Exposé Online banner

Agitation Free — Fragments
(Garden of Delights CD-088, 1974/2003, CD)

by Mike McLatchey, 1996-08-01:

Fragments Cover art

[Musique Intemporelle edition from 1995]

Agitation Free are one of Germany's finest space rock groups, an outfit that launched the careers of many respected musicians like Michael Hoenig, Lutz Ulbrich, and Chris Franke. Fragments is one of Musique Intemporelle's Rainbow series which includes a track of CD ROM which I can't comment on. The music that makes up the audio part of the CD was recorded live in 1974 and portrays a different Agitation Free live sound than what was on their Last live album. The music here has strong ties to the San Francisco west coast scene — there are a lot of jams here with strong Grateful Dead and Quicksilver influences. Mostly absent (or mixed too low), unfortunately, are the electronics that made Last so good; the looping and synth noises that added a unique ambiance to the jamming. Nevertheless, I've found Fragments does grow on you over repeated listening.

by Jon Davis, 2005-03-01:

Whatever else they may have done in their recording career, Germany’s Agitation Free loved a good long jam. For their farewell bow, they played a concert in November of 1974 with a professional recording setup. Musicians who had played with the band were invited, leading to a line-up of four guitarists, two drummers, three men on keyboards, and one on bass. From the sound of things, not much rehearsal was involved — it’s basically a jam session of prominent German rockers, instrumental but for a brief bit of singing. Previously available on a couple of 90s releases with this same name, this set has become notorious for its bad sound quality. Garden of Delights has done what can be done with the master tapes, to produce what is likely the definitive document of the event. Three long pieces allow lots of time for extended improvisation, and it is to the musicians’ credit that they avoid stepping on each other in spite of the crowd on stage. “We Are Men” borrows a bit of the classic riff from “I’m a Man” (Bo Diddly by way of the Yardbirds), relocating it in a spaced out context with electric piano behind guitar solos, and stretching it out over eighteen minutes. The bonus track, a ten-minute blues jam, is probably of interest only to completists. Come to think of it, the whole thing is basically for completists, as listeners looking to explore this classic German band should definitely turn elsewhere for an introduction.

Filed under: Reissues , Issue 31 , 2003 releases, 1974 releases

Related artist(s): Agitation Free, Michael Hoenig, Lutz "Lüül" Ulbricht

More info

Latest news

Seaprog 2018 Artist Announcements Raise Festival's Profile – Seattle's Seaprog festival has been going since 2013, and the 2018 edition features a slate of artists that's sure to bring more attention to the event. Cheer-Accident, Bubblemath, and Free Salamander Exhibit are in the first round announcement of performers. In keeping with their tradition of focusing on regional artists, they will also present a number of artists from Washington, Oregon, and British Columbia. [Edit: Just added: Inner Ear Brigade] » Read more

Adelbert von Deyen RIP – Word reaches us that German electronic musician Adelbert von Deyen has died. His recorded legacy reaches back to 1978, when Sky Records released Sternzeit. Von Deyen, who was born October 25, 1953 in Süderbrarup, was also known as a painter and graphic artist. » Read more

Didier Lockwood RIP – Word reaches us today of the death of one of France's great jazz musicians, violinist Didier Lockwood. His playing bridged many worlds, from traditional jazz to fusion to progressive rock, and his talent can be heard on recordings by Magma, Clearlight, Pierre Moerlen's Gong, and many more. Lockwood was 62. » Read more

10 Years of Fruits de Mer - The Incomplete Angler – Those of you who are faithful followers of Exposé will know that we have been promoting Fruits de Mer and its side labels and releases from nearly its first year. Now music journalist and author Dave Thompson has written a book chronicling the past ten years as a celebration of this milestone. » Read more

Tom Rapp RIP – Singer / songwriter Tom Rapp, best known with the band Pearls Before Swine, passed away on February 12, at the age of 70, after a battle with cancer. » Read more

Previously in Exposé...

Ashes Are Nutritious - Frustration + – This oddly named quartet hails from South Amboy, NJ, and brings a number of strong elements to their debut studio release Frustration +, including a powerful vocal presence in frontman Billy Clifton....  (2008) » Read more

Peter Frohmader & Fuchs-Gamböck - Das Ist Alles – German rock journalist Michael Fuchs-Gamböck and Peter Frohmader met at a Faust concert in 1997. Their mutual interest in Krautrock and experimental music led to a lasting friendship and now a...  (2001) » Read more

The Third and the Mortal - Nightswan & Painting on Glass – Not long ago, you may recall, this Norwegian band gave us their debut releases: the mini-CD Sorrow and its full-length companion Tears Laid In Earth. These were promising but unexceptional. Not so...  (1996) » Read more

Escapade - But Distractions Abound – Here's a healthy dose of psych/space/krautrock goodness for you. Escapade may not be as big a name as Ash Ra Temple or Amon Düül but they can easily be spoken of in the same breath. They...  (2007) » Read more

Patrick Gauthier - Le Morse – Patrick Gauthier's third solo offering reveals, past the "soul" opening piece, a rich blend of keyboards and vocals, hovering mostly in between mysterious and clear atmospheres, with a...  (1997) » Read more

Listen & discover

Print issues