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Amon Düül - Disaster / Lüüd Noma  CD (album) cover

DISASTER / LÜÜD NOMA

Amon Düül

 

Krautrock

1.66 | 24 ratings

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Neu!mann
Prog Reviewer
3 stars I'm tempted to award this notorious (and notoriously well-titled) document five contrary stars, but I'm afraid such an act of dissent would only make me seem even more of a crackpot than I really am.

The prevailing opinion of the album, on this site and elsewhere, regards it as the equivalent of a kindergarten drum class, dragged out to an excruciating 68-minutes of unskilled clattering and bashing. A single, strummed electric guitar (and a little stoned scat singing, buried in the uproar) is the only link to anything resembling genuine music; otherwise it's a radical '60s version of The Gong Show, with a blacksmith's anvil (and a ton of bongos) instead of an actual gong. Even idle daydreams of a topless Uschi Obermeier smacking her tom-toms aren't enough to save it.

And yet, after sixty-plus minutes of uninterrupted exposure, the whole thing can begin making a warped sort of sense. A full hour of amateur Krautrock drumming by obvious non-musicians will sometimes have that effect: wearing down your aesthetic defenses and eroding your critical inhibitions.

This was the band's third album, all of them supposedly culled from a single, monster jam session, three years earlier. By this point you might expect it to represent the bottom scrapings of a very shallow barrel, and it's true that the energy level can't compare to the apocalyptic chaos of "Psychedelic Underground", the initial gleaning from 1968.

But the less hectic pacing actually improves the music (and here I'm using the word 'music' only in its most generic sense). None of the tracks has a real beginning or end; the edits merely interrupt a casual performance in progress. But the total effect is something (slightly) more than the sum of its haphazard parts, showing evidence of nominal post-production structure in places. There's even a surprising nod to The Beatles, in the song "Yea Yea Yea (Zerbeatelt)": a sixty-second cover of "I Should Have Known Better", from "A Hard Day's Night".

Albums like "Disaster" function like an audio litmus test, useful in determining a) the listener's forbearance in the face of extremity, and b) his or her attitude toward the ephemeral boundary separating music from noise. Even the album's mirrored subtitle (Lüüd Noma) seems appropriate, describing a communal music experience almost backward in its non-musical naïveté.

An hour of the stuff is certainly a lot to sit through. But I'm sure there's a few misfits reading this who might learn to appreciate it, if only for the brazen arrhythmic middle finger raised defiantly against The Establishment.

Neu!mann | 3/5 |

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