Yatha Sidhra — A Meditation Mass
(Laser's Edge LE1015, 1974/1992, CD)
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.
by Henry Schneider, 1993-12-31: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!
Related artist(s): Yatha Sidhra
The Pineapple Thief to Tour North America – November and December of 2019 will see The Pineapple Thief bringing their music to Canada, Mexico, and the US, and famed drummer Gavin Harrison will be on board. The band has been touring extensively in Europe, but North America will be new territory for them. » Read more
Scott Walker RIP – Noel Scott Engel, better known as Scott Walker, was one of the most intriguing and enigmatic musical figures in the second half of the 20th Century. His strange career started with The Walker Brothers, an American pop group that featured no one named Walker and no brothers. After moving to England in 1965, they had a series of hit singles. Scott's solo work started with Scott in 1967. Starting in the 80s, his work took an increasingly avant-garde turn. » Read more
Freedom to Spend Unearths June Chikuma's Archives – Jun (June) Chikuma is well known for her video game and anime soundtracks, but she also released an album of experimental electronic music back in 1986 called Divertimento where she indulged the kind of spontaneity that wouldn't work in a soundtrack. RVNG Int'l label Freedom to Spend is bringing this overlooked item to broader attention with a deluxe reissue. » Read more
Seaprog 2019 Lineup Almost Complete – The Seaprog festival in Seattle is scheduled for June 7-9 this year, and they've announced their lineup of performers. The revitalized Trettioåriga Kriget will cap Friday night, perennial favorites Marbin are on Saturday, and District 97 will finish off the fest on Sunday night. In support, they've booked a stellar variety of artists from the Northwest and around the world, including EchoTest, Markus Reuter and Trey Gunn, and the live debut of the amazing Troot project. » Read more
You Can Be Part of an Ambient Electronic Project – The Gesture of History is a new electronic project put together by Sam Rosenthal of Black Tape for a Blue Girl, Steve Roach, and violist Sam Shadow. The music started as an instrumental track Rosenthal was working on for a Black Tape album, but took on a life of its own and demanded further enhancements. The majority of the funds raised will go to manufacturing costs for LP and CD editions, as well as other items as detailed on the Kickstarter page. » Read more