Exposé Online banner

Polytoxicomane Philharmonie — Go Ape
(Nasoni 080, 2009, 2CD)

by Peter Thelen, 2011-06-01:

Go Ape Cover art

Apparently this is the fourth release by this German five-piece that’s somehow flown under my radar since their 2003 debut. The fact that there are only eight tracks spread across these two 46-minute discs might provide the clue that there are some mighty intense extended jams to be found herein. And psychedelic they are, seemingly with one foot in the 70s and the other foot firmly in the future. In fact four of the cuts are side-long, with most of the others clocking in around the nine-minute mark. The band – all members are identified only by aliases – features guitar, tenor and soprano sax, bass clarinet, bass, keyboards, drums, percussion, and xylophone, with male and female vocals, sometimes harmonizing. Each of the pieces is composed, but allow plenty of space for improvisation and experimentation, and have a definite live feel throughout. Distorted blistering wah-wah guitars scream and burn along with the saxes while the rhythm section is amazingly effective at propelling the sound forward. There are some middle-eastern influences present on a few of the tracks, as well as some sinister sounding vocal exchanges, random spoken parts, as well as jazzy and floating space interludes, but the main thrust is hard-driving peak-power psychedelic rock. Points of reference might include You era Gong, classic Amon Düül II (Wolf City or earlier), and some albums of recent vintage by Motorpsycho. The CD version is packaged in this oversize (for lack of a better term) comic book. A great set, beginning to end.


by Mike McLatchey, 2018-05-31:

It seems that this modern German outfit transmuted into the Chickencage Experience and never went back, but they went out on a high point with this radical and surprising double album. In a genre where so many bands are still aping the Ozric Tentacles, going stoner rock or some sort of doomy hybrid of the two, Polytoxicomane Philharmonie really brought forward the essence of German 70s music and not just one small segment of it. In the mix they cover everything from Embryo-style jazz rock to the deep Kosmiche experimentation of Ash Ra Tempel, Walter Wegmuller, and the like. Most importantly, they have clearly absorbed the musical history of their country and have managed to say something new about it with a personality that is in many ways analogous to Gong, but uniquely their own. The titles, based on a nearly incomprehensible concept story in the booklet, seem quite early Amon Düül II inspired and the lyrics and approach all give the album an original color. The musicianship is extremely strong but due to the art it also seems like the lineups shift quite a bit, at the beginning you really have a full band doing a Schneeball-ish jazz rock but by the last side long piece you're almost in electronic, looping territory. I had taken a risk on this when it came out based on their debut, Psycho Plays Erectus, which was a great if more inside work, but could not have imagined how they would develop in the interim years. Unfortunately this wasn't well distributed in the US when it came out so it's not nearly as well known as it should be, but it does look to be in print via the label on Discogs. It's a modern classic.


Filed under: New releases , 2009 releases

Related artist(s): Polytoxicomane Philharmonie

More info
http://www.nasoni-records.com/catalogue/polytoxicomane_philharmonie_release_go_ape.html

Latest news

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

2020-05-14
Jorge Santana RIP – Jorge Santana, noted guitarist, leader of the band Malo and brother to Carlos Santan, died on May 14 at the age of 68. Jorge and Carlos worked together on a number of occasions, though Jorge's career was centered around Malo, solo work, and with Fania All-Stars. » Read more

2020-05-06
Florian Schneider RIP – Florian Schneider, one of the founders of the pioneering electronic group Kraftwerk, has died at the age of 73. Co-founder Ralf Hütter announced that his bandmate had passed away from cancer after a brief illness. » Read more

2020-04-23
Shindig Festival Goes Lock-Down – Here's what they're saying: It's A Happening Thing! The Shindig! Magazine Lockdown Festival. In our days of no large gatherings of people, maybe it's still possible to have a music festival. Shindig! Magazine is giving it a go with a multi-artist streaming extravaganza on Saturday April 25. » Read more

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


Previously in Exposé...

David Torn / Mick Karn / Terry Bozzio - Polytown – I always tend to be a little suspicious when any release is accompanied with as much hype and hoopla as this one was. It better well measure up to all the chatter and attention it gets. Certainly this...  (1994) » Read more

Scarlet Thread - Psykedeelisiä Joutsenlauluja – I know virtually nothing about Scarlet Thread other than the fact that they are Finnish and appear on the Kalevala epic collection. In spite of the first word of this album’s title, I would not...  (2003) » Read more

Mörglbl - Grötesk – Simply put, Mörglbl is an adept French fusion guitar, bass and drums trio. Their debut on the American Free Electric Sound label is a bit surprising since there don’t appear to be many unique...  (2009) » Read more

Thirteen of Everything - Welcome, Humans – I got the Thirteen of Everything demo back in 2002, so this one has been a long time in coming. A quartet out of Texas with guitars, keyboards, basses, and drums, Thirteen of Everything have sonic...  (2006) » Read more

Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey - Lil' Tae Rides Again – Brian Haas and Reed Mathis are back on board with their first new studio recording in two years. This time out the duo has chosen to emphasize the improvisational aspect of collective live jams. Their...  (2008) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues