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Amon Düül - Paradieswärts Düül CD (album) cover

PARADIESWÄRTS DÜÜL

Amon Düül

Krautrock


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Trotsky
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
2 stars This album is a series of lengthy monotonous jams that have less focus than the best Amon Düül II material (which shouldn't be much of a shock considering that the other four albums released by the original Amon Düül were recorded at a single epic improvised session!). This is moderately enjoyable in its own right, although I find it to be insufficiently creative (no doubt the minimalist compositions have to do with the fact that everything is improvised). Those with low levels of tolerance for the more rambling hippieish moments that Quintessence, Hawkwind and indeed Amon Düül II have given us, should certainly steer well clear of this.

Take the 17 minute long opener Love Is Peace. It starts off with some cool flighty flute over repetitive backing before eventually moving on (after 10 whole minutes!) to some dexterous acoustic guitar playing. It's cool ... but should have been condensed to something that lasted less than 5 minutes. The same goes for Snow Your Thrist And Sun Your Open Mouth, which is the best piece here, but which is also guilty of finding a nice groove and basically just staying there. By the time the third piece Paramechanische Welt spent its first few minutes on the same two chords, I had lost interest. Of the CD bonus tracks, Eternal Flow, a bass dominated piece, is virtualy a New Age mood piece (albeit a good one), while the last song Paramechanical World is really just a tease.

Amon Düül II fans (and I am one) will find this an album they must find and listen to, but really I didn't find it anywhere near as interesting as its sister group (amazing to think that the multi-talented Chris Karrer only plays the bongos here!). It's a real shame, because some of the elements are present, but there is no spark to provide any sort of interesting reaction. ... 40% on the MPV scale

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Send comments to Trotsky (BETA) | Report this review (#47255)
Posted Monday, September 19, 2005 | Review Permalink
Seyo
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
2 stars Well, the opening lyrics "Love is peace/Freedom is harmony" say pretty much of this improvised set by the famous hippie music commune. Yet I would not call that much freedom in music playing a harmony but rather a chaos, given the unfocused and underdeveloped music that is presented on this album. It is basically a lo-fi, home-tape trippy music, made for the sake of improvising and as such cannot hold a listener's attention more than a few minutes. Unless of course you are a devout explorer of the roots of Kraut-rock. If you like a strong and developed long improvisation jams, go for the first SWEET SMOKE album issued the same year, otherwise stick to AD mark "zwei" for everything else...

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Send comments to Seyo (BETA) | Report this review (#50811)
Posted Sunday, October 09, 2005 | Review Permalink
philippe
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Content Development & Krautrock Team
4 stars Clearly the best Amon Duul's album with the original line up. Always primitive kraut / folk improvisations but the emphasis is now put on more structured songs. The abusive, mucky jam attempts of the previous efforts let the place to an easy listening psychedelic folk "trip" and it works formidably. The music retains the listener's attention thanks to intriguing, emotional compositions. The first track starts with catchy, cool guitar melodies, acoustic percussions, with "pastoral", "peaceful" flute lines. A tremendous energy prevails. Lyrics are all about "peace and love"; "Love is peace and freedom is harmony" said the voice. The following track carries on the same beautiful, semi-acoustic psych atmosphere. It alternates experimental, improvised ideas to serene, inspired structured sections. This one is instrumental, rather "archaic" in sound but really efficient. The two bonus tracks are slow, floating, moody pieces with "stoned" melodic vocals. "Eternal Flow » is made of sad guitar arpeggios, a nice bluesy rock section with plaintive vocals, a mysterious, rather desperate atmosphere. "Paramechanical World » is a crying, lovely free ballad. Don't ask sophistication but just simplicity and feeling and you will definitely enjoy this album.

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Send comments to philippe (BETA) | Report this review (#63846)
Posted Monday, January 09, 2006 | Review Permalink
Eetu Pellonpää
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars I consider this the most recommendable album by this line-up of the German underground musical collective pioneers. The music is beautiful instead of chaotic, and the recording is done properly and carefully. I have understood that all of the other four releases by the late 1960's Amon Düül are from a one other recording session, which doesn't have these qualities. Though this stuff is based on improvisation too, the jams have some pre-designed patterns and themes, which help the music to stay in more coherent levels. The sounds share the aesthetics of the classic Haight-Ashbury tones, focusing on acoustic folk with ethnic influences and bluesy electric solo guitars.

