like a cross between Herbie Hancock circa SEXTANT and musique concrete. Richard Ketterer provides "sounds + voices" for "Yan"; good luck figuring out which is which. The equally epic "Tuning Spread" is excellent electro-jazz-rock fusion, while closer "Yin" slinks along in a distinctly Eastern way. Taken as a whole, this almost sounds like different tracks from different bands. Such is the Dauner way! Not a moment is wasted (even "The Really Great Escape" holds your attention the whole way through), and this would be a gem in ANY band's discography. Luckily, unlike most Dauner releases, this is relatively easy to find, and I highly suggest doing so. Now if someone would just reissue OUTPUT! (Oh, and if you can find it, I strongly recommend Et Cetera's self-titled debut as well!)