Band members                             Related acts

  line up 1 (1971-72)

Cotch Blackmon (aka Cotch Black) -- congas, percussion

- Daniel "Danny" Fichelscher -- congas
- Keith Forsey -- drums, cymbales, percussion

- George Green -- drums
- Joe Harris -- timbales, congas, percussion

- Udo Lindenberg -- drums, percussion, timbales
- Juan Romero -- percussion

- Klaus Weiss (RIP 2008) -- drums, percussion


  line up 2 (1972-73)

- Daniel "Danny" Fichelscher -- congas

- Joe Harris -- timbales, congas, percussion

- Udo Lindenberg -- drums, percussion, timbales

- Christian Schultz -- keyboards

- Ferdinand Povel -- sax, flute

- Ack Van Rooyen -- flugelhorn, trumpet

- Gary Unwin -- bass

- Paul Vincent -- guitar

- Klaus Weiss (RIP 2008) -- drums, percussion


  line up 3 (1973)

- George Brown -- drums, percussion

- Chalres Campbell -- congas, timbales

- Dave King -- bass

- Sabu Rex -- bongos

- Norbert Tolbert -- congas

- Klaus Weiss (RIP 2008) -- drums, percussion




Amon Dull II (Daniel "Danny" Fichelscher and Keith Forsey)

- Between (Cotch Blackmon and Charles Campbell)

- Curt Cress Clan 

- Family Tree (Keith Forsey)

- Florian Fricke

- Gila (Daniel "Danny" Fichelscher)

- Udo Lindenberg (solo efforts)

- Passport (Christian Schultz)

- Ralf Nowy

- Popol Vuh (Daniel "Danny" Fichelscher)

- Igna Rumpf

- Sinto (Charles Campbell)

- The Sunbirds (Ferdinand Povel)

- Tender Agression (Dave King and Ack Van Rooyen)

- Klaus Weiss (solo efforts)





Genre: progressive

Rating: 3 stars ***

Title:  Niagara

Company:  Made In Germany

Catalog: MIG 00231 LP

Country/State: Germany, USA, Venuzualia, UK

Grade (cover/record): NM/NM

Comments: repressing; gatefold sleeve; sealed copy

Available: 1

Catalog ID: 262

Price: $35.00


Best time to play:  beats me - we your 24 year old cousin the drummer visits ?


Niaqara one gets dumped into the Krautrock catalog which is unfortunate since the band's self-titled 1970 debut actually has more of a world music feel than the cold, synthetic moves you'd associated with traditional Krautrock.  I'm guessing the cross-categorization has to do with the fact the band called Munich home (even though it's front man was Austrian and the line-up was international) and they played non-commercial material


Niagra's front man was drummer Klaus Weiss.  In the early 1970s he relocated to Munich and decided to explore opportunities to create what was in effect a drum orchestra.  Looking around the city's then -vibrant music community he ended up recruiting a multinational collective of similarly inclined percussionist, including American percussionist Cotch Blackmon, British drummer Keith Forsey, Venezualian Juan Romero, and German drummer Udo Lindenberg .  The group somehow attracted the attention of United Artists which signed them to a contract, releasing the cleverly-titled "Niagara" in 1971.  Self-produced, the collection featured two Weiss-penned extended instrumentals.  The entire focus was on drums and percussion - no vocals and no other instrumentation.  Call it a drummer's dream come true, though for others it was probably less of a treat.


- Clocking in at almost twenty minutes, 'Sangandongo'  started out with a distinctive African beat that was interesting enough.  The song retained that interest factor as it wandered into a more rock oriented segment (complete with flange treated drum effects), but when it went in pursuit of spaceier and jazzier directions, lost much of its energy and most of my attention.   rating: *** stars 

- Weiss also penned the flip side instrumental 'Malanga'.  This one also clocked in at twenty minutes.  To be honest,  by the time I had to flip the album, I'd run out of interest.  As such, to be fair,  I'm not going to give this one a rating.


Bottom line is that unless you're a drummer, really into percussion, or feel a connection with A. Leutenmaier's startling cover photo, its hard to imagine this would hold your attention very long.  Certainly not for the full forty minutes.   Besides, original copies go for an arm and a leg ...


"Niagra" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Sangandongo (instrumental)  (Klaus Weiss) - 19:07


(side 2)

1.) Malanga (instrumental)  (Klaus Weiss) - 20:42



I've never tracked down copies (original are expensive), but over the next two years the band recorded a pair of  follow-ups that saw the line-up repeatedly change while front man Weiss expanded his musical horizons to include non-percussion instrumentation and a jazzier attack.


- 1972's "S.U.B/" (United Artists catalog number UAS 29343)

- 1973's "Afire" (Finger catalog number 2960 102)