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Amon Düül II - Yeti CD (album) cover

YETI

Amon Düül II

 

Krautrock

4.04 | 328 ratings

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febus
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator / In Memoriam
3 stars SOME CRACKS IN ONE OF THE PILLAR OF PROG!

In my time growing up in the seventies, AMON DUUL2 was considered one of the most important prog band and the face of German ''Krautrock''When it was my turn to be ''initiated'' to the wonders of AD2 and time to buy their first LP, YETI was recommended overwhelmingly as a first choice by the ''connoisseurs'' who knew better. Simply put, the feeling in those great times (was 1972) you ain't a prog guy not having YETI part of your collection. So you didn't want to look retarded and as a result, i purchased YETI, supposedly one of the pillar of the prog civilization. Rejecting Yeti and the reaper pictured on the cover would get you!

I did love this double LP to death, fitting perfectly with the hallucinogenic athmosphere of those beginning 70s. Oh yes we had good times with my friends blasting YETI in our smoked rooms.....that was a great trip guaranteed!! But that was then!!

Now some 35 years later and some ''maturity'' added or with a different outlook on life with music, my perspective towards this album has changed a bit, a little bit. This is still great music, still a fresh and adventurous sound no one else comes close to, but sometimes i find it hard to go through the whole 4 sides or, keeping up with the modern times, the whole CD.

YETI follows the steps started with PHALLUS DEI playing this psychedelic-jamming-stoned-ethnic- spacey-rocking (did i forget something)music sure to please every Kraut lover. The first disc is comprised of new songs as the second contains only ''improvised'' music.

My main problem comes with the sound of this album, be it 33rpm or CD. By sound, i mean 2 things: One is the production, seems all instruments are mixed together, there is no clarity, sounds muddy to me especially the rocking parts. Two is the aggressivity , the sonic assault as wrote the eminent Micky in his own great review ,coming to your face (to your ears i should say) non-stop giving you no time to catch a breath. I have especially the first disc in mind that starts very well with the multi- parts SOAP SHOP ROCK which show a new side from AMON DUUL 2, an AD2 that know how to rock with strong guitar licks, energetic vocals ( still not great coming from the men of the band, be it John Weinzierl or Chris Karrer). Thanks god, Renate Knaup definitely enhances the soundscape with her Grace Slick-like voice whether she sings lead or adds ''celestial'' backing vocals.

Don't get me wrong! there is great music to be heard here.. i love the instrumentals like SHE CAME THROUGH THE CHIMNEY, nice acoustic piece with only guitar, tablas and a nice violin soloing all over or the beautiful closing piece PALE GALLERY with its mysterious athmosphere!

ARCHANGELS THUNDERBIRD could be the anthem from the Kraut nation, great Knaup singing, but again this song is suffering from over-instrumentation mixed together. I am not really fond of CERBERUS which has more to do with the sound of the other AMON DUUL band (AD 1).. a congregation of hippies playing long acoustic improvisations going nowhere.

The worst comes with EYE-SHAKING KING (what a name) with its harsh distorded ugly vocals and frontal musical assault ....5 mns of suffering to my ears., especially during the freaked-out guitar solo!

What about the second disc? actually i like it better. Strange knowing i am not fond of long jams, especially when it is ''improvised''...but it works! However, i have some trouble to believe the 3 pieces included which are YETI, YETI TALKS TO YOGI and SANDOZ IN THE RAIN are fully ''improvised''. YETI for exemple sounds kind of structured to me , at least as much as the title track from PHALLUS DEI. The mood is close to ALPHA CENTAURI from Tangerine Dream that was released around the same time, maybe a little bit more aggressive with soaring guitars and those different kinds of percussion, not forgetting stoned vocals!

After this psychedelic mayhem, SANDOZ IN THE RAIN brings YETI to an end with its 9mns pastoral athmosphere lead only by an acoustic guitar, flute and bongos. I don't know who sings lead on this track but that's not bad, very trippy for sure. Still not sure it was an ''improvisation'' as mentioned on the album.....sounds ''organized'' to me!

So how to end up this review?? YETI is still a great album, but not the masterpiece we all thought it was back then in the day! You have great songs like the 14mns opener, brilliant instrumental interplays especially when Chris Karrer violin is involved. The sound is rich,but sometimes too rich and the music (and the vocals) becomes too aggressive..at least to my ears.

YETI was my favorite AMON DUUL 2 album for a very long time but now lags behind WOLF CITY, PHALLUS DEI or TANZ DER LEMMINGE. Maybe my tastes have changed.But that's only me! I like YETI but i come out completely exhausted at the end of it.Too harsh!

The cover artwork is fantastic, but has anyone noticed how the reaper on the cover looks like the esteemed Christian Vander!/lol!

3.5 STARS.........................still quite an experience!

febus | 3/5 |

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