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BACHDENKEL

Psychedelic/Space Rock • United Kingdom


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Bachdenkel biography
BACHDENKEL was an English rock band that started under the name "YOU KNOW WHO" in 1968. The three piece consisted of bandleader Colin Swinburne on vocals/guitars/keyboards, Peter kimberley on bass/piano/vocals and Brian Smith on drums, with Karel Beer as additional musician, lightening engineer and producer. The band moved to France to live, perform and record.

In the 10 years of excistence BACHDENKEL only recorded 2 albums, the first album "Lemmings" was recorded in 1970, but wasn't released until 1973, the second album called "Stalingrad" (in cyrillic letters) was recorded and released in 1977. in the mean time BACHDENKEL toured small venues through europe (mostly France).

BACHDENKEL started as a Flower Power psychedelic rock band (Pink Floyd, Soft Machine, Beatles, Procol Harum), but developed towards a more symphonic/melodic progstyle for their second album. Their sound is dominated by guitar and drums, with great vocals and occasional keyboard passages.

The band wasn't (and isn't) well known, but that doesn't lesson the experience and thrill you get when listening to their music. The 90's revival of prog resulted in some aknowledgement to their music, and Bachdenkel re-released their two albums on CD, with additional, mostly unreleased, material. Those CD's are very much recommended, also because the additional songs are practically as good as their previously released 'forgotten' masterpieces.

A fabulous band that deserves universal recognition.

Bachdenkel official website

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Buy BACHDENKEL Music


LemmingsLemmings
Extra tracks · Import
Ork Records UK 2007
Audio CD$24.99 (used)
Lemmings + StalingradLemmings + Stalingrad
Import
Minority Records
Audio CD$21.99
StalingradStalingrad
Import
Spm 1991
Audio CD$13.98 (used)
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BACHDENKEL discography


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

3.26 | 39 ratings
Lemmings
1970
3.78 | 25 ratings
Stalingrad
1977

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

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BACHDENKEL Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Lemmings by BACHDENKEL album cover Studio Album, 1970
3.26 | 39 ratings

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Lemmings
Bachdenkel Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

3 stars With an adventurous story on their backs, Bachdenkel from Birmingham, UK, evovled from the Psych group U No Who in 1967 with guitarist/keyboardist Colin Swinburne, singer Peter Kimberley, drummer Ron Lee, bassist Dave Bradley and a second singer named Terry Hidland.Slowly developing a cult status within the city's borders, Bachdenkel were among the greatest lesser known Psych/Prog bands of the country, eventually settling in France in late- 60's reduced to a trio of Swinburne, Kimberley and drummer Brian Smith.Between June and August 1970 they recorded their debut ''Lemmings'', but at the time there was no interest by a label to release it.Three years would pass before Phillips gave a shot to Bachdenkel's debut.

The album has a more than evident late-60's British Psychedelic Rock flavor all the way, but comes as a mix of shorter Psych Rock tracks with occasional harder moments and longer, more developed compositions in a Proto Prog/Psych Rock style.While not particularly complex, the album shows hints of a more demanding musicianship in the trend of the time, yet the short tracks retain more of an early-60's mood and a bit dated Rock style with sensitive vocals, strong guitar movements and powerful drumming, while sometimes even some BEATLES-like melodies pop up here and there.However there is a certain attempt by the group on the longer ones to come up with a more inventive sound.Dynamic guitar workouts, heavier use of organs and changes between mellower vocal moments and heavier guitar-based passages, but again the psych elements remain in the forefront.

The Ork Records CD release seems the more attractive of all the album's reissues, featuring three bonus tracks Bachdenkel recorded around the time in a similar vein as with ''Lemmings'' tracks, while there are three extra tracks from the band's late-60's days (among them an early version of ''An Appointment With the Master'') in a great, powerful Psychedelic Rock style, confirming why Bachdenkel were among the most talented groups of the age.

Good and passionate Psych/Proto Prog Rock with an intense British flavor.Fans of the sound will simply love this, but moreover it is recommended to check out ''Lemmings'' for its inner strength and well-crafted atmospheres.

