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Amon Düül II: Düülirium

After an almost twenty year absence, German Krautrock pioneers Amon Düül II are back with a new album Düülirium. Cleopatra Records has also been busy working on some deluxe 180 gram vinyl reissues of their classic back catalogue. So lots of stuff happening in the Amon Düül II camp.

The band emerged in the late '60s delving straight into the Krautrock scene and released their debut album Phallus Dei in 1969. On the new album three original band members are back; JohnWeinzierl (guitar), Chris Karrer (guitar, violin) and Renate Knaup (vocals). They are joined by Lothar Meid (bass), Jan Kahlert (drums, percussion, sounds) and Daniel Fichelscher (drums).

Although I have always been curious, this is the first I have heard the band's music so I wasn't quite sure what to expect (sometimes bands just slip through the cracks). One thing is for sure, the album is definitely interesting. The music meanders between psychedelic guitar explorations, spacey sound effects and a jam band like approach.

"On The Highway (Mambo La Liberta)" is musically quit interesting. A variety of guitar tones, including some heavy fuzzed out bass, changing tempos and more of a straight on rock vibe is what we have here. However, it is the vocals I didn't care for as much. Knaup's vocals are just okay and the male lead vocals are too gutteral and gravelly for my liking. "Du Kommst Ins Heim" has a more jam band sound veering into psychedelic pastures. Interesting sound effects abound but it is Karrer 's mournful violin that is the star of the show. The heavy rhythm section stands out in the funky "Standing In The Shadow" but again it's the vocals that bring it down a notch or two. The last rack "Back To The Rules/Walking To The Park" is the album epic clocking it at a whopping twenty-six minutes. It is here the band really go for some extended improvisational jams. I thought Knaup did a better job in this one, especially in the beginning mellower jazzy section. Lots of weird sound effects and percussion sounds to try to get your head around as well. Certainly the guitar work brings to mind the late '60s psychedelic sound.

So, my first experience with Amon Düül II is a bit of a mixed bag. Some of the vocals are hit and miss but the music is interesting enough to dig a little deeper into their catalogue. Definitely interesting stuff.

Track Listing:
1. On The Highway (Mambo La Liberta) (8:36)
2. Du Kommst Ins Heim (9:23)
3. Standing In The Shadow (8:15)
4. Back To The Rules/Walking To The Park (26:02)

Added: September 17th 2014
Reviewer: Jon Neudorf
Related Link: Band's Official Site
Hits: 1827
Language: english

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