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

2020-07-22
Tim Smith RIP – Tim Smith, leader of the eccentric band Cardiacs, has died at the age of 59 after many years of health problems. Cardiacs was known for intense and complicated music that combined punk energy with the rhythmic and harmonic sophistication of progressive rock. » Read more

2020-07-12
Judy Dyble RIP – Singer-songwriter Judy Dyble, who was a founding member of Fairport Convention and one of the distinctive voices of the 60s folk revival in Britain, has died at the age of 71. Her passing came at the end of a long illness, though which she continued to work. » Read more

2020-07-06
Ennio Morricone RIP – Famed composer Ennio Morricone has died at the age of 91. The creator of scores for more than 500 movies, some of his works have become the most recognizable sounds in the history of cinema. His soundtracks for Sergio Leone's Westerns made from 1964 to 1971, are iconic landmarks in film music, but he also composed for dramas, comedies, and other genres. He won the Academy Award for Best Original Score in 2016 for The Hateful Eight. » Read more

2020-06-14
Keith Tippett RIP – One of the giants of British jazz has left us. Keith Graham Tippetts, known professionally as Keith Tippett, died today at the age of 72. His work from the late 60s into the 70s and beyond includes some of the greatest jazz produced in the UK, and stands as an impressive oevre to this day. » Read more

2020-05-15
Phil May of The Pretty Things RIP – We were saddened to learn that Phil May, lead singer and founding member of The Pretty Things, has died at the age of 75. The band's 1968 album S.F. Sorrow is one of the enduring classics of the psychedelic era, and the group existed in various forms until finally retiring in 2018. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Zabu - My Coffin's Ready – Lucien Zabuski, aka Zabu, was the original vocalist for Magma, prior to the enlistment of Klaus Blasquiz. This is his first post-Magma solo album, which showcases his unique gravelly voice in a blues...  (1994) » Read more

Nurse with Wound - She and Me Fall Together in Free Death – Beta-lactam Ring Records seems to revel in obscurity. Most of their product is released only on LP in limited pressings, they come with minimal credits, the discs themselves have lovely graphics in...  (2003) » Read more

Pentacle - Le Clef des Songes – This reissue is a long time coming for Musea, as this nifty piece of French history has only seen one Japanese LP reissue since its Arcane release in 1975 (that is barring a French reissue). This is...  (1995) » Read more

Fred & Co. - Fred & Co. – So who is this Fred guy, anyway? One glance at the cover and one can see the long list of French jazz-rock session men who worked on this release (most of whom are unknown to this writer...), almost a...  (1997) » Read more

Oho - Vitamin Oho – Oho is an American progressive rock group in the symphonic style that unfortunately didn't get to release this album when it was recorded, and was only reissued by Little Wing many years ago on...  (1997) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues