Between - And The Waters Opened (1973)
Album: Between - And The Waters Opened (Remastered & Expanded Edition)
Released: 1973 (2005)
Genre: Space-, Experimental Krautrock, Ethnic Fusion
Gnosis Rating: 11.34
Source: Intuition - INT 3602 2
Instrumental mystical music that blends perfectly with a joss stick. An early '70s German band who make amazing melodic tripped out Ancient Egyptian and Eastern sounds with numerous exotic instruments. Magical. - Freak Emporium
First-ever reissue on CD from the master tapes of the second album by this improvisational/folk/world music, formed in 1970 by Peter Michael Hamel on keyboards, and also featuring guitar, oboe, guitar, percussion, electronics and bamboo flute. Definitely of its time, but also something ahead of its time in how it blended a lot of musics that had never been blended before in 1973! This includes just under 10' of never-before heard bonus material. - Wayside Music
Finally official released for the first time and remastered from the original mastertapes. Added by 3 bonus tracks. A most unusual and unique group, the Munich combo Between (formed in 1970 as Between The Chairs) were the brainchild of musical theorist and experimentalist Peter Michael Hamel. As such, Between drew together a wide range of international musicians into a musical and cultural melting pot.
Between were aptly in between everything, both musically and culturally. Featuring avant-garde tendencies within a music that blended the medieval, the ancient and the futuristic, with jazz and rock musics, the initial results on their debut EINSTIEG were most inspiring. Arguably a step on from The Third Ear Band (sans the mantric rhythms) Between were invention in the extreme, in a music that was melodic yet challenging. Not surprising for a band that featured such acclaimed musicians as James Galway, Roberto Détrée and Robert Eliscu. There are some extraordinary cosmic excursions here too, all amounting to a revolutionary mixture of psychedelic and world musics. EINSTEIG is still as remarkable and fresh now as when it was created. “And the waters openened” recorded in 1973 carries on improvisations and acoustic exploration, played in a rather “spacey” rock atmosphere, sometimes closed to krautrock, weird flavour; with its atmospheric dronings from Détrée's moto-cello is probably Between's most innovative and fascinating, it's an album that oozes beauty and mystery. It's almost chilling !! - PandorasBox
Between’s second album (this time released on the Vertigo swirl label) is another sumptuous adventures in the many realms of musics, ranging from classical to world/ethnic to medieval, among others. This album was released some two years after the debut and leader P-M Hamel had spent much time in India (and worked with Agitation Free), while Eliscu played with Popol Vuh and percussionist Black with Niagara. By recording time of ATWO, the group was now only a quartet, Stranz and Galway having understandably moved on. With a stunning colourful artwork, unfortunately not reproduced on the recent Wergo re-issue (which prefers a midnight sun photo montage), ATWO resembles much Einstig musically-speaking, but it is completely acoustic and has a few choirs/chants.
Starting on the cosmic/free form lengthy ATWO track and later on Syn(both filled with low freq drones from Detr?e’s moto-cello, the listener is reassured right away that he will find the same kind of superb unclassifiable fusion of musics found on Einstig, musics that originally don’t have much to do with each other. Uroboros moves between Arabian, with Eliscu’s oboe moving effortlessly on a tabla-led raga, something leading the listener to think of Third Ear Band. Aerial choirs open Devotion, soon joined by tabla and organ, the whole thing turning into esoteric chants that would probably be the rage during the new age music boom, some 20 years later. The lengthy Happy Stage returns to an Indio/Arabian that was laid out on Uroboros, with an extra acoustic guitar strumming along. Samum is more of the same ethnic realm, but this time fused with the spacey drones, which allow for the album to end as it had started. .
Oddly enough, the Wergo Cd reissue opts to start on a bonus track preceding the album, but Journey To Ixtland is actually quite well in place with the original opening title track, both being very close to Cosmic “rock” (lack of better word) as electronics, wild percussions and free form improvs make Ixtland a perfect intro to Waters. The other two bonus tracks close the album, both again very much in line with the album, both on the classical/medieval and Indian realms. All three bonus tracks date from early 76, which is chronologically questionable, but artistically it bodes well, and is really unnoticeable without the liner notes.
