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19 Nov 2016

Gulââb “Ritt Durch Den Hades” 1979 Merlins Nose Records, 2014 Kraut Rock Germany Prog Psych Folk Originally only released on tape





Gulââb  “Ritt Durch Den Hades” 1979   Merlins Nose Records, 2014 Kraut Rock Germany Prog Psych Folk  Originally only released on tape 
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Rather psychedelic, krautrock-resembling, but all the way psychedelic folk, and not like any psych folk, but more like medieval and Nordic ……….. 

Ultra-rare lost psychedelic Kraut-folk from 1979. First time on CD and LP. Taken from the original master tapes. “Gulaab” means “rose” in the Nepalese language. Gulaab is a German virtuoso on the acoustic guitar who served three years as an after-dinner musician in a luxury restaurant in Nepal, playing for an amazing number of well-known personalities of the 20th century during the early ‘70s. This was a strongly-influential experience that shaped his musical expression big-time, but also let him become an open-minded spirit. Ritt durch den Hades is the result of his experimentation with sounds, atmospheres and a multitude of styles in traditional music from Latin to Eastern Asian elements. It was first released in 1979, vanishing into obscurity soon after, waiting to be rediscovered by a more open-minded generation of music lovers now. Traditionalists be forewarned: This mystic grail of '70s “Kraut folk” stands far out from the average folk and singer/songwriter stuff, combining guitar harmonies of the highest order with a cosmic drone that backs up the hypnotizing picking and trippy swirls of sounds. This album is in fact more like a musical journey than just a piece of music, taking you from secret sacrificial altars in the Andes to the ceremonial places of the ancient Himalayan population with a short stopover for a little “joint venture” in the musical space-centers of highly flown-out German originators like Ash Ra Tempel/Manuel Göttsching, Popul Vuh/Florian Fricke, Witthusser & Westrupp, Bröselmaschine, Dom or Deuter. Now take a ride through Hades with Gulaab……. 

Gulbââb is a one man band project of a guitarist who lived in Nepal for three years and who returned to his homeland to record this album, which partly is about a spiritual journey, going behind the questions of life and death, with spoken word and an eastern flavour of conga-like percussion and layers of guitar which still to a degree reminds a bit of Bröselmaschine, and also, acoustic to electric guitar trips in several layers which with its most effects of echoes reminds me a bit of “Echos Aus Zeiten Der Grünen Reise” by A.R. & Machines, a trippy guitar-based album with sequenced rhythms, and at it’s most acoustic has something of a medieval dance, still going trippy. Most tracks build up with guitar layers mostly, turning an acoustic sound thoroughly into an electric one, (with it’s pickings), more and more wah-wah effects and percussive echoes to it, which I think is mostly caused by the guitar box’ as well, adding lot’s of reverb to it. The trips are meditative and calm but are at times picked in a pretty fast way, hence the sequenced effect of that can be compared to AR & Machines at times. In the middle of the sessions, a female singer appears with a dreamy voice. The acoustic guitar pickings at it’s most medieval have something Spanish as well (not yet flamenco, but clearly leaving an interest and possibility to have this style some day included as well)). There are elements of tambourine and bodhran, the use of a temple bell, flutes and perhaps a bouzouki somewhere. Here and there a slide-effect can be heard too. Only on the concluding track one can hear vaguely a Swiss folk atmosphere peeping through, while keeping its mind independent of that….. 

Up to now, Gulaab has had a rather exceptional career: Living three years in the Himalayan kingdom Nepal, he worked as a guitarist for the legendary Boris of Kathmandu. Boris, a friend of king Birendra V of Nepal, provided culinary titbits to personalities coming from all over the world in his noble dining establishment. To finish the exclusive meal, each guest had the opportunity to order a “musical desert” from Gulaab’s classical-Spanish guitar. Mountaineers, from Edmund Hillary to Reinhold Messner, ambassadors, politicians, including the king and his family, invited him to their table - a thousand and one nights in total… 
In the Far East, Gulaab (Nepali word for “rose-flower”) learns that not one single component in nature can exist without its counterpart. Building on this knowledge, he creates his music - a sound that moves into spheres but never fails to get back to earth, in other words: Spheric sounds, accompanied by vivid rhythms. To achieve this goal, he uses natural instruments such as flutes, African percussion, sitars and guitars, occasionally mingling these with synthetic sounds. 

