Amon Düül II


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Amon Düül II Tanz Der Lemminge (Dance of the Lemmings) album cover
4.06 | 228 ratings | 28 reviews | 30% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
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Studio Album, released in 1971

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Syntelman's March of the Roaring Seventies (15:50)
- In The Glassgarden (1:39)
- Pull Down Your Mask (4:39)
- Prayer To The Silence (1:04)
- Telephonecomplex (8:26)

2. Restless Skylight-Transistor-Child (19:33)
- Landing In A Ditch (1:12)
- Dehynotized Toothpaste (0:52)
- A Short Stop St The Transylvanian Brain Surgery (5:00)
- Race From Here To Your Ears
a) Little Tornadoes (2:08)
b) Overheated Tiara (1:46)
c) The Flyweighted Five (1:26)
- Riding On A Cloud (2:33)
- Paralized Paradise (3:07)
- HG Well's Take Off (1:26)

Chamsin Soundtrack
3. The Marilyn Monroe-Memorial-Church (18:09)
4. Chewing Gum Telegram (2:45)
5. Stumbling over Melted Moonlight (4:38)
6. Toxicological Whispering (7:48)

Total Time: 68:43


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Music tabs (tablatures)

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Line-up / Musicians

- Karl-Heinz Hausmann / electronics
- Chris Karrer / acoustic & electric guitars, violin, vocals
- Peter Leopold / drums, percussion, piano
- Lothar Meid / bass, double bass, vocals
- Falk U. Rogner / organ, electronics
- John Weinzierl / acoustic & electric guitars, vocals, piano
+ Al Gromer / sitar
- Jimy Jackson / organ, piano, choir
- Henriette Kroetenschwanz / vocals
- Rolf Zacher / vocals

Releases information

US 2 x LP Liberty LBS 83473/74 (1971)
UK 2 x LP United Artists UAD60003/4 (1971)
(Released as "Dance of the Lemmings" outside Germany)
CD Repertoire REP 4276WY (1992)

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to The Sleepwalker for the last updates
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AMON DÜÜL II Tanz Der Lemminge (Dance of the Lemmings) ratings distribution

(228 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(30%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(42%)
Good, but non-essential (23%)
Collectors/fans only (4%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

AMON DÜÜL II Tanz Der Lemminge (Dance of the Lemmings) reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Sean Trane
4 stars After the double Yeti album, AD II had an extremely succesful year that made them forget about part of their tribe/Kommune (the other AD group to be more precise) moving to Berlin, one would've expected the group to calm down a bit but their third album was again a double lp, still released on the liberty label. With the Serfas disappearing from the scene and Anderson gone to Hawkwind (replaced by veteran jazzer Lothar Meid), ADII has to rebuild once more... With Yeti named album of the year of 70 in Jan 71, the next month sees the follow up Tanz Der Lemminge (Dance Of The Lemmings) and its double madness again. With another wildartwork covering the front sleeve, a spacecraft on the the inner gatefold and and a druidic forest scene on the back cover, the album left much to the imagination of its audience. Actually the album is made of three sidelong projects from Karrer, Weinzierland Rogner, the last side being a communal side

The first side of disc 1 is a 4-movement sidelong epic (lasting some16 minutes) called March Of The Roaring 70's where the group appears in top form, ready to exploit the ground broken with pallus and Yeti, and indeed the wild psych they dealt us in Yeti is at least matched on this first side. Wriiten by Chris Karrer, the track is an excellent progressive space folk track. The flipside is occupied by Weinzerl's 7-movement Restless Skylight/Transistor Child suite, which is extremely wide in its scope ranging from Indian (guesting is futurePopol Vuh sitarman al Grommer) to a devillish and ever-changing soundscape, including a mellotron.and

The album's second disc is opened by Rogner's Chamsin Soundtrack (for a seldom seen film), filled with completely spaced out ambiances created by a sliding growling organ lines and echoed guitars answers. While this track might be faaaaar out, it stands out also as a bit too spaced out for repeated listenings and since it takes on a full side of the album's seciond disc..... Its flipside is a confused affair, filled with a succession of short tracks that seem somewhat linked together. With these three "shorter " tracks, we return to the screaming full psych that had been lacking us since the start (there was a bit of it during Weinzerl's suite), but Chewingum Telegram is a bit short, but sounding like some Quicksilver Messenger Service on strong dope... More crunchy guitars on Melted Moonlight, but here the recording sound shoddy and the whole thing lacking tightness. Closing the album is the medium-sized (for this album anyway with its almost 8 minutes) Toxological Whispering, an excellent Agitation Floyd track

The group will escape a fire in a club (Keks in Cologne) where they were in concert, but two fans died and all their uninsured equipment is lost. Liberty records will drop them like a dirty rag, and with an English and French during the following summer, AD II is facing xcomplete bankrupcy. In November that year, they will sign to United Artiste and play with an enlarged rhythm section including future Popol Vuh member Fichelscher. While the logical successor of Yeti, TDL is only partly succesful (like its two predecessor), but here the second disk lacks real strength and aim. A real step downwards, IMHO, but TDL holds its share of unconditional fans.


