Julian Cope presents Head Heritage

Agitation Free

Released 1976 on Barclay
Reviewed by Adman, 01/02/2003ce

Feeling a bit drowsy today. Thursday night a thin veneer of snow reduced Hertfordshire to gridlock central. My normal 40 minute drive home from work took 11 hours - I kid you not ! Arrived home at 4am totally wrecked.

I only mention this as this state of sleep deprivation made today ideal for a spot of "Drift" music. What do I mean by drift music? Well I'll try to explain - drift music is experienced as follows:-

1) Timing - Early afternoon is the best time to enjoy this music - the classic siesta period.

2) Preparation - enjoy a sizeable lunch prior to listening - try to incorporate Ambrosia Rice Pudding as this will enhance the experience.

3) Location - a warm - centrally heated room with a sofa or bed situated near a window that gives a good view of the sky. Alternatively - in summer - a deck chair in a garden or park is ideal.

4) Audio Equipment - good quality headphones - Grado, Sennheiser, and AKG all make suitable models. If you are listening outside ditch the headphones that came with your CD/Minidisc Walkman - buy an alternative set - Sennheiser make some good quality in-ear types.

5) The Music - selected Krautrock classics eg. Popul Vuh "Affenstunde" or Brainticket "Voyage". However, the greatest "drift" piece of all time is Agitation Free's last album entitled "Last". Originally "Last" was only released in France where AF were always much more appreciated. AF's first two albums "Malesch" and "2nd" are also works of high genius - but "Last" is the best drift material.

The album was recorded at 2 concerts and also in the studio. "Soundpool" is a nice start to the album - try to lie on your back and watch the clouds through the previously mentioned window. Track 2 is the 17 minute "Laila II" - by this stage if your preparation is correct you should be gently nodding off. The last track is the mighty 22 minute "Looping IV" - now you will be asleep - and possibly dreaming - but this beautiful music will still be heard as the soundtrack to your dreams. You should now be in the enhanced state known as "drifting".

If all goes according you will wake up thinking that Agitation Free's "Last" is the best album in the world ever.
It really is beyond even the magic of Ash Ra Tempel.

PS. Lutz Ulbrich of Agitation Free was the boyfriend of Nico.

PPS. Why no reviews of AF in "Krautrocksampler" ?

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