Galactic Explorers — Epitaph for Venus
(Guerssen MENT014, 1974/2017, CD / LP / DL)
by Henry Schneider, Published 2017-09-26
Guerssen has reissued another 70s Krautrock obscurity on their Mental Experience imprint. Epitaph for Venus is one of those mystery albums from the equally obscure Pyramid label produced by Tony Robinson in 1974. For years these Pyramid releases were thought to be fake and crafted much more recently. However, Epitaph for Venus is legitimate. Not much is known about the Galactic Explorers, and they may have only existed long enough to record this one album. The band was Johannes Lütz (Moog and organ), Holst Seisert (synths, electric piano, and effects), and Reihard Karwatky (synths, percussion, and organ). Apparently Reinhard was asked to join in because he and his band Dzyan had recorded Electric Silence about the same time. The album consists of the side-long “Lunarscape,” “Ethereal Jazz,” and “Venus Rising.” The trippy amateur artwork prepares you somewhat for the listening experience of muffled abstract electronic music that was a precursor to cyclic ambient floating music. “Lunarscape” sounds like very early Tangerine Dream with its pulsating, bubbling sequencers. “Ethereal Jazz” continues in this fashion, incorporating Holst’s understated electric piano and Reinhard’s drums, cymbals, and other percussion. This is a simmering piece of electronics at a slow boil that has an aggressive edge. There are a variety of integrated influences from early Pink Floyd cosmic excursions, Tangerine Dream, to Popol Vuh’s Affenstunde and In Den Gärten des Pharaos. The final four minutes mellows out and the music goes in a completely different direction. “Venus Rising” is akin to being next to the quantum drive as the spacecraft hurtles through the ether. Slow electric glissandos and cyclic sonic structures take you on a wonderful cosmic journey. This is one early treasure that is sure to please.
Asia Minor Third Album on the Way – On January 29, AMS records will be releasing the long-awaited third album by classic Turkish-French band Asia Minor. Released last year in Japan, this will be the widespread debut of Points of Liberation. The album features original members Setrak Bakirel (vocals, guitar) and Eril Tekeli (flute, guitar). » Read more
Harold Budd RIP – Harold Budd, one of pre-eminent American composers of avant-garde and minimalism, has died of complications from the coronavirus. Budd came to prominence in the 70s, championed by Brian Eno on his Obscure Records label, with music that blended academic minimalism with electric jazz and electronic music. Much of Budd's best known work was done in collaboration with other artists, including Eno, Daniel Lanois, Robin Guthrie, Andy Partridge, John Foxx, Jah Wobble, and many others. » Read more
Audion Is Back in Business – Our esteemed colleague Alan Freeman has restarted Audion Magazine after a seven year hiatus. The new incarnation is available online on their Bandcamp site. Audion's history goes back to 1984, and included 58 issues up to 2013. Issue #59 is available now, and #60 is in the works. » Read more
Romantic Warriors IV – Krautrock (Part 2) Is in the Works – Zeitgeist Media, the people who have brought us the great series of documentary films chronicling the history of progressive rock, are working on the second installment of their examination of German music. Krautrock 2 will focus on artists from Münich such as Guru Guru, Amon Düül II, Xhol Caravan, Kraan, Witthüser & Westrupp, and Popol Vuh. » Read more