Thursday, November 17, 2016

Arakontis - 1981 - Live at the Quasimodo

Live at the Quasimodo

01. Mr. G.B. 4:37
02. Brasilia 7:12
03. Dream On 6:43
04. I Don't Know 5:38
05. Piano Solo 3:49
06. Dear John 4:57
07. Short Cut 5:09

Dieter Anker (Guitar)
Gerard Batrya (Bass)
Tommy Goldschmidt (Percussion)
Lutz Halfter (Drums)
Andreas Hommelsheim (Keyboards)
Mike Tybus (Percussion)
Mike Wilke (Guitar)

Recorded at the Quasimodo, Berlin, Jan 1st 1981, by Sinus Recording Mobile.

Strong German band, the only album recorded live, at the Quasimodo, Berlin, Jan 1st 1981. Play enthusiastic and elegant, perfectly linked version instrumental fusion on electric guitar and keyboards (organ, keyboards and turntables). Cynthia in a bit - there are only present to support the guitar solo. Very nice piano, bass guitar chords with a sensitive ear.

Arakontis is a Berlin-based, rather nondescript, funky fusion band with rock leanings led by guitarist Michael "Willy" Wilke. Others on Live at the Quasimodo include 2nd guitarist Dieter Anker, Gerard Batyra (bass), Andreas Hommelsheim (piano, keyboards), Lutz Hafler (drums) and percussionists Tommy Goldschmidt and Michael Tybus. The only familiar name to me is Goldschmidt, who also percussed in the last edition of the Release Music Orchestra, and in Supersession (a jazz-rock big band active during the early 1980s). On Live at the Quasimodo, Arakontis is captured live on New Year's Day, 1981. The first track here is a dedication to Geroge Benson, and sounds like something off of his Breezin' LP. Fortunately, the rest of Live at the Quasimodo isn't nearly so lame - in fact most of it is OK, albeit somewhat inferior to similar German fusion bands of the time, such as Virgo, Aera, and the Release Music Orchestra. Actually, one of the pieces reminded me a bit of Pekka Pohjola's later, less complicated stuff (e.g. Urban Tango), and another 2 had me thinking of those Janne Schaffer LPs that got released in the US during the late 1970s. Bassist Batyra reinforces the Pohjola comparison with his excellent playing - he's possibly the band's strongest improvisor. Wilke is a pretty good jazz guitarist with heavy blues and rock leanings and a trebly, rough-hewn sound (Carlos Santana is a big favorite of his, evidently). Keyboardist Hommelsheim is an OK soloist in a pastoral, bluesy Bruce Hornsby-like mode, except when he hops on the mini-Moog for a few choruses. I like the fact that he eschews string synths entirely. This one's for fusion nuts only. -- Dave Wayne

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