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Amon Düül II - Yeti CD (album) cover


Amon Düül II



4.11 | 443 ratings

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5 stars Satori

The now legendary conductor Herbert von Karajan once spoke about the parallels between a great big symphony orchestra in harmony and the elegance of a flock of birds swooping round the sky screen. Completely oblivious to the fact, Karajan successfully describes one of the key albums of the Krautrock movement - a record notorious for being indescripable.

When Yeti takes off to wherever - far away - completely over yonder, and then some, this be-winged flock of musicians use the power of improvisation. Now I know what you're thinking, but this is so far from your everyday psych jam, it's insane. Yeti is truly in a class of its own. While Karajan's symphony orchestra had him at the helm - holding onto those invisible strings tying all of the involved penguin suited players together to make a grand musical whole, you get the feel with Amon Düül ll that nobody's behind the steering wheel, or maybe all are at the same time?

It's satori, A musical meeting, where everything seems preconceived even if it's happening on a dime.....short moments of musical bliss that defy descriptions such as elaborate improvs and successful jamming. Satori seems about right to me.

Listening to this music is exactly like looking at flocks of birds - at least during the loosy goosy sections that are scattered throughout the playing time of Yeti. Hell even the more together tracks on here, like Archangels Thunderbird and Eye Shaking King, are full of experimentations and laissez faire instrumentation whilst still holding on to things like verses and bridges. These two tracks are additionally extremely heavy. The guitar riffs coming out of John Weinzierl sound like a psychedelic power saw running amok. He throws these things haphazardly around in the music, which in turn grows wonderfully immense like a buzzing swarm of locusts. I've said this time and again, you can use this album as paint-peeler. It will literally have your room unwrapping itself like organic Andy Warholy banana wall paper. The heaviness is actually all around - even on the breathtaking second LP, where the improvisations really come to the fore with Yeti, Yeti Talks To Yogi and Sandoz In The Rain.

Another marvellous attribute to this saucy thing is the rhythm section. The rampaging Peter Leopold on drums, who pulls brilliant and magical things out his sleeve, that you just can't copy. Impossible! He was never the most technical drummer, but I'll challenge any modern prog rock Neil Peart aficionado to replicate the grooves he manage to cook up on this thing. Opposite Leopold we are treated to the bobbing bass lines of Dave Anderson, who quite easily could be mistaken for a more fuzzy and labyrinthian version of Richard Sinclair. Anyway these guys work together like bees and honey - asphalt and tar.

Finishing up the broad and delirious tapestry of Amon Düül ll we find the thick underlying organs, the heiiyya heyyiaa Indian wails of Renate, and the equally baffling male vocal work that sounds like a large cat on anabolic steroids. Slapped onto parts of Yeti, these vocal stints feel like a giant Indian ghost jumping on top the music, like was it an actual tangible sonic sprinting mustang.

I love the way the album starts too. Opening up with Soap Shop Rock, the path is quickly paved with everything under the sun, and preferably a violin to boot. Chris Karrer does a magnificent job acting as janitor during most of Yeti - either picking up said violin or joining in with the guitar fun during the long wobbly stints of the improvisations. I kinda prefer him on the violin though, and Soap Shop Rock is surely testimony to that. Truth be told, I don't think I've ever heard the instrument being played like Career does. Slicing, jaggedy, droning, screeching - sounding remarkably close to the kind of folk music you'll find on the rings of Saturn.

I find this album mesmerising. It takes my breath away. Quite literally. It pumps out of the speakers like a deranged explosive expressionism - transforming back and forth through wild psychedelic sections and alluring sprinkling acoustic bits. Yet that doesn't quite relegate how Yeti sounds......and feels. Back then in Germany, there was a generation of musicians who tried to free themselves of the surrounding musical world - especially the western one, and then start from scratch - invent their own language. Carte blanche and all that.

Nothing exists in a vacuum though. As much as I'd like to say that Krautrock, and Yeti in particular, sprang out the foreheads of the musicians like some ancient Greek mythological birth, I can't deny the obvious links this music has to what happened in the US and Britain during the second part of the 60s. The heavy psychedelic tendencies along with a fondness for Indian and other such Eastern touches run straight through Amon Düül ll's DNA code. Yet what they did was to create their own take on it - move it around, stretch around - cram that baby right through the shoe! I'm inclined to say that Yeti does the 60s better than the 60s ever did. It's just far more out-there, weird and intense. I could spend days on end listening to this album while looking up at the skies - hoping for an ascending army of feathers.

This is a classic. It genuinely is. It sets the bar high. This is how far you can take music - how untethered it can get, whilst still being unbelievably tight and together and beautiful and soaring.................................................. If you haven't heard it yet, then make haste and run to the shops! Godspeed. The guy in the dress awaits holding a sickle... 732 stars

Guldbamsen | 5/5 |


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