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OUGENWEIDE

Prog Folk • Germany


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Ougenweide picture
Ougenweide biography
Founded in Hamburg, Germany in 1970 - Disbanded in 1985 - Reformed briefly in 1996 and again in 2010

Photo by Sarah Schoenewald

Impressive folk/ rock standard with medieval elements, OUGENWEIDE is a Teutonic musical collective formed at the beginning of the 70's. Their music consists of "pastoral" folk rock compositions with Middle Ages influences. The band features Minne Graw (vocals, Harmonium...), Olaf Casalich (vocals, acoustic percussions), Stefen Wulff (bass guitar, accordion and keyboard), Wolgang von Henko (Mandoline, guitars and vocals), Jurgen Isenbarth (Marimbaphone, Vibraphone, vocals) and Frank Wulff (bombard, bouzouki, mandoline, sitar.). They recorded their first album in 1973. Since 1974 until the end of the 70's they published several albums for Polydor label. They released their last album in 1981 before to split up in 1985. The band reformed in 1996 for a reunion album called "Sol". Both released in 1976, "Orhrenschmausen" and "Eulenspiegel" represent their most notorious efforts. Two classics in the mood of authentic "Pagan" folk rock music with a great variety of acoustic instruments from medieval (with mandolin, flute, Krummhorn.) to "World" (sitar, bongos, marimba.). The result is unique and highly inspired, introducing the listener in an "enchanting" poetic, mythical world. Beautiful lyrics in German accompany tremendous prog folk instrumentations.

With a better capacity of innovation in popular music and with an exquisite sense of medieval music, OUGENWEIDE is the Teutonic version of prog folk bands as GRYPHON, MALICORNE. Their traditional folk music mixed with rock can also be compared to the Germans of PARZIVAL.

OUGENWEIDE's discography is considered as a valuable document about profane, secular music.

: : : Philippe Blache, FRANCE : : :

See also:
- WiKi
- HERE

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OUGENWEIDE Videos (YouTube and more)


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OUGENWEIDE discography


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

3.36 | 20 ratings
Ougenweide
1973
3.43 | 20 ratings
All Die Weil Ich Mag
1974
3.72 | 20 ratings
Ohrenschmaus
1976
4.15 | 26 ratings
Eulenspiegel
1976
3.80 | 16 ratings
Fr˙heit (OST)
1978
3.55 | 13 ratings
Ousflug
1979
3.78 | 9 ratings
Ja-Markt
1980
3.80 | 10 ratings
Noch Aber Ist April
1981
3.60 | 5 ratings
Sol
1996
4.00 | 2 ratings
Herzsprung
2010

OUGENWEIDE Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.00 | 11 ratings
Ungezwungen
1977

OUGENWEIDE Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

OUGENWEIDE Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.19 | 7 ratings
Liederbuch
1988
4.50 | 2 ratings
Ouwe War
2005
4.09 | 4 ratings
Ougenweide/ All die weil ich mag
2006
4.08 | 6 ratings
Ohrenschmaus/Eulenspiegel
2006
4.08 | 6 ratings
Fr˙heit/Ousflug
2007
4.67 | 3 ratings
Ja-Markt/Noch aber ist April
2007

OUGENWEIDE Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

OUGENWEIDE Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 All Die Weil Ich Mag by OUGENWEIDE album cover Studio Album, 1974
3.43 | 20 ratings

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All Die Weil Ich Mag
Ougenweide Prog Folk

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams

4 stars In less than a year OUGENWEIDE released its second album ALL DIE WEIL ICH MAG ("All Because I Like") in 1974 after experiencing unexpected popularity from the band's self-titled debut. In this short time there was a slight lineup change with the female singers Renee Kollmorgen and Brigitte Blunck leaving the band and being replaced only by Minne Graw. The four instrumentalists drummer Olaf Casalich, guitarist / mandolin player Wolfgang Henko, bassist Stefan Wulff, guitarist, flautist Frank Wulff and various percussion player Jürgen Isenbart stayed on board but added all kinds of new sounds to the album including but not limited to Arab flutes, lutes, bouzoukis, sitars and various other ethnic sounds.

Stylistically OUGENWEIDE continued its unique blend of Medieval folk, contemporary folk, German traditionals and modern rock with an energetic update for modern audiences who were quite enamored with the band's unique interpretations mined from over eight centuries of music history. One of the highlights includes the oldest song on the album, the three part "Merseburger" which originated all the way back in the 10th century and included lyrics from a book of Merseburg magical spells. This particular track features some exquisite three-part singing that features off-kilter canons and perhaps one of the most intriguing tracks on board.

