Out Of Focus

These three albums are essential and should be kept in the vaults of all German rock collectors. Out Of Focus was formed in Munich around 1969. It consisted of Remigius Drechsler (guitar), Hennes Sheing (organ, piano), Moran Neumuller [sax, flute and lead vocals], Stephan Wisheu (“bass”), and Klaus Spori (“drums”). Jonas Porst, Kinder’s manager, was able to sign the band on to his Kuckuck label. According to legend, the band spent many months in their practice area polishing their debut album “Wake up!” (1970). Thomas Klemt engineered it in Munich’s Union Studio between October and December 1970. It was a laborious process that produced one of the most iconic pieces of German rock music! Out Of Focus showcased a perfectly balanced instrumental mix of alternate guitar, flute, and organ riffing. It was technically brilliant! As a background for the soloists, the solid rhythm section could create repetitive and complex rhythm patterns. Six tracks featured ironic, funny lyrics (“God Save The Queen, Crried Jesus”), heavy riffing (“See How A White Negro Flys”), and very long songs. These songs explored the entire instrumental register, from quiet, peaceful whispers to full-blown outbursts with outrageous power (“Dark, Darker”) Although Neumuller’s voice was unusual, it was a unique one that added an extra dimension to the final product. This is the album that will give you a taste of German progressive music. Out Of Focus’ roots in blues, heavy rock, and folk music allowed them to go far beyond British bands such as Jethro Tull or Gravy Train. Bavaria Studios was where Out Of Focus recorded their self-titled second album in June 1971. Another landmark in German rock, this album was a shift to fusion-oriented music. It really comes down to personal preference which of the two albums you prefer. This album was in many ways more extreme than the others. “Whispering” featured a riff that was repeated over ten minutes, while “Fly Bird Fly Television Program”, explored themes for almost 17 minutes. Two mellow songs of folk-rock were included: “It’s Your Life” and “Blue Sunday Morning”. The only track that recalled the original album’s heavy guitar, flute, and organ riffing was “What Can A Poor Boy Do”. Even such a great album failed to meet their expectations. Out Of Focus expanded their repertoire with brass, including Ingo Schmidt Neuhaus (sax), Jimmy Potivka(trumpet), Peter Dechant (acoustic guitar), Ingo Schnit Neuhaus (sax), Ingo Schmidt Neuhaus [sax], and Ingo Schmidt Neuhaus [sax]), and added Herrmann Breuer (bassoon), Michael Thatcher and Grand Roman Langhans to the album “Four Letter Monday Afternoon”. Their huge opus “Huchen 55”, a large-scale opus, lasted almost 50 minutes and was split into two record sides. Unfortunately, the composition was too long and over-structured. Imagine 11 musicians doing something completely different at once. “L.S.B.” (sic!) Another long work, this time with a strong focus on brass, resulted in a musical fusion that was reminiscent of British Vertigo bands such as Nucleus and Bob Downes. Moran Neumuller was now the lead soloist and often multi-tracking his flutes and saxes. This album featured Drechsler, Hering with a surprising low profile. Only one song was comparable to their previous album, a short folky ballad called “Where Have You Been”. This was Out Of Focus’s last album. Surprisingly, these talented musicians have not been heard of since their death. Remigius Drechsler was featured on the festival sampler “Umsonst Und Draussen Porta Westvlothica 1978” along with a revamped Out Of Focus that included Evelyn Drechsler, Achim Zeug (drums), Annette Lippson, percussion, and “Karli” (guitar). Remigius was briefly a member in Embryo, where he added incredible guitar playing to “Embryo’s Reise”. He has also released an album in conjunction with Kontrast. from http://www.alexgitlin.com

Leave a Comment