GAM - Eiszeit 1978

GAM were pioneers of the 'Kosmische Musik' which never became that famous as Ashra Tempel or Tangerine Dream. Hard to believe considering this excellent album which holds german song titles. The instrumentation is not familiar for this style though - consisting of drums and two electric guitars. Günther Schickert can be compared to Manuel Göttsching stylistically.Sepp oben ich unten and Wilderness are proving that for example with looping guitars whereas one is substituting the repetitive bass line. This implies a grooving rhythm supported by drummer Michael Leske. However - this sounds different, improved compared to the raw sessions from the predecessor album recorded with a simple equipment at Schickert's cellar.

This album was worked out 1978 in Berlin. For unknown reasons not released until Cosmic Egg took over this task in 2005. The original producer plus master tape were missing but fortunately a copy of the last mix still existed. 'Eiszeit' has a special spacey flow in the whole. Second guitarist Axel Struck contributes with some weird but also melancholic vocals. Instead of synthesizer several guitar effects are taking effect as for a compensation. Demons gets out of the range with a more eclectic style similar to King Crimson. Wilderness in opposite is a free form jam with space rock character and stands for the main stylistical orientation.

The ambient Tropfstein is providing some hall effects and a mood in the whole which lets you feel like crossing a cave - a surprising start. And I'm wondering how they manage to reach for such synthesizer similar sounds like on Geige which has a hypnotic industrial stomping rhythm backing sensitive spacey guitars. Verlass mich nicht is probably derived from a true (love) story. 'Don't leave me' - the song contains heart-wrenching vocals and guitar playing - I prevent to say wonderful because this may have a serious background.

A masterpiece of krautrock - an adventure for your ears - highly recommended. With a good bit of luck this gem has survived. The three musicians are excellently harmonizing. Well-conveived - not aimless noodling, unique, performed with tons of impressing echo-guitar, but also melodic, sounding fresh and contemporary not only because of the good sound mix. And that should be enough for the praise ...
  Review by Rivertree
5 stars
What a shame that this extraordinary album of 1978 is so much unknown even to Krautrock fans these days, since it was restored and reedited only in 2002 and finally released in 2005 with the Cosmic Egg label. Thus, this is something entirely new especially to those born in the 70ies and later, and when I incidentally came across "Ich bin ein Teil" ? the album´s final piece ? on Youtube, I was immediately absorbed by its spacy, way-out nature. After slowly starting with some meditative vocals about being part of the earth, the piece soon merges into a bluesy guitar intro that gradually evolves into Günter Schickert´s characteristic echo guitar with its redundant rythm loops and cycling melodies, leading the listener far away into high speed psychedelic space-time. The echo guitar with its different layers, which is unique even within the rythmic structures of the Krautrock genre, determines the musical style of the album (apparently made completely without synthesizers!). Apart from "Ich bin ein Teil" it is found abundantly in "Sepp oben Ich unten", with percussion and guitar harmonizing perfectly, as well as the high speed piece "Wilderness". But there are also calmer parts present, like the ambient "Tropfstein". The word in German means "dripstone" and may be associated with a cave. Indeed, the sound experiments audible at the beginning of the piece might remind one slightly of Pink Floyd´s "Several Species of Small Furry Animals gathered together in a Cave ...". But unlike the latter, "Tropfstein" doesn´t stick to the sound experiments but soon evolves melodically into an otherworldly mystical piece. In "Deamons" - which is absolutely outstanding even within this remarkable album - atonal high pitch vocals give the music an intriguing note, meanwhile the eccentric vocal and instrumental arrangements need not to hide behind great English prog rock contemporaries like King Crimson or Gentle Giant. The solemn "Verlass mich nicht" ("Don´t leave me") again captivates the listener with high pitch vocals and a perfectly matching "Pink Floyd manner" percussion at "heartbeat" tempo with accompanying guitar. Finally, mentioning "Geige" one should add that with this piece, in 1978 GAM were already pointing at the future: Like many other Krautrock bands, they took part in inventing the beat of the nineties, which can be ? among other examples of seventies music ? listened to here. Generally, "Eiszeit" is outstanding in its innovation and will be an excellent addition to any prog rock album collection.
4 stars . annika | 4/5 | 2011-10-2

GAM ‎– Eiszeit
Cosmic Egg ‎– UTCE 002, Ultimate Transmissions ‎– UTCE 002
Format:CD, Album
Date:19 Apr 2005
Style:Krautrock, Psychedelic Rock, Experimental

 Tracks Listing

1. Tropfstein (3:40)
2. Sepp Oben Ich Unten (7:40)
3. Geige (4:50)
4. Demons (5:25)
5. Wilderness (5:50)
6. Verlass Mich Nicht (6:30)
7. Ich Bin Ein Teil (8:20)

Total Time: 42:15


    Drums, Percussion – Michael Leske
    Graphics [Graphic Detail On Front] – Mette Bloch-Jespersen
    Guitar, Vocals – Axel Struck
    Guitar, Vocals, Trumpet – Günter Schickert
    Remastered By [Restored], Edited By, Design [Cover], Layout, Liner Notes – Alan Freeman

Recorded at CCC Studio, Berlin Spandau (1978).
Restored & edited May & December 2002.

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