29 December 2008

Limbus 3 - 1969 -Cosmic Music Experience

Quality: 2 out of 5
Trip-O-Meter: 4.25 out of 5 (but it's a bad trip)

When you get right down to it, krautrock had a pretty steep learning curve. The first efforts from folks like Tangerine Dream and Kraftwerk (as Organization) were pretty awful, and even Can showed some serious improvement over their first few records. I'd happily admit that Amon Duul is an exception to this rule as their first release is classic, but not these guys. Track down the Limbus 4 album (on this site if you wish) for an enjoyable cosmic music experience. This release, however, is more of the plinking and plunking trial and error and questionable experimentation that the krautrockers had to get out of their systems. I'd say that this is probably a little better than the truly cacophonous Electronic Meditation by Tangerine Dream, but it's really comparing rotten apples with moldy cheese.

Anyway, "Oneway Trip" is one I'd like to stay home for with the track's free jazz bass mingling with horrific and annoying bowed sounds. "New Atlantis" is more of the same, but more manic... for 22 minutes. Sandwiched in between are a couple of short tracks I find more enjoyable. "Valiha" recalls some ancient market place with mysterious dulcimer-like tones and simple percussion. "Breughel's Hochzeitstanz" is back to the screeching strings, but at least it's only two minutes long. So I guess it's not so much that I like it as that it goes away quickly. This means that I only really enjoy about three minutes of this album.

No, I'm not really giving this any sort of recommendation. The reasons that I'd imagine you'd listen to this is that you're a krautrock historian or completist, or you're simply mentally cracking. I think I fit in the former category.... hopefully.


Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

"tone float" and "milk rock" from the orginisation disc fucking rule.

and the first three kraftwerk records are far superior to the later bs robot music.....JEAH - but thanks for the tunage.

Dr. Schluss said...

I'll agree with you about the first three Kraftwerk albums; I'm just cool toward Organization

Anonymous said...

@ comment 2:

my translation: I am a freak of nature.

Anonymous said...

dude! this cant be so bad! Im gonna try it anyway! tell you later my opinion.

great blog!

Nic said...

Thanks for this. Can't say I agree with your assessment - sounds great to me, but then "Electronic Meditation" is one of my favourite Tangerine Dream albums, too.

Anonymous said...

I come upon this rather late,as I'm working my way back to the beginning of Krautrock. I am in fact German and my first Kraut experience was Guru Guru's Elektrolurch in 1973. I was 15 then - no way I would have listened a single minute to Limbus 3, Amon Düül or Can, they where to far out for a young, no-drugs pupil.
After a long life and lots of Miles Davis, John Coltrane and Pharoah Sanders, I can listen to something like Limbus 3 now without my ears crumbling.
I can understand, why they had to do this in 1969: they had to pull down everything established to begin from the scratch - like children, who know nothing and don't want get anywhere.
The moment the Krautrock thing got bigger (that was when I got hold of it), the groups either folded or became pure, rather normal entertainment.
I'm glad that you give me the opportunity to track down the roots of the age that formed me. Thank you.

shan said...

hi good doctor && first off thanx for running a surgery on Psychedelic Rarities

my kind of doc
read your assessment of Limbus 3 patient and yes you can hear all of that..
But you could have a very different diagnosis too::: pure Tibetan Style Freak-out the like of which Angus Maclise [early Velvet ]would have been proud of..
It is scary music but then some would argue Krautrock was a shamanic cure for the excesses of the 1940s ; and therefore when you say

"The first efforts from folks like Tangerine Dream and Kraftwerk (as Organization) were pretty awful"

Well there were dissonant and anarchic by need if you take the Shamanic view of its entire raison-d'etre; its cultural function in the human family; the boil had to be lanced; and was successfully; Krautrock become more civil, almost suburban later....

I find this disc and music here incredibly beautiful and moving but hey i am a huge Krautrock fan and probably mentally deranged , so your assessment might apply here :::]]]