Exposé Online banner

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

by Mike Borella, 1993-10-01:

A Meditation Mass Cover art 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!

Filed under: Reissues , 1992 releases, 1974 releases

Related artist(s): Yatha Sidhra

More info

Latest news

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

2017-02-20
Larry Coryell RIP – One of the greats of jazz guitar has left us at the age of 73. Larry Coryell was one of the founding figures of jazz fusion, but produced a significant body of work the bridged many styles. His group Eleventh House provided a unique take on the combination of jazz and rock that was distinct from contemporaries such as Mahavishnu Orchestra, Return to Forever, and Weather Report. » Read more

2017-01-31
John Wetton RIP – After a long battle with colon cancer, singer and bassist John Wetton has died at the age of 67. As an integral member of such bands as King Crimson, UK, and Asia, his was one of the distinctive voices in progressive rock, lending a human touch to often difficult music. » Read more

2017-01-30
Seaprog Announces First Artists for 2017 – The organizers of the Seaprog Festival in Seattle have announced the first set of confirmed performers for the 2017 festival. The best known names are Jack o' the Clock and Zero Times Everything, but a host of other bands are featured, mostly from the Northwest. The festival will take place June 2-4, 2017. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Kit Watkins - The Gathering & Music for the End – Fans of Happy the Man, beware. These three live CDs are more in the realm of ambient space music than progressive rock. Taken together, they document the musical happenings on the night of March 10,...  (2002) » Read more

Brannan Lane - Answer the Sky – It’s been a while since we’ve heard something new from Brannan Lane, maybe a year or more, which is a change from his 2+ release per year schedule from before; but Answer the Sky has certainly...  (2007) » Read more

Atman Featuring Anna Nacher - Tradition – No newcomers to Exposé, this exotic Polish ensemble check in with another release. Atman’s sound is tough to pigeonhole, their forte being a bent for creating ambient drones and spacey...  (2001) » Read more

Hecenia - Légendes – Légendes is Hecenia’s first album, recorded in 1989, released in 1990, and now reissued on CD. If you’ve only heard Hecenia’s second release, La Couleur du Feu from 1994, you...  (1997) » Read more

Nethers - In Fields We Will Lie – Perfectly compartmentalized component parts lean up against the bulwark of fortunate, and insidiously assiduous, sinuous manna. This is one of the few bands this year I could only have discovered by...  (2007) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues