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Cosmic Egg UTCE 011 CDR £8.00
bandcamp download

duration: 58'33"

1. Prelude  1'53"
Lotus  5'57"
Oriental Mix  8'59"
Francesc  15'25"
Tak-A-De-Dan  12'51"
Catalunya  13'16"

Previously unreleased recording.
Embryo live in Spain, early July 2001 (exact venue and date unknown).
Remastered by Alan Freeman 2010/2014,
from a recording supplied by Christian Burchard.
Cover art, notes and layout by Alan Freeman.

This limited edition © November 2014.
Produced by Alan & Steve Freeman, Auricle Music, Cosmic Egg, Ultimate Transmissions.

Christian Burchard: drums, vocal, marimba, vibes, electric santour
Dirk Engelhardt: tenor / soprano saxophones
Chris Karrer: oud, guitar, violin
Nick McCarthy: bass
Jens Pollheide: nai, flute, bass
Mik Quantius: vocals
Max Weissenfeldt: marimba, drums
plus unknown Indian tabla player

This disc documents a gig by Embryo from Spain in 2001. It was included as a freebie along with a stock order from Christian Burchard with a note saying something like "Enjoy!" and I certainly did. Christian sent me a number of such discs over the years, many that - although they were obviously fine performances - would not stand up as a good releases. But this was different. Re-listening over the years it became one that I marked "should definitely be released". The only minus point: the recording was a bit flat. A few years later I had the know-how to improve and "chunky up" the sound. Now, after a further re-tweak and clean-up the results are this disc.
   As is the case with many a busy live band Embryo have never kept an accurate log of live gigs, and members/musicians vary from one gig to the next. Documentation on the Embryo web site from 2001 is rather sketchy "After doing the musical work for a theatre play Wittgen-steins... we did another tour to Italy, France and Spain that lasted till July, having a legendary lineup including Chris, Dieter, Jens, Nick, Dirk, Didak, Max and Christian. Performing mostly in and around Barcelona we had great meetings with the scene there" and in reply to my queries Christian said "about the date I know that we finished the tour on 17.07.2001 and the concerts around Barcelona were few day before" but he managed to work-out most of the line-up.
   This unique gig goes through many stylistic changes, largely acoustic at the start with some reflective duos and trios. About the tracks, I initially titled them and Christian agreed with most. About track 3 he said "Chris Karrer is playing lots of Oriental melodies, so call it Oriental Mix, Jens is playing nai, Max marimba and I do the percussion and drumming" - indeed, why not? Better than my clichéd Asia Minor! Christian titled track 4 "Fancesc" no doubt due to the Francesc Díaz press-clip. Apparently he was an active promoter on the Spanish jazz and cross-culture scene. The different focus here is because it's Max on drums (not Christian), with Chris Karrer sizzling on guitar and Christian on cool vibes. "Tak-A-De-Dan" features the unknown Indian tabla player. Christian says "Mik and me are doing the vocals, later my electric santour and Dirk`s tenor sax". Finally "Catalunya" is a big wig-it-out mixture of traditional themes and typical Embryo jamming hearkening back to the early 70's. In all, it gets to some incredible highs during the final three tracks, often close to the feel of later great studio albums "Zack Gluck" and "Ibn Battuta" - the latter because of Chris Karrrer and his unmistakable playing. This also seems to be one of the earliest documents with the eccentric Mik Quantius on vocals (although only on one track).

CD-R edition: Cosmic Egg UTCE 011 CDR, 20 numbered copies - released 10/11/2014
CD-R second edition, 20 numbered copies (21-40) - released 30/10/2015
CD-R third edition, 20 numbered copies (41-60) - released 14/10/2016
Bandcamp download - released 29/11/2018.

Cosmic Egg on Discogs
Embryo on Discogs

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