The longest track "Love is Peace" has minimalist English lyrics, which are sung on two different acoustic driven improvisations, being tied together with a fine psychedelic middle section done with pitch delay effects. A very powerful voyage, to me this song didn't feel to last as long as it really does. "Snow Your Thirst and Sun Your Open Mouth" has an ethnic sounding rhythm driving its first part, which suddenly stops in the middle, and another peaceful kaleidoscope of sounds emerge from its echoes. "Paramechanische Welt" is the most primitive of these songs, having two notes on the guitar and some obscure singing and tablas in it. There are few nice short bonus tracks on the CD too, both being very calm and good dreamy tracks. "Paramechanical World" may have the English lyrics of "Paramechanische Welt", but the music sound different (maybe it's only played from another note?).

What makes this album different from several other German avant-garde recordings which I have yet heard is the tonality and harmony on the freeform playing. Many times these experiments have created chaotic and painful music, but this isn't such. Interests towards improvisation and minimalisms are still the tendencies which are needed to appreciate this album, so this isn't everybody's cup of tea. Recommended for fans of psychedelia, ambient and folk music, and also for people interested of history of German alternative rock.

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Send comments to Eetu Pellonpää (BETA) | Report this review (#81148)
Posted Wednesday, June 14, 2006 | Review Permalink
oliverstoned
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars "Paradieswärts Düül" is the first Amon düül incarnation. Although the band was still a little amateurish, this record is probably the most accomplished, and probably the one which features the cleaner production, among Amon düül (I) records. The music can be described as a cross of US psyche and early prog. The first long piece is a jam session in a hippie mood, with flute and percussions. There's a repetitive melodic pattern and some singing. Some may find the vocals painful, but it's bearable. The piece is quite repetitive and features some excellent guitar. The second one is the best: purely instrumental and featuring mind blowing wha-wha guitar. This piece is more progressive and acid. US psyche influence is obvious throughout the album. The last tune is more simple, but good as well. This album is very interesting because it shows German prog genesis: half progressive, half psychedelic with a strong west coast flavour for the experimental side.

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Send comments to oliverstoned (BETA) | Report this review (#86292)
Posted Wednesday, August 09, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars This was an clearly nice discovery for me concerning the Amon Duul I world since I was first introduced to this band with the "Psychedelic Underground" album which although I relatively appreciated it, gave an utterly chaotic reputation to this band.

This is a very nice acoustic record from Amon Duul, very different from their first sessions this is quite the opposite, very calm acoustic guitar slow bluesy rythm, male and female vocal harmonies, exotic percussions and mellow patterns in an overall hypnotical acoustic atmosphere.

The first track "Love Is Peace" is a pastoral acoustic epic, fading-in in an slow hypnotical rythm, few minutes later we can hear the first vocals, altough a bit amateurish, those rough vocals gives in fact a very primitive and tribal aspect to this music which doesn't seem concerned about commercial success at all. The track is made of two different folk guitar-led rythmic sessions with an reverbered spacey transition between them. The two other tracks follow the first one in the same vein with a much more "indian tribe" vocal orientation and tripped out slow guitar solos. The CD version feature two bonus tracks which fit very well to the whole record, they were certainly recorded on the same studio sessions since the instruments mix balancing and the overall songs are flowing very well with the whole album.

This music obviously influenced later works such as DOM, Kalacakra and is very enjoyable if you give it few chances. Recommend for Kraut fans.

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Send comments to samhob (BETA) | Report this review (#113606)
Posted Monday, February 26, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars Original 3-track album version: 3.5 stars Repertoire reissue w/ bonus tracks: 5 stars

Amon Duul could only have happened in a certain time and place. This is, of course, the only bona fide studio album released by Amon Duul, and I have to say it is an absolute gem. The Repertoire Records edition is superlative - the clarity and warmth of the sound is impeccable, and the two bonus tracks are not only brilliant in their own right, but actually improve the structure of the CD.

'Para Dieswarts Duul' does not need to be sliced into tracks. Even though there are actually plenty of small musical shifts within each song - washes of synthesiser, key changes, vocals floating in and out of harmonies - it doesn't seem so at all. It seems like it's all one song.- one constant, flowing synthesis of sparse and delicate guitar lines, with keyboards and vocals and flutes and bongos occasionally stepping into focus for a while before vanishing back into the central piece. These five songs knitted together as an album present a wonderfully seamless statement of intent, even if the tone of one piece clashes with another (for example, the opening odyssey 'Love Is Peace' is warm and dreamily fun, whereas the closing 'Paramechanical World' - a bonus track - is spare and mournful, even hopeless).

