Sunday, November 2, 2014

Epidaurus - 1994 - ...Endangered


01. Intro (2:39)
02. Tonight (6:17)
03. October 1919 (4:11)
04. Take Me Back (4:31)
05. By The Wayside (5:56)
06. Tinker Or Tailor (5:19)
07. Between The Lines (6:21)
08. Seed In Your Heart (6:12)
09. Without You (5:39)

- Christiane Wand / vocals
- Günther Henne / keyboards
- Gerd Linke / drums, keyboards
- Manfred Struck / drums
- Heinz Kunert / bass
- Uwe Asshoff / guitars
- Eckhard Lander / vocals

Well, after 17 years the german group Epidaurus came back with this CD. Make no mistake, their sound changed a lot! Actually it is not bad music, but it is a completely different band. Most of the stuff here is simply too popish. Which is a pity really, since it is obvious they are terrific musicians and Christiane Wand has a beautiful voice.

The quality of their material is quite uneven too, jumping from prog to eletronic to pop without warning. It lacks direction and personality, as many tracks seem to be done by a different bands at times. Some songs are nice (October 1919 and Between The Lines, for instance are fine pop tunes, the former kind of a Genesis instrumental circa 1978 and the latter reminds me of Renaissance around the time of Song For All Seasons). But sometimes they just blow it

Epidaurus - 1977 - Earthly Paradise

Earthly Paradise

01. Actions And Reactions" (7:01)
02. Silas Marner (7:50)
03. Wings Of The Dove (5:05)
04. Andas (6:15)
05. Mitternachtstraum (6:05)

- Günther Henne / keyboards
- Gerd Linke / keyboards
- Manfred Struck / drums
- Heinz Kunert / bass
- Volker Oehmig / drums

Epidaurus' debut album enjoys a lost-gem minor classic reputation and it is little wonder why, because this album represents a bit the later 70's German take-over of symphonic rock, once most of the English bands had completely run out of steam. This quintet (two keyboards, no guitar plus a female singer) was taking much of the old recipes, and using what seemed outmoded instruments, but this is one of the ingredients most progheads will like. The album is clearly presented in two phases/styles: the first side presenting a solid symphonic rock that is reminiscent of Genesis or Yes, while the second side clearly ogles in the Symphonic-era of Tangerine Dream. Both sides of the album have a different drummers, but share the same relative weakness in the songwriting department.

From the opening notes, you actually fear one of those late-70's ultra-(overly)-symphonic album, but after the first minute is gone, you should be completely reassured that you are indeed in a good tendency: halfway between Genesis and Renaissance (and not just because of Christine Wand's ultra-high vocals , which reminds of Haslam), the only thing that is lacking here is a good guitar, but maybe I am a bit too nit-picky. So the almost-7mins Actions And Reactions is a very enjoyable ultra-symphonic rock that really buries many other similar albums, and the second track, the almost 8-mins Silas Marner also gets some lovely flute lines, but is a bit less involved. This (short) first side of the vinyl is slightly hampered by the singing of Wand, because her vocals are not to everyone's tastes.

The flipside opens with the perfect linking instrumental 5-mins Wing Of The Dove , which announces a bit the second part of the album, but is still well entrenched in the Genesis realm with loads of Mellotron and some descending lines lifted from Cinema shows (short and not scandalous), until the song shifts to an upper tempo to end the song more fittingly. If Andas starts with a piano intro, the track clearly veers electronics for the next minutes before settling in a superb (dare I say grandiose?) Tangerine Dream-like groove (Stratosfear era) that could even shame these last ones had they not invented the musical universe. The 6-mins Andas also brinks along the dissonant (the flute but also the early electronic interlude), but does really dare to. Closing off the album is Mitternachtstraum (middle of night dream) in a splendid full blown TD fashion, finally bringing the slow process of morphing Renaissance into Tangerine Dream. Somehow, these unknown realized a small tour de force.

Recorded as a private release (with a naïve B&W artwork), this album got a first CD reissue in the early 90's on Pennar Records, than a second one on the superb Garden Of Delight (Pennar's successor) in the mid 00's. Most likely, the GOD release is the better researched one and probably contains bonus tracks. Epidaurus will release a second album in the mid-90's, presenting re-recorded version of tracks that were written for the second album. I never this album, but generally the album did not get good reviews. In the meantime, this album is good enough to earn its fourth star, while not being really essential. It is however much worthy of your investigations and merits its reputation.

Emtidi - 1972 - Saat


01. Walkin' in the Park (6:27)
02. Träume (3:15)
03. Touch the Sun (11:42)
04. Love Time Rain (2:43)
05. Saat (4:07)
06. Die Reise (10:04)

- Maik Hirschfeldt / vocals, guitars, bass, synthesizer, flute, cymbals, vibraphone, Muzzle drums
- Dolly Holmes / vocals, organs, electric piano, piano, Mellotron, electric spinet

 The album "Saat" has some vintage synths along with the basic folk instruments unlike it's predecessor, and there are two longer suites here too, so Emtidi has evolved to a more impressionistic and interesting direction with this release in my opinon.

Some parts of the opening song "Walkin' in the Park" are very pretty, like the melody at the start, but the verse is somehow naive. There's also a bluesy jazz run at the end, but there isn't a very strong groove present, as there are no full drum set included in the band. The guitar solo isn't very wonderful too, and the song fades out during it. However, the moods get much better direction then with "Träume" (Dream), which is a very beautiful, quiet and ethereal aural landscape for syhths and voices. Sadly it is quite short one, unlike the next nearly 12 minutes long "Touch the Sun". It opens with long waves of electronic sounds, which are later joined by crystal-like notes and gentle weeps from guitar and vocal. This is quite minimalist solution, but very beautiful and works pleasantly. After five minutes the acoustic guitar opens the folk composition phase with charming and strong melodies, and there is also the fabulous Mellotron audible behind some parts. The keyboard driven part in the middle of the conventional folk part introduces some avantgardistic elements to this composition, which weren't most optimal here for my own listening experience. The also song opens and closes with some quick sounds of birds, creating an illusion of physical space to the tune.

"Love Time Rain" is a just short conventional folk track, resembling the song of their first album, but the title tune "Saat" (Planting) is much, much better. It opens with some nice quiet chord runs on the acoustic guitar, where both female and male vocals soon are joined. Though this is also quite common psych folk song, the charming melodies and coherent performing makes this a nice tune, actually one of the the best one of the album concerning overall quality. Even the other tracks are good and more experimental, there are some solutions and details in them which I did not like so much, but after listening the record during the years, I have grewn to like this album quite much. There are some classical progressions from Spanish-styled music also to be heard here.

The epic "Die Reise" (The Voyage) lasting ten minutes, opens again with ethereal keyboards. Soon a brisk acoustic guitar starts to drive the song forward, and this progression is lead by a male voice singing the lyrics in German language. There are also some supporting form minimal keyboards and female voices. Sadly this tune did not totally achieve the potential it has in my opinion. After three minutes the voyage leads to a church organ sounding keyboard universe, where ancient electronics paint some aural patterns. Near the end there is yet much better sounding stuff, where a flute does solo over quiet synth chords. The epic closes for final emerging of the beginnings theme repetition.

I first wasn't totally charmed by this album, but often love grows with time, and I have learned to like it and accepting some elements which weren't so attractive to me first. I also think it is more interesting album than the band's first LP. Fans of psychedelic folk and German 70's underground should check this out certainly.

Emtidi - 1971 - Emtidi


01. Lookin' for People (3:55)
02. Shadow on Your Face (3:55)
03. Long Long Journey (2:24)
04. No Turn Back (1:55)
05. Space Age (4:10)
06. Let the Joint go 'round (5:00)
07. Yvonne's Dream (2:40)
08. Birds on a Graveyard (3:30)
09. Flutepiece (7:20)

- Maik Hirschfeldt / 7 & 12-string acoustic guitar, flute, vocals
- Dolly Holmes / 6-string acoustic guitar, bouzouki, kazoo, vocals

 The music on this album resembles mostly American hippie folk music which was popular at the 1960's. The more famous icons of this genre like Peter, Paul & Mary have probably been influences for these performers, but this stuff is slighly more amateurish when compared to the material of more professionally produced recordings of their innovators. However, sometimes rawness can be an interesting characteristics also. "Emtidi" is still an enjoyable album for a folk fan, but this record doesn't have very progressive music elements (experimentalism, innovations, emphasized spiritual insight) in it in. The simple compositions have some good melodies, but there are also some weak moments included, so I do not consider this the most classy "guitar and singer" material I have managed to hear yet on my path of musical exploration. Also most of the psychedelic elements here are only related to the non-musical aspects of folk scene, like themes in the lyrics etc. The first five songs (maybe the A-side of the LP?) are less innovative as the rest of the tracks, which have hits of Indian-style music with raga influences, as for examples "Let The Joint Go 'round" and the longer instrumental number at the end of the record titled "Flutepiece". "Birds on a graveyard" is a very good instrumental tune, worth of mentioning too. I wonder if the first songs are their early material, or have the first side have been wished to be more accessible? As for a German act, they sing and pronounce English quite well. The recording quality isn't exceptional, and there is lots of analog hiss audible on the background. Their following album sounded much more innovative, but the fans of psyhcedelic folk and German underground scene might want to check this out.

Erik - 1968 - Look Where I Am

Look Where I Am

01. Look Where I Am (Well It's Right Over Here)
02. Painted On The Wall
03. Dead Afternoon Song
04. Be Off Man
05. Why Come Anotherday
06. You Said But I've Got My Way
07. Lights Across The Field, Bright Lights Across The Field Too
08. Sweet Eyes Of
09. Georgeann
10. Untitled Number 2
11. Trymphant Breaking Bottle

Words and music by Erik Heller.

Erik Heller - Guitars, Vocals

Circa 1967 signed and recorded for Vanguard Records, the previously and subsequently unknown hippy folk singer, Erik, whose sole musical offering, 1968's Look Where I Am (VRS9267) remains one of the label's undiscovered gems.

