Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Father Son & Holy Ghosts
Genres: World Music, Jazz, Pop, Rock
1972 album for German progressive rock act.
Listen to Samples
1972 album for German progressive rock act.
The EMBRYO starts kicking....hard
W. T. Hoffman | Pennsylvania, United States | 04/11/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"1972 was a bunker crop year for the band EMBRYO. After their second album, RACHE, and the nearly complete change in line up, the band started to record four albums in this one year period, which were truly the best krautrock/jazz fusion ever made. Unlike OPAL or RACHE, the long rock like entended jamming, and psychedelic qualities are not quite as evident. At least not in the overt way seen with the bizarre mix on the RACHE album that preceeds FSAHG. Xhol's Fischer had left Embryo, and Christian Burchard, along with Hoffmann on sax and violin, started to work with two great guitar players. The results are impressive, producing an impressive step forward.
This album is a bit difficult to pigeonhole, as most of the early EMBRYO work is. The opening number sounds if anything, like an outtake from Miles Davis' JACK JOHNSON soundtrack, but with lead guitar sound more prominant. Then, gears are switched, and you are listening to acoustic folk guitar and sitar, which melts into a cool ostenato riff flanging around, that just builds and builds, with countermelody on Violin (or Veena?) and guitar weaving in and out, along with the drum parts. The song ends back at the acoustic guitar passage it started at, with a flute playing the main theme. After that, a funky little number dances out of the speakers. Its the end of the first side of the album, and LYRICS are heard for the first time. But lyrics are not what EMRBYO is about. In fact, I always hear their lyrics, as something more as SLOGANS, employed not unlike the heads of jazz songs. An idea is anounced, and a hook perhaps implied, and then......the singing ends, and the jamming begins. (The singing on the song that has it, lasts less than a half minute.) This song, KING INSANO, is written by David King, the newest EMBRYO member, who played on this album, and disappeared. Again, this is a funk song, with guitar leads built on top. A lot more negative space is used here, and when the guitar solo all but disappears, a dense, thickly textured latin like drum/percussion solo slides into prominance. It is interesting, that there seems to be NO BASS on this album. (No bass player is listed, and no bass listed on the instruments the musicians are using.) Perhaps when you have a drummer like Burchard, his bass drum becomes all the bass you need. Oddly, you never even NOTICE the bottom end lacking in bass guitar. Had that been put into the mix, the sound would have become too chaotic, and possibly muddy. So much of this album has a CHILL OUT vibe too it, not found in the band before. Naturally, the songs don't linger on the ambient side of things. Rather, its more of a sense of dynamics, tempo and texture that brings a bit of ambience into the soundscapes.
Maybe to someone unfamilier with the EMBRYO sound, this album might seem a bit unfocused. However, all the elements are in place, that have become the trademark sound of the band during this timeperiod. EMBRYO means jazz rock fusion, mixed in with exotic instrumentation, scales, time signatures, and ultimately, working with a constant variaty of musicians. Again, as with almost all EMBRYO music i've heard, I'm deeply impressed with the nascent worldbeat sound. We take for granted, the worldbeat genre, but in early 1972, it was very new. When Hoffmann plays sax solos, or solos on exotic instruments, he is always moving thru strange raga scales, or outrageous extentions on the harmonic structure. Add to that Burchard's innate sense of the TALA, the extended and complex beat, that holds up the raga sound. Plus, he also uses all manner of percussive instrumentation, including fantastic marimba work.
From FATHER SON AND HOLY GHOST, you move into ROCKSESSION, and STEIG AUS, and finishing the year out with WE KEEP ON. I believe that any of these albums are worth buying, and offer a fantastic viewpoint, of what the band is about. Out of the 1972 Quartet of albums, each one has its own distinct character, line up of musicians, and objectives. FORGOTTEN SEA, the closing song on the album, fuses JAZZ, and PROG ROCK, and those dark, yearning middle eastern scales, into a sound, which sticks in the brain and heart. I honestly believe that, had this band originated in NYC instead of Munich, they would have been every bit as popular as WEATHER REPORT or RETURN TO FOREVER. Then again, staying in Europe, allowed this band to explore physically and psychically, the sounds and musicians of India, Turkey and Africa, in ways that American Jazz fusion pioneers never veered into. I can only offer the highest compliments for this band. Altho many German 70s bands share the label of KRAUTROCK, don't be mislead. EMBRYO is too jazzy to fall into that label alone. ANd, with a percussive genius like Burchard, to expect him to produce motorik drum parts, would have been like forcing DaVinci to paint like Rothko. This might be why the band interests me...they are true originals, and pioneers. I would recommend this music, to anyone interested in fusion jazz, the 70s German music scene, and worldbeat origins.
P. SAAVEDRA | Lima - Perú | 08/23/2004
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Si escuchaste el Steig Aus, este cd puede servir para acompañar una reunión algo más cerebral y menos brillante. El tema Nightmares es una etapa embrionaria y algo en bruto de Dreaming Girls (ver Steig Aus). Sus temas son algo menos elaborados y la variedad de instrumentos es más limitada. Sin embargo la capacidad de mostrarnos ambientes cálidos y oscuros hace de este cd una adquisición recomendable."