Exposé Online banner

Missus Beastly — Space Guerilla
(Garden of Delights CD 176, 1978/2015, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2018-03-09

Space Guerilla Cover art

The eleven minute title track that opens the album is as clear an example how tight Missus Beastly had become over the years. A mindblowing jazz-rock instrumental that powers through numerous changes and sections along the way, it sets the stage for the remainder of the album. By 1978, none of the original members from the 1970 self-titled album remained in the ranks. Sax and flute player Friedmann Josch remained from the 1974 edition of the band (that released another excellent self-titled album, with the gorilla on the cover); Burkard Schmidl had joined prior to the 1976 album Dr. Aftershave and the Mixed Pickles on piano, organ, synth and guitars. New to the 1978 lineup were bassist Locho Richter (from Aera, replacing Norbert Dömling, who had left to join Joachim Kühn) and drummer Jan Zelinka (from the Elastic Rock Band), a formidable rhythm section if there ever was one. Space Guerilla would end up being the final Missus Beastly album, although some current and former members would go on to form Dr. Aftershave, and then Missus Beastly would again reform in 1982, with Schmidl and new members, athough there are no recordings from that period (until Garden of Delights discovers some!). Meanwhile, here in ’78, the band is operating in solid jazz-rock of fusion territory, tempo and instrumentation dependent, sometimes (when Schmidl is building a piece with electric piano) bearing similarities to the more aggressive Canterbury bands or their countrymen Aera, and at other times when the tempo is faster and synthesizers dominate, one can hear similarities with mid-period Return to Forever. No vocals anywhere — this is a purely instrumental outing. “For Flü” is a latter case in point, a seven-minute monster of fast-paced electric fusion, where Josch and Schmidl are trading solos between saxes and synths, with some occasional extended slow breaks for sensitive and emotional conversations between piano and flute, as the rhythm section eventially roars back to life and takes the piece on another wild ride. “Guitar for Sale” is another crazy journey, perhaps a bit reminiscent of mid-70s Soft Machine with a memorable melody driven by sax with heavier keyboard attack while Schmidl switches between keys and guitar. “Cose Dola (Dole Cosa)” is another slower paced driving fusion piece where every musician gets a chance to shine. Josch turns in a fine performance on overdubbed woodwinds on the tribute piece “Rahsaan Roland Kirk,” while the band shows their funkiest side on the humorously titled “Fuzzy, Don’t Go to the Disco,” where some uncredited violin shares the spotlight with winds as the song fades out. “Hoffmanstropfen” has powerful flute driving hard over a piano foundation with rhythm section building over its six minute duration. Two bonus tracks are included, taken from festivals in 1978 and '79, the first with Embryo’s Roman Bunka guesting, the latter in '79 was with a different bassist and drummer. One might easily conclude that Space Guerilla is Missus Beastly’s finest moment.


Filed under: Reissues, 2015 releases, 1978 recordings

Related artist(s): Missus Beastly

Latest news

2020-03-24
Bill Rieflin RIP – The sad news reaches us today of Bill Rieflin's death. Rieflin was best known as a drummer in bands ranging from post-punk to industrial to indie-rock to progressive rock, including work with The Blackouts, Ministry, Nine Inch Nails, Swans, Land, and King Crimson. Rieflin had been battling cancer for several years, and succumbed to it on March 24. He was 59. » Read more

2020-03-17
Cruise to the Edge and Seaprog 2020 Festivals Postponed – The worldwide outbreak of the novel coronavirus has started to produce casualties in the music world, and festivals are not immune. We've had word that both the Cruise to the Edge (originally slated for March 27 - April 1) and Seaprog (originally June 5-7) have been postponed to later dates, with those dates to be announced. » Read more

2020-03-06
McCoy Typer RIP – Word reaches us today of the passing of one of the most influential pianists in the history of jazz, McCoy Tyner. His tenure with John Coltrane in the early 60s includes some of the most treasured recordings of the era, including My Favorite Things and A Love Supreme. After leaving Coltrane's group, he had a long and successful solo career. He was 81. » Read more

2020-02-18
Jon Christensen RIP – Word reaches us today of the passing of Norwegian drummer Jon Christensen, a musician whose sensitive playing did much to help define the atmospheric sound of ECM jazz recordings. His work with Jan Garbarek, Bobo Stenson, Terje Rypdal, and many more was sensitive and varied, adapting to a wide variety of styles while maintaining a distinct identity of its own. Christensen was 76. » Read more

2020-01-21
Gong Announces UK Tour for 2020 – Having spent the last few years touring the world, including dates in Japan with psych legend Steve Hillage, multiple headline European tours and festivals, America’s Cruise to the Edge festival, a South America headline tour, and a headline performance at Tomorrow Festival in China, the band have won the hearts of both traditional and modern Gong fanbases. During this live journey, Gong has delved further into the truly psychedelic, exploratory, and mind-expanding side of the music. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Electrum - Frames of Mind – Here are three guys who love Rush and decided to record an album together of songs influenced by the Canadian trio. It's a scenario I've seen played out over and over (see Afterlife in these...  (1999) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues