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BRÖSELMASCHINE

Prog Folk • Germany


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Bröselmaschine picture
Bröselmaschine biography
Founded in Duisburg, Germany in 1968 - Disbanded in 1973 - Regrouped in 1974-75, 1984 and since 2005

Inspired by the American folk music of Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, Phil Ochs and Joni Mitchell, German master of acoustic guitar Peter Bursch formed the first line-up of BROSELMASCHINE back in 1968 alongwith flautist/vocalist Jenni Schucker - a female singer with an irresistible whispy voice - Willi Kissmer on vocals, guitars and zither, Lutz Ringer on metallaphon and bass, and Mike Hellbach on congas, tabla and mellotron. Although many tracks bear German names, almost all are sung in English. The quintet disbanded after a first album in 1971 and Bursch, keeping only guitarist Kissmer from the original line-up, pursued his musical endeavours under the name of PETER BURSCH UND DIE BROSELMASCHINE, joined by percussionist Mani Neumeier (GURU GURU), drummer Jan Fride (KRAAN) and three other musicians.

Their eponymous LP is definitely their best: a wonderful acoustic album full of finesse of subtle Indian, Middle-Eastern flavour (sitar, tabla, flute) as well as Irish/Scottish traditional folk (mandolin, multi-voice harmonies). Their second album, released under the moniker PETER BURSCH UND DIE BROSELMASCHINE, unfortunately doesn't even come close to the first. In spite of its decidedly folk flavour and many guest appearances, it is altogether different and less inspired, putting the emphasis on Bursch's acoustic guitar techniques (although Kissmer's electric guitar steals the show at times).

For fans of EMTIDI, early HOELDEERLIN or other such cosmic folk bands, the first BROSELMASCHINE album is a breath of fresh air.

: : : Lise (HIBOU), CANADA : : :

See also: WiKi

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BRÖSELMASCHINE discography


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

3.87 | 72 ratings
Bröselmaschine
1971
3.08 | 13 ratings
Peter Bursch Und Die Bröselmaschine
1976
0.00 | 0 ratings
Peter Bursch Und Die Bröselmaschine: I Feel Fine
1978
0.00 | 0 ratings
Peter Bursch's Bröselmaschine: Graublau
1984
0.00 | 0 ratings
Indian Camel
2017

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

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

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

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BRÖSELMASCHINE Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Bröselmaschine by BRÖSELMASCHINE album cover Studio Album, 1971
3.87 | 72 ratings

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Bröselmaschine
Bröselmaschine Prog Folk

Review by BrufordFreak
Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars Very solid Prog Folk from Germany. This album is remarkable for its clarity of sound production and for the amazing vocal arrangements and performances--and in English!

1. "Gedanken" (5:06) blues folk oriented and fairly simply arranged but masterfully executed and with wonderful vocals--male lead, female lead, and harmony vocals. (9.5/10)

2. "Lassie" (traditional) (5:06) a kind of average though remarkably clear rendition of a traditional folk song. (8/10)

3. "Gitarrenstuck" (2:03) a guitar duet with choir background vocals. The AMERICA-like mid-section is quite gorgeous. (5/5)

4. "The Old Man's Song" (5:26) guitar based but then electric guitars, congas and flutes join in and shift things. Female lead vocal is presented as if added in at the last minute. Nothing too special or innovative here. (8/10)

5. "Schmetterling" (9:31) sitar, zither, tabla, steel-string acoustic guitars fill the first two minutes before the German spoken voice of Jenni Schücker enters for a minute. Then it returns to instrumental. Guitars and, later, flutes do most of the work until the 5:00 mark when Jenni returns only in a vocalise form emulating or mimicking the flute and the rhythm patterns of the tabla. Then she stops (as does the tabla) and we're left with a solo from a strumming guitar. Flute and tabla return and then the final 90 seconds are filled by Mellotron-supported sitar in support of the flute melodist and tabla and guitar. Nice song. (17.5/20)

6. "Nossa Bova" (8:06) gentle finger-played acoustic guitar opens this one before tremoloed zither joins in. In the second minute hand percussion joins in as guitar and zither go their separate ways (both still playing, though). Reverbed voice enters at the 2:45 mark as Jenni sings a pretty, whimsical hippie lyric. Metallophone solo follows to fill out the fifth minute. The song has some timing/cohesion issues, otherwise it's pretty nice and very transportative. I'm rating it high because of its desirable, nostalgic "feel good" feel. (14/15)

Total Time: 35:18

Though not the most sophisticated or complex musical compositions, incredible sound reproduction (except for Jenni's vocal tracks), clear and pure voice and instrument arrangements of simple song constructs win the day. Truly an unusual and exceptional album for its time.

4.5 stars; a near-masterpiece of Prog Folk.

 Bröselmaschine by BRÖSELMASCHINE album cover Studio Album, 1971
3.87 | 72 ratings

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Bröselmaschine
Bröselmaschine Prog Folk

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

4 stars Germany was a nation rich in new sounds that seeped out of the 60s and exploded onto the scene in the 70s. While most of the world was going gaga for the sounds emanating from England, the Teutonic tribes were busy forging their own cosmic freakery in the form of Krautrock and other highly experimental astral traveling soundtracks. So why didn't anyone tell the band BRÖSELMASCHINE? Well, i guess they just didn't get that memo. While it's not unheard of for continental bands to have a sound fetish with their favorite proggers across the channel with the most notorious examples emerging from the UK's own Canterbury Scene that drifted to France, Belgium, the Netherlands and even Italy, what is quite surprising is that this Duisburg quintet seemed to forget, well for the most part that they were even German! Oh! And the name was a German word that was constructed from a cannabis shredder and the sound of a motorcycle. Oh those 60s.

While the band was forged from the ashes of a prior folk band called Les Autres, which proved that these musicians had a clear identity crisis from the beginning, they did at least conjure up a German band name, song titles and even a little Deutsch sung now and again but what's most amazing of all is that this band is a clear doppelgänger for England's Fairport Convention however no matter how hard they tried, the psychedelic Kraut that was permeating the homeland still found its way into the mix and thus the band BRÖSELMASCHINE should be thought of perhaps the most English sounding of the Kraut-folk bands that emerged simultaneously with bands like Can, Amon Duul II and Tangerine Dream. The band officially formed in 1969 with the lineup of Jenni Schücker (vocals, flute, bells), Peter Bursch (vocals, acoustic guitar, sitar, flute), Willi Kissmer (vocals, acoustic & electric guitars, zither), Lutz Ringer (bass, Metallophone) and Mike Hellbach (congas, tabla, spoons, Mellotron.)

This lineup only lasted four years before disbanding (other reformations would occur) and it was this sole eponymously titled album that was released in 1971 but what a brilliantly fun and warm album it is! The album is a bit of a head scratcher as it presents itself as a German release with tracks like "Gedanken" (thoughts), "Schmetterling" (butterfly) and "Gitarrenstuck" (guitar piece) but overall this is perhaps the most de-Germanized band that i have ever heard from the land of BMW and Beck's. If someone were to play this for me during an English folk marathon i would guess that this was an early version of the Pentagle or Fairport Convention before they had to get serious and drop all the freaky [&*!#] but nope, this is truly a one-of-a-kind album that exhibits all those Anglo-fantasies run amok with a bit of all that 70s Germanic freakery oozing in between the cracks. The results of this weirdness is tastier than a freshly baked basket of pretzels at a beer garden! And i'm talking Oktoberfest quality.

While squeaking into the world of Krautrock by a smidge, this is perhaps the band that exhibits the folkiest extremes with lush acoustic guitar passages, lazy atmospheric embellishments and sedate nonchalant strolls through the folky forays into Epping forest . The album is well balanced with two vocalists who alternate, harmonize and pacify the soul. Jenni Schücker provides the divine feminine as her delicate accent-free grace is complemented with Will Kissmer's more pronounced tenor grounding. The first few tracks will have you convinced you have been slipped a tea-sipping group of Brits as they nail the English sound perfectly and even rocks out, er, well folks out rather a traditional English folk song in the form of "Lassie" which has me searching for Richard Thompson and Sandy Denny in the credits. Nope, they ain't there! OK, it's apparent we've found the best British folk band that the UK never had, but wait! "Gitarrenstück" is a game changer. Yeah, all those softly strummed acoustic guitars still take you to rancho relaxo while the wordless vocals become ethereal and haunting but the short track changes the tone.

"The Old Man's Song" takes a complete 180 and the few rock elements of the album begin to shine through. Well, rock may be a misnomer. It's more like funky wah-wah guitar echoes, Indo-raga drumming with a little extra oomf but BRÖSELMASCHINE gets cold feet and retreats to the safety of the folk scene only they seemed to have morphed from Fairport to Spyro Gyra! Wow, this band is trippy without all the drugged out effects. Kissimer then feels free to unleash some guitar solos against the cyclical strumming loops beyond. OK, i said this was an English folk fetish album but then this band gets all weird by the end. Yeah, "Schmetterling" decided it was time to go to India and bust out all the Indo-raga moves complete with sitar, tablas and ample blessings from the proper guru du jour no doubt. Add a few zithers, Matallophones and flutes and you got one cosmic vibe groovin' on and best of all Jenni Schücker busts out her native tongue with a narration in German! The track jams on for almost ten minutes. I guess someone spiked the tea at the Renaissance fair.

