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Amon Düül II - Eternal Flashback CD (album) cover


Amon Düül II


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2 stars Eternal Flashback was released in 1996 apparently as a freebie by the Düül's Japanese record company. To what extent the musicians themselves had their hands in this at the time is not clear to me. In any case this is not music that was recorded in the 1990s, rather it uses material from the end 1960s and early 1970s. Much of this has already appeared on Phallus Dei, Yeti and Tanz der Lemminge. There may be bits from Carnival in Babylon and also bits from older Amon Düül sessions when the commune was not yet split into I and II. Some material is unreleased as far as I know; I know all the regular albums of AD II but I'm not sure whether what I don't know yet appeared as bonus tracks somewhere.

Still, this is not some kind of "Best of", rather the material was put together in a new way, partly overlaying bits that did not originally belong together. This is all one track here. A 67 minutes fantasy jam was created, that never really happened, using many known elements. I've got to say though that it doesn't feel like a single track. There are a number of sudden changes that feel like starts of a new track; the creators just decided to keep everything together "officially". On the other hand, elements used early reappear at times toward the end, so one could find, with some generosity, some kind of arch holding things together.

They succeeded in giving this a feel that is somehow different from the original recordings, so you can get something new out of this. The unfamiliar bits are interesting, although they are probably often the oldest ones and the musicianship on these is quite pedestrian, to put it nicely. Unfortunately there is hardly any singing by Renate; vocals are male, by Karrer and somebody else. Overall this is very psychedelic, structures are even less transparent than in the original recordings (although there's much rhythm and guitar soloing) , and some people will say that you have to be stoned for enjoying this, although I'm not and I can get something out of it at least.

Ultimately there's some fun to be had listening to this endless jam going through a number of familiar snippets, although some transitions and overlays are rather unmotivated, and surely this will not convert anybody who is not yet a fan (there's a good chance you'll hate it if you're not already in love with the band). The Düüls have done crazy things on regular albums, too, though. You should expect this kind of wackiness from this band, and whatever you may object against this, it is unmistakably the weird Amon Düül II.

As a fan I find this free-flying 67 minutes pretty good entertainment, although no match for their sublime regular albums from that period.

There's a sister piece of this, "Kobe (Reconstructed)", that in several places is described as pretty much the same as Eternal Flashback. I actually disagree, Kobe is based much more on drum loops and creates a quite different atmosphere.

2 stars; can't be one because it's fun, can't be three because that'd be stretching it too far really.

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Posted Thursday, June 8, 2017 | Review Permalink

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