Exposé Online banner

The Cosmic Jokers — The Cosmic Jokers
(Spalax 14293, 1974/1994, CD)

Galactic Supermarket — Galactic Supermarket
(Spalax 14292, 1974/1994, CD)

by Mike McLatchey, Published 1994-10-01

The Cosmic Jokers Cover artGalactic Supermarket Cover artGive LSD to the Haight Ashbury scene in the bay area in the late 60s and you have the flower power generation; give it to a bunch of young radical German musicians and you have the Ohr, Pilz, and Kosmische labels. Take the best young German musicians from these labels, give them more acid, and record their jams (but don't tell them you're going to actually release the results). The result? The Cosmic Jokers. This was the album (and one of its follow ups — Galactic Supermarket) that used to piss Klaus Schulze off royally (or was that royalty?) as it was renamed The Klaus Schulze Sessions in France. Most musicians would comply with this feeling — imagine someone releasing your scrappy basement tapes on album and emblazoning your name on it? Well this ain't Joe, Bobby, and Billy covering "Louie Louie" in the garage for fun — this is truly a line-up of fine musicians — Klaus Schulze, Manuel Göttsching, Jurgen Dollase, Harald Grosskopf and several others taking a break and recovering from Wegmuller's Tarot sessions. So as you can expect this isn't just any recordings of jam sessions. Nevertheless it's obvious they are just improvisations, with alternating excellent parts full of invention and obvious filler. Yes I do believe these are a tad overrated — if it was the same jams by different names, I don't think these would have received nearly the hype that they do. Not that they aren't good — overall they're some of the best cosmic tripping on album — but if it wasn't for Schulze's appearance, I doubt most would care. Both albums are very similar, although Galactic Supermarket has more vocal whispering by Sternenmadchen with much more than a hint to Gilli Smith. You can pick the musicians out left and right — Göttsching's Garcia-like bluesy guitar licks, Dollase's classical rock meanderings, and Schulze's stoned synth experiments are all over the place. It's pretty simple, if Kosmic music is your thing — Ash Ra Tempel, Schulze, Xhol, Guru Guru, Tangerine Dream — then you'll probably love these. Otherwise, they'll probably sound like just another jam session.

Filed under: Reissues, Issue 5, 1994 releases, 1974 recordings

Related artist(s): Manuel Göttsching, Klaus Schulze, Harald Grosskopf, The Cosmic Jokers

Latest news

2017-05-19
First ProgStock Festival Set for October – October 2017 will see the inaugural edition of a festival called ProgStock in Rahway, New Jersey at the Union County Performing Arts Center. With a definite slant towards neo-progressive music, the event is sure to please many fans with the inclusion of such artists as Echolyn, Glass Hammer, and Aisles. The festival will take place October 13-15. » Read more

2017-05-05
Clive Brooks RIP – Word reaches us today of another sad passing in the music world. Drummer Clive Brooks, best known as a member of such Canterbury bands as Egg, Uriel / Arzachel, and Groundhogs, has died at the age of 67. Details are sketchy at this point. The news was reported on Nick Mason's Facebook page — Brooks was Mason's drum tech. » Read more

2017-05-02
Col. Bruce Hampton RIP – The phrase "He died doing what he loved" is almost a cliche, but in the case of Col. Bruce Hampton, it couldn't be more true. Hampton, who was born Gustav Berglund III, collapsed on stage at his own 70th birthday celebration and later passed away. The event took place at the Fox Theater in Atlanta. » Read more

2017-04-16
ProgDay 2017 Announces First Bands – Flor de Loto, Sonar, and Infinien are the first three performers to be announced for the 2017 edition of the long-running ProgDay Festival. The 23rd ProgDay takes place Saturday and Sunday, September 2nd and 3rd, at Storybook Farm in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. » Read more

2017-04-16
Allan Holdsworth RIP – Surely in the list of artists who have contributed to the sound of modern music, there is a special spot for guitarist Allan Holdsworth. His name is known to virtually every student of the instrument in jazz and rock, and his style has been so widely emulated that it's hardly worth mentioning anymore — we can just assume that every guitarist has Holdsworth as an influence. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Ded Ringer - Ded Ahead – Life in the past lane. Call it retro, but rock music like this just isn't made anymore. On their fifth full-length disc this Bay Area trio dishes it up with enough credibility and authenticity to...  (2007) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues