Agitation Free - Malesch

Year of Release: 2002
Label: Garden Of Delights
Catalog Number: CD 069
Format: CD
Total Time: 37:32:00

If your progressive music tastes run to the improvisational, jazzy, experimental side, then Agitation Free is your kind of band. Recorded in 1972 and released on the Vertigo label, Malesch is the first album from the quintet of Michael "Fame" Günther (bass), Lutz "Lüül" Ulbrich (guitar), Jörg "Joschi" Schwenke (guitar), Burghard Rausch (drums), and Michael Hoenig (keyboards). Leading up to this recording, the band traveled to the Middle East to tour; the music here reflects their trip there, and especially of Egypt.

Stylistically, Agitation Free have been compared with early Pink Floyd and with Popul Vuh, creating a spacey style of music - spacey in dimension however, not in the sense of "outer space." In the opening track, "You Play For Us Today," beds of keyboards that slowly change over time create this expansive effect while guitars and bass create the movement within, the drums keeping everything within the fluxuating background of the music. But, those very same keyboards can also venture into exploratory realms... "Pulse" is Hoenig's experiment with "a random tone generator and equipment manufactored by the company 'Hofschneider, Berlin'" says Günther in the liner notes -- which are, as usual, informative. The booklet also contains pictures and complete discography.

"Sahara City," which begins with a middle-eastern motif as introduction, is an experiment in sublteties and atmospheres that by the 6-minute mark has become a grooving, psychedelic guitar rock piece - almost conventional when compared with the sparse way the track begins. "Ata Tul" puts Hammond organ front and center, underneath which we hear a fat bass sound and a variety of tinkly percussive sounds (marimbaphone) (as well as drums). "Khan El Khalill," is a languid and liquid piece, twin guitars giving the piece a bit of a country twang with their loose, open sound. The "lead" of these two guitar has a very warm, acoustic tone, the latter has a cooler, steel tone making a nice contrast. Here as elsewhere on the album, the guitar playing is terrific. In fact, it all is; and well produced as well.

Malesch remains a fascinating listen each time it is played, as it the kind of album where new facets are revealed each time. Though experimental at times, Agitation Free do not create "difficult music" - that is, music that only a select few can "understand" -- rather, it is accessible without compromising itself to the lowest common demoninator.

You Play For Us Today (6:08) / Sahara City (7:42) / Ala Tul (4:50) / Pulse (4:43) / Khan El Khalill (5:30) / Malesch (8:10) / R?cksturz (2:09)

Michael 'Fame' G?nther - bass, live-tapes
Lutz 'L??l' Ulbrich - guitar, 12-string guitar, zither, Hammond organ
J?rg 'Joschi' Schwenke - guitar
Burghard Rausch - drums, marimbaphone, vocals
Michael Hoenig - synthesizer, electronic devices, steel guitar


Uli Popp - bongos (1)
Peter Michael Hamel - Hammond organ

Malesh (1972/2002)
2nd (1973/2002)
Last (rec. 1973/74; 1976) Fragments (rec. 1974;1995) At The Cliffs Of The River Rhine (rec. 1974;1998) The Other Sides Of Agitation Free (rec. 1974; 1999) River Of Return (1999)

Genre: Fusion-Jazz Fusion

Origin DE

Added: September 22nd 2003
Reviewer: Stephanie Sollow
Artist website:
Hits: 1589
Language: english


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