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VA - Obscured By Krauts - Another One Way Ticket Into The Abyss Ov Thee Unexplored Teutonic Underground 1968 - 1974

From the same people who brought you Kraut! Demons! Kraut! and Hungry Krauts, Daddy! comes this third trip into some of the more obscure Krautrock bands. Except for Faust, whose piece is only a half-minute long anyway, most of these groups will be unfamiliar to even longtime Krautrock fans. The music is similar to the earlier compilations -- not as extremely far out as the best Krautrock, but certainly with enough creative flourishes and inventive touches to be more than just another garage compilation, except for only a few of the pieces, like the roots rock of Slut and the bluesy Black Sabbath posturing of the Jam (not to be confused with the British new wave mods of the same name). Far more fascinating are the several ethno-psychedelic instrumentals from groups like Blackmann Lane, the Dave Pike Set, and Inner Space. Inner Space, in fact, turns out to be a very early version of Can, one of the best and most well-known Krautrock groups, and their excellent piece is a bit of their soundtrack work dubbed off a 1968 sexploitation movie, Kama Sutra, with sound quality that's much better than their Prehistoric Future album. Many of the more straightforward songs have a certain charm in their raw garage pop, like the echo singing on "Midnight Graveyard" from Mother Sunday. Others, like the Michael Anton & Amok piece, take what is probably the one interestingly weird excerpt of sound collage from what is probably not a very interesting LP, Jesus Makes You High. There are no versions of "Dies Irae" this time around. Otherwise, Obscured by Krauts maintains the high quality of its two predecessors, with most of its material coming from extremely rare LPs and singles. (Rolf Semprebon)

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