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BRÖSELMASCHINE

Prog Folk • Germany


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Bröselmaschine biography
Inspired by the American folk music of Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, Phil Ochs and Joni Mitchell, German master of acoustic guitar Peter Bursch formed the first line-up of BROSELMASCHINE back in 1968 alongwith flautist/vocalist Jenni Schucker - a female singer with an irresistible whispy voice - Willi Kissmer on vocals, guitars and zither, Lutz Ringer on metallaphon and bass, and Mike Hellbach on congas, tabla and mellotron. Although many tracks bear German names, almost all are sung in English. The quintet disbanded after a first album in 1971 and Bursch, keeping only guitarist Kissmer from the original line-up, pursued his musical endeavours under the name of PETER BURSCH UND DIE BROSELMASCHINE, joined by percussionist Mani Neumeier (GURU GURU), drummer Jan Fride (KRAAN) and three other musicians.

Their eponymous LP is definitely their best: a wonderful acoustic album full of finesse of subtle Indian, Middle-Eastern flavour (sitar, tabla, flute) as well as Irish/Scottish traditional folk (mandolin, multi-voice harmonies). Their second album, released under the moniker PETER BURSCH UND DIE BROSELMASCHINE, unfortunately doesn't even come close to the first. In spite of its decidedly folk flavour and many guest appearances, it is altogether different and less inspired, putting the emphasis on Bursch's acoustic guitar techniques (although Kissmer's electric guitar steals the show at times).

For fans of EMTIDI, early HOELDEERLIN or other such cosmic folk bands, the first BROSELMASCHINE album is a breath of fresh air.

: : : Lise (HIBOU), CANADA : : :

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BRÖSELMASCHINE discography


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BRÖSELMASCHINE top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.85 | 45 ratings
Bröselmaschine
1971
2.98 | 8 ratings
Peter Bursch und Die Bröselmaschine
1976

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BRÖSELMASCHINE Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Peter Bursch und Die Bröselmaschine by BRÖSELMASCHINE album cover Studio Album, 1976
2.98 | 8 ratings

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Peter Bursch und Die Bröselmaschine
Bröselmaschine Prog Folk

Review by Neu!mann
Prog Reviewer

3 stars When guitarist Peter Bursch reconstituted Bröselmaschine in the latter 1970's he did so in a more businesslike manner, ditching a lot of the grassroots charm that made the band's first album so appealing, half a decade earlier. He also took control of the group by putting his own name in front of it, contrary perhaps to the communal values of hippiedom but giving the project a more proprietary focal point.

The first album from the rechristened band missed the illuminating touch of producer R.U. Kaiser, on the run in 1976 after the Cosmic Jokers scandal. The new music was polite, engaging, and never less than totally professional, this time with a surplus of electric guitar, modestly augmenting the usual flutes and zithers. "Sofa Rock" set the prevailing mood in six short minutes of easygoing musical comfort, more relaxing than a piece of well-worn furniture and about as exciting. And by "Wayfaring Stranger" Bursch had all but shed every trace of his folk music upbringing, along with most of his youthful musical naďveté.

More albums would follow, none of them currently listed here at ProgArchives. And Peter Bursch would go on to enjoy a successful career as a noted author, composer, and guitar instructor. But the fragile magic of 1971 was gone forever, and today the self-titled reboot is a very pleasant experience that leaves almost no impression afterward.

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 Bröselmaschine by BRÖSELMASCHINE album cover Studio Album, 1971
3.85 | 45 ratings

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Bröselmaschine
Bröselmaschine Prog Folk

Review by Neu!mann
Prog Reviewer

4 stars You might expect a band named in part after the sound of a friend's motorcycle, and formed in the industrial heartland of Germany's Ruhr valley, to practice the sort of music better suited to a factory assembly line. But this maschine was built of altogether lighter stuff, and painted in soothing pastel colors. And the specs never included instructions for a power chord attachment.

The LP itself is a quaint relic of homemade early '70s Folk Art, enriched by just enough psychedelia to give it depth and character. Yes, the band members lived together in a Duisburg commune. And yes, they sang winsomely of butterflies while playing recorders and congas. But as the album continues it stretches out beyond its limited Folk Music boundaries, in the last two (longer) tracks adding sitars and a mellotron to the mix, the latter courtesy of engineer Dieter Dierks, encouraged no doubt by producer/mesmerist Rolf-Ulrich Kaiser.

With Krautrock's notorious Cosmic Joker involved it's no wonder the album faintly echoed the Acid Folk of WITTHÜSER & WESTRUPP, minus the LSD and (mostly) unplugged. But there's a disarming innocence to the music that sets it apart from the kosmische fever dreams of Kaiser's later misadventures: a simplicity of purpose and purity of expression best heard in the lovely unskilled harmonies of Jenni Schücker.