AZTWO is just as essential as Einstig, minus the then-surprise of the debut, but it is a bit calmer and concentrating a tad more on the Indian music, for obvious travelling issues of leader Hamel. - Hugues Chantraine
In the liner notes guitarist Roberto Detree says that their ambition in making And The Waters Opened was not that different from that of the debut. The big difference was that band leader Peter Hamel had been to India many times and practically showered the band with the Indian approach to music and spiritual ideas.The first album Einstieg was occupied with experimental sound research as it were,while this album was occupied with the Arabic-Indian tradition. Peter Hamel said After the LP came out,we were told we were making music that did a lot of people good,that they used it to meditate,to relax,to heal themselves. Naturally we thought that was great!We were making New Age music before the concept existed.By the time it(New Age) did,we didn't want to have anything to do with it,because it often concealed an exremely low musical level,shallowness in a culture of purity. What i love about this record besides how spiritual it is,is how dark and haunting it often is. Journey To The Ixtland is very ominous with spooky sounds and percussion. 2 1/2 minutes in we get some flute-like melodies along with what sounds like violin screeches and pounding kettle drums. And The Waters Opened offers up more haunting music and humming sounds. After 2 minutes ethnic sounds take over. It comes to a dramatic head 4 minutes in as it gets very loud and experimental.As it settles down percussion comes in, and the tempo picks up a minute later. Congas 7 minutes in before what sounds like water a minute later over-runs the soundscape.Vocal melodies as percussion continues to beat.Strummed guitar and flute 9 1/2 minutes in. Uroboros opens with more ethnic sounds with this hum in the background. It gets kind of crazy 2 minutes in as all kinds of sounds can be heard.A melody then comes out of it with percussion.Vocal melodies followed by aboe as it gets an Indian flavour. Syn opens with waves of sounds as it feels like we are floating in deep,dark space.Yet i can see why this might be healing music.There is something about this that is moving my inner soul. Devotion is a catchy but soothing song with vocals.I was reminded of POPOL VUH.Percussion and ethnic sounds are joined by keys 1 1/2 minutes in.This is great! Happy Stage opens with aboe as flute,strummed guitar and percussion eventually join in.Some keys come and go.Strummed guitar and percussion dominate 9 minutes in. Samum opens with acoustic guitar that lasts a minute then percussion and aboe join in.It sounds like wind blowing before 3 minutes until it dominates the sound a minute later. This creates a very eerie soundscape.The final 2 tracks are bonus songs(as was the opening track). Kalenda Maya features aboe and percussion,while Former Times features some excellent flute with piano and percussion. Well i much prefer this to the experimental Einstieg, even if it's not nearly as adventerous as that one. This record just flows like the waters were opened. - John Davie, ProgArchives.com
A most unusual and unique group, the Munich combo Between (formed in 1970 as Between The Chairs) were the brainchild of musical theorist and experimentalist Peter Michael Hamel. As such, Between drew together a wide range of international musicians into a musical and cultural melting pot. Between were aptly in between everything, both musically and culturally.
Featuring avant-garde tendencies within a music that blended the medieval, the ancient and the futuristic, with jazz and rock musics, the initial results on their debut EINSTEIG were most inspiring. Arguably a step on from The Third Ear Band (sans the mantric rhythms) Between were invention in the extreme, in a music that was melodic yet challenging. Not surprising for a band that featured such acclaimed musicians as James Galway (yes, the Irish flautist), Roberto Detree and Robert Eliscu. There are some extraordinary cosmic excursions here too, all amounting to a revolutionary mixture of psychedelic and world musics. EINSTEIG is still as remarkable and fresh now as when it was created.
Further albums developed the Between sound on an increasingly ethnic level. AND THE WATERS OPENED with its atmospheric dronings from Détrée's moto-cello is probably Between's most innovative and fascinating, it's an album that oozes beauty and mystery. It's almost chilling! DHARANA and CONTEMPLATION were the most ambitious on a cross-cultural level, and were much more serious in their attitude. Both of these combined Indian and African musics into a larger more symphonic sound, notably so the lengthy excursions that encompassed the second side of each. Finally, with SILENCE BEYOND TIME Between moved both closer to esoteric ECM Records jazz realms, notably because of Roger Jannotta's presence and other influences, and also moved closer to traditional ethnic musics.
It's a great shame that Between split after this. Peter Michael Hamel has been quite prolific since, going on to work solo in systemic/new-age music and also serious avant-garde. Also, Roberto Detree has continued his work with novel instrument creations. During Between's history Peter Michael Hamel also worked with Agitation Free, whilst Bob Eliscu worked on and off with Popol Vuh in tandem with Between, and Cotch Black was also in the fusion group Sinto, and the jazz/percussion ensemble Niagara... - "The Crack In The Cosmic Egg"
Of all the myriad of German experimental ensembles in the 70s, Between have to be among the most singular and impressive. Their first album, Einsteig features an almost all-star line-up including Peter Michael Hamel, Cotch Black, Jimmy Galway and others. The band varies their sounds from the all acoustic to the cosmic. Having similarities to various musics, from the early explorations of Britain's Third Ear Band to classical, medieval, and trans-ethnic musics, Between weave a gorgeous tapestry of pieces both soothing and mystical. Backed with both the simple backing of hand percussion and the classical grandeur of tympani, the musicians lay down webs of organ, piano, flutes, oboes, viola and more. The music grabs you with its skillfull sense of both past and future, the reminiscences of medieval memory taken to its krautrock conclusion with an almost Amon Duul-like trance-like feel and the powerful minimalist droning of Hamel. While we haphazardly stack CDs into krautrock subdivisions, we tend to forget that Between does not share its own pile. - Mike McLatchey, Gnosis
Between has to be one of the most international bands of all times! The six members that recorded the debut album Einstieg (1971) came from four different nations. The group were formed in 1970 on the initiative of Peter-Michael Hamel as Between The Chairs, but as this expression has different meanings in German and English, the name was soon shortened to Between. Hamel had studied composition since 1967 and wanted to create a new musical genre (an ambitious man!), between (pun!) all the existing ones. The other German of the band, Ulrich Stranz, had a similar academic background. The American Robert Eliscu came to Germany in the late sixties to play with the Munich and Berlin philharmonic orchestras. Another American citizen, Cotch Black, played tablas and percussion. Roberto Detree was an Argentinean and had played Spanish guitar in classical folk music ensembles in his homeland. He also built musical instruments.
James Galway joined briefly as sixth member before the recording of Einstieg, (released October 1971 on the Wergo label) he was a critically acclaimed musician well known for his classical music recordings. The album included several short tracks, recorded at the Staatliche Musik-hochschule in Munich, plus a 9 1/2 minute avant-garde piece, "Space Ship", recorded in Berlin. Between demonstrated their ability to play different styles (jazz, folk and avant-garde), but did not manage to merge these styles. Most successful was Eliscu's "Katakomben" and Hamel's "Triumphzug Kaiser Maximillian". Those tracks had a dramatic atmosphere with wordless vocals, bongo rhythms, oboe, flute and organ. Also interesting were the tracks grounded on Detree's roots in South-American folk music. The more free-form numbers "Memories" and "Flight Of Ideas" were uninspired improvisations with an ethnic touch, a direction already explored to full effect by Limbus 3 and 4.
Galway and Stranz, both of whom had kept a very low profile on the album, left to concentrate on classical music in 1972. This left more room for Hamel and Eliscu to develop longer tracks and more meditative music. Hamel released his first solo album in 1972 and guested on the first Agitation Free album. Eliscu guested on several Popol Vuh albums.