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Send comments to Sean Trane (BETA) | Report this review (#27764) | Review Permalink
Posted Wednesday, February 11, 2004

Review by corbet
4 stars Fans predisposed to the sprawling psychedelic explorations of ADII's first three albums will often cite this one as their best. I find no reason to argue! Although I enjoy all phases of ADII's career equally (and my personal favorite album is ever changing), when you really need to blast off into space, you cannot beat Tanz der Lemminge. This album is literally an EXPLOSION of music, all over the map, all completely mind warping: you have guitar jams that seem to emanate from the eternal ("Toxicological Whispering"); extended, otherworldy sonic explorations ("Chamsin Soundtrack..."); structured suites full of strong dynamic shifts and haunting timbres ("Syntelman's March of the Roaring Seventies"); completely off the wall riff-based numbers with wacky vocals and brain-bending sound effects (all throughout "Restless Skylight-Transistor-Child...")... I actually cannot describe all this music! It takes a long time before you even begin REMEMBERING anything of what you heard on this album, if you listen to it all in one sitting. Fans of German psychedelic music, or totally spaced out music in general, you absolutely must own this album. One of the greatest achievements by this most daring and original band!


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Send comments to corbet (BETA) | Report this review (#27765) | Review Permalink
Posted Saturday, March 20, 2004

Review by Proghead
4 stars Outside of Germany, this album is known as "Dance of the Lemmings". This third album finds these Krautrock pioneers at the top of their game, as far as experimentation goes. And this album, like its predecessor, Yeti, was originally released as a double LP set. The first two sides of "Tanz..." consists of bizarre music, consisting of vocals, jams, and bizarre effects. The third side consist of nothing but spacy experimental effects that sound a whole lot like Alpha Centauri-era TANGERINE DREAM (who were their contemporaries, after all). This stuff would fit find on Rolf Ulrich Kaiser's Ohr label (the label TD, ASH RA TEMPEL, the original AMON DÜÜL with their album Para Dieswierts Düül, and others recorded for), although released on United Artists in America and presumably Liberty in Germany.

Then the final side simply consists of lengthy guitar-jams. The only thing preventing me for giving this album a five star is the occasional excess baggage brought on by the fact this is a double album meaning the band ended up losing a bit of direction in places. But still, if you enjoy CAN's "Tago Mago" but wondered how that album might be like if that band didn't rely so much on grooves and went for a more musical, psychedelic direction, this is a great album to try. For the rest of you, still a recommended album for the adventurous listener.


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Send comments to Proghead (BETA) | Report this review (#27766) | Review Permalink
Posted Tuesday, April 27, 2004

Review by Trotsky
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars What an achievement! I wouldn't have thought Amon Düül II could have outdone Yeti, but the follow-up Tanz Der Lemminge is even more wonderous! The classic line-up of Chris Karrer, Renate Krause, Peter Leopold, Falk Rogner and John Weinzierl certainly deserve far more credit than they ever got for their individual musicianship, and I believe that this is the ultimate Kraut rock album. Do check it out!

This album's first song may be called March Of The Roaring Seventies, but it's very much rooted in the 60s. Dominated by some great acoustic guitar playing and an overwhelming hippie vibe, the song becomes an acoutic progressive folk jam after the 6 minute-mark (but not before some of tose heavily accented German male vocals make their mark!). It should appeal to any one who likes Pink Floyd and Comus and has a strangely dark, incredible improvised feel to it, yet is too good to be improvised. Around about the 9:30 mark, the vocals come back but it's still a stomping acoustic rock song. I swear by the end there's even diversity and angularity to win over a Gentle Giant fan and yet even bluesy jamming to get a Grateful Dead fan going. What a song!

Restless Skylight-Transistor-Child is another heavy blues jam affair with an odd mix of electronic sound effects to keep a listener on his/her toes. There's a repeated ascending riff which leads to a sparse stoner jam with sitar leading the way, eventually vocals over a heavenly choir. Around the 7 minute mark it threatens to become a Zeppelinseque rocker, but that dies out as some of the great violin playing that coloured Yeti makes its presence felt on this record. It slows down into another spaced out section, with the delightful acoustic guitar work returning. I don't know what to say about this sort of eclectic genius!

The Marilyn Monroe Memorial Church follows on from the second half on the Yeti album in that it is pure atmospheric exprimentation. It is also one of the most brilliant examples I can cite of improvised music. The sort of unearthly vibes this group could create when the need arose is quite astounding. With washes of sound, tinkling piano, crashing drums, ominous bass and a seemingly ever present organ. a stellar soundscape is created. It's no joke to keep this kind of thing going for nearly 18 minutes and not bore your audience (and maybe even yourselves!). This would be a real treat to those who enjoyed the live half of Pink Floyd's Ummagumma.