The 11 tracks on Look Where I Am cover the full range of psych/acid folk, from the strong opening track, with its multi-instrumental backdrop of flute, vibes, horns and bells, to the voice-and-guitar of 'Why Come Another Day' to the heavy fuzz guitar of 'You Said/But I've Got My Way'. There's even a long, soulful Davis-esque muted trumpet passage on 'Lights Across The Field'. The album has a dreamy, almost wistful Donavan-like feel, with tons of acoustic guitar and ethereal flutes.

Radio Noisz Ensemble - 1983 - Odiszee-Parck

Radio Noisz Ensemble

01. Odiszée-Parck (11:17)
02. Circkus Minor (4:07)
03. Rara (8:30)
04. IllÒrno (1:06)
05. Why Art We So Hungry? (5:24)
06. A Ta Tendresse (1:00)

Bonus tracks:
07. Green Bananas (6:47)
08. Der chrybische Printz (8:40)
09. Serenade Central (8:09)
10. Circkus Minor (3:50)
11. Bizarreville (5:20)
12. Alina (4:48)
13. Apparati (8:03)

Topsi Tkacz - double-bass, violin
Biber Gullatz - oboe, flute, alto sax, cor anglais, voice
Michel Meyer - guitar, zither, voice
Sigi Siegler - tabla, percussion

Radio Noisz Ensemble - 1982 - Yniverze

Radio Noisz Ensemble 

01. Double Spring Code I/II (6:20)
02. Serenade Central (7:40)
03. Space Fasching (5:42)
04. Der schäfer von Rotterdam (5:22)
05. Der chrybische printz / Prettie Fiona (14:44)
  a) Chrybian Waltz
  b) Fiona Dagda
  c) Waltz 2/Finale
06. Yniverze (Improvisation) (2:03)

Topsi Tkacz / bass, violin
Biber Gullatz / oboe, piano, crumhorn, flutes
Michel Meyer / guitar, mandolin
Matthias "Wastl" Gassert / percussion, drums

This album can be considered Emma Myldenberger's epilogue or even their fourth album. Indeed after the third album Live (only released under the cassette format at the time (and recently reissued in Cd by the GOD label, the group sort of managed to survive a few months later but members were abandoning the ship. I have no idea exactly how the jump was made tfrom EM to RNE, but no doubt the GOD label will detail us that when they'll release this album in the coming years, but three EM members formed RNE (or is it they changed the name) and released this excellent album where Guru Guru 's Mani Meumeier appears as a guest.

If RNE is the logical continuity of EM personel-wise, the same can be said grosso modo about their musical content. Maybe the music shifted a tad more ethnic rather than medieval, thus sounding a tad more Third ear Band and a tad less Ougenweide. After the TEB-reminiscent opening Double Spring Code, the album plunges you into its own Yniverse and into a splendid serenade Central where Gullatz's oboe flies from one mood to another while the semi-Indian classical rhythms transport you into a trance., but the ride is not that smooth as there are some intriguing dissonances as well. The same dissonance return but take a more cosmic dimension in Space Fasching which is strangely the more medieval track on this album, despite its futuristic name.

On the flipside, the group starts with a Rotterdam tune that was regularly played on the EM sets, and it's clearly Tkacz's stand-up bass' baby: it's all over it under everty conceivable form, even bowed, but Gassaert's drumming and Gullatz"s multiple wind instruments are also key ingredients. The album's centrepiece is the three-movements almost 15-mins Chrybische Printz and it leaves a lot of space for instrumental interplay and even some improvisations. The short closing title track is exactly that, an improv.

Definitely as excellent, if not more, than the EM albums, Yniverse easily compares to Tour De Trance and in some ways is better. No doubt that the excellent people at Garden Of Delight will one day (re-) issue this on cCd (I don't think it's been legitametely) and then this album will get a much-deserved sunray and it will be partially drawn from obscurity.

Emma Myldenberger - 1981 - Emmaz Live!

Emma Myldenberger 
Emmaz Live! 

01. Live - Ruckkehr aus Emmarokkoko
02. Lenyas Fantasie
03. Opus 4
04. Ferngesprach - Vorwahl 030/RAA
05. Regenreigen suite
06. Ala Dalona
07. Caept. Blau Blau
08. Space Fasching in Zweischlingen

09. Narrentantz
10. Der Schafer von Rotterdam
11. Alina

Biber Gullatz / flute, oboe
Gaby Kinscherf / vocals, percussion, glockenspiel
Reines Pauker / guitar, mandolin
Michel Meyer / guitar, mandolin
Anne Go?lau / violin
Topsi Tkacz / double bass
Rammy Mizrachi / tabla, percussion

Previously only available trough cassettes (79 copies produced to be exact), this third EM album (and last if you do not count the Radio Noisz Ensemble, which is the logic continuation of this venture), the superb Garden Of Delight label reissued this album very recently for our pure enjoyment. And enjoyment it is, because this lengthy (68 mins + 3 bonus tracks for 81 mins) live recording is of excellent sound quality and there are much "new" material that weren't present on the two studio albums, but rehearsed live for a possible third studio album, which would never come. Sporting a colourized version of the cassette photo as artwork, corrected running times, some group pictures, the GOD release is the usual excellent product that gives progheads so many joys over the years.

Some of the previously heard songs are in fairly different versions here, often with less vocals or presented in a different light. The superb RAA and Regenreigen Suite are both presented with excellent live alternatives. The last three songs on the original cassette were foreseen for the third album (as would the last two bonus tracks), thus giving you an idea that this third album would've at least as good as their debut and approach the second's outstanding relevance.

Of the three bonus tracks, the jig of Narrentanz is the least interesting (and already present in the first studio album), but Schäfer Von Rotterdam and Alina are superb medieval-sounding tracks that we're all used to hearing. More added value for a Live album which turns out to be just as essential as the studio ones.

Emma Myldenberger - 1979 - Tour de Trance

Emma Myldenberger 
Tour de Trance

01. Ein Bisschen
02. Regenreigen
03. Lenya's fantasie
04. Raa
05. Wassensteyn's hochzeitnacht

Bonus tracks on Garden of Delights issue recorded live Quartier Latin, Berlin 8/4/1979

06. RAA
07. Ein bisschen
08. I know you rider
09. Stromberger Siebensprung

Biber Gullatz / winds, guitars, glockenspiel
Gaby Kinscherf / vocals, glockenspiel, percusssion
Reines Pauker / guitars, perc., vocals
Michel Meyer / Guitars, Mandolin Sitar, voices
Anne Gosslau/ banjo, voices, flute
Topsi Tkacz / contrabass, guitar, vocals

This second album is the real reason of this group's presence into the rock almanacs or encyclopaedias and into our beloved Archives. After the release of their debut album, the group toured extensively Germany and made trips to Switzerland, Luxembourg and Ireland (several gigs a day over there), and were joined temporarily (actually he just stepped on stage uninvited and stayed) by Israeli percussionist (tabla, mostly) Rammy Mizrachi and he gave the group's original tracks a fairly different sound and direct the band to another direction than trad folk. Around the mid year of 79, the group started recording in their hometown this second album, which would be their definitive statement.

Starting out on the rather Ougenweide-style folky number, Ein Bisschen, that rides on a great banjo line and a myriad of small flutes. Closing the first side of the album is the almost 29-mins Regenreigen (rain round dance), easily the album's tour de Force and tour de France as well as tour de Trance. The lengthy tracks takes through a myriad of climates and rzegions exploring middle ages and more recent jigs, sometimes oscillating between Third Ear Band and East Of Eden Jig-A-Jig. Ranging from mid- Eastern (Arabian) to Indian classic music (though a raga) to semi-Spanish-sounding ambiances and much more, Gullatz's oboe getting a big share of the spotlight.

The flipside is made of three mid-length pieces, the first of which Lenyas Fantasie (Lenyas is Anne Gosslau's daughter pictured in the interfold of the vinyl the community photo) has a definite Spanish-Flamenco slant, coupled with pure chamber music. The Following RAA is obviously the album second highlight, constructed around some strong guitar strumming and tabla/bongo (obviously Rammi's influence) and Topsi's contrabass playing again a Spanish dramatic theme over a raga beat >> lovely chamber music ending too. The 5-mins Hochzeitsnatch (wedding night) starts on dissonant African metallic percussions, before two wind instrument (oboe and clarinet) take over and a steady beat, take on a classical twist before sinking in Aum psalms and full sitar psychedelia and obviously a one shot thing.

The only weird thing (and somewhat quite deceiving, even if the album is an incredibly success artistically and aesthetically) is that Rammi Mizrachi is not part of this album, although he appeared to be so instrumental in developing the album. The bonus tracks are from a Berlin concert prior to TdT's release and give us two "works-in-progress" tracks of the upcoming album and a Grateful Dead reprise and not adding incredible value, but not disserving it either. I would've preferred this track on the debut album instead on this one.

Tour De Trance is indeed one of the most stunning pieces of psychey prog folk with strong medieval tendencies and is considered a classic by connoisseur with every reason to be so. This album would then fill out the group's concerts set lists, with the Regenreigen track being the centrepiece, until the group's end in 81 with Rammy often starring on tables. In the very near future, the great label Garden Of Delights will release a live album of concert of the later period, which if you enjoy this album will most likely a must have for the fans. I know I will jump on at at sight.

