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The Cosmic Jokers was never an ensemble, per se; its members did not play together as Cosmic Jokers, and in fact were not even asked to join the group. Their music was created from sessions put together byRolf-Ulrich Kaiser early in 1973. He arranged for several acid parties to be held at the sound studio owned by Dieter Dierks, where musicians were offered drugs in exchange for recording tracks. Participants included Manuel Göttsching and Klaus Schulze of Ash Ra Tempel, Jurgen Dollase and Harold Grosskopf of Wallenstein, and Dierks. Prior to this, all of the musicians involved had been in the Cosmic Couriers, which had played on experimental recordings by Sergius Golowin, Walter Wegmüller, and Timothy Leary.
Kaiser took the tapes from these sessions, edited and mixed them with Dierks, and released them on his label, Kosmische Musik, complete with the musicians' pictures on the LP sleeve, without asking for their permission. Göttsching didn't find out about the record release until he heard it playing in a record store in Berlin and asked the counter help what was playing. Kaiser released five records under the name Cosmic Jokers in 1974, one of which was actually a label sampler and a second, Gilles Zeitschiff, consisted of Kaiser's then-girlfriend Gille Lettmann speaking over sounds taken from prior label releases. While none of the musicians were very happy with the recordings, Schulze was so angry after the release of Gilles Zeitschiff that he sued Kaiser. In 1975, Kaiser was forced to discontinue and withdraw the recordings, and he fled the country over the affair, abandoning the record label over the threat of impending legal problems.
Release Info: 1992 CD Reissue SPALAX 14250
Lutz Ulbrich, guitars, zither, Hammond; Jörg Schwenke, guitar; Michael Hoenig, synthesizer, electronic devices, steel guitar; Michael Günther, bass, tapes; Burghard Rausch, drums, marimbaphone, vocals; with Uli Popp, percussion; Peter Michael Hamel, Hammond
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
Agitation Free was a German experimental krautrock band. The band was formed in 1967 with Michael "Fame" Günther (bass), Lutz "Lüül" Ulbrich (guitar), Lutz Ludwig Kramer (guitar) and Christopher Franke (drums). They were initially called Agitation, a name they chose at random from a dictionary. The name later changed to Agitation Free as a reflection of their live performance style.
After losing guitarist Axel Genrich to Guru Guru in 1970 and drummer Christopher Franke to Tangerine Dream in 1971, the band recruited Jörg "Joshi" Schwenke (guitar), Burghard Rausch (drums), and Michael Hoenig (keyboards). They released their debut album, Malesch in 1972 on the Music Factory label. The album was inspired by their tour through Egypt, Greece, and Cyprus, sponsored by the German Goethe Institute. Later that year, they performed at the 1972 Munich Olympics.
A second album was released in 1973, but the band disbanded in 1974. Agitation Free reunited in 1998 and released River Of Return in 1999
Agitation Free's music is psychedelic, experimental krautrock with elements of spaced-out ambient, experimental electronic, and drone. Their music for the most part consists of driving organ-patterned drone-like rock; seamless psychedelic cosmic musical textures with intricate musicianship and musical variety; hard, driving rock similar to Amon Duul II but more compelling, refined, and developed; and jamming that occasionally invokes the interplay and styles of Garcia, Weir and Lesh of The Grateful Dead and hints at a blues rock base not unlike The Allman Brothers Band. Their music features frequently great musical interplay and great playing, great textures, melodies and grooves. Many of their songs have a trance-inducing, psychedelic feel with sections of driving rock fueled by fiery and melodic moving guitar lines and solid, propelling and intricate drumming and a prominent bass. All of Agitation Free's Songs are instrumental apart from some recitation on "Haunted Island".
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
Greek Psychedelic space-rock band Aphrodite's Child began to record "666" late in 1970: a musical adaptation of the biblical Book of Revelation. Koulouris, having finished his Greek army duty rejoined the band. However, relations between all the band members were not good at the time, and continued to worsen during the album's creation.
Essentially, 666 was Vangelis' concept, created with an outside lyricist, Costas Ferris. The music that Vangelis was creating for 666 was much more psychedelic and progressive rock oriented than anything the band had done before.This did not sit well with the other band members, who wished to continue in the pop direction that had brought them success.Furthermore, Roussos was being groomed for a solo career, and recorded his first solo single "We Shall Dance" (with Sideras on drums), and his first solo album On the Greek Side of My Mind, whereas Vangelis recorded the score forL'Apocalypse des animaux and worked on a single with his girlfriend Vilma Ladopoulou, performing with Koulouris using the pseudonym 'Alpha Beta'.
By the time the double album 666 finally was released in June 1972, and having sold over 20 million albums,the band had already split.Both Vangelis and Roussos pursued successful solo careers, Roussos as a pop singer and Vangelis in electronic music. Koulouris worked with both on occasion. Sideras pursued a less successful solo career, releasing an album and the single "Rising Sun" after the break-up.