Artist/ Band: Führs & Fröhling
Title: Ammerland
Label: Esoteric/Cherry Red
Year of Release: 1978/2010
Offical Artist/ Band Link

The Review:

Alongside the second and third SFF albums, the "FF" part of German space-prog trio Schicke, Fuhrs & Frohling — Gerhard and Heinz, respectively — recorded several albums on their own. Ammerland was the first of those and the closest to SFF in spirit, though more pastoral and introspect than anything SFF did. Esoteric's new remaster reintroduces this classic, and the music, presented beneath its familiar and somehow intriguing landscape cover, sounds as relevant as it did in 1978.

Devoid of percussion and joined by Ed Ruther's bass, Frohling's acoustic guitars and Gerhard's piano, Mellotron and Minimoog evoke moorlands and shadows as well as countrymen Tangerine Dream's mid-'70s, keyboard-laden milestones and the less hectic moments on Mike Oldfield's most oft-cited recordings. Though pared down from SFFs more overt trio arrangements, pieces like "Ammerland," "Dances Of The Leaves" and "Sarabande" convey similar rushes of wonder and awe minus the canvas of bombast. The picked notes of the acoustic guitar meld with the sonic mist of Mellotron strings yet suggest a not unpleasant tension in the presence of the MiniMoog's unearthly tones. It wouldn't be unreasonable to suggest Ammerland is German prog's answer to Windham Hill.

The most talked-about composition will no doubt be the nearly fourteen-minute "Every Land Tells A Story." The mini-epic succeeds on several fronts, as a not-quite-minimalist, airy slice of quasi-medieval pastoral rock and a flipside to the Teutonic stylings of the aforementioned Tangerine Dream and Eloy. The halfway mark presents a nifty interlude that involves rests between piano chords before decidedly space-prog trimmings come into play with Gerhard's other keyboards.

As much as it is a cliché, less is more in this special cellar corner of the German prog scene. The remastered sound of Esoteric's copy should eliminate any further hesitation on the part of the curious prog collector.

Reviewed by Elias Granillo Jr on March 19th, 2011


01. Ammerland
02. Gentle Breeze
03. Dance Of The Leaves
04. Street Dance
05. Sarabande
06. Circles Of Live
07. Every Land Tells A Story
08. Ammernoon

Reviewed Discography

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