Emma Myldenberger - 1978 - Emma Myldenberger

Emma Myldenberger
Emma Myldenberger

01. Narrentanz
02. Oboenstuck
03. Emmarokkoko
04. Unter der linden
05. Fraw emma Myldenberger
06. Opus IV
07. Eines morgens
08. In meines vaters garten

Biber Gullatz / winds, guitars, glockenspiel
Gaby Kinscherf / vocals, glockenspiel, percusssion
Reines Pauker / guitars, perc., vocals
Michel Meyer / Guitars, Mandolin Sitar, voices
Anne Gosslau/ banjo, voices, flute

The average proghead will be wondering how such a group relates to prog rock, and the least that we can say is that his concerns are judicious but ill-founded. There is a solid tradition of folk group in the 70's to look up to pre-medieval music and pull in some ancient rhythms or melodies and update them with rock or electricity (much like Fairport Convention did), but not in every case as can be seen here. In fact, of the huge majority of these groups, most of them come from three lands, UK, France and Germany and names like Gryphon, Third Ear Band, Amazing Blondel, Ripaille, Malicorne, Parzival, Ougenweide and a few more are those who have the least elements of rock in their music. Hailing from the Upper Rhine river (Heidelberg), the acoustic sextet played the medieval music with much more scruples than Ougenweide or Parzival did.

With the first two tracks, temptation for the EM newbie proghead might be to unhook from this almost pure pre-classical music, but one has to wait for the third track, the 7-mins Emmarokkoko, where the subtleties and adventures become evident and take on a progressive twist. While EM stays on acoustic mode and go through a multitude of moods and progressions, their longer forays can remind a much happier (no gloom and doom in this combo where two beautiful women play violin flutes and percussion) Univers Zero. The following Under The Lime Tree might sound familiar to you, but the other highlight Opus VI is sometimes reminiscent of Third Ear Band. Eines Morgen and Vaters Dartens are among the better tracks after the two longer ones, pushing the music in a progressive manner, but nothing worth expanding on.

Among the five bonus tracks is the French traditional Colchiques, but somehow I wish they hadn't or kept in an instrumental. The other four from a 77 hometown concert and slightly more in line with their folkier and more trad songs, so therefore do not look for more adventurous material because of concert enthusiasm and experimentations. You'll find that some groups were almost more catholic than the pope was and EM might just be one of them. Not quite as good as the following Tour De Trance of the following year, this debut album is still quite worthy of investigation albeit a little far removed from the subject of the site.

Embryo - 2013 - Message From Era Ora

Message From Era Ora

01 .Chinna Chinna
02. Intro For Massimo
03. Dieter's Riffs
04. Suite In Five
05. Call Me
06. I Get Two Windows

Alto Saxophone – Massimo Urbani (tracks: A1 to B3)
Bass – Uve Müllrich
Drums, Vocals – Christian Burchard
Guitar, Vocals, Percussion – Roman Bunka
Keyboards, Percussion – Dieter Miekautsch

300 copies on black vinyl (This)
200 copies splattered colors vinyl

A2 - B3 Recorded in Udine, 1976
A1 Recorded some year unknown location in Germany

This is a never before released jams recorded live during 1976 with the collaboration of Italian jazz musician Massimo Urbani during a live in a church of Udine, Italy.

 Embryo "Message From Era Ora" (Sound Of Cobra Records, 2013)

Let me start by saying that I'm a big fan of Kraut Rock. I may not have the most comprehensive knowledge of artists beside the behemoths of the genre, like CAN and Amon Düül II but I adore what Kraut Rock stands for, which is boundless creativity; essentially, keeping music defined as art. That said, when I was introduced to Embryo and their extremely rare 1976 live jam session Message From Era Ora, featuring legendary italian jazz artist Massimo Urbani, it introduced me to elements I never would have thought to pair with Kraut Rock. I was taken aback at first by the harsh sound quality, but upon further listening those reservations melted away like butter and I became wholly enthralled by what I had been introduced to.
               Here are primal Afro-funk drumming rhythms paired with psychedelic guitar noodling and an ultra-cool saxophone that pipes in, taking us on a leisurely trip through space and time. When Side A transitions into this Jazzadelic foray it leaps back and forth between saxophone and keyboard with ease and comfort among one another, like lovers whispering silent affections back and forth. The smoothness of a guitar takes over for the saxophone and they flirt shamelessly. Then the bass kicks back in and stirs the pot. Deep and heavy, it makes its presence known with its steady melody. The keyboard and the cymbals duke it out amongest one another until Side A comes to a close.
               Side B picks up with an extremely driven bass line. This seems more along the lines of Kraut Rock & Roll, but we're given reminders throughout the track that this isn't just any Kraut Rock experiment with saxophone lurking beneath the scathing guitar wahs, crashing cymbals and that killer bass. As the track continues, the saxophone chimes in more prominently, with the deadly precision of the band to back it. There's no need for vocalists here, the instruments speak for themselves and they do it confidently. After the back and forth feuds between players and their instruments, the drummer breaks things up and introduces to us something new to wet our beaks in. The coordination in these live tracks are like threading needles with so much improvisation but Embryo have a musical understanding that is far reaching. We're given another driving melody in the guitar with the drums setting our ears in a mystical blaze. Pictures are sketched in our minds with delectable and articulate guitar soloing that would make any modern Rock guitarist blush. If you can imagine the scene on stage, it is altogether mesmerizing and chaotic. But in chaos there lies immeasurable beauty.

               If you have a mad hunger for music that will blow your mind and expectations, then please, do yourself a favor and indulge in Embryo's Message From Era Ora. It is a uniquely colorful example of where Kraut Rock can be taken, as well as music as a whole. I almost can't bring myself to call this Kraut Rock?it's Kraut Soul!

Embryo - 2008 - Wiesbaden 1972

Wiesbaden 1972

01. Overture Marimbasaz (7:09)
02. Sunrising (6:16)
03. Dieter Plays (6:46)
04. Space To No Place To Go (7:40)
05. Andalucia Si (6:13)
06. Master Plan Of Pharoa (9:35)
07. Pygmäen Überall - Back From Africa (21:03)
08. Clockwork Blue* (12:39)

*bonus track from the related band AUS DEM NICHTS which played the same evening

- Roman Bunka / guitar, saz, vocals
- Dieter Miekautsch / piano, percussion
- Randy Stiletti / bass
- Klaus Götzner / percussion
- Christian Burchard / drums, marimba, vocals

guest musician:
- Hansi Fischer / soprano sax (7)

 This is EMBRYO which I really liked in the 70s - they had their creative peak during the first half of this decade. The Wiesbaden gig saw an audience of 1200 people - not to believe! Three core members are on the stage here at the end of 1972. Roman Bunka, one of the most important german jazz rock guitarists ever who adopted oriental elements to his style more and more playing saz and other 'unsual' instruments at that time. Furthermore Dieter Miekautsch - the master of the Fender Rhodes piano and Christian Burchard, founding member and alltime drummer, who is holding up the band up to now. They were supported by bassist Randy Stiletti, a short-time band mate hailing from San Francisco and percussionist Klaus Götzner who later changed to TON, STEINE, SCHERBEN.

This concert was recorded by organiser Muck Krieger who used an Uher tape recorder. The sound quality is not top-notch always - just like a bootleg - but what more can you expect from live recordings in 1972? The band offers fine improvised jazz rock/fusion here in any case. The first six songs are one long jam devided in several sections - compelling and a great dream for every open-minded jazz rock fan. Roman Bunka and Christian Burchard are starting the show with a long marimba and saz collaboration. Don't know if this was really intended because they had some technical problems at the beginning. Anyhow - this can be treated like an excellent warm-up with an intensive oriental flavour. For the last minutes on Sunrising Burchard changes to the drums, Bunka later to the traditional electric guitar and then Miekautsch is interfering with his piano - the ultimate jazz rock jam is on the run now fitting exactly.

Some patches and fragments from the later recorded studio albums are to notice clearly. Space to no place to go appears one year later on 'We keep on' as 'No place to go' for example. Master plan of Pharoa is derived from Pharao Sanders' 'The creator has a master plan'. At the end some audience action is to hear when the band announces a short break. The following long track Pygmäen überall - Back from Africa is basically continuing the 'Space to no place to go' jam. Hansi Fischer adds some nice soprano saxophone contributions to the song which serves an oriental world music mood once again.

Clockwork Blue finally is a bonus track from the following AUS DEM NICHTS performance - an EMBRYO and XHOL related band which presents this song in a very jazzy freestyle version but can't reach the brilliance of the previous EMBRYO appearance. For a summary this is another high voltage EMBRYO performance released by the Garden Of Delights label. Roman Bunka once again is heading with his fantastic guitar work

Embryo - 2007 - Live At Burg Herzberg Festival 2007

Live At Burg Herzberg Festival 2007

01. Marja's 7 (26:22)
02. Do You Know What Time It Is (25:58)
03. Freakstage Transformation (24:12)

- Jens Pollheide / Nai, flute, bass
- Lothar Stahl / drums, xylophone
- Mik Quantius / vocals
- Marja Burchard / piano, trombone
- Christian Burchard / vibraphone, keyboard

guest musicians:
- Valentin Altenberger / guitar
- Andy Rust / Oud, guitar
- Bjorn Eric Münz / electric guitar
- Norbert Keck / percussion
- Werner / trumpet

Are you ready to bring the authentic roots of Free-Flowing Krautrock Jams and true festival feeling to your home? Embryo and the Burg Herzberg Festival is a long story. 40 years ago, when the first one happened in the old castle, Embryo was there. After that performance they even got robbed, a blue painted violin and a good amp were gone for ever. In all the years following the festival got bigger and changed to a different place to find room for the growing audience and stages. Embryo played there many times in different line-ups. This performance was a sort of chill out act for the whole festival. The nucleus of this band (Jens, Lothar, Mik. Marja, Christian) had grown through all the many years on tour to a steady line-up, supported by five other friends: On trumpet Werner, who was introduced by Mik, one of the few good oboe-players around. On guitar Valentin Altenberger. His father is a modern jazz drummer and his mother, a jazzsinger who grew up in the family of Bobbie Jones, known for his work with Charles Mingus, so he grew up in a musical surrounding and knows Marja since his childhood. On oud and guitar Andy Rust who knows much about Indian culture and is with Embryo since some years. The third electric guitar is played by Bjorn Eric Munz from Ensemble ORIENT-EXPRESS, also good friends of Embryo. On Percussion Norbert Keck who had been playing with the band almost on all the Herzberg gigs in the last years. This CD presents a rawer electric set by Embryo - (cause the wet and cold wind at the Festival weekend made it too hard to tune the acoustic instruments! So, this CD will satisfy the early 70s Kraut-Jam-Improvisation-Rock Fans a lot but feat. also jazzy vibes and structures, featuring an 8 p. booklet with nice linernotes by bandleader C. Burchard (German & English, great sound quality, 3 extended pieces, 75 mins, analogously mixed and mastered)

Embryo - 2003 - Hallo Mik

Hallo Mik

01. Chobasti (9:55)
02. Donau (10:04)
03. Hallo Mik (1:46)
04. Karakorum (4:47)
05. Mering (4:51)
06. Peking Dada (6:52)
07. Space (8:58)
08. 4 C (11:49)
09. Shubudibap (5:15)
10. Taisho (4:03)
11. Mataro (4:08)

Christian Burchard, Michael Wehmeier, Dieter Serfas, Lothar Stahl, Xizhi Nie, Max Weissenfeld, Jens Pollheide, Mik Quantius, Masaru Nishimoto, Georg Janker, Chris Karrer, Witen Wito, Mathes Wurzel, Larry Porter, Wolfi Schlick, Babak Borbor, Zuzzi Rall, Martin Majewski, Ian Ensslen, Niko Schabe, Werner Koenen, Sam A. Jarju, Ma.W., Didak Ruiz, Julia Boncaret, Fred Dupond.