In his music, Gulaab transforms all his experiences into sounds: extensive travels all over the world, specially the Eastern Hemisphere, as well as experiences in the esoteric field. 
Back in the west, Gulaab performs on stage, TV and radio. He not only composes music for dance - and theatre - productions but also tours with most of these groups, the largest project of which being “Mondaufgang” by the Swiss Dream-Circus Rigolo (Switzerland Tour 1990-1992). Apart from that he works on coproductions for radio-plays, together with the German author Gina Ruck-Pauquet, as well as composing and producing film-music. In 1985 he won the Bavarian broadcast “Zundfunk”. Further productions: “Meine Lieder”, “Live 1”, “Live 2”, “Die Blaue Blume”, “Derr Narr”, “Der Weg”, “Die Stadt mit den Goldenen Dachern”, “Ritt durch den Hades”, “Styx”. 
Here’s a P.Frohmander related guitarist,producing crazed out depressive,dark psych prog music!Would be glad to find more of his recordings.HIGHLY RECOMMENTED!…by Mutant Sounds….. 

Gulââb, which is supposed to mean Rosenblüte in Nepali, is the artist name of a multi-instrumental guitarist, who currently lives in Bavaria, somewhere between Lake Starnberg and Bad Tölz, earning his money primarily as a composer, producer and guitar teacher Playing. At one point in the world-wide network is the indication that his bourgeois name is Rudolf Birnbaur, which might be so, but perhaps still needs an independent confirmation. Much is Mr. Gulââb but apparently not interested in knowing his real name. 

He used to be a world traveler and lived in Nepal. There he was - as can be read in the booklet of the album to be reviewed here - in the famous restaurant “Yak & Yeti” by Boris Lisanevich in Kathmandu to provide the guests with musical dessert. 

Only two recordings have apparently appeared so far by Gulââb: “Ritt durch den Hades” (1979 - as a tape recorder) and “Veils Of Mystery” (1993 - on Peter Frohmader’s label Nekropolis Records). “Ride through the Hades” was released on CD in 2014 by the label Merlin Nose Records, which is specialized in freaky folk, with a new cover (the lower of the two shown above - the top one of the cassette). 

The label moves “Ride through the Hades” to the vicinity of the herbs (folk), the ancient Ash Ra Temple, Popol Vuh, Witthüsser & Westrupp, Bröselmaschine, DOM and Deuter, which can be left quite so, at least in terms of atmosphere and stylistic orientation (The stupid drug herb from Witthüsser & Westrupp is the least suitable for comparison). The subtitle of the album is “musical documentation of a fantastic journey”, and something like that is heard by the listener. Acoustic guitar tones determine the sound image, tightly interwoven lines, echoing, echoed and multi-layered over each other. In addition there are all sorts of percussive inserts, various electronic filling sounds, tape recordings and sometimes profound text recitations and worn-exotic singing inlays. 

The tonal result is reminiscent of the repetitive echogitarrenic examinations of a Günter Schickert, but does not appear quite so electronically and spatially, and always shows folk influences, which from Bavaria (at least in the final “homecoming”), over Spain, the Balkan up to The Himalayas and then provide for a light ethnic atmosphere or medievale atmosphere. Hypnotic-minimalistic, spherical-meditative, sometimes slightly bevelled and desolate (eg listen to the hectic “power struggle” or the “icaros” underlined with hissing electronic sounds) slips this music out of the boxes, sound, ethereal, virtuoso and dense. Anyone who appreciates Schickert-like, meditative Krautfolk and Psychedelic-Schrammelig-Progressives and has nothing against a certain esoteric-transcendent smell, should invest here!…by… Achim Breiling…. 

1. 
Die Zeit 02:59 
2. 
Machtkampf 02:10 
3. 
Sing, Gevatter Tod, sing 03:07 
4. 
Das Orakel 04:07 
5. 
Die Bestattung 02:33 
6. 
Ritt durch den Hades 06:35 
7. 
Bruder des Windes 06:16 
8. 
Alkaios 01:21 
9. 
Dionysos - Gott des Weines 01:14 
10. 
Tanz der Nymphen 02:00 
11. 
Ikaros 03:52 
12. 
Silberstern 03:56 
13. 
Artemis - Göttin der Jagd 06:28 
14. 
Derwisch 02:00 
15. 
Reinkarnation 04:50 
16. 
Heimkehr 03:18 

johnkatsmc5, welcome music..

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