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Mammut biography
German heavy band MAMMUT is nowadays a pure and absolute rarity in the lights of rock classic music; their only album is also a record rather impossible to track down, plus it excels as a fantastic jewel of heavy music, scorching composition and optical art. The music is close to the early classic expressions of progressive rock, showing besides that an empathy for strange visions, compact concepts, psychedelic hazes and fuzz-growing emotions.

The ensemble seems to be a fusion between former bands THE ROPE SET and THOSE, consisting of Klaus and Peter Schnur on lead guitars and lead vocals, Rainer Hoffmann on piano and organ, Tilo Herrmann as bassist, flutists and backing vocalist, and Günter Seier on drums and percussions. MAMMUT was, anyhow, raised within the Stuttgart jazz scene, the German rock ideals, the heavy and dark music inspiration conceptuality, plus within the howling feelings that make rock an explosive and exploratory art. Their work scored an unique private print in the Orschwahl label, but was quickly confronted with legal issues, and was re-licensed by Little Wing of Refugees. The same label problems emerged when "Mammut" was re-released, since it was withdrawn quickly, disappearing for good.

References drag this hard rock (of psych smokes) movement into Krautrock, given that it is a German classic scene music print. Sometimes, the references to EMBRYO or AMON DUUL bewilder beyond how the music's strength mainly sounds like. The band had a special likeness for DEEP PURPLE, otherwise their main acid thrill had everything to do with the evolved giant lengths of Hard Rock, Hard Blues and Hard Psych. The particular slight references to Canned Heat, Tomorrow's Gift or FRUMPY surface interestingly.

MAMMUT insightly plays heavy concept rock, with an entire arch sketched from the acoustic and lyrical breadths to the violently onirical and strangely (ec)static drone-like jams. The tangent values - that reflect pure psychedelism and concept composition, hard sounds manipulation or a bit of a symphonic crust - are of no surprise at all, they add up both an unusual complexity and a decisive precision of trembling rock, within the popular intense graphic. This music generally raises above the limits of pushy and grouchy music, even if its dust art is of an underground music satisfaction. The programmatic movement, creating completely different values of music within each piece (not superficial are all the tracks conceptualized und...
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3.46 | 24 ratings

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MAMMUT Reviews

Showing last 10 reviews only
 Mammut by MAMMUT album cover Studio Album, 1971
3.46 | 24 ratings

Mammut Eclectic Prog

Review by Igor91

4 stars Mammut is one of the more interesting of the obscure bands to come out of Germany during the late 60's and early 70's. Mammut was a one-off project that only existed for two weeks, the time it took to record their sole album. If I were to label this band, I would either call it eclectic prog (as it is here on PA), or Krautrock. There is certainly a lot going on here, and most of it works quite well. Each track is connected by sound effects of some sort, which helps give the album a nice flow, even though the songs have a good deal of variety. Overall, the vocals are decent, and are shared by 3 different members of the group.

The opening track, "Bird Mammut," is dominated by African style drumming, complete with bongos, with brief rock interludes. A flute eventually comes in, provided by bassist Tilo Herrman, and floats on top of the frantic drumming, along with some Ian Anderson style vocalization while playing the instrument. Next up is some nice classical piano on the aptly titled, "Classical Mammut." "Mammut Ecstasy" follows with searing guitar and fine keyboard work combined with manic, jazzy drumming. I'm not sure which Schnur brother, Klaus or Peter, handles lead guitar for the album, but whoever it is does a masterful job giving the music an edge when it is needed. While not a master of technical playing by any means, he applies a unique playing style to the instrument that is a refreshing break from much of the rock music of the time. Next up is the bluesy "Footmachine Mammut," which is a nice little jam that includes a cool, psych guitar solo over the sound of people partying in the background. The also aptly titled "Short Mammut" follows, as it is only clocks in at 1:45. While brief, this is a great psychedelic, jazzy rock song with some cool vocal parts. Track 6 is one of the more bazaar songs, which features a basic, deadpan vocal backed up by off-kilter vocals by two other band members. The music on the song is solid, especially the breakdown in the midsection. It's probably the most Krautrock-leaning tune on the original album. The next song, "Nahgarn Mammut," is probably the best track on the LP. Once again the scorching guitar provides ample rock energy to reign in some of the poppy feel of the track for a nice balance. There is some excellent piano work going on from Rainer Hofmann as well, over the solid jazzy drumming of Gunther Saier and the groovy bass of Tilo Herrmann. The final track, "Mammut Opera," is also a jazzy affair with good vocals and the killer guitar to spice things up again. It is also the longest track (13:40) and basically becomes a sweet jam session about half way through, where the flute makes a reappearance.

