Agitation Free -
Shibuya Nights Live In Tokyo

(CD 2011; 73:59; Esoteric recordings EAGFCD 1001)

The tracks:
  1- You Play For Us Today(6:12)
  2- Sahara City(2:48)
  3- In The Silence Of The Morning Sunrise(6:22)
  4- Shibuya Nights(6:15)
  5- First Communication(6:25)
  6- Dialogue & Random(1:22)
  7- Ala Tul(6:15)
  8- Laila(7:38)
  9- Nomads(6:47)
10- A Quiet Walk(6:27)
11- Das Kleine Uhrwerk(4:48)
12- Malesch(5:42)
13- Drifting(3:54)
14- Rücksturz(2:57)

Agitation Free Website        samples        Cherry Red Records

Somehow I managed to avert the music of the German legendary band Agitation Free, although they've been around since the early seventies. However, I'm familiar with Michael Hoenig, one of the band members, from his beautiful solo recordings full of smooth electronic music. All in all I didn't quite know what to expect when I put up Shibuya Nights - Live In Tokyo, a CD recorded during a reunion tour in 2007. Somehow I wasn't that surprised when the first piece turned out to sound like early Tangerine Dream, but with a jazzy flavour. Then I heard sounds which reminded me a lot of a fellow German jazz rock outfit namely Passport. And so we went on to world music sounding songs and some experimental krautrock stuff, to wind up at Ashra Temple with the repetitious guitar, and music that clearly inspired contemporary bands like Ozric Tentacles and Hidria Spacefolk. I even heard some straight-forward rock! Man, this is good stuff. Shibuya Nights - Live In Tokyo can function as a 'best of' album as it contains ten recordings from Agitation Free's seventies albums Malesch (1972) and Second (1973), one from the reunion album The River Of Return (1999), and three new compositions. All sound fresh as if they were composed in the last decade, surely a proof of the continuous relevance of this band.

***+André de Waal (edited by Peter Willemsen)

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