The Cocoon: While the Recording Engineer Sleeps (Wilhelm Reich Schallspeicher, 1989/reissued Staubgold, 2015)

August 9, 2015 at 7:09 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

The Cocoon: While the Recording Engineer Sleeps

The Cocoon: While the Recording Engineer Sleeps

Recorded in 1985 and originally released in 1989, this album features German jazz legend Gunter Hampel along with Jürgen Gleue of 39 Clocks and The Phantom Payn, as well as a guest appearance by Thomas Keyserling, who appeared on early albums by Tangerine Dream and Amon Düül II. The press release says to file this under jazz, but even with the lineup’s jazz pedigree, I’d still call it psychedelic or Krautrock. It has its trippy psych-rock moments, especially bursts of guitar noise on a few tracks, but plenty of other tracks here have fluttering flutes and mellow vibraphones giving it a jazz feel, but it’s just an element to it. It still sounds like dark, loose experimental rock. The last track was, in fact, recorded while the engineer was dozing off. “The Ritual of the Boogie Transformation” features Hampel speaking in tongues and generally sounding crazy for 8 minutes. The following two tracks feature his lead vocals as well, and give the album an interesting rambling mood that it doesn’t have otherwise. This album’s okay, but somehow it seems kind of sterile, like a later Can album or something.

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