After the freakout, the kids got all silly with "Nossa Bova" which is another lengthy jam session. Part acoustic folk, part hangover of Indo-raga and part Kraut-whatever, BRÖSELMASCHINE really gets cerebral with heady flute runs, acoustic guitar bliss and a nice mix of unorthodox percussion that implements the congas with a touch of spoon charm. Perhaps the mellowest track on board, the spoonerism insinuated by the title sadly contains no traces of bossa nova. The album ends as if a completely different band was performing and that's probably what makes BRÖSELMASCHINE's debut so memorable. While lacking in a uniform display of one style or another, the incremental changes actually pay off quite well and while perhaps not quite as masterful as some of the primo examples of freak folk mustered up by the kings of freakery a la Comus or Jan Dukes de Grey, BRÖSELMASCHINE nevertheless offers an interesting slice of cross-cultural elements existing in a rather warped continuum which gives this album a charm all its own. All the tracks are deliciously addictive right away since melodic constructs rule the roost. Unfortunately this lineup wouldn't last too long and future albums are basically different bands but this debut is defiantly one for the psych folk crowds not to be missed.

 Bröselmaschine by BRÖSELMASCHINE album cover Studio Album, 1971
3.87 | 72 ratings

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Bröselmaschine
Bröselmaschine Prog Folk

Review by Kingsnake

4 stars Slowly I am falling in love with german folk rock music.

I know that one of the main instruments of rockmusic is the drumkit. But if Mike Oldfield and Jade Warrior can record entire symphonic prog records without drums, then other can do aswell.

The music of Bröselmaschine is pure folkmusic. Most folkmusic I know, is british, scottish, irish or scandinavian. I must say that I know very little folkmusic from continental Europe. But this is a very nice suprise. The band are very keen on harmony vocals and melodies and play their folky instruments very well. There's of course a lot of acoustic guitar, but very tasteful as are the vocals. I'm glad it's not too psychedelic or doomy like other folkrockbands from this period (like Comus). This is more pastoral and really beautiful music. It fits the german landscape. I can imagine walking through the forests and past the rivers.

Too bad they only recorded this one album. But any other band that fits this category I will track down. Right now I can only think of one other band that fits: Hoelderlin.

Recommended for people who like Renaissance, Jade Warrior, early acoustic Heart and of course Hoederlin.

 Bröselmaschine by BRÖSELMASCHINE album cover Studio Album, 1971
3.87 | 72 ratings

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Bröselmaschine
Bröselmaschine Prog Folk

Review by DamoXt7942
Forum & Site Admin Group Avant/Cross/Neo/Post Teams

4 stars Interestingly it's said a German folk rock act BR'SELMASCHINE would have got inspired especially by 60s American folk rock like Bob Dylan and so on, but as a matter of fact, they should have induced actual German psychedelic essence, exerted around them in those days, to themselves. Sounds like their debut eponymous album might simply be folksy seasoned with melodic or rhythmic dissected lesions here and there, but we can find carefully definite 'acid' texture all around, that can be touched via a Krautrock album titled 'Teilweise Kacke ... Aber Stereo' by Air or two albums by Furek'ben, a Danish tribal acid folk combo.

This tendency can be heard obviously in the two long tracks ('Schmetterling' and 'Nossa Boba') upon Side B. In the former one, repetitive oriental melodic phrases featuring ethnic percussion, sitar or flute drive the audience into another dimension of comfort. The latter track drenched in monotonous ambience shower has apparently different atmosphere from other ones. Consider both should have been clearly acid-folk-influenced and simultaneously no direct relationship to American folk rock. Wondering why they have been approved as a Prog Folk outfit, not as a Krautrock commune, but who cares? Another fascinating album released in 1971, one of big years in progressive rock scene.

 Bröselmaschine by BRÖSELMASCHINE album cover Studio Album, 1971
3.87 | 72 ratings

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Bröselmaschine
Bröselmaschine Prog Folk

Review by ALotOfBottle
Collaborator Heavy Prog Team

4 stars At the turn of the seventies, Germany witnessed a radical musical revolution, which would fructify in a genre that we currently know as krautrock or kosmische musik. The term "krautfolk" was recently created to describe the German bands of the time, which based on influences of folk music and prominently used folk instrumentation. Bröselmaschine is commonly known as one of the most representative bands of the narrow sub-genre. The group was formed in Duisburg in 1969 by vocalists and guitarists Peter Busch and Willi Kismer, a female vocalist and flautist Jenni Schucker, a bassist Lutz Ringer and a percussionist Mike Hellbach. Two years later, the quintet recorded their self-titled debut album.

