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MAN Man Esoteric (2007)


Remastered, expanded, with previously unseen images and drole recollections from guitarist Deke Leonard, this first release in Esoteric's exhumation of Man's United Artists catalogue delivers a hefty 76 minutes of music that must be unique in coupling the sensibilities of country to those of krautrock.

In a bid to break a lousy deal with Pye, the Welsh wizards settled in Germany where the hippie ethos had been welcomed with open arms and widespread appreciation of a Brit band with an uber-cool name, that dropped gallons of acid, and rocked yet still play extended sets of the kind of stoner, avant-garde improv martialled by the likes of local heroes Amon Duul II.

This 1971 release, penned on the autobahns and honed at numerous gigs across Germany, is in effect, the Man band live set list: straight runs of bluesy, countrified rock that segues into extended flights of fancy, largely instrumental, and with many raids on the studio's special effects cupboard, they summon the spirit of Pop Vuh and even Stockhausen in its quieter passages.

Lambasted back in Britain on release, the album was acclaimed in Man's new home, where its context was better understood.


Review by Peter Muir

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***** Out of this world | **** Pretty damn fine |
*** OK, approach with caution unless you are a fan |
** Instant bargain bin fodder | * Ugly. Just ugly

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