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Clowns & Clouds

Artist: Hoelderlin
Label: Spiegelei
Catalog#: 26 605-6 U
Format: Vinyl
Country: Germany
Released: 1976
Tracklist
A1 Mad House 6:50
  Notes:

Written-By - Christian Von Grumbkow
Written-By - Joachim Von Grumbkow

A2 Your Eyes 6:06
  Notes:

Written-By - Joachim Von Grumbkow

A3a Tango Mili  
  Notes:

Written-By - Christian Von Grumbkow
Written-By - Christoph Noppeney
Written-By - Joachim Von Grumbkow

A3b Marching  
  Notes:

Written-By - Christian Von Grumbkow
Written-By - Christoph Noppeney
Written-By - Joachim Von Grumbkow

A3c Sensations  
  Notes:

Written-By - Christian Von Grumbkow
Written-By - Christoph Noppeney
Written-By - Joachim Von Grumbkow

B1 Streaming 7:07
  Notes:

Written-By - Hans Bäär

B2 Phasing 12:12
  Notes:

Written-By - Hans Bäär
Written-By - Joachim Von Grumbkow

Credits

Arranged By - Karlheinz Borchert
Arranged By, Artwork By [Cover Concept, Design] - Hoelderlin
Bass, Guitar - Hans Bäär
Drums, Percussion - Michael Bruchmann
Engineer - Conny Plank
Engineer [Assistant] - Udo Klempt-Giessing
Guitar [Lead], Artwork By [Cover Paintings] - Christian Von Grumbkow
Keyboards, Vocals, Cello - Joachim Von Grumbkow
Photography - Peter De Ruig
Producer - Karlheinz Borchert
Saxophone, Flute, Percussion - Büdi Siebert
Technician [Live-sound] - Joachim Käseberg
Viola, Vocals, Acoustic Guitar - Christoph Noppeney

Notes

Recorded & mixed at Conny's Studio, Neunkirchen, January 1976
©℗ 1976 Spiegelei/Intercord

Strawberry Bricks Entry: 
Hoelderlin's third album was recorded less than a year after their second, and again consolidated their grasp of British prog rock. The band also experienced lineup changes: Hans Bäär (Hans Detlef Maahn) now replaced Peter Käseberg on bass, while Joachim Käseberg put down his guitar to concentrate on live sound—he was the first member to switch to the "business" side of the band. Guest Jörg-Peter "Büdi" Siebert, in a recurring role, added wind instruments. As the title suggests, the album is indeed divided into two halves. Side one, the "Clown" side, essentially consists of (more or less) songs-proper. The spiky clavinets of "Mad House" open, the track reminiscent of Genesis. As Joachim von Grumbkow's keyboard guides the track along, Nops Noppeney delivers an excellent vocal, with Siebert's sax rounding out the arrangement. Joachim then takes his turn at vocals on "Your Eyes," and his voice is more sympathetic to the elaborate yet delicate composition. Christian von Grumbkow's guitar is understated throughout the track (and indeed, the record), barely rising above Noppeney's violin at the end. The "Circus" suite has a more complex structure, though its many sections merge together effortlessly; Joachim's organ takes prominence as the band plays through the remarkably complex and melodic arrangement. Side two, the "Cloud" side, offers a pair of compositions that are based more on atmosphere and instrumental improvisation, and more than exemplifies Hoelderlin's ability with long-form music. The simplicity of the Bäär-penned "Streaming" belies its effectiveness: Fluid and ethereal, it rides effortlessly on top of Michael Bruchmann's crisp drumming. The track then segues into the lengthy "Phasing." Guided by a gentle electric piano and violin, the main phrase swells over a hypnotic bass line as it approaches critical mass; with Siebert and Noppeney again soloing, it's transcendent. Clowns & Clouds remains as impressive and unpretentious a display of progressive rock as any in the timeline. Once again, the album was immaculately recorded and produced by Conny Plank, and released on the Spiegelei label. In addition to significant touring, the band recorded several concerts for German TV around this time.
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