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ALTONA (GER)

Krautrock • Germany


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Altona (GER) biography
Altona is a German band, founded in 1971 in Hamburg suburbs as reincarnation of krautrock band Thrice Mice. Dropping former band's classical edge in preference for a jazzier front on their debut ,Altona played a lively fusion that crossed many boundaries, but kept the Blodwyn Pig feel that dominated the early Thrice Mice recordings. Mixing excellent early jazz fusion with psychedelic rock elements album's music is a real gem.

In contrast, their second album CHICKENFARM, disappointed as it saw a mellowing of style, to funky edged jazz-rock with blues and soul tendencies, and an indistinctive Anglo-American type brassy-rock sound. A few Altona members later reappeared in the obscure band Dirty Dogs.


Slava (Snobb)

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ALTONA (GER) discography


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3.68 | 28 ratings
Altona
1975
3.29 | 14 ratings
Chicken Farm
1975

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ALTONA (GER) Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Altona by ALTONA (GER) album cover Studio Album, 1975
3.68 | 28 ratings

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Altona
Altona (GER) Krautrock

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars Altona were actually a continuation of the Kraut Rock act Thrice Mice,found in 1972 just four months after the demise of the later with a slightly different and expanded line-up.Gone are sax player Wolfgang Buhre, keyboardist Wolfgang Minnemann, bassist Rainer von Gosen and drummer Arno Bredehöft, replaced by Fritz Kahl on bass, Klaus Gerlach on guitars, Wolfgang Wulff and Michael von Rönn on tenor saxes, Karl-Heinz Gossler on drums, next to the remaining Thrice Mice members multi-instrumentalist Karl-Heinz Blumenberg and guitarist Werner von Gosen.Named after a borough of Hamburg,the band had switched on to a more jazz-oriented sound as presented on their self-titled debut (1975 on RCA).

Keeping all the energy of Thrice Mice, Altona focused on filling their sound with dominant sax attacks and dynamic grooves,like if CHICAGO were actually a Kraut Rock band.Present also some psychedelic influences here and there.With the absence of a keyboard player more than evident,the style became more rhythmic with leading sax solos and Blumenberg's voice in great shape,not particularly complex, but definitely powerful and rich.Very interesting are the dual sax parts often delivered under sudden breaks and the dynamic bass/drums duo of Kahl and Gossler.When the saxes remain silent, Von Gosen's fuzz guitar playing comes on the forefront in a typical Heavy/Kraut Rock style.The sound of Altona though did not break any new grounds,plenty of Kraut Rock bands played this specific style much earlier,but the album keeps a good consistency between the song-based parts and the more jazzy instrumental parts.

If you like your Kraut Rock menu to have some good dose of Jazz taste, ''Altona'' should be among your main preferences.Decent proggy Jazz-Rock,not very personal but well-executed and performed and for this reason recommended.

 Altona by ALTONA (GER) album cover Studio Album, 1975
3.68 | 28 ratings

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Altona
Altona (GER) Krautrock

Review by Bonnek
Special Collaborator Prog Metal Team

3 stars Take the opening tracks from Chicago's debut and Colosseum's Valentyne Suite. Clutch them together and add rough heavy vocals. That's what Altona sounds like, raw acid-rock with a jazzy brass section and powerful vocals. An ultra-rare gem but if you want some more of that great upbeat 60's vibe, here you go.

The album starts with a swinging heavy rock groove. The brass section and Beefheart-alike vocals give it a nice twist. It's a bit of a stretch but the brass instruments somehow remind me of Morphine. Altona's mood isn't morose though, this must be the most energetic and vivacious music I know. Oh yes this is prog you can boogie to!

Cocopus partially continues the upbeat pace, but also adds some more reflective bluesy pieces that could have been from Pink Floyd's More or Ash Ra Tempel. Uberlandfarth shifts up the gear another notch. One day I'll throw in this song at a party at home. Guaranteed swinging and air-guitar fun. 7/4 is a bit of an old-fashioned rockabilly track but from here on the album doesn't let go of its tight rocking energy anymore.

Is it kraut? Is it acid-rock? Jazz-rock? It's sure heavy energetic fun!

 Altona by ALTONA (GER) album cover Studio Album, 1975
3.68 | 28 ratings

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Altona
Altona (GER) Krautrock

Review by snobb
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

5 stars Altona is almost forgotten German kraut-rock band, in fact - reincarnation of early krautrock band Thrice Mice. Their debut is excellent example of slightly psychedelic heavy jazz-rock, in moments similar to Colosseum music.

Sound is very dynamic, full of heavy rhythms, sax soloing and some vocals ( Karl-Heinz Blumenberg is ex-Thrice Mice vocalist). It's a bit pity, that this album is rarity, because it represents krautrock at its best.

All compositions are different, has own melodies and complex and very competent musicianship. Happily, this album was re-released on CD in 2000 ( by Disconforme), so it is possible to find it for listening.

If you like jazz-rock ( in best Colosseum style) and heavy energetic krautrock, this album is excellent addition to your collection.

Really 4,5!

Thanks to snobb for the artist addition.

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