Embryo — Surfin'
(Garden of Delights CD 157, 1975/2010, CD)
by Henry Schneider, Published 2013-04-01
Embryo is one of the seminal German bands from the 60s that have continued to record and perform. Surfin', released in 1975, was their seventh album. Their earlier albums featured ground-breaking free-riffing jazz fusion and Surfin' was an attempt to be more commercial. The title refers to traveling from gig to gig, not surfing. However, it was not a success, as fans did not appreciate the funk and soul elements. The eight songs on the album are a mixture of funky jazzrock, fusion, and krautrock with some outstanding extended passages. The weakest point is Christian Burchard's voice, which detracts from the music. The band, Christian Burchard, Uwe Müllrich, Roman Bunka, Charlie Mariano, and Edgar Hofmann play a mixture of traditional jazz instruments (percussion, vibes, guitars, bass, keys, sax, and violins)along with Eastern instruments (sitar, saz, nagasaram, etc.). This concoction works remarkably well. "New Ridin'" is a funky bass and guitar track that totally surprises you when Bunka's non-traditional and funky sitar jumps into the mix. On "Dance of Some Broken Glass," the longest at 9 minutes, you hear beginnings of the eastern music influence that Embryo would later embrace. The one slightly oddball track is the short "In My Lunamatic" as it is an amorphous drum and percussion track with some guitar strumming. Overall, despite the lack its commercial success, Surfin' is an excellent release, especially if you like a funky beat. We are indeed fortunate that Garden of Delights reissued this album.
OBEY Convention XI Set for May 24-28 in Halifax – As the 2018 festival season rapidly approaches, we’d like you to be aware of a real treasure of diverse and creative music that’s going to take place in Halifax, Nova Scotia, next month. The OBEY Convention is on its 11th outing, and features a wide range of artists from around the world. From avant-industrial noise to experimental takes on Classical Chinese music, from chamber jazz to doom metal, from ambient soundscapes to Canadian First Nations drumming, you’d be hard pressed to find a festival with more variety in sound anywhere in the world. » Read more
Close to the Rain Festival in Bergen Announces Lineup – Now in its second year, the Close to the Rain Festival of progressive music is scheduled to take place in Bergen, Norway, on June 7 - 9. They've got an amazing slate of bands lined up, including such powerhouses as Anekdoten, Major Parkinson, Arabs in Aspic, Tusmørke, and many more. » Read more
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 and Oregon. [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