Agitation Free

Agitation Free was a German experimental krautrock band. The band was formed in 1967 with Michael "Fame" Günther (bass), Lutz "Lüül" Ulbrich (guitar), Lutz Ludwig Kramer (guitar) and Christopher Franke (drums). They were initially called Agitation, a name they chose at random from a dictionary. The name later changed to Agitation Free as a reflection of their live performance style. After losing guitarist Axel Genrich to Guru Guru in 1970 and drummer Christopher Franke to Tangerine Dream in 1971, the band recruited Jörg "Joshi" Schwenke (guitar), Burghard Rausch (drums), and Michael Hoenig (keyboards). They released their debut album, Malesch in 1972 on the Music Factory label. The album was inspired by their tour through Egypt, Greece, and Cyprus, sponsored by the German Goethe Institute. Later that year, they performed at the 1972 Munich Olympics. A second album was released in 1973, but the band disbanded in 1974. Agitation Free reunited in 1998 and released River Of Return in 1999.

Agitation Free
Agitation Free - 2nd

Artist: Agitation Free
P: 1973 / 2008
Second is another classic album from Agitation Free, one of the leading lights of the Krautrock movement in Germany.As opposed to Malesch, Second shows some slight change in direction for the band. It becomes readily apparent on the first track that the band's sound is slightly jazzier and the melodies are a little tighter and stonger. The guitar duels between Ulbrich and Diez are utterly gorgeous, and the melodies absolutely shimmer throughout the album.
One part is  Hoenig's "Dialogue & Random", an experimental piece that is just random electronic blips for a couple minutes. 
The two-part "Laila" piece is definitely a highlight, featuring a jazzy, almost funky bass groove from Michel Gunter to underpin the exquisite guitar explorations. "In the Silence of the Morning" uses another addictive bass motif to accentuate its hypnotic structure. "Haunted Island" is initially a little cheesy, being that it features some spoken work poetry (with heavy voice alteration), but eventually develops into another excellent track, with their trademark subtle guitar solos and gorgeous keyboard textures. Overall I'd say this album loses some of the mystical feel that Malesch had, due to the abscence of the Arabic percussive textures and melodies, although motifs of that kind do crop up at points. On the whole it seems to take a slightly more conventional path, and the incorporation of jazzy and near-Canterbury like passages is definitely effective.

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Agitation Free - At the Cliffs of River Rhine

Artist: Agitation Free
P:
1974 / 1998
The album cover is almost as beautiful as the music found inside. This was recorded live on February 2,1974 and consists of music mainly from their second album surprisingly called Second. Through The Moods features spacey synths, low end sounds and cymbals for the first 4 minutes before we start to get a melody of guitars, bass, synths and drums. It's cool hearing one guitar take the lead with the other guitar playing more of a rhythm role. The bass is quite prominant 6 1/2 minutes in as the guitar leads the way. Synths then take the guitars role after 9 minutes. Guitar takes it back 1 1/2 minutes later. I love the guitar during this passage as drums pound and bass throbs. A blistering guitar solo 12 1/2 minutes in to end it.
First Communication opens with spacey winds as guitar,drums and bass come in and start to build. The lead guitar sounds so heavenly as the sound continues to build. It calms down 3 1/2 minutes in as it becomes trippy and relaxing. It kicks back into gear 6 1/2 minutes in with some aggressive drumming as experimental sounds come and go.
This blends into Dialogue & Random as we get more experimental sounds for almost a minute. Laila features a gorgeous guitar melody played fairly quickly as the other guitar comes in over top with some raw soloing as drums pound and bass throbs. This all stops 2 minutes in as a new melody eventually comes in. This one is more reserved and more pleasant. We're tripping again at this point. The song builds as it comes to a close. Nice.
In The Silence Of The Morning Sunrise features birds singing as a memorable melody plays that is so healing,soothing and mellow. This is krautrock at it's most melodic. It's hard to put into words how peaceful and relaxing this music is on the soul. Perfect for a drive in the country on a sunny day.

