Based on sheer musicality, Wolf City could be the strongest record Amon Düül would ever make. The ensemble’s second record of 1972, released just a couple months after its predecessor, removes theatrics, limits improvisation, and its blistering riffs shake the very foundations of psychedelia. Things get quaking in wavering slink. The entire world begins to reverberate around the serpentine exchange of acoustic and electric guitar interplay. A false chorus ushers in a fiddle led freak-out and synthesizers begin to malfunction before heading into a lull.
Yeti went down in the psychedelic annals as a movement defining juggernaut. The four sides that constituted the behemoth opened the gates of kosmische hell—the stamp of approval that acid-drenched weirdness could live on well past the 1960s, even if the adherents to such gospel were relegated to pop-music obscurity. On Tanz Der Lemminge, we’re greeted by the familiar echoes of psychedelia, but not as we’ve known it.
Launching the listener into the aural assault of “Soap Shop Rock”, Yeti wastes no time getting started. The wandering, acid-drenched psychedelia of Phallus Dei is noticeably absent. The Mothers-esque eccentrics traded in favor of tectonic heaviness. As the four-part suite arrives at its second movement, Amon Düül clears a path for denim-clad stoner rockers to follow for the next half century.
The break up was cemented. The live reputation established. Amon Düül’s more musical half – adopting the suffix ‘II’ – entered the studio and laid down the first identifiable Kosmische slab. In name alone, Amon Düül II’s debut demanded attention. “The God Cock” would formally signify Germany’s emergence as a world power once more—though this time on the countercultural stage. Preceding Can’s Monster Movie by two months, Phallus Dei would be the introductory major-label document of a burgeoning Gegenkultur coming out of West Germany at the end of the 1960s.
At three in the afternoon on Thursday, September 28, Amon Düül II took the stage of the Aula der Pädagogischen Hochschule. Freshly split from the ‘nonmusical’ portion of their Munich commune, the eight-piece ensemble intended to make waves, not as a leftist collective, but as a strict musical unit.