Embryo - 2003 - Bremen 1971

Bremen 1971

01. Try To Be (10:33)
02. You Can´t Wait - Evas Nuvola (10:11)
03. Tausendfüssler (8:28)
04. Spain Yes, Franco Finshed (26:25)

- Hansi Fischer / flute
- Christian Burchard / drums, percussion, vocals
- Al Jones / guitar, vocals
- Edgar Hofmann / saxophone
- Ralph Fischer / bass

This live set from September 1971 finds the band just after recording their highly regarded Embryo’s Rache album, but before it had been released. This is still the early phase of the band, more a spaced-out jazzy jamming unit than the ethnic-Krautrock fusion they would later become. The line-up features the core duo of Edgar Hofmann (sax and violin) and Christian Burchard (drums) with relatively recent recruit Hansi Fischer on flute, all of whom had participated in the Rache sessions. The bass chair is filled by a returning Ralph Fischer, who was not on Rache, but had played on the previous album, Opal; guitar duties fall to newcomer Al Jones; there are no keyboards credited for this show, though I swear I hear some during “Spain Yes, Franco Finished” (probably played by Hansi using the process of elimination). The material consists entirely of extended and reworked tunes from Rache, all played with a lot of spirit. The vocals are enthusiastic, if not technically perfect, but Embryo was never a vocal-oriented band. The recording quality is quite good considering the age of the tapes, and captures an early high point of a band that would go on to have quite a few other high points. Sax, violin, flute, and guitar all have great moments, and the rhythm section performs well throughout, navigating the tricky meters.

Embryo - 2001 - Live 2001 Vol. 1

Live 2001 Vol. 1

01. Darmstadta (4:36)
02. Berlin 17 (2:38)
03. Sinti (2:56)
04. Scheng (3:04)
05. Sommerhopp (2:31)
06. Cafe Des Artes (12:31)
07. Schamania (10:58)
08. Pentai (2:29)
09. Yorubagroove (2:26)
10. Gadulka (7:10)
11. No War (Krieg Nein Danke!) (1:45)
12. Konfuzius (6:09)
13. Festivalmoments (3:30)
14. Schleusenkrug (3:40)

- Christian Burkhard / drums (8-9-13-14), percussion (1-10), vibes (4-6-11-12), santour (2-3-7), vocals (5)
- Stefan Daskalos / gadulka (1-10)
- Karsten Hochapfel / guitar (2 to 4-13-14), cello (1-5-11)
- Ch. K. / oud (6)
- Xizhi Nie / erhu (2-12), scheng (4), vocals (5-13), flute (8-14)
- Jens Pollheide / flute (1-5-10), bass (2 to 4-7-13-14)
- Didak R. / percussion (3-6-7)
- Dieter Serfas / drums (2), talking drum (9), percussion (3-7-13-14)
- Lothar Stahl / percussion (1), drums (3-5-7), marimba (10)
- Azen Wehmeyer: guitar (3-5-7-13)
- Michael Wehmeyer / keyboards (2-4-14), percussion (6)
- Max Weissenfeldt / percussion (1), drums (10-11)

- Renee Ahmend / guitar (9)
- Fredi Alberti / cello (1-10)
- Efgeni Atanasof / violin (3-7)
- Parvis Ayan / tabla (11)
- Chuck Henderson / soprano saxophone (11)
- Götz Liekfeld / trumpet (11)
- Nick McCarthy / bass (11)
- Jamal Mohammand / harmonium (11)
- Mu Sa / pipa (12)

Embryo - 2000 - Live 2000 Vol. 1

Live 2000 Vol. 1

01. 3 Continens (7:43)
02. Kavalli (2:06)
03. Turkish Drums (4:22)
04. Robbed in Spain (6:33)
05. Yuluys In Madurei (7:55)
06. Blues 21 (6:52)
07. 2 Keys (6:33)
08. Rhubabdreams (4:59)
09. Chlebnikov (3:55)
10. Mejor venti (3:03)
11. Flip out (6:59)
12. Burru gara dara (9:05)

- Christian Burchard / vibes, percussion, santour, bayka, vocals
- Marty Cook / tb
- Michi Wehmeyer / keyboards, piano
- Dieter Serfas / percussion
- Lothar Stahl / marimba, percissopm
- Jens Pollheide / fl, bass
- Karsten Hochapfel / guitar, oud, cello
- Yulyus Golombeck / oud
- Karuna Murti / tavil
- Klaus Gehn / percussion
- Sharif Kavalli / percussion
- Izet Kizil / percussion
- Mac Grimmen Sesler / vocals
- Mural Ertel / saz
- Goetz Liekfeld / tp
- Larry Porter / keyboards, rhubab
- Chris Karrer / oud
- Chairtian Auer / ?
- Serguei Letov / ss
- Jurji Perfenov / tp
- Masaro Nischimoto / fl
- Max Weissenfeldt / percussion
- Nick McCarthy / bass
- Xizhi Nie / erhu
- Monty Waters / as
- Geoff Goodman / guitar

Embryo - 1999 - Tour 98 Istanbul - Casablanca

Tour 98 Istanbul - Casablanca

101. Roberto (5:39)
102. Nasredin (9:01)
103. Renk (5:45)
104. Bisterve (4:50)
105. Allalone (11:14)
106. Istanbul Suite (12:37)
107. 3-2-3 (5:50)
108. Air (3:47)
109. Mirhaba Herzberg (1:08)
110. Mongolenblues (8:34)
111. Session 2 Part 1 (3:43)

201. Telefon (4:53)
202. Chinese rap in 9 (7:37)
203. Rumba di LIanca (2:27)
204. Saat Holm (10:17)
205. Pirata (2:20)
206. Gnawamagic (12:57)
207. Andalouse (2:46)
208. Essaouira (9:17)
209. Banda, Banda (2:28)
210. Nayi! (2:19)
211. Onibo (4:00)
212. Session 2 Part 2 (1:49)

- Christian Burchard / percussion, santour
- Roberto Licci / tambourine, vocals
- Xizhi Nie / flute, erhu, scheng
- Yulius Golombeck / oud
- Lothar Stahl / percussion, marimba
- Okay Temiz / percussion
- Ahmed Özden / surna
- Hüsnü Serlendivici / clarinet
- Jens Pollheide / bass, flute
- Roman Bunka / oud
- Karsten Hochapfel / cello, guitar
- Murat Ertel / saz
- Mamadou Diop / percussion
- Gökhan Aya / saz, guitar
- Salih Nazim / saz, guitar
- Ross Daly / lyra
- Sascha Alexandr Alexandrov / bassoon
- Malik Dogan / vocals
- Lam Nordlaw / prep. piano
- Alan Praskin / alto sax
- Edgar Hofmann / alto sax, clarinet
- Chuulunbat Munkh / erdene yatga
- Dadgan Ganpu / bass murin khuur
- Sharav / muriu khuur
- Arildi Boldbator / muriu khuur
- Dangaa Khosbayar / overtone, sin-ging
- Götz Lieckfeld / trumpet
- Dieter Weberpals / flute
- Eugen de Ryck / guitar
- Jurij Parfionov / trumpet
- Cecilia / vocals, guitar
- Mahmoud Genia / vocals, gembri
- Mohammed Abdellaoui / vocals, percussion
- El Moukthtar Gania / vocals, percussion
- Mohammed Outanine / vocals, percussions
- Abdallah Gania / vocals, percussion
- Abdellaoui Hamani / vocals, percussion
- Abdelativ / vocals, percussion
- Ahmed Geurfti / violin
- Rashid Ahmed / oud, vocals
- Dieter Serfas / percussion
- Sascha Alessandrov / bassoon
- Niklas Olschewsky / percussion

