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Sündenfall II biography
Sündenfall II from the Kevelaer area at the Lower Rhine played acoustic, electric and extended improvised progressive rock music with a strong mixture of folk and jazz. The band came together from the merging of remnants of beat group The Dragons and the predecessor band, Sündenfall, who exclusively dedicated themselves to jazz. This new group instead incorporated many more styles after being thrilled watching a Jethro Tull concert.

In 1972, employee Hubert Schmitz of ZDF Second German TV Channel invited the band into his Trepitia film and sound studio in Alpen-Drüpt for free recordings, as he wanted to test the newly installed equipment after a recent move into the new location. They recorded nine different songs, as well as three shorter solo pieces played on piano, flute and acoustic guitar. For the recordings, the band preferred to use acoustic instruments, while at their gigs they often presented long improvisations played on electric instruments, with few singing parts.

At the end of 1972, Sündenfall II was finally released, in a small run of 200 copies. The band sold the LP?s mainly to friends, at their gigs and in two shops in Kleve and Goch. Today it is sold at a price of about 500 to 1000 Euros in mint condition. The band split soon after in 1973, because most of them simply didn't have the time to play in a group any longer, and Karl-Heinz Staymann was drafted into the army. All six of the band members, however, remained friends and kept in touch with each other.

Karl Timmermann started a solo career with great success until today, he is now working as a teacher. In the eighties, Karl-Heinz Staymann played in a Gottingen reggae and ska group called Combo. Today he is living in Berlin where he works as a web designer and software engineer. Kurt Heicks works as a logopedist. Christoph Maubach played in several other groups and today works as a professor in Hamilton, New Zealand. Kerstin Fleischhammer ended up in the U.S.A. Georg Martens committed suicide in the nineties.

Christoph Maubach: "The group's creative expression and ideas were blessed with good fortune as all Sundenfall musicians and poets together basically approached the concept of the album as a stream-of-consciousness type of music. They invented and developed music emerging from their own musical experiences and their own poetic ideas: idealistic and playful, but also seeking the peripheral areas of art. The band integrated jazz elements into their ro...
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3.93 | 15 ratings
Sündenfall II

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 Sündenfall II by SÜNDENFALL II album cover Studio Album, 1972
3.93 | 15 ratings

Sündenfall II
Sündenfall II Prog Folk

Review by kenethlevine
Special Collaborator Prog-Folk Team

4 stars Is there no end to the parade of re-releases on the aptly named Garden of Delights label? I am simply in awe of all they have accomplished, for it's one thing to reissue a previously well known and worn chestnut, and quite another to scour old attics, newspaper listings, etc for ultra limited edition productions and, against all odds, orchestrate a tryst with somebody who actually holds a salvageable tape, let alone an original master. Yet time and again they find a way. Today I'm going to talk about this idealistic prog folk group SUNDENFALL II and their sole release from the halcyon days of 1972.

First of all, the band placed a premium on cooperation and equality of contribution. While the largely acoustic music is at times free ranging and improvised, the band forms a stalwart unit, best illustrated on the first of 3 "Prae" interludes and especially "Duftes Ding" with its jazzy piano and brass. While this instrumental is atypical, the same cohesiveness is apparent in even the more structured songs like the opener "Warning" that plays to their strengths with plaintive harmonica, flute and vocals, and hypnotic acoustic guitar. It's not far stylistically from some of the more reflective Alan Hull penned LINDISFARNE tunes. Sometimes, as on "How to Get on", the trip is a lot more forgettable, being little more than a setting for the mantra like chorus.

Ultimately, it's the band's predilection for fully realized opuses that reach their destination faster than a three minute egg that is most impressive. The best of these is "Suddenly Sun", powerfully sung by Kerstin Fleischhammer with male backing, and incorporating flutes in the service of a trad styled melody that TULL might have used a few years later. Another uptempo tune "Montpellier" includes fascinating facets such as a rhythm not unlike those adopted by the likes of RUPERT HINE 10 years later with the benefit of more sophisticated electronica, and sensibilities of INCREDIBLE STRING BAND and FOREST. Other low dose high potency tunes include the MOODY BLUESish "Bloody Birds" and the AMAZING BLONDEL like closer "Soldier of the North".

