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Amon Düül II


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Amon Düül II Vortex album cover
2.83 | 45 ratings | 6 reviews | 2% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Studio Album, released in 1981

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Vortex (5:50)
2. Holy West (5:09)
3. Die 7 feten Jahr' (4:33)
4. Wings of the wind (4:50)
5. Mona (5:01)
6. We are machine (5:16)
7. Das Gestern ist das heute von Morgen (4:30)
8. Vibes in the air (6:27)

Total Time: 41:36

Bonus tracks on 2005 remaster:
9. Whatever (8:34)
10. (Ras)Putin In Der Baderwanne (9:19)

Line-up / Musicians

- Renate Knaup / vocals, tambourine
- Chris Karrer / acoustic & electric guitars, violin, sax
- Falk Rogner / synthesizer
- Jörg Evers / bass, acoustic & electric guitars, synthesizer, producer
- Daniel Fichelscher / drums, percussion, acoustic guitar

- Stefan Zauner / piano, synthesizer
- Lothar Meid / bass (6,9,10)
- John Weinzierl / guitar (7,9,10)
- Jan Kahlert / drums, percussion & backing vocals (9,10)
- Peter Leopold / electronic drums (9,10)

Releases information

Artwork: Werner Richter

LP Telefunken ‎- 6.24874 AS (1981, Germany)

CD Castle Legends ‎- CLC 5023 (1991, Germany)
CD Revisited Rec. ‎- REV 010 (2005, Germany) Remixed & remastered by Jan Kahlert with 2 bonus tracks

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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AMON DÜÜL II Vortex ratings distribution

(45 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(2%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(18%)
Good, but non-essential (38%)
Collectors/fans only (31%)
Poor. Only for completionists (11%)

AMON DÜÜL II Vortex reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by philippe
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Amon Duul II in a better form than in the two very disconcerted previous works. Their sound of course turns to something more mainstream but the songs are for a large part composed with a better taste. For the initiative, Daniel Fichelscher tries here to reform the original Amon Duul II notably with the return of Renate Aschauer-Knaup on vocals (very prominent for each tune). the alchemy of their debut are not evident in these short, rather conventional & polite songs but there's a few traces of eccentric ingredients and typical Amon Duul's soundmark (on "vibes in the Air" and "Wings of the wind" which reiterates with the "Wolf city" and vive la trance" era). Not too many ballads, some cool folk instrumentations, solid rock structures with nice electric guitar sections & dense sax parts. A rather inegal effort but there's some convincing reminiscences of fundamental sonorities which have made the band's originality.
Review by Progbear
3 stars Three years after audiences left them for dead (after the abysmal and best-forgotten ONLY HUMAN), the Düül return with a surprisingly vital reformation effort in VORTEX. The lineup this time: Karrer, Knaup, Rogner, Fichelscher (he and Renate were members of the then-current lineup of Popol Vuh) and Jörg Evers (on bass), with guest appearances by John Weinzierl, Lothar Meid Zauner (relegated to playing keyboards, mercifully not contributing to the songwriting).

The sound is somewhere between VIVE LA TRANCE and MADE IN GERMANY. The cabaret sound returns for "Mona", but most of the sound is a lot more intense, as on the pulsating title song and the dramatic "Gestern ist das Heute von Morgen". This is probably the most Renate-heavy of all the albums, she sings lead (or co-lead) on every song (even the "instrumental" title track), so if you're a fan, you'd do good to check it out.

Review by Aussie-Byrd-Brother
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Rock Progressivo Italiano Team
3 stars `Vortex' was the only album released by German Krautrock collective Amon Düül 2 in the Eighties, and a surprisingly convincing one it was too. A cross between `Vive la Trance' and `Made In Germany', only eight strong compositions on offer meant there's none of the throwaway moments that plagued those albums, and there's a thankfully tighter focus on strong songwriting that still allows the proper Düül personality to pop up throughout. It's a little straight-forward in a few moments, yet there's very little that was actually aiming to appeal to music charts, as if any combination of Amon Düül could ever hope to actually be completely mainstream! The chemical-addled debauchered delicious jamming of the band's past may have been mostly gone, but many of the classic Düül traits emerge in spirited moments throughout.