The Long Hair CD reissue, which is also the first official one, includes one bonus track, "Da Du Da," but it is not by Mammut. Rather, it is by The Rope Sect, guitarist/vocalist Klaus Schnur's other band. It was recorded the previous year (1969) for a compilation album, and it's where Klaus met some of the other future members of Mammut. The song is similar sounding to Mammut, with Schnur's vocals being instantly recognizable, but not nearly as good. "Da Du Da" is also the most Krauty tune on the entire disc. When I first heard the opening blues riff, I thought I was in for another blues-rock ripoff. As the song continued, I realized that this was not the case. The blues riff continued on and on with no changes, violin joined in with the harmonica, and the vocals devolved into maddening yells, along with weird sound effects. What you have is a blues-based Krautrock song, if that makes any sense. If it doesn't, it will once you have a listen!

To conclude my longer than intended review, Mammut's lone, self titled album is a shining example of an obscure album that is actually worth listening to. It's been 45 years since its release, and I have never heard anything quite like it, and that in itself should be reason enough to give it a listen.

 Mammut by MAMMUT album cover Studio Album, 1971
3.46 | 24 ratings

Mammut Eclectic Prog

Review by VitaNova

4 stars Disclaimer: First of all- If you haven't already, then you NEED TO HEAR THIS ALBUM ON VINYL. It is the best way to hear this type of music. CD's (and YouTube, especially) do not do it proper justice. Music-Lovers; there is no excuse, not even the moderately higher price, to justify not listening to this music the way it sounds best. An inexpensive turntable and vinyl reissue will blow you away. Trust me.

4.5 stars! Originally on the "Mouse Trick Track Music" label, The band name "Mammut" came from Peter Schnur who went by the nickname "Mammut" (Mammoth--in English). Mammut was a two-week project that happened August 1st-15th 1970 at MPS (Music-Production-Schwarzwald) in Villingen/Donaueschingen (SW-Germany). MPS was normally reserved for "big" acts, however, the studio was officially closed, for holiday, and Alfred "Aki" Kienzler (MPS directors nephew) was allowed to be the studio boss for these two-weeks. Aki had already used the studio the year before to record a sampler (from various bands, in the area) titled "Under Party Ground", so he liked the idea of using this time productively...

During this time, brothers Peter "Mammut" & Klaus "Ede" Schnur (guitars), Rainer Hofmann (keyboard, guitar, vocals--home on army leave), Tilo Herrmann (bass, vocals), Gunther Saier (drums), and Peter Schnur (conductor on Mammut-Opera) put together an album. All the titles were really working titles, actually, phrases they had coined, on the spot, and combined with the band-name.

Personally I feel Mammut is one of the best examples of a true "Krautrock" album. Krautrock is a culmination of styles, and this album amazingly blends- prog, rock (with a hint of blues), psych, and classical all together. Lets get into the music!..

1. Bird Mammut- After you hear some funny, bird-talk, you get a very psychedelic and trippy organ, with a furious tribal drum/bongo beat. Before long the flute comes in and adds to the action. Great opening track.

2. Classical Mammut- Is an impressive and tasteful classical-piano interlude, that builds the momentum for...

3. Mammut Ecstasy- This track is great! Ecstasy is a perfect blend of mild to mild-heavy guitar, organ, and drums, mixed with some great vocals and psychedelia in the background. The drumming is very tympanic, almost jazzy. There are plenty of organ and guitar duels, as well. A+

4. Footmachine Mammut- Is kind of a short jam, with soft vocals, organ, and a propulsive drum-beat.

5. Short Mammut- Is a nice musical doorway, into...

6. Schizoyd Mammut- Gets back into the action with some hard psych sounding vocals and guitar, accompanied by a perfect cascade of drums. This was recorded live and conducted by Peter Schnur. Awesome track! I only wish it were longer...

7. Nähgarn Mammut- Is named after a (partial) german expletive. Nähgarn has more of a progressive feel than the previous songs, with good vocals, organ, guitar, and of course exemplary drumming.

9. Mammut Opera- Was also recorded live, and after only one round of rehearsals! Opera starts off with some wonderful, but almost pop-sounding (think Beatles) vocals, with a steady rhythm of drums. It's a pretty straight forward prog-rock tune, until you think it's over...then the drum rhythm breaks, and the flute and guitar start an amazing duel in a most crazy and psychedelic manner, which continues for several minutes, into the climax of the album/song, which is concluded with a rightfully deserved audience applause. Perfect.

It's amazing that this whole album took only two weeks to make. The entire band contributed to the music, with Ede writing all the lyrics/vocals in a quite corner, equipped with an English dictionary. The original Mouse-TTM label LP is almost impossible to find, and unfortunately, I don't have one...yet. Thankfully, several vinyl reissues have kept fans happy!

