Amon Duul II
Yeti


5.0
classic

Review

by menawati CONTRIBUTOR (86 Reviews)
April 29th, 2014 | 49 replies | 1,664 views


Release Date: 1970 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The high-water mark of progressive psychedelic music.

Born out of the ashes of an artistic and political community called Amon Duul, who undertook some free improvisation sessions in the late '60s, Amon Duul II hit the German scene in 1969 with their debut release 'Phallus Dei'. This stunning debut is often heralded as the high point of their long and varied musical career but this follow up certainly scales the dizzy heights of that seminal release and even manages to surpass it in some respects. I hesitate to use the term 'Krautrock' to describe this record as it was used as a somewhat derogatory term to describe a host of experimental bands that were spawned in Germany around that time so let's just describe this as progressive psychedelic rock.

The approach on here is similair to their debut both in its delivery and musical character but the ideas are rather more distilled. While 'Phallus Dei' relied on building atmosphere and groove in a rather sedate manner, most notably on the extended title track, Amon Duul II opted here for shorter song formats and more panache in their song-writing. Even the multi-part suite 'Soap Shop Rock' is merely a loosely connected set of distinct songs with musical bridges linking the whole. But this seemingly patchwork approach doesn't actually detract from the flow and integrity of the music. There are such a plethora of bold ideas thrown onto this album, yet with such attention to maintaining the darkly unsettling vibe, that it never fails to titillate. One moment you will be swaying along to buzzing psychedelic riffs and languid leads, then a few bars of unhinged madness will devolve into a glorious mess of shrieking atonality before a caterwaul of screeching violins carry you on a mystical Eastern tinged magic carpet ride. And that's just the first 10 minutes or so of this psychedelic masterpiece.

'Archangel Thunderbird' is possibly the coolest song title of all time and it lives up to its promise. Renate Knaup's vocals soar above the irresistible freak-beat style riffs, flappy bass lines and scraggy rhythms. The ponderous 'Eye Shaking King' introduces itself with a grinding Zeppelin-esque groove before evolving into a head-swaying morass of swirling psychedelic Daleks, jarring keyboards and bluesy guitar licks. But this album isn't only about fuzzy riffs and strident rhythms. 'Cerberus' is a meandering instrumental piece full of undulating lines, South Asian style percussion and grunting angular licks and 'Sandoz In The Rain' is a lysergic trip full of hypnotic cadences, haunting violin and lavish flute.

There is a 'loose jam' feel across the whole record, even during the more succinct pieces, but on the title track (explicitly referred to as an improvisation) Amon Duul II really let go and space out in style. The ideas are spread rather thinner over this 18 minute jam than elsewhere on the record but it is eminently suitable as a musical inspiration to chill out and spliff-up, as is the shorter improv 'Yeti Talks To Yogi'. However, it is within the tighter compositions that the true magic of 'Yeti' lies and finds Amon Duul II at the peak of their prismatic powers. This record is a truly mesmerising experience from start to finish and, along with 'Phallus Dei', an essential listen for anyone remotely interested in psychedelic music.



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user ratings (131)
Chart.
4.2
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
menawati
Contributing Reviewer
April 29th 2014



15776 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

They have zero reviews, travesty.

Flesh-coloured Anti-Aircraft Alarm http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JVkYhQD9eFU
Archangel Thunderbird http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XzSi1qPxBIQ
Sandoz in the Rain http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iKSjmhsEdcE


Digging: Synaesthesia (UK) - Synaesthesia

zakalwe
April 29th 2014



6463 Comments


Review rules as does the album

menawati
Contributing Reviewer
April 29th 2014



15776 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

thankyou Zak, gotta get me the vinyl of this some day

zakalwe
April 29th 2014



6463 Comments


This and Phallus Dei melt minds. Your damn right it's a travesty there were no reviews. This has eased the pain.

menawati
Contributing Reviewer
April 29th 2014



15776 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

will eventually do their first 6 or 7 if no-one else does

Chortles
April 29th 2014



17890 Comments


nice one mena. i really like phallus dei so i gotta check this one for sure

Digging: Yo La Tengo - Electr-O-Pura

menawati
Contributing Reviewer
April 29th 2014



15776 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

hi chortles, i thought you'd gone off all this old moth-eaten stuff

Chortles
April 29th 2014



17890 Comments


i guess so huh, finally acting my age and not just listening to prog anymore; i'll still dust off the cobwebs from granny's kooch for the gems like this though hehe

Jethro42
April 29th 2014



12365 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Relisten to this atm. It's been a while.

menawati
Contributing Reviewer
April 29th 2014



15776 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

damn, 3.5, oh well

Jethro42
April 29th 2014



12365 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I don't have a great relationship with krautrock.

menawati
Contributing Reviewer
April 29th 2014



15776 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

yeh you are more of a symphonic guy arent you, thats cool

Jethro42
April 29th 2014



12365 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yes. And prog folk too, where structures are more digestible than this. But I can see it becoming a 4. Max.

menawati
Contributing Reviewer
April 29th 2014



15776 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

maybe try wolf city or babylon if you get time, bit more structured than this

Friday13th
April 29th 2014



2179 Comments


Never made it through the whole thing. I should probably remedy that.

Digging: Opeth - Pale Communion

menawati
Contributing Reviewer
April 29th 2014



15776 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

i can understand why some people might give up at the title track

Jethro42
April 29th 2014



12365 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I tried Phallus Dei after your Amon Dull II list. I was even not able to rate it. But I remember I could see a good potentiel for a 4 even if it's not exactly my thing. I will try those 2 albums, menawati, thanks!

menawati
Contributing Reviewer
April 29th 2014



15776 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

well a potential 4 for something of a style you generally dont love is pretty good

livingisland
April 29th 2014



523 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Great album, great review.

Are you aware that Scraggy is a Pokemon?

Jethro42
April 29th 2014



12365 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

It's not that I don't love it. It's more that my ear is not used to it. I can try to be more open minded. Relistening to Yeti now, and trying hard to enjoy it.



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