Sunday, March 29, 2015

Fashion Pink - 2002 - Encore

Fashion Pink
2002
Encore (1969-1971)





01. I See You (1970) 4:17
02. Dharma For One (1970) 11:19
03. Watch Time Flow By (1969 1:41
04. I’m A Man (1970) 3:53
05. The Was A Time (1970) 10:17
06. Forget It, I Got It (1969) 3:01
07. Peeling Beans (1969) 3:23
08. Watch Tim Flow By (1971) 3:16
09. Why Am I So Blind (1971) 2:45
10. Thesen Und Antihesen (1971) 3:36
11. Variation I (1971) 1:57
12. Bass In Race (1971) 1:37
13. You Just Knock Me Out (1971) 0:35
14. Scheibe Durch Den Urwald Getrommelt (1971) 4:08
15. Variation II (1971) 0:35
16. Brainstormin (1971) 5:09
17. Variation III (1971) 1:06
18. BRAINSTORM “Stars on Stage” (1975) 12:10

* Roland Schauffer / guitar, bass, saxophones, vibraphone
* Eddy V. Overheidt / organ, electric piano, clavinet, vocals
* Reiner Bodensohn / bass, flute
* Joe Koinzer / drums, percussions
* Harald Wagner / bass (1-5)
* Helmut Rusch / guitar (6, 7)



Schauffer and Rusch had played together before in other bands. In the summer of 1968, they contacted Eddy von Overheidt and Jürgen Argast – and “Fashion Pink” was born. The band was complete when Joe Koinzer joined them.

Rusch modelled himself on Jimi Hendrix and was the first to play a Fender Stratocaster including a Marshall-tower. Fashion Pink were the first in Baden-baden to play so called progressive underground music, mixed with jazz elements and free-jazz intermezzos. However, this line-up was only short-lived, since Helmut was drafted by the army and Jürgen left the band due to differences about the music.

Argast was replaced with Rainer Bodensohn, who had originally learnt to play the guitar, but later on chose the transverse flute as his main instrument and also played bass. Before Helmut left the band in October 1969, Fashion Pink were the first of many bands to give a guest performance with the radio station Südwestfunk (today SWR) in Baden-Baden, and so this promising up-and-coming band recorded songs in Südwestfunk’s recording studio U1. On 15.6.1969, the band including Rusch recorded the titles “Peeling Beans” (composed by Roland Schaeffer) and “Forget it, I got it” (Spooky Tooth).

The titles of this album impressively show the development of the band, the influences that worked on it, its models and how the band eventually found their own style, which became even more distinct in the follow-up band “Brainstorm”.

The titles 01-07 are the ones that were recorded in Südwestfunk’s studio U1 between 1969-1971. The live version of “Watch time flows by” was recorded off the mixing desk during a live appearance in Ludwigshafen in 1971. Titles 09-17 were originally recorded for a cosmetics company mini LP, only sent to their own customers. Parts of the titles were to be used in later musical epics.

In early 1972 the band changed its name into Brainstorm. The bonus track “Stars on stage” was recorded live during a gig in Ludwigshafen on 29.6.1975 under this name.

This CD contains further studio recordings from 1969-1975 + 2 live tracks. The music is a gradual progression from short psychedelic jams through to longer more structured symphonic Krautrock pieces. It contains some fine cover versions- amongst others Tull's "Dharma For One" (11:00 minutes), the Spencer Davis Group's "I’m A Man" and lost studio-LP track "TAC Beiersdorf" (never officially released). 75 minutes, great stuff!

