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Last

Last

14 Nov 2008
5.0 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Amazon has already published some great, informative writing about this record and this is to confirm that those reviewers only speak the truth! Thanks! This is quite lovely. A choice example of "Kraut Rock" (horrible tag!) from a very inventive and productive period in music generally, in so far as there are longish, exhilarating, instrumental tracks of accomplished, rock-group guitar jamming with a quantity of subtle, intriguing, electronics, so I could almost go as far as to describe this as "space-rock".
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.
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Format: Audio CD
Originally released in 1974, this was apparently Agitation Free's third and final effort during their all too-brief existence. You get three tracks here, with the last two being no less than 'the' truly out-standing progressive krautrock brilliance these five gifted German musicians have become known for. The seventeen-minute epic "Laila II" not only pulls your heart, mind and soul in but elevates them to a level that so little other music can. The twenty-two minute "Looping" is a piece I could honestly listen to like about every other day. Sheer excellence to be fully experienced here. A must-have.
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By D. J. H. Thorn VINE VOICE on 20 Sept. 2010
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
'Last' threw me somewhat when I first heard it, though that's what any self-respecting 'Krautrock' album tries to do. Having enjoyed the rock-band-with-experiments-thrown-in ethic of Agitation Free's superb first two albums, I was surprised to find that the guitars and drums on this release play a mostly secondary role. This is therefore heaven to anyone who prefers spaced-out electronic soundscapes.

'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.
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When I first heard this group on Ed Pinsent's "Sound Projector" on Resonance FM, I assumed they were a modern psychedelic revival band. But they had some amazing analog synth soundscapes, which morphed into guitar solos. Why had I never heard of them? They split up in 1974. They've since reformed by demand. Their music is, in my humble opinion as good as anything by T.Dream and far superior musically to Pink Floyd. This, I think is the best of their recordings, as it has some superb electronics recorded live. But it's an excellent rock album too. Mind blowing. Highly recommended. Their "2nd" is also superb,
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