John L. and Adamah - Lonesome In Overdrive. 1996 Germany

A magnificent album that hardly anyone knows about, and it features an original iconic Krautrock freak!

Review originally published in Gnosis on July 18, 2006. Updated for UMR

About a couple of times a year, something will arrive that re-lights my collecting fire. Not long ago, it was Del Jones Positive Vibes. Prior to that it had been Berits Halsband that reawakened me. If you saw this CD in the store, you’d pass right over it. The artwork and lettering look like a new age album on the Narada label. It’s dedicated to Greenpeace and half the songs are about whales. It’s subtitled Malinuuga Music, which according to the liner notes is the indigenous rhythm of Europe, unrelated to African and Native American percussion. Yea, well whoopdee doo.

Well boys and girls, the reality is this: Had I sent you a tape and stated "Adamah: Unreleased Ohr album from 1972", you would have had ZERO problem believing me. This is the most authentic slice of Krautrock I’ve heard post 1980. In spirit, sound and intensity. Adamah is not some new age wuss who misses his mommy, but rather a nine piece group that features all sorts of analog synthesizers, flute, clarinet, violin, steel guitar, electric guitar, sitar, various homemade stringed instruments, female vocals and no less than 3 full time percussionists. The production sounds as if Dieter Dirks did a number on it, with loads of phasing and other studio trickery. There is wah-wah, fuzz and all sorts of wild moments found throughout. There’s even the female narration in German ala Ash Ra Tempel's Join Inn. And there’s not even a HINT this is done for a retro market or that it’s the 1990s. This is truly organic, time has completely stood still. And if you are paying close attention, yes, this is THE John L. of Ash Ra Tempel's Schwingungen fame! Here he’s dressed in full-blown traditional Jewish attire, complete with flat brimmed hat, long beard and side curls. And he’s holding one of those aforementioned homemade electric stringed instruments with the Star of David on it. And he sounds pretty much the same as he did on the ART album, with chanting, yelling, semi-singing. Most of the album is instrumental, so his vocals are once again a curious, but fascinating, addition. With a 24 year separation between albums, and both masterpieces, John L. has proven he's one of the true creative freaks of our era.

Personal collection
CD: 1996 Green Tree

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