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Planet of Man by Code III
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9/10 Brian 01 August 2014

The back story behind this is quite interesting. Formed as a vehicle to experiment with their new "dummy head" binaural recording system by the brothers Schunke, This strange and spooky audio emission from the newly formed (and Klaus Schulze-assisted) Delta Acustic studios is one for all lovers of true cosmic weirdness. How could a German record made in the mid-70's be anything less than unusual?

'Planet of Man' is a sonic meditation on the creation of the earth, the planets and the dawn of man. There's plenty of field recordings with eerie synth drones and pulses to mark out the initial movement. It's the 2001: A Space Odyssey of cosmic records. A lovely folk guitar cycle comes into play 8 minutes in, a bit of flute. A soft male lullaby vocal. With the birdsong adding to the idyllic nature it's easy to get lost in this ten minute piece. Followed by a muffled proto-Neubauten recording that sounds like a tribal dance on a building site in Berlin gradually becoming a druid-like ceremony - this is one weird, unnerving record.

Next we have flutter of meandering sitar and an angry ranting American grouch who sound like he's either shat himself or been robbed. Or both. Now some guys are tuning up in the studio and chuntering quietly, What does it all mean? Around 28 minutes in is the really amazing piece of eccentric kraut-rock you've been craving; all swirling glossolalia, eastern psychedelic tropes and intense, clattery motorik drums underpinned with this insistent muddied bass thrum. It sounds like an LSD trip in a harem and is so worth the wait. If you played this at a party you'd proper freak people out as it gets weirder, more intense, industrial and sinister as it progresses beyond the seven minute mark. What an amazing piece of music!

Back to the ambience, the field recordings and some seriously warped vocal/tape manipulation....then a ricocheting electronic pulse picks up speed and we're sprung helplessly into a shuddering astral void being probed by aliens who want to know why our men have such stupid hair and the women look so bored. I think you get me drift, this is one of those really remarkable recordings that can never be repeated. It's a true labyrinthine document of its time/place and is subsequently rather dark and unsettling in parts, glorious and celebratory in others. For the more adventurous trip-head amongst you, I'd heartily recommend this to fans of 'An Electric Storm' by White Noise.


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