Exposé Online banner

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

by Jon Davis, 2005-03-01:

Fragments Cover art

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.


by Mike McLatchey, 1996-08-01:

[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.


Filed under: New releases , Issue 10 , 2003 releases, 1974 releases

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

More info

Latest news

2017-10-18
Phil Miller RIP – Sad word reaches us today of the passing of another of the great musicians of the Canterbury Scene — guitarist Phil Miller. His distinctive sound added greatly to Matching Mole, Hatfield and the North, and National Health, and he also contributed to albums by Caravan, Dave Stewart $amp; Barbara Gaskin, and many others. He was 68. » Read more

2017-10-13
Moonjune to Distribute Tony Levin's Back Catalog – It has been announced that Moonjune will now handle distribution for Tony Levin's catalog of releases. These great albums will now be a bit easier to get hold of, so check out the site and see what you're missing. The veteran of King Crimson and Stick Men worked with a host of great players on these albums, and we've reviewed most of them over the course of the years. » Read more

2017-09-26
Bandcamp Shines Light on Niches We Like – Bandcamp has developed into one of the best places to discover new music, and even a lot of old music is showing up there. In addition, their staff has been producing periodic articles spotlighting some interesting stylistic areas. On 20 September, they published one called "The New Face of Prog Rock" which bears checking out. » Read more

2017-09-06
Holger Czukay RIP – Holger Czukay, a musical experimentalist without boundaries who has been involved with expanding the sound palette of rock music since the late 60s, has died at the age of 79. After studying with Karlheinz Stockhausen in the early 60s, he became fascinated with the possibilities of rock music, and was a co-founder of the pioneering group Can. He leaves behind an impressive body of work both as musician and producer. » Read more

2017-08-22
John Abercrombie RIP – Another of the greats of jazz guitar has left us. John Abercrombie plied his way through a beautiful series of albums on the ECM label as well as bringing his talent to bear on albums by many of jazz's greatest artists. From his early work in the group Dreams to Gateway and outstanding work with Billy Cobham, Jack DeJohnette, Kenny Wheeler, and many more to his own trios and quartets, he brought a unique instrumental voice to the world. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Edward Ka-Spel - A Long Red Ladder to the Moon – A Long Red Ladder to the Moon is the latest in a long string of EKS solo releases. Considering Edward’s cassette, EP, LP, and CD output since 1984, this is something like number 30 and it is like a...  (2006) » Read more

Amarok - Sol de Medianoche – Over numerous releases now, Amarok has essentially created their own musical world, somewhere between the Mediterranean-Arabic folk music axis, the medieval sounds that might have been associated with...  (2008) » Read more

Ice - The Saga – Dutch proggers Ice are a spin-off from the outfit Maryson who released a couple albums guided by the writings and keyboards of W.J. Maryson (aka Wim Stolk). The good news is that if you liked what...  (2007) » Read more

Cluster & Eno - Cluster & Eno – It’s really hard to understand what this music meant at the time it was recorded. Intellectually we can recall that ambient music was in its infancy, with the term only coined (by Mr. Eno) about...  (2006) » Read more

Network - The Little Blue Book – Some may remember Network from their album Corroded Paths released about three years ago. Members of the band (a five-piece from the UK) all seem to be involved in numerous projects, including Groon,...  (1997) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues