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22 Nov 2016

A.R. & Machines “Autovision” 1974 Kraut Rock Psychedelic

A.R. & Machines “Autovision” 1974 Kraut Rock Psychedelic
What no reviews for this one yet? This is perhaps one of the best examples of meandering music, in the truest sense of the word, that actually works. Snuffling around like blind moles hunting for some tasty earthworms - these tracks seem completely blindfolded and act accordingly. 

That´s one way of looking at things, and if your tastes lie in the more complex and shifting parts of music, you´re probably not going to like this very much. The first two songs are what I´d call Krautrock n´ Roll meets Canterbury. The jazzy wind instruments and the Khan like feel of the rest of the band put together with some creepy background atmospherics - generate a slightly psychedelic and again meandering excursion into Canterbury that promises nothing - flips you the bird and just wanders away into a rocking implosion. In a way - the whole philosophy of these two tracks is like back when the beatniks jumped freight trains because they wanted to be transported somewhere, without anything looking remotely like a direction or a final destination, - just freeway dreamings cooked up by these intoxicated jazz enthusiasts who could talk for days on end about how sunshine hits the street and why all things need fire to live. They do overstay their welcome though, but there are sometimes where I think they work the way the authors intended them to do. 

Drei in Einz closes the door to the Canterburian dimension with a meandering, slow, melancholic vibe, that sounds like it could have come from one of Kevin Ayers early nonsense albums, or on the other hand maybe it´s a forerunner to the Floyd track Round and Around. Yep I know what you´re thinking, but it´s a lot better and much more delicate - ending with some sprinkling chimes that sound like they, along with the track, is being poured into sand. Psssht and it´s gone. 

Hi ho silver and the train to India sets off with Turbulenze, that surprisingly is a very meandering track, that finally opens this record up fully to the Krautrock sound it´s been threatening with. What probably is a hysterical mouse tap-dancing on a small hand drum, is followed up with some bewildering guitar patterns, that waffles around - suddenly changing pace and tone - and the track transforms into something like a psychedelic raga with some eerie electronics in the background - sounding like brightly colored wall-paper would if it could speak. 

Perhaps the most meandering of all these tracks is Jay Guru Dev, and what´s really puzzling, is that it just might be my favorite off Autovision. A slowly developing guitar is the essence here. It strums its pointless melody, accompanied by an organ that conjures up the same sort of foggy soundscapes you can hear on Led Zeppelin´s No quarter. There´s almost a serene Popol Vuh feel to this one as well, and I think it´s rather meditative and beautiful - like walking through snow on warm naked feet. 

Bringing it all back home - ending the album is a good ol´ mouth harmonica playing a nice little sailor outro, making this album seem all the more impenetrable and fragmentary. It´s a giggle though and it only lasts 30 seconds… 

Autovision finds Achim Reichel and his machines a tad disorientated like they just stepped off a spine shattering merry go round, but there is something here - something that speaks to me - something that is simple like pouring water over your sister´s sandcastle, watching how the water just eats up every contour and leaves the once decorated tiny piece of beach like nature intended it in the first place. It´s a self-imploding album this one, and meandering like a waterfall dumping water from high altitudes in the same thundering way it´s always done. But just like the simpleness of such a natural wonder like the waterfall, these individual tunes also emanate a certain natural vibe, and I kind of like it in all of its nonsense. ….by…by Guldbamsen……….. 

“AR5” stands in a small Kreissymbol in the upper right of the cover to read. Besides, much bigger: “AUTOVISION”. Or “AUTOVISION”? The cover decorates at least the wreck of a car - presumably a VW Beetle - which is growing there half of the scrub in front of you. An auto-vision, then? He has a sense of humor, the Achim Reichel. 

For his fifth solo album (which, by the way, has not appeared under the name of AR & Machines - for the sake of simplicity, nevertheless, it is nevertheless classified here), Reichel reduced the number of musicians involved. Mainly Reichel can be heard on his echog guitar, occasionally supported by Sax, drums, organ, electric piano and other percussion. At the beginning of the strange Boogienummer “three in one” and in the second half of “Turbulences” even a flabby or apt Mellotron is to be heard. 

“Autovision” offers extensive echo-guitar jingles, ascending and descending, interlacing, repetitive braids of variously distorted guitars, into which Petersen’s Sax is sometimes interwoven, sometimes driven by drums and percussion, and finally by occasional tactile sounds and a few electronic games Sound. A little seem Reichel but the ideas emanated. Something monotonous, aimless, and sluggish meandering. There is a lack of new ideas, momentum and variety. Here there is hardly anything that was not so similar on one of the predecessors already to be heard. However, the whole thing is orchestrated a bit simpler - over long stretches, Reichel is really solo on the guitar - which makes the music more impressive and direct. But this can not prevent (rather, it adds to) that after listening to “Autovision” after some time boredom. Too much is not done and Reichel’s guitar cascades have a long-lasting effect. That one such music can certainly offer exciting and powerful, has the same year in the “Auto Vision” was released Günter Schickert shown (see “ Samtvogel ”), which has greatly inspired by Reichel perfected its echo technique and spun out. 

Whoever appreciates the first four Reichel albums, will probably not be disappointed by “Autovision”. There is more or less “more of the same”. Only the whole thing has been significantly more unpowering than on the previous LPs. One notices the album that Reichel had emptied his musical fundamentally. A change was announced, which Reichel did a little later in a radical way….by Achim Breiling……. 

Line-up / Musicians 

- Achim Reichel / guitar, vocals 
- Claus-Robert Kruse / organ 
- Jochen Petersen / saxophone 
- Olaf Casalich / percussion 
- Peter Franken / drums, percussion 

Songs / Tracks Listing 

Side A: 
1. Eisenpferde 
2. Tanz Der Vögel In Den Winden 
3. Drei In Eins 
Side B: 
4. Turbulenzen 
5. Jay Guru Dev 
6. Kopf In Den Wolken - Beine Auf Der Erde

johnkatsmc5, welcome music..





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