Amon Duul II - HjiackLabel: 8th Records
When Amon Duul II first hit the German music scene of the 1970s, they weren't even the first band to be named Amon Duul. The Munich-based Krautrock band had their origins in the West German commune scene, where the founding members thrived at an art commune bearing the same name. (An establishment for musicians and performers, encouraged to play and collaborate, regardless of experience or ability.) The members of the Amon Duul commune were eventually offered the opportunity to record, at which point the collective split, with the more talented and proficient members going on to form Amon Duul II. (The other band, simply called Amon Duul, would not reach major success.) Throughout their tenure as a band, Amon Duul II performed non-stop, bringing their distinct blend of spacious psychedelia to, according to guitarist John Weinzierl: "...every hall with a power socket and an audience." Amon Duul II released over 15 studio albums during their career, including such celebrated landmarks of Krautrock as 1969's Phallus Dei, 1971's Tanz Der Lemminge, and 1975's Made In Germany. Their 1974 album Hijack, however, is frequently forgotten amongst their greatest achievements in psychedelia, and perhaps unfairly so. The album features some of their most exploratory material, dabbling in sounds foreign to the band such as funky brass sections, samba backbeats, and inflections of chamber pop string sections. An anomalous entry into the discography of an already anomalous band, and not one to be skipped.