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Ougenweide - Ougenweide CD (album) cover

OUGENWEIDE

Ougenweide

 

Prog Folk

3.11 | 17 ratings

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apps79
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
2 stars The folk rock ensemble OUGENWEIDE was found in Hamburg in 1970 by Frank Wulff,Jürgen Isenbart and Brigitte Blunck.They were named after the eponymous song by Neidhart von Reuental,one of the most famous minnesingers in Germany.From the very first moment the band's aim was to recapture the medieval side of music in a contemporary way.Soon Olaf Casalich, Wolfgang von Henko, Frank Wulff's younger brother Stefan Wulff and Jürgen Isenbart jumped on board and the band went on to produce their eponymous debut,produced by Achim Reichel,on Zebra.

STYLE: Vocal-led Folk Music with plenty of nice harmonies and polyphonic parts,bordering often with a rock attitude.The tracks are rather light,despite the heavy use of traditional instruments like congas,xylophones,harmonium or percussions.Acoustic guitars are everywhere either creating the rhythm or producing some fine melodies.From a progressive point of view,the album has not much to offer,the compositions are quite straight,however the instrumental parts have something to believe in,like intensity and a bit of complexity.The female vocals are in the vein of other German folk bands,that is very ethereal and melodic.

INFLUENCES/SOUNDS LIKE: Any other German Medieval/Folk-Rock band with PARZIVAL being the most appropriate comparison.Parts of the vocal-led passages remind me of EDEN or even CANO.

PLUS: Artistically OUGENWEIDE are a great band.Skillful players,very professional approach to folkore musicianship and pleasant compositions throughout.Vocals are a very strong point,clear,dynamic and ethereal at the same time.

MINUS: The biggest dissapointment is the absolute absence of any rock instrumentation: no electric guitars,drums or vintage keys make this album somewhat cold for a traditional prog listener.Very much vocal-based,the albums lacks in extended instrumental journeys to add the album an adventuruous perspective.A mass of instruments is displayed but the overall sound is very light without getting any rich even at a few moments.

WILL APPEAL TO: ...basically fans of pure Folk Music than to the average prog listener.

CONCLUSION/RATING: I have said it before and I'll say it now again.The addition of (prog) rock instruments to a folk sound can make an album from unimpressive to excellent (see EDEN or PERERIN's debut).Thus,I tend to like more a Folk Rock band (without prog elements)than a prog folk one (without rock elements).However,''Ougenweide'' is not an album to simply pass by.If you like pleasant folk melodies and some nice vocal harmonies,this can be quite good for a couple of spins...but it's very far from what I expect when speaking of a challenging and adventurous listening...2 stars.

apps79 | 2/5 |

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