 Mammut by MAMMUT album cover Studio Album, 1971
3.46 | 24 ratings

Mammut Eclectic Prog

Review by philippe
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars This is the first and unique album by the almost legendary German band Mammut. An intense and bombastic hybrid between heavy fuzz acid guitars, instinctive free rock improvs and some lyrical, classical influenced interludes / fragments. We can also detect a certain dose of humour in the vocals, lyrics & in the introduction parts. The opening track is a groovy, percussive, crazy psychedelic "trip" featuring an avalanche of drums, trippy organs, bluesy e-guitar sections, drunked flute passages, silly absurd voices. Average stoned semi improvised free jam. Classical delivers a short piano interlude, a pleasant melodic moment. Ecstasy is a fuzzy heavy psychedelic composition with furious rythms, an efficient bass guitar leading theme and some nice technical keyboards moves. Foolmachine alternates a simplistic bluesy pop song with free guitar jams accompanied by the Hammond organ. An optimistic, dynamic progressive rock album, a really soft version of krautrock but the band captures with interest various musical influences together.
 Mammut by MAMMUT album cover Studio Album, 1971
3.46 | 24 ratings

Mammut Eclectic Prog

Review by Ricochet
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars This band can really have an fuzzy essential story, since its firm and intricately achieved music, based on either original, strange, cramped or subversive ideas, was good enough to score a private record contract (one also disputed afterwards, in such a heavy way, that it ultimately brought bad fortune to the album) and has come to be considered a tonic example in the Heavy Rock cultural, underground or tendentious industry (and even in the wild acid spot of krautrock, since it's of a German pure brew), yet lasted only one year and one album, heading afterwards into a pragmatic state of rarity and crossover reception. But that's really the entire scheme of things: great dash of music, bad managerial luck, tightly eclectic musical passion and, finally, a shortly lived moment of rock and smoke-coughing art.

"Mammut" is not a totally wonderful music moment, nor an unbelievable rich progressive expression, still it is a pretty great, interesting, bit absurdly jambed and powerfully droned album. Curiously complex (since it isn't a supreme artistic effort and dazzle, instead it focuses on all kinds of particular and different values and emotional levels), it strikes you, in the end, as a heavy rock creamy dynamic, having alternative shifts on an old-charm psychedelic ambition or rather on a good soft/raw contrast. The album is positively evolved on pure instrumentality (the Schnur brothers adding a double wet and sweat standard to the lead guitar and vocal roles), but the conceptual support can be actually the best thing "Mammut" reflects and benefits from, since each of the eight pieces are a special movement (being even constantly titled with the "Mammut" keyword), therefore they're played, following a genuine force, distinctively. This concept, upon listening, is mostly accomplished.

Bird Mammut has a silly opening, with samples of birds, followed by an intense symphonic-like drone, plus a bit of colored rock melody, inspired almost from a Jethro riff, plus a rustic flute dance; a piece that's wild, not highly progressive, anyway in the spirit of easy rock and heavy instruments. The piece finally squeezes something from the first sample, in a chaos of music colors. Classic Mammut, as a windy piano intermezzo, is not worthy.

Mammut Ecstasy is the first piece of real interest in the album, given a psyched-up rock bassy beat on some high drenches of guitar, plus on vocals that sound dizzy and colorful; interesting organ jam, in the middle of the storm; this piece is incontrollable, when escaping it's "bassy beat", therefore it isn't consistent; as style, this could be between a heavier mood for rock and a drunk attitude of rage riff; "ecstasy" is the keyword. Foolmachine Mammut sounds like the most hard-dreamy piece so far, resembling The Doors in beat (and, yes, in something from the eery, leisure vocals); rock of a psychedelic kind, and psychedelic of a rock simplicity, nothing clearly; there are moments when the organ symph drone is pedaling again, but the voltage is mostly in the rock rhythms, in the guitar's lush and in the samples of strange glass tones; all in all, it sounds like an old rock music, with a bit of creamy haze

Short Mammut blights a vocal hard explosive piece, sounding like an acoustic hard psych song, with nothing worthy but the vocals, that always sing within in a mist outline, plus some guitar strips, which are done passively. Consider Schizoid Mammut the hint is well preserved, the piece standing as one of the most unbalanced and unpretty pieces in the album; the vocals don't know which direction to take: the weird one or the growly one; there is a heavy sample of "mousy voice effects" between a good vibe of psych rock, organ slush and guitar heavy roundels. Nahgern Mammut is a strange piece, starts with different sorts of rock noises, than adapts another heavy and hot song; it's only not grouchy and not psychotic, it's actually called "lyrical"; there's an ambitious instrumentality, upon an nervous kind of heap hard rock/art rock, from all I can figure out

Mammut Opera is finally a totally different piece than all others from this high-driving album. Complex and vibrant, full of dynamics and different sense, making the psychedelic fever disappear, but keeping, at least, a bluesy ling (if not pure rock or concept rock as well); some flute works and easy paces are back (after they were last heard in the first piece!), creating a good and complex kind of music expression; only some guitar heavy values or some unsteady rhythms reminds that Mammut are an impetuous band.

A rare heavy rock and progressive art album. Largely three point five stars, could be more for certain fans.

Thanks to Ricochet for the artist addition.

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