Agitation Free

2nd

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Agitation Free's 2nd stands as one of Germany's finest instrumental rock albums of the 1970s and a classic for fans of progressive rock and Krautrock. Despite the fact that the group had problems keeping its cohesion at the time, these troubles never affect the music. 2nd presented a daring blend of Krautrock-type extended jams, laid-back attitude, and experimentation. The music remains very psychedelic in nature, more early Can than Faust. The presence of acoustic guitars and bouzouki emphasizes the easygoing nature of the music, along with Stefan Diez's elegant guitar soloing, while occasional free-form passages keep things on the edge. The opener, "First Communication," is pure Krautrock and the hardest-driving tune. It belongs on every anthology of German rock. Michael Hoenig's synthesizer experiment "Dialogue and Random" provides an interlude before the two-part "Laila" kicks in. The latter juxtaposes prog rock and fusion jazz sections with beautiful audacity. Side B of the original LP is a lot quieter. Birds chirp at the beginning of "In the Silence of the Morning Sunrise" and the pastoral mood carries over to the nine-minute "A Quiet Walk." "Haunted Island" ends with a midtempo rock number featuring a recitation of Edgar Allan Poe's "Dreamland." Filled with Mellotron and guitar jamming, it has often been hailed as a highlight by prog rock fans who had a hard time digesting the less immediate material, but it's actually weaker than what came before it -- without lessening the appeal of this album.

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