Aclaración...

Este espacio se reserva el derecho de publicar sobre cualquier tema que parezca interesante a su staff, no solamente referidos a la cuestión musical sino también a lo político y social.
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Y no te confundas, no nos interesa la piratería, lo nuestro es simplemente desobediencia civil y resistencia cultural a favor del libre acceso al conocimiento (nuestra música es, entre otras tantas cosas, conocimiento).

miércoles, 4 de noviembre de 2015

Agitation Free - 2nd (1973)

El Mago Alberto nos trae un disco que nos recomendaron por el chat. Con su estilo cautivador de Krautrock psicodélico, son muy dignos de conocer. Muy buen disco que le da una vuelta más al género. Y sin didas, de lo que más me gusta del mundo del krautrock.

Artista: Agitation Free
Álbum: 2nd
Año: 1973
Género: Krautrock
Duración: 49:10
Nacionalidad: Alemania


Lista de Temas:
1. First Communication
2. Dialogue And Random
3. Layla, Part 1
4. Layla, Part 2
5. In The Silence Of The Morning Sunrise
6. A Quiet Walk
- a. Listening
- b. Two-not Of The Same Kind
7. Haunted Island
8. Laila 74*

Alineación:
- Stefan Diez / guitar
- Michael Günther / bass
- Michael Hoenig / synth, keyboards
- Burghard Rausch / drums, assorted percussions, voice, Mellotron
- Lutz Ulbrich / guitar, 12 string guitar, Bouzouki


El Mago Alberto nos trae este disco para presentarlo, porque alguien me lo recomendó en alguna de los posteos de los discos de Faust. Un clásico del género espacial alemán, con una música que es la resultante de la combinación entre el rock progresivo, la psicodelia, el hipnótico krautrock, toques de jazz, elementos étnicos del norte de África y la India, y unos delicados pasajes de experimentación cercanos al ambient.
Pero mejor vamos con el comentario del Mago Alberto.

Un comentario de un cabezón proponiéndole al Vampiro que escuchara a Agitation Free, hizo que hoy nos pusiéramos al tanto de esta banda germana, emparentada al krautrock, o al rock psicodélico, y desde esa óptica vamos con uno de sus primeros discos, un álbum que esta desprovisto de cliches, y que nos muestra a una banda con muchísimo vuelo musical, con mucha ambientación y efectos muy efectivos, quizás los principios de los 70 encontraba a estos teutones con la misma fibra que se venía generando en Inglaterra o el resto de Europa y de allí los muchachos salen muy airosos por cuanto sus dos primeros discos los encuentra con un nivel altísimo y estos trabajos son dignos de escucharse por cuanto son un prisma interesante para evaluar lo que ocurría en Alemania con todo el furor de la música de vanguardia.
Este disco transita una vertiente muy elaborada, repleta de sonidos nuevos para la época y aunque solo con sus primeros discos la banda decide separarse para reunirse muchos años después, son un legado importantísimo del movimiento krautrock.
Nadie duda que Alemania siempre marcó tendencia con respecto a este tipo de bandas, pero es bueno señalar que Agitation Free no es tan oscura como otras bandas del género, más bien son todo lo contrario, son transparentes, cristalinos con su sonido, relajados, experimentales y muy agradables al oído.
Los antropólogos del rock quizás estén familiarizados con muchísimas bandas que tanto en Alemania como en otras partes de Europa están como escondidas en la historia de la música, pero el blog cabezón está acostumbrado a expediciones para rescatar a estos grupos y presentarlos acá. Así que bienvenido Agitation Free para agitar un poco el blog.
Alberto

Esta marcada pasión por la vanguardia europea, con solos de guitarra largos y atmósferas fascinantes, con un uso marcado de guitarras acústicas y el bouzouki (quizás el instrumento típico griego más importante) combinados con sonidos futuristas-cósmicos lo han convertido en uno de los hitos del krautrock.
Agitation Free fue uno de los muchos grupos de rock psicoprogresivo y experimental que surgieron en Alemania (englobados históricamente en el krautrock) en la ya legendaria (por su influencia y creatividad) parte final de los 60s y comienzos de los 70s. Dentro de la estela de bandas pioneras como Tangerine Dream, Amon Duul, Can, Faust etc., quienes a su vez poseían influencias del prog-rock y la psicodelia, en espacial del space rock.