As with the debut, all lyrics are in German but older forms of the language in many cases. The music is noticeable less energetic than on the debut with many more tracks coming off as mellow or more contemplative and while Graw's vocals totally fit the style of music performed here are less daring as the duo feminine charm of the debut however ALL DIE ICH MAG certainly showed that OUGENWEIDE was no one-trick pony with plenty of creative mojo to change things up on every album despite mining similar musical ideas from the past and reinterpreting them into a modern contemporary folk rock context. Once again Achim Reichel returned as the producer.

In addition to the Medieval texts and 10th century magical spells, ALL DIE WEIL ICH MAG also revived old German writings and quotes from Goethe thus expanding the band's historical perspective way beyond the confines of the Middle Ages. The band continued its popularity and toured with such acts of Amazing Blondel and Fairport Convention and engaged in a hectic tour where they gave a great deal of performances. Due to this album the band was often called a Minne-rock band, however despite Minne Graw taking on the female vocals, the album is by far dominated by the male vocals of Olaf Casalich.

ALL DIE WEIL ICH MAG may not have been as energetic and in your face as the debut but featured a more mature version of the band that expanded beyond the Medieval influences into anything from the past it could get its hands on. The tracks are just as catchy and a veritable history lesson for Germany's rich musical past that very few of us have ever considered. While i prefer the debut for its wild and unpredictable nature, this sophomore release excels in its own right as a masterful contemporary expression of music crafted long ago. OUGENWEIDE would remain popular in Germany throughout the 1970s and succumb to the changing tides of the music industry in the early 80s when such music fell out of fashion.

 Ougenweide by OUGENWEIDE album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.36 | 20 ratings

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Ougenweide
Ougenweide Prog Folk

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams

4 stars In the midst of the massive explosion of Krautrock which overtook Germany in the late 1960s and early 70s, OUGENWEIDE stands out from the burgeoning creative outburst of musicality in the fact that instead of looking to the future for insight, this Hamburg based band looked back, way back that is all the way to the Middle Ages for inspiration. This was unthinkable for a German band which took its name from the Middle German word for the modern German word Augenweide which in English translates as "Feast For The Eyes." Well, i wish i could've seen them back then but all i can say is hearing this nearly 50 years after its initial release in 1973, this self-titled debut album is certainly a feast for the ears.

Formed in 1970 and more accurately named after a Medieval song from the German minnesinger Neidhart von Reunental, this band incorporated a healthy dose of what was going on in England with bands such as Fairport Convention, The Pentangle and even Jethro Tull but infused a bit of medieval German folklore into the mix with the result of crafting some of the most instantly addictive folk music delivered with a touch of rock gusto. While the band would stick around for 15 years and produce several albums, this eponymous debut is perhaps the most authentically Medieval in its approach and included a whopping seven members that played a staggering number of instruments including the standard fair of guitar, bass and drums along with congas, maracas, timpani, harmonium, recorders, Indian flute, Arab flute, mandolin, bouzouki, sitar, glockenspiel, xylophone and more!

The album was produced by A.R & Machines tripper Achim Reichel who also contributed fuzzy bass, flue and timpani. This short album of only 33 plus minutes is quite electrifying as it runs the gamut of authentic Medieval sounding classical music as heard on the beginning "Nieman Kan Mit Gerten" to the rock powerhouse closer "Es Fur Ein Pawr Gen Holz." The sacred masculine and divine feminine are on equal footing on this one with not only vocal tradeoffs but with a keen sense of sensuality mixed with more energetic lively performances. The band was notorious for crafting music around old poems and songs and although primarily interested in the world of Medieval music, didn't limit the sounds to pure retro folk as say Gryphon did on its first release. OUGENWEIDE deftly mixed the old with the new and at its most energetic oft sounded like the German version of Comus only with a healthy dose of Ian Anderson inspired flute runs.

The band stood out like a sore thumb but offered a much more pleasant experience and immediately catapulted itself into the limelight of German society with a reflective experience that the nation had rarely if ever revisited in a modern context. While the band's success would really take off on subsequent albums, it was on this debut that the basic blueprints for the band's entire career had already been set in stone. Imagine if you will the primeval direct energy of Comus' "First Utterance" cross-pollinating with Fairport Convention's unconventional folk diversity of "Unhalfbricking" and you're on the right track however OUGENWEIDE kept true to its Germanic origins and crafted a truly German sounding album that mined the folk music of the past and placed it in the similar context that the aforementioned bands had successful achieved with English folk.

This is a beautifully crafted album with all the musicians as sharp as a chef's knife with an ever exhilarating assortment of tones and timbres erupting from the multitude of instruments that decorate the sonicscape so artfully. Each track stands on its own and the melodies are so angelically beautiful that it's impossible not to fall in love with this on just a single listen. The modern crossover pop hooks are in full effect but the progressive aspects are always present in the subtle juxtaposition of the arrangements. OUGENWEIDE hasn't been a band that has gotten as much attention as its English counterparts but was clearly in the same league as the best of what England had to offer. Perhaps the language barrier has lingered due to the fact folk music fans focus more on the lyrics but even if you can't understand a single word, the music itself conveys a time and place that is timeless in nature.

