Xhol Caravan - Electrip

Year of Release: 2000
Label: Garden Of Delights
Catalog Number: CD 045
Format: CD
Total Time: 46:38:00

Xhol Caravan's Electrip begins with "Electric Fun Fair" which for the first two minutes or so sounds as if it was built around Dave Brubeck's "Take Five." Here is almost the same piano/drum interplay and pattern with added instrumentation. This is isn't so surprising though, when you read, in the extensive liner notes that this new Garden Of Delights reissue has, that guitarist Werner Funk joined them on stage during a performance of "Take Five." He remained with the band until after this album's release (though he is not credited in the original album notes). The next four minutes of this track is what gives the song it's title, a dash of the carousel here, a dash of the big top there, and you truly feel you're at the "Electric Fun Fair." This and the following two tracks, "Pop Games" and "All Green" are instrumental and have been compared to Zappa. There is what sounds like a violin on "All Green" but none seems to be credited.

The liner notes, as mentioned, are extensive, detailing the band's history in both English and German, and including photographs of the band as well as of the various releases of this album. Electrip was released in 1969 and given the sound and the instrumentation, there is no doubt that it came from the psychedelic era. Xhol Caravan began life as Soul Caravan, but changed just before Electrip as was released, as they were moving away from a soul based sound to "psychedelic music with jazz elements." The two bonus tracks on this re-release, "Planet Earth" and "So Down," is where you'll hear the remnants of their soul sound; they were released prior to Electrip. While you might think that with the avant-jazz styling of the album proper the bonus tracks would seem out of place, they don't. The latter of the two is truly soulful, not just in genre but in feeling, especially due to James Rhodes' voice.

"Raise Up High" is the first vocal track and I couldn't help but think of the Rolling Stones, more so because the vocalist (Tim Belbe?) sounds a lot like early Mick Jagger. But I also couldn't help also thing of The Doors, as on the latter part of this track, the vocals sound more like a possessed Jim Morrison on "L.A. Woman" (you know, the "Mr. Mojo Risin'" section). Though instead of sharp guitar, you have honking and snorting saxes, before it becomes more Miles Davis like (to me). The saxes take a more subtle role, giving the drums and percussion the lead for a few measures before organ comes into the mix.

By 1971, the band had shortened it's name to Xhol, to avoid confusion with the Canterbury band Caravan, and released two additional albums, which are also planned to be re-released by Garden of Delights.

Each track is interesting and involving in its own right, and there is enough going on that a review can't capture it all. And as I've said elsewhere, I love horns, so this was almost a shoe-in for me.

Electric Fun Fair (6:27) / Pop Games (6:55) / All Green (7:37) / Raise Up High (17:45) / Walla Marshalla (1:39) / Planet Earth (2:46) / So Down (3:29)

Tim Belbe - elektro-tenorsaxophon
Hansi Fischer - elektro-fl?te, elektro-sopranosaxophon, elektro-altosaxpiano, weinbr?ke
?cki - orgel (organ), elektro-piano, plastikges?use, tuba
Klaus Briest - elektro-ba?
Skip - drums
Werner Funk - guitar
Peter Meisel - kloabzug

Get In High (1967) (as Soul Caravan)
Electrip (1969)
Hau-RUK (1971)

Genre: Other

Origin DE

Added: October 1st 2000
Reviewer: Stephanie Sollow
Hits: 1148
Language: english


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