After the three epics you might not have much energy left, but if you do then this album concludes with some bite-size Amon Duul jams for you ... the psychedelic blues-rock of Chewinggum Telegram, the Zappa-esque Stumbling Over Melted Moonlight (which still fits in a few distinct sections) and Toxicological Whispering which closes the album out with more duelling lead guitars. Tanz Der Lemminge is not flawless (oddly enough, the blues rock on the shorter songs was what started to bore me!) but I think it is essential psychedelic progressive music. ... 82% on the MPV scale


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Send comments to Trotsky (BETA) | Report this review (#27772) | Review Permalink
Posted Thursday, May 26, 2005

Review by Progbear
5 stars The band were in a bit of a shambles by this point; old members long gone, new ones in, some old ones only half-there. Renate Knaup only sings on one song, and under an assumed name at that, to give you a bit of a clue. For all that, it's a surprise this album's as good as it is. Actually, it allowed for the greatest amount of pure, flowing creativity of any of their releases. In short, it's quintessential Krautrock.

Each side of the original LP offered a different conception of the band. "Syntelman's March Of The Roaring Seventies" is as close to "conventional" prog as they've come, with folkish layered guitars and Mellotron. "Restless-skylight-transistor-child" isn't a suite so much as a collection of songs, riffs, electronic effects and musical ideas strung together through the magic of tape-editing. It's their "anything goes" side, from the monstrously distorted guitar rock of "Overheated Tiara" to the sitar/Mellotron mayhem of "A Short Stop At The Transsylvanian Brain Surgery". They even manage to find room for a touching duet between Renate and new bass-player Lothar Meid...and then cap it all off-appropriately-with "H. G. Wells' Take-off", a showpiece for guest performer Rolf Zacher, performing some truly bizarre avant-garde expressionistic vocalizations.

Disc Two of the original vinyl release was music used as the soundtrack for Veit Relin's film CHAMSIN. "The Marilyn Monroe Memorial Church" finds our intrepid travellers heading for deep space. Probably more like "Yeti" than "Phallus Dei" in that it's totally unstructured improvisation, but it remains compelling due to the incomparable mood established with the piece. The album closes with a trio of spacy guitar-rockers.

One of the touchstone Krautrock releases. Highly recommended to all aural adventurers.


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Send comments to Progbear (BETA) | Report this review (#44650) | Review Permalink
Posted Monday, August 29, 2005

Review by Seyo
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars This album is usually hailed as a peak of Amon Duul II and it surely is a very good effort. However, I must say that apart from the excellent first disc with "Syntelman's March Of The Roaring Twenties..." and "Restless Skylight-Transistor-Child..." , which are the highlights of early Kraut-rock exploration (check the first FAUST album and you will see some mutual ideas), the remaining second disc is purely instrumental experiment that can be interesting to true fans only. Had they sticked to the regular single album with first two long jams, this would have been undoubtedly a masterpiece. But this way, I can only partially recommend it to brave listeners, for example to those who can enjoy the early noisy TANGERINE DREAM albums. 3,5 stars!


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Send comments to Seyo (BETA) | Report this review (#50690) | Review Permalink
Posted Saturday, October 08, 2005

Review by loserboy
5 stars AMON DUUL II were just one of those bands that I have had a huge addiction to my whole music life (well since I first heard them anyway) and "Tanz Der Lemminge" (Dance Of The Lemmings) represents my personal favourite album of theirs. This was the 3rd album released by the commune of frenzied cosmic voyagers and offers a true milestone in progressive-psychedelic rock. Sonically drawing parallels to the early-PINK FLOYD space-folk vibe and mixing in elixirs of heavy folk-like inspired psychedelia. This album is really a dark and freaked out psychedelic mess of free-form songs that filter through many different genres and moods. Originally "Tanz" was released as a double vinyl album but has been carefully re-mastered by GROBSCHNITT's "Eroc" and offers fantastic newly revamped sound reproduction. No fan of Krautrock can be without this recording and is absolutely 100% essential !


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Send comments to loserboy (BETA) | Report this review (#57214) | Review Permalink
Posted Sunday, November 20, 2005

Review by Neu!mann
4 stars I'm almost ashamed to admit it. Me, a self-styled connoisseur of German Prog, with sterling Krautrock credentials dating all the way back to High School (never mind how long ago that was), but who until the summer of 2005 had never (and I blush to even write this) heard the music of Amon Düül. Well, better late than never, I suppose. And in retrospect I couldn't have chosen a better introduction. This is an album that was years ahead of its time in 1971, and 35 years later is still waiting for the rest of us to catch up.

So then: what's the jury's verdict, after having deliberated for close to sixteen months now?

At first exposure you might hear a distinct resemblance to the post-modern pranksters of FAUST, kindred spirits with a similar disregard for the rock 'n' roll rulebook. But this particular Düül (Mark II in a long and very confusing history) was less inclined to the same sort of willful chaos, or was at least better skilled at organizing their anarchy.

And it's a far more polished effort when compared to the primordial freakout of their earlier "Yeti" (my second trek into the Amon Düül soundworld). With this album the band made a small but important step forward from post-'60s hippie flotsam to early '70s Prog Rock sophistication.

The symmetry of the original double LP (one disc composed, the other entirely improvised) is lost on CD, of course. But listening to the entire package in a single, uninterrupted sitting is an awesome experience not soon forgotten. The 'song' half of the album is, for the most part, lighter and more playful, with most of the selections clocking in at less than two minutes (so much for the usual accusations of overblown Prog pretensions). The shorter format may have been out of step with Prog conventions of the time, but don't worry: all the pieces are loosely collated into arbitrary, epic mini-suites, each one titled with more than a touch of Dada absurdity: "Restless Skylight-Transistor-Child", and so forth.

