Exposé Online banner

Spektakel — Spektakel
(Laser's Edge LE-1026, 1974/1996, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 1996-08-01

Spektakel Cover art

Unless one has been hiding in the forest for a year, it should be fairly well known that The Laser's Edge was planning on releasing this, the tapes of an early band involving Ede Schicke and Heinz Fröhling, who later would become members of SFF. Spektakel started as a trio in 1969, but at the time of these recordings in 1974 was a four-piece of guitar / Mellotron, drums, bass, and keyboards, with vocals shared by three band members. They were a band that lived, worked and played together communally for one very intense year, and then dissolved. Their music combined a variety of rock styles, but unlike many German bands of the time, their music would not fit within the typical Krautrock / Space Rock realm. Neither would it be a simple precursor to the sound of SFF, although a preponderance for Mellotron is already very evident. The style weighs in somewhere around early Grobschnitt (circa Ballerman) with a healthy dose of Gentle Giant – a sort of hybrid Anglo-Teutonic symphonic progressive. Vocals are solid, and feature English lyrics, but really don’t draw a lot of attention to themselves. Most notable about their music is its highly composed and contrapuntal nature, with a steady stream of changes to hold the attention of even the most discerning prog fan. I suppose the three long studio tracks here (the shortest is nine minutes) were recorded more or less with the intention of releasing them as an album at some point, but no effort was ever made to secure any kind of record label or management for the band, and so for twenty-two years these tapes went nowhere. Given that, the sound quality is quite good. A fourth live track of twenty minutes, featuring the band in a more improvisational setting, rounds the disc out nicely. Fans of Michael Bennett’s album art won’t be disappointed either... Overall, it’s a disc that should interest many, and one I can recommend highly.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 10, 1996 releases, 1974 recordings

Related artist(s): Spektakel

Latest news

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

2020-01-15
Carlos Alvarado RIP – Carlos Alvarado, pioneering composer, multi-instrumentalist and pioneer of progressive rock and electronic experimental music in Mexico, passed away January 14th, 2020 at age 68 after a two year battle with cancer.  » Read more

2020-01-12
Wolfgang Dauner RIP – Pianist Wolfgang Dauner, one of the pioneers of both European free jazz and jazz rock, has died at the age of 84. With his own groups and with the United Jazz+Rock Ensemble, his playing and compositions were a prominent presence in European jazz from the mid-60s until just recently. » Read more

2020-01-12
Michael Allison RIP – Michael Allison, who since 1997 has been recording as Darshan Ambient, passed away on January 9th after a long and brave battle with cancer. He has been at at the forefront of the new ambient/electronic music scene, with over eighteen releases to his credit. » Read more

2020-01-10
Neil Peart RIP – One of rock music's defining drummers has died at the age of 67. Neil Peart's work with Rush provided one of the templates for percussion in rock, and he certainly ranks in the top ten most influential drummers of the 20th Century. Peart retired from playing in 2015 due to health issues, and succumbed to brain cancer on January 7, 2020. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Drama - Strange Expression – A trio from Erie, Pennsylvania, Drama's music combines three qualities that are seldom found together in the right proportions: hard hitting, high energy progressive rock; an excellent singer; and a...  (1994) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues