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AR4 [AKA: A. R. IV]

A.R. & Machines

Krautrock


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A.R. & Machines AR4 [Aka: A. R. IV] album cover
4.00 | 57 ratings | 7 reviews | 30% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 1973

Songs / Tracks Listing

- Vita:
1. Cave Explorers And Birdmen (5:25)
2. The Man In Kidleather (10:43)
3. Thin Is The Skin Of Ecstasy (5:47)
- Aqua:
4. Every Raindrop Longs For The Sea (23:00)

Total Time: 44:55

Lyrics

Search A.R. & MACHINES AR4 [Aka: A. R. IV] lyrics

Music tabs (tablatures)

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Line-up / Musicians

- Achim Reichel / guitar, vocals (?)

With:
- Helmuth Franke / guitar
- Claus-Robert Kruse / electric piano
- Jochen Petersen / soprano sax, flute
- Frank Wulff / recorders, sitar
- Hans Hartmann / double bass
- Hans Boche / drums
- Churchill Jolobe / drums (4)
- Olaf Casalich / percussion (1-3)
- Matti Klatt / percussion (1-3)
- Carsten Bohn / percussion (4)

Releases information

Artwork: Fact-Design

LP Zebra ‎- 2949 008 (1973, Germany)

Thanks to Philippe Blache for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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No release results - showing artist results instead
The Art of German Psychedelic (Period 1970 - 74) [10-CD Set]The Art of German Psychedelic (Period 1970 - 74) [10-CD Set]
BMG Rights Management GmbH 2017
Audio CD$133.96
Die Grune Reise: Green JourneyDie Grune Reise: Green Journey
Import
Tangram 2010
Audio CD$17.98
$15.99 (used)
Echoes From Times of the Green Journey / Echos Aus Zeiten Der Grunen ReiseEchoes From Times of the Green Journey / Echos Aus Zeiten Der Grunen Reise
Import
Polydor 1998
Audio CD$45.55 (used)


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A.R. & MACHINES AR4 [Aka: A. R. IV] ratings distribution


4.00
(57 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(30%)
30%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(35%)
35%
Good, but non-essential (26%)
26%
Collectors/fans only (5%)
5%
Poor. Only for completionists (4%)
4%

A.R. & MACHINES AR4 [Aka: A. R. IV] reviews


Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by philippe
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars This albums is clearly a lost classic that figures among the best recordings offered by German progressive rock. It features two long improvised compositions including a vast array of instruments and groovy, jazzy rhythms put into a spaced out rocking trip. "Vita" is a sumptuous orchestral track dominated by Reichel's typical bluesy, almost funky and cyclical / delay guitar workouts. The accompaniment combines excellent exotic percussion parts with solo flute / sax lines. The acid fuzz guitar of Reichel provides an eloquent, propulsive jazzy rock mantra. "Aqua" starts with a tranquil atmospheric, dreamy-like introduction then progressively goes into a luminous, colourful happy semi-folk and bluesy- kraut jamming with lot of patterns and clear guitar solos. Just imagine something between Agitation Free, Embryo, Manuel Gottsching with a gentle eastern jazzy pop dimension. Eclectic, extremely complex prog/ psych obscurity, full of excellent kraut-improvisations. A very ambitious project.
Review by Rivertree
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR PSIKE Team & Band Submissions
5 stars Meeting the spirits of krautrock ...

The civilisation makes everyone of us to a link in any chain which has its defined task, which has to function. Ponderous laws, regulations, commandments, prohibitions and instructions are controlling our life. Behaviours and thoughts were adopted like a ready-made meal out of the refrigerator. Creativity is not worth it? To improve life you need even power and goodness, first of all conciousness and fantasy. This is music for people with fantasy. It asks and answers, tells stories of yesterday, today and tomorrow. It paints pictures and holds your hand. Always in the way you hear it. Put on your headphones and close your eyes. Listen to the music and listen to yourself. And now you're already playing with us.

Achim Reichel's message on the LP backside is typical for the restless, rebellious times with a special atmosphere of departure in the late 60s and early 70s. Completely everything was challenged and put to the test. So this reflects the background for the development of krautrock with fascinating bands and albums as the result.

Being successful with THE RATTLES and later managing the famous STAR-CLUB in Hamburg, he also wanted to do something completely different. Unmistakeably influenced by upcoming electronic bands like TANGERINE DREAM for example he transmitted to a pioneer of this genre with his meditative improvisations. So five albums were produced under the moniker A.R. & MACHINES within the years from 1971 to 1974 but also efforts for other groundbreaking projects for example YATHA SIDHRA and the album 'A Meditation Mass'.

