out of focus (great german heavy progressive 1971)
Ancora un bellissimo disco per voi!!!! ed ancora proveniente dalle terre tedesche! il sound è quello tipico del krautrock ma sono riconoscibilissme le influenze delle progressive inglese che, come immaginerete rende questo disco
interessantissimo! a Voi!
This awesome band came from Munich and made three extraordinary albums on the super-collectable Kuckuk label plus another that never got released until recently. Hennes Herring on KB (mainly Hammond organ), Remi Dreschler on guitars, Moran Neumuller on vocals and winds, Klaus Spöri and Stefan Wisheu on drums and bass respectively made an incredibly tight unit although they were prone to a lot of improvisation moments also. Their music is somewhat similar to early British prog but will gradually evolve to a certain jazz-rock while staying very politically and socially conscious (in the typical German style of those years) although the singing does not hold a big place in their music, their third release (a double) being mostly instrumental. Then Herring will leave the band to form SUBJECT ESQ., that will soon evolve into the excellent SAHARA. The rest of the band will hire a second guitarist and record another excellent album that for some reason never got released but the group will stay active until 78.
In my opinion, besides Embryo, Out Of Focus must have been the best and most original band that ever emerged from my home town. Those guys really carried this type of “Krautrock” spirit of musicians playing for their fun and not for any commercial interests. Mentioning the term “Krautrock” though belonging in some way into this particular scene (since they’ve been also quite drug-inspired obviously) the music they presented here exhibited some blend of psyche folk/blues-rock and jazzy hardrock jammin’ not that far away from bands like Colosseum, Nucleus or Soft Machine. Slight comparisons might be drawn as well to country fellows Kraan and Embryo but this band actually had shown a quite unique and self-contained style. The jazz influence wasn’t here yet as strong as it would be on their third album and comes most obvious in the great 13+ min track “Whispering”. "It's Your Life", "Blue Sunday Morning" and "Fly Bird Fly" are more flute-dominated psyche folk numbers wheras the rest of the tracks reveal superb extended jammin’ with awesome sax and organ play. There’s not one filler on here and especially the instrumental sections are brilliant. If there are a few points to be substracted from the full score than it’s due to the vocal performances by Moran Neumüller which aren’t really that great but the instrumental parts are prevailing here anyway. Actually I’d rate both their second and their third album equally with 90 % on the MPV scale!
Out of Focus - Rat Roads (1974 krautrock)