Zoppo Trump - s/t. 1971-1972; 1976 Germany (archival)

The first two tracks here are when Zoppo Trump still existed as a guitar/keys-bass-drums trio. The music has a certain sophistication, but is also quite informed by the West Coast USA psych sound. At this point, they could be considered a parallel group to Walpurgis. Summary: Good not great. However change was on the horizon. Adding dedicated guitarist Ulrich Beck in 1972, which freed up band leader Ferdi Eberth on the Hammond organ, resulted in a remarkable progression for the band. As represented by tracks 3 to 7, Zoppo Trump sound more like their Krautrock contemporaries who adopted jazz characteristics as additives to their psychedelic Krautrock stew. Comparisons to bands such as Out of Focus, Thirsty Moon and Eiliff would not be an exaggeration here.  This gets us to the two previously released tracks from 1976, that were initially on the "Scena Westphalica"* compilation. Eberth rebuilt the band from the ground up, himself switching back to guitar, while adding three new members on keyboards/sax, bass, and drums. Here the band trades in their psychedelic Krautrock chips for a sound entrenched in more standard forms of jazz rock. Overall, an extraordinary musical document, which clearly demonstrates that Zoppo Trump could very well have released one of the all-time great Krautrock albums had they the proper chance. Only drawback is the less than stellar sound quality throughout (though still very listenable and miles better than bootleg standard).

*According to the liner notes, Garden of Delights states clearly that "Scena Westphalica" was released in 1976. They also opine that, in addition to Zoppo Trump, "the other tracks on the compilation album, by the way, are not of any interest for progressive fans." I have not heard the album myself, but I'm inclined to believe them all the same. I'm going to guess then, that the Electric Mud Orchestra, while no doubt related to the 1971 band (and bass player Udo Preising was the owner of the label Förderturm and a member of Electric Mud - and later was in Zoppo Trump - hence the connection), is in no way musically similar. As of course the Electric Mud album itself is "of interest" to progressive fans.

Personal collection
CD: 2009 Garden of Delights

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