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Monday, 4 June 2018

Fashion Pink (pre Brainstorm) "… To Brainstorm (SWF-Sessions Volume 3)“ 2000 CD Germany Heavy Prog Jazz Rock


Fashion Pink (pre Brainstorm)  "… To Brainstorm (SWF-Sessions Volume 3)“ 2000 CD Germany Heavy Prog Jazz Rock
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This documents early recordings from the group that eventually became Brainstorm, in its earlier incarnation as Fashion Pink. These tracks were recorded live in the studio during three different sessions in 1970 and 1971 for SWF Radio, and even include a few tracks that made it in different form onto Brainstorm’s two albums released before the group broke up. The first four tracks, from 1970, are song-oriented psychedelic rock with a few progressive touches, though the instrumental "Einzug der Eleganten” borders on the jazzier realms that the group would soon develop; the flute and keyboards give the piece that classic Krautrock feel, especially when it picks up steam near the end. The 1971 pieces find the group closing in on the Brainstorm sound, dropping the song orientation for much more progressive music influenced by Canterbury groups like Soft Machine, as well as early Zappa. A track like “Number Six” replaces psychedelic rock for a far more psychedelic-sounding improvised jazz, and is the standout from the second session, though “Shit Is Nothing Changing,” with lots of flute and guitar soloing and a more complex song structure, is a really good track, too. By the final session, the group was stretching out into much longer tracks like “Brainstorming” and “Thesen – Antithesen.” This album offers a fascinating glimpse of Brainstorm’s maturation from psychedelic and prog rock to its unique take on progressive jazzy Krautrock….by Rolf Semprebon….~


 Fashion Pink were actually the ancestor band to Brainstorm,which recordings saw no light until 2000.They were formed in Baden-Baden in 1968 by multi-instrumentalist Roland Schaeffer along with Eddy von Overheidt on keyboards,Jürgen Argast on bass,Helmut Rusch on guitars and Joachim Koinzer on drums,all coming from local pop groups.Aaarst and Rusch would soon leave the band,replaced by Harold Wagner and Rainer Bodensohn in 1969.The members’ parents had strong connections with the SWF radio and the young musicians recorded at three different dates some tracks for SWF from April 1970 to July 1971.These recordings would lead them to signing a contract,but the band (with a slightly different line-up) had already changed their name to Brainstorm.Fortunately this material was collected and released in 2000 by Long Hair Music. 
The album shows the interesting transformation of Fashion Pink from a Psych/Blues Rock band to a Progressive/Jazz rock beast.The short opening tracks see them playing decent Psychedelic Rock with lots of organ and flute by Bodenshon and decent vocals,not far from bands like early CARAVAN and JETHRO TULL.Moving on Fashion Pink develop a more complicated sound with strong Jazz leanings and a tension for improvisation,like the highly experimental “Number six”,yet they never denied their psychedelic roots,the driving organ and melodic flutes are still alive and well and the guitar remain a trademark of the band.Towards the middle of 1971 they had fully transmitted into a complex Jazz Rock act with Schaeffer grabing the saxes for good and FRANK ZAPPA being a notable inspiration,while now the best comparison would propably be OUT OF FOCUS.Powerful organ grooves,sax attacks,lovely flutes and jazzy guitars compose a good sound-picture of the totally instrumental 10-min. “Brainstorming”.The following and closer of the album 14- min. “Thesen-Antithesen”,again an all instrumental number, is even more demanding with great guitar/organ/flute interplays,complex guitar and flute work always in a jazzy mood,psychedelic and nervous organ playing and improvisational saxes.The later sound is actually a very good introduction to the real Brainstorm band,recording a year later. 

“…to Brainstorm” is a very good archival release of the pre-Brainstorm days and the listener can see it as a living document of a company of young guys trying to search for a personal and inventive music approach.Recommended,especially for the two long and most progressive tracks,but the rest of the album will also appeal to fans of Heavy/Blues/Psychedelic Rock… by apps79 ….~


The origins of Fashion Pink can be traced back to the experiences of three schoolmates from Baden-Baden, southwest Germany, who decided to form a contemporary underground progressive rockband, having already played in various beat groups. 
Fashion Pink was formed in 1968 by Roland Schaeffer (saxophones, vibraphone, guitar, bass, vocals), Eddy von Overheidt (organ, piano, vocals) and Joe Koinzer (drums, percussion). This line-up was completed by Jürgen Argast (bass) and Helmut Ruesch (guitar). After a few month, Jürgen and Helmut left and Rainer Bodensohn took over bass and flute. These young and enthusiastic musicians, all well educated on their instruments from an early age, developed a complex and refined music style. Influenced by the likes of Jethro Tull, Caravan, Soft Machine and Frank Zappa not to mention Jimi Hendrix, Beatles and Rolling Stones the boys created a varied and exciting music, which diverged from the well-travelled tracks of kraut and progressive rock. After only a few gigs, the musicians had gained a considerable local reputation, but were hungry for more. 
At that time, Rainer’s father was as a flutist with the Baden-Baden Symphony Orchestra, while Eddys father was involved with the Baden-Baden casino orchestra both of which had strong ties with SWF-radio station. In 1969 SWF started their talent search for up-and-coming bands organised by presenter Walther Krause. It was not surprising that Fashion Pink became the first young band in a long series recording sessions for SWF. Walther Krause appreciated Fashion Pink’s work especially the talent of Roland Schaeffer so much, that he engaged him as a producer for further bands in the sessions series. 
All in all, Fashion Pink were invited four times to record under live/studio conditions at SWF-studio U1 in Baden-Baden. During their sessions in 1970 and 1971 Fashion Pink recorded some cover versions in addition to their own material. 
This collection concentrates on their own compositions and shows the band’s development from song-oriented psychedelic material to more complex arrangements, which ended in epics in excess of ten minutes (titles such as “Thesen-Antithesen” and “Brainstorming”). Copies of the sessions were sent to concert agents and to various German labels. This added to the band’s reputation and Fashion Pink played at the first Straßbourg festival in early 1971, this was followed by further festivals and many gigs in southwest Germany in and around the french border. 

