Yatha Sidhra

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Yatha Sidhra, from Freiberg,Germany, near both the Swiss and French borders, was a short-lived group that only lasted long enough to record one piece of music. That one piece of music was the 40-minute…
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Yatha Sidhra, from Freiberg,Germany, near both the Swiss and French borders, was a short-lived group that only lasted long enough to record one piece of music. That one piece of music was the 40-minute "A Meditation Mass" which stretched over two sides of the LP of the same name released in 1973 by the legendary Brain label and considered one of the classics of cosmic Krautrock.

Yatha Sidhra's roots go back to the mid-'60s, when two brothers, multi-instrumentalist Rolf and drummer Klaus Fichter began playing in various groups together, starting with a soul group called Lea Gamble that consisted of them and two American ex-service men. By the early 1970s the Fichter's were teamed with French bassist Jean-Michel Boivert and flautist Peter Elbracht in a hard rock band called Brontosaurus, which because of the flute sounded a bit like Jethro Tull. In early 1973, Rolf Fichter started work on a lengthy new work, "A Meditation Mass," and soon began to perform it live with Brontosaurus. At one gig Achim Reichel, a key figure in German rock music, was awe-struck enough by the piece that he befriended the band. Reichel managed to get them a contract with Brain Records to record the piece, under the condition that they change their name to something more appropriate for "A Meditation Mass," which did not sound at all like Brontosaurus's other material, as the piece was far more hypnotic and dreamy. The name Yatha Sidhra was chosen because it had a mystical sound to it.

By the time the album was recorded later that year, guitarist and bassist Matthias Nicolar had replaced Boivert. Reichel produced the album, and on it Rolf Fichter played Moog, flute, vibes, electric piano, guitar and vocals. Brain released the album in 1974 with a die-cut gatefold cover with the album's title in cut-out stencil. The group presumably only existed to make the one recording, and not much longer than that. Rolf and Klaus Fichter eventually re-emerged as the duo Dreamworld and released a couple of records in the early 1980s of rather conventional ELP-styled synth-prog with none of A Meditation Mass's magic and mystique.