Broselmaschine - s/t. 1971 Germany

One of the three legendary Pilz folk albums from the early 1970s German scene. Of these, Bröselmaschine were certainly the most folky. The five-piece lineup included primarily male and female vocals with acoustic guitar. And as accents to various songs, the band added electric guitar, bass, hand percussion, flute, sitar, zither, and mellotron.

The five minute opener 'Gedanken' is a pleasant enough folk track with heavily accented dual male and female English vocals, flutes, and some nice electric guitar. 'Lassie' follows and is just the sort of song that my Dad would have enjoyed. One gets the impression that Bröselmaschine would feel comfortable opening for comedian Bob Newhart at a place like the Hungry I in San Francisco circa 1966. Ceramic plates and silverware clanking in the background - and after the song completes - an uproarious crowd claps maniacally while cigarettes dangle from their lips. The two minute acoustic guitar interlude with wordless female vocals 'Gitarrenstuck' is where the proceedings begin to get interesting. 'The Old Man's Song' starts with a repetitive and trance-like acoustic guitar. Hand percussion and wah-wah guitar enter while some delicate flute sets the tone for the peaceful female singing. The nine minute 'Schmetterling' is the album's highlight and recalls "Hoelderlin's Traum" with its Eastern motif (sitar, tablas, flute) and female narration in German. Later in the song there's a wonderful driving bass guitar that gives the song a sense of contrasting urgency not found elsewhere. The album closes with 'Nossa Bova' a nice stroll in the park kind of song with emphasis on acoustic guitar, flute, wordless voice, and hand percussion.

Overall, Bröselmaschine is the type of album to sooth ones nerves after a hard days' work. Not particularly experimental or groundbreaking, but for fans of early Hoelderlin, Emtidi, or other such cosmic folk bands, Bröselmaschine is a must pick up.

Personal collection
LP: 1971 Pilz
CD: 2013 Belle Antique (Japan)

And speaking of 1971 Pilz, here's another one that features a very fine gatefold cover. Unlike Ardo Dombec, this one did receive a Pop Import reissue. And it's that version I owned for many years, and was my introduction to the album. Eventually I bought the Spalax reissue that came in a nice digi-pak. And I just now supplanted that with the excellent mini-LP packaging from Belle Antique. 2015 update: I received the original LP as a gift from a dear friend for my birthday last year. So now I'm a proud owner of the original too!

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