Sunday, 31 December 2017

Albatros “Garden Of Eden” 1978 Germany Private Prog Symphonic


Albatros “Garden Of Eden” 1978 Germany ultra rare Private Prog Symphonic
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This is one of the RAREST German Symphonic Prog LP’s ever! Original pressing on “lipstick CSM 1005)  Musically doomy prog with great drive and some common ground with the Canadian band Rush circa “power Windows” on the beginning of side 2. Side 1 is more aggresive rock with a dark side, intertwined with eery piano passages. Totally unique, totally unknown as well! As seen in Pokora volume 3001 page 49 with 5 stars;…~


Very hard to get this album, but if you do, don’t hesitate to listen at least once, to me was a happy discovery, and an excellent addition to my music collection. One of the very good german bands from the late ‘70. I might say they sound like no other group i listen before, maybe similar bands are Dice or other german bands from late '70 like Tibet or Minotaurus, but for sure very intristing. Specialy i like the voice, but also the instruments are very well used. The album is made of 3 long pieces, one of them nearly 20 min, with great moods and time signatures. Not a particulary instrument is in front here, each one does a good job as a whole and the result is 4 album to me. Garden of eden is a great album by this almost unknown band. I can recommend for fans of bands mention above 4 stars for sure. I have to say it, despite the good album they made, i wonder why they don’t choose other cover for Garden of eden, this is one of the most uninspired covers i ever saw from entire music, anyway 4 stars and get it you will not be deseppointed….by b olariu …~


Albatros from Hagen, named after the great Fleetwood Mac song from 1968, played polished art rock in the vein of the early Genesis or the early Wallenstein. Actually they were so good that their one and only record, “Garden of Eden”, is a real treat for the ears. It is so imaginative and varied, the performance is so skillful and the recording so accurate that the band needn’t shun any comparison. Due to the small edition of 500 copies, it was only in 1999 that the LP turned up in collectors’ circles. It sells for a price of about US$500 now. Formed in early 1974, the band had soon won several prizes in contests in the wider Sauerland region, thus becoming a well-known figure there. Yet they never had a full-time manager actively looking after the business side. And so, unfortunately, they were denied their due recognition. A recommended album. (Garden of Delights)…~


“Garden Of Eden” is a rather enjoyable symphonic prog rock platter from Germany. Three long tracks that don’t blow you away individually but as a whole make for a good listen. One thing I don’t like about this long play is the over use of the synths. Man I hate synths. As usual, with this type of music, a buzz and headphones help but are not necessary. 
I have the Garden of Delights compact disc of this “one and done” recording and it is terrific. Most Garden of Delights releases are terrific and a great place to start if you are interested in seventies Krautrock…by..rod45 …~


This is actually a decent album, despite the late release date. Probably the weakest aspect of it is the semi-commercial sound that comes through all over the record. It was most likely this type of music that caused the modern punk movement of the late 70’s. But the material is presented via very long, trippy tracks that feature a mix of fast/hard, and soft/slow sections. This is accomplished with the use of good guitar, synthesizer, and English vocals. No doubt, this will not appeal to hardcore prog fans looking for only the most non-conforming approaches to creating music. But those with an open mind would do well to investigate….by…tymeshifter …~


The North Rhine-Westphalian industrial city of Hagen has produced in the field of progressive rock music in addition to the figurehead Grobschnitt with the band Albatros another representative of the genre. This is a formation founded in 1974, which had taken after the successful participation in several musical junior competitions in 1978 their only album “Garden Of Eden” and published in a modest edition of 500 copies. Unfortunately, the group lacked even the smallest form of management and no one felt responsible for promoting the album or taking care of its performances. The best example of this dilettantism is the fact that singer Hansi Köppen had a cover designed for the LP, which then miraculously disappeared.

Apart from this barely comprehensible indifference, the three longtracks of the re-released in 2000 by the label Garden Of Delights album offer typical art rock of the 70s from German lands. In their rough shape, the compositions sometimes tend in the direction of the typical Teutonic Krautrock, but albatros but tried to incorporate more symphonic arrangements in their song material. Unfortunately, this is only partially successful and wide passages of “Garden of Eden” seem to be very half-baked. Passable musical approaches sink mercilessly in the less differentiated overall sound.

After neatly worked out compositional approaches followed immediately an insensitively played part without any reference to the promising song ideas. Thus, especially the passages dominated by the vocals act as an absolute foreign body. The vocals leave out any feeling for the symphonic tendency of the band and cloud the overall picture considerably. Even the voice and the recited vocal lines are hardly endurable even for the ear of the self-confessed Krautrock fan. Especially in the opener “A Man Like Me” encounters this shortcoming after a promising start on extremely unpleasant.

Since this title also lacks considerable ideas at the latest halfway through, the passages in which singer Köppen mercilessly “shouts down” the final symphonic detail are really terrible. Since any tolerance limit is exceeded! With a slightly hypnotic-looking instrumental part, however, the curve again points slightly upwards.

