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SPACE DEBRIS – Getting right inside the music of my favourite improvisational rock band (PART TWO)


CD ARCHIVE VOLUME 1: JOURNEY TO THE STARGLOW RESTAURANT (2011): An extract from my Acid Dragon review can still be seen on BANDCAMP, where I took the opportunity to highlight the role of drummer Christian Jäger in the band. These recordings were from the Gorny/ Kinkel/ Jäger period. As I listen to a lot of Jazz, I spoke of Christian’s drumming as “in the afterglow of great jazz drummers, an energetic, driving force that brings out the best in the guitar and organ maestros in propelling their solos into the aether.” Also, with reference to the 24-minute title track, Jerry Kranitz rightly referred to the classic rock influences such as DEEP PURPLE and SANTANA permeating the music with psychedelia, jam rock, fusion and touches of space rock being the preferred method of delivery. Jerry also pointed to the spacey PINK FLOYD- like touches and the little bit of experimentation added to the recipe. He also reminded us that SPACE DEBRIS music is “burning improvisation, no overdubs.” The first CD archive also contained the classic ‘Freeflight’ and there were two bonus long tracks,

'Venusian Night’ (20 minutes) and ‘Deconstruction Blues’ (16 minutes) on the vinyl edition.

CD ARCHIVE VOLUME 2: ALL MAN (2011): The important point that SPACEC DEBRIS thrive playing live before an enthusiastic crowd free of studio constraints is worth repeating. I was sucked in right way by short opening track ‘The Mandraker’ because of my love for early DEEP PURPLE, and Jerry picked out the “tight and focused prog fusion” of ‘Whales Bad Doberan Zappanale” (What a title!), the psych-funk of ‘Exterra Drive’ from the early line-up and the “slow and spacey” ‘Go East’ from the Gorny/ Jager/ Rimbach-Sator/ Brettel line-up. These are all pre- 2011 recordings with four from each line-up.

CD ARCHIVE VOLUME 3: DEEPEST VIEW (2011): There is a notable use of piano and electric piano, and the style is mostly classic 70s with a track called ‘Blues’ (with guitar by Eric Blass) and a foray into Latino rock on ‘Latrino Mortadella’; there are fragments and shorter tracks thrown in and a few words by Jerry Kranitz at the end.

CD ARCHIVE VOLUME 4: BACK TO UNIVERSE (2011): Chrisian Jager discovered some more studio recordings which were described as “a celebration of late 60s Hammond driven psychedelic hard rock.” Included were the second, as yet unreleased, part of ‘Second Sight’ from the “Krautlok” album and a tribute to Johann Sebastian Bach on ‘Schwachbach”.

CD ARCHIVE VOLUME 5: FREAK VALLEY FESTIVAL: ‘Archive Volume 5’ is a concert Space Debris played at the Freak Valley Festival in 2012 by which time Winnie Rimbach-Sator had replaced Tom Kunkel on keyboards using both electric piano and organ on opener, ‘Rebirth’. Michael Besen is the bass player. Tommy’s wah-wah is totally fired up on ‘In the Land of Ladys’ (some 12-bar blues in there) while ‘Freak Mountain’ is pure post-HENDRIX bliss. It tends to get forgotten that Space Debris was influenced just as much by Kraut Rock bands such as AMON DÜÜL, BIRTH CONTROL and CAN, but this comes out on ‘Sad Wings of Bavaria’, an atmospheric depiction, calming things down a bit after the intense improvisations of the opening numbers, until the crescendo that is! Someone shouts ‘Rock Me Baby’, reminding us also that Space Debris will happily play the blues: the beautiful organ chords and a fluid melee of powerhouse drumming and mesmerising guitar work and organ chops explodes the music into life as they always do! There are two encores including ‘A Light at the End’, a SANTANA/ BRIAN AUGER kind of rhythm permeating, with electric piano soloing.

CD ARCHIVE VOLUME 6: SPECIAL OUTTAKES 2005-2008: This contains the 10-minute ‘Deconstruction Blues’ (Never let it be thought that Space Debris don’t play the blues!), PINK FLOYD is a big influence on my favourite piece ‘Venusian Night’, never overstaying its 21-minute welcome. More ‘echoes’ of FLOYD come on ‘Electric Friends 2’ while ‘Purple Dream 2’ is self-explanatory. These outtakes are taken from the band’s ‘Elephant Moon’ and ‘Three’ albums (along with JOURNEY TO THE STARGLOW RESTAURANT originally released as ‘CD Archive Volume 1’).

MENHIR (ARCHIVE VOLUME 7): I wrote, “It’s lovely to have two long pieces on each side of an LP record. ‘Menhir’ starts with some flute by keyboard player Thomas Hinkel providing a pastoral touch before the groove really gets going- it is noticeable that there is more synth and less organ than in some previous releases but it’s all good and drummer Christian Jäger is at his very best driving the band along. I’ve been giving this album a few spins recently and the interplanetary vibe of ‘Imaginary Planet’ (side two) grabs me just as much, a quintuplet of bass notes (Janni Schmidt) then a triplet defining the under beat as Tommy Gorny’s punchy guitar, with echoing arpeggios and reverberating synth swooshes, create an awesome atmosphere. As the piece progresses, I think more of ‘A Saucerful of Secrets’ especially with Christian in NICK MASON mode on his Ludwig kit but then again, a BO DIDDLEY beat is just as likely to pop up! That is just the point with Space Debris- they recapture the spirit of the sixties and seventies with all the improvisational nous of a top jazz band. It’s all live and beautifully recorded too with four extra tracks on the Bandcamp download”.

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