Quality: 4.5 out of 5
Trip-O-Meter: 4.25 out of 5
This is an early effort in the fields of what we now call world fusion and new age. The group originated from Germany and definitely had a hint of the krautrock vibe that emanated from acts like Popol Vuh, Can, and Tangerine Dream, but I wouldn't quite put this under the banner of krautrock. Basically, the rock is missing. Fortunately, this doesn't turn out to be a problem. Between gives us some very groovy early ambient vibes and this music exists in that rarefied air when new age still had a worthwhile hangover from the hippy supernova of the late 60's and before it curdled into a layer of cheese. Strange sound effects and tribal drumming run rampant here.
The opening title track makes a strong case as the main event. It comes across a little like the first couple of Popol Vuh albums, rife with percussive craziness but replacing the Moog tones with flutes, a touch of acoustic guitar at the end, and God knows what floating layers of sound to mark it as a minor masterpiece. With "Uroboros," the group takes us through an astral dream flyby of a caravan on the Silk road, while "Syn" brings in the bass synths to send warbling ripples through your mind. I suppose "devotion" ranks as their echoing, should've been, would've been, chanting drum circle hit single in an alternate dimension. The epic length "Happy Stage" and "Samum" make up a mini-suite that drops your wandering spirit into a ancient faux-Indian court where the blue smoke of sacred opium wafts through the air.
This music exists at a happy crossroads that puts firm pressure on more than a few of my aural pleasure centers. Hopefully it does the same for you. The spinning reel-to-reel recording and the consultations from krautrock pioneers set it several squares apart from the saccharine bliss merchants that would come to define the new age sound by the mid 80's. You can fill your ear with the real deal here.