Organisation – Tone Float

Frankly, I’m not much of a Kraftwerk fan, so to me the Organisation record is more precious than any of the music Florian Schneider and Ralf Huetter recorded in the years following. “Tone Float” (recorded as a five-piece-band with Basil Hammoudi, Butch Hauf and Fred Monicks) was released by RCA in the UK in 1970 and according to online sources it wasn’t much of a hit, so the label decided to sack the band that disbanded soon after being dropped.

The music on “Tone Float” is pretty much the opposite to Kraftwerk’s aesthetics. There’s none of the modernist technophilia that defines Kraftwerk – so compared to its successor’s futuristic body of work “Tone Float” is much more identifiable to the period it was recorded in. Using the typical myriad of instruments (organ, bells, violin, congas, bongos, guitars, bass, maracas, tambourine, flute,… ) it’s a psychedelic jam-based music that sits somewhere between early instrumental Pink Floyd and an electrified version of Limbus 3. The overall feeling of “Tone Float” is mellow, relaxed and a bit ramshackle here and there.

I don’t know much about the background story of “Tone Float”, but it is one of the first albums Conny Plank recorded and the band itself sounds a bit like if everyone included in the process is searching for his own and unique way of individual musical expression while recording the whole thing. “Tone Float” consists of tentative improvised music – sometimes a bit out of focus, maybe, but the Organisation didn’t have the time to develop their musical language because they broke up after the release of their debut recording and therefore the musical search came to an abrupt end after its first steps had been documented on “Tone Float”.

Nowadays “Tone Float” is mostly overshadowed by its successor, but if you feel a bit uncomfy (like I do) with the cool/cold aesthetics of Kraftwerk in general, you may opt for Organisation instead and be rewarded with a warm and trippy “Tone Float” session.

review by Holger Adam

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One Response to Organisation – Tone Float

  1. Sean says:

    I also enjoy this album. This fits in quite well with Kraftwerk actually, but only if you take into account their neglected first two albums. Conny Plank definitely added his creative touch to the project, as he did on most of the later albums he produced. But to me this sounds much more like the earliest phase of Kraftwerk than the Florian Schneider/Klaus Dinger/Michael Rother incarnation that can be heard on bootleg recordings.

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