 Eulenspiegel by OUGENWEIDE album cover Studio Album, 1976
4.15 | 26 ratings

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Eulenspiegel
Ougenweide Prog Folk

Review by Kingsnake

4 stars I absolutely adore this album.

When I think of folkmusic, I mostly think of England and to lesser extend Canada. But Germany has a lot of folkrockbands, especially in the seventies.

One of them (Hoelderlin) I already discovered. But Ougenweide is very nice aswell.

The lyrics are in german wich adds to the folky listening experience. The concept is a well known (at least for europeans) subject: Till Eulenspiegel (in dutch: Tijl Uilenspiegel). The music is medieval with some modern influences (like the folky side of Jethro Tull and Gentle Giant).

I can almost compare this band with the dutch Fungus. All in all, this is a very good progressive folkrock album, and I can recommend this album to anyone who loves the softer and sweeter side of seventies rock.

 Eulenspiegel by OUGENWEIDE album cover Studio Album, 1976
4.15 | 26 ratings

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Eulenspiegel
Ougenweide Prog Folk

Review by ibolomania

4 stars A folkish and medieval sound with some progressive features resulted in definite album for prog-folk listeners. Two gems Tills Ende und Vermachtnis and Wol mich der Stunde shift the album to prog-folk genre. Recommended!

You are more likely to love this album if you like Gryphon or Spirogyra. For the two tracks mentioned above, you will find a mixture of two bands with nicely sounded German lyrics. There is a highly presence of soft flute through the album which adds some symphonic salt to the main dish.

Last but not least, vocals are simply great (both male and female) along with very clean bass lines and occasional guitar performances, especially in Wol mich der Stunde.

I would recommend this album if you like folk but also seek for basic progressive elements and compositions.

 Eulenspiegel by OUGENWEIDE album cover Studio Album, 1976
4.15 | 26 ratings

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Eulenspiegel
Ougenweide Prog Folk

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Named after a legendary German trickster folk hero, Eulenspiegel finds Ougenweide in much the same position as the little jester on the cover - namely, walking a tightrope between modern and medieval influences, and doing it with acrobatic deftness. As with their other, earlier 1976 (Ohrenschmaus), it's a sunny folk-rock album with a mingling of modern and medieval influences that sits favourably alongside the more progressive works by the likes of Fairport Convention and Steeleye Span, or perhaps the folkier moments of Gryphon. Of the two albums from this year I think this one has the mild edge, but there's not much between them.
 Ohrenschmaus by OUGENWEIDE album cover Studio Album, 1976
3.72 | 20 ratings

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Ohrenschmaus
Ougenweide Prog Folk

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Ougenweide were a German group on a similar medieval kick to the likes of Steeleye Span in the UK; indeed, their name and several of the sources they take their lyrics from are in archaic High German, so the overall effect is a bit like an Anglophone folk band performing in Chaucer's English. This is a mellow, sunny folk-rock album with extensive medieval influences, much like the sort of thing that the UK's own Gryphon might have turned out during their Midnight Mushrumps phase, offering a charming and approachable structure within which they work more esoteric medieval motifs and techniques. Not a classic of its type, but a decidedly enjoyable one nonetheless.
 Ohrenschmaus by OUGENWEIDE album cover Studio Album, 1976
3.72 | 20 ratings

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Ohrenschmaus
Ougenweide Prog Folk

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars In 1974 the Hamburg-based monthly magazine ''Sounds'' wrote for Ougenweide:''The lyrics aren't from Volkslieder, but from old German poesy, and namely so old that its language isn't comprehensible today and has to be translated.''.And that's was a fact, because the band started to use texts drawn from the Merseburg Incantations, a series of spells dating since the 9th centure and written in Ancient German.By 1975 the band had shared the stage with similar-sounding acts and artists like Fairport Convention, Steeleye Span, Amazing Blondel and Alan Stivell.Entering 1976 they would release their third album ''Ohrenschmaus'', recorded at the studios of Polydor in Hamburg.