The improvisations, paradoxically, are more controlled and coherent, and a lot louder too. At 18+ minutes "The Marilyn Monroe-Memorial Church" is the obvious highlight, building slowly from ominous freeform rumbling to a brain-bursting apocalypse of percussion and noise. It's a certified kosmische classic, followed by three shorter, guitar-heavy jams, returning the music closer to its counter-culture garage band roots.

Both halves of the album together add up to a quirky and subversive musical artifact: one part Prog, one part psychedelia, and all of it quintessential Krautrock. Here's one (belated) fan who regrets not having heard the group sooner, but who is nonetheless grateful to have discovered them even this late in the day.

[Trivia note: the handsomely packaged 2001 Repertoire Records CD re-release was restored and re-mastered by Grobschnitt's own Joachim Ehrig, alias EROC.]


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Send comments to Neu!mann (BETA) | Report this review (#105170) | Review Permalink
Posted Monday, January 01, 2007

Review by Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars Extra terrestrial's, Marylyn Monroe and a Transylvanian brain surgeon. but not a lemming in sight

I find Amon Duul II to be a frustrating band. Their "Live in London" album, which sold in significant quantities in the UK due to a budget price, indicated that they had originality and talent in no short measure. Having investigated further though, I find that their studio albums are alarmingly inconsistent, ranging from simplistic pop based songs to overlong, self indulgent improvisations. Outside Germany, this the band's third album bears the title "Dance of the lemmings" (I had to update the site to show this as it took me a while to find it under its German language name!).

The album's opening track "Syntelman's march of the roaring seventies" is a three part piece running to 16 minutes, and occupying the whole of the first side of this double LP. There are similarities with Hawkwind's "In search of space" from the same era, in the pounding rhythms and spacey sounds. The music varies from such psychedelic influences to acoustic, folk like phases which are reminiscent of albums such as Jethro Tull's "Thick as a brick". While the instrumental passages are frequent, they tend to reflect the overall tightness of the suite, with little of the improvisation which blighted the previous "Yeti".

Side two is occupied by the seven part "Restless skylight-Transistor-Child" which is notable for containing the most imaginative titles of the album. These include "A short stop at the Transylvanian brain surgery", "Dehypnotised toothpaste", and "Race from here to your ears". Needless to say the lyrics, which may be in English but are impenetrable nonetheless, bear no relation to the titles. According to John Weinzierl, the theme of the piece is an extra-terrestrial view of human life. Unusually, the track features sitar and choir type vocals working together, offering an ear catching counterpoint to the less structured section which follows. Improvised electric violin also makes an appearance, backed by a heavy electronic back beat. This suite is the most diverse of the four sides, and therefore the most demanding. The highlight is the "Race from here to your ears" section, a softer section with female vocal accompaniment and phasing. I do feel though that the "Live in London" version is much the superior. Strangely, the lyrics here mention "Syntelman", whose name is included in the tittle of the first suite.

There appears to be some confusion over whether the whole of the second album is the "Chamsin soundtrack", or just side three. The LP sleeve would appear to imply that sides three and four are both covered by this title. At the time of the album's release, the obscure film for which the music was intended had not been released, appearing in Germany a year later. The music did however win a German soundtrack award! The third side of the LP is occupied by the singularly titled "The Marylin Monroe- memorial- church" (complete with hyphens as shown), which runs to 18 minutes. This piece has more in common with the "Yeti" improvisations than the rest of the album. While it is mildly appealing, with floating early Pink Floyd like sounds, it is probably best regarded as soundtrack music and left at that.

Three separate tracks occupy side four. "Chewinggum telegram" probably contains the hardest rock on the album, the driving guitar once again being reminiscent of Hawkwind. "Stumbling over melted moonlight" continues very much in the same vein, with the closing "Toxological whispering" completing the trio of instrumentals in slightly slower guitar fusion style.

For me, this is easily the best of the Amon Duul 2 studio albums I have heard. OK, so it does ramble a bit at times, especially on side 3, but in general the music is focused and well performed. Incidentally, the album title also appears to bear no relation to anything on the album.


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Send comments to Easy Livin (BETA) | Report this review (#136487) | Review Permalink
Posted Thursday, September 06, 2007

Review by Mellotron Storm
5 stars If you want to check out this amazing band you can't go wrong with any of their first three studio albums.This was released as a double album originally just like the "Yeti" album that came out before it. This double album had three side long suites with the final side (my favourite) being made up of three songs.The edition I have was remastered by Eroc at The Ranch. As usual he did an amazing job.The pictures in the liner notes of the band are priceless.The centerfold is especially cool as we are looking out the front window of a spaceship.