Hoy en todo el mundo (?) se celebra el día del amigo, ocasión que coincide con (y se celebra por, eso dicen) ese montaje que fue la llegada del hombre a la Luna. En nuestro caso, esta celebración coincide con la costumbre de los viernes, costumbre nueva y que ya está trayendo controversia (?), esta de recorrer cada semana un representante distinto de la música alemana de los años ‘60 y '70, ese movimiento artístico, cultural e incluso político que los medios dieron en llamar krautrock, nombre que se eternizó para representarlo pero que, por supuesto, lejos está de dimensionar todo lo que significa. Probablemente por eso -y porque estamos escuchando mucho esto, para qué negarlo- sea que nos hemos lanzado a explicarlo, como para que se den una idea de la revolución que significó semejante movida dentro de un panorama aciago y complejo como era el de la Alemania Federal de finales de los '60, con su ajuste y problemas económicos, amén de su gobierno, poco representativo de los ideales de su pueblo. Pero pará, pibe, a ver, contame, ¿qué carajo tiene que ver esto con el día del amigo, me querés decir? Bueno, como la pasada edición de este repaso tuvo como protagonista a un grupo fuertemente conceptual, con una idea y una estética muy marcadas y una música densa, compleja y dificultosa, hoy iremos por otro camino. Les presentaremos, sin embargo, a otro de los grupos fundacionales de lo que se considera como krautrock. Pero como ya les hemos dicho, este caprichoso término engloba un colectivo de artistas cuyas obras, muchas veces, poco tenían que ver unas con otras. Es el caso de la banda que nos ocupa si la relacionamos a las dos anteriores. Donde Harmonia (y Cluster antes) era una banda de música electrónica, ambiental y climática y Amon Düül un grupo artístico de improvisaciones colectivas sin forma ni melodía ni nada que se le pareciera a una convención musical, el grupo que hoy nos ocupa es lo que más se asemeja a una banda de rock psicodélico transplantada al contexto -propicio, por cierto- de la Alemania de aquellos días. Su música está entre lo más accesible, agradable y gratificante que se pueda hallar dentro de la kosmische musik, tanto para neófitos como para estudiantes avanzados. Esto se debe a que, más allá de poseer un vuelo y una variedad llamativas, su música (especialmente durante su etapa más fructífera, la primera, que repasaremos hoy aquí) respeta, si es que esa es la palabra correcta, los convencionalismos -de nuevo, si es que ese es el término a usar- de la psicodelia sesentosa británica y estadounidense, readaptándolos al formato nuevo y excitante del rock alemán. Esto podía llegar a ir en contra de los lineamientos primigenios del movimiento que dio lugar a esta expresión, el 68er-Bewegung, grupo de artistas que consideraban que para dar lugar a algo identitariamente germánico hacía falta liberarse de todas las ataduras conceptuales que venían de afuera. Pero la realidad es que la banda que hoy nos ocupa sabe transmutar tan bien esas influencias que prácticamente no se nota que hayan existido, y su música novedosa e interesantísima así lo refleja. Comencemos, entonces, a desgranar de a poco la historia de este grupo que, como dijimos, está entre lo más interesante del krautrock, y se ha convertido en referencia inmediata cuando se pregunta por los mejores intérpretes del género, lo cual no es poco. La banda se formó en pleno albor de la movida, en 1967, por lo que podemos decir que es de la vieja guardia, si bien sus grabaciones datan de varios años después (sobre todo por algo que detallaremos respecto a sus miembros, pero esperen, esperen). Comenzaron como una atípica banda de versiones de temas de blues psicodélicos yanquis (Grateful Dead, ponele), a los que les agregaban extensas improvisaciones en el medio, que diferían de las que se encontraban en las versiones originales de las canciones o en sus rendiciones en directo. Originalmente eran un quinteto, liderado por el bajista Michael Fame Günther y el guitarrista Lutz Lüül Ulbrich y que también incluía a dos guitarristas más, Lutz Ludwig Kramer y Axel Genrich, y al baterista Cristopher Franke. También, en sus primeros tiempos, se llamaban Agitation, palabra que habían elegido al azar en un diccionario. No laburaron mucho muchachos, estaba en la “A” (?). Pero cuando se enteraron que el nombre ya estaba tomado por otra banda -de nuevo muchachos, no laburaron mucho, ven (?)- decidieron cambiarlo, y la elección del cambio fue tan sencilla como la del nombre: en 1970, iban a tocar un concierto gratuito, y el cartel decía Agitation Free, o sea, Agitation Gratis. Les copó el nombre y decidieron bautizarse así. Ya para esa altura, el movimiento estaba en pleno auge y desarrollo. Los pibes, además, eran de Berlín, con todo lo que ello implicaba a la hora de la difusión y de juntarse con otros grupos para tocar. Con esa interinfluencia, Agitation Free había dejado gradualmente de ser una banda de versiones para basar sus propias composiciones en las improvisaciones que les salían entremedio de lo que tocaban en un principio. Seguramente, la presencia del grupo como telonero de bandas del palo (Amon Düül, Guru Guru, Tangerine Dream y todos los grupos berlineses que estaban a pleno por entonces) los decidió a hacer la suya y les mostró que en este estilo había un camino, todo un movimiento de puertas abiertas que los esperaba para que mostraran lo suyo.
