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GONZO WEEKLY #238: Lütz Ulbrich interview

I have never made any secret of the fact that I am an adoring fan of the music made by the late German chanteuse Nico. She came to prominence as the vocalist on the first album by the Velvet Underground over 50 years ago and her steely, ice-maiden vocals and demeanour like one of the sterner Rhinemaidens secured her a rabid cult following which has persisted to the present days, nearly 30 years after her death.

In the mid-1970s she collaborated with another legendary musician; Lütz Ulbrich. Lütz was one of the original members of German experimental band Agitation Free, who were formed in 1967 and continued on and off until 1974. Their first album Malesch was inspired by their journeys through Egypt, Greece and Cyprus, and in 1972 they secured a minor victory for the avant-garde by performing at the Olympic games in Munich.

The band reunited in 1998, with the same line-up they’d had 24 years before, and in 1999 released an album. They reformed again in 2007 and the music they make now is as vital, vibrant and challenging as ever. A few weeks ago, I was lucky enough to meet up (in cyber space) with Lütz and we had a long conversation about Agitation Free, his work with Nico, and various other things that came to mind.

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