The first side is called "Syntelman's March Of The Roaring Seventies", it begins with "In The Glassgarden" a short song that is quite spacey until we start to get a beat. "Pull Down Your Mask" features acoustic guitar, bass, vocals, drums, electric guitar and violin. There is a dreamy, uplifting section that comes and goes during this song. "Prayer To Silence" is just over a minute of acoustic guitar and percussion. The final track of side one is "Telephonecomplex", it begins with organ, drums and guitar.The acoustic guitar sounds incredible.Vocals after 2 minutes.The bass is prominant, and the lyrics and vibe are psychedelic. The mood changes several times. Some nice piano arrives along with some aggressive guitar. Nice. Side two is called "Restless Skylight-Transistor-Child". It begins with "Landing In A Ditch" which is basically the same guitar melody playing over and over for about a minute. The next song "Dehypnotized Toothpaste" is the same style but with a different melody. "A Short Stop At The Transssylvanian Brain-Surgery" features sitar, guitar, vocals and drums that build. Dissonant sounds to end it. "Race From Here To Your Ears" is divided into three parts. "a) Little Tornadoes" has some amazing guitar in it. Where have you been ! The psychedelic vocals echo. "b)Overheated Tiara" has more fantastic guitar as violin comes in. "c)The Flyweighted Five" has a bit of a HAWKWIND feel to it to begin with. Good guitar and spacey sounds. "Riding On A Cloud" is a reserved song with gentle guitar, bass and vocals. "Paralized Paradise" is a really good song. It features acoustic guitar, speaking, bass and electric guitar 2 minutes in. "H.G.Wells Take Off" has some crazy vocals along with a heavy sound including bass.

The second album was titled "Chamsin Soundtrack", it began with the side long suite called "The Marilyn Monroe-Memorial-Church (Impro.)". This is very experimental and spacey. I feel like i'm lost in space listening to this 18 minute track. We get some marching style drums 9 minutes in and piano after 11 minutes and late. In between (14 min.) we get some loud and great drumming.This song is a trip. The final side starts with "Chewinggum Telegram" which really rocks out with drums and guitar.The guitar is outstanding. "Stumbling Over Melted Moonlight" opens with a heavy sound that builds.This is amazing ! I really like the way the guitar plays over top of the drum melody.The same style is on the final track called "Toxicological Whispering". More fantastic guitar ! What a way to end this incredible journey. I think this is my favourite AMON DUUL II record.


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Send comments to Mellotron Storm (BETA) | Report this review (#143756) | Review Permalink
Posted Thursday, October 11, 2007

Review by The Truth
COLLABORATOR Post/Math Rock Team
4 stars I'm not a big fan of krautrock at all, in fact I only listen to Faust and Amon Duul II at the moment, but this album caught my attention. It starts off with the acoustic-guitar dominated song Syntelmans March of the Roaring Seventies which with it's Dylan-esque lyrics and folk-rock/krautrock sound totally amazes me.

"After a long introduction you can hear the story which happend during the roaring seventies. In July, people sweat in the sun sitting feet-by-feet watching the big game."

The next song, Restless Skylight Transistor Child, is a lot heavier and more krautrock but is still pretty good. The Marilyn Monroe Memorial Church is one of my favorite improvisations, a type of music which I don't care much for. The last three songs sound pretty close to the same to me but they are all good and you have to love the title Stumbling Over Melted Moonlight! This is probably the best krautrock album ever!


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Send comments to The Truth (BETA) | Report this review (#212467) | Review Permalink
Posted Saturday, April 25, 2009

Review by Bonnek
3 stars To a certain extent, Amon Düül II have woken up from the psychedelic daze of their first two albums here. They put more focus on vocals, story-telling and song writing, and while the music is still weird and unusual, the entrancing jammy vibe of the preceding albums is lost.

What we get instead is an album that, if you're hungry for a reference, isn't far removed from Zappa or Captain Beefheart. But it lacks the skill and bite of those grandmaster of anarchistic crank-rock. There are occasional flashes of inspiration but generally it sounds too sought after and deliberately artsy. Also the album's mix doesn't help, the drums are mixed so much to the background that you can hardly hear them. As a result, the songs sound disjointed and flat. A real turn-off for me.

There are only few tracks later on in the album that manage to move me. The short but intense Riding On A Cloud does the trick, as do the hypnotizing closing tracks. The highlight of the album would be the long noise experimentation of The Marilyn Monroe Memorial Church, abstract music, with a free organic flow and that typical 'cosmic' spooky ambience. It blows anything that preceded out of the park and makes the album relevant all by itself. Strong enough to grant 3 stars instead of 2 to the album as a whole.

Tanz Der Lemminge isn't the easiest Amon Düül II album to get into and I'm a bit surprised it's seen as the best albums by the fanbase. There are some great pieces here but I find it too uneven, concept-oriented and indulgent. Especially the songwiritng and production of the first half hour doesn't deliver.


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Send comments to Bonnek (BETA) | Report this review (#271951) | Review Permalink
Posted Sunday, March 14, 2010

Review by EatThatPhonebook
3 stars At first, I thought that the "Dance Of The Lemmings" had reached the highest point in Krautrock. At first this album could be considered a masterpiece, because of some peculiar moments and interesting melodies, not to forget great arrangements. But after a few listens, it isn't as well constructed as it initially appeared, or at least this is my impression. In many moments it can easily be catchy and quite interesting while in other moments it can easily bore.