''Ohrenschmaus'' sets the new standards of the band, which were now a blend of Folk Pop and an elaborate soft Prog Rock, containing some impressive instrumental work for such a smooth style chosen.Flutes, pipes, percussion, acoustic guitar and mandolines still dominate Ougenweide's music, but the electric guitars and omnipresent piano along with the constant use of bass pushes the band a tad closer to the basic principles of Prog Rock.And while the short tracks are basically acoustic explorations on Medieval Music with heavy vocal content and a clear insistence on delivering a raw side of archaic soundscapes, the longer ones showcase Ougenweide's highly artistic nature with regular bass and drum entries and some qualitive interplays on piano, flute, acoustic and electric guitars.You can even hear some pre-Classical textures, JETHRO TULL-esque vibes through the theatrical vocals and rhythmic lines, based on flutes, piano and strings, and HOELDRELIN-like elaborate arrangements with a light symphonic nature thrown in a heavy Folk content.The flipside appears to be musically stronger with all these elements present, archaic tunes blended with light rock qualities and symphonic arrangements, apparently having more space for instrumental lines and a generally lifted level of energy with more pronounced electric parts.

Solid Prog Folk.The odd Kraut Folk sound of the earlier days has given its place to a more human mixture of mellow Prog and Folk, the result is mostly pretty fine and the room for some instrumental exercises has expanded.Recommended.

 All Die Weil Ich Mag by OUGENWEIDE album cover Studio Album, 1974
3.43 | 20 ratings

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All Die Weil Ich Mag
Ougenweide Prog Folk

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars First major departures occured in Ougenweide's history after their debut with both female singers Renee Kollmorgen and Brigitte Blunck quiting.Their replacement was Minne Graw, who was also an accomplished flutist and keyboardist.The band jumped from the Zebra label to Polydor, which prooved to be a commercially clever move.Next album ''All die weil ich mag'' was recorded at Maschen Studio with Gesine Schroeder guesting on cello, released in 1974.

Another offering by Ougenweide, which mixes rearrangements of traditional songs and original compositions, but this time with deeper instrumental growth and some tricky moves in the process.The style remains largely acoustic with a touch of rockin' context in the bass and some scarce guitar parts, but now the band seems compositionally more mature, tight and focused, having evident Medieval influences adapted in a Folk Rock content, characterized by extended instrumental exercises and diverse mood colors.The atmosphere ranges from pleasant and joyful to more professional and mellow with acoustic strings, flutes, piano and bass in evidence.Of course the depth of this work comes also from the additional violin, cello, keyboards and drums, which appear every now and then.For the first time the progressive leanings of Ougenweide become apparent through the quirky acoustic instrumentals, the changes between uptempo and more Medieval-styled themes and the light interplays between the instrumentalists.Vocals are now pretty balanced compared to the previous release, not capturing the bulk of the album, and even the addition of Minne Graw seems to have occured mainly due to her instrumental talent.

This is some very nice Medieval/Folk Rock with strong proggy underlines.An excellent album for fans of Acoustic Prog and a good purchase for all lovers of demanding acoustic instrumentals.Recommended.

 Ohrenschmaus by OUGENWEIDE album cover Studio Album, 1976
3.72 | 20 ratings

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Ohrenschmaus
Ougenweide Prog Folk

Review by the philosopher

4 stars Ougenweide is the german answer to the British folk movement, especially to Fairport Convention, Steeleye Span and Pentangle. If you listen to Ohrenschmaus for the first time, please skip the first song called bombardement, which is a enthousiastic marsbeat with bagpipes: this will enhance your view of this record, which might be very good.

Most of the songs show elegant folk with some symphonic folk prog instrumental pieces. The songwriting is intellectual and with this big line-up of six musicians you'll get a sound with many percussion, xylophoneplay, flutes, keys and medieval stringinstruments, which interact in a nice way. The lyrics are in german to accentuate the medieval german influences. The songs are not based on old songs, but they do realy sound like they are! Like in the British folk there are woman and men vocalists.

If you're looking for a band having the elegance of Steeleye Span's "Below the Salt" and some of the complexity of Jethro Tull then you will be realy delighted with this Ohrenschmaus. A very nice folkrock record with some symphoprog connections. Rating: 4,5 star.

 All Die Weil Ich Mag by OUGENWEIDE album cover Studio Album, 1974
3.43 | 20 ratings

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All Die Weil Ich Mag
Ougenweide Prog Folk

Review by Dobermensch
Prog Reviewer

1 stars An extremely dull and inoffensive album that will hold little appeal for most listeners. The big problem is... It's utterly irrelevant and meaningless today. Sounding like a recording from a bygone dead era where its target audience has long ago disappeared.

The whole record literally slips sneakily into one ear but flies out the other, with Olaf Casalich's wishy washy, flat, one pitched and unremarkable vocals warbling throughout.

'All Die Weil Ich Mag' has dated very badly and has a sound so utterly alien to modern day listeners that I can't imagine anybody at all even talking about it. Out of all the genres of prog - there are none that have been hit so hard with the passage of time.

A feeble, limp, uninspiring record that you would do well to avoid. Really Annoying in fact.

Thanks to philippe for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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