The second Between album And The Waters Opened (1973) included six tracks. This only had acoustic instruments and included a new member: Charles Campbell. On the whole, it was a better and more homogeneous merging of styles than their first album. It was Between's only release on the legendary "swirl" Vertigo label (the next one had the "spaceship" artwork!). The front cover artwork was quite remarkable: a drawing of a gigantic splash of colours - illustrating the event when the waters opened. Dharana from 1974 was a kind of world music symphony recorded with the aid of the SWF orchestra. This work was based more on improvisation than composition, particularly the 20 minute long title track. Also worth mentioning is Eliscu's beautiful 11 minute piece "Joy... Sadness... Joy". The same year Between also made music to poems by the actor Gerd Westphal Hesse. This resulted in Hesse Between Music, released January 1975. Besides Hesse, who recited his own poems, several guests also appeared on the album, like Al Gromer (sitar, who also recorded with Popol Vuh and Amon Duul II) and Tom van der Geld (vibraphone). Hamel has recorded several solo albums, some containing music reminiscent of Between, but generally more experimental and minimalistic. Eliscu has mostly concentrated on classical music. Between are best remembered for their albums in the period 1973-1975. Their strength was in their more extended tracks, which gave these talented musicians time to express their ideas through the improvisations. - "Cosmic Dreams At Play"
With the first BETWEEN LP in the series Centerpoint in 1971, WERGO marked off the framework by which current music that did not belong to any of the established musical directions would find a place on the record market. If “popular music” and “serious music” are often difficult to separate today, if pop music makes use of avant-garde elements like musique concrcte, and vice versa (crossover), such approaches were still breaking new ground in 1970.
Over the ten years of its existence BETWEEN released six albums on WERGO:
• Einstieg (1971)
• And the Waters Opened (1973)
• Hesse between Music (1974)
• Dharana (1974)
• Contemplation (1976–77)
• Silence beyond Time (1979)
Of these Dharana and Hesse Between Music have already been released as CDs on WERGO; the others are being reissued now, with previously unreleased extra tracks, including some from a Bayerischer Rundfunk concert series (“Music between Worlds”) that ran from 1976 to 1979.
The 1970s live electronics began to conquer the world, but for that very reason BETWEEN essentially played “unplugged,” playing chamber music on traditional instruments and in the resulting acoustic framework. At the intersection of acoustic and electronic sound worlds, BETWEEN anticipated a lot of developments, and yet it only seemed to be operating on electronic ground.
By 1980 the group had spent ten years working intensely with the musical past of each individual; the pieces produced were extremely varied; BETWEEN had developed an iridescent combination of classical, avant-garde and pop music and medieval and Far Eastern music as well as popular ethnic music. They had gotten closer to the “dream of the blue flower between the milestones along the path to a future world music.” The members of the group went their own ways, and Eliscu, Campbell, and Stranz are no longer alive. Even today, decades later, when the cultural circles have been permeated as never before, the syn-thesis they have achieved may still be considered up-to-date. - Excerpts from the Linernotes
Cotch Black (percussion)
Roberto Détrée (guitar, moto-cello, harp)
Robert Eliscu (oboes)
Peter Michael Hamel (keyboards, voice)
Fabian Arkus (electronics)
Duru Omson (flute, percussion, voice)
1 Journey To The Ixtland (Bonus Track) (04:30)
2 And The Waters Opened (11:04)
3 Uroboros (05:41)
4 Syn (06:18)
5 Devotion (03:50)
6 Happy Stage (11:31)
7 Samum (05:40)
8 Kalenda Days (Bonus Track) (03:01)
9 Former Times (Bonus Track) (02:20)
Between - Einstieg (1971)
1. Katakomben (3) 4:05
2. Song for two (3) 2:53
3. Volkstanz (3) 5:32
4. Primary Stage (3) 4:12
5. Flight of Ideas (3) 6:44
6. Triumphzug (3) 3:17
7. Barcelona (3) 5:25
8. Memories (3) 4:40
9. Space Trip Part I (3) 7:37
10. Part II (3) 3:16
11. Part III (3) 9:15
12. PartIV (3) 8:16
13. Try Bach (3) 0:58