Celebrating Embryo`s 30th birthday this is the group`s 22nd release containing 23 pieces of music varying from rhythm`n jazz fusion to free-form improvisation, from highly sophisticated studio sessions to ethnological field recordings. Very much like the legendary „Embryo`s Reise" this double CD documents the musical adventures of Embryo in foreign countries (this time they were travelling in an old ambulance truck mainly in Italy, Greece, Turkey, Spain and Morocco). The two discs feature dozens of meetings with remarkable musicians - recorded on the road in various clubs and concerthalls, and also in the notorious Studio Renk in Istanbul. Some of the sessions were later overdubbed in a studio in Embryo`s homebase in Munich, resulting in melting pots of styles and cultures that are truly not from this world. Among the prominent guests on this CD are Ross Daly, Roberto Licci - stars in their own right in their respective countries - Okay Temiz and Mahmoud Gania. The last two symbolize in their personalities and musics the cultural range Embryo deal with during their journeys. Masterpercussionist and bandleader of the famous group Oriental Wind Okay Temiz is a Turkish cosmopolitan who for many years has lived in Scandinavia. Although deeply rooted in his culture and playing with the best Turkish musicians, he always tries to transcend regional and national cultural borders in his strife for a music based on worldwide communication. No wonder that his closest step to fame in the Western music world was a collaboration with the godfather of contemporary ethno - jazz - fusion Don Cherry. On the contrary Moroccan Master Gnawa musician Mahmoud Gania neither left the tradition he grew up with nor bothered to tinkle with instruments or musics from other cultures. Although he hardly ever leaves his native country he is always open to musicians with other cultural backgrounds that cross his way. Even Jimi Hendrix once payed him a visit to learn from him. You might find some recent recordings he did with Randy Weston or Pharoah Sanders to name some of his activities. The Embryo group touring consisted of Christian Burchard, Lothar Stahl, Jens Pollheide, Xizhi Nie (the Chinese multiinstrumentalist is playing since four years with the group) and Karsten Hochapfel. During studio sessions in Munich they were joined by friends and „historical" members of Embryo: Roman Bunka, pioneer of European oud playing, Dieter Serfas, ex - Amon Düül II - drummer, with his self-constructed talking drum, there are extraordinary contributions by sax legend Alan Praskin (check his just rereleased recording from 67 on the ESP label), and Embryo co - founder Edgar Hofmann (on various reed instruments), bassoon virtuoso Alexandr Alexandrov and trumpet player Jurij Parfionov, who was voted `musician of the year 1998` in Russia (both are members of the post - folk - avantgarde group Tri-o from Moscow).

Embryo - 1999 - Invisible Documents

Invisible Documents 

01. Invisible Documents (19:58)
02. Minaret (31:45)
03. Singing (38:53)
04. Riad (9:12)
05. Shine Off Walt Dickerson (13:28)

- Christian Burchard / drums, marimba, vibes, vocals
- Roman Bunka / guitar, oud, saz, percussion, vocals
- Edgar Hofmann / sporano sax, violin
- Norbert Dömling / bass

Live at the 'Fabrik', Hamburg 1974

Embryo - 1999 - For Eva

For Eva

01. Sugar Lump (5:09)
02. For Eva (7:54)
03. For Bob (11:26)
04. Cool World (12:04)
05. Anka's Trance (10:24)
06. Autumn Leaves (3:50)
07. Infinite You (5:16)
08. Bud Study (5:20)
09. Fire Waltz (4:28)

- Mal Waldron / piano, percussion
- Christian Burchard / vibes
- Dieter Serfas / drums
- Reinhard Knieper / bass

This album is an Embryo album without being one.. As this collection had appeared under Mal Waldren name back then. Indeed this 67 live collection shows the partnership between American jazz pianist and vibraphonist Christian Burchard, but also many other Embryo familiars like drummer Serfas, bassist Meid (also AD), etc. The whole thing was pure jazz back then, you could even call swing, because of its Lionel Hampton-type mallet-driven jazz. The quartet developed some very enjoyable but out-of-scope for this site jazz that borders Armstrong or the afore-mentioned Hampton. Virtuosic, but certainly not arrogant or show-off-ey, the 9 tracks taken from '67 concerts in Munich or Graz (Austria) are all originals penned by Mal Waldren or Burchard (just one) , with one cover, Autumn Leaves, with none standing out from the selection. Quite pleasant , but completely anecdotal

Embryo - 1996 - Ni Hau

Ni Hau

01. After small coming good coming (9:08)
02. North of the chinese wall (4:43)
03. Haikus (7:08)
04. Deep in the night (Tiefe Nacht) (3:41)
05. Raft (8:35)
06. Onyeni Melek / Shengjazz (5:48)
07. Sehen/Sikahbines in Shan Dong (9:57)
08. Dhurga (5:14)
09. Hungry Horse (Hungriges Pferd) (2:34)
10. 7 x 7 (5:31)
11. 11/5 (3:27)
12. Sai che (6:30)

- Christian Burchard / vibes, percussion, marimbas, cymbals
- Paramashivam Pilai / vocals, tavil
- Chuck Henderson / soprano sax
- Chris Lachotta / bass
- Geoff Goodman / mando-cello, guitar
- Xizhi Nie / ehru, muyü, sheng, gaohu
- Yulyus Golombeck / oud
- Albert Kuvezin / vocals
- Chris Lachotta / bass
- Lothar Stahl / percussion, marimba
- Jens Pollbeide / flute, bass
- Roman Bunka / sitar, oud
- Sascha Alexandrov / bassoon
- Jamal Mohmand / harmonium, vocals
- Yusuf Eshaq / tabla
- Paramashivam Pilai / tavil
- Chris Karrer / oud
- Mostafa Raafat / nai
- Hermann Breuer / trombone
- Peter Michael Hamel / keyboards

Well part of me is a little bonkers, and whether or not that colours my views on music or not, I leave entirely up to someone else. Well you certainly don't need to be mad to enjoy this music. Ni Hau is through and through a highly melodic album. The real part of the genius though, is how these melodies are crafted. Main man Christian Burchard, whom I've always had a huge sweet spot for, has for this 1996 recording assembled all kinds of exotic percussionists and endemic Eastern instrumentalists. This isn't just Chinese infusions we get here, there's also oud, tabla, tavil, nai, harmonium, marimba and the list literally goes on and on.

Chinese musician Xizhi Nie is in charge of baffling instruments such as ehru, muyü, sheng and gaohu. Now I have absolutely no idea what these instruments look like, but I'm guessing that these must be the ones responsible for the musical phrasings that take me straight to the heartland of the panda.

All in all Ni Hau is a real get together of incredible musicians from across the world. Burchard's even managed to shanghai fellow German compatriots Roman Bunker on sitar and oud, who also played with the group on their seminal We Keep On, Chris Carrer on oud, as well as legendary synth and electronics wizard Peter Michael Hamel off of experimental act Between. So basically what we have here is some kind of Krautrock super-group coming together in order to make music deeply inspired by the cultures of China and Mongolia. There's still an ounce of fusion in here though masked incredibly well behind that easterly silk veil.

A track like Sehen/Sikahbines in Shan Dong brings in one Chuck Henderson and his soprano sax, which he plays like a frantic snakecharmer with a cobra in his trousers. Suddenly we get real tangible "jazz-rocking" textures - Burchard starts a whirlwind on the cymbals - the viola develops a snarling feel - the bass gets right up in your face, while the rest of the band joins in to create a tantalising slice of ethnic fusion that entices you for nearly 10 minutes. To the top of the yellow mountains and back.

As with most of Embryo's output since the ethnic powerhouse album of Reise, Ni Hau is fuelled by rhythmic instruments. Burchard, in particular, has an ingenious way of playing that comes off so fluently, that it'll have a dudette like Ruth Underwood running for the bushes. It's uncanny just how much umphh and zing you get from his marimbas. Coupled together with a precise, and at the same time, constantly shifting tidal wave of galloping percussion features, this album mimics the ever beautiful shades of the far east in rhyme and reason, even if one leg at all times seems to be heavily planted in the Embryo past. I'm not sure how else to describe it, but Embryo's key feature was always that unique way around rhythms and melody. On Ni Hau this feature feels forever multiplied in a gorgeously vast oceanic landscape, where majestic water buffaloes peacefully roam the mosaic beauty of the rice field terraces.

Embryo - 1994 - Ibn Battuta

Ibn Battuta

01. Code 7 (5:47)
02. Ibn Battuta (7:58)
03. Komet 41 (11:22)
04. 1/4 Tone Jazz, part 1 (5:54)
05. Man Bekhod wa to Bekhod (3:53)
06. Prelude (1:38) - Rast (4:32)
07. Beat From Bagdad (7:00)
08. Simai Ka (7:46)
09. 1/4 Tone Jazz, part 2 (1:48)
10. Kletta (4:46)
11. El Qalb Yeshak Kulli Camil (3:55)
12. Andalusian Beat (3:57)
13. Zeinab (4:04)

Bunka, Roman
Burchard, Christian
Cook, Marty
Henderson, Chuck
Huber, Albrecht
Karrer, Chris
Lachotta, Chris
Serfas, Dieter
Stamberger, Norbert

On Ibn Battuta, Embryo’s focus has shifted towards music from the Middle East.
Quite an excellent album mixing jazz, fusion and above all various styles of Arabic music. On the title track Edgar Hoffman plays some lovely Turkish clarinet. “Simai Ka” features a Coltrane like soprano sax solo by Chuck Henderson, and Edgar Hoffman plays a dreamy solo on the ney (a type of flute often used in North African/Arabic music). Burchard adds several virtuoso contributions on vibraphone/xylophone. “Kletta” is an interesting piece trying to merge percussive elements and structures of three continents. Dieter Serfas plays on the African talking drum and Yusuf Esqah joins on Indian tablas, while Burchard plays the hackbrett (hammer dulcimer).