After the CD Fashion Pink “… to Brainstorm” had been published on Long Hair, LHC 3, in winter 2000, we received an email from Canada by former band member Helmut Rusch (guitar), upon which we revised the history of Fashion Pink’s origin and are now able to give the following account:

The band was founded in 1968. Their first gig took place on 12.10.1968, the line-up included Roland Schaeffer (vocals, guitar, saxophone, bass), Eddy von Overheidt (organ, vocals), Helmut Rusch (lead guitar), Jürgen Argast (bass) and Joe Koinzer (drums). Before, Roland and Helmut had played with the Pop Mops and Reaction, and soon after with a trio called Blues Act (1968), although their involvement with Blues Act was short-lived. In summer 1968 they contacted Eddy and Jürgen – and Fashion Pink was born. Eddy von Overheidt had been vocalist and guitarist with The Edwardians, a band who played Rock’n Roll Standards and titles by the Beachboys. Jürgen Argast had played with The Checkmates. The band was complete when Joe Koinzer joined them. He had played titles by John Mayall, Yardbirds and B.B. King with The Snakes. Fashion Pink were considered Baden-Baden’s Super Group. Rusch modelled himself on Jimi Hendrix and was the first to play a Fender Stratocaster including a Marshall-tower. Fashion Pink were the first in the region to play so called progressive underground music, mixed with jazz elements and free-jazz intermezzos. However, this line-up was only short-lived, since Helmut was drafted by the German Armed Forces and Jürgen left the band due to differences about the music. He was replaced with Rainer Bodensohn, who had originally learnt to play the guitar, but later on chose the transverse flute as his main instrument and also played bass. Before Helmut left the band in October 1969, Fashion Pink were the first of many bands to give a guest performance with the radio station Südwestfunk (today SWR) in Baden-Baden, and so this promising up-and-coming band recorded songs in Südwestfunk’s recording studio U1. On 15.6.1969, the band including Helmut recorded the titles “Peeling Beans” (composed by Roland Schaeffer) and “Forget it, I got it” (Spooky Tooth). Once he had served his time Helmut went to England, and from there he moved to Toronto in 1980. And, as he tells us in his email:” People call me Colin now.”

The titles of this CD impressively show the development of the band, the influences that worked on it, its models and how the band eventually found their own style, which became even more distinct in the follow-up band “Brainstorm”. The titles 01-07 are the ones that were recorded in Südwestfunk’s studio U1 between 1969-1971. They are published on CD for the first time. The live version of “Watch time flows by” was recorded off the mixing desk during a live appearance in Ludwigshafen in 1971. Titles 09-17 are special, since they had been published on a mini LP (T.A.C. Beiersdorf) recorded by order of the cosmetics company Beiersdorf. Eddy’s father Werner von Overheidt, editor with the Südwestfunk, who was working as a pianist and arranger as a sideline, had got in touch with Beiersdorf (e.g. Nivea), who were looking for a special “gift” for their customers. They thought of gratifying their customers with a so called soundtrack. In early 1971 Fashion Pink recorded the titles themselves and acted as producers. Parts of the titles were to be used in later musical epics. The LP was never publicly released. It was only ever given as a present to Beiersdorf customers and is now available on CD for the first time.

Fashion Pink - 2001 - From Fashion Pink to Brainstorm

Fashion Pink
2001
From Fashion Pink to Brainstorm (1970-71)






01. You Make Me Crying
02. Cry In The Morning
03. Einzug Der Elefanten
04. You See
05. Number Six
06. Why Am I So Blind
07. Shit Is Nothing Changing
08. Watch Time Flows By
09. You Knock Me Out
10. Herbst (Autumn)
11. Brainstorming
12. Thesen. Antithesen

- Rainer Bodensohn / Bass, Flute
- Roland Schaeffer / Guitar, Saxophone, Bass, Vocals, Vibraphone
- Joe Koinzer / Percussion, Drums
- Eddy V. Overheidt / Organ, Electric Piano, Clavinet, Vocals
- Harald Wagner / Bass (05-08)




This documents early recordings from the group that eventually became Brainstorm, in its earlier incarnation as Fashion Pink. These tracks were recorded live in the studio during three different sessions in 1970 and 1971 for SWF Radio, and even include a few tracks that made it in different form onto Brainstorm’s two albums released before the group broke up.