Ahora bien, todo bien con esto de la comunidad creativa y todas estas giladas, pero a Agitation Free los tenían de hijos (?). Mirá si no. Como decíamos, para 1970 la banda estaba bien metida en la movida ya definida como krautrock. Tocaban con los grupos del palo, participaban en exposiciones multidisciplinarias -por ejemplo, musicalizaban pasadas de diapositivas y proyecciones, tocaban en galerías de arte y conservatorios y demás- y hasta habían sido uno de los números del primer festival Progressive Pop, que se hizo en el '70 en el Sportpalast de Berlín. Esta es la parte color de rosa, digamos. Porque la otra parte se empezaría a dar a partir de la novedosa notoriedad del grupo. En 1970, el yanqui Jim Kennedy se había ido de Guru Guru para volverse a su país natal. Por lo tanto, el trío se quedó sin violero. ¿Y a quién fueron a buscar? A uno de los guitarristas de Agitation Free, Ax Genrich. Genrich, en vistas de que sería mucho más importante para Guru Guru que lo que era en su banda, y que este grupo tenía además un contrato discográfico por comenzar a usufructuar, dejó el quinteto. Pero esto no sería todo. Al año siguiente, el fundamental músico de avant-garde Klaus Schulze, que tocaba la batería en Tangerine Dream, deja el grupo para formar su propio proyecto, Ash Ra Tempel (que le serviría de trampolín para una extensa carrera solista) y la banda, una de las más importantes del movimiento a partir de las colaboraciones de algunos de los miembros más encumbrados del ambiente, se quedó sin batero. ¿A quién fueron a buscar? Y claro, a Christopher Franke, que estaba tras los parches de Agitation Free, alias los boludos a los que se le podía sacar músicos sin que se calentaran (?). Así que hacia allá se fue Franke, a formar una alianza extensa con Edgar Froese (factótum de Tangerine Dream) que duraría hasta bien entrados los '80. Puestos, entonces, a la disyuntiva de no tener ni guitarrista ni baterista (sumale a esto que uno de los guitarristas originales, Lutz Ludwig Kramer, se había ido ya tiempo antes, dejando a la banda como cuarteto), Agitation Free se pone a buscar músicos, de los que por suerte había muchos dando vueltas en una etapa tan fructífera para el arte, e incorpora un guitarrista (Joshi Schwenke), un batero (Burghard Rausch) y también un tecladista, Michael Hoenig. Con ellos queda establecido el quinteto característico y más recordable de Agitation Free, con los líderes Günther y Ulbrich -responsables de que la banda siguiera a flote, claro, aún cuando se le iban los soldados uno a uno- sumados a la nueva camada de Hoenig, Schwenke y Rausch. Tras poco menos de un año conociéndose y tocando con esta nueva formación, en especial en una gira -patrocinada por el Instituto Goethe- por Egipto, Grecia y Chipre donde el quinteto se consolidó, les llegó la demorada oportunidad de grabar un primer álbum para la discográfica Music Factory, subsidiaria experimental de Vertigo Records que se estaba concentrando mucho en la música alemana de aquellos tiempos. Altamente influido por esa gira, el disco resultante de ese proceso de grabación que inició a principios de 1972 se llamó Malesch y combina la música improvisacional característica del quinteto con sonidos de ambiente (lo que se llama field recordings) que habían realizado mientras daban vuelta por los países por los que su música los había llevado. Se trata de un disco complejo, agresivo y con mucho énfasis en los climas cósmicos y volados que contiene la composición, quizás, más conocida de la banda, “You Play For Us Today” (apertura del disco, además) y también una cantidad de composiciones con fuerte impronta étnica como “Khan El Khalili” y “Sahara City”, que son el fiel reflejo de todo lo que habían aprendido en esos viajes que les habían resultado, evidentemente, poderosamente formativos. Durante 1972, a la banda se le presentó la oportunidad de tocar en la apertura de los nefastos Juegos Olímpicos de Münich, y pese a que no desperdiciaron la chance de difundirse a través de este evento manchado con sangre judía a Malesch no le fue todo lo bien que Music Factory necesitaba para que el debut fuera comercialmente viable, paradójicamente (según cuentan) porque la distribución del disco no estuvo bien organizada. Esto ocurría habitualmente en el krautrock, ya que las ediciones no eran tan grandes y los sellos eran, en su mayoría, pequeñas iniciativas independientes, pero cuando una discográfica grande mete la cola, allí está el enfoque de negocios y eso fue lo que le pasó a los pobres Agitation Free, que pagaron por un error de su propia disquera. La solución para este inconveniente fue la de siempre: hay que salir de gira. Así que el quinteto amplió sus horizontes, pues la gira que emprendieron los llevó no sólo por Alemania sino por Francia e Italia, entre otros países de Europa. Esta influencia, y la idea de hacer su música más accesible, los llevó a componer un segundo álbum más relajado, con la misma impronta improvisacional pero un acercamiento muy distinto a la música allí tocada. Grabado y editado durante aquel intenso 1973, le pusieron muy originalmente (?) 2nd y es un disco que está entre lo mejor de la música alemana de los '70. Porque se trata de un álbum reposado, extraordinariamente bien compuesto y tocado, cuya principal característica es una preocupación obsesiva porque las estructuras extendidas que tipifican las composiciones no se disuelvan y mantengan una impronta a la vez improvisada pero en la que se nota mucho trabajo. Las bases rítmicas suaves y sutiles se entrecruzan con un soberbio trabajo de guitarras (ya para entonces habían incorporado un segundo violero, Stefan Diez) entrelazadas y teclados climáticos, cósmicos. La apertura del disco, propiamente titulada “First Communication”, está entre lo mejor que pueda escucharse del krautrock, con un bello crescendo y un trabajo soberbio de Rausch en la batería y de los elementos melódicos, que componen una canción para nada misteriosa, intrincada pero bellamente accesible, donde se notan a las claras las costuras jazz que reunían a los Agitation Free cuando se ponían más improvisacionales. Pero ojo que esta preciosidad no está sola, mis amigos. Por supuesto que no. Porque al interludio “Dialogue & Random” (típica excentricidad electrónica-ambiental de esos días) le sobrevienen las dos partes de “Laila”, la primera de ellas una pastoral canción de apenas dos minutos con un tremendo solo de guitarra fuzzeado y la segunda un furibundo y genial experimento progresivo de siete minutos que cierra el lado A del vinilo de manera impecable. El lado B no se queda atrás, ya que lo componen tres joyas: “In The Silence Of The Morning Sunrise”, casi un blues, la suite “A Quiet Walk” de nueve minutos y tres movimientos y la otra joyita del disco, el cierre “Haunted Island”, una misteriosa y oscura canción cuya voz (sí, cantan) transmite miedo y misterio de mejor manera que muchas películas. 2nd logra lo que no muchos: partiendo desde un concepto ambicioso, configura un álbum sólido, definido y que da plena recompensa de principio a fin, sin grietas ni momentos bajos.
En definitiva, una joya. Que lo disfruten.
De mi discoteca