The kindred spirits of PENTANGLE were an obvious inspiration, acknowledged (reportedly) by the head-brösel himself, Peter Bursch. The same Anglophonic influence reached its apogee in the traditional Celtic ballad "Lassie", and elsewhere on the album recalls the pastoral 12-string beauty of early GENESIS, although I doubt if Anthony Phillips ever attacked his acoustic guitar with the same Teutonic aggression as Bursch in the final songs here.

Assigning stars to such a gently faded artifact is difficult, and I'm rounding up from the more conservative rating the album probably merits after all these years. Your music library will survive just fine without it, but will suffer a lack of color from its absence

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 Bröselmaschine by BRÖSELMASCHINE album cover Studio Album, 1971
3.85 | 45 ratings

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Bröselmaschine
Bröselmaschine Prog Folk

Review by Luciana Aun

3 stars Another high quality prog / folk made in German. On this record we find the gorgeous female vocals Jenni Schucker which is also a competent flautist.

The registry basically consists of instruments such as flute, guitar, acoustic guitar and Mellotron instruments. Some emphasis on rather peculiar intruments like spoons, sitars, congas, tablas and Glockenspiel (very similar to the xylophone) are also part of the arrangements of the disc, which sometimes remind us a bit of Indian music.

Highlight the track "Schmetterling" that makes a mix of all the instruments used by the band.

It is a hard lightweight acoustic and incredible creativity but, being it´s only defect has only 35 minutes in length.

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 Bröselmaschine by BRÖSELMASCHINE album cover Studio Album, 1971
3.85 | 45 ratings

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Bröselmaschine
Bröselmaschine Prog Folk

Review by Dobermensch

3 stars Music for listening to on a rainy drizzly calm day in the countryside while attempting to have a picnic as the fly's buzz around your sandwiches and annoy you.

A pretty little effort from Deutschslanders ''Bröselmaschine. I'm sure the band 'Current 93' would have heard and used this as an inspiration in their music. All instruments are acoustic and sound very nice. It's a mellow, laid back affair with a very English sounding female who turns into a German in the blink of an eye. A good wee album with some sitar and a few bongos thrown in for good measure. There's also that old Folk favourite - the tin whistle which rears its head in 'Schmetterling' but it sounds fine, so all is well. Panic over. A very decent folk album - and by God, I don't like many of them.

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 Bröselmaschine by BRÖSELMASCHINE album cover Studio Album, 1971
3.85 | 45 ratings

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Bröselmaschine
Bröselmaschine Prog Folk

Review by Seyo
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

5 stars I stumbled upon BROESELMASCHINE by chance when watching some WDR video footage of old German rock bands from the famous "Krautrock" scene. I knew nothing about them but I caught the glimpse of certain "mystique" of their apparently psychedelic folk music.

There are things well-known, documented and researched, works of art from the well-established circles and headline news. When you first approach such works you usually have a plenty of reference materials to compare with and you either agree with the majority of scribes and critics and get to appreciate what has been an established artistic value, or you might disagree completely and abandon the issue as overblown or over-rated pomposity (and the latter case often happens with the popular music, at least in my case).

But, when you discover something completely unknown to you, something you have not heard or read about, you get a pretty different sensation. How on earth this piece of amazing music was not widely known, better appreciated or simply more popular? What went wrong with them?

Nothing I guess. BROSELMASCHINE's self-titled LP just happened in space and time because five seemingly modest and talented people gathered together and made some interesting, amazing music. Just once, never to repeat it again (OK, I don't count later incarnations of the band without lovely Jenni Schucker on vocals and flute). And that is pure art! Without calculation, without planning, not caring about production, technology, promotion or marketing, or even money.

This album is so simple in its approach to music recording and yet so rich in its spiritual and artistic values. Acoustic acid-folk enriched with Anglo-Celtic and Indian crumbs (broesel in German!) makes one of the most pleasant and soothing albums I ever heard. Got it? *****

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 Bröselmaschine by BRÖSELMASCHINE album cover Studio Album, 1971
3.85 | 45 ratings

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Bröselmaschine
Bröselmaschine Prog Folk

Review by Eetu Pellonpää
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars This album has many charming qualities in it, shimmering with hippie bucolic romanticsms. Slightly acid flavoured folk from the campside fires are performed by fine muscians, with influences from Brittish, Celtic and American folk scene in underground musical context. Tonal explorations also venture to quite pleasant levels, with neat sounds familiar from the legendary era of German krautrock prog music days. Thus album offers both powerful calming feeling and much musical content. Especially The B-side shines with really impressive musical realizations, "Schmetterling"'s raga rock passages merge to effect-treated recitings, and lead from joyful rustic guitar chant movements to the deterministic ascension of "Nossa Boba". Fun home-drawn covers increased also my own adoration values, also found as an affordable reissue gatefold LP- Vocals are beautiful and sung both in German and Enlish by male and female duo, underlining also from this perspective the context of hippie charms, escaping the global crimes of earlier generations. Lovely record certainly, and very recommendable

