Julian Cope presents Head Heritage

Siegfried Schwab

Released 1979 on MelosMusik
Reviewed by gogmagog, 19/11/2007ce

Siegfried Schwab - Meditation (1979)

In which the man who co-composed the soundtrack to cult classic, Vampyros Lesbos, essays his meditation on all things motorik. A charming little obscurity released in 1979 on the Melosmusik label, it opens with the delightful 16-minute ‘Suche Nach Unendlichkeit,’ a sublime, sun-kissed Neu-groove that hisses and fizzes away, all saccharin sequencers and drum machines, while Schwab’s glorious guitar curls lovingly around every harmonic alleyway and corner. Huge teutonic chord changes slab apart the locked-in sequencers (akin to Trans-Europe Express-era Kraftwerk), every so often the trance-like rhythms come to a close - mournful guitar filigree and scratched acoustic rattling away in the background - and every time that glorious motorik drum rhythm seeps out of the silence to begin the circle of life again - the melodies getting ever more emotional. Symphonic strings flow alpine-like across this musical valley, enough to rouse one’s ‘inner Saxon’ in even the most Semitic of souls. Although the rest of the LP is over-egged, mawkish acoustic guitar sentimentality - maybe of appeal to Peter Sprague fans (I‘ve been hammering Side One of his ‘The Path’ LP recently) - ‘Meditation’ is worth getting for the opening number alone. That said, the rest of the LP is entirely acoustic (with occasional synthesised backing) similar to Sprague, the Dutch band Flairk, and certain moments of Pat Metheny.

Anyway, anyone under the lower-Saxony spell of Neu, Kraftwerk, Popol Vuh, or even 'New Age of Earth'-era Manuel Gottsching, must endeavour to get hold of this charming little oddity, just for the first (nearly) side-long track.

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