Embryo - 1989 - Turn Peace

Turn Peace

01. Marque's Song (7:03)
02. Velly Velly Good (9:52)
03. Pang (3:02)
04. Rama's Seven (5:25)
05. Govinda (3:24)
06. Abdul (4:16)
07. Präperierte 20 Jahre später (11:01)
08. Erin in Konstanz (3:08)
09. Hob Ou Salam (8:18)
10. Barks (3:39)
11. Lonely Nights (13:10)

- Ojetunde Ajayi / vocals (8)
- Rabiu Ayandokun / dun dun drum (8-9)
- Lamidi Ayankunle / bata drum (8)
- Hermann Breuer / trombone (6)
- Roman Bunka / oud, guitar, bass (1 to 5), 11)
- Christian Burchard / drums, vibes (1-2-4 to 8, 10-11)
- Paolo Cardoso / bass (6-10-11)
- Roberto Detrée / guitar (7)
- Julius Golombeck / guitar (8)
- Geoff Goodman / guitar (3-6)
- Gerlad Hartwig / percussion (3)
- Peter Michael Hamel / prepared piano (7)
- Edgar Hofmann / saxophone (10)
- Chris Karrer / guitar (8)
- El Houssaine Kili / gimbri, vocals (9)
- Marque Löwenthal / piano (1-2), keyboards (5)
- Rama Mani / vocals (5)
- T.A.S. Mani / mridangam (5)
- Paramashivam Pilai / tavil (1-2-3)
- Larry Porter / piano (3)
- Allan Praskin / saxes (3-6-10)
- Locko Richter / bass (2)
- Dieter Serfas / drums (5-6-8-10-11)
- Roland Schaeffer / nagasuram (1-2)
- Michael Schöne / bass (1-2)
- Shashikumar / mridangam (5)
- Ramesh Shotham / tavil (5)
- Abdul Wahab / percussion (6)
- Mal Waldron / piano (6-10-11)
- Monty Waters / Alto saxophone (6)

Embryo - 1998 - Live In Berlin '89

Live In Berlin '89

01. Maroccaine Wind (7:21)
02. Knaur Power (4:45)
03. Quarter Note Jazz (9:50)
04. Shogun / Oriki (trad) (4:40)
05. Masc Dance Music (5:09)
06. Imelaku I. (2:28)
07. Obatala (4:11)
08. Imelaku II. (4:13)
09. Sawaba (3:58)

- El Hussaine Kili / gembri, vocals
- Christian Burchard / vibes, hackbrett, pilala
- Chris Karrer / saxophone, oud, vocals
- Michi Wehmeyer / piano, organ
- Dieter Serfas / drums
- Lamidi Ayankunle / dun dun, bata
- Rabiu Ayandokun / gudu gudu, imelaku, gangan
- Ojetunde Ajayi / vocals, dance

Embryo - 1987 - Africa


01. Djangedi (3:09)
02. Sango (4:15)
03. Mao in Afrique (part 1) (2:13)
04. Mao in Afrique (part 2) (3:52)
05. Konga (2:40)
06. Yulius' song (1:54)
07. Dun Dun mix (5:46)
08. Bush (1:55)
09. Wole Alade (3:04)
10. Lagune Musik (7:27)
11. Crossriver xylophone (1:55)

- James Adesumole / trap drums (b4/5)
- Ayantunti Amoo / dun dun & bata drums (b4/5)
- Lamidi Ayankunle / yoruba drums, voice (side a, b2) bata drum & vocals (b1/4/5)
- Christian Burchard / percussion, vibes, marimba, cymbal, voice (side a, b1/2/4/5)
- Yomi Fawole / vocals, dun dun drum (b1)
- Andy Ade Frankel / dun dun bata (a2/3)
- Yulius Golombeck / guitar, voice, percussion (side a, b1/2)
- Gerald Hartwig / bass, voice, Yoruba percussion (side a, b1/2), tavil (b4/5)
- Edgar Hofmann / saxophone, violin, flute (side a, b1/2)
- Daniel Koranteng / conga (b4/5)
- Mbayo / voice, dun dun drum (a4)
- Ede Nwigwe / xylophone (b4/5)
- Amos Oguntokun / bata drum (b4/5)
- Ademola Olayiwola / bells, bata drum (b4/5)
- Muraina Oyelami / lead dun dun drum, lead vocals (b1)
- Adeleke Sangoyoyin / dun dun drum (b1)
- Dieter Serfas / drums (side a, b2)
- Peter Serfas / electronic drums (side a)

Afro Linkage Ensemble (b3):
- Kumle Ajayi / bass
- Wole Alade / Alto saxophone, flute (+b4)
- Deji Olaopa / piano
- Wale Popoola / drums
- Ayobami Thomas / percussion
- Melo Yremkye / guitars

Embryo - 1985 - Embryo & Yoruba Dun Dun Orchestra

Embryo & Yoruba Dun Dun Orchestra

01. Welt-Ab-Originale (3:05)
02. Aye-Aye (5:41)
03. Bata solo (11:00)
04. Mix III (3:26)
05. Just landed (2:47)
06. Dun Dun-solo (3:51)
07. Dschamilija (6:32)
08. Dun dun-solo (3:37)
09. A-Ara-E-Che-Kalo (6:43)

- Christian Burchard / marimba, vibraphone, hackbrett
- Yulius Golombeck / guitar
- Edgar Hofmann / Alto & Soprano saxes, flute
- Gerald Luciano / bass

The Yoruba Dun Dun Orchestra:
- Lamidi Ayankunle / bata drum, vocals
- Muraina Oyelami / dun dun drum, lead vocals
- Adeleke Sangoyoyin / dun dun drum
- Jimmy Solanka / dun dun drum, vocals

Embryo - 1984 - Zack Gluck

Zack Gluck

01. Che mangerai domani, vipera (2:43)
02. Dage django (3:58)
03. Zack Glück (2:15)
04. Hor, spiel, vergiß (7:38)
05. Electraunico (5:32)
06. Montespertoli (3:43)
07. Che mangerai domani, vipera (part two) (6:44)
08. U-Bahn (11:55)
09. Ali Baba (4:25)

- Roman Bunka / oud, guitar
- Christian Burchard / drums, marimba, vibes, cymbalon, vocals
- Buze Fischer / tavil (6)
- Edgard Hofmann / flute, saxes, violin, vocals
- Gerald Luciano / tavil, bass, vocals, percussion
- Wolfgang Neumann / hackbrett (4)
- Michael Wehmeyer / keyboards, percussion

Embryo - 1982 - La Blama Sparozzi

La Blama Sparozzi 

101. Abart (4:20)
102. Reportage (6:54)
103. Xingu (1:35)
104. La blama sparozzi (8:35)
105. Jay (1:28)
106. Computerkiller (2:52)
107. Cimbaleso (2:55)
108. Zapata pasteta (7:24)
109. Kehlig/Selig (7:18)
110. Duo (1:10)

201. Mundbogen 8 (3:31)
202. El moro (6:25)
203. Fun Bahia (7:22)
204. Auf Gottes auge wäscht kein Gras (4:50)
205. Evas Zimmer (0:46)
206. Nigeria Karnataka (4:38)
207. Pia Pia (5:33)
208. Wasserräder (6:10)
209. Egypt Straat (3:59)
210. Grace (1:20)

- Werner Aldinger / tuba, vocals (1.6/7/8. 2.1/2/5/9)
- Ulli Bassenge / bass, vocals (1.6/7/8, 2.2/9/10)
- Roman Bunka / guitar, vocals, drums, bass, synths, oud (1.1 to 6, 8/ 9/10, 2.2/3/5/10)
- Christian Burchard / drums, marimba, percussion, dharbuka, organ, piano, vocals, tapes, guitar, quartertone, cimbalero, vibes, xylophone (1.1 to 9, 2.1/2/3/5/7 to 10)
- Sehnap Eizard / vocals, percussion (2.8)
- Wilfried Grotens / trumpet (1.8)
- Muhammed Hilal / keyboards, arrangements (2.8)
- Edgar Hofmann / shinai, Soprano saxophone, clarinet, violin (1.2/4/7/9, 2/2/4/5/9)
- Ibrahim / Sälemeia (2.8)
- Abdul Jabar / tula (2.7)
- Chris Karrer / guitar (1.7/8/10, 2.2/5/9/10)
- Gerald Luciano / bass, vocals, percussion (1.2/9, 2.3/4)
- Abdul Madjid / tambur (2.7)
- Schamsdin Masrur / dotar, vocals (2.7)
- Malang Negrabi / zerbagali (2.7)
- Colin Offord / Australian mouth arch, vocals (2.1)
- Ustad Mohammed Omar / rubab (2.7)
- Muraina Oyelami / talking drum (2.1/6)
- Salah Ragab / piano, drums, percussion (2.9)
- Machin Abdul Raschid / saranda (2.7)
- Ustad Salin / dilruba (2.7)
- Freddy Setz / drums, casio, vocals, percussion (1.2/4/10, 2.3/4)
- Ramesh Shotam / dhol, mrindangam, tavil, drums, percussion, vocoder, morsing, gong (1.1/2/4 to 9, 2.1/2/6/10)
- Micheal Wehmeyer / synthesizers, piano, vocals (1.6/7/8, 2.2)
- Grace Youn / vocals (2.10)
- Jay Ziehr / guitar (1.5)
- Brazilian Musicians / birimbau, percussion, vocals (2.3)

Embryo - 1980 - Life - with Charlie Mariano and the Karnataka College of Percussion

Life - with Charlie Mariano and the Karnataka College of Percussion

01. Cella Cello (15:27)
02. Telisirama (7:16)
03. Tala Tarangini (14:44)
04. Marokkanische Seeräuber (11:35)

- Christian Burchard / electric vibraphone (A1/2, B2), marimbaphone (B2)
- Edgar Hofmann / Soprano saxophone (A1/2, B2)
- Friedo Josh / flute (A1/2, B2)
- Charlie Mariano / Soprano saxophone (A1, B2)
- Uve Müllrich / bass (A1/2, B2)
- Michi Wehmeyer / harmonium (A1/2, B2)
- Jay Zier / acoustic guitar (A1/2, B2)

+ Principal T.S.A. Mani / Mrindangam
- T.N. Ashok / vocals
- B.N. chandramouli / khanjira
- V.R. Chandrashekar / khol
- N.N. Dinesh / dholki
- M. Gururaja / morsing
- M.N. Mohankumar / pakwaj
- M. Raghavendra / vocals
- R.A. Rajagopal / dholak
- T.N. Ramesh / ghatam
- T.N. Shashikumar / dholak
- S. Srishyla / mridangam top pitch

The Karnataka College of Percussion is an Indian school where you can be taught the Indian art of drumming. It is a highly sophisticated art, and it is all the more difficult to play live. Embryo prove that they have learned their lessons well, and Charlie Mariano was trained in Indian music too, so he definitely is an asset. It is, however, NOT an album of traditional Indian music, played by a jazz rock band plus extension, it is a collaboration and definitely a fusion of Western and Indian music. One of the tracks on the album even is in 6/8, a meter Indian musicians don't play in at all.

