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Old 04-26-2011, 09:00 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Human Being - Live at the Zodiak-Berlin 1968 [SAA Album Club discussion thread]

Human Being - Live at the Zodiak - Berlin 1968


Another week, another album, this time suggested by Jack Pat

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Originally Posted by Jack Pat View Post
It's by an early Krautrock band called Human Being. It's pretty much a noise rock/experimental/krautrock/free improvisation album. It has only one track that lasts 56 minutes and 34 seconds. Just by listening to ten minutes of it I can tell you this seems like a great and interesting album to check out.

These guys do a better job at summing it up: Music Review: Human Being - Live at the Zodiak
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Old 04-26-2011, 06:40 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I absolutely loved it. Gradual, subtle, improv. Chanting, violin, all the good stuff from middle European prog(possibly one of my favourite genres ever). Very ambient yet intelligently spiritual journey, and even by Kraut's high standards, quite exceptional.
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Old 04-26-2011, 08:19 PM   #3 (permalink)
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As an eater-upper of drone, and a worshiper of several well-known Krautrock bands, I can't tell you how immediately I downloaded this album when I found out it existed. It must have taken 0.02 seconds to type in 'what.cd', another 0.03 seconds to type in 'Human Being', and another 0.3 seconds to download the correct torrent. Then wait an hour because my torrent connection is TERRIBLE... But still, the heart was there. I had huge expectations. This is, even if I hate it, a historical recording.

But yeah, it's really good once you get passed all of those irrational expectations. Several musicians involved were in fact 'non-musicians', and I really don't feel it's fair to assess what they're doing relative to what Can, Faust, Neu! or any of the several big names of Krautrock did later on. This precursor doesn't want to do that. It lays out the maps for several bands in a way, but it doesn't openly admit to any of them. It's very ambiguous, and I never for a minute felt like it was attached to any particular Krautrock band (aside from early Cluster, but I'd only say that's because one of the members was in fact involved in this). It's a sketch of how things would be done later on, but it's a very vague sketch, something that anybody could listen to and build off in any particular way.

In a lot of ways, it's an inspiring and heartwarming listen. I really enjoyed it.
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Old 04-30-2011, 04:47 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Where did you dig this out from Jack Pat? I read that review you posted and according to the writer this is some important record that nobody knows about. All the mentioning of the German art rock history, kraut rock and later industrial and noise made me really curious. I've never heard of this record before. I agree with clutnuckle, this music does feel like a "vague sketch" of the things to come. I'm not sure if I feel that way because I read that article before listening to the music, but now I can't shake that suggestion.

This must be heard on headphones, as I've noticed it doesn't quite hold my attention without it. My mind tends to wonder of during this 45 min., but on headphones I can hear all the little subtleties and changes. On the very first listen it sounds like a big mass of formless sounds, but as you go with it you notice that it has a constant, gradual build up all the way through. Still, during this journey it feels unpredictable in parts, there are good portions of this piece that appear to not have any direction. That's the nature of this type of droning, semi-improvised music I guess, but the downside is that it easily loses focus. It picks up however in the second part and towards the end it only gets better and better. It gets stronger, noisier, more concrete finishing with a very dense, screechy, forceful noise. This was an "a ha" moment, when I finally got the Einsturzende Neubauten reference of the article.

I will give this a solid mark, with the potential to go higher. I would have enjoyed it more if it was a bit shorter, more dense and focused, especially in the middle part. The last third is great though.
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Old 04-30-2011, 04:57 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dankrsta View Post
Where did you dig this out from Jack Pat? I read that review you posted and according to the writer this is some important record that nobody knows about.
I was on a krautrock tangent about a month or so ago. I dived into the movement's history, bands, influence, etc. I eventually came across a place called the Zodiak Free Arts Lab and discovered this album in the process.
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Old 05-02-2011, 08:14 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Looked on SoulSeek- do need linkage...
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