Krautzone – “Kosmische Rituale” (Sulatron Records 2013, ST1304, LP)

If the band name and album title is already causing a tickle in your ear and some gleeful anticipation, then let me add fuel to the fire by telling you that Krautzone is the gathering of German musicians from various space/psych bands for a bit a free-wheeling jamming that is documented on this vinyl LP. We’ve got Sula Bassana (Electric Moon, Zone Six) on synths, Komet Lulu (Electric Moon, Zone Six) on drums, Modulfix (Zone Six, The Spacelords) on synths, Rainer Neeff (The Pancakes, Zone Six) on guitar, Onkel on bass, and Baba Lali is credited with cosmic atmosphere producing and dancing.

Side A opens with the nearly 13 minute Liebe, which begins with a spacey, atmospheric combination of guitar, synths and percussion, like early Pink Floyd meets Tangerine Dream. The drums maintain a slow, steady orchestral/tribal thump, and Rainer lays down authoritative yet emotive guitar licks, as Sula and Modulfix create soundscapes and a variety of colorful alien effects. As we pass the halfway mark, Lulu picks up the percussive pace and the synths kick in a windswept rush, while Rainer continues his acid-Gilmour solos. It’s a beautifully image inducing excursion with a soundtrack-like narrative feel. A similar theme continues on the 9 minute title track, with varied synth work including drones, oscillations, and diving/darting effects. Side B consists of one long piece, the nearly 21 minute Only Fools Rush In, a high intensity rocker that sweeps us into hypnotic, droning, acid-space. The music gets gradually faster as the track progresses, and an increasingly frenzied tripped out tribal groove sets in, like some pagan (Kosmische!) ritual in space. YES, this album is most appropriately titled, and though there are three tracks, this sucker should be enjoyed in its entirety with one’s head firmly and comfortably encased in headphones. Turn out the lights and dust off that lava lamp.

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Reviewed by Jerry Kranitz

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