The style sounds just like typical Krautrock: an original sense of melody, a little childish and weird, some spacey moments, hypnotic and entrancing, as well as some hard rock/ garage rock explosions, and some avant garde and jazz touches.

"Syntelman's March..." is the opener, a fifteen minute track that has many of the characteristics mentioned earlier, even though it bores most of the time. "Restless Skylight" is the nineteen minute epic masterpiece, where we can admire the talent of the band, which with this song reaches his highest peak. Gorgeous in some moments, spacey in others, great melodies in other, free jazz and bizzarness mixed together most of the time. The rest is forgettable, especially the 18 minute The Marilyn Monroe..., very flat and repetitive, which tries to repeat Can's "aumg" in some points, while in others Faust and Neu!.

To sum up, a good album, not really essential though. This is my first AD II album, and I'm really looking forward to listen to "Phallus Dei", which I think I'll like more. Let's hope So!


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Send comments to EatThatPhonebook (BETA) | Report this review (#282484) | Review Permalink
Posted Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Review by The Sleepwalker
5 stars Tanz Der Lemminge, Amon Duul II's third studio album, shows another stage in the band's constant motion. Gradually moving towards a more tightly structured approach on an album like Wolf City, Tanz Der Lemminge might feel slightly more accesible than earlier releases, though at the same time it probably is Amon Duul II's most complex album. In fact, the band didn't perform all the pieces of this album on the subsequent tour for this particular reason.

Most notable to the new sound of the band are some changes in the line-up. The most unfortunate exclusion to me is Renate Knaup, only having a short guest vocal performance. Bassist Lothar Meid however, is an excellent new addition to the band and proves to play an important part in Amon Duul II's distinctive sound with his open style of bass playing. The music itself is ambitious, featuring two epic suites and an improvisational soundtrack for some obscure film. Opening the album is "Syntelman's March Of The Roaring Seventies", a very distinctive Amon Duul II piece, having a psychedelic feel with folky tendencies. It's a highly complicated piece, featuring very frequent changes, lots of instrumental passages, and an overall rich and layered feel.

What's marking the progression of Amon Duul II's sound even more so is "Restless Skyline- Transistor-Child", which is rather a collection of riffs and short songs than your typical suite. The individual parts here vary from ethnic and mellotron driven to fierce and heavy riffs. With some of the transitions between parts being very unexpected and sudden, I can imagine "Restless Skyline-Transistor-Child" might sound a bit incoherent to some. However, I myself enjoy its somewhat loose approach. The improvisational pieces that cover up the second disc vary from the heavy rock of "Chewinggum Telegram" and "Stumbling Over Melted Moonlight" to the atmospheric cosmic journey that is "The Marilyn Monroe-Memorial- Church", taking you to Jupiter and back again in only 18 minutes.

Ultimately, I find Tanz Der Lemminge to be a brilliant album and perhaps even the very best in Amon Duul II's career. It might not attract everybody, but I would definitely recommend it to those who enjoy improvisation, psychedelica and an open sound including broad influences. I consider Tanz Der Lemminge to be a masterpiece without a doubt.


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Send comments to The Sleepwalker (BETA) | Report this review (#284173) | Review Permalink
Posted Sunday, May 30, 2010

Review by Warthur
5 stars This is the point where it all came together for Amon Duul II - where the songwriting finally caught up with the band's always-impressive improvisational capabilities. Like the previous album, this consists of one disc of composed tracks and another of improvisations, but it doesn't feel like a double album - far from sprawling out, it's over all too soon! Standout suites include the dizzying, zeitgeist-capturing March of the Roaring Seventies opens the album in fine form, with lyrics as sinister as they are surreal and music which is packed with psychedelic foreboding, and the improvisational Marilyn Monroe Memorial Church, on which the spirit of Pink Floyd's A Saucerful of Secrets - an album which seems to have had an absolutely massive influence on the early Krautrock scene - can be discerned once again. But then, there's a swathe of other influences at work as well as the band's own unique character on display. More densely-packed with musical ideas and talented musicianship than any previous Amon Duul album, this may just be their finest work.


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Send comments to Warthur (BETA) | Report this review (#476996) | Review Permalink
Posted Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
4 stars Amon Duul II's triumphant journey into altered states of consciousness. Amon Duul II are impossible to ignore when it comes to Krautrock and this album is perhaps the band at the peak of their powers. The fractured state of the band that were in disarray at the time with many members heading out the door and new ones jumping on board, perhaps is reflected in the disjoined music. This is a lot easier to take than a lot of Krautrock though as it is accessible in many ways, compositions of actual songs mixed with improvisational material should satiate the palette of most progheads. The high rating of the album is well deserved as the album is somewhat of a legend these days. 'Syntelman's March of the Roaring Seventies' is a glorious epic circus of estranged vocals, percussion shifts and acoustic augmentations. It really builds up into an instrumental that reminds me of early Pink Floyd. The guitar work is virtuoso and I particularly like the sustained keyboard notes that are ominous and threatening. The music breaks into sections but still flows organically along on a cadence or intonation of modulated rhythms. The vocals are terrific with some downright bizarre lyrics; "and suddenly come from everywhere snakes and rats and big fat cats" and "witches, offering to me a foolscap but the spell they could not say, what they got was apparent flesh from the master." At times it sounds as if Syd Barrett is being channelled. There is a fabulous wah wah lead solo akin to Hawkwind's spacey style, and the percussion is crashing cymbals and chaotic pentameter to the end.

