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Bröselmaschine - Bröselmaschine CD (album) cover




Prog Folk

3.88 | 82 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars At the turn of the seventies, Germany witnessed a radical musical revolution, which would fructify in a genre that we currently know as krautrock or kosmische musik. The term "krautfolk" was recently created to describe the German bands of the time, which based on influences of folk music and prominently used folk instrumentation. Bröselmaschine is commonly known as one of the most representative bands of the narrow sub-genre. The group was formed in Duisburg in 1969 by vocalists and guitarists Peter Busch and Willi Kismer, a female vocalist and flautist Jenni Schucker, a bassist Lutz Ringer and a percussionist Mike Hellbach. Two years later, the quintet recorded their self-titled debut album.

The impact of the sixties folk revival on later hippie folk acts, such as Fairport Convention, Pentangle or Lindisfarne, was undeniable. Bröselmaschine's style relies heavily on its legacy, but adds various their own original elements. The group's pastoral, meditative sound is enriched with influences of Indian raga, Celtic chants, and European art music of the Middle Ages and Renaissance. In addition, the album tends to have a strong trance-like feel, which becomes evident on lengthy and dynamically varied instrumental passages with detectable psychedelic hints. Even with so many original ingredients and such a fresh feel, the release's style does not sound unfamiliar.

Bröselmaschine's debut is dominated by gentle, feminine instrumentation. The great interaction of two acoustic guitars is supported by exotic sounds of sitar, tabla, congas and percussive, celestial sounds of a traditional European zither. Other unorthodox instruments include spoons used as percussion, a metallophon, and shells. Mike Hellbach's Mellotron plays an important role on distant, dreamy passages. Classic acid folk sounds are delivered through high-pitched flute sounds and harmony vocals of Peter Bursch, Willi Kismer, and Jenni Schucker. Electric instruments are rather rare with an exception of an electric bass and Willi Kismer's overdriven wah-wah guitar fills appearing from time to time. The overall impression one will highly likely get is that the musicians work together effectively and professionally.

The album is relatively short, with a time frame of only 35 minutes. It comprises six tracks, each with a slightly different feel. The opening piece, "Gedanken", is based on a lament bass pattern and is kept in a rather melancholic mood. "Lassie" is a ballad having a much brighter sound than the previous song. "Gitarrenstuck" is somewhat of a duel between two guitars of Peter Bursch and Willi Kismer without any help from other instruments. "The Old Man's Song" opens with a catchy motif, which returns after dreamy instrumental passages. "Schmetterling" has a very distinct, trance-like flavor, reflected in exotic-sounding jams. This track is probably the most representative of the whole release. "Nossa Bova" closes the album with an intricate meditative theme.

Bröselmaschine is one of countless bands that did not manage to leave a significant mark despite their original and worthwhile material. The band's self-titled debut album is an excellent example of German folk with psychedelic piquancy, somewhat reminiscent of krautrock. By no means a must-have, but well worth your listen. Recommended!

ALotOfBottle | 4/5 |


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