Con semejante comentario ¿qué me voy a poner a escribir?, dejo algunos comentarios en inglés y al disco...

In some ways, Second is the logical successor to Malesh with its twin guitar "attack"; these two (Schwenke is replaced by Dietz following drugs problems) are so mellow that it seems a shame to call them an attack. But the name "attack" is now apt for the drumming since the group enlisted a second drummer (ex-ART Burmeister), thus giving an exacting edge that only the Allman Bros Band had before. Losing the second drummer just prior to recording their aptly-titled Second, AF retained all of the inertia and the album has a fantastic ABB fluidness wherever necessary. Graced with a drought, than rain season artwork, this second album lost all ethnic touches of Malesh, one passage excepted, proof that their debut's rep was indeed overdone.
Starting on the First Communications, you can hear the Floydian cosmic/psych influences of Malesh will also be relatively absent as well. Dialogue & Random is an electronic free jazz improve leading into the two-part Leila, which is strongly reminiscent of the ABB's Elizabeth Reed and fades into Silence Of The Morning sunrise with electronic birds chirping along to tranquil electric guitars gliding along the organ mist layers. Superb music. The birds lead you to a slow Quiet Walk into a cosmic dark hole (Tangerine Dream's Zeit is not far away here) if it wasn't for an electric Indian-laced guitar (the only real ethnic moment of this album), before stretching itself out maybe a tad too long. The closing Haunted Island is the only sung track of the album, filtered, almost recitative over a superb mellotron, and once over, the two guitars take over and soar in the sky for a grandiose finale.
Although AF's second album holds some fairly different influences, trading in the Arabian and cosmic /psych Floyd ambiance, for a more pastoral west coast sound, both albums can be regarded as AF's crowning achievements, although neither reaches perfection.
Sean Trane

Excellent atmospheric German space rock with some pretty trippy interludes. A very young and talent Michael Hoenig (later with TANGERINE DREAM) plays a wonderful array of keyboards which when combined with the acid washed guitar solos takes your mind into another world. This music is not for the novice and should not be taken on an empty stomach! AGITATION FREE a very similar to ASH RA TEMPEL in many ways bringing perhaps a more cultural feel forward in their music. I love the insturmental excursions on this album and find it a great recording to lay back and listen to. "2nd" never gets too loud or frenzied and always seems to maintain a dark, but warm atmosphere. Lutz Ulbrich also joins on guitar better known for his later work in ASH RA. On the back sleeve we are told that THIS RECORD SHOULD BE PLAYED LOUD and I would 2nd that notion. Spacey but absolutely brilliant recording... essential!
James Unger

Well, the second Agitation Free album is different to the first one. The Ethno influences are completely gone as well as the oriental impact. But with everything gone wich made the first album what it is, the second one doesn't weaken, far from it, I consider "2nd" to be even better than "Malesch". Yes it's not as playful but still isn't a slight fare. What makes this album so great is the symbiosis of Hoenig's electrical gadgetry and Keyboard playing (It might be helpful to mention that Hoenig later on gets a member of Tangerine Dream) and the guitar playing by the very talented and often underrated Lutz Ulbrich and Stefan Dietz. The guitar work mainly consists of long and beautiful improvisations wich either alternate or collude with Hoenig's Keyboard and Synth sounds.
"First Communication" is one of the best songs of this album. Here you can impressively experience what I meant with long guitar improvisations. It's Krautrock at it's best and IMO one of the best songs of this genre. In "Dialogue And Random" you get to hear some of Hoenig's nice gimmicks and electrical sounds, very typical for german prog music BTW. The both "Laila" parts feature nice guitar solos and improvisations paired with nice and atmospherical Keyboard and Organ sounds in the background. I think "In the silence of the morning sunrise" again features some really great guitar sounds as well as a talented Hoenig on keyboards. The whole tune is introduced by some nice electric sounds wich create the perfect atmosphere concerning the title of the song. Chirping crickets and twittering birds wich also linger throughout the whole song. "A quiet walk" is maybe the prime example for the perfect symbiosis of Hoenig and the guitar players. The first half of the song belongs to the electrical improvisations reminicent of Tangerine Dream or Klaus Schulze untill after some minutes the guitar and bazouki appear, first very muted and slowly, after a final bulky organ chord take over, terrific. "Haunted Island" is quite queer and features vocals, more recitative than singing. Very dark, I like it. And again, you get some fine guitar work here.
"2nd" by Agitation Free is, at least for me, one of the best Krautrock recordings. The guitar improvisations sound amazing and the symbiosis with the talented Hoenig really put you over the edge. This album is worth every penny and features no single bad song. If there's a Krautrock recoring I would recommend without concern this would be the one. It's an album with the possibility to get you into Krautrock, to discover the wolrd of germany's music from the seventies. It's highly recommended.
Martin Dietrich