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 Stalingrad by BACHDENKEL album cover Studio Album, 1977
3.78 | 25 ratings

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Stalingrad
Bachdenkel Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

3 stars For me the debut is a lot better than this one.The first one has more of a Psyche vibe to it while this is more Symphonic.This second one was released in 1977 and for me it's not just the overall feel that makes me prefer the debut, but the songs are better too. Also the sound quality on this one isn't that great at times.

"The Whole World (Looking Over My Shoulder)" is mellow with reserved vocals to start. Guitar and drums become prominant just before 2 minutes when the vocals stop briefly. "After The Fall" has more energy with vocals. I like the instrumental section after 1 1/2 minutes. "Seven Times Tomorrow" shifts tempos often.This sounds like it might have been a single, it's very good. "For You To Live With Me" is okay but i'm not a fan of the way he sings here.

"The Tournament" has almost spoken vocals and it's not very melodic. An experimental tune. "(It's Always) Easy To Be Heard" is the best sounding song on here although it's not as good when it settles around 1 1/2 minutes.We get a guitar solo 3 minutes in. "Xenophone" is a vocal/piano led track. It's okay and it does get fuller. "Ctalingrad" puts the focus on the vocals in this laid back number with lots of outbreaks. It's alright. "Stalingrad" is the closing instrumental. It builds and I really like the drum work. Guitar comes to the fore around 3 minutes.

Barely 3 stars and i'll stick with their excellent debut.

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 Lemmings by BACHDENKEL album cover Studio Album, 1970
3.26 | 39 ratings

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Lemmings
Bachdenkel Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

4 stars I can't believe that I just heard about this band this year.They were formed in Birmingham, England in 1968 and this their debut.These guys play the style of music that really clicks with me. It's melancholic with good contrasts between the mellow and energetic sections.The guitar is raw and in your face but to me the important thing is that these guys simply wrote some great songs here and when played in this style I must admit i'm blown away somewhat. So why the poor ratings ?! Haha, I know it's a matter of taste but for me this is like a lost classic.

"Translation" opens with gentle guitar and floating organ. A light beat then reserved vocals after a minute. Piano follows as this mellow song plays out until it kicks in at 3 1/2 minutes. Oh yeah it does. Killer stuff ! Love the guitar. "Equals" puts the focus on the laid back vocals, piano and acoustic guitar.This short track does get fuller with drums. "An Appointment With The Master" has some intensity to it with vocals.This is so good. A great instrumental section comes in after 1 1/2 minutes and later after 3 minutes with some outstanding guitar.

"The Settlement Song" is another favourite of mine that opens with floating organ and quiet vocals. It kicks in around a minute but then settles back quickly. Contrasts continue and they are kicking ass after 8 1/2 minutes. "Long Time Leaving" is a short ballad-like tune that is melancholic. "Stranger Still" opens with what sounds like two guitars playing along with a beat.Vocals before a minute. A guitar solo comes in before 3 1/2 minutes that goes on and on until before 5 minutes. Nice. "Come All Ye Faceless" is quite uplifting early on then it turns heavy a minute in.Vocals 2 1/2 minutes in. It settles back before 5 minutes before turning heavier again later.

A very solid 4 stars for this one.

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 Lemmings by BACHDENKEL album cover Studio Album, 1970
3.26 | 39 ratings

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Lemmings
Bachdenkel Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Hishmaliin

5 stars I listen progressive rock approximately from twenty five years, now I think I know what I like and what not and with the passage of time, the surprises have made increasingly rare. Bachdenkel was a really big surprise. A good surprise! Their sound is very full-bodied, guitar-oriented but not heavy, very dynamic and sometimes sweet, with a great sense of construction, of sound structure and melody; but most importantly it is epic. In their compositions, I perceives a great preparation, everything is well calibrated and perfectly framed. It is not an album that hits at first listen but equally does not leave indifferent. The only flaw is the registration, unfortunately is not the clearest. Great music hidden in the folds of the early seventies. This is my opinion.

