Sand - Golem. 1974 Germany
CD reissues: 1996 United Durtro (as Ultraphonic Seraphim) (UK 2 CDs); 2010 Rotorelief (France)
LP reissue: 2010 Rotorelief (France)
Sand's Golem could have only come from one time and place, and that's early 1970's Germany. Anything else, and it flat out doesn't work. What we have here is a basic folk album drenched in Kosmische dressing. Somewhat like Dom, but not near as inventive, pensive, or intense. This is more like watching a common folk act on stage, but with a good buzz on (and to that point, 'On the Corner' takes away the fuzzy lens, and it's not pretty). For one thing, it was a studio project to begin with, mainly to help demonstrate the new Artificial Head System. Klaus Schulze's fingerprints are all over this from a sound perspective, so if you're not a fan of his, then I suggest you maybe steer clear. But once Current 93's David Tibet and NWW's Steven Stapleton went hogwild on the album (and released it jointly on CD), it became a cult classic sought after by disciples of both groups. And now, some years later, the "overhyped" crowd has showed up and are squawking FOUL. Fair? No, not really. It's an understated and trippy 1970s album, which doesn't always play well in modern times. All the same, it's easy to understand why Sand isn't highly revered in all quarters. Take away the electronics, and the appreciation of the unhinged experimentalism of the era, and there isn't much else to grab onto here. File under the Good, But... category. And yes, 'Sarah' is the gem of the album for sure.
My copy is on the Ultraphonic Seraphim 2 CD set from United Durtro (1996). This CD includes much more unreleased Sand material (a full disc and a half - and as such, is worthy of a separate rating) plus liner notes from the band, Tibet, and Stapleton + photos, etc.... A real first class job and well worth owning. I did once have the original LP in the early 90s, but it was not in very good shape and sold it when the CD arrived. This is an album that must have clean sounding vinyl, or it ruins the experience.