Monday, June 30, 2008

Häx Cel - Zwai (1972)
"In Krautrock history there were only a handful of classical-rock bands of note, and of those Häx Cel were one of the most obscure. They originated from Hanover circa late-1971, and played their first gig in January 1972, developing themes of Albinoni, Bach, Beethoven, Händel and such-like (mostly Händel on the album), all in a light but complex rock setting, with the focus on flute and (harpsichord sounding) keyboards.

Their debut single (documented as a bonus on CD) recalled the classical style of early Jethro Tull, and a little Colosseum. Their only LP release ZWAI captured them live in concert on 29 October 1972, and showed a band with potential, if a little shaky in some of the complex passages. Fans of the more arty subtle lighter end of classical rock (i.e. The Enid, Paul Brett, etc.) will no doubt love this one.

The band, however, split up shortly after its release. In 1996, three original members, together with a new drummer and a guitarist, reformed Häx Cel releasing new CD's in 1998 and 2001. These later offerings continue in the same style, if a touch more melodic and well recorded." (Crack In The Cosmic Egg)

"Häx Cel from Hanover only existed between the end of 1971 and the autumn of 1972, releasing one LP and one 7-single on Dizzy Records, both of which have so far been hardly known even among collectors. Many fans of a fusion between classical music and progressive rock will appreciate this effort. We are not dealing with a cheap Ekseption or Renaissance clone but rather with very creative music which is convincing even without the use of a guitar. Zwai (Dizzy LP DS 726) features a live recording of their last gig on October 29th, 1972. The two tracks of their single, Albinoni and Difference, are included as bonus tracks on the CD, which therefore features Häx Cel’s complete works. Apart from two Händel tracks and one by Albinoni, all the material was written and masterly played by the band itself."

Track List:
1. Albinoni 4.09
2. A Second Time 3.01
3. Music 5.20
4. Julius Ceasar 4.33
5. Bouree 1.16
6. Marsch 5.14
7. Land Of Dreams 4.58
8. To Barbara 7.13
9. Andante 0.56
10. Albinoni 3.20*
11. Difference 3.12*

Michael Moebus - Bass, Vocals
Dieter Neumann - Flute, Vocals
Achim Neubauer - Piano
Rainer Greffrath - Drums


Part 1__Part 2__Part 3__Part 4

See you next Monday!!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Fairport Convention - House Full: Live At The L.A. Troubador (1970)
"Here we find Fairpoint Convention supporting their latest release "Full House" - which solidified their move towards traditional British isles material while at the same time moving towards a harder-rocking sound. The jigs are performed at a breakneck speed, which is perphaps unnecessary, but they work well anyway with new bassist Dave Pegg laying down solid, rockin' lines. Gone are the haunting and beautiful vocals of Sandy Denny, replaced by the simpler, rustic vocals of Richard Thompson and Dave Swarbrick. The highlight may very well be "Sloth" off of the new album - this live rendition brings even more emotion and power to the tune than the studio version. Also,look to get a kick out of the final tune on the disc- "Yellow Bird" It'll make you laugh - not because it sucks - but rather because it immensely entertains. If you dig 'Liege & Lief' and 'Full House'- you must check this out." (

This is a remastered reissue of a 1986 release on Hannibal Records called "House Full" with the addition of two remastered bonus tracks, taken from a 1977 Island LP called "Live At The L.A. Troubador". I think most people would agree that this is the best non-Sandy Denny lineup that Fairport Convention ever had. And the most rockin'.

1. Sir Patrick Spens (3:06)
2. Banks of the Sweet Primroses (3:56)
3. Toss the Feathers (3:56)
4. Sloth (12:04)
5. Staines Morris (3:44)
6. Matty Groves (3:44)
7. Mason's Apron (4:32)
8. Battle of the Somme (5:02)
9. Bonnie Kate/Sir B. MacKenzie's (4:56)*
10. Yellow Bird (2:17)*
*Bonus tracks taken from "Live At The LA Troubadour" (1977)
Total Time: 47:17

Richard Thompson - Vocals, Lead Guitar, Dulcimer
Simon Nicol - Vocals, Rhythm Guitar, Mandolin
Dave Swarbrick - Vocals, Fiddle, Mandolin
Dave Pegg - Backing Vocals, Bass Guitar, Mandolin
Dave Mattacks - Drums


Part 1__Part 2__Part 3__Part 4


Monday, June 16, 2008

Tortilla Flat - Für Ein ¾ Stündchen (1975)
"Not to be confused with another German Tortilla Flat (and some other band with the same name, American I think, or the Dutch hard-rock band Tortilla) this obscure 1970's German band from Aachen are highly praised and ridiculously obscure!

We first encountered them via (what were told was) a copy of their unreleased debut (only issued on cassette and sold at concerts) which dates from 1972. The recording is in fact a session recorded for SWF radio. This is an extraordinary slice of underground Krautrock. It's a mostly instrumental album (approximately 35 minutes of it), with a couple of tracks featuring very strange songs with almost unintelligible (to these ears) German lyrics. The rhythmic structures are vaguely Beefheart-like, delivered by two percussionists, with the lead instruments being flute and violin (the latter presumably by Werner Knauser). The style is highly original, with lots of unusual time signatures, vague classical references, counterpoints of folk and jazzy elements, and much in the way of abstract early Fripp-like guitar work. The only comparison I could give would be Rufus Zuphall, although that's only tentative! A superb and unknown album that deserves a proper release!

The official album FÜR EIN 3/4 STUNDCHEN (that's "For 3/4's Of An Hour" in English) opens with a new version of their eponymous "Tortilla Flat", this time given a more groove along feel, previewing a much more jazzy Canterbury inspired fusion style. Totally instrumental (excepting a short joke track in German) and featuring flute and guitar extensively, akin to Brainstorm and Circus (Mel Collins' Circus, that is), it's almost a classic.

This album seems to be destined to obscurity, however, as guitarist Manfred Herter, aka Manni Holländer who released a few pop albums in the 1980's, apparently refuses a reissue." (The Crack In The Cosmic Egg"

I got this off eMule last year I think, it's obviously a bootleg CD since this has had no official CD reissue. AudioChecker gives the tracks a CDDA rating of 100%, that's all I know about this!


Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4

OK see you!

Monday, June 09, 2008

Drum Circus - Magic Theatre (1971)
Drum Circus is a shortlived Swiss band founded by the great drummer Peter Giger. The band he formed had three drummers (!) and many other musicians, including Joel Vandroogenbroeck, from Brainticket, playing Organ, Piano, Flute and Sitar. Carole Muriel from Brainticket appears also in the band doing vocals. Other curious thing about their only album is that the lyrics of two songs were written by the LSD guru Timothy Leary. After all this definition one can only think that the music contained in this album is rather crazy and in fact it is. If you like drumming/percussion, you will love this album.

The sidelong eponymous track, Magic Theatre, has many things and ideas included. The lyrics are inspired in the Tibetan Book of The Dead, written by Leary. The sound is varied, with a percussion intro, nice organ, good flute and drum passage, some drums with a collective chanting and then fantastic sitar sounds that are very skillfully played, along with some crazy saxophone, mridanga (indian percussion) and indian-inspired chanting. Then are some avant-garde parts with percussion, sax improvisation and great organ sounds. After some jamming, there is some spoken phrases interpreted by the singers like in a play. After that a calm part with sitar, flute and percussion. Then some jazzy parts, with jazzy piano and saxophone, plus very good drumming. In the end there is the return of the theme under the spoken part.

The other songs are good also. Now It Hurts You is short, but has excellent sitar, organ and drumming. The vocals are strange in this song. Papera is a rather jazzy song with some soft saxophone arrangement and good piano. Percussion is always present and very interesting. The song has some changes during it.

La-Si-Do is the strangest song with strange vocals and dominated by percussion, with many different sounds generating a good combination.

Groove Rock is really groovy, with superb saxophone soloing and great organ and percussion backing the solo. The song is jazzy and the highlights are the superb drumming and the great saxophone.

All Things Pass has interesting piano and percussive sounds. The singing is inspired. The piano arrangement is somewhat jazzy and the drumming parts are very improvisational, with the usage of the less used parts of the drums, like cymbals.

Overall is a nice album with a great mix of psychedelic indian influences and jazz and impressive drumming. The sound is not so much varied and some shorter songs resemble the long suite, but this is a little common for their genre (Krautrock). (, "akin")

Track Listings

1. Magic Theatre (21:32)
2. Now It Hurts You (2:48)
3. Papera (3:32)
4. La-Si-Do (2:22)
5. Groove Rock (8:44)
6. All Things Pass (3:25)

Total Time: 42:23

Line-up/Musicians - Peter Giger / drums, percussions
- Marc Hellman / drums
- Alex Bally / drums
- Joel Vandroogenbroeck / organ, flute, sitar
- Gerd Dudek / sax, flute
- Isla Eckinger / bass
- Carole Muriel / vocals
- Polo Hofer / vocals


Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4

See ya!

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Troya - Point Of Eruption (1976)
"Troya is a quite obscure symphonic krautrock inspired German band that was formed in 1972 in Werne an der Lippe by Elmar Wegmann, Klaus Pannewig, Wilhelm Weischer. The band was first called Drastic. They changed the name and the line up to record symphonic psychedelic influenced music based principally on electric guitar, mellotron and vocals. The band disbanded during the end of the 1970s.

Influenced by classical and baroque music, in 1976 they released their unique self-financed album; Point of Eruption, with very little means. The disc has a very limited number of copies. It features enchanting melancholic music with long instrumental passages, mainly guitar and organ.

Troya had a lot of potential and talent but did not record in the best of conditions. It's a pity that the band released only one album. Very recommended to Krautrock, Space Rock and Symphonic progressive listeners, especially Pink Floyd and Eloy fans!" (

Track List:
01. She (5:46)
02. Battle Rock (7:58)
03. Chromatik (4:06)
04. Festival (3:48)
05. Sinclair (4:58)
06. Choke (5:58)

Line-up :
Elmar Wegmann - Guitar, Flute, Vocals
Klaus Pannewig - Drums, Glocken, Vocals
Wilhelm Weischer - Bass
Peter Savelsberg - Organ, Mellotron, and E-Piano


Part 1 Part 2 Part 3

See you next week!