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Deutsche Kosmische Musik 1971-83
on 26 February 2013
Three years after the first installment, Soul Jazz Records return with a second volume of Deutsche Electronische Musik. A two disc set featuring 27 tracks, it clocks in at a generous 2½ hours and it's even better than its predecessor. Much like Volume 1, Kraftwerk don't get a look in (probably something to do with licensing rights) but, when the music is this good, it doesn't really matter. Most of the leading lights - Amon Duul II, NEU!, Faust and Can - are represented but there are plenty of lesser known artists to be heard too.
Comprising of electronic and progressive sounds with elements of psychedelia, this is both experimental and forward thinking music that occasionally incorporates aspects of various musical strands that were emanating from around the globe during the same period. Synths and keyboards underpin much of the music but there's a fair amount of first rate heavy rock too and even some folk. Mind blowing percussion, guitar freakouts and the relentless repetition often associated with Krautrock - it's all here.
It's very difficult to select highlights from a collection this strong. Agitation Free's 'You Play For Us Today' is a trippy tension builder with hypnotic guitar and the percussion on Can's 'Halleluwah' (albeit a heavily edited version) still takes the breath away. Featuring lush female vocals, Broselmaschine's folkish 'Nossa Bova' does have, as evidenced by the wordplay of the song title, a Brazilian vibe. 'China' by Electric Sandwich is an eight minute mind-bender with tribal beats and phased guitars. The abrasive and appropriately titled 'Krautrock' by Faust closes the album and ultimately sums-up the whole scene and sound in less than 12 minutes.
Regardless of whether you're a connoisseur of Deutsche Kosmische Musik or just interested in experiencing something different, this compilation deserves a place in your collection. Featuring a sumptuous 48 page booklet with extensive notes and archive photos that's housed alongside the CD jewel case inside a cardboard slipcase, this is sure to feature near the top of most end of year charts.