A.R. & Machines – Echo [1972]

Perhaps the most ambitious and least understood of the A.R. & Machines albums was the second one, a double LP titled simply Echo. Not only is there an abundance of echo guitar here, just about everything in drenched in echo or other studio effects. It all adds up to a fantastic mess and when I first heard it, I thought it was one of the most dreadful things I’d ever listened to. Something told me to keep coming back and slowly I started to really appreciate it. While I wouldn’t exactly call this a masterpiece, it is quite a monumental recording.
The album is divided into five, lengthy pieces with multiple sections; each one took an entire side of the album except for the second and third piece, which were a little shorter and combined to make up the second side. They all start out rather inconspicuously and give off the illusion of being rather uneventful but each one evolves into something quite crazy before long. Much of the album has a very murky sound, perhaps purposefully, which gives it a rather eerie quality. Some moments are endless tribal space jams, while others take on an odd improvisational jazz feel. –keep reading in… progressive ears.

Track List:
01 – Invitation (20:32)
02 – The Echo Of The Presence (10:08)
03 – The Echo Of Time (13:05)
04 – The Echo Of The Future (18:13)
05 – The Echo Of The Past (19:38)

LineUp:
– Achim Reichel (guitar, vocals)
– Arthur Carstens (jews harp)
– Dicky Tarrach (drums)
– Hans Lampe (percussion)
– Helmuth Franke (guitar)
– Jochen Petersen (saxophone)
– Kalle Trapp (percussion)
– Klaus Schulze (vocals)
– Lemmy Lembrecht (drums, percussion)
– Matti Klatt (vocals)
– Norbert Jacobsen (clarinet)
– Peter Becker (sirenes)
– Rolf Köhler (percussion)
– Peter Hecht (orchestral arrangements)
– Frank Dostal (lyrics)

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