Exposé Online banner

Yatha Sidhra — A Meditation Mass
(Laser's Edge LE1015, 1974/1992, CD)

by Mike Borella, 1993-10-01:

A Meditation Mass Cover art Considered by most a classic, this album was very recently put out by The Laser's Edge. One of the most unique and interesting Krautrock releases of the seventies, "A Meditation Mass" is a four part suite. First off, one must realize that you can't listen to Yatha Sidhra the same way that you listen to most progressive music. You can't listen to each instrument closely and try to piece together the music. This is only a three-piece, based around drums, guitar, bass, and a guest on flute. The sound isn't full. Instead of listening for compositional complexities, just relax and let the music carry you away. It will. Part 1 of the suite starts slowly with flanged guitar picking through chords, overlaid flute, and melodic percussion. My hat is off to drummer Klaus Fichter for his use of the drums as a lead instrument. The music gradually picks up in intensity, until it segues into Part 2. Through, a very "cosmic" feel is presented. I can't help but think this would make a great soundtrack to a fantasy-styled movie, even though I hate fantasy movies! Part 3 is the most upbeat, with a walking bass line complemented by non-stop guitar soloing and drum leads. Part 4 reverts to the themes and style of part one, tying this work together quite well. A nice bonus is that all the tracks segue, so its like listening to one 40 minute piece. Comparisons won't do Yatha Sidhra justice because they are original. But if I had to pick out a few, they would be: Popol Vuh, Laurent Thibault, and Kebnekaise. A great release.

by Henry Schneider, 1993-12-31:

Here we have one of Brain's all time "classic" Krautrock albums finally reissued on CD. As far as I know A Meditation Mass was Yatha Sidhra's only album and it is extremely rare. I've previously only heard an excerpt of it on Brain's fantastic 3LP sampler Kraut Rock released back in 1974. The Laser's Edge re-mastered the album in New York City using the best possible CD equipment and their efforts vastly improved the sound quality of the original recording. They also reproduced the original stencil cut wallet cover in CD booklet format! Yatha Sidhra was Klaus Fichter (drums and percussion), Matthias Nicolai (guitar and bass), and Rolf Fichter (Moog, Indian flute, vibes, e-piano, guitar, and vocals). Together they recorded this one long cosmic, ethnic, and slightly jazzy work of rare beauty. For those of you who have never heard this music, try to imagine what you would get by crossing early Popol Vuh with an Indian raga and then spreading electronics and effects over the top. At times it rocks out, especially Part 3. This is timeless music and guaranteed to soothe the savage breast. Highly recommended!

Filed under: Reissues , 1992 releases, 1974 releases

Related artist(s): Yatha Sidhra

More info

Latest news

2020-01-15
Carlos Alvarado RIP – Carlos Alvarado, pioneering composer, multi-instrumentalist and pioneer of progressive rock and electronic experimental music in Mexico, passed away January 14th, 2020 at age 68 after a two year battle with cancer.  » Read more

2020-01-12
Wolfgang Dauner RIP – Pianist Wolfgang Dauner, one of the pioneers of both European free jazz and jazz rock, has died at the age of 84. With his own groups and with the United Jazz+Rock Ensemble, his playing and compositions were a prominent presence in European jazz from the mid-60s until just recently. » Read more

2020-01-12
Michael Allison RIP – Michael Allison, who since 1997 has been recording as Darshan Ambient, passed away on January 9th after a long and brave battle with cancer. He has been at at the forefront of the new ambient/electronic music scene, with over eighteen releases to his credit. » Read more

2020-01-10
Neil Peart RIP – One of rock music's defining drummers has died at the age of 67. Neil Peart's work with Rush provided one of the templates for percussion in rock, and he certainly ranks in the top ten most influential drummers of the 20th Century. Peart retired from playing in 2015 due to health issues, and succumbed to brain cancer on January 7, 2020. » Read more

2020-01-07
Joel Vandroogenbroeck RIP – Word has reached us of the death of Joel Vandroogenbroeck, best known as one of the founders of Brainticket, He also recorded electronic music under a variety of names. He was born August 25th, 1938 in Brussels, Belgium and died December 23, 2019 in Arlesheim, Switzerland, aged 81. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Tomorrow - 50 Minute Technicolour Dream – Tomorrow is currently a hot psychedelic commodity on the market: many of the band's English UK singles fetch top dollar on the English collector's circuit. Adding to the frenzy is former...  (2000) » Read more

The Keith Tippett Group - Dedicated to You, but You Weren't Listening – By the time Keith Tippett released Dedicated to You, but You Weren't Listening, his second album, in 1971, he had already garnered a rather formidable reputation as a creative and experimental...  (1995) » Read more

Expo '70 - Black Ohms – To make this review the written equivalent of Expo ‘70’s work, I suppose I should just pick a word and repeat it over over over over. I just need to tell the reader to say it with a slightly...  (2009) » Read more

Land - Archipelago – In the 70s (or was it the 60s? I can't remember...) Jon Hassell came up with his Fourth World Music concept. Soon after, other folks began to carry on in the same general terrain. Michael William...  (1999) » Read more

Clockwork - Surface Tension – So far it seems that Sensory (Laser's Edge) has found a rich deposit of quality progressive metal bands; enter Clockwork. This New Jersey band is very much from the Dream Theater school. I hate to...  (2000) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues