Tuesday, 17 July 2018

Agitation Free “Live 1974" (At The Cliffs Of River Rhine) 2008 CD Germany Prog Kraut Rock Experimental


Agitation Free “Live 1974"  (At The Cliffs Of River Rhine) 2008 CD Germany Prog Kraut Rock Experimental
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https://www.deezer.com/se/album/57450342



Recorded live during a radio-concert at the WDR in Cologne, February 2, 1974. 
Track 6 recorded live in Moers, February 16, 1972.



When the band Agitation Free came together in 1967 as a result of the merging of two Berlin rock groups, one of the most interesting groups in a dawning independent German music scene was created. With their improvisations between rock, jazz and new music, Agitation Free soon relegated to the not so flattering category of Krautrock made musical forays into areas that few of their fellow German musicians had ever penetrated. At a time when most in Germany were still orienting themselves as closely as possible to Anglo-American musical formats, Agitation Free found a completely new and very original form of musical expression. Looking back, it s evident that the Agitation Free was one of the most important bands of the experimental circle known as the Berlin School , and a career springboard for a whole slew of musicians. At the same time, this policy of changing personnel also meant risking that the band couldn t keep itself together over the long run. Agitation Free consciously took this risk in order to remain as close as possible to their own concept free from commercial pressure or concessions to the latest trends and modes…..~



One of the coolest things about this album, is how pristine the sound quality is. You would never think you were hearing a radio broadcast of a live concert, until you hear the applauses at the end of the first, and fourth songs. The source tapes were maybe digitally cleaned, because you cant even hear any amp hiss. The band’s soundscape, is lead guitar, rythym guitar, bass, keyboard/synth player, and drummer. Each band member, takes turns "leading” a song. With the first song, the lead player transistions thru mode after mode, then lets the rythym player take the rheins. After more colorful tonal-chord changes, the drummer and bass player explore the song’s boundries. Mostly the keyboard playing layers a wash of synth strings, on any mode or key they are in. Each player has amazing intuition for what the other players want to explore. Its done with such grace and near transcendental communication, that it sounds like one brain moving ten hands. AGITATION FREE LIVE when they’re at their best is a cross between 69-72 Grateful Dead, mixed with GONG, from 1972-1974.(Gong’s prime PHP/Daevid Allen period.) To listen it to know. 

A note about the EXTRA TRACK, that you dont get on the Garden Of Delights version of this CD. It’s from 1972, and also showcases the band’s jamming abilities. However, it starts out with a lot of sythesizer work, and drum cymbals. That typical airy, spacey “BERLIN” cosmic sound segways to twin guitar talk, but in 1972 the band had less facility on their instruments. In 1972, AGITATION FREE were given to more of those strange keyboard/drum interludes of space music. This style is not on display, with the 38 minutes from the 1974 LIVE album. The sound quality on the bonus track, is a “B+” compared to rest of the album’s “A+” sound. It’s not bad, just some backround talking, and some hiss. Hey, I’ll take any LIVE AGIT FREE music I can get now. If you are a fan of the LIVE instrumental work of GONG, GRATEFUL DEAD 1969-1972, or “Eat a Peach” era Allman Brothers, with a dab of Canterbury jazzrock, then you have found a keeper. AGIT FREE dont sound like the other jazz-rock Krautrock bands EMBRYO, OUT OF FOCUS, or Missus Beastly. This album has NO FLUTE, or SAX, the SINE QUA NON of Krautrock. I am glad, that I didnt buy the G.O.D. version of this CD. This edition has the 9 minute bonus song from 1972, and affordable. But if you wait too long to buy this, it might not stay in print. Was ‘ne Shande…..by…W.T.Hoffman ….~



A 38-minute concert recorded for radio in Cologne, Germany, on February 2, 1974, LIVE '74: AT THE CLIFFS OF RIVER RHINE arguably represents the apex of Agitation Free’s trademark “cosmic” instrumental space-improv explorations, showcasing the virtuosity of guitarists Lutz Ulbrich and Gustav Lutjens, keyboard player Michael Hoenig, drummer Burghard Rauch, and bassist Michael Gunter. Thirteen-minute opener “Through the Moods” is unavailable elsewhere; the remaining cuts, which sounded great on 1973 psych-rock landmark 2ND, are positively electric, making this recording an indispensible part of Agitation Free’s discography….by Stephen May…allmusic….~



Lutz Ulbrich (g) 
Gustl Lütjens (g) 
Michael Günther (b) 
Michael Hoenig (synth, keys) 
Burghard Rausch (dr)




