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4 Aug 2017

Oktober "Die Pariser Commune" 1977 2 LP-Set Germany Prog Symphonic, Political Rock Experimental,Kraut Rock

Oktober "Die Pariser Commune" 1977 2 LP-Set  Germany Prog Symphonic, Political Rock Experimental,Kraut Rock


Sadly underrated experimental prog release on an equally underrated label Antagon. Strongly political in message but the music is a fine blend of folky kraut and subttle electronics. Listen to Unser Blut for a feel of the direction

This brilliant German group continued the journey into Prog music with a fascinating, super-ambitious concept album in 1977, ''Die pariser commune'' (Antagon), a superb double LP, dealing with the French Revolution.Down to a 5-piece band, without the three helping vocalists and with sound engineers Pierre Meyn and Michael Iven adding guitar, bass and keyboard parts in one suite, ''Die pariser commune'' consists of four grand suites, spanning from 15 to 25 minutes, completing an absolute highlight of the German Prog scene circa 1975-80.Oktober had abandoned the hyper-sarcastic, ultra-political approach of the debut to offer a highly theatrical, fairly symphonic album akin to Genesis and Grobschnitt, featuring impressive breaks and complex time signatures, monster use of Moog synthesizer, organ and acoustic piano, sharp guitar chops with plenty of melodic interruptions and a heavy vocal load to help the history of French Revolution unfold.First side sounds a lot like German Genesis with beautiful vocal lines, big symphonic moves and lovely interplays, while the second one is a bit closer to the debut's sound with a few more Avant-Garde and Folk elements thrown in between the proggier parts, still driven by constant use of keyboards and electric guitar, but with some acoustic moments playing a basic role.A gem of the ..

"DIE PARISER COMMUNE" is a recording by "Oktober" released in 1977. This political rock opera was released on the Antagon label like the "Schmetterlinge"-recordings featured on this blog. 

The austrian folk-rock band "Schmetterlinge" dedicated a part of their "Proletenpassion" (1976) to the Paris Commune and inspired the polit-rock band "Oktober" to deal with this topic on an entire double album. 

The Paris Commune (French: La Commune de Paris) was a government that briefly ruled Paris from March 18 (more formally, from March 28) to May 28, 1871. It existed before the split between anarchists and marxists had taken place, and it is hailed by both groups as the first assumption of power by the working class in industrial Western Civilization. Debates over the policies and outcome of the Commune contributed to the break between those two political groups.........

Oktober were a seven piece German band who put on these theatrical shows that were very political. This their second album continues in the same vein as the debut as we get this Symphonic/Krautrock style of music although this is much more symphonic than the debut. The vocalist has a lot of character to say the least. This was a double concept album with four side long suites with plenty of twists and turns including lots of samples and spoken words as well. All singing and speaking is in German and the subject matter is "The Paris Commune" which is about an event that took place in Paris in 1871 where it is believed the first ever government was formed by the working class people. This is a ride folks. 
We get started with "Unser Blut-Ihre Geschichte" where we can hear a loud crowd shouting and celebrating before the organ takes over. This is replaced by drums and guitar that builds. Check out the chunky bass and background synths. Man this sounds amazing. The guitar then solos over top 2 1/2 minutes in before it all settles right down as spoken words come in with atmosphere. It all kicks back in at 5 minutes including piano this time. Vocals follow. It settles again with background synths as the vocals continue. Great sound before 8 minutes as it picks up speed then becomes more powerful. I like the way themes are repeated. Impressive instrumental sections follow then I like the calm 14 minutes in as the synths blow like the wind as the drums pound. Ripping guitar after 15 minutes with ground shaking bass as the drums continue to be upfront. A dark calm before 18 minutes with deep sounds and sinister guitar. Spoken words only follow then back to the instrumental work followed by vocals as again themes are repeated. What a track ! 

"Die tage Der Kommune" sounds like the start of the first track as the crowd roars along with other sounds. The music kicks in before a minute. Love the prominant guitar 2 1/2 minutes in. It becomes very symphonic, almost GENESIS-like and the vocals become double tracked like they did at times on their debut album. Themes are repeated on this suite as well. The vocals become fragile with picked guitar 13 minutes in until spoken words take over 16 minutes in with piano. The music kicks back in with some power before 17 minutes, vocals follow. A calm with flute after 22 minutes, vocals and piano then take over as it stays mellow. Not for long though but the mood continues to change. 

The second record begins with "Zwischenlied" where we can hear a man speaking along with street noise before the guitar and vocals take over. Piano starts to come and go in this beautiful section. Things change as a dark atmosphere comes in and the vocals are suddenly spoken. Back to the strummed guitar with vocals. Very folky so far on this track. A change after 11 1/2 minutes as the music stops and we can hear soldiers marching and the crowd buzzing. A more uptempo sound follows as the music returns with vocals shortly after this. The music almost marches along here. I'm thinking GENESIS with the synths and intricate sounds after 16 1/2 minutes. A calm with gentle vocals follows. It becomes more dynamic and the vocals more powerful after 18 minutes almost to the end. 

"Unser Blut-Unsere Geschichte" opens with samples once again then multi-vocals take over including female ones this time. Heavenly guitar melodies take over with keyboards. Vocals join in before 2 minutes. It all stops before 5 minutes as an anthem takes over with horns and drums. Then the boys are back with a familiar instrumental theme. So good, then a calm with vocals follow before it picks up again. A calm with synths 10 minutes in. The last 1 1/2 minutes is like listening in on many people talking about the event to the end. 

No doubt a 4 star recording for me but I do prefer the debut. Of course a concept album is difficult to appreciate when you don't understand the spoken words or singing. What an innovative band though, especially when you consider that their debut was released in 1976 and this one a year later. .... by Mellotron Storm .

Line-up / Musicians 

- Kalla Wefel / bass, vocals, guitar 
- Hans-Werner Schwarz / guitar 
- Pierre Meyn / guitar, bass 
- Michael Iven / guitar, keyboardsm vocals 
- Peter Robert / keyboards, spinet, harpsichord 
- Klaus-Peter Harbort / percussion 
- Carl-F. Dörwald / vocals, flute 


Side A

Prolog: 1830-1851
1. Teil 1:Unser Blut - Ihre Geschichte

Side B

1. Teil 2: Die Tage der Kommune
a. Proklamation des ZK der Nationalgarde
b. Die Maßnahmen der Kommune
c. Lob des Aufbaus (Michael Iven)
d. Lied vom Verbrechen
e. Janine
f. Dekret über die Zuerkennung einer Person / Keiner oder alle (B. Brecht)
g. Die Frauen der Kommune (H.R. Unger)
h. Stadt der Illusionen

Side C

1. Teil 3: Der Untergang der Kommune
a. Die letzte Schlacht
b. Die Rache / Dreißigtausend Tote

Side D

1. Teil 4: Unser Blut - Unsere Geschichte
Epilog: Lob der Dialektik 

johnkatsmc5, welcome music..







Cassette Deck

Cassette Deck