As the title unabashedly suggests, this is Agitation Free's second album. The line-up has experienced a change: new guitarist Stefan Diez fills the position left behind by Jorg Schwenke, showing a similar degree of finesse to that of his antecessor, in both the playing itself and the way in which he manages to interact with his fellow members. As many others have noted, the ethnic flavours that were so recurrent and essential to the debut album's repertoire are now almost totally gone for "Second": this album is more decidedly Occidental, heading for the creation of industrial ambiences and a more straightforward psychedelic rock. The jamming is also more intense and aggressive, but remember, this band's ideology is pretty much based on the creation of magic more than on the forge of disturbance. So, we have to expect all the guitar leads and riffs and all the weird sounds played on organ and synthesizer to pour out with a sense of exquisiteness, a captivating exquisiteness that, in a strange way, manages to effectively complement the inherent rocking energy displayed in the instrumentation. The album kicks off with 'First Communication', a number that pretty much epitomizes the album's overall musical direction. 'Dialogue & Random' serves as an electronic free- form bridge between the previous track and the two-part 'Laila'. 'Laila' is one of the definitive classics in AF's history: Part 1 consists of a brief jam that carries out a specific melodic pattern, while Part 2 does for a harsher attitude, not unlike 'First Communication', but with a major dose of sophistication, at times sort of coming into the fields of jazz rock. Nowhere does the dialogue between all musicians work as brilliantly as on this number - a especial mention goes to bassist Michael Gunther. Krautrock at its most regal! 'A Quiet Walk' is a different story: also a two-part number, this has nothing to do with walking or quietness. it sounds more like flying in a sky full of dense air and storm signals. 'A Quiet Walk' starts as a very trippy jam, in which the synthesizer's somber layers and the echoing guitar effects assume the leading role, while the band as a whole seem determined to give up any kind of structure; then, the idea of structure comes around in the shape of a South Eastern Europe-influenced jam, basically led by exotic percussions and bouzouki, while the guitar exhibits some hypnotic leads. For this second section, it seems as if the band wanted to take a look back at the times of "Malesch": you can also notice the influence of Ash Ra Tempel's cosmic side (ART were friends with AF, and there was actually a close friendship between the guys of ART and guitarist Lutz Ulbrich). 'Haunted island' feels very ethereal, too, but it is essentially more related to tracks 1 and 3-4. Hoenig does a great job complementing the dual guitars with his clever synth textures. IMHO, "Second" is an improvement from "Malesch", so it deserves a better rating: 4 to 4 ½ / 5 stars.
Cesar Inca

4,5 / 5 stars.
As the name suggests, this is the second album from the band, and actually the last from the "real" Agitation free band, featuring the original line-up. Mainly instrumental, this 1973 album reaches perfection.
The opener piece, "First communication" is the perfect spacerock tune. It starts very slowly with sound effects (wind blowing) and progressively builds up with bass/guitar, drums and keyboards. This majestic rise leads to stunning developments with fantastic guitar, space keyboards and excellent rhythmic section.
"Laïla Part I" features a wonderful lyrical guitar solo, highly impressive and emotional followed by the second part, with an hypnotic bass/drum repetitive pattern on which guitar flies very high, playing a symphonic theme.
"In the silence of the morning sunrise " is a mellow blues piece with acid sound effects and evokes a trip's comedown. Always excellent guitar.
"A quiet walk" begins with experimental synthe and features a wonderful bouzouki solo played by Lutz Ulbrich -along with all guitar throughout the album- giving an eastern feeling to the piece.
The last piece is the weak one, features some singing -rather speaking- but ends on a repetitive theme with guitar somehow reminiscent of PF.
An underestimated masterpiece from this major band.
Oliver Stoned

4.5 / 5 stars. For me this is almost as good as their debut but it is different. Gone for the most part are the ethnic Arabic sounds found on "Malesch". I find this recording more laid back, and less exotic compared to their debut. I love the dual guitars that work so beautifully together, treating us to some shimmering melodies.
"First Communication" is one of my favourite AGITATION FREE songs. It opens with spacey sounds as the wind howls.The song becomes pastoral as light drums, synths and guitars supply the melody. The song builds and we get some organ 4 minutes in.The guitar is fantastic ! "Dialogue And Random" is a short instrumental of various strange electronic noises with no melody. "Layla,Part 1" is really a short guitar led intro for "Layla,Part 2". There is a jazz feel to this song at times and I was reminded of the DIXIE DREGS and have read of others who were reminded of the ALLMAN BROTHERS. The second part of this song is a tasteful guitar led jam. This is a great track. "In The Silence Of the Morning Sunrise" reminds me so much of the start of ALCATRAZ's "Simple Headphone Mind". It opens with birds singing as we are treated to another dreamy soundscape,as guitar and drums lead the way in this hypnotic tune. One of my favourites. "A Quiet Walk" is truly a quiet walk ! It's atmospheric with not much going on. Various sounds come and go. After 5 minutes we start to hear a melody as the guitar is being strummed, while the other guitarist plays a variety of melodies."Haunted Island" opens with spoken words quoting Edgar Allen Poe's "Dreamtime". Organ and drums come in followed by mellotron before we hear some more spoken words.There is some great trippy guitar the rest of the way.
This is a must have for fans Krautrock.
John Davie

