A.R. & Machines

Echo (1972)


A double album of quiet, spaced krautrock from this band led by Achim Reichel. Comparable with the kind of thing Ash Ra Tempel was doing around the same time, but a bit more laid back. Klaus Schulze supposedly performs some vocals on this album, and it’s actually somewhat similar to the solo material he would release in the future. To be honest, it’s bit too much to take in one sitting if you aren’t in the right mood for it, but they’re great at what they do. Long tracks blending into each other, never really reaching a climax but rather shifting in and out of various psychedelic sounds and passages. Reichel’s guitar sound is great, and the occasional electronic flourish adds to the journey. The only skippable track is the final one, consisting mostly of vocal experiments that irritate more than anything else. That’s about it, a classic of krautrock that probably could have benefited considerably with some more editing (as is the case with a lot of krautrock). Julian Cope writes a more detailed review, if you’re interested.