Julian Cope presents Head Heritage

Harmonia
Musik Von Harmonia


Released 1974 on Brain
Reviewed by flashback81, 17/01/2005ce


Right, so not strictly speaking an unsung LP, but I figured this LP needed a review on these pages..........if not here then where else?

A bit of background - I'm not really a Krautrock afficiando, got a few can/neu/faust/la dusseldorf/amon duul II LPs and enjoyed hugely. But the trouble with Krautrock is that it's difficult to dig out the gems from the crap. I've heard (lengendary) tales of people here in Manchester UK raiding the bargain bins about '81 and getting original copies of all the classic Krautrock Lps for £1. Well, yeah, take a gamble on Emtidi at £1 but even a CD re-press at £12.00 is too much to lose for utter crap.
So, on finding the beautifully packaged Music Von Harmonia re-issue vinyl on sale at Piccadilly Records I treated with caution. Especially as it was £22.99. On vinyl. Why? Not paying that, cheeky bastards. Mean't to be a classic - aren't they all?. Fast foward December 28th, Si turns up with said LP - "you surely didn't pay 23 quid mate?". " 'Course not, £9.99, stick it on...". So on goes this LP, gutted that I'd not picked it up for the same price...

Oh, and what a classic. This has gotta be one of the all-time best Krautrock records. I was expecting a sort of watered down Neu sound. In fact only on Dino on side 2 is any real connection with Neu evident. And Dino is a drop dead classic, surpassing any Neu tracks, the same motorik groove but there's just something else here, really magical music.

First track up, 'Watussi', is a sort of out of time, tape looped?, drum machine piece of real beauty. Initially I thought that this is the sort of thing that I could knock up in half an hour with a sampler, synth and guitar. But oh no. Lovely, understated guitar sound and a synth loop that you could listen to for hours. And I don't really like long tracks, you know, just cut to the chase, get the good bit on.

The thing with this LP is that it you never really feel like any second has been wasted, that's to say there is NO filler. Second track 'Sehr Kosmisch' is the sort of thing I usually would skip over - an 10:50 pulsating ambient piece. Yeah, i know, some people would deem that 'the enemy'. But it's great. The whole LP is great.

Next track is the regal, soundtrack sounding 'Sonnenshein'. A while in, the now familar sounding synth hits out a sort of Stone Roses sounding melody, maybe Waterfall, yes Waterfall. But this feels just like the climax to a John Barry scored film. I'm thinking Zulu specifically, but you get the drift.

Side Two opens with Dino. I was amazed to find this on a Mojo CD compiled by the Red Hot Chilli Peppers. I really do not like the Red Hot Chilli Peppers, but judging by the compilation they have fine taste in music indeed.

I wasn't intending to write about every track on this record, just provide a bit of an overview, so I'm gonna skip straight on to the Lps last, and best effort, Hausmusik. I'll have to put it on again as I type just incase I write anything too ridiculous.

The sound of a distorted, multitracked piano doesn't on paper seem too appealing - but this really does sound ancient as well as hyper-modern. Only Shirley and Dolly Collins sound this Ancient. A synth/drum machine drone creeps in and out, if only the Twisted Nerve label artists could achieve anywhere near this sheer prettiness. This is a really beautiful piece of music.

And so the Lp fades out on a sort of brassy synth melody, same kinda tune as the piano intro but like someone had just pressed the brass button. Which they probably did. A classic.

Needless to say I was up at 9am the following morning to secure my copy for £9.99. I recommend that you all do the same.


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