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Rufus Zuphall - Weiss Der Teufel (1971)




Rufus Zuphall to zdecydowanie mój ulubiony zespół jeśli chodzi o scenę niemiecką, ale nie tylko. Grupa powstała z Akwizgranie w końcu lat 60-tych. Charakterystyczną cechą był flet (Klaus Gulden) i grupa szybko zyskała sobie niemieckiego odpowiednika Jethro Tull. O ile mam wielki szacunek do pana Andersona i kolegów to wstyd przynać, ale nigdy mnie ich muzyka nie ujęła w przeciwieństwie do Rufus Zuphall. Grupa grała generalnie heavy progressive o garażowym brzmieniu łącząc go z elementami folku i bluesa.

Swoich pierwszych nagrań dokonała w Holandii w 1969 roku. W Niemczech muzycy nie znaleźli wytwórni, która byłaby zainteresowana wydaniem materiału, w związku z czym w 1971 roku wydała własnym sumptem swój pierwszy longplay "Weiss Der Teufel" wyprodukowany w prywatnej tłoczni Good Will. Płytę zdobiła bardzo oryginalne okładka (jak widać na załączonym obrazku). Cały materiał został zarejestrowany w studiu "na żywca" bez żadnych dogrywek. Daje to więc dodakowe pojęcie o wyjątkowym kunszcie muzyków.

Po pierwszych przetasowaniach personalnych wydali drugi album dla wytwórni Pilz. Płyta nosiła tytuł "Phallobst" i była kontynuacją materiału zaprezentoweanego na debiucie choć muzyka była jakby bardziej ułagodzona - pozbawiona swojej chropowatości. Po wydaniu krążka doszo do kolejnych zmian w składzie. W 1972 roku Rufus Zuphall sporo koncertował i nagrał materiał na swój trzeci album. Nie ujrzał on jednak światła dziennego w okresie działalności zespołu, który w końcu rozpadł się w okolicach 1973 roku.

Klaus Gülden - Flute, Percussion
Günter Krause - Guitars, Keyboards, Vocals
Helmut Lieblang - Bass
Udo Dahmen - Drums, Tablas, Percussion
Erich Engels - Percussion


Portland Town (1971)

Formed in Aachen in 1969 and initially with a keyboard player as fifth man, the band melted together blues elements, the ease of Anglo-Saxon folk, classical influences and driving guitar rock with progressive song structures into an autonomous instrumental dominated style and live programme. The titles "Hollis Brown" and "Granum Cerebri" from forthcoming third CD "Avalon And On" are from this period.

In the beginning the band was not so Germany-orientated but more towards the neighbouring countries Belgium and particularly Holland and their breakthrough came accordingly in 1970 in front of a 30.000 crowd at the Jazz Festival in Bilzen (Belgium). Actually planned as a sideshow, they then played as the only amateur band next to such stars as Black Sabbath, Cat Stevens or May Blitz and were celebrated by the press as "surprise of the festival". Previously Rufus Zuphall had even appeared with Living Blues and Cuby and the Blizzards, in the same year this was followed by gigs with Curtis Jones, Group 1850 and Golden Earring.



The front man on stage was the flutist Klaus Gülden. He had a decisive influence on the Rufus Zuphall sound. Bass player Helmut Lieblang wrote the lyrics. Günter Krause, a creative guitar talent, composed most of the titles and with Udo Dahmen Rufus Zuphall had a drummer, who later, after his music studies, then played with Kraan, Lake, Eberhardt Schöner and Achim Reichel and is even today much asked after. He is also studio drummer and worked as a lecturer at the Hamburg College of Music. Today he is headmaster of Mannheim College of Popular Music. Apart from Udo Dahmen, the only other one of the various Rufus Zuphall members who remained true to a musical career was Günter Krause. After Rufus Zuphall had come to a close, he too studied music, he then played jazz and jazz rock in various formations - he played into the 80s as a jazz guitarist in a sextet making records. Today he's working as a musician, composer and guitar teacher.

At the beginning of December 1970, Rufus Zuphall produced live in Holland their first LP "Weiß der Teufel" in only three days. It was released in 1971 as a private pressing on Good Will Records - a masterpiece of progressive rock. The titlesong was a secret "scene hit" and the track "Spanferkel" taken from the LP became the signature tune for one of the best known German radio rock programmes. The LP, although the release was limited and despite bad marketing conditions, was a success.

Their next album, "Phallobst" (recorded in the Dierks Studio between July and August 1971) featured new members Thomas Kittel and Manfred Spangenberg. This album was more polished and had a wider dynamic and instrumental range (mellotron, clavinet and acoustic guitars were added). Particularly strong was the album's second side with two fine instrumentals: "Prickel Prit", strongly flavoured by the blues, and "Makrojel" electric folk-rock with flute to the fore. "I'm On My Way" closed the album in a quiet way.

In 1989, Little Wing reissued the first Rufus Zuphall album in a magnificent new cover design. But still more exciting was their 4 LP box (+ large booklet and a bonus single) of 1994 with "Phallobst" and lots of previously unreleased material, comprising a complete concert from June 1972, demos for their unreleased third album and a couple of tracks recorded prior to "Weiß Der Teufel". The quality of the recordings were generally good, and this set is indispensable for Rufus Zuphall fans!

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