June 26, 2008


s/t(Private Press 1970)

I guess you could label this as krautrock since the band is German and it falls under the category of psychedelia, but it bears little resemblance to Can, Faust, Cluster or any other influential groups of this era. Siloah’s self-titled debut shares more with the disjointed, communal folk of Comus’ First Utterance or Amon Duul’s Paradieswarts Duul than anything else. They do not share Comus’ disturbing lyrical bent, but these tracks capture the shambling, expansive qualities of both bands at their best.

Siloah’s debut doesn’t match up to the brilliance of the aforementioned albums, but it is an essential listen for anyone who has spent hours communing with these two classics. Much of it consists of stoned ethno-folk jams that meander in the best possible ways, but I always come back to this album for the 18 minute track “Aluminum Wind” which is epic in all the right places. It has a slow, dissonant buildup complete with distant percussion and flute until the singer starts warbling about Disneyland, Christmas trees, drinking your eyes and other surreal musings. It is whacked and incoherent, but it does tickle my fancy.

Slapp Happy

Acnalbasac Moon


Originally, I ordered this through the beloved and long-forgotten Ajax mail order catalogue and closely awaited its arrival. Since I was a college student engaged in the hedonistic activities associated with this focus group, I missed its arrival. I received a call from a UPS station that I believed to be 5 or 6 blocks away, so I trudged off in pursuit of my teutonic booty.

Little did my urban soul realize how far a 100 block to a 500 block can be in a rural setting. I walked and walked up a hill which then terraformed into a mountain. These five blocks were more like fifty, but my tired limbs prevailed and I triumphantly grasped my box and began the incline. I felt my right ankle become inflamed and then explode into an inferno, but I had a big ass box of records, so all was beautiful in my world, huh?

I open up my box and scrutinize my bounty. The Slapp Happy record seems like an hieroglyphic wonder. I play it and it sounds like some alien torch song collection. My roommates and I trudge through, but decide that it may be a grower. Time passes and with each successive play, Acnalbasac Moon grows brighter and brighter as one of the most upbeat and perverse albums we have heard. At the time, we bought it for the Faust connection, but we all kept buying more and more once we realized the beauty of Ms. Dagmar Krause’s voice.

How can I describe it? Well, imagine a cabaret dosed with LSD and the finest krautrock band nobly supporting one of the 70s most distinctive vocalists. My wife listens to nothing but Doris Day, June Christy and 50s and 60s pop, but adores this album. It is out there, but thoroughly accessible to all who hear it. My only fault was being too elitist to realize that beauty lies in all forms of music.