Saturday, 17 August 2013


Kosmische Musik 1974

01. Cosmic Joy
02. Galactic Joke

So you probably already know the story, but if you don't...

A lot of great music came out of Dieter Dierks' Berlin studio in the early 1970's. Ash Ra Tempel & Timothy Leary's "7 Up", Walter Wegmüller's "Tarot" and Sergius Golowin's "Lord Krishna Von Goloka" to name a few. The musicians on these records were dubbed 'The Cosmic Couriers' and included  Manuel Göttsching and Klaus Schulze of Ash Ra Tempel and Jurgen Dollase and Harold Grosskopf of Wallenstein.

Ash Ra Tempel even found time between sessions to record their classic "Join Inn". Fellow German heads Rolf-Ulrich Kaiser and Gille Lettman hit upon the idea of giving these musicians acid, letting them improvise and recording the results. What they didn't do however, was ask their permission to release those results.

And so, in 1974, Rolf-Ulrich Kaiser released 5 (!) albums made up from these sessions. Released under varying names (but now recognised under the Cosmic Jokers moniker) on Kaiser's own Kosmische Musik label.

Klaus Schulze had had enough by the fifth release and started legal proceedings. Kaiser went on the run.

It's a shame that these records have such shaky ethical beginnings because their is some fine music here.

The first album is almost an Ash Ra Tempel record. Göttsching dominates side 1, total space rock guitar with heavy hypnotic percussion. Side 2 belongs to Schulze and it sounds like a lot of his records at the time. Spacey, glacial electronic ambient.

Probably the finest Cosmic Jokers 'album'. But it doesn't end there.


Kosmische Musik 1974

1. Kinder Des Alles
2. Galactic Supermarket

The second album comes from a completely different set of sessions. There is more of a Wallenstein influence here and is certainly more up tempo than the last L.P.

It follows the same path as the previous album (and a lot of Kosmische at the time) by have a guitar led space rock wig out on side 1 and deep space ambient on Side 2.

Not as essential as the first, but still worth your while.


Kosmische Musik 1974

01. Raumschiff Galaxy Startet
02. The Planet Of Communication
03. Electronenzirkus
04. Der Narr Im All
05. Raumschiff Galaxy Fliegt In Die Sonne
06. Intergalactic Nightclub
07. Loving Frequencies
08. Electronic News
09. Intergalactic Radio Guri Broadcasting
10. Raumschiff Galaxy Im Sonne
11. Interstellar Rock-Kosmische Musik
12. Raumschiff Galaxy Saust In Die Lichtbahnen/Der Planet Des Sternenmadchens

The third L.P. gets a bit of a hard time. Yes, the barrel may be being scraped here but the results are still great in places. Abandoning the side long pieces of music on previous albums, this draws together various sessions and sews them together in post production.

The results sound more like a cohesive L.P. than you might think. If this was released by some unknown Krautrock band and therefore didn't have it's wobbly ethical history, it would be hailed as a classic.

Don't listen to the naysayers, this is some good shit.


Kosmische Musik 1974

01. Im Reich Der Magier
02. Der Herrscher
03. The Cosmic Couriers Meet South Philly Willy
04. Kinder Des Alls I
05. The Electronic Scene
06. Kinder Des Alls II
07. Interplay Of Forces
08. Planeten Sit-In

So this is probably the cheekiest of the Cosmic Jokers L.P.'s. It's essentially a label sampler drawing mainly from the previous three Cosmic Jokers albums, which, don't forget, were all released in 1974! This man could exploit!

It's an uneven listen and sounds very cobbled together. A more successful stab at roughly the same idea would come with the fifth and final Jokers album.


Kosmische Musik 1974

01. Tim Bleibt Bei Uns
02. Downtown
03. Lord Krishna
04. Power Drive
05. Bei Tim
06. Right Hand Lover
07. Cosmic Courier Bon Chance
08. Swiss Hight Lands
09. Der Magier
10. The Electronic Scene
11. Electronic Rock Zeitalter
12. So Beautiful
13. The Queen Of Sunshine
14. Meine Kosmische Musik

And so it ends.This final record is a far better representation of the Dieter Dierks studio scene. Including tracks from the classics mentioned in the first post, plus some choice Cosmic Jokers cuts, this is a kind of sampler, greatest hits and a remix all in one.

Tracks are remixed and mixed together with Kaiser's girlfriend's stoned warbling over the top.

An interesting idea and a good listen but the game was up. Kaiser was being sued, the label folded and as 1974 ended, so did The Cosmic Jokers.