Amon Düül II - Düülirium 2009 "Bee as Such"

Review by Neu!mann REVIEWER
2 stars Comeback albums aren't normally as haphazard as this belated effort by one of Krautrock's essential forefathers: recorded in 2009; offered as a digital download under the name "Bee as Such" in 2010; and four years later finally given a legitimate CD release, with a better title and actual sleeve art...everything except a credible performance, sadly.

In truth the music by itself is fine, and doesn't show a trace of anachronism. All of it was clearly improvised in the studio, but in a more groovy modern fashion than the embryonic freakouts of "Phallus Dei" et al. A cheap comparison could be made to the valedictory CAN album "Rite Time" (1989), a likewise late-in-the-day reunion with a similar (but more successful) vibe, also curiously delayed in post-production.

Maybe the new Düül album should have been considered as a strictly instrumental project. The musical rapport was still there, and surprisingly vital after so many years away. But the vocals by old comrades Renate Knaup and Chris Karrer are - to put it delicately - a calamity: hoarse, abrasive, and fatally off-key.

Krautrock has always been full of eccentric singers able to exploit their amateur lack of training (think of Can's Malcolm Mooney, or Damo Suzuki). But there's a big difference between non-professional and plain bad, and that line was emphatically crossed here. I'm reminded of Timothy Leary's cringe-worthy performance on the notorious ASH RA TEMPEL train wreck "Seven Up", something no sane listener ever needs to be reminded of.

The fingernails-on-chalkboard effect reaches its nadir throughout the 26-minute "Back to the Rules/Walking in the Park" (aka "Psychedelic Suite", on the "Bee as Such" version). Here, the attempts at improvising a freeform vocal accompaniment to an already exploratory jam stand out like a mangled (i.e. more than simply sore) thumb.

Needless to say, the new album is no "Yeti"...despite some abominable moments. It's reassuring to know the old-timers still have a pulse, but this session wasn't worth the long wait. Better late than never? Don't be too sure...

Studio Album, released in 2010

Tracks Listing

1. Mambo La Libertad / On The Highway (8:34)
2. Du Kommst Ins Heim (9:22)
3. Stil Standing / Standing In The Shadow (8:15)
4. Psychedelic Suite: Back To The Rules / Walking To The Park (26:02)

Total time 52:13


- Renate Knaup / vocals
- John Weinzierl / guitars, synth, vocals, producer
- Chris Karrer / guitar, violin, sax, oud, vocals
- Lothar Meid / bass, vocals
- Danny Fichelscher / drums
- Jan Kahlert / percussion, vocals

- Gerard Carbonell / bass (unconfirmed)

CD Purple Pyramid CLP 1808 (2014)


musicyoucan said...

Hi my friend,
Thanks a lot for this Amon Duul 2 opus I didn't know

progDeaf gerEars said...

First wanted not really to put this Disc on the blog,
because is maybe not their best, perhaps , their baddest...maybe,
but it is Amon Duul II!