Restless Skylight-Transistor-Child is a 19:33 epic with a cool guitar riff repeated over with a drone at first. It changes several times during it's epic structure, with some awesome riffs and mesmirising musicianship. The next section is almost a straight rock feel but the guitars sound unusual and out of tune or playing wrong notes, but it works to send the listener's ear off kilter. The Indian Sitar makes an entrance here with some bubbling effects. Vocals eventually come in with some existentialist LSD psychobabble; "save them a pocketful of laughter, Mona Lisa, do you see the people crying, do the speedway, do the highway." The lyrics seem improvised as much as the music, but it is a more a general feeling that is desired here, a spacey escapism from the burden of 70s culture and all the trash that was going on and the hyper changes. The counter culture was a target audience here, and it delivered with well executed acid induced rock. The track transfixes at intervals and holds interest with broken up ideas that are listed on the album sleeve, such as Landing In A Ditch, Dehypnotized Toothpaste, A Short Stop St, The Transylvanian Brain Surgery, Race From Here To Your Ears, and other weird ideas. Unless you really concentrate on the times it is almost impossible to recognise where each part starts and ends but it is certainly an innovative approach with definitive breaks in style. The keyboards provide a shimmering soundscape of cosmic ambience. The heavier rock guitar sound that locks in at 11:30 is perhaps my favourite moment, almost sounding like a spacier Led Zeppelin or Free. The 70s sound of the distorted guitar is always an ear pleaser, never overbearing but dirty riffing and played with attitude, a similar style to 70s obscurities Fuzzy Duck, Buffalo, Leaf Hound or Incredible Hog.

The Marilyn Monroe-Memorial-Church is another epic clocking 18 minutes and once again highly improvisational and dissonant, perhaps moreso than previous tracks. It is not the multi movement suite perhaps of the previous epic but it still has a lot of innovative ideas going on. I must admit this one is as hard to take as some of the psychotronic sonic violence of Ash Ra Temple's meditative album. It certainly breaks up the accessible tracks and is best heard in context of the whole album as it is totally different and not a clear indication of the album's overall content. If the whole album were like this it may have proven to be a very weary slog to get through for the average listener, although it sounds like early Can, a band that has a cult following. This music is akin to a space crawl through the cosmic netherverse and of course has extreme LSD connotations and psychedelic connections.

Then we get a trilogy of shorter songs; Chewing Gum Telegram (a great rocker with tons of chaotic drumming and chugging guitar), Stumbling over Melted Moonlight (another guitar driven freak out), and Toxicological Whispering (a strange guitar fusion closer), that is actually 7:48, but short by Amon Duul II's standards. It is an excellent album certainly and, along with Ash Ra Temple, perhaps one of the strangest and most influential of the embryonic 70s.


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Send comments to AtomicCrimsonRush (BETA) | Report this review (#548638) | Review Permalink
Posted Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Review by Anthony H.
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.


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Send comments to Anthony H. (BETA) | Report this review (#565559) | Review Permalink
Posted Thursday, November 10, 2011

Review by HolyMoly
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR RIO/Avant/Zeuhl and Canterbury Teams
5 stars Great grandmas! Twenty years since I got this, and it still evokes and occupies a strange and distant subterranean horror fantasy world every time I put it on.

Calling this stuff "prog" can be misleading; it's not really about complexity, and definitely doesn't have any classical music influences, even though it works in long-form pieces that are undoubtedly difficult to play. But not difficult for THEM to play, if you catch my drift. They're just a strange sounding band, and nothing they or anyone since done since really sounds the same. Even the Amon Duul II live album from a couple of years later doesn't even really sound like this, even though many of its pieces are played.

Calling this stuff "Kraut Rock" is a little misleading too. It is most definitely German, and immediately identifiable as such (not least for the singers' accents), but it doesn't really subscribe to the stereotypical "Kraut rock" motive, which is robotic repetition (Can, Neu!, Faust, and Kraftwerk all shared this trait, but not Amon Duul).

Oddly enough, it's probably closest in style to West Coast psychedelia, of the darkest sort. The very earliest Mothers of Invention albums are a pretty close comparison, although there was no clear-cut leader like Frank Zappa in this group. Their strangeness was a collective one, with collaboration and shared ideas fleshed out throughout the schizophrenic forest of this album. Humor is apparent in the song titles (pretty much nonsense), but parody and social comment really aren't concerns of these guys either. None of Zappa's "eyebrows" (his word for those little touches he applied to pieces to provide tangential information or non-verbal comment) are present here, just wild whimsy shaped into tight (though lengthy) song structures. No jamming for jamming's sake (like the Airplane or the Dead), but jamming in rehearsal helped provide the band with many of the musical themes. From there, they add other strange touches and tie them together into strange, segmented multi-epics for a "mind-blowing experience, mang".

Sides one, two, and three each have a single extended piece. The fourth side feels like an appendix, a depository for discarded jam material not used in the other pieces. But it too has a strange, travelogue feel to it.

