Review by: Nina A
Album assigned by: Roland Bruynesteyn
Group 1850 were a Dutch psychedelic rock band, and I have to tell you… they probably had access to some really effective drugs. Or they were visionaries of some sort. But tripping jokes aside, while this record is probably like some things you’ve heard before, it is ultimately unlike any of them in the sheer intensity and, let’s admit it, overindulgence with which it attacks its intentions.
So what could those intentions be? I am afraid, I can not be of much help here, but I have the sneaking suspicion that anything named something like “Agemo’s Trip to Mother Earth” would ultimately have the ambitions of being a concept album. With concepts such as the lone protagonist, Mother Earth, unseen wonders, a great transformation and, ahahahaha, tripping.
Surprisingly enough, “Agemo’s Trip to Mother Earth” was the band’s debut album, and the band disbanded after a couple of albums several years later. But can you really follow up something that already seems like a crowning achievement?
The sound of this achievement of an album is very psychedelic and very, very full. A fat bass and energetic drumming carries the music on the majority of tracks, and the vocals are mostly delivered by something like chanting hippy crowd, as they should be on such occasions. On some tracks however, we have a lady delivering some solemn poetry in an otherworldly tone and it is this that I would consider a somewhat pretentious sign of overindulgence rather than some of the instrumental experimentation.
You may not expect the psychedelic romp that awaits you on this record from its opening however – the album starts out steadily enough, and the first signs of impending weirdness come with the track “I Put My Hands on Your Shoulder” (oh, the title alone is enough to creep me out in this context) and more specifically with the weird multilingual incantations spoken over a drum solo. Something about “Mutter Erde wo wir alle zusammen sein sollen”, also later repeated in English for your convenience, and oh, some “aaauuum” although that cannot hold a candle to Can’s later and more convincing take on the sound of the Universe’s creation.
And if that 13-minute stretch of the record made you sit up and wonder what just happened, the following track “You Did It Too Hard” would probably complete the surprise by jumping in with a riff not too dissimilar to that of “Foxy Lady” and a bluesy sax. And I don’t know about this song either, the people seem to be shouting random phrases which resemble daily conversations, only they don’t make much sense, so I wonder, is this a commentary on something? Where is this Agemo’s trip taking him anyway?
And the record will provide something of an answer by delving into beauty and psychedelia and incantations and fat blues-rock sounds alternatively to reach a fitting conclusion with Mother No-Head, delivered once with lyrics and once without at the 65 minute mark, but honestly, it doesn’t feel that long at all. Mainly because this record is fun to listen to. So grab your spaceships, dear listeners, and let’s indulge in a trip to Mother Earth because I do believe this relatively obscure psychedelic offering from 1968 Netherlands deserves a listen.