Epitaph, Niagara, Grobschnitt, Novalis – household names, all (esp. if
you live in Munich…)
Not so coincidentally, we also have a big Faust feature published at BLURT
By Blurt Staff
A slew of killer Krautrock records are being lined up for
reissue by the Mig Music label (which is also prepping choice titles from Terry
& The Pirates and Steve Gibbons Band, among others) The first batch of
releases is scheduled for May 3, 2011:
NIAGARA – “NIAGARA”
The first NIAGARA album – simply called
“NIAGARA” – was released in
1971 and was noticed even by those unfamiliar with Niagrara’s music due to
the controversial “sweaty breasts” album cover.
album was unusual not only because of its cover. It was a purely
percussive album on which numerous high-profile drummers from around the world
came together; Americans Cotch Blackmon and George Green, Englishman Keith
Forsey, Juan Romero from Venezuela
and the German musicians Udo Lindenberg and Daniel Fichelscher (who also played
in Gila, Amon Düül II and Popol Vuh). Also included in this set are NIAGARA’s second record “S.U.B.” and
GROBSCHNITT – “DIE STORY 0, 1 and
GROBSCHNITT was a German
rock band which existed between 1970 and 1989. Their style evolved as time
passed, beginning with psychedelic rock in the early 1970s before transitioning
into symphonic progressive rock, NDW and finally pop rock in the mid-1980s. GROBSCHNITT,
unlike other bands, utilized humor in their music in the form of unexpected
noises and silly lyrics and concepts.
As was common with many German bands of
the time, GROBSCHNITT sang in English until the early 1980s, despite
touring exclusively in Germany.
The band accrued a loyal fan base through its live performances which included
pyrotechnics and German comedic sketches. GROBSCHNITT were also known
for their stamina on stage, frequently performing shows in excess of two hours.
EPITAPH – “OUTSIDE THE LAW”
Recorded in November 1973 at the Omega studios
Outside the Law is undoubtedly still the definitive EPITAPH album. The
sound engineer was Dave “Grape” Purple, who won the 1971 Grammy for
Best Engineered Recording on Isaac Hayes’ Theme from Shaft. The recording of
Outside the Law was completed in just 5 days, with very few overdubs, and the
final mix was done by Ed Cody at the United Technique studio on Chicago’s South Side.
NOVALIS – “LETZTES KONZERT 1984”
NOVALIS is the “nom de plume” of the early romantic poet, Karl Friedrich von
Hardenberg (1772-1801), and inspired the Hamburg
musicians Heino Schünzel (bass), Jürgen Wenzel (vocals, guitar), Lutz Rahn
(keyboards) and Hartwig Biereichel (drums) when they set about looking for a
band name in autumn 1971. May 1973 saw the release of their debut “Banished Bridge” which had been recorded in
English. Starting with the arrival of their second album, released in April
1975 (Wenzel having been replaced by guitarist Detlef Job), their use of German
lyrics ensured the band’s constantly growing up popularity. With their classic
“Sommerabend” NOVALIS earned their nationwide breakthrough in
1976, followed by their accomplished offerings “Brandung” (1977),
“Vielleicht bist du ein Clown” (1978) and “Flossenengel”
(1979), which were all recorded with their new vocalist, Fred Mühlböck.
They were a rock band that always found it difficult to condense the
sheer power of their music into the grooves of a record at the studio. On
“1984 Live” we whoop it up, as can be heard on “Grenzen”
and the “Schmetterlinge/Irgendwo, Irgendwann”-medley.