Thursday, July 23, 2009

The Cosmic Jokers-Self Titled (1974)

"Over several months in early 1973, producer Rolf-Ulrich Kaiser organized several wild acid parties at Dieter Dierks’ sound studio, where the musicians played in exchange for a small fee and all the hallucinogens they could ingest. These musicians included Manuel Göttsching and Klaus Schulze of Ash Ra Tempel, Jurgen Dollase and Harald Grösskopf of Wallenstein, and Dierks himself. They had all been part of the Cosmic Couriers, a loose group that had musically backed Kaiser-produced records by Swiss artist/poet Sergius Golowin, gypsy Tarot-reader Walter Wegmüller, and even acid guru Timothy Leary the year before. From these 1973 sessions, the Cosmic Jokers were born, as Kaiser and Dierks edited and mixed the material and slapped it out on vinyl on Kaiser’s Kosmische Musik label without the other musicians knowing anything about it until the records appeared in stores, even as their pictures were posted prominently on the covers.
It caused a furor in Germany at the time, and it remains an early case of music fraud -long before the hip-hop era- since the music was “borrowed” without the musicians consent(apart from many magic mushrooms probably used to get them in there in the first place).

The first to find out was guitarist Manuel Göttsching when he entered a Berlin record store in 1974 and found out the music being played on the stereo was from those sessions. He thought the guitarist sounded familiar, but he was shocked to find it was himself.

The other musicians have mostly deemed these recordings as trash. Klaus Schulz has been particularly harsh in his criticism referring to these CDs as “cosmic crap”. It’s true that these albums caused lawsuits against Rolf-Ulrich Kaiser (head of Kosmische Musik, formerly Ohr) It ruined his career and effectively drove him out of Germany.

However, for fans of German experimental music, these releases are classics and they remain important to this day."

Awesome. Just awesome.

Das ist komisch music!

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