Unlike the other Amon Duul albums, which are all taken from the same monster jam session in 1969, it is unclear exactly how much of this is improvised. I suspect 'Snow Your Thirst...' is, as it ends with a hard cut, but the rest of the album is teetering gloriously between the composed and the telepathised. It rhythmically feels its way forward, rarely breaking the pulse through its entire duration.

And strangely, that's all I can remember about it. 'Para Dieswarts Duul' is the ultimate background music, and is as successful in sending me to sleep as it is in enthralling me, drawing me into the swaying rhythms and the wonderful kosmische sirenism vocals. It is a very special album indeed, comparable to much of the rest of the Krautrock cannon in the same way that 'Islands' compares to the rest of King Crimson's music: A beautiful oddity.

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Send comments to youllneverbe (BETA) | Report this review (#157289)
Posted Monday, December 31, 2007 | Review Permalink
Sean Trane
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Prog Folk
4 stars 3.75 stars really!!

Apparently the jam session that sprouted this album also served for another two posthumous release (I think this one being also posthumous), but there isn't a single doubt that the better material resulting from that monster jam clearly ended up on this album. "Graced" with an atrocious green & orange Zodiac-type of artwork, this album should always be presented with its back cover, a much more fitting astrological theme, painted by group member Lemur. Indeed this album is rather far away from the near aggressiveness of Psychedelic Underground (Hyde), a relaxed gentle hippy fee of this one (Jekyll). Anyway, compared to its predecessor(s), this album is at least better recorded, even if this is still close to what is nowadays called Lo-Fi.

The 17-mins opening Love Is Peace indeed shows AD in a very pastoral mood with flutes and gentle melodies over a smooth rhythm. Somehow the positive vibe of this track changes a lot from the almost oppressive spacey jams on other albums (even the mid-section separating the two jams) and this alone is sufficient to suffer its slightly over-stretched form. The following (on the flipside) 9-mins+ Snow Your Thrust (whatever, right? ;-) is more Indian raga influenced and comes with sitar and fuzz guitars. Great raga stuff with the second part which is slow entering and having to wait for a wah-wah'd guitar to start taking off, only to drop abruptly to its end. Ending the album in yet another jam-style Paramechanische Welt, starting on a simple structure, but slowly crescendoing, where Chris Karrer (of AD II fame) plays a very enthralling tabla drums. Probably the album's best track, IMHO.

The Captain Trips comes with two bonus tracks tagged on the end, the first of which, Eternal Flow is another calm slow crescendo (with a few playing glitches) that fits the album quite well. The second track is the English version of Paramechanische Welt (Paramechanical World), but the music is rather so different that you wouldn't link the two tracks, except for the vocal lines (Karrer is not on tabla as well). Although this album is the one most likely to please progheads, I wouldn't call it the most representative of AD's original saga, but nevertheless this album reaches four stars more on merits (if you'llsee my first remark about the 3.75 above) than on pure historical reasons.

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Send comments to Sean Trane (BETA) | Report this review (#159729)
Posted Friday, January 25, 2008 | Review Permalink
ZowieZiggy
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars After the release of the chaotic and dreadful "Psychedelic Underground" the band released several albums which were apparently taken from the same sessions. As the great "Ramones" have said: "Third verse, same as the first".

The "epic" opener is just a seventeen minutes poor piece of music (?). It is a mix of acoustic guitar and repetitive riff with poor vocals that lead to a total chaos again. As usual should I say. To be totally fair (as I have always tried to be), I have to recognize that the second track "Snow Your Thurst & Sun Your Open Mouth" is quite decent and acceptable.

Totally hypnotic and repetitive it is the best (?) piece of music featured by this band so far in their career as far as I am concerned. It is fully psychedelic and the ones who like the early live Floyd appearances should like this track.

Some might feel great while listening to "Paramechanische Welt", but I can't. To my ears, it is just another long and dull track. Some decent percussion are present, but it features weak acoustic guitar background and poor vocals as well. What else?

Well, some average psyche song actually; under the form of "Eternal Flow". Sure that those guys must have been pretty loaded to generate such a track (which is a bonus on the CD version).

At the end of the day, this album is better than their debut but I can't be laudatory about such a work. But maybe is this what's Kraut is all about.

Two stars.