Embryo - 1980 - Anthology - Every Day Is OK

Anthology  - Every Day Is OK

01. Road to Asia (part 1) (5:01)
02. Road to Asia (part 2) (3:22)
03. Muhldorf (6:07)
04. Old days, old violinos (4:35)
05. Sunsinging (3:08)
06. Back from Africa (part 1-2) (3:51)
07. Empty pocked blueeyed voices (4:40)
08. Every day is okay (5:11)
09. Dawai, Dawai (2:46)
10. TV story (1:30)
11. Political prisoners (4:41)

- Maria Archer / vocals (7)
- Roman Bunka / acoustic guitar (5-11), electric guitar (3-8), saz (4-5), bass (6-8), vocals (5-6-7), percussion (7)
- Christian Burchard / vocals (1-2), drums (1-2-4 to 8, 10-11), synthi-vibes (1-2), percussion (1-2-6-7), electric vibes (3), marimbas (5), keyboards (6-8), clavine (7), vocals (3-5 to 8, 11)
- Remigius Drexler / electric guitar (1-2)
- Hansi Fischer / flute (10)
- Ralf Fischer / bass (10)
- Edgar Hofmann / violins (1-2-4), Soprano saxophone (1-2-10), flute (1-2)
- Alfred Jones / acoustic guitar (10)
- Dave King / bass (5)
- Charlie Mariano / Alto saxophone (8)
- Dieter Miekautsch / percussion, vocals (7)
- Uve Müllrich / bass (1 to 4, 7-11), electric saz (1-2)
- Burkard Schmiedl / synthesizer (11)
- Michael Wehmeyer / organ(1-2-3), piano (1-2-11), harmonium (1-2)

Contrary to what the title implies, this is a collection of rare and previously unreleased tracks by this excellent German prog band. The time frame runs from 1970 through '79, and should be considered essential by all fans. In my opinion, all but one track are winners, and this represents a fine cross section of their typical variety of styles. The original German press was on Schneeball, but this Italian issue seems to have sold far better. I guess their jazz/rock fusion seems to be the most generously featured style offered here, but their version of world music also gets plenty of exposure. Recommended

Embryo - 1979 - Embryo's Reise

Embryo's Reise

101. Strasse nach Asien (12:50)
102. Paki funk (2:00)
103. Lost scooters (3:55)
104. Anar, Anar (3:20)
105. Es ist, wie's ist (6:30)
106. Kurdistan (4:40)
107. Far East (6:35)
108. Chan Delawar Khan (3:30)

201. Farid (13:25)
202. Cello, cello (8:25)
203. Rog de Quadamuna Achna (7:42)
204. Hymalaya radio (4:20)
205. Maharaj (3:52)
206. Lassie, Lassie (7:38)

- Roman Bunka / guitar, vocals, bass, piano, guitar synth, drums, oud (1.7/3, 2.1/4/5/6)
- Christian Burchard / vocals, drums, synth-vibes, percussion, tamtam, marimbaphone, pianet (all)
- Remigius Drexler / acoustic & electric guitars (1.1/6)
- Edgar Hoffmann / violin, Soprano saxophone, shinai, dilruba, flute, harmonica (1.1/5/6), screaming (2.1)
- Uve Müllrich / bass, electric guitar, oud, rhubab, electric saz, vocals, percussion (1.1/2/5/6, 2.1/5)
- Michael Wehmayer / organ, piano, harmonium (1.1/2/5/6, 2.5/6)

+ Abdul Jabar / tula (1.4/8, 2.3)
- Friedemann Josh / flute (2.6)
- Abdul Madjid / tambur (1.4/8, 2.3)
- Schamsdin Masrur / dotar (1.4/8, 2.3)
- Mrs. Ramamani / vocals (1.3)
- Mr. Chandramouli / kanjira (1.3)
- Mr. Chandrasekhar / khol (1.3)
- Mr. Gopalakrishna / tabla (1.3)
- Mr. Rajagopal / dhol (1.3)
- Mr. Ramesh / ghatam (1.3)
- Mr. Ramesh Shotam / tavil (1.3, 2.6)
- Mr. Ravi / dolki (1.3)
- Mr. Sashikumar / mridangam, top pitch (1.3)
- Mr. Sampath Kumar / morsing (1.3)
- Mr. Satyakumar / dholak (1.3)
- Mr. TS Mani / mridangam (1.3)
- Malang Negrabi / zerbagali (1.4/8, 2.3)
- Ustad Mohamed Omar / rubab (1.4/8, 2.3)
- Machin Abdul Raschid / saranda (1.4/8, 2.3)
- Ashok Roy / sarod (2.4)
- Ustad Salim / dilruba (1.4/8, 2.3)
- Ubekannter Zirkusansager / vocals (2)
- Unknown musician / tabla (2.4)
- Bahul Jazz Group of Calcutta / tam-tam, flute, violin, vocals (2.6)

This double album is certainly one of the best attempts to fuse progressive-type rock with ethnic/world music and few have succeeded as well as Embryo's Reise (voyage). Indeed around the departure of the ever-important Roman Bunka from the group, plans had been made to travel from Istanbul to Pakistan and Nepal, while recording their musical encounters with the indigenes found on their paths. The album is not just that, there are also tracks coming from left, right & centre, but overall, that's a fair description of the album's content. Among Embryo's latest recruits were guitarist Drexler (ex-Out Of Focus) and wind player Josch (ex-Missus Beastly) whom were part of the trip. The gatefold vinyl comes with a deliciously illustrated booklet detailing their trip in both German and English texts. I hear the Cd version has that too, but I doubt of the legibility of the format.

Where this album is an important one for progheads is that the track list is abounding of jams between the Embryo members and the local musicians, sometimes resulting to some absolutely stunning jams. Difficult to start describing these jams, but most had a structure for conventional entendre (no free form or voluntarily dissonant). The group was giving improvised multimedia concerts along the way, some including stunning live performance paintings. In either case, I'm sure they brought back hundreds of hours of jams and gave us a small selection here. Some of these jams are actually really successful, mixing perfectly the European (often electric) rock musicians and the often-acoustic local musicians (such as the opening Road To Asia), while others are more ethnic players playing their stuff while Europeans are waiting for a chance to hop on boards. On the other hand there are some openly and wildly saturated guitar rock pieces.

Symbolic of the 70's hippy dream, this road is now highly unlikely to all western or eastern youth as international conflicts have long rendered the road impossible to accomplish safely nowadays. A real must and not only in Embryo's discography.

Embryo - 1977 - Live


01. Bamboo Railways (5:06)
02. You Can Turn Me On (13:13)
03. Tiflis (5:58)
04. Roadsong (3:35)
05. After The Rain (3:25)
06. Bambule (3:50)
07. No More Love (4:35)
08. Ho Do Ima (1:19)
09. The Orange Man (7:09)

- Maria Archer / vocals, percussion
- Roman Bunka / guitar, vocals, oud, percussion
- Christian Burkhard / vocals, drums, marimba, vibes
- Charlie Mariano / Alto & Soprano saxes, flute, nagasuram
- Dieter Miekautsch / electric piano
- Uve Müllrich / bass, dilruba, percussion

guest musicians:
- Edgar Hofmann / flute (6)
- Geoffrey / percussion (7)
- Joseph / percussion (7)

Embryo - 1977 - Apo-Calypso


01. Break into pieces (4:42)
02. Endless feeling (7:18)
03. Together (5:39)
04. Knast-funk (5:57)
05. Amnesty total (9:09)
06. Getalongwithasong (14:13)

- Roman Bunka / vocals, veena, oud, guitars
- Christian Burchard / vocals, organ, electric vibes & marimbas
- Butze fischer / drums, percussion
- Uwe Müllrich / bass
- Michael Wehmayer / keyboards

+ Edgar Hofmann / flutes (5)
- Shoba Gurtu / vocals, tamboura (6)
- Trilok Gurtu / tabla (6)

Embryo - 1976 - Bad Heads And Bad Cats

Bad Heads And Bad Cats

01. Layed Back (5:32)
02. Nina Kupenda (12:06)
03. Bad Heads (4:02)
04. Road Song (6:10)
05. After The Rain (6:14)
06. Klondyke-Netti (6:25)
07. Tag X (1:36)
08. Human Contact* (16:56)

* bonus track on Disconforme re-release

- Maria Archer / vocals, percussion
- Roman Bunka / vocals, guitar
- Christian Burchard / drums, vibes, marimba, vocals
- Edgar Hofmann / Soprano saxophone, flute
- Charlie Mariano / Alto & Soprano saxes, flute
- Dieter Miekautsch / keyboards
- Uve Müllrich / bass

This one turns into a very jazzy direction, however some experimental creepy approach is still there. In the 70's I saw Embryo live several times - each time it was surprising, amazing, turned into a differnt direction musically. Even some studio albums can catch this terrific live atmosphere. 'Bad Heads And Bad Cats' counts among them in my opinion. 'Nina Kupenda' and 'Klondyke Netti' are the highlights. A funky bass - keyboards sometimes similar to Wheater Report - the great Charlie Mariano on sax and flute.

The digital Disconforme re-release adds one extended bonus track Human Contact which absolutely enriches this album. A very surprising song - it looks like this jam was recorded during the same sessions, but rejected for the album release finally because of the restricted vinyl length, I assume. Yes - I'm quite sure because the end of the song is corresponding to Tag X fitting much better here by the way. The EMBRYO's are acting which much joy of playing here - stimulating each other, far away from aimless noodling - open-minded jazz rock stuff. The Garden Of Delights label has issued a new version in 2012 which showcases another bonus track, recorded live at 'Umsonst & Draußen' festival 1975 in Germany.

