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Amon Düül - Experimente CD (album) cover


Amon Düül



2.35 | 13 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
2 stars Here's an album that almost deserves the scorn normally directed at the first Amon Düül. I say "almost" because the jury is still out (believe it or not), and I'll be arguing for the defense a few paragraphs down. But first, a tough question from the prosecution:

Can this really be yet another collection of outtakes from that single, primitive guitar-and-percussion orgy that spawned three AD albums already, a decade earlier? The CD has no information about the music or the recording, which leads me to suspect a belated illegitimate release, aimed at exploiting the marquee value of the better known, more highly regarded Amon Düül II.

If you've already suffered through other AD albums (like the aptly-titled "Collapse" and "Disaster", or the awesome barrage of "Psychedelic Underground"), this one will add nothing new to your experience. And if you've never heard the Neolithic noisemaking of the original Düül this would be the last place to start. The album collects two dozen identically non-titled fragments and false starts, most of them only a minute or two long, performed by one guitarist, one bass player, and a small army of amateur drummers hitting anything within reach.

Nevertheless, I can't quite bring myself to call it a bad album, even while it scrapes the crusty dregs from a long-empty barrel. It's true the momentum of every groove is killed at each arbitrary splice, with 23 cuts over 67 total minutes, all of them with the painful shock of a tooth being pulled, minus any anesthetic. But the first Düül, keep in mind, was more a communal tribe than a musical group. And the grooves themselves, plodding as they are, possess an almost ambient purity to them, like caveman party music before the discovery of fire.

The same radical monotony that damns the group in the ears of many listeners is also what ultimately redeems them, by removing the music from any aesthetic context or comparison. It is what it is, whether you love it or hate it, with no excuses or apologies offered. And that's an attribute of true artistic expression.

After holding their music at arm's length for too long, I've finally learned something valuable from the earliest Amon Düül: how to be less judgmental. Thus my initial one-star jerk of the knee is elevated here to a more thoughtful two-star rating. This one, for better or worse, is strictly for diehard fans...and I know they exist, somewhere.

Neu!mann | 2/5 |


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