Imaginations Of Light
Formed by multi-instrumentalists Hans Reffert (‘Flute’) and Hans Brandeis (‘Voice’) in Mannheim in 1969, the Flute & Voice duo discographic debut was issued on Pilz in 1970. It featured a progressive mixture of ethnic influences and accoustic experimentations making it one of the most sought after pieces from krautrock’s most underground scene. Hans Reffert was already considered one of the best guitarists in the Mannheim/Heidelberg area, having played banjo since the age of 12 and then studied with guitar master Siegfriend Schwab, and when he joined forces with Hans brandeis the two experimented with various instruments and voices to find their sound. Imaginations Of Light features a wide range of different tools to make a whole sound spectrum that melts psyched out folk with experimental jazz and world music. Flutes and voices, obviously, are joined by different types of guitars (acoustic, electric, dobro…), electric bass and sitar, all performed by the two Hanses, plus cello, violin and moroccan percussions courtesy of guest musicians Clemens Schuster (cello), Dorle Ferber and Julia Gallwitz (violins) and Guru Guru’s Mani Neumeier (percussions – Reffert himself played some years in Guru Guru during the eighties).
Their second album, Hallo RabbitI, originally recorded in 1973, only saw the life as a test pressing that, at the time, was rejected by BASF for release. And so it remained in the vaults until Jack Wieber Records issued it on CD in 1995 as part of a 2 album CD (along with Imaginations Of Light). It shows a progression that some sources have noted to be a more direct and clearly structured sound, but obviously without any concessions to their principles of experimentation in sound, use of different instrumental textures, and their rich ethnic background.
“We were on a continuous search for something “new.” “This guy is cool, he’s got it…” or “That one is uncool…” were the two main criteria for us to distinguish two categories of musicians: the inventive, artistic creators of new sounds and the success-oriented plagiators of “commercial” mainstream music. Rarely did we accept other musicians as birds of the same feather, like e.g. the Scottish Incredible String Band or the American Oregon Ensemble – sometimes, but mostly never.” (From Hans Brandeis website)
“It was our goal that all our musical compositions should differ from each other as much as possible. Therefore, we adopted elements and ideas from most diverse music traditions and styles – at that time, just like today, an attitude completely opposed to commercial interests.” (From Hans Brandeis website)
“For special stage performances and recording sessions, musicians from very different lines joined us: soul and jazz saxophone player Thomas Böhmer, the Indian tabla player Bal Kulkarni who also had played with the Beatles sometime, Ron Martin, the black percussion player from the States, cellist and drummer Clemens Schuster and violin player Dorle Ferber, to name just a few.”
“Our approach to music as well as the content of our song lyrics of that time clearly reflected the zeitgeist of the late 1960s: a growing awareness for the social aspects of music and the responsibilities of musicians, hippie values, mind-expansion… Regarding the music, however, we consistently fell between all stools: the jazzers would say that our music was rock, the rockers would regard it as jazz; the folk people considered it as avantgarde music, the avantgarde musicians, however, stated that “now – this is really nothing but pure light music,” and for the musical entertainers, finally, it was a “noble (but lost) art” – for many a one, our music was just too complicated, for others just too naive… Our concept, therefore, was more a kind of “anti-concept:” not wanting to move from one point to another, but to expand from one point into all directions.” (From Hans Brandeis website)
“Compared to the general standard of central Europe, this is most remarkable” (Volker Kriegel said after hearing the duo play).
Krautrock meets world music, heady psychedelic jazz, ethnic explorations. As you can imagine, the band’s sound is unique and unlike anything else you’ve heard, but it will appeal those into artists such as Magic Carpet, Oriental Sunshine, Saddhu Brand, Mick Softley’s Sunrise LP, Bobby Callender’s Rainbow LP, Sagram, a.o.
Fans of Magic Carpet, King Crimson’s In The Court Of The Crimson King, Third Ear Band, Kalacakra, Oriental Sunshine, Bobby Callender, Clem Alford, Kali Bahlu or the “sitar side” of Popol Vuh will enjoy this one!
The Wah Wah edition is limited to only 500 copies, housed in the original psychedelic gatefold cover originally drawn by Hans Reffert and expanded with the inclusion of their second LP, Hallo Rabbit, issued in vinyl for the first time ever!