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FROM THE ARCHIVES: SULA BASSANA and THE SULATRON LABEL

SULA BASSANA: ORGAN ACCUMULATOR: Most of the album has an ambient feel with gorgeous synth melodies accompanied by placid techno beats. Electric guitar is largely silent or in the background except on the title track when a riff is unleashed à la HAWKWIND to good effect. (This one is described by Dave Schmidt himself as the most overtly ‘space rock’ piece). The next track, ‘Grashamster’ continues in a heavier, darker Krautrock vein but subsequently the relaxing, ambient waves of music continue reaching a nadir in the 10 minutes ofDisappear’ where a quiet electric guitar motif accompanies synth and voice. Still to come is a shimmering, eastern-sounding concoction, and some more ambience. ‘Disappear’ was only released previously on vinyl on the Headspin label and has some vocals by Komet Lulu”.


Ambient is certainly not a term I would use to describe MINAMI DEUTSCH, a Krautrock band from Tokyo, whose eponymous album on SULATRON continues the grand tradition of Neu!, Faust and other Krautrock legends with stirring guitar based heavy rock underpinned by a motorik beat. On Futsu Ni Ikirenai’ the distorted electric guitar is coruscating but extremely visceral. There are vocalisations on some numbers and some memorable playing that really does bring you back to halcyon days. I was reminded of more contemporary bands like GERMAN ARMY and PINKUNOIZU in some indefinable way and look forward to hearing more of this stunning band.


ELECTRIC MOON’s STARDUST RITUALS is trippy, hypnotic space rock as we’ve come to expect concluding with some atmospheric mellotron on the longest track ‘(You Will) Live Forever Now’) which is preceded by three shorter ones with e-sitar, organ and e-piano added to Sula Bussana’s electric guitar, Komet Lulu’s bass and occasional vocal and Marcus Schnitzler’s drums, totalling 45 minutes of music. I really enjoyed this ‘journey through the inner cosmos’.


ZONE SIX’s FOREVER HUGO was recorded in a “small cellar full of sweaty, crazy people” ‘tripping’ to improvised trance and space/ acid rock freakouts with KRAUTZONE’s Rainer Neeiff on JIMI HENDRIX inspired guitar, Sula Bassana on drums and keyboards and Komet Lulu on bass. The first track ‘Surfin’ Shiva’ is split into 3 segments, a deceptively 7-minute slow build erupting into a full blown freakout in its middle zone with the wah-wah pedal hit big time in the concluding third as a wash of sound propels the music to a frenzy, a truly visceral experience. There is no diminuendo! There is one other side long track of similar length ‘A Million Little Shivas’ with a similarly atmospheric build-up, more eastern sounding than the other ‘shiva’ with ‘chiming guitar’ and sustained notes on the fuzz bass. Again, there is an ‘elevation point’ in the second third where the free form swishes and sitar like guitar sound are redolent of Amon Düül. Approaching the final third there is an echo-laden trance-like section Lulu really gets into the groove as the piece concludes and Sula’s solid drumming keeps things moving.


Believe it or not ZONE SIX by ZONE SIX was recorded during one night in Berlin in 1997 with Dave Schmidt adding electronic soundscapes and overdubs; he played the bass live and presumably recorded the synths mostly in the studio, while Hans- Peter Ringholz creates some magical sounds on guitar using a multitude of effects. Walking basslines add a filmic touch, slow motion action as timeless, spaced-out wah-wah guitar simulates speech, punctuated by electronic effects. The music drifts into a space once occupied by STEVE HILLAGE and the originators of dub, the second side long track even more overtly dub with synth bleeps, settling down to an eastern groove. Near the end, bluesy rock with hints of jazz takes us to the outer limits- highly recommended on SULATRON RECORDS.

Intrigued? Follow the links below: SULA BASSANA/ SULATRON/ BANDCAMP

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