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Erdenreich

Tai Chi Tu: Retrospect One (vinyl)

Review by Gary Hill

This new compilation set is very cool. The main person here is Udo Erdenreich, and these songs all come from various projects he has worked on with various artists. The sounds here are quite artistic with a lot of space rock and art rock in the mix. That said, there is plenty of punk edge a lot of the times along with world music and much more. The lyrics are in German. As someone who doesn't speak that language, I can tell you that not understanding what's being said did not negatively impact my experience at all. I really like this album a lot. It's odd, but it's also very cool. It's also well-suited for the vinyl experience, and this vinyl release is heavy gauge and very nice, with a gatefold sleeve.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2019  Volume 1 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
A
          
Tura Ya Moya - Axis Mundi

Weird spacey textures create an artsy sort of vibe on this piece. It has a real space music element, but there is some world music texture at play, too. In some ways I'm reminded of early Hawkwind. As a driving rocking texture enters to serve as the backdrop for the vocals, those earlier elements still remain. The piece is a real powerhouse of strange space rock music.

PZL - Das Fieberspital
Punky textures meet proggy ones on this number. In some ways it feels a bit like a cross between King Crimson and Roxy Music to me. This is a cool cut with some interesting shifts built into it. I dig the driving faster paced section. It brings a decided Krautrock vibe to the table. This dissolves into some seriously strange (but cool) stuff further down the road, too.
Tura Ya Moya - Hafentraum
Stripped down and suitably odd, this is mostly jazz with world music at its core. That said, you are likely to make out some space rock elements. It's all artsy, too.
Erdenreich - Berlin Boost
Another that's based on the same kind of world music meets space rock as the opener, this again feels just a bit like early Hawkwind. There are some particularly intriguing moments.
Sperrfeuer - Affenhaus
While this is pretty much pure punk rock, there are still echoes of things Hawkwind might do built into it. It's a cool tune.
Ziguri - PyramidSelfHelpSystem
This electronic styled number has female vocals. It's like a mix of Hawkwind space rock and EDM in some ways. This is pretty trippy stuff.
B
             
Candongo - Sixsex

Coming in percussive, weird spoken (in English) samples are heard along with phone sounds. As it builds outward we get modem handshaking and a count-down as the trippy stuff. Then a voice (again in English) recites numbers in an echoey way.

Tura Ya Moya - Neo Eso
With sort of dreamy female vocals, there is a real trippy world music element at play here. This is artsy and space oriented in a lot of ways.
100 Fleck - Ich habe gestern
Art rock merged with folk and world music is the concept here. This is a bit of a punk edge to it. The vocals are almost a rant (at least they feel that way, as I don't speak German). I love the violin that rises up further down the road intensifying the cut and really bringing a prog element to it.
Tura Ya Moya - Gesänge
Percussion and trippy science-fiction like textures (specifically delivered via theremin) are heard on this. The vocals come in with an almost operatic element, adding to the artsy and weird angles here. This is very free-form and strange. It's also driving and cool. It builds more toward rocking textures and gets more space elements into the mix as it continues.
Hagel Forte Plus - Bundeslied
Driving hard rock, there is plenty of punk here along with space and more. This isn't far removed from something Hawkwind might do in a lot of ways. The horns bring an almost marching band thing. This is packed full of both energy and cool.
100 Fleck - Ra Ta Ra
This short cut reminds me of "Da Da Da" by Trio just a bit. There is a punky edge along with trippy electronic sounds and more built into this. It's a classy number.
Schickreich - Kang Rinpoche
Trippy, spacey and instrumental, this is cool world meets space type stuff. It is a very cool way to end this in style.
 
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