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 Lemmings by BACHDENKEL album cover Studio Album, 1970
3.26 | 39 ratings

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Lemmings
Bachdenkel Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by stefro
Prog Reviewer

2 stars A strange one this, by a band with a terrible name with a penchant for complex, King Crimson-lite prog-rock. However, it's not all bad news, as 'Lemmings' is actually a rather good album marred by some rather grandoise themes and ideas that borders on the pretentious. Maybe some of it's earnestness can be atttributed to the fact that it was released in 1970, in the early years of prog's popularity, making this, in the loosest sense of the term, a pioneering studio album in terms of sound and technique. 'Lemmings' is by no means a classic but several tracks do stand out, such as the excellent 'An Appointment With The Master' and the epic 'Settlement Song'. The rest, however, is pretty mediore. STEFAN TURNER, LONDON, 2010

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 Stalingrad by BACHDENKEL album cover Studio Album, 1977
3.78 | 25 ratings

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Stalingrad
Bachdenkel Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Marty McFly
Special Collaborator Errors and Omissions Team

5 stars UPDATE - May 2012 The impression this album makes on me, the depth of its backing story (concept album, of a special kind) is something you (or I for that matter) don't come across too often. There is overall musical theme (probably signature sound of the band), but that's just backbone of Сталинград, the point I am about to make is that each song fits perfectly to the mood its lyrics are establishing. Each is unique.

"with no one to fight for they die""

You can simply close your eyes and imagine (or rather try to imagine, as the horrors of Eastern Front cannot be fully understood) how it was back then.

"eagle is falling his wings has been mastered"

Maybe my awe I pay to this album is boosted by the fact that I am big history (especially 20th century) buff and studied as much about Second World War as I could, maybe because I am always moved a lot by strong concept albums or just that it is very melodic, yet complex album, killer combination that never fails to entertain me. It all can also be caused by this album being more closer to my "home" turf - Crossover Prog than their first one about furry rodents. But this all together ? Hell yeah.

OLD REVIEW - June 2009

Stalingrad is a tale. This is very important when rating this album. Among those which I listened recently, I must say that name "Bachdenkel" sounds terrible so I wasn't very keen on listening to it. But CMA/\NGPAB (or how to say it) sounds good to me. History is something I like. I can't help myself, but the name of the band sounds very German-ish. There's nothing like that amongst their sounds. Among other less known bands from these times, Bach. are one of the best ones.

Why the best ? Well, it's because their music is something which I imagine as average prog rock band. Very 70's music, ambitious album (even without long tracks). I can barely describe this feeling, but I'm very pleased. They just fulfilled my expection. Track to track, story keeps telling itself and you can use it as your main concern (to truly listen to this music) or as "ambient" background (well, who is actually doing this?).

4(+)Better not to say more. Four stars because I'm not dissapointed by this. Not even a little bit, which is quite unusual. But note that first half is almost perfect, while second loses a little bit.

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 Lemmings by BACHDENKEL album cover Studio Album, 1970
3.26 | 39 ratings

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Lemmings
Bachdenkel Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Sean Trane
Special Collaborator Prog Folk

3 stars 3.5 stars really!!!

Bachdenkel 's French adventures were so different and varied forms that their first album Lemmings, started in 1970, took almost three years to finish and saw the light of day in the summer of 73. By that time (and by living in a remote part of deep southern France), their album sounded quite dated (many traces of 60's psychedelia lingering in the rock), but in all fairness it has aged rather well. The trio, augmented by sound, light, occasional keyboardist and producer Karel Beer played a guitar-oriented prog rock (although both the bassist and guitarist also add some keyboards) that could easily fall under both meaning of Proto Prog

It is clear that the group's roots lay in psychedelia, as the album is filled fuzzed out instruments and vocals, sometimes sounding like a Floydish Beatles (Appointment With The Master), vocally both lead vocalist Swinburne and back up Kimberley sing in late 60's fashion as well. Settlement Song has some slight tinge of the very early Status Quo (Matchstickable Man) but ends in a furious guitar indulgence, the whole group going through a seriesof patterns quite convincingly. A first highlight. With its intro partly pumped on some religious theme, Faceless is probably the heaviest track around on the album and illustrates the back cover artwork with a typical but constantly evolving war-march beat.

