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Amon Düül II - Tanz Der Lemminge (Dance of the Lemmings) CD (album) cover

TANZ DER LEMMINGE (DANCE OF THE LEMMINGS)

Amon Düül II

 

Krautrock

4.05 | 232 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Anthony H.
Prog Reviewer
4 stars Amon Duul II: Tanz Der Lemminge [1971]

Rating: 7/10

6.5 rounded to 7.

Tanz Der Lemminge is Amon Duul II's third odyssey into experimental psychedelic madness. This band is generally considered to be one of the most important groups within krautrock, and albums like this demonstrate why. At the time of this release, the German experimental music scene was going through a transitional period; it was moving away from guitar-driven psychedelic rock and towards a more ambient Berlin-school style of kosmische musik. This album is an arbiter of this change. It contains all of the long-form spaced-out jam-based psychedelia that one would expect from an Amon Duul II record, but it also features lengthy portions of abstract ambience that artists like Tangerine Dream and Klaus Schulze would soon embrace. This is an excellent and historically important album. However, it doesn't quite reach the same level of kraut bliss that Yeti did.

"Syntelman's March of the Roaring Seventies" is the first of the album's three side-long suites. This is a predominantly folky piece with a strong acoustic guitar and violin presence. The first half of this track is a bit plodding and underwhelming, but the second half's infectious bass-line, superb electric guitar, and jazzy piano redeem the track. The eclectic "Restless Skylight-Transistor-Child" features psychedelic raga-rock, funk, jazz-rock, hard-rock, and folk. The best section of this track (and possibly of the entire album) is the catchy hard-rock jam in the middle. That guitar riff is irresistible, and the violin is fantastic. "The Marilyn Monroe-Memorial-Church" is the piece that fully demonstrates the ambient direction that German experimental music was taking. This is quite a dense piece, but its inapproachability doesn't stop it from being somewhat boring. It's not a bad track, but certainly not one of the best in this style. The brief "Chewing Gum Telegram" is a refreshing burst of rather simple guitar-driven hard-rock. "Stumbling Over Melted Moonlight" is a funky rock track with some fantastic electric-guitar playing. The closer "Toxiological Whispering" is another groovy rock piece with even more lovely guitar.

While Tanz Der Lemminge is indeed an excellent krautrock album, it doesn't quite live up to the standards set by both its predecessor and by Amon Duul II's peers. In a strange way, this album is both adventurous and safe. Some of these tracks show the group reaching out into new territory, but others show them retreading older ground. As a result, the album is rather inconsistent. "The Mailyn Monroe-Memorial-Church", while indeed an important step in krautrock's evolution, doesn't manage to be a consistently engaging piece. However, the strong moments are strong enough and the weaker moments aren't weak enough to make this anything less than an excellent album. Although I don't consider this be an essential release, like many others do, it is certainly a solid piece of work that I would certainly recommend to any aspiring fan of krautrock/kosmische-musik.

Anthony H. | 4/5 |

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