The first four tracks, from 1970, are song-oriented psychedelic rock with a few progressive touches, though the instrumental Einzug der Eleganten borders on the jazzier realms that the group would soon develop; the flute and keyboards give the piece that classic krautrock feel, especially when it picks up steam near the end.

The 1971 pieces find the group closing in on the Brainstorm sound, dropping the song orientation for much more progressive music influenced by Canterbury groups like Soft Machine, as well as early Zappa. A track like Number Six replaces psychedelic rock for a far more psychedelic-sounding improvised jazz, and is the standout from the second session, though Shit Is Nothing Changing, with lots of flute and guitar soloing and a more complex song structure, is a really good track, too.

By the final session, the group was stretching out into much longer tracks like Brainstorming and Thesen — Antithesen.

This album offers a fascinating glimpse of Brainstorm’s maturation from psychedelic and prog rock to its unique take on progressive jazzy Krautrock.


Brainstorm - 2002 - Bremen

Brainstorm
2002
Bremen (Live 1973)




01. Zwick zwick (5:28)
02. Das Schwein trügt (5:01)
03. You’re the one (5:19)
04. My way (9:54)
05. There was a time… (14:24)
06. Affenzahn (5:08)
07. Hirnwind (21:02)
08. Marilyn Monroe (9:45)
09. Snakeskin Tango (2:35)

* Roland Schaeffer – vocals, clarinet, guitar, saxophone
* Eddy Von Overheidt – keyboards
* Rainer Bodensohn – flute, bass
* Enno Demov – bass, guitar
* Jo Koinzer – drums



In 1973 the German jazz-rock band Brainstorm played live on a “rainy Saturday outside the machine shed of the Bremen College Of Technology”, a show that was broadcast live by Radio Bremen as part of their “Jazz Live” show.

What stands out about Brainstorm live are the flute and saxophone passages that are all over the place. The band plays mainly material from their second album, “Second Smile”, with three tracks from their debut “Smile A While”. “You’re The One” is the track that starts out sounding as if they’re going to break into a rendition of “Feeling Alright”.

“My Way” rolls right into a heavy, fusiony jam. Schaeffer gets a little more torchy for the latter half of this piece, as the rhythm slows down, gets a little sultry and laid back.

“There Was A Time” begins with a flurry of notes being played, like a little tornado twirling through, before what remains behind slowly resolves itself to late night jazz before coalescing into something a little less “freeform” — extending to more than 14 minutes. “Hirmwind”, which comes two tracks later, goes from having been a 5-plus minute studio version to here a 21 minute live version. The spaciness of the studio version is only partially present here in the live setting, Dernov’s bass back in the mix until about the 3 minute mark. Of course, the time is lengthened by solos, including the obligatory drum solo.

If you like noodly jazz, and want to hear it performed in a live setting, then Bremen 1973 is the album to get. As a live recording, the sound is very, very good. Aside from the live feel and the obvious audience applause between pieces, you’d not really know it was live. The vocal performance on “Marilyn Monroe” is a bit weak and recorded quietly, but the music otherwise comes through. Each instrument can be clearly heard, each cymbal crash, keyboard note, each throb of the bass, etc.

Brainstorm - 2001 - Last Smile

Brainstorm
2001
Last Smile (Live 1974)




01. Marilyn Monroe
02. Das Schwein Truegt
03. Signed
04. There Was A Time
05. Stars On The Stage

- Roland Schaeffer / Saxophone, Guitar, Clarinet
- Eddy von Overheidt / Tasten
- Rainer Bodensohn / Flute
- Enno Dernov / Bass
- Horst Mittmann / Drums



Last Smile catches Brainstorm live in mid-1974, shortly before the group broke up. Since this was recorded for West German radio, the sound quality is excellent.

