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May 5, 2011 / rockroots

Amon Düül – Höllewärts Düül

The original Amon Düül collective were invited to perform at the Internationale Essener Songtage festival and were due to record a debut album for Metronome Music GmbH soon afterwards. Days before the September 1968 festival, two struggling factions in the large communal band split apart permanently, with the more conventional musicians performing separately as ‘Amon Düül II’. The remaining members (see below) entered the recording studio in (about) early 1969 and taped improvised jamming sessions for anything up to a week. The resulting album was Psychedelic Underground. In late 1970 a slimmed-down line-up (Peter Leopold having defected to AD II, Wolfgang Krischke having died and Uschi Obermaier moving on to fame as a model/counter-culture icon) recorded a much more gentle and beautiful second album, Paradieswärts Düül on Ohr Records, before disappearing.

AD II’s John Weinzierl has claimed that the first tapes recorded by his former bandmates were “thrown into a dungeon” because they were so bad, and were only made public by their unscrupulous producer as a cash-in attempt after AD II became successful. This may not be true of Psychedelic Underground (both bands released their debut albums in 1969), but is very likely with a number of subsequent records. In November 1969, Metronome issued Collapsing/Singvögel Rückwärts & Co. consisting of more of the same sessions with added special effects. By 1972, BASF possessed the tapes and issued the Disaster/Lüüd Noma double LP containing yet more out-takes. And in 1984 the Time Wind label issued Experimente, somehow finding enough remaining out-takes to fill another double LP.

The general consensus is that all of the albums culled from this session are unlistenable, tedious drumming marathons – the less musical members were encouraged to join in on various percussion instruments. There is a lot of truth in this, and listening to all three and a half hours would test the patience of even the most hardcore krautrock fan. What I have tried to do here is distil the best moments from the four albums and create something more palatable. With most of the tracks, that involved editing out long drumming passages to isolate the more tuneful sections. The result doesn’t have the flow of a regular album – but this is largely the case with the source albums as well – and is something akin to the ‘Faust Tapes’ in that it consists of snapshots of riffs and musical moments strung together. Indeed, much of the material even sounds like it could have come from that highly-regarded Faust album.

The name is not very imaginative (Höllewärts = ‘Hell-bound’), but this is intended as a companion piece to the sublime Paradieswärts Düül (Paradieswärts = ‘Paradise-bound’). It also signifies the contrast between the two records, Paradieswärts being light and friendly, Höllewärts being dark and forboding. If you like Paradieswärts you might like this; if you want to explore the earlier (-recorded) Amon Düül albums, or didn’t like them and want to give them a second chance, then this might be the collection you’re looking for – a heavily-edited ‘Best of the 1969 Sessions‘.

 

Amon Düül – Höllewärts Düül (192kbps):

01  Ein Wunderhübsches Mädchen Träumt Von Sandosa *

02  Kaskados Minnelied

03  Special Track Experience N° 22 *

04  Altitude (Quäär Feld Aus) *

05  Somnium (Trauma) *

06  Special Track Experience N° 23 *

07  Special Track Experience N° 12 & N° 5 *

08  Special Track Experience N° 16 *

09  Special Track Experience N° 4 *

10  Special Track Experience N° 24

11  Singvögel Rückwärts (Singvögel Vorwärts)

12  Der Garten Sandosa Im Morgentau *

13  Asynchron (Verjault Und Zugeredet) *

14  Im Garten Sandosa

15  Special Track Experience N° 14 *

16  Special Track Experience N° 10 *

17  Shattering & Fading (Flattermänner)

18  Special Track Experience N° 1 *

19  Drum Things (Erschlagzeugtes) *

20  Special Track Experience N° 7 *

* edited versions

 

Musicians:

  • Ulrich (Uli) Leopold – bass
  • Peter Leopold – drums
  • Rainer Bauer – guitar, vocals
  • Wolfgang Krischke – percussion, piano
  • Helge Filanda – congas, anvil, percussion, vocals
  • Eleonora Romana (Ella) Bauer – shaker, percussion, vocals
  • Angelika Filanda – percussion, vocals
  • Uschi Obermaier – maracas, percussion

 

Brief footage of Amon Düül at the Internationale Essener Songtage in September 1968:


 

The band’s June 1970 single Eternal Flow announced the resurrection of the band (apologies for my very amateur translation into English – perhaps someone fluent could provide corrections?):


 

The second official album in late 1970 contained the following publicity blurb (with thanks to Anja for the translation):

 

3 Comments

Leave a Comment
  1. rockroots / May 5 2011 12:16

    Nothing remotely Irish about this post. Hopefully will have another volume of Irish rock ready by next week.

  2. Niall Cullen / May 6 2011 18:14

    Really love the Blog, and love your side tracks,its your choice and were grateful for all your work…..
    Niall

    • rockroots / May 8 2011 01:28

      Thanks for the encouragement Niall, I’m glad you like the blog!

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