A.R. & Machines – Die Grune Reise , Erholung (1971/1975)

Info: Two-fer reissue of two of the key missing links in the Achim Reichel CD catalog — more epic Krautorck trance-outs from the echoplex master. Features his long demanded first album Die Grüne Reise (aka: The Green Journey), originally issued by Polydor in Germany, 1971; plus his last (6th) solo album, Erholung, a live album from 1975, originally issued by Brain (bootlegged by Germanofon, back in ’91). “Die Grüne Reise (The Green Journey) doesn’t sound like the handiwork of one person, but this first solo album of Achim Reichel’s is exactly that. He wrote all the tracks, played all the instruments, and produced the entire scene himself (Actually, make that co-produced with Frank Dostal, who also penned the English lyrics within and had previously done time with Reichel in the popular West German beatgruppe, The Rattles.) And since the ‘realization’ is credited to A.R. himself, it would seem obvious that the album was more or less his effort and his alone. The refined qualities dash from the ridiculous to the sublime in a place where wordless vocals rhythmically run amok alongside trance-inducing interplay of multi-overdubbed guitars as the background fill of bass and drums, then percussion and acoustic guitar are all tweaked into a Möbius strip of interconnectedness plotted to perfection. For whether it is a signal or signal as repeated echo, all lands rhythmically assured on its assigned and intended position, despite the dense amount of sonic looping at work. Despite such potentially confusing effects at play, Reichel exhibits a skillful juggling act of sound on Die Grüne Reise. It is the end result of the kind of heightened awareness that goes beyond merely coaxing results from his equipment (as only the most committed technicians do) to making that leap to communicating directly with his equipment and operating in a specific place where the interfacing going down is at such a basic and mutual level that it is the distance between the source (Reichel’s untreated guitar lines) and the result (the echoed playback) that Reichel seems to be playing as much as the guitar AND its echoed counterpart. Parlaying this mental, three-dimensional game of ping-pong with innumerable multi-tracking of further guitars along with the supporting instrumentation at a variety of shades and strengths, it’s a marvel to behold the breadth of Reichel’s vision at work here. For this album was no such methadone clinic in LP form because Reichel had no Broadway aspirations and was already leagues ahead in innovative sound arrangements with far-reaching possibilities that what he wound up producing was deeply coursing music that weaved through myriad forms and spaces without ever getting lost in the process while simultaneously surfing several depths of the electric ocean in sound.” — (the Seth Man/Head Heritage)

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