The impact of the sixties folk revival on later hippie folk acts, such as Fairport Convention, Pentangle or Lindisfarne, was undeniable. Bröselmaschine's style relies heavily on its legacy, but adds various their own original elements. The group's pastoral, meditative sound is enriched with influences of Indian raga, Celtic chants, and European art music of the Middle Ages and Renaissance. In addition, the album tends to have a strong trance-like feel, which becomes evident on lengthy and dynamically varied instrumental passages with detectable psychedelic hints. Even with so many original ingredients and such a fresh feel, the release's style does not sound unfamiliar.

Bröselmaschine's debut is dominated by gentle, feminine instrumentation. The great interaction of two acoustic guitars is supported by exotic sounds of sitar, tabla, congas and percussive, celestial sounds of a traditional European zither. Other unorthodox instruments include spoons used as percussion, a metallophon, and shells. Mike Hellbach's Mellotron plays an important role on distant, dreamy passages. Classic acid folk sounds are delivered through high-pitched flute sounds and harmony vocals of Peter Bursch, Willi Kismer, and Jenni Schucker. Electric instruments are rather rare with an exception of an electric bass and Willi Kismer's overdriven wah-wah guitar fills appearing from time to time. The overall impression one will highly likely get is that the musicians work together effectively and professionally.

The album is relatively short, with a time frame of only 35 minutes. It comprises six tracks, each with a slightly different feel. The opening piece, "Gedanken", is based on a lament bass pattern and is kept in a rather melancholic mood. "Lassie" is a ballad having a much brighter sound than the previous song. "Gitarrenstuck" is somewhat of a duel between two guitars of Peter Bursch and Willi Kismer without any help from other instruments. "The Old Man's Song" opens with a catchy motif, which returns after dreamy instrumental passages. "Schmetterling" has a very distinct, trance-like flavor, reflected in exotic-sounding jams. This track is probably the most representative of the whole release. "Nossa Bova" closes the album with an intricate meditative theme.

Bröselmaschine is one of countless bands that did not manage to leave a significant mark despite their original and worthwhile material. The band's self-titled debut album is an excellent example of German folk with psychedelic piquancy, somewhat reminiscent of krautrock. By no means a must-have, but well worth your listen. Recommended!

 Peter Bursch Und Die Bröselmaschine by BRÖSELMASCHINE album cover Studio Album, 1976
3.08 | 13 ratings

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Peter Bursch Und Die Bröselmaschine
Bröselmaschine Prog Folk

Review by Neu!mann
Prog Reviewer

3 stars When guitarist Peter Bursch reconstituted Bröselmaschine in the latter 1970's he did so in a more businesslike manner, ditching a lot of the grassroots charm that made the band's first album so appealing, half a decade earlier. He also took control of the group by putting his own name in front of it, contrary perhaps to the communal values of hippiedom but giving the project a more proprietary focal point.

The first album from the rechristened band missed the illuminating touch of producer R.U. Kaiser, on the run in 1976 after the Cosmic Jokers scandal. The new music was polite, engaging, and never less than totally professional, this time with a surplus of electric guitar, modestly augmenting the usual flutes and zithers. "Sofa Rock" set the prevailing mood in six short minutes of easygoing musical comfort, more relaxing than a piece of well-worn furniture and about as exciting. And by "Wayfaring Stranger" Bursch had all but shed every trace of his folk music upbringing, along with most of his youthful musical naïveté.

More albums would follow, none of them currently listed here at ProgArchives. And Peter Bursch would go on to enjoy a successful career as a noted author, composer, and guitar instructor. But the fragile magic of 1971 was gone forever, and today the self-titled reboot is a very pleasant experience that leaves almost no impression afterward.

 Bröselmaschine by BRÖSELMASCHINE album cover Studio Album, 1971
3.87 | 72 ratings

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Bröselmaschine
Bröselmaschine Prog Folk

Review by Neu!mann
Prog Reviewer

4 stars You might expect a band named in part after the sound of a friend's motorcycle, and formed in the industrial heartland of Germany's Ruhr valley, to practice the sort of music better suited to a factory assembly line. But this maschine was built of altogether lighter stuff, and painted in soothing pastel colors. And the specs never included instructions for a power chord attachment.