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Send comments to ZowieZiggy (BETA) | Report this review (#312220)
Posted Wednesday, November 10, 2010 | Review Permalink
octopus-4
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
RIO/Avant/Zeuhl Team
2 stars The lineup on this album features twelve elements. I would wonder why just bongs, guitar and voice can be heard on the first 8 minutes of the first track, but I already know the Amon Duul's unlistenable debut album and this, at least, is not that bad.

The 8 mentioned minutes have the appearance of a song and when it becomes psychedelic for few seconds one could think that something good is coming. Unfortunately it falls back into the first album's poor recording (and poor writing, too). The untuned 12 strings guitar and the hippy/acid percussions don't enhance this monotonal song. Well, if you are around a fire with stoned friends smoking everything passes through your fingers it can sound good, but "the times ar ea-changed". this music is flat and repetitive. So repetitive to be hypnotic and this is probably its purpose. At least is better recorded and less chaotically improvised than the debut, that's the only other Amon Duul album that I know. "Peace, brothers".

"Snow Your Thirst and Sun Your Open Mouth" is a bit better. Bass and guitar are again repetitive, but it's seems that they have written something. This is not a bad track, even if I still can't understand where the 12 elements credited in this album are, or how many of them were awaken while the session was being recorded. What we have is two different tracks, really, as the second half is occupied by a guy trying to tune his guitar with the bass....at least this is what it seems.

A great new on the last track: two chords instead of one. This is a big enhancement in the songwriting. I know that tuning a 12 strings guitar is not very easy, but there's people able to do it, so why playing in this way on an album? I have to say that this is the thing with more similarities with music that can be found on this album, and this is really an enhancemnt respect to the debut that didn't contain anything of this kind.

I'm undecided between 1 and 2 stars, but being it not as bad as the debut so it can have two. Only for fans, if any.

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Send comments to octopus-4 (BETA) | Report this review (#378739)
Posted Wednesday, January 12, 2011 | Review Permalink
Neu!mann
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars A very loose translation of the title "Paradieswärts Düül" might be "We're Bound For Glory". And the vehicle of choice for the journey, in counterculture Munich circa 1970, was a radical communal lifestyle and, presumably, a lot of psychotropic drugs.

It may not have been the best answer to the lingering reactionism of post-Nazi Germany. But at least the music was worthwhile, in retrospect more so than the movement itself.

Unlike the more dedicated musicians of Amon Düül II, the first incarnation of the band (actually more of a disorganized collective) was strictly an amateur project, on this album playing a haphazard assortment of flutes, bongo drums and acoustic guitars (I'm surprised the lineup on these pages doesn't list 'cannabis' as a primary instrument). After two very noisy free-form LPs the unexpected pastoral gentleness - more Krautfolk than Krautrock - might have been a conscious reaction against the urban guerilla warfare of the Baader- Meinhof gang: fellow travelers in the same Munich commune and early fans of the band.

How else to explain the meandering 17-minute mantra "Love is Peace", really just a three- minute exercise in Flower Power stretched to fill an entire side of vinyl. Or the grammatically- challenged "Snow Your Thirst and Sun Your Open Mouth", the title to which is evidence of either a failed German-English translation or a fried brain stem. The two best songs here weren't even on the original album: "Eternal Flow" and "Paramechanical World", a pair of haunting, minimal Krautballads first released as a 7-inch single and nicely positioned here as a bonus coda.

The musical skills of the ersatz group were never more than rudimentary, and worked better that way. At the start of a musical decade that would increasingly become a celebration of sometimes empty virtuosity and thematic overkill, the disarming innocence of the playing on this album remains the melodic equivalent of a breath of fresh air.

Well, maybe not entirely fresh. The album is very much a product of its era, and hearing it for the first time more than forty years later is like inhaling a lungful of secondhand pot: a mildly stimulating diversion at best, but high times to an old square like me.

It would take a more generous pair of ears to award "Paradieswärts Düül" anything more than three solid stars (for the music alone...give the album five stars for the integrity of its hippie idealism). And while it certainly casts a unique and peculiar spell, I'm not really tempted to explore any deeper into the anarchic rituals of earlier Amon Düül albums like the notorious 1969 freak out of "Psychedelic Underground". Pardon the lousy pun, but I think I'll quit while I'm a Head.

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Send comments to Neu!mann (BETA) | Report this review (#592337)
Posted Tuesday, December 20, 2011 | Review Permalink

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