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Thread: Featured album : Out Of Focus - S/T

  1. #1
    That's Mr. to you, Sir!! Trane's Avatar
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    Featured album : Out Of Focus - S/T

    http://www.progarchives.com/progress...2221112005.jpg

    oof.jpg

    Out Of Focus - S/T


    Tracks Listing:

    1. What Can a Poor Boy Do (5:52)
    2. It's Your Life (4:31)
    3. Whispering (13:34)
    4. Blue Sunday Morning (8:20)
    5. Fly Bird Fly (5:09)
    6. Television Program (11:45)


    Line-up:

    - Remingius Drechsler / guitars, stylophone, tenor saxophone, flutes, voice
    - Hennes Hering / organ, piano
    - Moran Neumüller / soprano saxophone, vocals
    - Klaus Spöri / drums
    - Stephen Wishen / bass




    Here is what ST had to say about it in PA
    With an unchanged line-up, OOF focus progressed immensely from their psyched-out prog rock by adding a jazz dimension that will make itself present through Moran's newly developed sax playing. This added dimension will give OOF such a wider spectrum that their excellent debut album will be dwarfed by this monster follow-up. Strangely enough their jazzy impulses show in the Tull (This Was) or TYA (Ten Years After) mode, rather than a complete jazz-rock ala Mahavishnu or brassy rock ala Colosseum or Warm Dust. Charged with an awesome abstract artwork, this baby is again released with the now-legendary Kuckuck label.

    The album starts energetically enough with the hard driving What Can a Poor Boy do, but where you expect a flute, Moran pulls out his new sax and blows one mean solo, having us wonder how he mastered it so easily so quickly. Indeed, even in the short stop and go section, he follows no problems and has enough guts to follow it with a last bravado before Wisheu's bass intervention change into a call and response between Drechsler's guitar first, than alternatively organ, sax and guitar before resuming the 100 mph rock driving rhythm. What a minor tour de force!! The absolutely delightful folk-laden (induced by a spellbinding guitar but also an enchanting flute) It's Your Life is an incredible joy to your eardrums, somehow reminding of Traffic's John Barleycorn. The 13-min+ slow-developing Whispering is a combination of explosion of sounds, from a propelling organ and discreet piano, a soaring & searing guitar, an very explorative bass, wild drumming and Moran's new saxophone madness. Again the jazz tonalities are really more in the TYA mode than the pure jazz-rock deal, but the whole thing is damn progressive and once again the band show their impressive talent at light improvisation and the tail end fade out is a pure bit of heaven.

    Then flipside starts on the folky Blue Sunday Morning, starting on a mad drum march with a flute-and-organ unison and Moran's sinister voice being the master of ceremony. Behind all this, Drechsler's near satanic guitar arpeggios are what makes the track so spellbinding. The bass picks up late in the track and by that time the song has veered completely psychedelic and the tension is really palpable in the building crescendo leading to the surprisingly absent climax. Nevertheless, another minor tour de force. The next track is a linked up duo starting with Fly Bird Fly and a very Traffic-like flute leading to some superb Greenslade-like organ parts and sweet guitar lines slowly leading into the second part of track Television Program, which is plenty excellent as well and comes the album's apex with the depicting the boredom of the truckload of images breaking the floodgates from the cathode tube into your brains and wondering on the consequences. This last part can be reminiscent of their debut Wake Up album.

    This band is a mystery on how they never made it big and they would have, had they been British or American. An absolute find, a must -hear, your musical education cannot be complete without having heard this group (I am slightly exaggerating on the last point but it is for the CAUSE), your life will definitely more complete and fulfilled if you know of them, your sexual impulses will be multiplied by a thousand if you have at least heard of them, you will live to 200 years of age if you are even aware of their existence - I've never been so serious in my life. LISTEN TO THIS, you progheads!!!!!!!!!!





    my music collection increased tenfolds when I switched from drug-addicts to complete nutcases.

  2. #2
    Moderator Poisoned Youth's Avatar
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    Underrated band and quintessential to the proto-prog style imo.
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  3. #3
    Yes, great band. Their third album was a double with lots of jazzy jams, and has been compared to Soft Machine's third. After that there were two LP's of unreleased material, apparently recorded during the third album sessions, and those were also very good.

  4. #4
    That's Mr. to you, Sir!! Trane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by yoyiceu View Post
    Yes, great band. Their third album was a double with lots of jazzy jams, and has been compared to Soft Machine's third. After that there were two LP's of unreleased material, apparently recorded during the third album sessions, and those were also very good.
    three posthumous releases, all particularly good, IMHO

    Live Palermo 72 (their only concert outside Germany)
    Not Too Late - the band's fourth album, never released at the time, with a slightly different line-up (a second guitarist)
    Rat Roads - that one is the leftover from FLMA
    Last edited by Trane; 04-09-2020 at 06:04 AM.
    my music collection increased tenfolds when I switched from drug-addicts to complete nutcases.

  5. #5
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    I’m a fan of this band and agree that it is underrated. It seems to me that they get unfairly lost among the many great bands coming out of Germany at that time. My favorite album is probably Four Letter Monday Afternoon.

  6. #6
    Member Joe F.'s Avatar
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    I have all of their albums except the Palermo '72 release. I dig them all.
    Last edited by Joe F.; 04-05-2020 at 06:56 PM.

