The German band Wind’s 1971 debut Seasons was one to watch out for. Well, it finally just got reissued via the Long Hair label (who have recently brought us several kraut-prog winners from Cannabis India, Mammut, and Et Cetera, amongst others) and so, already curious about it, we ordered a copy of it in…
First impression, before we even put it on, from looking at the photo on the back: damn, for a krautrock band, these guys have some seriously impressive, huge Afros!!! So, a lot of expectation / anticipation / long hair to live up to. And as it turns out, Wind don’t blow it (sorry). This album is fine indeed. It hits our “heavy” buttons but also has enough melodic and groove appeal that some of the folks here at AQ who, y’know, don’t spend time memorizing stuff out of krautrock reference books or obsessing about 1971 were into it too!
Wind were a five piece: guitar, organ, bass, drums, the singer sometimes busting out flute (yes!) and harmonica. With the organ, they’re in the “heavy progressive” mode of a lot of other early krautROCK bands, sounding as much like Deep Purple as they do Can. Both of which are cool by us, and the DO sound like both sometimes. Another once-popular krautrock band they remind us of is Birth Control (who we love, but sadly have never reviewed, relevant reissues seem scarce right now). So that means lots of thumping organ and fuzzy guitar riffs, which do indeed pound forth, especially on opener ‘What Do We Do Now’, and later on the even heavier ‘Dear Little Friend’, but even those songs have their shades of light as well as dark.
Wind featured raw sounds and tight playing, on this record definitely conveying an impassioned feeling, in part due to the singer’s often gruff, sandpapery voice, that at his toughest makes us think of Nazareth’s Dan McCafferty, though at times he can be quite smooth and soulful. His harmonica blowin’ on the 16 minute album-closer ‘Red Morningbird’ gives that song an evocative Ennio Morricone / Spaghetti Western vibe, also sounding a lot like one of Can’s Soundtracks tracks, and this album might be worth the price of admission alone just for that epic track. Certainly kraut-fans of Birth Control, Murphy Blend, Dies Irae, Gift, early Out Of Focus, will need to hear Wind’s Seasons, and like we said it has also been catching the ears of even those here who aren’t the biggest prog and proto-metal fiends.
Liner notes in German and English tell us that prior to the release of this album, the members of Wind were involved in recording an exploito-psych LP by “Corporal Gander’s Fire Dog Brigade”, and did an ill-fated, six-month tour of Vietnam (where there was a war going on, you may recall). But they survived all that to release this debut and another (much softer, we’re told) album in ’72, calling it a day not long after, having bad luck selling records despite good reviews and success on stage, having played clubs and festivals with the likes of Can, Family, East Of Eden, Pink Floyd and others.
1. What Do We Do Now (Lucky Schmidt, Thomas Leidenberger) - 8:25
2. Now It's Over (Thomas Leidenberger) - 4:22
3. Romance (Lucky Schmidt, Thomas Leidenberger) - 1:31
4. Springwind (Lucky Schmidt, Thomas Leidenberger) - 7:08
5. Dear Little Friend (Lucky Schmidt, Thomas Leidenberger) - 4:15
6. Red Morningbird (Steve Leistner) - 15:56
*Steve Leistner - Lead Vocals, Harmonica, Percussion
*Thomas Leidenberger - Guitars, Vocals
*Andreas Bueler - Bass, Vocals, Percussion
*Lucian Bueler - Organ, Piano, Vocals, Percussion
*Lucky Schmidt - Drums, Percussion, Vibraphone, Clavinet, Piano