zondag 28 november 2010

Amon Düül - 1970 - Collapsing Singvögel Rückwärts & Co

Amon Düül
Collapsing Singvögel Rückwärts & Co

01. Booster (Kolkraben) (3:06)
02. Bass, Gestrichen (Pot Plantage, Kollaps) (3:32)
03. Tusch Ff. (4:39)
04. Singvogel Ruckwarts (Singvogel Vorwarts) (4:17)
05. Lua-Lua-He (Chor Der Wiesenpieper) (2:05)
06. Shattering & Fading (Flattermanner) (4:31)
07. Nachrichten Aus Cannabistan (3:18)
08. Big Sound (Die Show Der Blaumeisen) (2:14)
09. Krawall (Repressiver Montag) (3:18)
10. Blech & Alfbau (Bau, Steinen & Erden) (2:11)
11. Natur (Auf Dem Lande) (2:56)

- Ella Bauer / percussion, vocals
- Rainer Bauer / vocals, guitar
- Angelica Filanda / percussion, vocals
- Helga Filanda / percussion, vocals
- Wolfgang Krischke / percussion, piano
- Ulrich Leopold / bass
- Uschi Obermaier / maracas

After Psychedelic Underground, this starts out a bit of a train wreck (did you see what I did there...?), the opening number, Booster being a rather terrible jam with horrid, squealy guitars and no discernable vibe, man.
Bas Gestrichted is a bit better, with low voice below a tribal bongo layer, which only improves as the piece ends.
The drumming theme is continued throughout - but really, Drum Circus had already done this much better with Magic Theatre, and Can nailed the whole tribal feeling much better on Monster Movie.
Things don't improve (or vary) until Singvogel Ruckwarts, which is a much better investment of time for Krautrock fans, even if it does revert to the incessant drums. This piece is a lot more experimental, with tape (and who knows what) induced special effects producing a psychedelic kaleidoscope of aural audacity and sonic scrumminess.
From here, it just gets better, the band clearly having found their feet again - and given the amount of intoxicating substances present on this album, it's hardly surprising that they lost them in the first place... hey man, you seen my feet anywhere? Nah man, I was watching that yellow elephant grazing on my pot plants. Loads of wild tape slicing experiments here, making Can's seem a bit tame by comparison and it carries on getting better.
The overall trip seems to be that if you can stick with the ragged drumming, the overall musical flow increases, and comes more into focus, while at the same time splitting itself up into an unfathomable array - sometimes dissolving, sometimes returning - in short, becoming more and more interesting the longer you stick with it - and certainly tangibly more lysergic, throughout Lua Lua He and Shattering and Fading.
Everything winds down spectacularly on Nachrichten Aus Cambiston - then speeds up again - but it's always back to the drumming until we hit the Big Sound, which, sadly, does not live up to its name unless you've got the volume really high, in which case, the Big Sound comes from the overdriven mixing desk, with those VU meters bending into regions they really should not wot of going into.
A bit of a drop in musical quality and continuity here - it's kinda funny at first, but the tortured amps, whistling with feedback, soon become a bit grating, and the change for Krawall is highly welcome, and we're back to the drums and the experiments, where it all gets a bit honking mad. There's a lot more shape and intent to proceedings, however, like you're part of a big game with incomprehensible rules, sprung from some dark corner on the edge of reality.
Blech und Aufbau and Natura continue in this realm, with a surprising amount of invention given the limitations of the source material. It's kind of like the chaos produced by Langton's Ant. Natura is the least surprising of the two, however, sandwiching intense tribal poundings and rather dull acoustic guitar between recordings of birdsong.
In summary, an interesting album, with some real highlights, but some real lowpoints too - not for the faint-hearted, or fans of nice production and middle-of-the-road, easy-to-access music.
But hey, what Prog fan wants easy listening?
Pop music this ain't - but the quantity of anything you might think of as Prog is only about 50% within these grooves, so only recommended to Kosmisch addicts in need of a fix of the more mature stuff. Nearly a 40 year-old vintage. Approach with care, and there's lots to enjoy here.

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