Following a gig in early 1971 their van was involved in an accident from which Harald Wagner (bass) never entirely recovered forcing him to leave the band. Harald had joined Fashion Pink at the end of 1970 allowing Roland and Rainer to concentrate on their own main instruments. The remaining members decided to continue as a quartett and change the group’s name. Second choice “Fashion Prick” caused trouble when the band tried to sign a record deal and Roland suggested the name “Brainstorm”. 
German label Intercord accepted and offered them a two album contract. In October 1972 Brainstorm released their first album “Smile A While” followed by “Second Smile” in summer 1973 … but that’s another story. 
Roland Schaeffer is the only founding member of Fashion Pink still active in the music business, playing guitar and saxes in one of Germanys most famous progressiv rock bands Guru Guru. 
by Manfred Steinheuer, September 2000 ….~


I really hate this album, because it starts with one of the most redundant musical paradigms of the late sixties, early seventies time period - the endless BLUESY-FOLKY ORGAN noodling. Which the audiences, for some unknown reason, couldn’t get enough at those times. But why elaborate on a standard organ-driven album you hate, when you can just write one sentence, throwing the regular two and half stars for it and move on? Good question, i was actually ready to send it to the garbage bin. You know, the bin, where all of these dated organ-driven albums, with the tracks this album opens with, end? Well, since there is much better stuff on the album. 

Fashion Pink is actually a predecessor to a much more pogressive jazz-rock band called Brainstorm(not the Latvian band!). Some of their ideas are already on showcase here, doing their pretty cool proto-proggish, pseudo-folkish dance moves, before really accelerating away in some dynamic manner after a year with a new album. The track “Number Six” has got some serious avant-pychedelic Pink Floyd textures, from yet again - the “saucerful” period, pretty cool, even though stuff like that doesn’t tingle me as much as it used to. The last two tracks are the one with the serious vibes here though -“Brainstorming”- is a great track and that is exactly what the band was doing at this time of history - mentally overdriving towards more energetic musical ground. 
The long jams need checking out, majority of the other stuff - forgettable at best, the last improvisational tracks alone levitate this record to a whopping three and a half stars - a whole star more than i originally intended to give. If i’d followed my instincts, i would’ve missed some pretty nice stuff here, don’t make my mistake, try to plow through stuff that you can’t digest, because it might lead you to more interesting plains. Usually, when there’s mediocrity - it will endure -, but there are always exceptions, watch your step!…King_Insano ….~


Fashion Pink were formed in 1968 by Roland Schaeffer. During their sessions in 1970/71: The origins of the band Fashion Pink can be traced back to experiences of three schoolmates from Baden-Baden (South-west Germany), who decided to form a contemporary Underground progressive rock band, having already played in various beatgroups. These young and enthusiastic guys, all well educated on their instruments from early age on, developed a complex and refined music. Influenced by such acts like ‘JETHRO TULL CARAVAN SOFT MACHINE and FRANK ZAPPA’ but also 'JIMMY HENDRIX, BEATLES and ROLLING STONES’, the boys created a varied and exciting music, which diverged from the well travelled tracks of Kraut and progressive rock…..~


Fashion Pink was created in 1968 in Baden-Baden. In the founding formation played Roland Schaeffer (sax, bass, percussion, vocals), Eddy von Overheidt (keys, vocals), Joe Koinzer (drums, percussion), Jürgen Argast (bass) and Helmut Ruesch (guitars). After a short time Argast and Ruesch left the group, which found a new bass player with Rainer Bodensohn (who could also serve a flute). Schaeffer also played the guitar. In 1969, Harald Wagner joined another bassist. Bodensohn concentrated entirely on the flute. 

In 1969, the Südwestfunk in Baden-Baden began recording studio sessions with local bands under live conditions. Fashion Pink played four such SWF sessions. Material from it appeared on Long Hair on CD in 2000 (“… to brainstorm”). In 1971, the group had an accident with their band bus, in which Wagner was seriously injured. He had to leave Fashion Pink. The band continued as a quartet, but now called Fashion Prick. In 1972, the group signed a record deal with Intercord, but demanded a different band name. Fashion Prick became Brainstorm, under which name the album “Smile A While” appeared in 1972. 
In 2005, Long Hair released a second fashion-pink archive album (“encore”).



The Fashion Pink 
*Roland Schaeffer - Saxophones, Vibraphone, Guitar, Bass, Vocals 
*Eddy Von Overheidt - Organ, Piano, Vocals 
*Joe Koinzer - Drums, Percussion 
*Jürgen Argast - Bass 
*Helmut Ruesch - Guitar 
*Rainer Bodensohn - Bass, Flute




Tracklist 
1 You Make Me Crying 3:23 
2 Cry In The Morning 4:04 
3 Einzug Der Elefanten (Arrival Of The Elephants) 4:10 
4 You See 2:45 
5 Number Six 5:54 
6 Why Am I So Blind 5:31 
7 Shit Is Nothing Changing 5:04 
8 Watch Time Flows By 3:05 
9 You Knock Me Out 3:05 
10 Herbst (Autumn) 3:29 
11 Brainstorming 10:23 
12 Thesen - Antithesen 13:57 


watch…
Fashion Pink ‎ “Encore” CD 2005 - (1969-1971 recordings) Germany Kraut Heavy Prog Jazz Rock

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