To answer the opening question of this review, I doubt it, and I look forward to discovering more modest jewels that capture the fragile innocence that we now believe we once had, and for which we tirelessly strive.

 Sündenfall II by SÜNDENFALL II album cover Studio Album, 1972
3.93 | 15 ratings

Sündenfall II
Sündenfall II Prog Folk

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Christoph Maubach the leader of this six piece German band had been in a Jazz group called SUNDENFALL but when he saw JETHRO TULL in a concert he decided to make a new band playing music more in the TULL style and so they called themselves SUNDENFALL II. The name by the way was an attack against the ultra Catholic authorities and it was their way of overcoming the past as they had experienced much unpleasantness in a Catholic boarding school. While they could never afford to record their own music they were fortunate enough to be asked by a recording studio(that had recently moved and added lots of new equipment) to test the new studio out free of charge. I should also mention that this band played electric instruments in concert and improvized a lot singing in German, but also would play acoustically with English vocals. For this studio album they went the acoustic way with the English vocals. For not being big on Prog-Folk I really enjoyed this album. The lyrics are very good for a German band and there is some variety as well. We get three tracks called "Prae" which were simply short intros to the songs that followed and were performed by Christoph.

Up first is "Warning" and I have to say the male singer here reminds me somewhat of THE STRAWBS Dave Cousins. We do get some female vocals as well. It opens with harmonica and some beautiful acoustic guitar before the flute then vocals arrive. A melancholic beauty right here. Great track ! "Suddenly Sun" is more lively opening with flute and a TULL vibe before the female vocals with acoustic guitar take over. Male vocals do help her out. Lots of flute on the instrumental breaks. The first "Prae" is a piano solo then we kick into "Montpellier" where we hear horns for the first time. Trumpet is used here but we also get sax on this album. Harmonica and dual vocals are prominant on this one. "We had to drink wine every morning every day" as they sing about their partying ways.

"Dusty Road" is led by acoutic guitar and bongos early as the reserved male vocals join in. A second male vocalist joins in singing after the first singer but the same lines. A horn takes over when the vocals stop as bongos and guitar continue. Good song. "Duftes Ding" opens with flute before a jazzy melody takes over quickly. This is a catchy and more uptempo jazz instrumental. Sax joins in after 1 1/2 minutes and leads the way as the flute stops. "How To Get On" opens with piano as harmonica helps out. Vocals a minute in. So good ! A laid back and melancholic tune. "Prae" is a flute solo before we get into "She Lives In A Gang". Strummed guitar and male vocals in this bright and humerous track. "Bloody Birds" is one of my favourites with the flute, male vocals and intricate guitar standing out. "Prae" is an acoustic guitar solo before the final song "Soldier Of The North" a fairly fast moving tune with the focus on the male vocals and guitar.

Like Michael says in his review this is a charming release, and if your a fan of Prog-Folk I would dare say this is essential.

 Sündenfall II by SÜNDENFALL II album cover Studio Album, 1972
3.93 | 15 ratings

Sündenfall II
Sündenfall II Prog Folk

Review by Aussie-Byrd-Brother
Special Collaborator Rock Progressivo Italiano Team

4 stars Their sole release, the self titled `Sündenfall II' from 1972 is a charming and varied collection of progressive folk, with elements of psychedelic rock, jazz instrumentals, whimsical singer/songwriter diversions and haunting ballads. There's a rough around the edges appeal to the various electric and acoustic passages with a mix of male and female vocals, and an eclectic variety that should appeal to many folk/prog collectors. If you don't warm to some of the lonely and desolate oppression of some pieces, then the loose and uptempo colours of other tracks will be more to your liking. There's something here for everyone, and after being unavailable for almost 40 years, there's never been a better time to discover this talented band.

