Saturday, March 5, 2016

Spacebox - 1984 - Kick Up

Kick Up

01. Session Groove (3.45)
02. Blue Blues (4.45)
03. Roundabout (4.35)
04. Kick Up (7.00)
05. Earmike Song (5.00)
06. Intermodulator (4.55)
07. Introfunction (9.50)

- Uli Trepte / Bass, Spacebox, Voice,
- Lotus Schmidt / Drums, Gongs
- Julius Golombek / Guitar
- Edgar Hofmann / Soprano sax,flute,Violin, Clarinette, Nagaswaram, Mouth Organ

 I still haven't been able to find out exactly what Uli Trepte spent most of the 70's with after leaving Guru Guru in 72 and their third album Kan Guru. But indeed the double Guru lost a big part of its soul when he left them. Apparently he worked for a while with Faust and Neu! before creating this project around 75. But it was not before the late 70's (79 if memory serves) that he resurfaced (to the record buyers) with a new group called Spacebox, the present one dating from 83, but some certainly dating from 70's recordings (or else they were completely anachronistic), but the means were simply derisory: two mikes and a two-track recording deck - in 84.

In many ways the music on Kick-up is completely out of the 80's context and is much closer to early Guru Guru recordings than anything later. The recording quality is so-so as well, but this was most likely voluntary since the music is rough, raw, dirty and gritty. But there are some excellent moments also; most notably the opening Session Groove where Uli rules on his bass, but Hofman's flute leaves nothing to be desired. But some of those improvs can be a bit irritating, like the title track, but more because of the poor recording, than the spacebox through which goes Trepte's singing and most likely Golombeck's guitars. Intermodulator is one of the most interesting tracks (and better recorded too) with Hofman's sax verging on Arabian for a few second before coming back to more standard grounds. Other tracks are close to a straight blues (would you believe Blue Blues is one of them), while the closing Introfunction can sound like Floyd (Saucerful-era) on speed.

Not really essential, rather messy (as in raw and unfinished), but if you are a fan of early Guru stuff, this should be of some interest, although I wouldn't risk calling it essential.



  2. According to what I've read Uli spent most of the 70s taking every illicit substance he could get his hands on. That's not to dismiss his musical abilities, his work with Guru Guru was maybe the best bass playing in all of Krautrock. But great musicians often have greater problems, unfortunately for themselves and their audiences.