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Amon Düül II - Kobe - Reconstructions CD (album) cover


Amon Düül II



2.42 | 18 ratings

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3 stars What we have here is something pieced together from old Amon Düül II recordings of the time of Yeti and Tanz der Lemminge together with some material that was unpublished before "Kobe". This is structured into tracks but essentially it is one long virtual jam session. I think it was for charity at the time, after the Kobe earthquake, and released only in Japan, so surely this is not a regular AD II album. As with its "Eternal Flashback" sister album, I'm actually not sure who put this together and to what extent there was creative input at the time of publication by the band themselves.

Different from "Eternal Flashback", this one is almost purely instrumental (there is the odd choir sample singing apparently a lullaby, which also ends the album) and relies in several places heavily on drum loops, which provide the spine for an otherwise very psychedelic experience. It's very repetitive in places, but despite being looped, the original rhythms have enough dynamic breathe in them to give the music a pulsating, hypnotic quality with some pointers to early Can. The sound aesthetic of Pink Floyd until Meddle is another reference that comes to mind. There are some repetitive guitar riffs either taken from "Tanz der Lemminge" or in its style, but mostly guitars and keyboards produce psychedelic soundscapes and noises, which I find often fascinating and tasteful.

It is easy to criticise "Kobe" for the presumably little effort that was put into it, resulting in a lack of direction and composition and at times in overlaying parts that are neither meant to be together nor work seamlessly in this way. Also, even though you may like here what you liked on "Tanz der Lemminge" already, you may not be willing to count that in favour of this kind of remix album.

Still, I find this entertaining and quite special; I think that whoever created this succeeded in creating something new from the original bricks that has some merit on its own. AD II have done other long improvisational pieces, but particularly the hypnotic element is strongest here, and I can find something fascinating in the circular directionless way this is set up, like an endlessly jamming band in a time capsule. One can't deny that there is some variation on here, too - it's not like the same drum loop carrying the listener through the full 65 minutes; the producers dug at least a bit deeper into the original recordings to provide some change.

I don't think that a majority will appreciate this but if you're open minded and have a weak spot for psychedelic jamming and sound exploration, there's something to be found here.

Lewian | 3/5 |


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