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Amon Düül II - Tanz Der Lemminge [Aka: Dance Of The Lemmings] CD (album) cover


Amon Düül II



4.09 | 339 ratings

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4 stars Acidman's Dance of the Crazy Seventies

Last AMON DÜÜL II's album featuring long compositions, "Tanz Der Lemminge" marks the end of first half of the band's first period, considered by many as their best. Reusing the musical style of its predecessor, the thundering "Yeti", the tracks are less rock and impacting, there are no immediately catchy songs. Instead, the music is more complex and features more early electronic technologies used to create eerie atmospheres. Neither very danceable, nor in relation with the lemmings, the content is on par with the the cover art: an esoteric superposition of different elements hard to describe. In fact, this may be the darkest, most spacey and elaborated opus conceived by AMON DÜÜL II. Like the previous double-album, "Tanz Der Lemminge" is divided in two parts: the first half consists in (nearly) structured compositions, whereas the second half is improvisational.

With its bizarre introduction, the hallucinogenic "Syntelman's March Of The Roaring Seventies" can be described as a long mystical folk-rock containing different melodies and LSD ambiances. A bit harsh to follow, but includes quite good stuff. In the same vein, "Restless Skylight-Transistor-Child" is my favorite composition of the record. A weird collage of various short heavy, spacey, indian and other experimental pieces, with abrupt transitions. Even if this track is not very coherent, it possesses nice moments and unexpected surprises. The final quarter is the best.

Now begins the so-called "Chamsin Soundtrack" suite, entirely improvisational. As you may have guessed, "The Marylin Monroe-Memorial-Church" has little to do with the American actress. It is rather a dark ambient, cosmic and mysterious long journey, like a crossing of PINK FLOYD's early experimental pieces and TANGERINE DREAM's "Zeit", but the AMON DÜÜL II way. This will make discover a new spacey face of the band, proving (again) their creativity and variety concerning the addressed musical styles. One of the highlight of the record! Listen in the dark for maximum effect. Back to Earth with the small instrumental hard-krautrock "Chewinggum Telegram", more usual but however cool. The oppressive heavy "Stumbling Over Melted Moonlight" is also very effective! "Toxicological Whispering" concludes the trip on a space rock journey into stars.

Compared to the seminal "Yeti", the tracks are less structured and the transitions more abrupt. Difficult to digest the first time and lacking a bit of unity, "Tanz Der Lemminge" is however part of these albums that may take time to appreciate, and in which you can rediscover something new at each new listen. The dance of the little animals protects a little treasure of musical creativity. If the 1970 opus made you travel around the world, this one will make you explore unknown galaxies, or the depths of your mind. You decide.

Least accessible release of AMON DÜÜL II's early discography, this is definitely not the disc to start with. If you're new to the band, be sure to listen to "Yeti" and "Phallus Dei" first (in this order) to fully appreciate the music. Once said, "Tanz Der Lemminge" is essential for the fans and for adventurer psychedelic / space rock lovers in need of madness!

After this album, the Germans' compositions will become shorter and more concise, but this does not necessarily means less interesting...

Modrigue | 4/5 |


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