Now this vinyl from 1973 was recorded at Windrose Dumont Time studios by the wellknown engineer Conny Plank. Compared to the forerunner 'AR3' Reichel offers long jams again with his staff which consists of eleven musicians and Frank Dostal who is responsible for the lyrics. The band uses a wide range of instruments and the album manages a special melange of spaced out and jazzy elements - eclectic despite of the repetitive sequences.

The title Vita hits the nail right on the head with a joy of playing. The song radiates a happy flavour supported by an irresistible twin guitar, bass and percussion work. It looks like the instruments are hunting each others during 22 minutes of fantastic spacy jazz rock. This is provided with some ethnic additions per soprano sax, flute and sitar and the electric piano is swirling all around. This is sometimes sounding near to EMBRYO's work. The second jam Aqua is a lot more meditative and psychedelic first with sparkling piano and water, birds twittering and other animal voices. The song hurrries up in the second half to reach the 'aqua' respectively the ocean for being adrift on the sea of life ....

This album is definetely a masterpiece and belongs to the classics of krautrock. And just do what Achim Reichel advises - use your headphones!

Review by Mellotron Storm
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars This is Achim Reichel's fourth album released in 1973. It's not as experimental or "out there" as his double album "Echo" but we do get a long lineup of musicians like we did on "Echo". This record is divided into two long suites.

The first suite is called "Vita" and it's divided into three tracks that blend into one another. "Cave Explorers And Birdmen" has this rhythm that eventually kicks in and builds. Vocals 4 1/2 minutes in but they don't hang around long as the band gets back to jammin'. It blends into "The Man In The Kidleather" where we get such a great sound as they continue to jam. It starts to settle back 7 1/2 minutes in and blends into "Thin Is The Skin Of Ecstacy" . It settles back quickly with guitar then that rhythm kicks in with recorder and vocals before a minute. It settles down after 4 minutes to a calm.

The second side long suite is called "Aqua" and the song is titled "Every Raindrop Longs For The Sea". Thunder and rain dominate the sound here as gentle guitar and recorder join in. The storm subsides before 2 minutes and you can hear the birds singing 2 1/2 minutes in. Some strange sounds join in before 13 minutes and we also can hear the waves. Keyboards around 16 minutes as the waves continue with percussion. Sax after 19 minutes. The song starts to wind down after 21 minutes. The sea gulls and waves become more prominant here.

This is my second favourite A.R. & MACHINES record after "The Green Journy". A must for Krautrock fans.

Review by Neu!mann
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars In his all-too brief psychedelic heyday Achim Reichel didn't sound like anyone else in the Krautrock universe. The guitarist seemed content to chart his own singular path through the cosmos, isolated from his closest aesthetic contemporaries (Manuel Göttsching, Günter Schickert), and never straying too far away from Planet Earth.

This might be the most balanced of the albums he recorded as A.R. & Machines, blending the dense artistry of "Echo" with the skewed songwriting of "Die Grüne Reise". The echo on his guitar, accomplished using a simple reel-to-reel tape deck (and pre-dating the similar but less accessible Frippertronic effect) once again sets up the groove. Everything else - drums, vocals, saxophone etc. - was layered carefully on top, flowing dreamlike into and out of a very busy mix.

The technique works best on Side One ("Vita"), in three long, overlapped tracks approaching something that might almost be classified as hypnotic pop. The album's flipside ("Aqua") shows less focus, but not inappropriately for a 23-minute suite titled "Every Raindrop Longs for the Sea (Jeder Tropfen Träumt Vom Meer) H₂O". If nothing else, the meandering rhythms work like a new and short-lived form of nervous, jerky ambient musik.

Altogether the LP was a welcome rebound from the unmotivated "AR3" album. But in retrospect the effort can't transcend a nagging sense of redundancy: after three previous AR&M sessions, it had all been heard before.