Though the version of Das Scwein Trugt, a track from their first album, is not quite as explosive as the studio version, the tracks from the Second Smile album, Marilyn Monroe and There Was a Time, are drastically reworked. Marilyn Monroe has been trimmed of some of its more radical sections, while the Leon Thomas piece There Was a Time has been stretched out into a wild 12-and-a-half-minute opus of throbbing jazz-funk with bits of dissonant free jazz thrown in, and as good as the version on Second Smile was, this one has more power. The pair of new songs that round out the disc, Signed and Stars on the Stage, are quite good too, maybe not as weird or as varied as the eccentric material on the first record, with abrupt changes like the songs on the second. Both tracks contain long instrumental passages with plenty of blistering solos for flute, sax, clarinet, and guitar over the loose but lively rhythms, as well as quirky vocals.

Brainstorm - 1973 - 2nd Smile

Brainstorm
1973
2nd Smile





01. Hirnwind (5:43)
02. Herbst (3:40)
03. My Way (8:12)
04. Affenzahn (4:47)
05. There Was A Time (7:09)
06. Marilyn Monroe (8:32)
07. You’re The One (Bonus) (2:50)


- Rainer Bodensohn / flutes, bass
- Eddy Von Overheidt / organ, e-piano, clavinette, lead vocals
- Enno Dernov / Fenderbass, guitar
- Roland Schaeffer / soprano and tenor sax, clarinet, acoustic and electric guitars, vocals, double-bass
- Jo Koinzer / drums, Transylvanian fold-up-conga



This second album holds many different styles mostly reminding you of Lizard-era Crimson for the opening track. The second track they even play in a folky style with acoustic guitar and flute, but the percussion gives the whole track a latin feel. In the third track you could swear Wyatt is on vocals and Ratledge on keyboards but halfway thru you jumped into a different planet. “There Was A Time” is probably were Brainstorm develops their personality best.

The album’s last track “Marilyn Monroe”, with all of its shift gears, becoming a funky, gospel like piece that shifts gears again to become a spoken word, bluesy, psychedelic piece. On one hand, here is where they tell listener why they’re called Brainstorm and how they see themselves in relation to the listener. On the other, it is a short fantasy of getting their “kicks on Route 66? and meeting “Marilyn Monroe” (all in the space of a few lines).

Brainstorm - 1972 - Smile A While

Brainstorm
1972
Smile A While





01. Das Schwein Truegt (4:40)
02. Zwick Zwick (4:40)
03. Watch Time Flow By (1:29)
04. Bosco Biati WeiB Alles (8:59)
05. Snakeskin Tango (2:20)
06. Smile A While (15:34)
07. You Are What’s Gonna Make It Last (Bonus Live) (3:31)
08. Don’t Forget (Bonus Live) (0:25)
09. Thesen & Antithesen (Bonus Live) (14:01)
10. Einzug Der Elefanten (Bonus) (4:09)
11. You Knock Me Out (Bonus) (3:03)

- Eddy V. Overheidt / keyboards, vocals
- Rainer Bodensohn / flute, bass
- Roland Schaffer / saxes, clarinet, bass, guitars
- Joe Koinzer / drums
- Harold Wagner / bass (7-9)




Brainstorm’s debut offers an odd twist on jazz-rock, throwing in bits of Canterbury and Frank Zappa, as well as the Dutch band Supersister.

The album starts off with the explosive energy of the instrumental Das Schwein Trugt, a fast piece of complex prog-jazz. Zwick Zwick follows, beginning at an only slightly slower pace, with some wild flutes and clarinets over a choppy rhythm, and then halfway through the guitar, bass, and organ rip into the mix to add a furious energy to the piece.

Though the album is mostly instrumental, a couple tracks offer quirky song structures, the very short Watch Time Flow By and a couple short sections in the long title track, while Snakeskin Tango has someone moaning in anguish and the middle section of Bosco Biati Weiss Alles contains strange wordless vocal drones. Through it all, Brainstorm has crafted top-notch music that combines the manic energy and flippancy of rock with the loose fluidity and chops of jazz, with dynamic arrangements, a sense of humor, and excellent musicianship.

This edition also includes five bonus tracks that are in a similar vein to the album cuts, though these can be found on the “From Fashion Pink to Brainstorm” archival release as well.