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Tanz der Lemminge

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iTunes Review

Amon Duul II's third album, 1971's Tanze der Lemminge, is rightly regarded as a milestone of the underground '70s German rock scene colloquially known as Krautrock. It strikes an organic balance between freewheeling improvisations and more conventionally composed material, but it doubles down on both—the improvs are more mindbendingly spacy and the songs are more texturally and structurally complex. At a time when psychedelia had waned and prog rock was on the rise, these Teutonic mavericks charted an offbeat course that incorporated both styles. The first two pieces on the double album are lengthy suites that sport a prog-like sophistication as they shift in mood, mode, and tempo, but they bear a raw, visceral quality that makes the trip a thrill ride. Much of the record's second half is occupied by abstract, experimental journeys that stand tall among the most outré excursions in the Krautrock canon and serve as a reminder of why the style is sometimes called kosmische (cosmic) music.

Customer Reviews

I was skeptical

...I generally gave up on the rock side of Krautrock. I've been more in the Tangerine Dream/Klaus Schultz side of things recently, however, I gave in to give this album a whirl, as I've never really tried it out. It sure does touch the spot. If I could describe it, I'd say it's something like The Man Who Sold The World meets Electronic Meditation. I highly recommend it. It's hard to top an album like this. Don't be afraid of the 19/18/15 minute songs, they're worth it. If you like the Pretty Things "Parachutes" also, you'll enjoy this.

Following their own inner demons

This highly inventive album, along with Amon Duul II's other great release "Wolf City", isn't like other works in the Krautrock canon. "Tanz der Lemminge" takes a Zappa-like approach to songs, turning them into reflections or distortions of pop-songs. The anti-pop approach works because of the group's tremendous originality, skillful playing and cunning sense of humor. Amon Duul II's ability to turn pop music upside-down and dress it down with a barrage of strange lyrics, elecctronics, spacey improvs, and poker-faced dadaism remains a classic of early eventies avant-rock.

tantilizing

possibly their best album

Biography

Formed: 1969 in Munich, Germany

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s

Amon Düül preferred the commune life to the hurly-burly of the music business, releasing several albums edited from recordings of a single extended jam session conducted in 1968. Several commune members with greater musical ambitions formed Amon Düül II — they saw no reason to struggle for a new name, or argue over the original. The new group was helmed by John Weinzierl, Chris Karrer and Renate Knaup-Kroetenschwanz, and set to work to produce an impressive debut with Phallus Dei. This was...
Full Bio