Mike McLatchey 18-September-2002 L.S. Bearforce

L. S. Bearforce, rather Lotus Schmidt's Bearforce, was a krautrock project of a later era, having found its release in the year 1983. Schmidt was the drummer for Spacebox in the 70s, although he cedes that position on this album for the many talents of Guru Guru's Mani Neumeier and conga player Winfried Beck. Schmidt takes bass duties here, joined by soloists Edmund Heimann on guitar and Embryo cohort Edgar Hoffman on sax, flute, violin and nagaswaram. As is obvious, this is an album heavy on the percussion, and also obvious, this has some pretty strong similarities to the work of Guru Guru, especially of the Live era. This is mostly improvisational work and one with a live in the studio feel. Vamps are set up, percussion flows underneath and soloists are given the opportunity to shine, and naturally, Hoffman is no slouch. But for the most part, this seems to be a somewhat uninspired effort. Perhaps it's the poor production which does very little to separate the different instruments, and often the rhythm section is too loud and the soloists get drowned out. Not to mention, despite the improvisational musical format, the soloists don't really whip it out as often or as impressively as you'd like and a great deal of the album's jams just sort of meander on senselessly. It's like you'd expect a lot more from such a strong group of musicians (and yeah, Mani does rock pretty hard here as usual) based on their past recordings. Undoubtedly this album sounded a lot better in the 80s than it does now, as in reflection this is rather forgettable.

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