MYTHOS: Superkraut Live at Stagge's Hotel 1976 (2011)
“This is Krautrock that should please to fans of it, but it’s also the start of a new musical adventure for Mythos”
1 Dreamlab Part 1 Echophase Live 9:27
2 Dedicated to Werner von Braun 5:28
3 There's no God (Battlefield) 9:13
4 Eternity Live 9:07
5 Stagge Inferno 3:40
6 Backstage Fumble Live 6:16
7 Message Part 2 Live 8:44
8 There's no God (Final) 7:17
(CD 51:54) (V.F.)
We are at full heart of the 70's and Mythos is more and more recognized in the spheres of Krautrock Musik with musical influences as much diversified as Can, Nektar, Jethro Tull, King Crimson and Ashra Temple. SUPERKRAUT LIVE AT STAGGE'S HOTEL 1976 is a cultural legacy of this cult band that made its mark on the legendary OHR label. The band is then at the top of its popularity with its 75's Dreamlab album. In March 1976, Mythos stopped for the time of one concert at the mythical pub Stagge's Hotel. The band gave an intimist performance in front of a public conquered beforehand. A concert where Stephan Kaske's band presented tracks of the Dreamlab album, as well as one track that will appear on the forthcoming album Strange Guys and 3 new tracks unedited until now. Recordings of this show were found and are offered in a good presentation from Sireena Records, which includes a digipak art and a nice booklet telling the story of those days and of this concert at the Stagge's Hotel.
A flute runs after its breath in the opening of Dreamlab Part 1 Echophase Live. The bass and drums are quarrelling for a rhythm in formation while the flute tries to pierce this rhythm which becomes heavy, slow and languishing. We would believe to hear Jethro Tull. One-man band, Stephan Kaske trades his flute for his synth and spits electronic tones of the vintage years, whereas the bass bites quite hard this beat became totally crazy. A rhythm which deviates towards a strong electronic progressive rock. A little after the 6th minute, Dreamlab Part 1 Echophase Live slides towards more ethereal ambiances with a soft acoustic guitar which is use as melodious rampart for the celestial breezes from the flute. A short and soft moment that the drum wraps slowly before the rhythm starts again with more cohesion. Also from Dreamlab, Dedicated to Werner von Braun is a great track which brings us to the evasive and floating rhythms of the Krautrock years. Kaske's guitar delivers some really good floating solos which roll in loops and weave an enchanting cosmic melody on an ascending rhythmic structure. That's very good and we would believe to hear some psychedelico-floating music by Ashra Temple. There's no God (Battlefield) is an unreleased track and features Stephan Kaske on vocals. It's a strange track from which the evolutionary rhythms lag us in the universes of Jethro Tull and King Crimson from the Larks' Tongue in Aspic era with a superb duel bass/synth to with still very electronic tones. Yes, I liked that a lot. Always from the Dreamlab album, Eternity Live opens with a nice cosmic ballad where the flute and the acoustic guitar of Robby Luizaga weave a pretty splendid melody. It's a good intro which permutes with violence on a jerky rhythm and which tempers a little to embrace a stunning cosmic blues where Stephan Kaske shows that he is as much a good guitarist as a good synthesist.
Another unreleased track, Stagge Inferno is a bipolar piece of music with its tempo in constant mutation. The opening takes the appearances of furious electronic rock with heavy riffs of guitars. It's an unbridled rock slowed by more melodious passages where Robby Luizaga's bass runs and harpoons this wild tempo. Not really in tune, Backstage Fumble Live will be on next Mythos album, Strange Guys. This track presents a rhythmic canvas which is similar to Dreamlab Part 1 Echophase Live, except that on contrary the 1st part is more melodious while the 2nd one adopts a more untidy structure where guitars and flute are trading riffs, harmonies and melodies on a bass moves. Message Part 2 Live is a wonderful and short melody where Kaske's synth Oboe and flute fill the air with celestial harmonies. A solid drum solo is the main element of There's no God (Final) which is also the last unreleased track on this live album.
I'm not really a connoisseur of the Krautrock genre, so I don't have any comparison point in order to review this live album from a Mythos that I barely knew the roots. On the other hand, I can lean on certain progressive groups that I listened to during my adolescence to try to analyze this opus which reveals me a Mythos in a timid transition towards EM. And I did like it. I was surprised by Stephan Kaske's dexterity and especially by the musicality which escapes from these musical structures a bit chaotic and in constant evolutions, even inside brief passages. SUPERKRAUT LIVE AT STAGGE'S HOTEL 1976 is an album which, I am sure of it, is going to please those who likes vintage Krautrock, if I may say it that way. It's an album that shows all the potential of Stephan Kaske. An exponential potential which explains the hatching of Mythos with superb and intriguing The Dark Side of Mythos, released in 2000.
Sylvain Lupari (October 17th, 2011) ***½**
Available at Sireena Records