Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Birth Control - 1975 - Plastic People

Birth Control 
Plastic People

01. Plastic people (10:54)
02. Tiny flashlights (7:33)
03. My mind (6:49)
04. Rockin' rollin' roller (5:43)
05. Trial trip (6:43)
06. This song is just for you (7:28)

Recorded at Dierks Studio, Cologne in May 1975
Mixed and given final touch at Air-Studio London in June 1975

Bruno Frenzel / guitars, string arrangements (3), backing vocals
Zeus B. Held / keyboards, tenor sax (2,4), trumpet (2), string & brass arrangements (6), vocals
Peter Föller / bass, vibes (3), lead vocals (1,2,4-6)
Bernd Noske / drums, percussion, Fx, lead vocals (2,3,5)

Christoph Noppeney / viola (3,6)
Jochen von Grumbkow / cello (3,6)
Friedmann Leinert / flute (6)
Robby / saxophone (6)
Otto / trombone (6)
Harry / trumpet (6)
Ulla / chorus vocals (6)
Hanne / chorus vocals (6)
Brigitte / chorus vocals (6)
Robert Camis De Fonseca / Fx (1)

If you are looking for classic mid 70s heavy prog with excellent musicianship and compelling albeit somewhat disjointed compositions, you should definitely lend an ear to the "Plastic People" of BIRTH CONTROL. If you are also a fan of German symphonic prog of that period, then drop what you are doing now! Much in the vein of GROBSCHNITT, NEKTAR, JANE, and a host of also rans, this effort grows in esteem with each listen.
The title cut sets the tone with its harmonic chorus, expressive organ, and colorful other instrumentation like flute, a fluid 10 minutes that flows by without obstruction. "Rockin' Rollin' Roller might be even better with its jazzy electric piano and disco like beat and cymbals, not to mention more grinding organ work and guitars. The main event here is "Trial Trip", the first part hard rocking and ominous, seguing to a wondrous guitar solo rivaling the most accomplished of prog players. The album closer "Song is Just for You" adds violin and later flute and sax atop the bluesy base. If "My Mind" and "Tiny Flashlight" are a bit weaker, they still hold captivating moments of contrast to keep most here happy. The vocals in general are functional but nothing more or less. They suit the musical concept to a T.

While they are not stylistically all that different from JANE, their similarity to that contemporary formation derives mostly from both groups' tendencies to explore the music in fashion at the time, meaning that their prog years were limited to the period beginning some time after the peak of prog and ending after punk had sunk its fangs into the neck of the dinosaur. Whatever their motives or faults, there can be no regrets that "Plastic People" were carried to term.

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