Thursday, May 14, 2015

Xhol Caravan - 1969 - Electrip

Xhol Caravan

01. Electric Fun Fair (6:25)
02. Pop Games (6:56)
03. All Green (7:38)
04. Raise Up High (17:45)
05. Walla Masallah (1:38)

Bonus Tracks:
06. Planet Earth (2:46)
07. So Down (3:29)

- Skip van Wyck / drums
- Tim Belbe / saxophone
- Hansi Fischer / saxophone, flute
- Klaus Briest / bass
- Öcki / keyboards

A very important album in the history of Krautrock. This was one of Germany's first progressive records, and perhaps the first Krautrock recording. In the book "The Crack in the Cosmic Egg" they say "Electrip" was one hell of a remarkable album, especially for the 60's, an electric sax and organ fronted fusion with a great deal of invention and energy...remarkable throughout !" This album was a blend of Free Jazz and psychedelia with a dash of humour. Yes Frank Zappa does come to mind, but this is more about long extended jams and improvisation. I just love the way these guys jammed. Flautist and sax player Hansi Fischer would leave soon after this record to join EMBRYO.

"Electric Fun Fair" opens with the sound of a toilet flushing followed by a circus-like melody before we get to the rest of the song. Sax and drums lead the way with some great organ runs 3 minutes in as drums pound. Sax is back 6 minutes in. "Pop Games" opens with chipmunk-like voices before drums, bass and sax take over. Great sound. It settles before 3 minutes as drums and other sounds come and go with no melody until 4 minutes in when a hypnotic beat is joined by some powerful organ 5 minutes in.

"All Green" is classic XHOL. I like this one a lot. It's like Free Jazz as drums, organ and sax stand out as they just jam. The bass also becomes prominant later. "Raise Up High" features vocals that are pretty raw but they work. Drums, flute, sax and organ stand out as he sings away. One line he sings is "We're gonna all get stoned, and then get blown." Where's the toilet flush ? Haha. It calms down 6 minutes in with sax sounds as it starts to build. Drums, organ and other sounds come and go until the main melody returns 9 minutes in and they jam. "Walla Masallah" is a short song with spoken words in German with a simple melody.

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