Sauer Adler began as the Polish duo of A.J. Kaufmann and Kacper Wojaczek, who over a couple years released EPs and albums of mighty impressive lo-fi Prog-Psych songs. A.J. is also a prolific solo artist and poet who regularly unleashes new music and has become a figure I try to keep my ears out for.
When I reviewed the previous Sauer Adler album – 2014-2015 – the last with Wojaczek, I knew A.J. was now working with German musician Radu Rusanu and have been anxious to hear how their sound has evolved, especially given that the last album was the best yet by the previous duo.
Performed in their guises as Doctor Cosmonaut on vocals, guitars, bass and ko(s)mische bicycle, and Crazy Radu on keyboards, guitars and bass, The Munich Tapes “tells the half-mythical z-movie story of a dangerous meeting with men machines backstage of an underground club for Earthlings, and an air ride on a rusted limousine”.
The set opens in Bowie/Ziggy Space-Glam mode with the awesomely titled Break A Leg! (Psychedelic Chicks On Bikes). Kwasarstunde is drugged, spectral, and surrealistically hypnotic. When the guitar starts to solo it introduces a dirty fuzzed edge which is soon joined by freakier effects which sound cool against the contrasting keyboard melody. Hello Utopia! is a kick ass rocker with a wild conglomeration of Psych guitar, whooshing alien effects, soulful organ, and a fist pumping swagger rocking attitude. A Penis Mightier Than The Sword lays down a funky rhythmic pulse over which guitar solos freakily, bringing to (my) mind Snakefinger gone free-wheeling brain-on-drugs Hard Psych. The Sea Song starts off sounding like a Folk tinged tribute to The Beatles’ Magical Mystery Tour, before morphing into a beautifully trippy and soulful combination of melodic song and Psychedelic space freakout, before returning to the opening theme and ending on a Space-Blues note. This might be my favorite track of the set. I really dig the off-kilter Psychedelic-Space-Doom-Stoner-Metal Fading Insight, with its groovy blend of Sabbath styled riffage and trippy acid-space guitar. Galactic Head (:*)… yes, the symbol is part of the title… is a brief interlude of crazy tripped out effects and swirling soundscapes. Interstellar Blues is a lusciously disorienting mixture of Space-Soul, drugged Dream-Pop and cosmic Blues. I even detect a bit of Psych drenched traditional Oriental theme. It’s Never Gonna Happen, Is It? features more Space-Soul, though it’s all very freeform fun with strange effects and soundscapes. Finally, Use Your Brain is like Van der Graaf Generator in space with a Soul injection and plenty of Psychedelic freakout.
So yeah, I think I’m diggin’ this new team-up between Kaufmann and Rusanu. The lo-fi elements are still present but somehow seem less so, and like previous Sauer Adler efforts they don’t matter one hoot anyway. There’s a lot happening here and it’s all very creatively cool.
To stream and download The Munich Tapes and other Sauer Adler albums visit: https://saueradler.bandcamp.com
LOTS of A.J. Kaufmann albums can be streamed and downloaded at: http://ajkaufmann.bandcamp.com
Reviewed by Jerry Kranitz