Review Summary: Germany's Dschining psych stars
German psych that sort of straddles the line between 60s nuggets-style pop and witchy 70s fuzz-psych, Dschinn were nothing short of fantastic. The guitar tones are unadulterated tube amp gold, the bass player some kind of Jack Bruce Wunderkind, and the vocals are zimply zmasching if you can get past the heavy accent of….Klaus? Ralf? Dietrich? Hannelore?
Turns out we have a Silvio Verfürth on bass, an Ulrich Mond on drums, Bernd (that’s a great one!) Capito on lead guitar and one Peter Lorenz on vocals and rhythm guitar (however the producer is a Ralf - Ralf Jensen – giving myself ½ point for that one). Beyond those sumptuous oranges and blues that surround the prog-tastic cover-creature, this little digipak reissue from Second Battle offers tons of bonus tracks from their 60s entity (The Dischas), as well as outtakes – really a remarkable package.
The level of musicianship required during this period never ceases to amaze me, such exceptional vocal talents shared across the board, the core the charming and absurdly German Peter Lorenz, but judging on the strength of the backing vocals, each one of these cats could have fronted their own band as lead vocalist. The material isn’t really as proggy as the artwork may suggest; none of these songs venture past the 5:00 mark. It’s an album of meaty grooves, smoky vocals and impeccable basslines like opener “Freedom”, which finds Lorenz crooning and pleading dramatically, and features one of Bernd’s longer guitar explorations (maybe 20 seconds? The man had a passion for brevity). “Lets Go Together” is a psych-pop shake break, maracas and harmonicas engaged, bass burbling in full command while the band coos like space pixies. My personal favorite is the “Smile of the Devil”, the languid strummed guitars lapping against Peter’s soaring wolf-howls – like a folk ballad with a bass player going bananas in the background. The cover of the Yardbirds “For Your Love” is a diabolical rewiring, stripped down to a bassline full of color, hairy psych guitar slashing away – marvelous.
The bonus tracks from the Dischas late 60s are just as strong, a little more flower power but these guys could have gone toe-to-toe with any cravat-wearing dudes from Procol to Chocolate Watch Band, as evidenced by the driving basslines and dreamy vocals in “Come On, Come Back” and “Woman”. Strangely, the liner notes don’t list any credits for the Dischas material, but judging from the smooth vocals, hot bass and brief, sunny guitar licks – the lineup can’t be left of center from the Dschinn material.
Maybe not a must-have for prog fans seeking 13-minute mellotron solos, but the vintage tones, deft pop smarts, and tight craft of Dschinn have made the record a coveted vinyl grail for krautrock collectors the world over. Highly recommended indeed.