(Consumer Postscript: the album has never been officially reissued since its original vinyl release in 1973. Reichel has apparently disowned this entire chapter of his career, which leads me to wonder how committed he was to the music in the first place)

Review by siLLy puPPy
COLLABORATOR PSIKE & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
4 stars As most Krautrock enthusiasts are aware of, Achim Reichel was one of Germany's biggest pop stars in the 60s before he dived headfirst into the burgeoning psychedelic scene that turned progressive as the 70s hit, however on his debut album with A.R. & MACHINES, "Die Grüne Raise," the songs still had a lot of pop compositional style wrapped up in extended psychedelic tripped out effects and more lingering passages that qualified them as progressive. On "Echo," the band dropped a lot of the pop influences and instead opted for longer sonic journeys into blissful psychedelic jams that found subtle instrumental interactions slowly parade into infinity. On "AR3," Reichel attempted to bring back more conventional song structures, perhaps missing the instant gratification of pop stardom but fell short as the band had lost their hit making mojo and watered down the Kraut aspects a wee bit too much.

As most Krautrock enthusiasts are aware of, Achim Reichel was one of Germany's biggest pop stars in the 60s before he dived headfirst into the burgeoning psychedelic scene that turned progressive as the 70s hit, however on his debut album with A.R. & MACHINES, "Die Grüne Raise," the songs still had a lot of pop compositional style wrapped up in extended psychedelic tripped out effects and more lingering passages that qualified them as progressive. On "Echo," the band dropped a lot of the pop influences and instead opted for longer sonic journeys into blissful psychedelic jams that found subtle instrumental interactions slowly parade into infinity. On "AR3," Reichel attempted to bring back more conventional song structures, perhaps missing the instant gratification of pop stardom but fell short as the band had lost their hit making mojo and watered down the Kraut aspects a wee bit too much.

On "A.R. IV", Reichel and his Kraut crew once again revert back to the long sonic journeys that delve into long psychedelic meandering jams that carry a somewhat funky groove as the backbone. While the album was broken down into four tracks, the first three constitute the "Vita" suite that allowed a strong bass groove and overabundance of percussive drive to meander on for over twenty minutes with a series of ethereal flute and jazzy sax to give it a multidimensional feel. The electric piano and keyboard effects kept it grounded into the progressive world of psychedelia as the tracks, while technically separate actually run together seamlessly and generate an instrumental journey into total blissful escapism. While vocals are scarce, there are segments where Reichel belts out some lyrics but thankfully these passages end quickly as i find them to be the weakest link of the band's unique musical journey.

The finale is saved for the super long twenty-three minute suite "Aqua" which consists solely of the track "Every Raindrop Longs For The Sea" that finds an extended groovy psychedelic jam sallying forth like there is no end to time. The formula is the same as side one with an energetic bass and percussion section accompanied by the driving rhythmic force with healthy doses of electric keyboard runs, blues funk guitar and the airy flutes and a constant background sound of ocean sounds including seagulls lurking in the distance. The sax also returns for the extra jazzy touch. There is a very carefree vibe to "A.R. IV" with little or no attention paid to any sort of compositional style whatsoever. It is simply the sort of heady improvisational psychedelic jam that was common for the days. While personally i prefer the debut to any of the other albums, "A.R. IV" is a massive improvement over the mediocre "AR3" as it captures the mood of the experimental sound journey that was intended. This is one that is a nice free floating escapist's journey into the clouds.

This is the type of music that isn't made to blow you away. This is very much an introspective journey that builds through a solid rhythmic flow that allows an atmospheric backdrop to shape shift much like clouds slowly changing shape as they roll by in the sky. "A.R. IV" was basically a group of ten musicians getting together (granted not all at the SAME time) and trading off licks around a solid groove. While this album doesn't have the same compositional prowess as other prog outfits of the day, there's something very soothing about it that makes me feel one with the universe. At this time Reichel was heavily into spirituality and yoga practice and that's exactly what emanates from this long drifting odyssey in musical form. "A.R. IV" would also find the band A.R. & MACHINES winding down as Reichel would continue as a solo artist, releasing one more psychedelic Kraut album before drifting into traditional German folk music.

Latest members reviews

3 stars I got this album along with the "Echo" album. This is a much better production than the earlier. After a couple of years, the band seems to have matured a little. The first 3 songs are acually one 20 minute plus tune. I don't know why they did that, because it sounds like you are interupting so ... (read more)

Report this review (#282497) | Posted by Keetian | Tuesday, May 18, 2010 | Review Permanlink

4 stars I hope that my rating of this albums as a more "traditional" one would not offend or impress anyone. indeed this album is one with less aparent experientation as would be for example Echo, with voice alteration and tape-loops. in here we see more modest forms of effects as a few oscillations o ... (read more)

Report this review (#88554) | Posted by Doobie | Wednesday, August 30, 2006 | Review Permanlink

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