The LP itself is a quaint relic of homemade early '70s Folk Art, enriched by just enough psychedelia to give it depth and character. Yes, the band members lived together in a Duisburg commune. And yes, they sang winsomely of butterflies while playing recorders and congas. But as the album continues it stretches out beyond its limited Folk Music boundaries, in the last two (longer) tracks adding sitars and a mellotron to the mix, the latter courtesy of engineer Dieter Dierks, encouraged no doubt by producer/mesmerist Rolf-Ulrich Kaiser.

With Krautrock's notorious Cosmic Joker involved it's no wonder the album faintly echoed the Acid Folk of WITTHÜSER & WESTRUPP, minus the LSD and (mostly) unplugged. But there's a disarming innocence to the music that sets it apart from the kosmische fever dreams of Kaiser's later misadventures: a simplicity of purpose and purity of expression best heard in the lovely unskilled harmonies of Jenni Schücker.

The kindred spirits of PENTANGLE were an obvious inspiration, acknowledged (reportedly) by the head-brösel himself, Peter Bursch. The same Anglophonic influence reached its apogee in the traditional Celtic ballad "Lassie", and elsewhere on the album recalls the pastoral 12-string beauty of early GENESIS, although I doubt if Anthony Phillips ever attacked his acoustic guitar with the same Teutonic ferocity as Bursch in the final songs here.

Assigning stars to such a gently faded artifact is difficult, and I'm rounding up from the more conservative rating the album probably merits after all these years. Your music library will survive just fine without it, but will suffer a lack of color from its absence.

 Bröselmaschine by BRÖSELMASCHINE album cover Studio Album, 1971
3.87 | 72 ratings

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Bröselmaschine
Bröselmaschine Prog Folk

Review by Luciana Aun

3 stars Another high quality prog / folk made in German. On this record we find the gorgeous female vocals Jenni Schucker which is also a competent flautist.

The registry basically consists of instruments such as flute, guitar, acoustic guitar and Mellotron instruments. Some emphasis on rather peculiar intruments like spoons, sitars, congas, tablas and Glockenspiel (very similar to the xylophone) are also part of the arrangements of the disc, which sometimes remind us a bit of Indian music.

Highlight the track "Schmetterling" that makes a mix of all the instruments used by the band.

It is a hard lightweight acoustic and incredible creativity but, being it´s only defect has only 35 minutes in length.

 Bröselmaschine by BRÖSELMASCHINE album cover Studio Album, 1971
3.87 | 72 ratings

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Bröselmaschine
Bröselmaschine Prog Folk

Review by Dobermensch
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Music for listening to on a rainy drizzly calm day in the countryside while attempting to have a picnic as the fly's buzz around your sandwiches and annoy you.

A pretty little effort from Deutschslanders ''Bröselmaschine. I'm sure the band 'Current 93' would have heard and used this as an inspiration in their music. All instruments are acoustic and sound very nice. It's a mellow, laid back affair with a very English sounding female who turns into a German in the blink of an eye. A good wee album with some sitar and a few bongos thrown in for good measure. There's also that old Folk favourite - the tin whistle which rears its head in 'Schmetterling' but it sounds fine, so all is well. Panic over. A very decent folk album - and by God, I don't like many of them.

 Bröselmaschine by BRÖSELMASCHINE album cover Studio Album, 1971
3.87 | 72 ratings

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Bröselmaschine
Bröselmaschine Prog Folk

Review by Seyo
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

5 stars I stumbled upon BROESELMASCHINE by chance when watching some WDR video footage of old German rock bands from the famous "Krautrock" scene. I knew nothing about them but I caught the glimpse of certain "mystique" of their apparently psychedelic folk music.

There are things well-known, documented and researched, works of art from the well-established circles and headline news. When you first approach such works you usually have a plenty of reference materials to compare with and you either agree with the majority of scribes and critics and get to appreciate what has been an established artistic value, or you might disagree completely and abandon the issue as overblown or over-rated pomposity (and the latter case often happens with the popular music, at least in my case).

But, when you discover something completely unknown to you, something you have not heard or read about, you get a pretty different sensation. How on earth this piece of amazing music was not widely known, better appreciated or simply more popular? What went wrong with them?

Nothing I guess. BROSELMASCHINE's self-titled LP just happened in space and time because five seemingly modest and talented people gathered together and made some interesting, amazing music. Just once, never to repeat it again (OK, I don't count later incarnations of the band without lovely Jenni Schucker on vocals and flute). And that is pure art! Without calculation, without planning, not caring about production, technology, promotion or marketing, or even money.

This album is so simple in its approach to music recording and yet so rich in its spiritual and artistic values. Acoustic acid-folk enriched with Anglo-Celtic and Indian crumbs (broesel in German!) makes one of the most pleasant and soothing albums I ever heard. Got it? *****

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

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