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

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

2018-10-17
Eurock Documentary Seeks Funding – We've been fans and fellow travelers with Archie Patterson and his Eurock project on the journey to discover great music. After many years of promoting and trying to spread the word,a new phase is beginning: a documentary film. Things like this don't just happen, and money does not magically appear to make it happen, so it's up to the fans to get it done. » Read more

2018-09-29
Marty Balin RIP – One of the architects of the 60s psychedelic sound of San Francisco has died at the age of 76. Marty Balin was a singer, songwriter, and guitarist who was one of the founders of Jefferson Airplane. After the split of the original Airplane, Balin went on to form the highly successful Jefferson Starship. » Read more

2018-09-25
Help the Psychic Equalizer Avoid Extinction – Last year we reviewed the debut album by Psychic Equalizer, a musical project of Hugo Selles. He's now working on the ambitious follow-up to that release, and is seeking funding from listeners around the world. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Ars Nova - Sunshine and Shadows – A few issues back I reviewed the reissue of Ars Nova’s 1968 first album. Here we have their second and last effort. It takes the baroque-meets-psych sound of the debut and turns a bit more to the...  (2006) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues