Exposé Online banner

Yatha Sidhra — A Meditation Mass
(Laser's Edge LE1015, 1974/1992, CD)

by Henry Schneider, 1993-12-31:

A Meditation Mass Cover art Here we have one of Brain's all time "classic" Krautrock albums finally reissued on CD. As far as I know A Meditation Mass was Yatha Sidhra's only album and it is extremely rare. I've previously only heard an excerpt of it on Brain's fantastic 3LP sampler Kraut Rock released back in 1974. The Laser's Edge re-mastered the album in New York City using the best possible CD equipment and their efforts vastly improved the sound quality of the original recording. They also reproduced the original stencil cut wallet cover in CD booklet format! Yatha Sidhra was Klaus Fichter (drums and percussion), Matthias Nicolai (guitar and bass), and Rolf Fichter (Moog, Indian flute, vibes, e-piano, guitar, and vocals). Together they recorded this one long cosmic, ethnic, and slightly jazzy work of rare beauty. For those of you who have never heard this music, try to imagine what you would get by crossing early Popol Vuh with an Indian raga and then spreading electronics and effects over the top. At times it rocks out, especially Part 3. This is timeless music and guaranteed to soothe the savage breast. Highly recommended!

by Mike Borella, 1993-10-01:

Considered by most a classic, this album was very recently put out by The Laser's Edge. One of the most unique and interesting Krautrock releases of the seventies, "A Meditation Mass" is a four part suite. First off, one must realize that you can't listen to Yatha Sidhra the same way that you listen to most progressive music. You can't listen to each instrument closely and try to piece together the music. This is only a three-piece, based around drums, guitar, bass, and a guest on flute. The sound isn't full. Instead of listening for compositional complexities, just relax and let the music carry you away. It will. Part 1 of the suite starts slowly with flanged guitar picking through chords, overlaid flute, and melodic percussion. My hat is off to drummer Klaus Fichter for his use of the drums as a lead instrument. The music gradually picks up in intensity, until it segues into Part 2. Through, a very "cosmic" feel is presented. I can't help but think this would make a great soundtrack to a fantasy-styled movie, even though I hate fantasy movies! Part 3 is the most upbeat, with a walking bass line complemented by non-stop guitar soloing and drum leads. Part 4 reverts to the themes and style of part one, tying this work together quite well. A nice bonus is that all the tracks segue, so its like listening to one 40 minute piece. Comparisons won't do Yatha Sidhra justice because they are original. But if I had to pick out a few, they would be: Popol Vuh, Laurent Thibault, and Kebnekaise. A great release.

Filed under: Reissues , Issue 1 , 1992 releases, 1974 releases

Related artist(s): Yatha Sidhra

More info

Latest news

2020-10-14
Audion Is Back in Business – Our esteemed colleague Alan Freeman has restarted Audion Magazine after a seven year hiatus. The new incarnation is available online on their Bandcamp site. Audion's history goes back to 1984, and included 58 issues up to 2013. Issue #59 is available now, and #60 is in the works. » Read more

2020-10-06
Romantic Warriors IV – Krautrock (Part 2) Is in the Works – Zeitgeist Media, the people who have brought us the great series of documentary films chronicling the history of progressive rock, are working on the second installment of their examination of German music. Krautrock 2 will focus on artists from Münich such as Guru Guru, Amon Düül II, Xhol Caravan, Kraan, Witthüser & Westrupp, and Popol Vuh. » Read more

2020-09-09
Simeon Coxe RIP – Simeon Coxe, best known for his experimental electronics in the band Silver Apples, has died at the age of 82. The band's 1968 debut album set the stage for both German electronic music and experimental punk music a decade later. Coxe died on September 8 from pulmonary fibrosis. » Read more

2020-09-05
Gary Peacock RIP – Legendary bassist Gary Peacock, veteran of many recordings and performances with Paul Bley, George Russell, Roland Kirk, Bill Evans, Tony Williams, and many more. » Read more

2020-07-22
Tim Smith RIP – Tim Smith, leader of the eccentric band Cardiacs, has died at the age of 59 after many years of health problems. Cardiacs was known for intense and complicated music that combined punk energy with the rhythmic and harmonic sophistication of progressive rock. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Edgar Froese - Ages – I know what you may be thinking: Froese's parent group hit the skids ten years ago. But have no fear as Ages is a 1978 classic-TD-era release. So where's all the rejoicing? I feel pretty silly myself....  (1999) » Read more

Contrarian - Minor Complexities – While one can't fault this for its flawless execution, outstanding vocals or the excellent and thoughtful lyrics, it certainly doesn't cover any new ground stylistically beyond that well worn path...  (2008) » Read more

Biota - Half a True Day – Colorado Art colony Biota continues to make strides in their first new collaboration in over six years. Since their last recording, the European folk elements have been put in the background in favor...  (2008) » Read more

Lazuli - En Avant Doute – Atendees of either the 2006 or 2007 Baja Prog festivals have been fortunate enough to see Lazuli do their thing live on stage. They truly are one of the most interesting groups among Musea’s...  (2008) » Read more

Art Zoyd - Faust – It's been too long since I've heard anything by Art Zoyd. They have continued down their unique path begun on L'Enfer, taking them in recent years to the macabre soundtracks of German...  (1997) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues