Sand - Golem LP
Sand's first album Golem is an utter classic of ur-folk krautrock recorded back in 1974 with the nascent technology known as Artificial Head Stereo Sound, meant to the expand beyond the quadrophonic. The recording gear was being lugged around by Klaus Schulze who was the man responsible for capturing Sand's album. They were a peculiar band for the whole Kraut scene, as they were drummerless - or mostly so, as a Yahowah 13-ish hippie boogie is tapped out on the album's finale "Sarah". But for the remaining four-fifths of the album, it's just bass, guitar, synth, and voice. The openness of their arrangements served the Artificial Head recording very well (with the results best rendered on headphones, very trippy); but all of these cool tricks would be worthless had Sand's Golem not already been lumbering, lugubrious monster of an album. The sprawling tracks roll in and out of slowly plucked / strummed guitar - like Manuel Gottsching or Gunter Schickert if played at 16rpm. It's sparklingly gloomy avant-folk, with spooky vibes from the synth and horror-laden lyrics uttered by the weirdly mannered vocalist Johannes Vester, whose take on a Cockney slur via Bavaria is most certainly an unconventional approach. It's no wonder that this album was one album that David Tibet obsessed over upon discovering it in Steven Stapleton's record collection. So much so that Tibet not only reissued the album, but reprised Sand's "When The May Rain Comes" on the iconic Current 93 album Thunder Perfect Mind. Probably the closest neighbors to Sand would be the beloved strum-und-drang of German Oak or the weeping fortune telling of Paternoster. Required. Required. Required.