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Bröselmaschine - Bröselmaschine CD (album) cover




Prog Folk

3.88 | 82 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars You might expect a band named in part after the sound of a friend's motorcycle, and formed in the industrial heartland of Germany's Ruhr valley, to practice the sort of music better suited to a factory assembly line. But this maschine was built of altogether lighter stuff, and painted in soothing pastel colors. And the specs never included instructions for a power chord attachment.

The LP itself is a quaint relic of homemade early '70s Folk Art, enriched by just enough psychedelia to give it depth and character. Yes, the band members lived together in a Duisburg commune. And yes, they sang winsomely of butterflies while playing recorders and congas. But as the album continues it stretches out beyond its limited Folk Music boundaries, in the last two (longer) tracks adding sitars and a mellotron to the mix, the latter courtesy of engineer Dieter Dierks, encouraged no doubt by producer/mesmerist Rolf-Ulrich Kaiser.

With Krautrock's notorious Cosmic Joker involved it's no wonder the album faintly echoed the Acid Folk of WITTHÜSER & WESTRUPP, minus the LSD and (mostly) unplugged. But there's a disarming innocence to the music that sets it apart from the kosmische fever dreams of Kaiser's later misadventures: a simplicity of purpose and purity of expression best heard in the lovely unskilled harmonies of Jenni Schücker.

The kindred spirits of PENTANGLE were an obvious inspiration, acknowledged (reportedly) by the head-brösel himself, Peter Bursch. The same Anglophonic influence reached its apogee in the traditional Celtic ballad "Lassie", and elsewhere on the album recalls the pastoral 12-string beauty of early GENESIS, although I doubt if Anthony Phillips ever attacked his acoustic guitar with the same Teutonic ferocity as Bursch in the final songs here.

Assigning stars to such a gently faded artifact is difficult, and I'm rounding up from the more conservative rating the album probably merits after all these years. Your music library will survive just fine without it, but will suffer a lack of color from its absence.

Neu!mann | 4/5 |


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