Sunday, February 22, 2015

Ibliss - 1972 - Supernova


01. Margah (6:11)
02. Drops (14:26)
03. High Life (13:03)
04. Athir (8:52)

- Rainer Büchel / sax, flute
- Wolfgang Buellmeyer / guitars, percussion
- Norbert Buellmeyer / bass, percussion
- Andreas Hohmann / drums, percussion
- Basil Hammoudi / percussion, flute, vocals

German ensemble Ibliss created a heavily jazzy voice within the psychedelic atmosphere that wrapped and shaped the psychedelic atmosphere of krautrock back in the late 60s and early 70s. This band is tightly sustained on the standard of jazz-fusion and jazz-rock, closely related to the 1st Annexus Quam, post-"Opal" Embryo and Xhol. "Supernova", while not being as brilliant as any of Embryo's efforts nor as magical as Annexus Quam's debut album, definitely displays a focused appeal that should be very appreciated by inquirers in the jazzy side of early German prog rock. Actually, the fact that one of the Ibliss guys (percussionist Basil Hammoudi) was part of pre-Kraftwerk act Organisation makes it clear that he was in no small degree responsible for the elaboration of the aforesaid band's ethnic side. Now, in Ibliss, the terrain is proper for a further development of this type of sonority. With two members recurrently in charge of the percussion department and two more adding extra percussions, it is no wonder that rhythm and cadence play such a big role in the tracks' bases and developments. The writing process seems to have been minimal, mostly based on the repetitive installation of a simple starting point, with the full band going on with it in order to create some sort of trance for the mind and the spirit. The opener kicks off with its abundant tribal pulsations, taking some time to gradually reinforce the powerful beat: halfway through the punchy guitar and the agile sax phrases enter in to explore the psychedelic potential of this ambience. The abrupt ending is a perfect culmination for this manifested enthusiasm. Track 2 goes to more serene places, changing the firs track's African vibe for a mysterious elaboration of Latin-jazz ambiences. This is the moment for the sax to steal the limelight with its controlled soloing: fresh and at times moderately aggressive, constraint is its major asset. A track like this wouldn't have been out in place on any Embryo album from "Rocksession" onwards. The intimacy alluded in 'Drops' is accentuated in the fade-out that follows after the cosmic interlude that previously worked as a false fade-out. 'High Life' starts the album's second half, going for a more American feel, funky-based in a Weather report-esque sort of way. The mid tempo pace allows the band o dig deeper in its evocative side: the recorder soloing states a lyrical color to the whole picture. The last 9 minutes are occupied by the languid 'Athir', a piece that finds the quintet getting closer to the realms of soft psychedelia with Indian trends: something akin to Yatha Siddra. The percussive foundation is quite hypnotic, with the whole band sounding like an exorcist that summons spirits from out a dream. The guitar feels at home with its subtle lines and evocative arpeggios going around the sax and flute solos. If we pay attention to his album's tracklist, it is a gradual journey from exaltation in the light of day to the quietness of the night. This is a real lost treasure waiting to be appreciated by prog fans all over the world.



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