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 Bröselmaschine by BRÖSELMASCHINE album cover Studio Album, 1971
3.85 | 45 ratings

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Bröselmaschine
Bröselmaschine Prog Folk

Review by listen

5 stars This has grown to be one of my favorite albums of the genre (along with albums from such bands as C.O.B., Jan Dukes de Grey, Trees, Comus, Hoelderlin, Spirogyra, Synanthesia, Subway, Emtidi and Mark Fry) after deeply investigating the mostly UK and German acid folk of the early 70s. Lots of flute, acoustic and sometimes electric guitar, sitar, tabla and other hand drums, and beautiful female vocals as well as male vocals. This should be a breath of fresh air to anyone interested in the genre. The only thing this album has going against it is its short length at only 35 minutes. Beautiful atmospheric progressive folk!

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 Bröselmaschine by BRÖSELMASCHINE album cover Studio Album, 1971
3.85 | 45 ratings

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Bröselmaschine
Bröselmaschine Prog Folk

Review by kenethlevine
Special Collaborator Prog-Folk Team

3 stars One could be excused for thinking that this would be a Krautrock or at least highly electronic album based on the title, but in fact it is a highly psychedelic and largely acoustic artifact from those very early 70s. It is that rare breed, a German folk psych album, with nascent progressive touches. Lots of acoustic guitar strumming, plenty of sitars, congas, gentle flutes and other instruments linked to trips of the sedentary variety. As a long time fan of British Isles folk, I discern a variety of traditional tunes sprinkled here and there, as in the entire melody of "Lassic", and the flute segment of "Schmetterling". The latter is handled with a lot more panache, and the whole track is an inspired jam, as is the closer "Nossa Bova" with its slight Caribbean flavour. Almost 40 years on, it's hard to find a timeless element here, other than the pleasure of getting together with friends to play and hear good music.

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 Bröselmaschine by BRÖSELMASCHINE album cover Studio Album, 1971
3.85 | 45 ratings

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Bröselmaschine
Bröselmaschine Prog Folk

Review by MTZArts

4 stars Broselmaschine's self-titled, debut album is an essential prog-folk album in that it combines and even defines elements from every which direction and source you can imagine. The album has a well-rounded assortment of instruments ranging from the mellotron to the sitar and its replay value is amazing(I've been listening to this one over and over for about 8 months now and I still find something new).

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 Bröselmaschine by BRÖSELMASCHINE album cover Studio Album, 1971
3.85 | 45 ratings

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Bröselmaschine
Bröselmaschine Prog Folk

Review by ClemofNazareth
Special Collaborator Prog Folk Researcher

4 stars This is one of those rather obscure gems that is probably more folk than progressive, but the interplay of Celtic and Middle Eastern sounds atop a bed of what almost sound like Peter, Paul and Mary covers makes for a very charming album and a good use of a little more than a half-hour of your time.

Bröselmaschine was basically a one-shot German band who seem to have been heavily inspired by American folk singers of the sixties, plus featured the stunningly gorgeous and folksy vocals and flute of one Jenni Schucker. Amazingly Schucker doesn’t seem to have appeared on anything after this release.

This album was impossible to find for decades until it was reissued on CD in 2005. I just read this week that Akarma is releasing this on domestic CD in December 2007. I have the Ohr German import version that was released a couple years ago, which was the only other CD version I’m aware of. I don’t know if the Akarma release has the same tracks as this one or has some bonus material, so I will have to check into that one. But since Peter Bursch’s material after this release is generally considered inferior I’d be surprised if any bonus material amounted to much.

The tracks don’t range too far from my opening description, with the exception of the lengthy “Schmetterling” which does manage to blur the line between Middle Eastern-inspired folk (sitar, flute, zither, metallophon – you get the idea) and full-blown psych. There is even an extended flute solo that places this album squarely at the end of the flower-power era.

The rest of the album is much closer to rather tame hippy folk, although the presence of the zither, congas and tabla do manage to give the remaining tracks a bit of a dated sound.

On “The Old Man's Song” Schucker manages to come off sounding a bit like Grace Slick circa Jefferson Airplane’s Surrealistic Pillow days. This isn’t really a psych number though, as much as it is a rather intense folk piece accented with a light touch of slightly psych-and-blues guitar, tabla and the ever-present zither. Albums like Joe Byrd’s American Metaphysical Circus and the Comfortable Chair’s self-titled release also come to mind.

The sonic quality of the CD reissue is excellent, and while the liner notes are in German the overall package is quite decent. This is a very decent progressive folk offering that used be difficult to find but has been available in Europe for a few years, and is coming soon to America. Worth picking up and well recommended to prog folk fans. Four stars.

peace

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