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Agitation Free - Fragments

Artist: Agitation Free
P:
1984 /1996
The original record has three long tracks and a short, forgettable blues-inflected number. The Garden of Delights reissue lengthens a couple of these and adds a passable bonus track. The long workouts are near holy grails for those who seek spaced out mantras that always seemed integral to the psychedelic experience, but are few and far between on well-known albums. Like many acts that suffer from sounding a bit stiff in the studio, the live experience is the way to hear `em let their hair down and show how rock music can be dangerous in a way that other musical genres are often not. Trad Gras Och Stenar are another example of a band far more visceral and exciting when heard out of the studio. This live set (and also the similarly excellent "Last" album) snapshot the band in a trance-inducing psychedelic vibe. The live setting is wholly appropriate given their stiff and soulless precision in the studio, but still highlights their musicianship as far above wasted and sloppy psych clichés.

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Agitation Free - Last

Artist: Agitation Free
P: 1973 / 2008
An Agitation Free album from their first era. Actually, this is a selection of recordings that the band had already planned for release, but the release only took place many months after the band’s demise, due to some French label’s initiative. This circumstance helped the album to become a cult classic of krautrock. Anyway, IMHO, the three tracks in “Last” comprise the most proficient performances accomplished by the five musicians; they also contain the most confident labour of texture and jamming ever conceived by the band during this first era.
While being more stylish and refined than “Second” and much more cohesive than their debut recording “Malesch”, “Last” continues to capture the band’s unique energy perfectly. The band’s inherent sonic power of the band is still there, irradiating its peculiar light across their increasingly polished sonic landscapes. Jörg Schwenke is back in the band, while drummer/percussionist Burghard Rausch was gradually leaving AF: in one of the tracks he is replaced by Dietmar Burmeister. It seems that the band’s internal turmoil didn’t affect the level of consistency of their new material. Once again, the Ash Ra Tempel influence is quite noticeable (more evident, in fact), specially when it comes to the fluid transition from the cosmic layers to the more jam-oriented sections.
Track 1 starts with a very laid-back hypnotic sonic landscape that feels distant, as if drifting through space (it kind of reminds me of early Pink Floyd); eventually, a not too long jam reprising a slight variation of the main motif of ‘Rucksturz’ (“Malesch” closing number) fills the room and gives the track a more definite shape.
Then comes the very long ‘Laila II’, which retakes one of the basic subdued themes of “Laila” and explores it further, even taking it to different places as the jam goes onward. Some of the best guitar interplaying ever in AF’s history is comprised in both this track and the next one, the long-side “Looping”: the way that the latter incorporates dreamy passages and rocking moments in a fluid intercalation comes as no surprise to those already familiar with the band’s capability to create their unique ethereal walls of sound, bathed in majesty.
Overall rating for this album is the maximum one in Prog Archives terms – this is, after all, a unique masterpiece of krautrock.
Live release from 1973.
Burghard Rausch - drums, keyboards, vocals.
Jorg Schwenke - guitar.
Lutz Ulbrich - keyboards, guitar.
Agitation Free - Main Performer.
Dietmar Burmeister - drums.
Erhard Grosskopf - ? .
Michel Gunter - bass.
Gustl Lutjens - vocals.
Michael Hoenig - keyboards, synthesizer .

Posthumous live release of 1973 material (first issued in '76); only 3 tracks and much more stretched out and spacier than Malesch. Multi-guitars, bs, drums, organ, etc. creating fantastic instrumental at mospherics, supreme stuff.


16,90 EUR
 
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Agitation Free - Last, Fragments + Live ’74 (+ Bonus DVD)

Artist: Agitation Free
P: 2016
Re-release of the 3 first Cds with Bonus DVD with a concert video of the reunion tour from 2013.