The album opens with the title track `Vortex', a surprising cold instrumental electronic drone that doesn't instantly remind of any expected Düül sounds, it's whipping drum machine programming a real shock on first listen. A slight eerie gothic mood is heightened by ghostly wordless wailing harmonies, liquid bass slinking around with occasional nice fat stabs. `Holy West' is a dusty country rocker that moseys along in a lazy fashion, sounding like something that might have come from the later Jefferson Airplane albums, and a catchy tune it is too. Düül leading lady Renate Knaup sounds stronger and vocally more controlled than ever before, and it proves what a hell of a singer she is. There's classic Düül sounds on `Die 7 Fetten Jahr', a mix of growling guitar distortion, fevered dual male/female vocals, bent spoken-word breaks, synth trickles and frantic up-tempo bursts. `Wings of the Wind' lurches back and forth between a gutsy power ballad and more up-tempo fiery guitar jamming. It's sung well by Renate, but group harmonies in the chorus are a little too cigarette lighter waving and obvious.

Side B's `Mona' is an infectious and sophisticated pop/rocker with waltz-like violin and some welcome wavering synth weirdness, all topped off beautifully with a playful and sweet vocal from Renate. Just as worthwhile is `We Are Machine', a mysterious space rocker woven to a powerful rock tune, with a chest-beating vocal from Renate on the verses, a wasted treated male drawl on the chorus, leaping bass and restrained acid-friend guitar wailing. Best of all is `Das Gestern Ist...' , the perfect combination of exploratory early Düül and with their accesible tuneful side (sung in German this time). A hypnotic droning mantra- like mood, chanting, distorted guitar snarls, mucky saxophone, dirty grooves and a return of the more deranged acid Goddess Renate from the earlier albums, all woven to a melodic and catchy chorus - older fans will really dig this one! Parts of closer `Vibes in the Air' are laid-back and a breezy vocal from Renate and drowsy acoustic guitar, but there's little fiery shambling eruptions and plodding intensities that burst forth.

It's a shame that it would take the band 14 years to release a follow up to this album, as `Vortex' is really rather decent, and certainly not a badly dated relic of an era not exactly known for inspired releases in this and other progressive related styles. It would have been interesting to see if the inspiration and purpose that emerged on this album would have sustained soon after, and it's probably more consistent than most of their albums that came after `Wolf City'. The heady days of the old Düül may have been mostly gone, but the fire and defiant individuality were still present, so fans should definitely look into this if they come across it. Their early classics will endure, but there's still unappreciated little gems to discover from the mighty Amon Düül 2.

Three stars.

Review by Lewian
3 stars Another interesting early 80s album of a band that had somehow lost its direction but produced something rather enjoyable while toying around with different ideas where to go next (actually they disbanded after this record, so their quest wasn't really successful). The title track Vortex works very well as an opener; a somewhat minimalist dark instrumental that builds up quite nicely toward the end. Holy West, Mona and We Are Machine are rather conventional rock songs, nothing special regarding composition, but tastefully arranged, well played and very well sung by Renate, who has reached her peak voice-wise on this record. Die sieben fetten Jahr, Wings of the Wind and Vibes in the Air are more original songs with more surprising contrasts, although they don't exactly explode traditional song structures - not really the most innovative ones AD II has every written. Die 7 fetten Jahr has some of Karrer's oriental influences. One may enjoy their originality or wonder whether they in some placed are stitched together too awkwardly, but with Amon Duul II this is the stuff you have to expect. Gestern ist das Heute von Morgen is the one song that really stand out, it's fast and driving, has powerful vocals by Renate and a great sax solo. This song is worth 5 stars. Overall it's not really consistent, not really complex, but a quite special and versatile collection of songs, most of which are good to listen too, with some real highlights. 3 1/2 stars.

Latest members reviews

3 stars I have reviewed all the official duul 11 albums so far before this as i have got them all and heres the next review which is vortex,it starts with vortex which is keyboards and slow drum beating which is not a bad start and definatly sounds better than the other two albums before this the keyboa ... (read more)

Report this review (#205987) | Posted by davidsporle | Tuesday, March 10, 2009 | Review Permanlink

2 stars I saw this album in a used CD shop at half price, and literally fell down in surprise. Krautrock albums are just not seen on the shelves 'as is', and I ran to the counter begging for more. I had heard 'phallus dei', 'yeti', and 'Tanz der lemminge' and expected more of the same. The shop ass ... (read more)

Report this review (#87501) | Posted by edible_buddha | Thursday, August 17, 2006 | Review Permanlink

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