The two remaining titles “Sundriver” and “Garden Of Eden” have the same weaknesses and underscore the amateurish orientation of albatross. Ultimately, there are very few reasons for buying this re-release. Here, the handle in the moth box barely worth it….by….Horst Straske…baybyblaue..reviews…~

Progressive Rock from Hagen, there was some other band … very well, it can only be talk of rough cut. Around the same time, Albatros was founded in the same city, named after the song by Fleetwood Mac. With Blues Rock their own music had less to do, but it was clearly towards Art Rock, which among other things meant that they were allowed to play for coarse cut the Einheizer, so that the circle would be closed again. In 1978 there was the chance to record an LP, which was only pressed in an edition of 500 pieces. On it are contained only three pieces (19:49, 11:32, 10:13 minutes long), which interestingly also in their length zusammengestutzt (!) Had to be, so that they fit on a LP.

The comparison to rough cut because of the common hometown crowded on and coincidentally fits the musical relationship. Hansi Köppen’s song is reminiscent of wild boar, and the sprawling arrangements evoke memories of the symphonic-progressive beginning of Grobschnitt. However, the inner tension and dynamics of albatross do not reach their quality. Although the three titles offer plenty of room for embellishments and song development, there are also many ideas, but some ideas are too long protracted, the melodies are not the excellently concise, to keep the attention throughout their term. “Garden of Eden” is an interesting work of Germanic Art Rock, which does not deny its origin, but unfortunately does not reach its role models…by… Kristian Selm…baybyblaue..reviews…~

Unlike the creature in Coleridge’s “Rime Of The Ancient Manner,” this is not one that you need feel saddled with by the likes of the Garden Of Delights label. This Albatros is a pleasure to have around, and at 41-plus minutes, is far too short. There are only three tracks on this album, and these are the “short” versions. “Detlev Jahn entered their rehearsal room […] inviting them to come to the Krings studio […] they chose three songs that band had written themselves: 'A Man Like Me’, 'Sundriver’, and 'Garden Of Eden’ but each in a short version since the original version would been too long to fit the LP format,” say the liner notes. These short versions are 19:49, 11:32, and 10:13 respectively, and this CD is lifted from a copy of the original album, using the Cedar NoNoise technique for de-clicking the tracks. The sound is wonderful, as I would never have guessed that this was lifted from vinyl.

All the aspects that make classic songs those memorable beasties they are can be found here. Catchy refrains, great licks - whether it’s the keys, guitar, or drums - a voice you can sing along with. Plus all those elements we like in our prog, extended arrangements, great interplay, intriguing patterns and rhythms. Albatros were a sextet from Hagen that formed in 1974, but didn’t record an album until 1978. Internal conflicts and the pressures of the “real world” lead the band to disintegrate, thus leaving only Garden Of Eden as their only recorded document. The album was originally only pressed in 500 copies and pristine copies are now worth about US$500.

While vocalist Hansi Köppen sounds quite like no one else, at least that I can name, the music is a mix of early Emerson Lake and Palmer and early Genesis with psychedelica thrown in for good measure. There’s a part, however, at about 10 or minutes into the first track, “A Man Like Me,” where Köppen briefly sounds a bit like Greg Lake, and at another point, much later on the album I thought of Roine Stolt. Otherwise, Köppen sings in a very open, warm, rich, theatrical style. He can be expansive, as on the second third of “Garden of Eden,” and at the same time, come across as very intimate. He’s in your living room. Each track is eclectic, not really being this thing or that, varied enough that even the ELP and Genesis comparisons seem inadequate.

There are faint echoes of “Cherokee Nation” in “Sundriver,” though I’m guessing it’s pure coincidence - and for those cynics it was meant as a favourable comparison. There is that same pounding, repetitive percussive rhythm with what one might call a “Native American” flavour. During a gentle keys (Harald Hubricht) and guitar (Peter Breitbarth) interlude, NASA soundbytes can be heard, starting with Neil Armstrong’s famous words, and then other space chatter (voices from Houston Contol). Like Bowie’s “Major Tom” and John’s “Rocket Man,” “Sundriver,” is about an astronaut “miles from home.” I love the rolling piano during the second section, which made me think of “A Summer Place” (I think that’s the title) - in fact, it is Christian Köppen’s piano parts that are the highlight nearly throughout. Breitbarth does get a guitar solo in there, at about two-thirds in.

While I don’t think Breitbarth’s style and tone is exactly like Steve Hackett, I did think of him during the intro to “Garden Of Eden.” Keys next take the lead, though, under Köppen’s vocals. The only production quibble comes here, and I suspect it was present on the original recording rather than this reisssue - the sound volume drops a bit here … It’s not really a quibble, just an observation. Thomas Büscher gets the drum spotlight here for a few moments, as the track veers close to both surf music and, well, I thought of the classic 50’s instrumental “Walk Don’t Run.”

Albatros really could have been a household name in prog if things had worked out for them. Maybe at the same level as ELP and Genesis. There is still a chance of course, as Garden Of Delights have made this album conveniently available on CD, for much less than US$500, with an informative booklet (as we have come to expect from GoD, though lyrics would have been an added bonus). So, you buy the CD and listen to it; you’ll like it so much, that you’ll tell two friends, who will buy it, listen to it, and tell two friends, who will buy it … and so on and so on. Yes, this is one Albatros you’ll be glad to have around your neck (figuratively speaking, of course, as they’ve much more convenient carrying cases these days)….by…Stephanie Sollow…~

Credits
Bass – Achim Hubricht
Congas – Jürgen Polzin
Drums – Thomas Büscher
Guitar – Peter Breitbarth
Keyboards – Harald Hubricht
Piano – Christian Köppen
Vocals – Hansi Köppen

Tracklist
A1 A Man Like Me
B1 Sundriver
B2 Untitled 

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