01. First Communication Some sounds, as Roger Waters would say 'Radio Waves', a few synthesizers imitating theremin, and a lovely calm near the sound of the wind, a few very pretty fingered ones of guitar. Drums and bass enter in calm and reconciliatory tone. Some noises between the music show the whole electronic influence. But in the general one a calm and lovely sound!
02. And Random talks The sounds of the end of the first track are only a forewarning of this belt here. Totally 'machine ', hipnotizing.
03. Layla, Part 1 The only 'hammer blow' of the piano, a few very cool fingered ones, a very quite worked bass, a ground of animal guitar, drums to accompany, and a keyboard of bottom (laughters) is clear. This is the first part of Layla (do not confuse with the homonymic one of Derek And The Dominoes and Eric Clapton).
04. Layla, Part 2 The second part has a divine bass! Melodies of guitars and keyboards married perfectly! A space rock without equal.
05. In The Silence Of The Morning Sunrise Since it might not stop being it follows the wave of the previous one, imaginary birds sing and completely.
06. The Quiet Walk a) Listening Hearing are we all, me to pay attention in what he says to us this part? Difficult! It is a task of extreme attention, not because of being bad, on the contrary, because of being of a simple incredible complexity.
b) Two-Not Of The Same Kind The second one deceives what is more electric, follows them to me with vocal, what more look when (laughters) and good guitars were keyed, as a matter of fact. good guitars for the whole disc.
07. Haunted Island To more space of all, with vocal decorative overlays and good 'dark' since any poem of Edgar Alan Poe must be. Instrumental minimum in reciting the poem. And an instrumental good jazz to tell the truth, but two guitars soling different melodies it is a complete enchantment.
Is this disc in the general one much more acoustic, and this not very known band, but he wants to know? Very good!
Diego Camargo

This is considered as a Krautrock classic, deservedly so. It is better than their debut Malesch, especially if you are not that fond of its ethnic (mainly Egyptian) ingredients. There's a new chap on guitar, Stefan Diez, and his elegant soloing graces especially the fine, laid-back opener 'First Communication' and the two-part, more energetic 'Laila'. Perhaps the weakest piece is the short synth experiment by Michael Hoenig called 'Dialogue And Random', which is a bit irritating curiosity.
The B-side of the original vinyl is quieter, at part even meditative of nature. This is positive to me; at least the whole album doesn't sound the same even for a Krautrock newcomer. Nine- minute 'A Quiet Walk' takes several minutes before it seems to be going anywhere, but it turns out to be rewarding as the guitar starts to colour the track. The final piece 'Haunted Island' is a hazy, psychedelic song reminding of Saucerful Of Secrets-era Pink Floyd as it contains gloomy singing or rather poem-reading (E. A. Poe - not mentioned in the track information though) and mellotron. Otherwise the album is instrumental. The CD re-issue contains also live version of 'Laila' plus many brief essays on Agitation Free, Thomas Kessler's studio which played an important role in birth of the Berlin School, and other related little memoirs.
Agitation Free is worth checking out if you're interested in Krautrock (they are quite accessible part of it), Space Rock in the early Floyd vein, or in free-orientated fusion. It's a shame that despite their formation already in 1967 they did only two studio albums. They disbanded in 1974 due to some musical disagreements.
3,5 / 5 stars actually.
Matti P.

Don't let those comparisons to The Allman Brothers or The Grateful Dead scare you away. Agitation Free was indeed an old-school jam band, but in classic Krautrock fashion they raised the convention to a whole new level. I doubt if Jerry Garcia ever transformed a guitar solo into a goofy, extended VCS3 drum break (here titled "Dialogue and Random"), or introduced an energetic instrumental workout with a long, freeform electronic drone-fest before reaching for his bouzouki, as Lutz Ulbrich does here at the start of "A Quiet Walk".
Their bluntly titled sophomore album saw the band reduced from its earlier, more communal seven-man line up to a much leaner quintet, and growing stronger for the loss. A lot of fans prefer the collage of Third World soundscapes on their debut album "Malesch", but this was where Agitation Free discovered its true voice. The music is more relaxed and casual than the cosmic cut-and-paste fusion of "Malesch", and there's an organic unity to this disc lacking from the earlier effort, giving it more of a timeless quality when heard today, nearly forty (!) years later.
From the burst of white noise at the top of the album to the matching explosion in its final moments there isn't a false note to be found. The only hint of the band's hallucinogenic Space Rock origins can be heard in the arctic mellotron and heavily treated vocals on the aptly-titled album closer "Haunted Island": an uneasy epilogue to the otherwise beautiful grooves of "First Communication" or "Laila", and the hypnotic pagan folk-rock of "A Quiet Walk".
The music of Agitation Free may lack the garage band energy of early FAUST or CAN; the single-minded momentum of NEU!; the transcendental mysticism of ASH RA TEMPEL and the kosmische musik groups. And yet this album in particular may be the ideal antidote to all those freakazoid Krautrock alternatives: proof that enlightenment can sometimes be found on the path of least resistance.
Michael Neumann

Agitation Free's `Second' album shows the German band moving in even more interesting directions than the ethnic music inspired flavours of the debut, while still bringing the band closer to that daring sense of sonic freedom and exploration that the Krautrock bands are known for. While the roots of the group are still kind of in an old-school jam-band on this one, the middle-eastern atmospheres of the first album are almost totally replaced here with bluesy guitar soloing, cruising space-rock diversions and experimental electronic passages. Perhaps the results are a little uneven, but the majority of the laid-back, sun-kissed dozy jams especially make it an addictive listen.
Album opener `First Communication' couldn't be more blissful. A careful build of liquid murmuring bass, nimble electric guitar soloing that bursts into sprightly life over and over and the most effortless and seamless tempo changes expertly reigned in by the drumming. The entire piece displays a restrained flowing ambience full of spirit, as if you're soaring amongst the clouds. `Dialogue and Random' is a curious, perhaps even slightly nightmarish electronic experiment of cold machine loops and mechanical oscillations. After a coffin-slamming-shut piano boom, the two part `Layla' is an acid-fried bluesy instrumental with electric guitar scorching away, purring bass and warm Hammond organ washes, the piece constantly growing in urgency, and always truly joyous and infectious.
There's a creeping lethargic and sexy groove to `In The Silence of the Morning', the main guitar melody twists around ripples of Hammond organ and flighty electronic shimmers. `A Quiet Walk' comes closest to the raga-rock ethnic sounds of the debut album `Malesch'. Starting as an ambient early Tangerine Dream-styled drone with wavering synths almost resembling running water with rippling synths before ominous Pink Floyd-like organ rises, eventually frantic acoustic guitar runs and pulsating hand percussion take over. It actually reminds me of moments from the Vangelis album `The Dragon', a default Krautrock album if ever there was one. `Haunted Island' is the only piece of have vocals, breathless and ethereal other-wordly rambling steam-of-consciousness voices. Electric guitar bending notes and searing Mellotron veils weave slinking grooves behind a heavy Brainticket-flavoured intensity.
While the album never quite gels perfectly, the warm jamming improvisations quite at odds with the cold electronic passages, there's no denying the inspiration and determination of the band to challenge themselves and listeners. Easy to put on as a background listen and drift away to, `Second' will appeal to fans of the Ash Ra Tempel, as well as those who don't mind more evocative and chilled out Krautrock sounds.
Michael H

