Embryo is perhaps one of the most interesting bands from West Germany, which was founded in Munich in 1969 by Christian Burchard, who played previously in different jazz bands. At various times a lot of great musicians played in Embryo, including John Kelly, but unlike him most of them were jazz musicians. The band cast has changed around 400 times, and only Berhard constantly remains as a leader and do not leave it for years. In that regard, every album (there are more than twenty of them) is very different from the other, although each of them is created in the same way. Change in band membership took place too fast, but it hadn’t any effect on the quality of the music ( which is not the case for its diversity).
The band started with a performance of classic psychedelia, but then the music largely has become an important component of jazz and ethno music elements. The debut album is an experimental fusion rock. “Opal” was the first of five albums that are considered to be the classic of Embryo. The violinist and saxophonist Edgar Hoffmann played a huge role in developing the sound of the band ( pay attention to his work in the tracks “Revolution” and “People From Outer Space” from the album “Opal”). That’s interesting that the changes of the band members sometimes led to paradoxes: in 1971 Embryo released an album without a guitarist. Nevertheless, the rhythms in this album were rather fascinating. In the mid-70’s, however, Embryo simplified the approach to music, it began to be kind of funk and jazz-rock. Nevertheless, the popularity of the band was unprecedented in Germany and Europe, it participated in all rock and jazz festivals (and in 1972 the band played at the Olympic Gamesin Munich), taking advantage of a wide range of their possibilities, and even toured to Portugal, India and the North Africa. At the end of the decade, ethnic music began to prevail (the band visited Pakistan, Afghanistan and Egypt), and the studio albums were not released for 7 years until the 84th.
All the musicians who played at different times in the group had rather high level of performing and the music gradually evolved to the virtuoso jazz – rock with ethnic overtones and powerful psychedelic line. All band members often make a trip to India, Afghanistan, Africa and the Middle East, where the participants got acquainted with the musical culture of different nations and often recorded with local musicians. Embryo still exists today, and it is almost the only Krautrock band nowadays.