Friday, March 12, 2010

Sloow Tapes – Choiak


Aalst 2010

CS 82

Sloow Tapes – Choiak

What to write about Embryo? Christian Burchard was/is part of the Munich scene, played on Amon Düül’s Phallus Dei and founded Embryo in the late sixties. They flirted with krautrock and jazz-rock on mythical lp’s like Opal, Father Son and the Holy Ghost and Rocksession. In the following decades their travels led them, among many other destinations, to India, the Middle East and Africa. On their music trips they played with locals like Indian percussionist Trilok Gurtu and Lebanese oud-player Rabih Anou-Khalil. A couple years ago they jammed with No Neck Blues Band. In Aalst the band consisted of Christian Burchard (Santur, Vibraphone, Percussion), Marja Burchard (Marimba, Drums, Keyboards, Trombone), Andreas Rust (Oud, Guitar), Christian Aderholz (Violin), Jens Pollheide (Flutes, Bass), Lothar Stahl (Marimba, Drums, Percussion) and Mik Quantius (Voice). The music was hypnotic, repetitive, oriental, jazz, kraut, spacey...The true living spirit of free music. 100 copies.


As this is one of those tapes where there's no label on the cassette and the box doesn't give the game away instantly either, I just loaded it into the machine and pressed play without prior knowledge of what I was listening to. My first reaction to side 1 was that this was free folk, but more in the sense of Amon Duul. It turns out that Embryo is a band formed by Christian Burchard decades ago and that he played on Amon Duul II's Phallus Dei, so my ears were not deceiving me. The wood flutes and twangy strings of the first side move over for a more jazzy feel to the flip, with some wonderful Hammond playing (I don't make comparisons with Alice Coltrane lightly, but, wow, there are some beautiful runs here) from Marja Burchard, who also plays marimba, drums and trombone... quite a combination! This is a very special tape and with an edition of only 100 copies, it's the lucky few who will get to hear it. (Boa Melody Bar)