There's a reason this band has so many records in print 40+ years after their debut. Agitation Free is essential Krautrock, essential Space Rock, essential Progressive Rock, essential Rock, and almost essential for those with an interest in the roots of ethnic fusion, ambient, global psychedelia, even industrial and drone rock.
2nd is the height of Agitation Free's powers.
Restrained and elegant (but still loud with some rough edges) Agitation Free tones down the Arabic overtones of their debut, Malesch. It's how they combine rough and smooth that makes their sound classic.
"A Quiet Walk" is a definite highlight. Ambient mixed with hippy folkprog is as easy on the ears as Harmonium's "Histoires Sans Paroles" and Guru Guru's "God's Endless Love For Men".
Superb - one listen and you'll hear why the reach of this album far exceeds its current grasp. The cover makes me laugh and Agitation Free is a terrific name for a band - they are one of the few rock instrumental groups whose song names truly mirror the feeling(s) reflected by the song. Classic.
Wade Frazier Van Horn

I already posted a recommendation to check out this album, so I figured I would review it as well. The first song "First Communication" strikes me as somewhat of a precursor to Post-Rock, in the vein of Red Sparowes. This track is a very gentle instrumental rock song and features excellent guitar work. One thing that you notice immediately about this album is the crystal-clear production. It really serves to bring out the different moods of the songs, by expressing the tone of each instrument very accurately. The second song "Dialogue & Random" is a collection of electronic noises arranged in a very trippy manner. If electrons wrote music, this is what it would sound like. A crashing piano chord finishes Dialogue & Random and simultaneously introduces the third song, "Laila, Part One". An epic guitar solo laid over a sweet groove comprises this entire song. A transition at the end of the solo opens up into the fourth song, "Laila, Part Two". As did Part One, Part Two primarily consists of a guitar solo laid over a groove. Unlike the first Part, however, this one gets slightly repetitive as the bass line and basic groove are repeated for well over four minutes. This song could also be viewed as an influence on Post-Rock. Laila, Part Two gently fades out and in comes the fifth song on the album, "In The Silence Of The Morning Sunrise". This song is more free-form that the two Lailas, and consists of a nice instrumental track with some pretty bluesy guitar soloing. I have just come to realize that one of the main reasons for why I like this album so much is that the guitar playing is ridiculously good. It reminds me of a mix of Harvey Mann and David Gilmour, with a dash of Hendrix. Morning Sunrise fades out and in comes the sixth song on the album, "A Quiet Walk: A) Listening B) Two - Not Of The Same Kind". This song opens up with what sounds like a babbling brook, and then some atmospheric and trippy noises start fading in and out. It's pretty cool, sort of like a psychedelic version of the "silence" in a forest, which isn't really silent but rather filled with a bunch of small noises. About three minutes in, a guitar solo gently fades in and out, all the while accompanied by more trippy sounds. I can just imagine how crazy this will sound in headphones. At the five minute mark, a single vocalized note floats into the song, then disappears, leaving in its wake gentle strumming on acoustic guitar. As the strumming continues, distorted guitar and bongos trade playing verses for the remainder of the song. A Quiet Walk fades out and in fades two haunting, ethereal voices, one whispering and one singing. These voices recite lines from something written by Edgar Allen Poe while cosmic noises play in the background. This is the last song on the album, "Haunted Island". After the first set of vocals finish, the instruments begin playing, while a muted and wavy voice recites more lines. This will sound wicked trippy in headphones. The second set of vocals concludes and in comes an impeccably bluesy guitar solo. My attention is drawn once more to the unusually clear production of this album. You can hear every note from every instrument perfectly. As the song winds down, the solo fades out and a distorted riff is repeated several times, when suddenly all of the instruments stop, the drums play a few final notes and then a sound like an electronic wave seems to wash over the song, ending the album... What an incredible listening experience that was. I cannot recommend this highly enough.
jglowe77

