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When the band Agitation Free came together in 1967 as a result of the merging of two Berlin rock groups, one of the most interesting groups in a dawning independent German music scene was created. With their improvisations between rock, jazz and new music, Agitation Free soon relegated to the not so flattering category of 'Krautrock' made musical forays into areas that few of their fellow German musicians had ever penetrated. At a time when most in Germany were still orienting themselves as closely as possible to Anglo-American musical formats, Agitation Free found a completely new and very original form of musical expression.
Looking back, it s evident that the Agitation Free was one of the most important bands of the experimental circle known as the 'Berlin School', and a career springboard for a whole slew of musicians. At the same time, this policy of changing personnel also meant risking that the band couldn t keep itself together over the long run. Agitation Free consciously took this risk in order to remain as close as possible to their own concept free from commercial pressure or concessions to the latest trends and modes.
Top Customer Reviews
If I had to make a comparison, I'd be inclined to suggest that Ashra Tempel and Guru Guru made music that was similar to the sound that can be found on this excellent release. Writing that worries me slightly because, inevitably, when one is reduced to making comparisons in an attempt to describe what one has just heard, this might cause prospective purchasers to be disappointed if they take the comparisons too literally. If they should, however, decide to investigate this release which is, by the way, excellent value, I believe that they will receive ample returns from their modest investment.
So many bands have been grouped together and tagged with the unfortunate "Kraut Rock" epithet and I confess that I'm probably more inclined than most towards inappropriate and unnecessary pigeon-holing of music. Can's mesmerising output, however, was so far removed from the wonderful stuff that Kraftwerk produced, but then, Amon Düül II were on a totally different trip to either of those ensembles. Tangerine Dream, initially, were making atmospheric, captivating electronic sounds that, at first hearing any way, seemed to be without structure or melody.Read more ›
'Soundpool', at six minutes the shortest track, consists of just that, ending with the band coming in with a reprise of a theme from the end of their debut album Malesch. The seventeen-minute 'Laila II' is, obviously, a sequel to one of the highlights of 2nd. The main themes from the original resurface sporadically against another wash of electronic drones, patterns and echoes, which, though subtle, harbour a psychedelic feel. The twenty-two minute 'Looping IV' is completely new and, even more than the other tracks, a major space excursion. The bonus track, 'Schwingspule', begins with some oscillating electronics and features a steadier balance between guitars, drums and keyboards during its eleven minutes.
'Last' is certainly not as instant as the first two albums, but is ultimately as rewarding. It also confirms their proximity to Pink Floyd in their earlier space rock phase, though Agitation Free explored whereas Floyd did little more than dabble. Technically too, the Germans were a better band, collectively and individually. Had they been British, they would surely have gained the widespread recognition they deserved. Play loud and listen without distraction.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
2. Laila II
3. Looping IV