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Out Of Focus - Wake Up! CD (album) cover

WAKE UP!

Out Of Focus

 

Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.53 | 100 ratings

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Matti
Prog Reviewer
3 stars OUT OF FOCUS from Munich was one of the finest fusion-oriented prog - or jazzy Krautrock - bands in the early seventies' Germany. Wake Up! is their debut, and it shows. The production is a bit murky and the psychedelic orientation is strong. Later on they oriented more towards instrumental fusion, but here the sax/flute player Moran Neumüller sings perhaps more than would be suitable. He's not a very good vocalist, frankly. Imagine young Peter Hammill at his worst and the most monotonous. The guitar parts increase the bluesy, heavy-ish psychedelia. The group was surely influenced by the British blues- rock.

But the album reveals its originality and strength already on the second track 'God save the Queen, cried Jesus' with more meditative instrumental sections featuring flute. This mixing of blues flavour and flute passages naturally makes one think of early Jethro Tull, but the compositions and the moods are very different from Tull. The lyrics seem to be serious and socio-critical, and the atmosphere has some VdGG-reminding darkness. There are also lots of organ.

'Hey John' is a gorgeous 9½-minute track with great instrumentalism and some vocals. The shortest track 'No Name' is also the weakest in my opinion, vocal-centred and quite straight-forward, but with nice organ/flute work. 'World's End' has long instrumental sections, and this time the guitar steps up front to solo too. The last minutes remind a lot of 'The End' by The Doors, even a similar-sounding spoken part is featured. But then again, the flute sets the music apart from The Doors.

'Dark, Darker' (11:37) doesn't start very promisingly with the presence of vocals, but soon enough they change into flute playing - some Ian Anderson -style gasps included - and the band continues to go deeper into meditative quietness and alteration of dynamics. All in all, an album that's far from perfect but with an interesting, magical atmosphere and an original mixture of various, more or less familiar elements. The psychedelic flavours were to change into jazzier style and much better music was ahead.

Matti | 3/5 |

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