Exposé Online banner

Out of Focus — Rat Roads
(Garden of Delights CD 064, 1972/2002, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2003-08-01

Rat Roads Cover art

This is my first encounter with this classic German group, so knowing that the tracks are outtakes from their 1972 sessions for the album Four Letter Monday Afternoon didn’t tell me much. As the story goes, the success of their first two albums (Wake Up! and Out of Focus) instilled their record label with such trust in the band that they were given time to record on their own without a producer present. Much to the owner’s dismay, the band ended up with about four LPs worth of material, much of it consisting of the band jamming with a horn section, not at all what was expected. Making the best of things, the recordings were honed down to the double LP released in 1972, but the band was dropped from their contract, and existed only sporadically thereafter. The remaining material from those 1972 sessions remained boxed up in guitarist Remigius Drechsler’s possession until recently. The picture we get by this belated release is of a band exploring all sorts of boundaries. The music has as much in common with Nucleus or the electric period of Miles Davis as with other krautrock. The music is rather loosely arranged, mostly instrumental, with a few passages of pointless noodling, but mostly featuring solid musicianship all round. No single player stands out, as the overall vibe is very democratic. Starting with this Out of Focus CD is probably a bit backward, but it has fired my interest in picking up their original recordings.


Filed under: Reissues, Issue 27, 2002 releases, 1972 recordings

Related artist(s): Out of Focus

Latest news

2019-01-11
Jazz Composer Mark Lomax, II Releases Epic 12CD Set – In addition to being a fine jazz drummer, Dr. Mark Lomax, II is a composer in residence at Ohio State University, where he has been very busy on the compositional front. The year 2019 is the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first ship bringing African slaves to North America, and in commemoration of this, Lomax has produced 400: An Afrikan Epic, a 12 volume set of CDs featuring a variety of different musical ensembles. » Read more

2019-01-02
Chicago-Based Surabhi Ensemble Tours the World in January – Surabhi Ensemble was formed more than a decade ago in Chicago with the aim of bringing together musicians from varying traditions to make music. Saraswathi Ranganathan, who plays veena, assembled a cast that includes Arabic oud, Spanish guitar, and percussion from Africa and India. This month, the group will be sharing their sounds with concert-goers in Southeast Asia, Europe, and Africa. » Read more

2018-12-23
Seaprog Festival Seeks Donations – Seaprog is a small festival in Seattle that highlights creative music from many genres with artists from around the world. It's also a US non-profit organization. They're seeking donations to help keep the ball rolling. Starting in 2013, the organization has been growing, and has featured such artists as Free Salamander Exhibit, Jack o' the Clock, Nik Turner, Cabezas de Cera, Miriodor, Thinking Plague, and many more. » Read more

2018-11-16
The Seventeenth Dream of Dr Sardonicus Festival Tickets Now Available – Fruits de Mer Records and their merry crew of psychedelic explorers are getting set to present the next The Seventeenth Dream of Dr. Sardonicus Festival. The dates are set for August 2-4, 2019 at The Cellar Bar in Cardigan, Wales. They've also announced that the legendary Groundhogs will top the bill. » Read more

2018-11-02
Charles O'Meara (C.W. Vrtacek) RIP – A true musical original has left us. Charles O'Meara, who recorded under the name C.W. Vrtacek, was a wild-card musical talent, ranging from complex progressive rock to introspective modern compositions, with stops at many places inbetween. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Joie Tet - All Structures Unstable – It starts with an aggressive riff on the bari sax run doubled an octave lower with a harmonizer; a bit later you get a distorted melody played on an instrument you can't quite identify from the...  (2010) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues