Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Agitation Free in Cairo

I'd meant to put this up as part of the Krautrock series that kind of went off the rails. On the trip after I got Popol Vuh used, I found Agitation Free's Malesch (1972) - also used! [Lala]

[05/28/2012: Updated some disabled embedded video samples.]

Agitation Free were space-jammers and included some members of Ash Ra Tempel, Guru Guru, and Tangerine Dream - according to All Music Guide. This album was inspired by some cultural exchange travels in Egypt (and Cyprus and Greece per AMG), and there's field recordings from Cairo are sprinkled throughout. Some, but not all, of the highlights...

"You Play For Us Today" from Malesch (1972)

In fact, the album starts of with a pilot asking, "You will play for us today? I fly the aeroplane, and you play for us. Deal?" Sounds like a fantastic deal! As with much of the album, the music is in no rush to get anywhere. Finding a groove's as important as the groove, exploring the boundaries as important as what's brought back.

"Ala Tul" from Malesch (1972)

Noise-intro to space-funk organ jam. Wave drones into polyrhythms.

04 Pulse by StudentDriverss
"Pulse" from Malesch (1972)

Aptly named hyperdrone, like some warped, Middle Eastern-inflected "Baba O'Riley" intro that doesn't break.

"Malesch / Rucksturz" from Malesch (1972)

The last two tracks coalesce into more formed songs. The title track is still a jam, but it's the kid of big jam that jambands have long been jamming on. But really, seriously excellent! And "Rucksturz" finishes up with almost 90 seconds of a rocked-out guitar riff song. Almost like they're easing you back into the ol' normal world of rock music...

All Music Guide calls 2nd "one of Germany's finest instrumental rock albums of the 1970s." The only tune I've heard comes from a comp, but it's pretty sweet too:

"Haunted Island" from 2nd (1973)

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