Languorous atmospheres, lovely vocals, iridescent melodies, and shimmering solos combine on Bröselmaschine's self-titled 1971 debut album, the apotheosis of the German folk-prog scene. The quintet took their cue from England's Canterbury scene and even a traditional folk song, "Lassie," from that green and pleasant land. The band's signature sound was derived from Jenni Schucker's delicate and at times ethereal vocals in harmony with Willi Kissmer's stronger tenor, and that sound took on a Teutonic tinge when the pair switched from English to German lyrics. But it was the group's extraordinary use of acoustic and electric guitars that cemented its reputation. On "The Old Man's Song," one of four vocal cuts on the set, Kissmer's wah-wah guitar wafts and winds around Peter Bursch's acoustic strums. On "Gitarrenstück," the electric leads smolder like embers around the fiery acoustic rhythm guitar, while Schucker's wordless vocals float hauntingly above. It's the flute that soars overhead on "Gedanken," counterpointed by the moody Spanish-styled guitar, which itself is offset by the excitement of Kissmer's electric lead. Lutz Ringer's bassline adds an almost funky flair to "Lassie," and is also crucial to the album's two instrumentals, "Schmetterling" and the wittily titled "Nossa Bova." The former is a showcase for the band's percussionist, Mike Hellbach, who fills the number with tablas, instantly taking the sound into Eastern climes, a sighting enhanced by Bursch's sitar, even as a pastoral flute delicately dances above and the acoustic guitar shimmers in an ecstasy of chiming strums below. "Nossa Bova" also utilizes tablas, but its setting shivers between the Spanish plains and England's rolling rural hills. The music is gorgeous, but it's the relaxed atmospheres that truly entrance; there's not a forced note or extravagant moment within, with the music easily ebbing and flowing like water downhill. So self-confident were the bandmembers that they had no need for flashy musicianship, preferring instead to impress by the very understatement of their solos. The ambience is exquisite, casting a spell that isn't broken until the final note fades. A masterful album from start to finish. AMG.