Embryo - 1974 - Surfin'


01. You can turn on me (5:11)
02. Music of today (4:12)
03. Secret (6:23)
04. Surfin' (3:22)
05. New ridin' (3:44)
06. In my lunamatic (1:28)
07. Dance of some broken glasses (9:01)
08. Sidetrack (6:03)

- Roman Bunka / guitar, bass, ring modulator, clavinet, sitar, saxophone, percussion, vocals
- Christian Burchard / drums, vibes, percussion, marimba, pianos, organ, Mellotron, vocals
- Uwe Müllrich / bass (2 to 7)

+ Edgar Hofmann / Soprano saxophone (2-8), violin (3-7)
- Charlie Mariano / Alto saxophone (1), Soprano saxophone (3-8), flute (4-7), nagasuram (7)

Two years after their masterpiece "We Keep On", "Surfin" is Embryo's second release for BASF. It's a much more accessible album, focusing on songwriting and funky grooves rather then the experimental jams of old. Still, it can hardly be called commercial, and due to the lack of success, BASF would soon drop them after this release.

The album isn't as remarkable as the preceding releases but still it deserves more love then what it garnered here so far. Actually, I can think of only one negative point about this album, Embryo was quite late to jump on the funk-fusion bandwagon and in doing so, the band gave up some of their originality and uniqueness. But the world fusion element is still strongly integrated in the sound and they remained recognizably German. Above all, it's still a very fine album, not dissimilar to concurrent releases from Can, Passport and Kraan. Especially Kraan's album "Let It Out" from the same year comes to mind, as it also sounds slightly proto-new wave in places, which might explain some of the dislike Prog fans might feel towards it.

With the shorter pieces and more frequent use of vocals, "Surfin" brings back the fun rocking songwriting of the debut and of "Father Son and Holy Ghosts", be it in a funkier and more mainstream format. It's a different Embryo but still a very good one.

Embryo - 1973 - Rocksession


01. A Place To Go (4:25)
02. Entrances (15:35)
03. Warm Canto (10:07)
04. Dirge (9:35)

- Christian Burchard / drums
- Jorg Evers / bass
- Edgar Hofmann / saxophone and violin
- Jimmy Jackson / organ
- Dave King / bass
- Siegfried Schwab / guitar
- Mal Waldron / electric piano

 Rock session is another album consisting of material they recorded during sessions between 1971 and 1972. Actually the band was planning to release this stuff already in 1972. But their record company UA was not pleased by it, so they recorded first Father, Son & Holy Ghosts and the songs from these sessions have been used for this album here and Steig aus. The line-up is almost identical on these two albums, with the difference that Sigi Schwab was replacing Roman Bunka on guitar. But it's anything else than a bad album and rather a very interesting one who is deeply into typical jazz-rock in the Krautrock vein.

The opener A place to go is a very orientally influenced piece with marimbas, keys, electric guitar, percussion and very "kraut-ish" sounding vocals. Really great stuff and anyone loving this sub-genre will be fascinated by it. Entrances, the longest track is dominated by Schwab's excellent jazzy guitar before Hammond is taking over. The work of the rhythm section is as well just awesome. It's a highly jazzy piece on an album that is probably the most jazzy one of their three session records, no wonder since jazz pianist Mal Waldron was involved in three of the four tracks as a composer. In the last third of the track there is an excellent sax solo by Hofmann. This one is for sure the highlight of the album.

Second side of the record is the more relaxing and soaring one starting with Warm canto, a very soft and mellow track played on vibes, keys, violin and percussion plus electric guitar and piano by Waldron in its second half. Although being a rather quiet song in the beginning it's revealing a fascinating development in its course. Last one Dirge is starting as well with a highly soaring atmosphere with vibes, guitar and then violin and e-piano. As on the whole album the bass and drum work is again excellent. Also this song is developing after a while to a fascinating one.

As a SUMMARY this album might be in a way different from their excellent other ones like Father,Son... or Embryo's Rache, but nevertheless I would say it's an essential one by them and recommended to any lover of jazzy Krautrock.

Embryo - 1973 - We Keep On

We Keep On

01. No place to go (12:32)
02. Flute and Saz (5:57)
03. Ehna, Ehna, Abu Lele (8:43)
04. Hackbrett-dance (3:54)
05. Abdul Malek (3:15)
06. Don't come tomorrow (3:48)

- Roman Bunka / guitar, saxophone, vocals, percussion, bass (6)
- Christian Burchard / drums, vocals, percussion, marimba, vibes, hackbrett, Mellotron
- Charlie Mariano / alto & soprano saxes, flute, nagasuram, bamboo flute
- Dieter Miekautsch / acoustic & electric pianos, bass piano on the clavinet

LP BASF Systems BC 21865 / CD Disconforme Records 1936 (1999) includes two lengthy bonus tracks "Ticket to India" and "Flute, Saz and Marimba" with different order of the tracks.

After releasing two jam-loaded albums for Brain records, Embryo made a move to the major BASF and produced their masterpiece. Aided by the most professional production they got so far, the band shines in all aspect of their sound, offering short and krauty vocal songs as well as long instrumental jazz improvisations. Also the ethnic influences had never before been integrated so effectively.

The band is down to its nucleus of Burchard (drums) and Bunka (guitars), notable absentee is Hofmann (sax) who's replaced by Charlie Mariano. Dieter Miekautsch provides the electric piano.The CD release is the one to get as it has been respectfully mastered and offers 2 extra bonus tracks clocking in at almost 25 minutes. It's quite rare now though...

First track on the CD is "Abdul Malek" which is a heavily African inspired track with remarkably emotional vocals, or should I say random wails. It's quite unique and weird, full of ethnic influences but still recognizably kraut-y. "Don't Come Tomorrow" is a more laidback loungey jazz song with attractive instrumental parts led by melodic flutes, piano and vibes. The African influence returns in the into of "Ethna", before it explodes into a sizzling psych-jazz improvisation led by soloing saxphone and guitars.

A short Eastern-tinged instrumental follows before we get the band firing on all cylinders on the sizzling "No Place To Go". Heavy on guitars and intricate rhythms it almost reminds of the heavy kraut debut of the band. More world music on "Flute and Saz" and on the bonus track "Flute, Saz and Marimba", both titles kind of describing what you might expect. For the fans of psych-jazz rock the CD also feature the marvelous 16 minute bonus "Ticket to India".

"We Keep On" finds Embryo at their creative peak and creates a perfect blend of the kraut as well as the jazz-rock and world music aspects of the band. Because of its eclectic nature and mystical atmosphere this could be quite a weird and demanding title but I find it absolutely stunning. One of my top jazz-related releases.

Embryo - 1972 - Steig aus

Steig aus

01. Radio Marrakesch / Orient-Express (9:53)
02. Dreaming Girls (10:26)
03. Call (17:22)
- a. Call (part 1)
- b. Organ Walk
- c. Marimba Village
- d. Clouds
- e. Call (part 2)

- Roman Bunka / guitar
- Christian Burchard / drums, marimba, vibes
- Jörg Evers / bass
- Edgar Hoffmann / violin
- Jimmy Jackson / Mellotron, organ
- Dave King / bass
- Mal Waldron / electric piano

Embryo is, basically, the project of drummer/percussionist Christian Bruchard joining forces with whoever happens to be in the ensemble at the moment. Embryo's golden moments come from the time in which his Lieutenant Edgar Hoffmann (sax and violin) shared center sot. "Steig Aus" is the band's fourth effort, and definitely one of their masterworks: you can clearly tell that the band is well rooted in its fusion-rock leanings, and that means that the psychedelic factor has only become an adorning ingredient after being half part of the band's nuclear sound for the first two albums. The band's sound is harsh and mysterious, in a way related to the rough approach pursed by many krautrock bands, but that's where the similarities with the peculiar German psychedelic prog movement ends. The swing of American-inspired jazz-rock and the vibe of standardiez funky bear a heavy presence as catalyzers of the various exotic sources that the compositions take inspiration from. The jamming is continuous and the display of energy is ver ysolid, in both the explicit and introvertive passages of the repertoire. 'Radio Marrakesch' kicks off the album with Northern African sounds of tuned percussions and hand drums, joined by guitar effects emultating Moorish woodwinds. Soon the keyboard and percussion input from the band itself appears and builds up the starting point for the main jam, a powerful funky-meets-R'n'B section in which the Hammond organ and the mellotron occupy a leading role while the rhythm section keeps a catchy cadence. With the solos on electric piano and guitar, teh jazz thing enters to add sophistication to the frenzy. This effective opener really sounds very East Coast, there is basically little Teutonic in it, and that's okay since it works well. After this excellent exercise on acid tripping on funky terrain, 'Draming Girls' changes things quite a bit. A very ethereal relaxing track, it features magical violin lines that go floating in the air in a very evocative fashion. The appearance of the married vibraphone and electric piano and the occasional flute mellotron also helps to create this track's particular mood. It sort of mixes the influences from early Weather Report and "Ummagumma"-era Pink Floyd: the latter is evoked by the surreal melancholy that fills every fibre of the track. The last track 'Call' occupies the las t17 minutes of the album. The succession of all diverse cadences emerging from bruchard's drumming (ranging from the tribal to the bluesy and from the fusionesque to the rocker) marks the continuum across all sections. Despite tha fact tha Bruchard serves as a leader, the ensemble makes 'Call' work as a genuine group effort from start to finish. The organ violin and electric piano solos, the absorbing mellotron layers that appear in places, the additional percussions,... all these elements conform a sonic forest that expands itself restlessly in total enthusiasm. The series of the last two sections, 'Clouds' and 'Call (Part 2)', build an impressive climax, exploiting the overall groove to its maximum level. "Steig Aus" is a must for every prog collector with strong jazzy sensibilities. Embryo is a musical world on its own, creating its own voice within the "rules" of jazz- fusion.