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Bröselmaschine - Bröselmaschine CD (album) cover




Prog Folk

3.87 | 79 ratings

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4 stars This is one of those rather obscure gems that is probably more folk than progressive, but the interplay of Celtic and Middle Eastern sounds atop a bed of what almost sound like Peter, Paul and Mary covers makes for a very charming album and a good use of a little more than a half-hour of your time.

Bröselmaschine was basically a one-shot German band who seem to have been heavily inspired by American folk singers of the sixties, plus featured the stunningly gorgeous and folksy vocals and flute of one Jenni Schucker. Amazingly Schucker doesn’t seem to have appeared on anything after this release.

This album was impossible to find for decades until it was reissued on CD in 2005. I just read this week that Akarma is releasing this on domestic CD in December 2007. I have the Ohr German import version that was released a couple years ago, which was the only other CD version I’m aware of. I don’t know if the Akarma release has the same tracks as this one or has some bonus material, so I will have to check into that one. But since Peter Bursch’s material after this release is generally considered inferior I’d be surprised if any bonus material amounted to much.

The tracks don’t range too far from my opening description, with the exception of the lengthy “Schmetterling” which does manage to blur the line between Middle Eastern-inspired folk (sitar, flute, zither, metallophon – you get the idea) and full-blown psych. There is even an extended flute solo that places this album squarely at the end of the flower-power era.

The rest of the album is much closer to rather tame hippy folk, although the presence of the zither, congas and tabla do manage to give the remaining tracks a bit of a dated sound.

On “The Old Man's Song” Schucker manages to come off sounding a bit like Grace Slick circa Jefferson Airplane’s Surrealistic Pillow days. This isn’t really a psych number though, as much as it is a rather intense folk piece accented with a light touch of slightly psych-and-blues guitar, tabla and the ever-present zither. Albums like Joe Byrd’s American Metaphysical Circus and the Comfortable Chair’s self-titled release also come to mind.

The sonic quality of the CD reissue is excellent, and while the liner notes are in German the overall package is quite decent. This is a very decent progressive folk offering that used be difficult to find but has been available in Europe for a few years, and is coming soon to America. Worth picking up and well recommended to prog folk fans. Four stars.


ClemofNazareth | 4/5 |


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