Mike McLatchey 5-Oct-2006 Yeti

If there ever was the perfect confluence of musical elements, the sophomore release by the German psychedelic rock magi Amon Duul II should surely qualify. If experimental or progressive rock professes to push the boundaries, the result is likely to be at least slightly alien. With Yeti it's an entirely different world altogether. One of many late 60s and early 70s groups heavily indebted to the breakthroughs of Pink Floyd in the realms of space rock, Amon Duul II were clearly not content to hover close by, instead taking psychedelia as far into the higher planes as possible while always being attached by a silver cord to the ground. It's difficult to call the band a drone group entirely, but throughout what was originally the first record of the album, almost all of the Compositions have long sections structured by riffs revolving around central notes, clearly mantric in structure. But while many a similar group would barely deviate from such a fixture, Amon Duul II weave the drones between much more complex patterns of chords and riffs, grounding the music perfectly while heading into the stratosphere with a complexity almost defiant of the style. The compositions are intensely brilliant, from the more standard riff and atmosphere of "Archangels Thunderbird," through a dizzying amalgam of electric acid fury and bongos-and-acoustic-guitar ragas. Through such intense hysteria, we're often reminded of the modally inflected riffing of space rock, however Amon Duul II have created a headspace much more resonant of prehistoric rituals than the festivals-'n-doses vibe of bands like Ozric Tentacles. In fact the spiritual juxtaposition of the 60s incorporation of the eastern mystical tradition with the pharmacoepia of the era is clear on the improvisational "record" of the album in the tracks "Yeti Talks to Yogi" and "Sandoz in the Rain." It's also here that we realize the origins of the complex compositional approach of the first half, as the album relents not a bit by going into territory introduced by Pink Floyd's "A Saucerful of Secrets" and jamming with chemistry of an utterly uncanny nature. There are few albums that make the 50 minute mark without starting to wear out their welcome, but with Yeti attention is sustained marvelously. In over dozens of listens, this title has never let me down from start to finish, but it wasn't until Grobschnitt's Eroc remastered the album that the veil of the temple was torn. Few single albums, let alone doubles, are as close to sheer perfection as Yeti, it's one of the crowning achievements of the psychedelic rock era, setting a standard never matched since.

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