Dude... there's a sitar playing on side two right now... what is it about sitars that takes me to a creepy cobweb room in my brain, to play hide and seek with my consciousness, to taunt the uvula with vibrations of that haunted middle ground between Fear and Ecstasy...

No drugs were taken for this review. It's all the music's fault.


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Send comments to HolyMoly (BETA) | Report this review (#747334) | Review Permalink
Posted Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Review by Matti
3 stars The international breakthrough of an important Krautrock band, not surprisingly given many full ratings here. For me it wasn't very great listening experience. Maybe the debut Phallus Dei (1969) had more crazy charm, and I'm missing Renate Knaup's vocal contributions. This is band's third album, preceded by Yeti (1970), another double vinyl of single CD length like this one. Three vinyl-side long epics plus three shorter tracks. Psychedelic, yes. Mindblowing? Naah. The second epic is rather fragmented, with hilarious subtitles such as 'Dehynotized Toothpaste' and 'A Short Stop at the Transylvanian Brain Surgery'. The over-the-top lunacy could be more strongly present in the music too. Sparse vocal parts are mostly in English - if it matters anything, as they don't make much sense anyway. Why the album title is in German while track titles are in English?

'The Marilyn Monroe-Memorial-Church' is a strange title and somehow quite unfitting to the most Kosmiche track, unless it tries to have the devout tone of the atonal piece, more or less in the mode of early Tangerine Dream (though less exciting in sounds). The shorter tracks are more guitar-oriented and don't add anything crucial. Good guitar playing on 'Toxicological Whispering'. All in all, this is most likely an album that gets better with each listening but at first may be a slight disappointment against the classic status. But I'm not sure if I'm willing to see the trouble to possibly enjoy it more. Until that, three stars is enough.


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Send comments to Matti (BETA) | Report this review (#781982) | Review Permalink
Posted Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Latest members reviews

4 stars I swear I would have given this album a five had it not been for the embarrassing lyrics on the entire record. I also have strong reservations about 'Stumbling Over the Melted Moonlight' and the lengthy 'Chamsin Soundtrack.' Plus, I do not like the idea of a musician or a group of musicians stitchin ... (read more)

Report this review (#613887) | Posted by Dayvenkirq | Friday, January 20, 2012 | Review Permanlink

3 stars My first foray into the world of the Amon Duuls. This is the third album from this German band and a highly rated one too. Which I can understand. I am an outsider coming into Krautrock and I find a lot of interesting things here. The music is based on and developed from the more experiem ... (read more)

Report this review (#565322) | Posted by toroddfuglesteg | Thursday, November 10, 2011 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Amon duul 11s tanz der lemminge is anther amon duul 11 album which i love but dont like as much as yeti,but still this is a amon duul 11 album everyone should have as its a good listen my favorite sopngs on this album are riding on a cloud,paralized paradise,the marilyn munroememorial church,but ... (read more)

Report this review (#204378) | Posted by davidsporle | Thursday, February 26, 2009 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Amon Duul II - Tanz der Lemminge This is third album from Amon Duul II and it's different from previous two albums. Yeti was great, and this... This is even bigger. I was bought on the first listen. The Marilyn Monroe Memorial Church is the best song from this artist in my opinion, experiment ... (read more)

Report this review (#185730) | Posted by alionida | Tuesday, October 14, 2008 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Such a wonderfully strange album, chaotic psychedelic folkish krautrock, with a jamming 'heavy' feel to the songs. I don't know if I like it better than Yeti, certainly the Chamsin soundtrack The Marilyn Monroe memorial church is a bit to much out there to stay interesting through the 18 minute ... (read more)

Report this review (#163557) | Posted by tuxon | Sunday, March 09, 2008 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Another double album for Amon Duul II another masterpice of krautrock and prog, and thiere highest regarded album by many, not hard to see why, toghter with Yeti this is my favorite Amon album and a real masterwork, you culd almost say that Amon duul II was the Mars Volta of its time or that the ... (read more)

Report this review (#161761) | Posted by Zargus | Thursday, February 14, 2008 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Author's Note: Most of what I've said in this review, I agree with. I would just like to point out that of the four ADII albums I know, (this one, Phallus Dei, Wolf City, and Yeti) this is the weakest. I have revised the rating to 3 stars (read 3.5), but I still recommend it just as highly. I hav ... (read more)

Report this review (#112370) | Posted by Pnoom! | Friday, February 16, 2007 | Review Permanlink

5 stars I feel compelled to agree with James Unger that this work represents an absolute milestone in progressive psychedelic music. The band is in the grips of an overwhelming psychedelic possession culminating in this, their finest and most challenging recording. The musicianship is akin to an urgent a ... (read more)

Report this review (#57223) | Posted by wooty | Sunday, November 20, 2005 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Amon Düül II seems to have a very particular sound. According to statistics, this album is their best so I think this original band deserves to be added in any prog collection with this album (that's why I put 4 stars), in spite of some obvious defects. The main quality of this album is the f ... (read more)

Report this review (#46330) | Posted by Flyingbebert | Sunday, September 11, 2005 | Review Permanlink

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