A wind-strewn and lonely harmonica greets Side A's `Warning', a slow and unhappy country ballad with stirring acoustic guitar, gentle flute, and a mournful male vocal from Timmy (aka Karl Timmermann). A touching and sad lyric with a truly haunting melody sits between extended intro and outro instrumental passages, and it opens the album in a very stark and dramatic manner. Flute, trumpet and acoustic guitar float through `Suddenly Sun'. Female singer Kerstin sounds like a folkier version of Grace Slick, all restrained fire and commanding confidence. Timmy comes in during the second half and backs her up for the dual vocal repeated chorus of a song with a reflective lyric full of vivid imagery. The first `Prae' section is a murky and somewhat ghostly piano/jazz interlude, containing just a trace of unease. Very addictive, and more of this to come. `Montpellier' is an upbeat acoustic stomper with lovely group vocals and shambling acoustic guitar. There's a lethargic weariness to the track that reflects the drunken lyrics and wistful words perfectly.

Album centerpiece `Dusty Road' is a shimmering psychedelic beauty. Hypnotic repetitive percussion, long drawn-out trumpet and stoned monotonous acoustic strums weave amongst droning male vocals from Cristoph and Timmy. `We are now on a long and dusty road...' they drawl over and over, reinforcing the hazy and wasted atmosphere of the piece. There's a very awkward and slow Jefferson Airplane-like electric solo over gentle spacey effects near the end that fits perfectly with the ragged tone of the track. The album is worth it for this shambling gem itself.

Side B's kicks off with the inspired and sprightly 6 minute jazz instrumental `Duftes Ding' with killer bass-work, dancing flute and tasteful energetic guitar soloing. Wailing sax, trumpet and swirling piano just keeps bringing the positive vibes and foot-tapping sounds. It's a nice break from the rather glum and heavier first side of the album, and although very upbeat it never drifts into schmaltz. What a terrific track, you never want it to end! It also sounds like nothing else on the album. They follow it up with the darker sophisticated `How To Get On' - just listen to that striking piano and harmonica throughout this somber piece. Lovely male/female group vocals in the verses mask what is a rather downbeat track, with a richly dramatic repeated chorus. The second Prae interlude compliments the first one well, an eerie flute solo with a hint of sinister threat. I love these sort of unnerving and bent fragments, I could listen to a whole album of them.

`She Lives In A Gang' is a repetitive near-comical acoustic ditty that, despite a strong lead male vocal, is a rather cheesy throwaway. Certainly the poorest thing on the album, but it's barely a minute and a half in length, so it doesn't stick around long enough to offend. I also have a feeling other listeners will find it quite cute and appealing! `Bloody Birds' is not a favourite of mine either, but I quite like the moody acoustic tension that brings a bit of danger. Timmy's vocals are full of life and story-telling expertise, and the frantic flute brings a bit more of that psychedelic sound back. Like the previous track, some listeners will really like this one.

The final `Prae' interlude is a dark and rough acoustic instrumental reprise of the `Irene/Warning' melody from the start of the album. A shame it's only 48 seconds's so delicate and heart-wrenching. `Solider Of The North' wraps the album on a punchy acoustic folk number that's rich with characters and old fashioned drama. Folk fans will really warm to this one, it sounds like a reinterpreted traditional poem or song but is actually another original work by the band.

Housed in a visually evocative cover illustration, `Sundenfall II's sole album is a treasured collection of bruised ballads, reflective vocals and restrained instrumental prowess. Now available on affordable reissued LP and CD's, there's never been a better time to look into this once rare and forgotten progressive folk work. It's an album that will gradually wind around and envelope you with it's haunted beauty, and it's become a treasured part of my collection that I'm so proud to own. Why not discover it for yourself?

Four stars.

Thanks to kenethlevine for the artist addition.

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