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Κυριακή 26 Ιουνίου 2016

COUPLA PROG - Death Is A Great Gambler (1972) (re-up)

COUPLA PROG from Baden-Baden/Germany is known for a melange of Kraut and Heavy Bluesrock, full of suspense, theatrical in parts, with a derivative sense of professionality. The band existed for nearly seven years and reached the peak from 1970 to 1972 for sure being homogenous with its style and without any commercial approach. The forerunner named "Wilde Reiter GmbH" played simple Soul/Rock covers and split in 1969. To compose something radically new COUPLA PROG was founded by four members: Hubert Donauer (drums), Reiner Niketta (bass, piano, vocals), Rolf Peters (guitar, vocals), Wolfgang Schindhelm (organ, guitar, trumpet, vocals). The new band name results from a shortened version of "A Couple Of Progs".

The band's complete material is live played, pure, without reworking and overdubbing, the result of four sessions recorded at studio U1 of Radio Südwestfunk between 1970 and 1972. The first release by the german Long Hair Music label is the album "SPRITE" with early recordings from February 1970 and April 1971, strongly influenced by the new experimental post-beat phase. COUPLA PROG's centerpiece comes up with the Prog opera "EDMUNDO LOPEZ". Vocal-oriented because telling the story about a young man who lives in South America and gets between the enemy lines of a civil war. This 60 minute opus, finally released in 2000, contains 11 songs which are blending into each other. Thematically a gripping story with Hammond drenched parts remembering at Vanilla Fudge or Procul Harum but also containing symphonic and freakish psychedelic Kraut moments.

Some line-up changes occured later on. Peters, the creative brain, responsible for the concept of "EDMUNDO LOPEZ", sadly died at the age of 21 because of an overdose of alcohol and drugs in July 1971 and was substituted by Walter Kümmich. And then drummer Hubert Donauer left COUPLA PROG at the beginning of 1972. With two new members the band managed to record some new songs with the highlight "DEATH IS A GREAT GAMBLER, BUT IF I WIN, FINALLY I CAN DIE", written in memorial of Rolf Peters whose death had been a heavy loss for the band. So the last SWF session release by Long Hair contains a mix of songs recorded with but also without Peters including a very free interpretation of Donovan's "Season of the Witch".

COUPLA PROG tried to move on for some years but stagnation and differences about the musical direction occured, members changed to other regions and finally missing motivations forced the creeeping disbanding until the end. The band's story was closed early 1976.

Recommended to fans of the authentic early german progressive phase with the typical intersection of Kraut and Heavy Rock.


Line-up / Musicians:

- Hubert Donauer / drums
- Rolf Peters / guitar, vocals
- Reiner Niketta / bass, organ, piano, vocals
- Wolfgang Schindhelm / organ, piano, vocals
- Reinhold Hirt / drums
- Walter Kümmich / guitar


Songs / Tracks Listing:

1. Chandra (6.30)
2. That's The Way It Goes (4.12)
3. Tochter Im Delirium - Daughter's Delirium (9.15)
4. Death Is A Great Gambler But If I Win, Finally I Can Die (18.34)
5. Your Time Has Come (4.25)
6. Season Of The Witch (13.47)


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