Krabat - 22

Year of Release: 2000
Label: Black Rills Music
Catalog Number: Rockwerk Records 08248
Format: CD
Total Time: 63:37:00

Leaning heavily towards the analogue prog of the seventies yet with a healthy dose of waywardness and a firm wink towards jazz and the Canterbury scene, the German outfit Krabat finds itself neatly tucked away in my drawer of "pleasant surprises!" After their debut Homo Ludens in 1997 we once again are treated to long instrumental passages where the guitar shines in a certain George Benson-like simplicity and finesse, flanked by inventive sidesteps which has amongst others the voice of Anja Wylezol to extra underline the band's originality. In "Niemand Nirgends" dark ominous guitar sounds try to get you into their grasp whilst the repetitive pattern reminds me of White Willow. Unpolluted jazz swims throughout "Lamento Eines Zeitgenossen" with, once again, guitarist Andreas Koch as the leading part, whilst the German vocals sound rather daring. In the distance I keep hearing Anyone's Daughter's "Piktor's Verwandlungen." Without any doubt the subtle sounds of the glockenspiel add a certain playfulness. During "Bruchtalbahn" the band also experiments with backward loops, which also introduces a dash of psychedelica. The way the guitar is introduced here makes me think of bands such as National Health and even Khan. In fact the music constantly cascades between Zappa and Fripp, with probably as a leading thread the more complex approach known to us from bands such as Gentle Giant and VDGG larded with the wide, almost cosmic guitar "aura" of Tangle Edge.

The folky feel of Änglägard can be felt during "Miniaturen" where flute and acoustic guitar pay tribute to simplicity. That simplicity continues during "Dichterstress" where once again the flute introduces peace of mind. The German, almost atonal, vocals make sure this is not the most accessible song on the album, yet it keeps the end result fascinating till the very end, even though I wanted to hear some magestic Mellotron. The search towards their own identity continues, which is where slight Höyry-Kone trademarks come creeping in, such as during "Seidenleicht," which unleashes a perfect Cuneiform product for the masses. It's strange to say how the theatrical, at times almost opera-like, voice of Anja starts to work on your nerves as she disturbs the fragile nature of the instrumental music. That's why Krabat is at its best during the peaceful "Wie-auch-immer Tanz" where Andreas Koch is able to display his technical skills for the very last time. Without any doubt a very promising product from a difficult to label newcomer in the genre.

Fandango (8:44) / Niemals Nirgends (11:16) / Lamento Eines Zeitgenosen (8:33) / Bruchtalbahn (9:23) / Miniaturen (1:49) / Dichterstress (9:02) / Seidenleicht (12:03) / Wie-Auch-Immer-Tanz (2:43)

Anja Wylezol - vocals, flute, glockenspiel, acoustic guitar
Kai Seibel - electric bass, rainmaker
Peter Praesent - drums, percussion
Andreas Koch - electric and acoustic guitar, bells, recordplayer

Homo Ludens (1997)
22 (2000)

Genre: Progressive Rock

Origin DE

Added: March 6th 2001
Reviewer: John "Bobo" Bollenberg

Artist website:
Hits: 931
Language: english


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