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A HEAD HERITAGE COSMIC FIELD GUIDE: 5 CLASSIC IMAGES OF KRAUTROCK
When Glam-rock appeared around 1972, the West German bands again took it all, assimilated it, and came out looking funnier & more convincing than any groups had since Funkadelic/ Parliament. On Amon Diitilll's Viva La Trance, the group successfully combined theatrical animal costumes, harlequin Teutonics, and the current snakeskin platforms and fake furs, a la Sly Stone meets Bowie. Even more ridiculous was Can's sudden pursuit of glam in a Velvet Underground style. I was very uncomfortable to see all these older guys poured into leathers & shades, especially as Michael Karoli, the only young pretty one in the group, was photographed on his knees in a particularly submissive pose, surrounded by3 pouting middle-aged Sugardaddies. But Krautrockwasthe German pre-punkselfawareness trip of alltime. Andthese groups had suddenly plugged into where the post-war British psyche still had the Germans pegged as the Bogeyman Rotter of all Europe. And they exploited the situation in thee most genius of ways. From Amon Diiiil I to Amon Diiiil II, via Faust, Cluster, Can and Guru Guru - Krautrock groups played this role. Here are my 5 favourite Krautrock images: 1. Faust IV opened with their 12 minute epic called Krautrock. (A huge double-album sampler on the hip German Brain label was also called Krautrock, and after Conrad Schnitzler's time in Tangerine Dream & Kluster, one of his early solo LPs also contained a track called "Krautrock"} 2. Amon Diiiil's "Mr. Kraut's Jinx" and "La Krautoma" both appeared on the sprawling 1975 double-album, Made In Germany, the first (and only?) Krautrock-opera. 3. The first 'kraut' reference of all was on Amon Duiill's 1969 "Mama Duill and her Sauerkrautband Start Up!" from their first LP Psychedelic Underground. 4. Cluster's Dieter Moebius and his producer, Conny Plank, released an album of Bavarian reggae-meets-New York-fuzz and called it RastaKrautPasta! 5. But the greatest Krautrock image of all is surely the sleeve of Amon Diiiil II's Live in London. A gigantic German-helmeted Stormtrooper insect claws the London Post-Office tower from its foundations as flying-saucers lay the city to waste overhead. In hindsight, Krautrock was not remotely 'hippy' in its modern post-punk definition. It was soaringly idealistic and hard as nails. This Kosmische Musikwas played by painted freaks and longhairs whose attitude had never left the idealism or the communes/collectives of the mid 1960s. Krautrock's heart was still in the MC5's guitars and the White Panthers' civil insurrection of 1969 Detroit, and the sheer moment of Andy Warhol's 1966 Explodinq Plastic Inevitable. Guru Guru even tried to redeem the swastika on the eponymous Guru Guru LP, placing it in the centre of the recordsleeve, and reversing it on an ancient woven design, therefore restoring the swastika to its original peaceful direction. (It was a brave idealism but, like The Swastika Redeemer, a contemporary New York artist who is tattooed with hundreds of different & ancient swastikas all over his body, itwas hardly enough to obliterate such recent memories). But Krautrock can only truly be defined in hindsight, as many of the groups were only intenton capturing the Moment. There are more classic extended true 20 minute-freakouts within the sleeves of Krautrock LPs than in the British & American music of all time. And all in space-punk gatefold sleeves, too. Albums were impossible to judge as they came out because they defied analysis alongside anything else but other Krautrock. And for all its '60s idealism, the West German scene was never in a stasis - it did not yearn for some lost undefined Goldenage, but constantly dipped into the new music forms that arrived and adapted them as its own. This ability to assimilate all the best of the New conspired to make Krautrock a substantial artform with considerable stamina. And so powerful has the term Krautremained that its modern connotation to any German Head is as a description forthe finest Marijuana 1111
2ND EDITION ."What a great book!" JOHN PEEL Julian Cope HEAD HERITAGE· 1996 LE.