The songs on 2nd are much more structured than on the first 'Malesch', with a slightly stripped-down sound that has more of a rock or jazz-rock feel. This record sees Agitation Free hanging on to the legendary sound of Malesch but beginning to slip away. This album has fewer ideas on it than Malesch, while that record flourished with them. The ideas it has are drawn out more, more immediate, and the sound is more upbeat (more truly embodying the name "agitation free"), less mysterious or psychedelic. Slight similarities to the Grateful Dead are evident on the first song "Fist Communication" as the flowing melodic, and the occasional expressive series of lone, high pitched guitar notes are reminiscent of Lesh and Garcia, and, like the Dead (dare I say. better?) the musical interplay is top-notch (as on Malesch). They play here in a more clearly blues-influenced sound that is somewhat reminiscent at times of the Allman Brothers.
The unevenness of this album and the relative lack of ideas compared to 'Malesch' makes this a four star album only, although there are more than a few moments of emotive, musical, and brilliance. If the second side (the last 2 songs) was as good as the first, I would give this a fifth star. Recommended highly to those who enjoy great musicianship and musical interplay.
Second is not nearly as good as Malesch in my opinion, and is generally much less psychedelic, tangential and dense with ideas. It is also more stripped down and melodic in sound and still very creative and enjoyable, with more than several excellent moments throughout.
Standout tracks: "First Communication", "Laila (part I and, to a lesser extent, II)", and "In the Silence of the Morning Sunrise"
4.5 / 5 stars!
David

Krautrock at his best ......., This album is my favorite for Agitation Free ,in fact for many reasons , i'll keep only one for myself. I have this album since 1974 , i got it as CD in the late 90's . there's a few albums on my list that i feel like playing everyday , and AF the second is surely one of them . Clear , Smooth , nearly one of the best compilations to introduce you proggers to space/krautrock . so , Diddy's comments are simply enough and feed my hunger in 34 years to express my feeling about it ,and certainly oliverstoned review was completely accurate in this matter . A stunning spacy team work from talented german band . N.B = more than highly recommended to all space rock / krautrock and proggers in general .
Antoine Kordahi

The notable difference between this album ('2nd') and its predecessor ('Malesch') is that here the band has largely dispensed with the overtly ethnic component of its sound - this may be preferable to some listeners and a problem for others. Like 'Malesch' this is a very mellow, feel good slice of space rock. It is extremely well recorded and produced - one could call it authentic Space Rock Ear Candy. Compared to it's predecessor the electric guitar is much more to the fore throughout this album - the playing is extremely tasty and generally bluesy. The band interplay is formidable. There are (sometimes jarring) electronic sound experiments scattered throughout but they are, at the least, interesting and certainly do not outstay their welcome. As on 'Malesch' the emphasis is on atmosphere and mellow groove - however, unlike 'Malesch', certain tracks here, like 'Laila 2' and 'In the Silence of the Morning Sunrise', actually have memorable melodic hooks - this is a welcome development. The chilling final track 'Haunted Island' (the only track with (strange processed) vocals) is particularly satisfying. Yes, I personally enjoy this second album just as much as the debut so have no hesitation giving it a very comfortable 4 / 5 stars.
Neil Campbell

3.5 / 5 Stars for me.....
This album sort of aleternates between two different styles..... It mostly sounds like a blues guitar oriented jam session......maybe by an Eric Clapton cover band... but then it switches to weird electronic noises.....and hey....why don't we play some more kool guitar music.....okay....maybe some more noises now....
Anyways, I like both styles.....but this seems pretty disjointed to me....
Flipping a coin for the final rating.
Doug L.

Espero que lo disfruten! Realmente está buenísimo!



11 comentarios:

  1. Download: (Flac - No CUE - No Log - No Scans)
    http://adf.ly/1R3Nuy

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  2. Ey, me pone muy contenta que lo hayan disfrutado! Otro disco que me fascina es Schwingungen de Ash Ra Tempel. Debo decir que este disco es mucho más oscuro, y la verdad es que el cantante que aparece en él no es muy bueno que digamos (de hecho, pasó por Agitation Free, pero creo que lo echaron a fines de los sesenta por este motivo). Sin embargo, la guitarra de Manuel Göttsching me parece alucinante, hay momentos que para mí son realmente hermosos (sobre todo el final! Me hace acordar un poco a A Saucerful Of Secrets, pero eso no quita que sea un final muy glorioso y bello).
    Pd: Aprovecho para agradecer los discos de Durazno de Gala jajaj.

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    Respuestas
    1. ¿Vos hiciste la recomendación de este disco en el posteo de Faust?... es que con tanto Anónimos uno no sabe quien le está hablando...

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    2. Sí, me faltó esa pequeña aclaración...

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    3. El cantante no muy bueno al que te referís (le hablo a la Anónima que ahora recomienda a Ash Ra Tempel) es el que tenía la mala costumbre de ponerse en bolas cuando cantaba en los recitales, y cuando cantó en Agitation Free les trajo bastantes quilombos, y encima cantaba mal, así que le dieron un boleo en el orto.
      Vamos a ver si Alberto ahora nos trae e Ash Ra Tempel...
      Saludos Anónima

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    4. Algo de eso había leído sobre John L., pero no quise entrar en detalles. Espero que también disfruten de Ash Ra Tempel! Saludos!!

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  3. Buen disco, ya lo tenía por ahí, es bueno hacer remember. La flaca que lo recomendó sabe de lo que habla..

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  4. Che, anónimos, a ver si se copan y ponen su nombre o aunque sea un nick para que nos demos cuenta quien nos escribe... el único Mago que tenemos es Alberto y no me animo a darle más trabajos

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  5. Tengo tres de As Ra Tempel,Schwingungen,Seven Up y As Ra Tempel del 71.apenas pueda se los paso al Vampiro.

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    Respuestas
    1. Si, estaría de lujo tener esos discos en el blog, todos queremos deleitarnos, yo solamente tengo el Schwingungen, por lo que los otros dos no me caerían nada mal :)

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  6. Excelente banda!, hace bastante tenía este disco. Gracias!

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