The band Between was one of the first generation of "world music" ensembles and to this day remains one of the greatest. In its 1970’s heyday this wonderful German-based group fashioned a mystical kind of fusion music, drawing on elements of minimalism, jazz, ethnic and classical.

artist:
Between

country of origin:
Germany

style(s):
World music, ambient jazz, Krautrock, minimalism

decades active:
1970's

essential releases:

  • And The Waters Opened (1973, Wergo)
  • Hesse Between Music (1974, Wergo)
  • Dharana (1977, Wergo)

Reviewed by Mike G

In these days of ethno-techno and exotic dub music with its extensive digital sampling of non-Western sounds, it's worth remembering that once upon a time Western musicians exploring world music had no choice but to either invite guest players or learn to play the instruments themselves.

The band Between was one of the first generation of "world music" ensembles and to this day remains one of the greatest. In its 1970’s heyday this wonderful German-based group fashioned a mystical kind of fusion music, drawing on elements of minimalism, jazz, ethnic and classical. The core group was keyboard player Peter Michael Hamel, Brazilian guitarist Roberto Detree and American oboe player Robert Eliscu. At best their chemistry created some truly memorable records - intelligent, accessible and showcasing the group's ability to cross musical boundaries with absolute ease. Of their five original albums, the three listed above are very highly recommended.

Peter Michael Hamel is also the author of the classic 70's metaphysical tome Through Music To The Self (1976), a book which exerted a significant influence on certain new age and psychedelic ambient musicians including the brilliant American electronic minimal composer J D Emmanuel.

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