Saturday, September 22, 2007

Sergius Golowin

The term Krautrock gets bandied about pretty loosely, and it has been used on more than one occasion to describe this 1973 effort by the little-known Sergius Golowin. Looking at its vintage and its cast of players, it's easy to see how it earned that label: members of the band had recorded with such legendary Krautrock ensembles as Tangerine Dream, Ash Ra Tempel, the Cosmic Jokers, and Wallenstein. Nevertheless, Lord Krishna von Goloka is probably a little too ambient to qualify as rock of any kind. It is, however, a pretty tripped-out affair, and one that is likely to satisfy fans of early-'70s kosmiche rock.

The album is divided into three long tracks, but it would be wrong-headed to discuss these as individual "songs." Rather, the three pieces exist as atmospheric soundscapes, each sharing similar terrain. Folk, classical, and Eastern elements bump headlong into more psychedelic components, provided largely by Schulze who contributes everything from electric and acoustic guitar to organ, Mellotron, percussion, drums, and electronics.

Throughout the proceedings, Golowin serves as a sort of German Timothy Leary, gentling imparting his wisdom on all things mystical. He speaks, whispers, and sighs, but never sings. In short, it's all laid on a bit thickly. Fortunately, the genuinely intense musical performances cancel out the more indulgent moments, ensuring that the album never devolves into period camp.

No comments: