The second ever article, note my use of the term "German cosmic" and my complete ignorance about what krautrock DVDs were actually out there
AMON DUUL II - "PHALLUS DEI" DVD
I mistakenly believed the only German cosmic DVD around was the "Can DVD" but when I spotted this one on Piccadilly Record's website, my heart leapt - another live kosmische DVD? So, I went into the shop when I was in Manchester and took a look. £17 for a DVD of Amon Düül II performing the title track from their debut album "Phallus Dei". That's it. Mind you, as the track clocks in at nearly 25 minutes and Wim Wenders was one of the camera crew, I decided to go mad and buy it.
The film captures the band, before they released their debut album, playing a frenzied live session of "Phallus Dei". Let's begin with the negative points first. The sound and picture quality are not of today's standards. There's a noticable hiss in the sound and the film is grainy. Still, it's an underground film from 1969, not bloody Star Wars, so what do you expect? Let's concentrate on the positves here and there's plenty to chew on. Firstly, "Phallus Dei" is one of my favourite Amon Düül II tracks and this live rendition explodes with energy. The cinematography is defiantly different. A mixture of the band playing live, sunrise, sunset and even a few blackouts. The band footage doesn't zoom or pan, but band members wander in and out of the frame.
There can be no doubt that this DVD is a little bit on the expensive side but it is a fantastic historical document - a collision of pioneering greats of both music and film. Sure, it may lack the razzle-dazzle of the "Can DVD", it's is still well worth getting your mitts on it. It stands up well to repeated viewings and if you buy & support this, who knows what other DVDs may come out of the woodwork?
Review by Ned Netherwood