01. Thursday Morning Sunrise (11:35)
02. Lady Blue (3:02)
03. Mellodrama Nr.2 A (5:12)
04. Raga (16:11)
05. Milkstreets (4:08)
06. Behind The Stage (6:35)
07. Tau Ceti (7:10)
08. Kabul (8:51)
- Wolfgang Dauner / Keyboards, percussions, flute, trumpet and electronics
- Sigi Schwab / Guitar, sitar, lute, percussions and electronics
- Roland Wittich / Percussions
- Fred Braceful / Percussions, vocals
German outfit Et Cetera was the brainchild of Wolfgang Dauner. Starting out playing piano as a child, he actually graduated from the Stuttgart conservatory with a major in trumpet.
In 1963 he founded his own jazz band, focusing on the comtemporary scene, bringing in famous German bassist Eberhard Weber and American drummer Fred Braceful. This threesom played together well into the 70s ? changing and challenging their sound to the limit.
Dauner recieved critical acclaim with his take on experimental and modern jazz, where he and his fellow band mates stretched the boundaries of the scene to such an extent, that many since have claimed that they did to jazz what Faust did to rock. Already at the end of the 60s, these musicians showed signs of what was to come in form of the Krautrock movement rolling across Germany during the frantic and wild 70s.
So as a natural continuation of what was happening in regards to experimentation between the different genres, Dauner and crew recorded the Et Cetera debut in mid December 1970 at the Orange Recording Studios in London. The band now consisted of Roland Wittich (percussion), Eberhard Weber ( different bass instruments, vc), Fred Braceful (drums, voices, bongos), Siggi Schwab (guitar, sitar, sarangi) and Wolfgang Dauner (synths, clavinet, ringmodulator, trumpet, flute, etc etc).
Combining everything from Indian raga music and psychedelics to the avant garde jazz tendencies with a modern rock template, Et Cetera managed to conjure up a rather unique take on the Krautrock sound. Freeflowing and loose with much focus on improvisations, the band was a melting pot of many different styles and approaches.
With the add on of legendary drummer Jon Hiseman and guitar chameleon Larry Coryell for the second studio album Knirsch, the band now seemed like a sonic experimentation to be reckoned with. Sadly this was to be the final studio release from this highly eclectic group, and they called it quits the year after with a double live album.
Et Cetera was a shortlived installment in the early days of Krautrock, but seen from a modern perspective and in the larger scope of what the scene was all about, it seems only proper to call this outfit one of the true pioneers of the scene.
The music can be everything from psychedelic tinged rock to freak out avant garde jazz with a healthy dose of Indian spicing, but above all and most importantly, this group was indeed a highly experimental force that influenced and pushed the dynamics of the German Krautrock scene during its infancy.
It's not clear if Et Cetera was the name of the band or the album, or both. But either way here's another stunning gem from the German counterculture, in this case buried perhaps a little too deep in the seemingly bottomless Krautrock treasure chest (mine is the only review so far). The guiding light behind the project was Wolfgang Dauner, at age 36 already a veteran Jazz pianist and trumpeter, but Krautrock was never entirely a youth movement: CAN's Irmin Schmidt turned 34 the same year this album was released; CLUSTER's Hans-Joachim Roedelius was 37.
And Dauner certainly borrowed a few cues from the local kids, stretching his musical horizons outward in every direction known to physics (plus a few yet to be discovered). Only in Germany circa 1971 could you expect to find such an unlikely amalgam of ethnic-psychedelic-jazz-funk-acid-folk-rock-trance music, all tossed into a boiling stew of beautiful noise and stirred to a uniform consistency. The closest local equivalent might have been the anarchists of FAUST, reinvented as a Fusion combo but with even less obligation toward convention than usual.
The album opens not too far from a Canterbury-like sound, but in classic Krautrock fashion the music loses its grip on reality very quickly, cued by Dauner's increasingly distorted electric piano (sounding not unlike a broken Toys R Us saxophone), and by two percussionists competing to see who could bash a cymbal harder. "Lady Blue" then adds some groovy beatnik poetry to the mix ("I have seen everything / I have found everything to be everything / and everything came out very together..."), the voice heard through a maelstrom of classical guitar, choirs, echo effects, and whatever else Dauner could pack into the song's three minutes.
The tell-tale misspelling of "Mellodrama Nr.2A" hints at the pastoral beauty of the next title, adrift on an unruffled sea of mellotrons and 12-string guitars. But the rest of the album (Side Two of the original LP) is more abstract, starting with the bluntly-titled "Raga", in which the expected sitars drive an epic Oriental Kraut-Funk groove, with Dauner's warped trumpet accents recalling the comic relief French horn of kindred spirit HOLGER CZUKAY.
The epilog of "Milkstreets" is another CAN-like slice of free-form 'instant composition', but the album isn't over yet: a trio of CD bonus tracks from the original recording session adds enough quality music to fill another full side of vinyl.
Maybe Dauner should have chosen a more unique moniker for his outfit: currently three separate bands with similar names are featured on this site alone. A sophomore Et Cetera album appeared the following year, but the crazy Krautrock experimentation was (somewhat) compromised by a guest appearance by American jazz guitarist LARRY CORYELL. The debut should be the first choice for anyone on the lookout for something more bizarre and eclectic. On a personal level, it knocked my socks off with my feet still in them.