Saturday, September 14, 2013

Cosmic Jokers - Galactic Supermarket (1974)

The second Cosmic Jokers album, though originally not released under their name, offers another pair of sidelong roller-coaster rides into the cosmic void from the same musicians as the first album, with added vocals from guitarist Göttsching's girlfriend, Rosi Muller, and producer Kaiser's girlfriend Gille Lettmann.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Cosmic Jokers - Gilles Zeitschiff (1974)

Despite its dubious origins, Zeitschiff is another wild ride into the furthest reaches of cosmic space rock, an acid trip set to music and with added narration, mostly by Gille Lettmann and also others, including Timothy Leary and his ominous-voiced cohort, Brian Barritt. With much more mixing and manipulation than the Sci Fi Party compilation, and again with tracks segued together, this one doesn't quite reach the intensity of the first two albums, but comes pretty close. Three snippets from the weak first side of Ash Ra Tempel's Seven-Up, with Timothy Leary's lame blues-rock singing, are more effective in the short doses on this album. Plenty of exceedingly trippy keyboard work from Klaus Schulze, especially on "Cosmic Courier Bon Chance" and "The Electric Scene," and the usual Ash Ra-style jamming and riffing provide another space rock soundtrack into the cosmos.
Part 1
Part 2

Cosmic Jokers - Sci Fi Party (1974)

Originally, this was not a Cosmic Jokers album, but rather a sampler to promote various releases from Kosmische Musik, the record label ran by Jokers mastermind Rolf-Ulrich Kaiser. With a track taken from each of the other four Cosmic Jokers releases, as well as from Ash Ra Tempel's Starring Rosi and Seven-Up, Wallenstein's Cosmic Century, and Walter Wegmüller's Tarot, which all included some members of the Jokers, it's not too far off to consider this with other Cosmic Jokers releases.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Cosmic Jokers - Planeten Sit-in (1974)

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 by Rolf-Ulrich Kaiser and Gille Lettman in early 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 did not 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 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.
 "Planeten Sit-In contains much shorter snippets of music patched together with cross-fades and weird electronic effects. The effects -- burbling electro noises, high-pitched twees, and other sci-fi sounds -- are even more prevalent, erupting out to drown out the drum, guitar, and bass rhythms, as if to make full use of the quadraphonic sound of the original LP. As a much more disjointed effort, and lacking the sustained grooves of the earlier records, Planeten Sit-In is not quite as successful, but still has many fine moments, from the galloping rhythms and siren-like rising synth tones of "Raumschiff Galaxy" to the rotor-blade electronic patterns and echo effects of "Electronic News." The longest track, "Der Planet des Sternenmädchens," adds some vocal trills by Gille Lettmann and moves from loping jam band mode to far more improvisational realms with slow, almost haunting, keyboard tones, to come closest to the prior records. And like those records, Planeten Sit-In represents cosmic space rock in its purest and trippiest distillation. " (taken from

Here(320 kbps)

Monday, September 2, 2013

Cyril - Saturday Night (1980-85)

Washington DC's People's Potential Unlimited has done much good work rescuing and reissuing long-forgotten electrofunk and synth-funk material. Here, they've unearthed more gems from the little-known (but particularly talented) keyboardist and producer Cyril Walker, who also recorded under as Mile High Pie and The Project. Saturday Night is a retrospective featuring eight little-known cuts, most of which are built around thick '80s synths, addictive synth bass and bold vocals.