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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Electric Orange

fleischwerk

Review by Gary Hill

This album was originally released on vinyl in 2005. Now they’ve reissued it on CD and added four tracks to the end. This is weird music – make no mistake about that. Although the opening track has some vocals it's pretty much all instrumental. It shares a lot with the RIO movement of progressive rock. There is a lot ambient and “found” sound type things here. There is also a lot of music that is similar to early Pink Floyd. Add in some Hawkwind and psychedelia and we’ve got a pretty good picture of what this is like. The general layout of the disc is a very short piece followed by a long one. This is carried out throughout and produces a nice pattern. This CD isn’t for everyone, but it is cool and some of it borders on incredible.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2008  Volume 6 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
trommelfleisch
Only twenty seconds in length, this is just a tribal drumming thing.

koodu
They start this off in acoustic stylings and it begins to grow from there. Picture a retro psychedelic tone with a fast paced jam and you have a good idea of what this is like. There’s a space rock feeling to it, too. At around two and a half minutes this crescendos and then weird keys are left behind. It grows gradually upward from here with a Doors meets Iron Butterfly in a progressive rock stew approach. This eventually works up into quite a powerful jam. Fast paced percussion drives it while retro keyboards and fuzz guitars bring in an almost Deep Purple like sound.

sonnenbart
Nothing changes quickly in this extensive jam. It’s a keyboard laden, psychedelic freak out that has a lot in common with early Pink Floyd. It’s more mood than mode, but it is quite cool.

eeemolle
Only about half a minute in length, this feels like a truncated early Hawkwind song.

schatten
A killer retro sound makes up this groove. It’s sort of part Niacin, part Booker T and the MG’s and all fun.

trockenfleisch
This is only twelve seconds long. It sounds a bit like a high school band tuning up.

gewächs
Imagine Kraftwerk with a groove. Now you’ve got the idea of this track.  This gets spacey with keyboard lines and echoed sound bites and is extremely cool. This also has one of the disc’s few guitar solos. It’s echo and fuzz laden and very tasty. This turns towards Hawkwind territory later.

arabon
Another brief interlude, this one is a little over half a minute and length and is essentially just percussion with a few things over the top.

schrasng
Spacey weirdness starts this and percussion carries much of it. Other sounds come in after a while bringing a freeform RIO eccentricity to the table. A droning, trudging texture holds much of the first five minutes or so. Then it moves out to sparser arrangements that hold more mystery – but are equally odd. The droning returns after a while, but amidst this new sea of sound. Different elements come and go, but the droning is the one thing that keeps coming back here and there.

jubiläton
I believe this is a recording of the band on stage with some distortion and studio effects thrown into it – and the emphasis on the crowd noises. It’s less than a minute and a half in length and is the first bonus track added when this was released on CD.

sakral
The comparisons to early Pink Floyd are again quite accurate. This is an extended, laid back freak out much like they used to do. There are some hints of Native American sounds here and there and I can also hear Hawkwind on this at points. There is more guitar to this than a lot of the CD.

trommelgemüse
The longest of the “in between” pieces, this is almost two minutes in length. This is similar to “jubilation," but with more of an emphasis on a Native American styled drum pattern.

fleischzusatz
For me they saved the best for last. This is a powerhouse jam that’s driven by a prominent bass guitar. It has more of that Pink Floyd type sound, but also has a pretty definite Hawkwind feeling to it. Keyboards take a more serious role later in the track, but really every instrument seems to share equally on this one. Of course, this only holds the first seven and a half or eight minutes. It ends and then weird sound effects and atmospheric keys take over. Louder and louder the keys rise as drums pound away in the backdrop. This goes away and the droning whine of an airplane on a dive bomb run takes over. Then bass guitar steals the thunder and they build back up into a bounding rocker. This again feels a bit like Hawkwind, but there is still early Floyd here. We get some cool melodic lines coming across here and there and at times this feels jazzy, but at other points it’s quite psychedelic. This works up into quite a rocker once again and Hawkwind is the primary similarity. This mode holds the track for about the same time as the last rocking section did. Then we get a period of silence before voices (spoken – like more of that club conversation) rises amongst other weird textures. Taken as a whole, this is the longest track on show at over twenty four minutes in length. As cool as it is I’m amazed that it’s a bonus track.

 
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