Saturday, 3 January 2015

Tidying up the discography of Georg Lawall and Orexis - PART 1: Carnaval and Bittersüß Wie Stuttgart

I thought I had completed the Orexis discography in long ago pnf days, but I was wrong, two albums were missing as you can see.  The Bittersüß is just spoken word but has some awesome guitarwork from our hero Lawall, while the 1984 album here presented turned out to be quite good, not at all silly Hispanic or fuzak throughout (it is, of course, here and there) as one might have expected from the late year.  No, it seems Georg was an uncompromising artist all the way to the bitter end....  as it was indeed the end for progressive (ethnic) fusion for us in Europe and North America, only in Eastern Europe did it prosper a little.

Here is the best track, which was written by Gert Kilian (the band's percussionist), it's called 'Morgentau:'

So in short we will present to you the following missing albums:
Musical portions from Stuttgart, Palette from 1982, and Carnaval from 1984.  And I think that's all that I'm interested in hearing.

With regards to our Bittersuss, what a shame we can't edit out the talking to just focus on the music which I however attempted to do in the excerpt posted below, which guaranteed comprises all the music on the record and a bit of the speech.  Because really the compsition is fabulous and highly inventive and definitely in the realm of progressive folk-jazz. The record is in mint condition, but I'm not surprised since everyone who owned it probably only played it one time!

That opening riff is simply fantastically killer and I won't be surprised some deejay somewhere borrows it and turns it into a current pop hit with ridiculous lyrics.  But isn't the cover copied from Thick as a Brick?

Now if there is one musical excerpt you should hear it's this one.  Just listen to the improbably dissonant and oddly rhythmed riff that opens the record and speaks to me of the genius of the man:

If anyone needs the other pnf albums which are Orexis 1977, Inspiration, Reflection, Communication, and Georg Lawall Live, let me know, I have them all and reviewed them for the purpose of this post.  Here follow a few comments from the earlier posts (on pnf):

"Continuing on with the Orexis completion, we have their first album from 1977, entirely composed by the amazing Georg Lawall, who plays not just guitars but percussion and sitar. Back of the vinyl describes his musical formation, he was in Total Music Association (free jazz I believe) which produced the LP Walpurgisnacht, then formed the Georg Lawall Trio before Orexis. He was educated in the Munich conservatory and played concert guitar as soloist (not surprisingly given his virtuosity). The other members are Erik Erker, bass, and Gert Kilian on percussions. Erik plays I think cello with a bow in the track 'Tombstone' -- as usual giving it a plaintive funereal sound especially when playing in a very light way on the highest notes. Erik played music by Bartok, Webern and Stravinsky, as well as with Albert Mangelsdorff the great german jazz musician, and other jazz combos in Frankfurt. The percussionist played with the "Ensemble for new music" in Stuttgart as well as multiple jazz groups.  In general this is acoustic music with a great many jazz and classical elements in the composition. Similar to Contact Trio, for those familiar.  In my opinion Lawall's writing is not quite as proficient as the two later albums, Inspiration and Reflection. Several songs meander with the acoustic guitar soloing with no real direction. A couple of tracks are marred by monotonous sitar.

Finally, I include in the comments a new good quality rip of Reflection (1979), which to me is the big masterpiece of Georg Lawall. I can't help but mention the incredible photo cover, in which the mirror shows a lovely blonde topless german girl (Lawall is holding a small mirror inside the wall-mounted mirror). Again Lawall is responsible for all compositions except Bassart, by Wolfgang Lauer the bassist on this record. Trilok Gurtu plays tablas and percussions, along with Gert Kilian. Dieter Bihlmeier plays flutes and Bruckdorfer oboe on the second side, called the Catalan Suite. (Side one is the Reflection Suite.)"

And indeed with hindsight, Reflection was his masterpiece, though Communication really came close to equaling it.

Incidentally the files now have a password, which is the obvious: progressreview.


  1. Orexis carnaval

    orexis bittersuss

    1. Seems to be a problem with these links. A password is requested. Thanks.

    2. it's the obvious one, you probably already guessed, progressreview
      or maybe the previous issues with non-revealed password make it confusing. Sorry

    3. I should have said "name." It asks for "name" and "password." I have the password. Thanks!

    4. Luckily I was able to remove the password. Unfortunately you have to redownload the link, I think. If winrar asks for a password to open the file, use progressreview

  2. new uploads by request:

    capon - escoude - les 4 elements (pretty good, I wound up enjoying this record a lot)

    and of course the new rip of the miraculous LBC Trio Baobab