 

24,50 EUR
 
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Agitation Free - Malesch

Artist: Agitation Free
P:
1972 / 1992
Agitation Free's debut album is one of the absolute classic albums to come out of Germany in the 1970s. Agitation Free approached the groundbreaking experimental tendencies of the German scene from a different perspective than most of the other groups.
Firstly, the delicate touch of melody was certainly not lost on the band, and they often bypass the strictly standoff-ish approach of many of the other German bands, infusing their albums with a gorgeous melodic drive. Malesch takes a slightly unique approach then the more jazzy follow-up, Second would, though both albums are in the same basic vein.
The album extensively incorporates ethnic and world music influences, due to the fact that much of the album was apparently composed on a trip to Egypt around the same time. Much of the album features sound samples and recordings from the trip, which are used to divide the tracks.
Re-issue of the 1972 album.
Recorded at Audio-Ton-Studio, Berlin, Germany
All titles composed & arranged by Agitation Free
Peter Michael Hamel - Hammond organ
Michael Hoenig - synthesizer, steel guitar, Keyboards
Michel Gunter - bass, live tapes
Uli Pop - Bongos on track 1
Burghard Rausch - drums, Marimbaphone, vocals
Jorg Schwenke - guitar
Lutz Ulbrich - guitar, 12 string guitar, Zither, Hammond organ

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Agitation Free - River of Return

Artist: Agitation Free
P: 1999 / 2009
This CD marks an extraordinary reunion of artists. Twenty-five years after their splitting up, the main members of the German band Agitation Free came together to join their creative efforts and the result is this album, which has been produced by Potsch Potschka , who also performs as a guest musician. Before they split up in 1974, this band succeeded in getting a most noteworthy post in the musical avantgarde. The band included musicians of a great charisma such as for example Christopher Franke . The style that the current members of Agitation Free ( Lutz Ulbrich, Michael Gunther, Burghard Rausch and Gustl Lutiens ) display maintains up to some extent the original spirit of the band, yet obviously incorporating modern features. Their current music is a combination of Progressive Rock and New Instrumental Music, with touches of Jazz and passages dedicated to an experimentation near to Ambient.
Re-union studio album from 1999. Digipak with two bonus tracks.
Recorded at P.P. Studio 1999.
Music Composed by Agitation Free.


Agitation Free is:
Gustl Lütjens
Lutz Ulbrich
Michael Günther
Burghard Rausch.

Quest artists:
Potsch Potschka - agit, mandoline, udu and samples
Minas Suluyan - percussion
Alto Pappert - ts
Chris Dehler - overtone vocals
Koma - bagpipe.

19,40 EUR
 
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Agitation Free - Shibuya Nights Live in Tokyo

Artist: Agitation Free
P: 2011
Live CD with new compositions and old favoutites never before played live.
The five musicians of Agitation Free came together again and after almost 40 years have reincarnated their creative vision. That says something universal about not only the music, but also the musicians who performed it. It is a rare accomplishment in these days of cash-in reformations and rock-until-you-drop old-timers. This is one of those special recordings, which provides sample proof that music indeed can be timeless.
The album’s ultimate triumph is that much of the music, first performed four decades ago, serves not only as an excellent reminder of those times, but, as played here makes for even more compelling listening in today’s homogenized environment.

2011. Archie Patterson

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Agitation Free - The Other Sides of

Artist: Agitation Free
P:
1974 / 2002
This is one of those albums that works well as a background, or you can get stuff from listening intently. Some people may find it a drawback that the overall sound is not demanding at all to listen to, and consequently makes good incidental or background music.
It is not Agitation Free playing space music, but gentle, pleasant, fusion-jazz/new age. In particular the first two tracks on the album stand out ... "Atlantic Overcrossing" is a wonderful song with pub-rock overtones (think Ace/Paul Carrack) -- one of those pieces you may remember from the 70's that you heard somewhere but can't identify where you actually heard it.
"Abulafia" is a nice gentle sax tune that is pleasant and hummable but oddly defiant in its complexity. Both make the record worth owning. One of the most striking things about the entire record is that it *sounds* very 80's in approach (this is the sort of prog rock you'd hear on cable stations at the time as background music) but was allegedly recorded in 1974 and 1975.
Recorded between 1974-75 at ERD Studio and Audio Studio, Berlin , Germany
With:

  • Gustav Lütjens
  • Michael Günther
  • Mickie Duwe
  • Harald Grosskopf
  • Dietmar Burmeister
  • Jochen Bauer
  • Konstantin Bommarius
  • Manfred Opitz
  • Christian Brero
  • Bernd Gruber
  • Bernhardt Arndt
  • Klaus Henrichs
  • Lou Blackburn

 

19,40 EUR
 
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