Tracklist 
1 Through The Moods 13:28 
2 First Communication 8:56 
3 Dialogue & Random 0:57 
4 Laila 10:03 
5 In The Silence Of The Morning Sunrise 4:58 
Bonus Track 
6 Big Fuzz 8:54 





Agitation Free is a German experimental krautrock band, formed in 1967 by Michael “Fame” Günther (bass guitar), Lutz “Lüül” Ulbrich (guitar), Lutz Ludwig Kramer (guitar) and Christopher Franke (drums). They were initially called Agitation, a name they chose at random from a dictionary. The band had to change the name because another band with the same name already existed. Agitation Free was chosen based on a poster for a free show played in the early 1970s saying “Agitation Free” (meaning “free concert”).
After losing guitarist Axel Genrich to Guru Guru in 1970 (Genrich having replaced Kramer the same year) and drummer Franke to Tangerine Dream in 1971, the band recruited Jörg “Joshi” Schwenke (guitar), Burghard Rausch (drums) and Michael Hoenig (keyboards). They released their first album, Malesch, in 1972 on the Music Factory label. The album was inspired by their tour through Egypt, Greece and Cyprus, sponsored by the German Goethe Institute. Later that year, they performed at the 1972 Munich Olympics. 
A second album was released in 1973, and guitarist Schwenke was replaced first by Stefan Diez, then Gustl Lutjens. The band disbanded in 1974. 
Agitation Free reunited in 1998, with the 1974 line-up, and released River of Return in 1999. The band again reformed in 2007 for a series of concerts in Tokyo. In 2008, remastered CDs of their back catalogue were officially released, and in 2011 they released Shibuya Nights, recorded at their 2007 Tokyo concerts. In 2012, the band toured again to promote this album.Agitation Free’s music is psychedelic, experimental krautrock with elements of spaced-out ambient, experimental electronic and drone. The music for the most part consists of driving organ-patterned drone-like rock; seamless psychedelic cosmic musical textures with intricate musicianship and musical variety; hard, driving rock similar to Amon Düül II; and jamming that occasionally invokes the interplay and styles of Garcia, Weir and Lesh of The Grateful Dead and hints at a blues rock base not unlike The Allman Brothers Band. Many of their songs have a trance-inducing, psychedelic feel with sections of driving rock fueled by fiery and melodic moving guitar lines and solid, propelling and intricate drumming and a prominent bass line. All of Agitation Free’s songs are instrumental apart from some recitation on “Haunted Island”. Their first album Malesch is cosmic, aggressive, psychedelic, creative, ethnically flavored (mainly by short interludes of recordings from Egypt), mysterious and densely packed with ideas whereas their second, titled 2nd is more laid-back and upbeat, with longer structure, much more of an emphasis on traditional styled jamming à la the Grateful Dead and a warmer and more straightforward sound. On Malesch the songs blend together to make a seamlessly flowing, tangential and uninterrupted musical journey, whereas on 2nd songs are more predictably structured, more varied in their sound and stand more as independent works. 
Their sound is similar to, but fairly distinguishable from, other contemporary Krautrock bands such as Ash Ra Tempel, Amon Düül II, Guru Guru, Brainticket, Yatha Sidhra and Kalacakra, as well as the mixed-influence blues-based jam rock of The Grateful Dead and The Allman Brothers noticeable on 2nd, and slightly later and more symphonic bands like Asia Minor and Anyone’s Daughter….~







Members 
Michael Gunther - bass guitar (1967-1974, 1998, 2007, 2012) 
Lutz Ulbrich - guitars (1967-1974, 1998, 2007, 2012) 
Christopher Franke - drums (1967-1971) 
Lutz Ludwig Kramer - guitars (1967-1970) 
Michael Duwe - vocals (1967) 
Axel Genrich - guitars (1970) 
Jörg Schwenke - guitars (1970-1973) 
Burghard Rausch - drums (1971-1974, 1998, 2007, 2012) 
Michael Hoenig - keyboards, electronics (1971-1974, 1998, 2007, 2012) 
Stefan Diez - guitars (1973) 
Gustl Luetjens - guitars (1973-1974, 1998, 2007, 2012)


























Discography 
Malesch (1972) 
2nd (1973) 
Last (released 1976, recorded live 1974) 
Fragments (released 1995 and again in 1996, recorded live 1974) 
At the Cliffs of River Rhine (released 1998, recorded live 1974) Garden of Delights 
The Other Sides of Agitation Free (released 1999, recorded 1974–75) 
River of Return (1999) 
Shibuya Nights (live February 2007 in Tokyo, released 2011 on Esoteric Recordings)

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