  7. #7
    I bought this one and Wake Up (their first) all at once when I saw them going for cheap. I could not get into them, their sound was very typical early 70s German rock, but I don’t think they did anything amazing or bring anything new to the table (apart from some pretty embarrassing lyrics. “Mr. President, I want to make love to you...” Ugh!). So when I saw Four Letter Monday Afternoon going for a song, I hesitated. I am glad I picked it up, though, as it really is a superior album. Highly worthwhile; there’s a reason everyone talks about FLMA and not so much about the first two.
    Confirmed Bachelors: the dramedy hit of 1883...

  8. #8
    Afraid I'll have to side with Progbear here — FLMA was excellent (if a bit overlong), while this has always sounded a bit basic to me. Nothing offensive, just not something I'd want to play too often.

  9. #9
    A somewhat transitional album to me, from the wacky, spaced-out prog/psych of Wake Up, to the grand-scale compositions of Four Letter Monday Afternoon. It's very good indeed, although - as mentioned - a bit overshadowed by what other of their compatriots were achieving at the same time (think of Can, Amon Duul II, Embryo etc). Of course Four Letter Monday Afternoon is their most interesting and accomplished record, and one could speak of a complete transformation without exaggeration. Although the germs can already be found in songs like Whispering or Television Program.

    I have to admit that I found it very hard to get into Four Letter Monday Afternoon - the excessive repetitiveness of it seemed to me pointless and tiring. I had to buy the "thing" and listen to it many times so as to "unlock" its secrets. It is not about chops or inspired improvisation, it is about intensity and cyclic repetition, until the music destroys all resistance, until the constant, repetitive flow of musical waves eats away the rock of mental evaluation and judgement. It is music that demands passive listening, and no doubt would work wonders in a live performance.

    Nowadays I consider it one of the masterpieces of Kraut-Rock.

  10. #10
    I have trouble with the vocals

  11. #11
    Somebody needs to sort the "feature" albums with the most recent going on the top

  12. #12
    Not a particular fan of this one. I quite enjoy their (almost impossibly) freaky debut, which comes across as a garagey Kraut-conglomerate of early Edgar Broughton Band, The Doors and Blodwyn Pig, but on the sophomore they tend to seriously snooze me. Attempts at being "more musical" by ways of underdeveloped sax-playing and the ubiquitous short-theme endless repetition (already so established on the debut) only give away their somewhat amateurish glare. Granted FDLA succeeds a bit more but I really wasn't ever impressed by that one either.

    Outline; I kept and sometimes even play my Kuckuck Wake Up - ahich has an awesome cover, btw - but let go of the other two. And I never heard any of their archival releases, I'll have to admit.
    "Improvisation is not an excuse for musical laziness" - Fred Frith
    "[...] things that we never dreamed of doing in Crimson or in any band that I've been in," - Tony Levin speaking of SGM

  13. #13
    That's Mr. to you, Sir!! Trane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zappathustra View Post
    Somebody needs to sort the "feature" albums with the most recent going on the top
    Yup, saw that too

    The Discus feature has been there for over a month I believe

    Quote Originally Posted by nearfest View Post
    I have trouble with the vocals
    an acquired tast, especially with those surrealist lyrics.

    Quote Originally Posted by Scrotum Scissor View Post
    And I never heard any of their archival releases, I'll have to admit.

    You won't find your happiness in them, I'm afraid though Not Too Late is a little rockier, because of a second guitarist and less brassy.
    But that "unpolished" side (the one you call amateur) is particular to them and one of the reasons why I like them so much.

    The live album features some of their second album and nothing of Wake Up, although there is plenty of other compositions/tracks (60%) hat aren't available elsewhere
    my music collection increased tenfolds when I switched from drug-addicts to complete nutcases.

  14. #14
    Moderator Poisoned Youth's Avatar
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    The sticky is fixed.
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  15. #15
    Subterranean Tapir Hobo Chang Ba's Avatar
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    This always felt like a band I should like but don't actually like.


    Quote Originally Posted by nearfest View Post
    I have trouble with the vocals
    Less of those would help immensely, IMO.
    No humor please, we're skittish.

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  16. #16
    "Improvisation is not an excuse for musical laziness" - Fred Frith
    "[...] things that we never dreamed of doing in Crimson or in any band that I've been in," - Tony Levin speaking of SGM

  17. #17
    That's Mr. to you, Sir!! Trane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hobo Chang Ba View Post
    This always felt like a band I should like but don't actually like.

    Less of those would help immensely, IMO.
    You can't say that OOF is a band with a lot of vocals, though.
    I don't know how much of the time their singer is busy but I'd estimate roughly 20% of the band's music is sung, including those amazing scats on Tsajama (and returning in another track)

    Quote Originally Posted by Poisoned Youth View Post
    The sticky is fixed.
    Thx
    my music collection increased tenfolds when I switched from drug-addicts to complete nutcases.

  18. #18
    Member nosebone's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Levgan View Post
    Afraid I'll have to side with Progbear here — FLMA was excellent (if a bit overlong), while this has always sounded a bit basic to me. Nothing offensive, just not something I'd want to play too often.
    Agreed
    no tunes, no dynamics, no nosebone

  19. #19
    Subterranean Tapir Hobo Chang Ba's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trane View Post
    You can't say that OOF is a band with a lot of vocals, though.
    I don't know how much of the time their singer is busy but I'd estimate roughly 20% of the band's music is sung, including those amazing scats on Tsajama (and returning in another track)



    Thx
    Oh it's certainly not the chief complaint, and even if it was 100% instrumental I'm sure it still wouldn't completely float my boat.
    No humor please, we're skittish.

    Never let good music get in the way of making a profit.

  20. #20
    I just put my CD copy of this up on discogs.com if anyone is interested.

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