Thursday, 15 April 2010

“Deutsche Elektronische Musik – Experimental German Rock And Electronic Musik 1972-83” by VARIOUS ARTISTS. A Review of the Soul Jazz 2CD Set from 2010

This review is part of my Series "SOUNDS GOOD: Exceptional CD Remasters 1970s Rock And Pop" Download Book available to buy on Amazon to either your PC or Mac (it will download the Kindle software to read the book for free to your toolbar). Click on the link below to go my Author's Page for this and other related publications:


Working in a second-hand record shop in the West End of London, one of the questions we’re most frequently asked is to be pointed in the right direction of a decent KRAUTROCK vinyl or CD compilation - with perhaps a little bit of Electronic, Experimental, Avant Garde and Trippy Soundtrack stuff thrown in for good measure. Well look no further music lovers, because this little sensation from Soul Jazz Records of London is the answer.

Details first - originally credited as “Elektronische Music” on 2CD card promos that circulated in March 2010, it was scheduled for Monday, 5 April 2010 release, but then delayed to 12 April and the word “Deutsche” added on at the beginning. For this review I’ve included track timings, the original vinyl LP each song is taken from and the year of release.

Soul Jazz SJR CD213 breaks down as follows:

Disc 1 (77:31 minutes):
1. A Spectacle by CAN [5:39 minutes] (from “Can”, 1978)
2. Devotion by BETWEEN [3:46 minutes] (from “And The Waters Opened”, 1973)
3. Dino by HARMONIA [features Michael Rother of Neu! and Hans-Joachim Roedelius of Cluster] [3:29 minutes] (from “Musik Von Harmonia”, 1974)
4. This Morning by GILA [5:45 minutes] (from “Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee”, 1973)
5. Rambo Zambo by KOLLECTIV [11:39 minutes] (from “Kollectiv”, 1973)
6. La Chasse Aux Microbes by MICHAEL BUNDT [8:30 minutes] (from “Just Landed Cosmic Kid”, 1977)
7. Filmmuzik by E.M.A.K. [Elektronische Musik Aus Koeln] [3:15 minutes] (from “E.M.A.K.”, 1982)
8. Morgengruss by POPOL VUH [2:57 minutes] (from “Einsjager Und Siebenjager”, 1974)
9. Auf Dem Schwarzen Canal by CONRAD SCHNITZLER [3:12 minutes] (on a German-only RCA Records 12” single of the same name, 1980)
10. Rheinita by LA DUSSELDORF [7:37 minutes – Full Version] (from “Viva”, 1978)
11. Veterano by HARMONIA [3:55 minutes] (as per 3)
12. It’s A Rainy Day, Sunshine Girl by FAUST [7:26 minutes – Full Version] (from “So Far”, 1972)
13. Hellogallo by NEU! [10:03 minutes] (from their debut “Neu!”, 1972)

Disc 2 (59:56 minutes):
1. Heisse Lippen by CLUSTER [2:21 minutes] (from “Zuckerzeit”, 1974)
2. High Life by IBLISS [13:01 minutes – Full LP Version] (from “Supernova”, 1972)
3. Hasenheide by DIETER MOEBIUS [of Cluster] [2:36 minutes] (from “Tonspuren”, 1983)
4. Fly United by AMON DUUL II [3:29 minutes] (from “Vive La Trance”, 1973)
5. Aguirre 1 by POPOL VUH [6:13 minutes] (from “Aguirre”, 1975)
6. Daydream by ASH RA TEMPLE starring ROSI [5:22 minutes] (from “Ash Ra Temple starring Rosi”, 1973)
7. No Man’s Land by TANGERINE DREAM [9:05 minutes] (from “Hyperborea”, 1983)
8. Wie Der Wind Am Ende Einer Strasse by AMON DUUL II [5:43 minutes] (from “Wolf City”, 1972)
9. Geradewohl by [Hans-Joachim] ROEDELIUS [of Cluster] [3:31 minutes] (from “Selbstportrait Vol.III – “Reise Durch Arcadien””)
10. I Want More by CAN [3:30 minutes] (from a 7” single on Virgin, 1976)
11. Soham by [Georg] DEUTER [4:55 minutes – edit version] (from “Aum”, 1972)

The outer card wrap houses an inner 2CD plastic holder which looks like a mini-DVD case and sitting alongside that is an over-sized 38-page booklet jam-packed with knowledgeable details on the artists and the scene by STUART BAKER and ADRIAN SELF. All the great labels of Krautrock are represented here – Germany’s Brain, Metronome, Sky, Ohr, Kuckuck, EMI Electrola etc – and of course Britain’s Virgin and United Artists. The set was mastered by DUNCAN POWELL and PETE REILLY at Sound Mastering in London and despite the varying dates and tape sources; the audio quality is uniformly excellent.

The track choices are diverse and clever too – much of it very rare and hugely expensive on original vinyl – and while the usual suspects like CAN, POPOP VUL, TANGERINE DREAM and AMON DUUL II are to be expected, it’s nice to see the piano and synth groove of Conrad Schnitzer’s ultra-rare 12” single featured and the slightly cheesy but utterly hypnotic Kollectiv track in its entirety (SJ have gone for the more desirable full album versions in most cases). And Popol Vuh’s short instrumental “Morgengruss” is shockingly beautiful.

Downsides – there’s none of those gorgeous and weird LP sleeves pictured which is a shame – and the outer artwork of the compilation itself is genuinely garish (does itself no favours) and doesn’t really give you any indication of the rare goodies contained within. Also - as you can see from the playing time above, the 2nd disc is a good 20-minutes short and both CDs are lessened by the huge absence of Kraut-monsters Kraftwerk - but I suspect that this has had more to do with licensing difficulties than Soul Jazz not wanting to cram both discs to the rafters.

For vinyl junkies the other good news is that CD 1 and 2 have been issued as 2LP sets on Soul Jazz SJR LP213 Vol.1 and SJR LP213 Vol.2 respectively with no tracks omitted. Each is a tasty gatefold sleeve and the full CD booklet is spread across the inner gatefold of one and continued onto the other. Also, because each is a double album, the tracks get the space they need to breath (I’ve acquired both because they’re future collectables for sure).

So there you have it - very rare and hugely desirable music made available to a panting public via a great British reissue label. I can’t stop playing it – and our discerning punters are absolutely loving it (I’ve not seen a reaction like this by the public in years). Genius stuff boys and well done.

For me, “Deutsche Elektronische Musik – Experimental German Rock And Electronic Musik 1972-83” is already one of THE reissues of 2010.

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Spines of Exceptional CD Remasters

Spines of Exceptional CD Remasters

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