The three bonus tracks taken from an EP are more or less in line with the album, and actually melt in the mass of it, so that you barely noticed them after the first few listens other that there a bit wordier and the voices are a bit higher perched.

Although due to its relative lack of notoriety, both their albums have become scarce (no reprints) and sent unreasonably through the roof the prices, but although good, I find Bachdenkel's legend a tad over-rated and would rather direct you towards the more or less legit issues of the Cd, rather than the vinyl (apparently counterfeited

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 Lemmings by BACHDENKEL album cover Studio Album, 1970
3.26 | 39 ratings

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Lemmings
Bachdenkel Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Eetu Pellonpää
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars This album has a kind of religious feeling in it, maybe due the organ driven sound resembling little the tones of Arzachel. It is opened by a very beautiful melancholic chord progression, sad but still full of hope. The mellow hazy hymn slowly gains strength and leads to a more aggressive passage, resembling slightly tamer version of Van Der Graaf Generator's sound maybe. Backward running treatments and folk-oriented motives fit to the of first track, and the whirlpool deepens on "An Appointment with The Master" by march of descending melody harmonies, drawing the listener deeper to the depths of melancholia. Following "The Settlement Song" starts as a quiet hymn for an organ and a voice, transforming to slow guitar chord progressions. The oppressing basis of this song has different parts, constructing a powerful art rock suite. "Long Time Living" is another short ballad, melody sounding little like John Lennon composition. The duller parts start to emerge on the later pieces, sad slow mantras with hazy vocals, and some calm and acoustic marching shimmering with magnificent power. I think the music creates a solid entity pleasing fans of downer music, and it is quite serious and humorless. If you like melancholic British keyboard driven prog, then this might be a worth of checking out. I personally felt the album starting totally wonderfully, but during the spins grows less enthusiastic from its content. Somehow the wonderful elements of the album are not treated in most profitable manner, or there are some contrasts or ideas creating a powerful dramatic curve missing.

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 Lemmings by BACHDENKEL album cover Studio Album, 1970
3.26 | 39 ratings

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Lemmings
Bachdenkel Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by greenback
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars Lemmings is a rather psychedelic album with a slight punk guitar tendency. There are many visceral hard rock parts. The tracks are not very progressive. I do not find the record very good, despite the presence of many good passages: the problem is that those passages do not last for a very long period of time. The value of the record lies between ordinary an good. The music sounds pretty deja vu, since there are no elements that allow Lemmings to be distinguished from a bunch of similar albums. The guitar sound quality is above average, though, and the global sound of the music is slightly comparable to Nektar's. The overall rhythm is surprisingly slow. The keyboards are rather subdued. The compositions often lack some structure and sometimes sound a bit amateurish, reminding a bit a garage rock sound.

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 Stalingrad by BACHDENKEL album cover Studio Album, 1977
3.78 | 25 ratings

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Stalingrad
Bachdenkel Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by greenback
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars The very good lead singer has a tone right between Kansas' and Neal Morse. The miscellaneous electric guitar arrangements are very original: the comparison with Steve Hillage is often quite valuable: Hillage however sounds more spacy and extravagant. The keyboards are rarely used: indeed the guitar-driven tracks do not justify the presence of organ and piano: they are rather used in a few specific tracks. Compared to their previous Lemmings album, here they are more elaborated, sructured and less psychedelic. There are many parts that have an excellent complex punk tendency: I even find some Neu! similarities, regarding some of the drums and electric guitar sounds, especially on the "Stalingrad" track. Obviously, they are 100 times better than Neu!, since their compositions remain very respectable and structured. The album globally is moderately progressive, psychedelic and it never falls into a deja vu rock/hard rock style.

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