under the title" Kosmische Echos" All rights reserved. Two chapters.Contents First published in Great Britain in 1995 (Common by Head Heritage (A division of KA K. apter 7 Amon Dlilill & II 59 The Grimreaper is a Krautrocker and Other Stories. apter 5 Neu! 40 Thank You Michael Rother. Thank You Klaus Dinger From Kraftwerk to La Dusseldorf via Cluster & Harmonia .from" to "Atern".) 2nd Edition 1996 (Common Era) Copyright JULIAN COPE 1995 (Common Era) Era) Introduction 1 4 9 Chapter 1 Prehistoric Underground Photographs Front cover: the image of Shrat is a detail from the LP Yeti by Amon Diiiilli. except by a reviewer who may quote brief passages. aoter 8 Timothy Leary & Ash Ra Tempel Kosmische Musik meets Sci-Fi 68 78 aoter 9 Rolf-Ulrich Kaiser & The Cosmic Couriers Sci-Fi Musik to the End of a Dream ndix 50 Kosmische Classics The Full Spectrum Re-appraised 91 & of Krautrock Musik Reviewed . Spring 1995 CE. Other photographs are taken from LP jackets from the author's library. l. "A Little History of Krautrock Rising" also appeared in translated form in the German magazine Spex. An attempted Brief Un-ravelment of Neu I apter 6 Can 50 Any Colour is Bad. "A Little History of Krautrock Rising" and "Can: Any Colour is Bad" were originally published in British magazine The Wire.td. without permission in writing from the publisher.. including information storage or retrieval systems. No part of this book may be reproduced in any form or by any electronic or mechanical means. ISBN: 0-9526719-1-3 G apter 2 A Little History of Krautrock Rising C apter 3 Faust 21 The Greatest Gimmick of All. in December 1994 and January 1995 (Common Era). C apter 4 Tangerine Dream 28 Electronic Meditation" 1967-73: Froese's Paranoia .
And writing this book inevitably caused me to fill necessary holes in my collection. I'd had many before: in 1977.my Krautrock all sits together. the Sly and Funkadelic LPs. Sun Ra and the MC5 all on one stage.Introduction I was a teenage Krautrocker. Or that it was transcendental Cosmic Fuck-rock played by Superfit amphetamine Visionary Poetdruids and always had an attitude-to-the-Moooon! I did not have to dig through the musty comers of my record library for this information . a freak. when I met my then new manager Cally. but got me labelled a queer.a kind of Pagan Freakout LSD Explore-the-god-inyou-by-working-the-animal-in-you Gnostic Odyssey. I wrote this short history because of the way I feel about the music. I'm not a completist. or just plain fucking mad. Krautrock has been obscured in the eyes of the public. the Scott Walker LPs . who may be unaware that it was as Holy as the Stooges. It was a Powerful Pre-punk attitude achieved by the Pioneering few the Ur-punk. a Krautrock disciple . Krautrock is what Punk would have been if Johnny Rotten alone had been in charge . in 1984. a huge wad of it. next to the Psychedelia. but I have only written about records that I have in my own library. A sort of very fit Hawkwind without the Doomsday Science-Fiction. so a brand new Krautrock revival has taken place. those at the very beginning. on meeting the Liverpool punkscene.the stuff that is now accepted as classic music. that its supreme Magic & Power has lain Unrecognised for too long. Krautrock was not played by just any old early '70s German rock band.
not put out. Harmonia. Ash Ra Tempel. heroic glimpses of Man at his Peak of Artistic iagic. e ocative. Because it had to. etc. Can. Here we go again. Amon Dutil I and II. Why did the whole West German rock scene continue to make LPs of acid freakout music in wild apart sleeves long into the '70s? And why was a standard album by any of the above far more extreme than even thee Most extreme British and American equivalents. not fanned. Instead. Cluster. In this mini-history.supreme. And Krautrock is it . Tangerine Dream. But that was not the 2 ore of the fire. Ash Ra Tempel/"Amboss". nor added to with petrol. we are left wit. Papal Vuh. Krautrock was borne on the high East wind that soared above the rage of the 1960s British and American scenes.g. and here we surely have.. And burn it did. Neu!. I discovered the obvious. etc. There was a fire burning in the souls of post-war German youth that somehow needed to be. I thought.m~. but it can never truly explain the music of a whole Youth-nation working out their blues. I'd have been on a Rock-it to Mars +which is precisely the path that the best German rock'n'roll artists followed. when my guitar tech Rizla Deutsche put Neu 2 on in the tour bus. 3 . If I had been a young German in the 1960s I would have played Krautrock or died. so it was never to be. I read of those beautiful German post-war artists and I cried my heart out. Faust. I've tried to explain who were these German underground heroes. but unheard by most.but rather that fire needed to be allowed to bum.) This little history attempts to explain the reasons.some of the most astoll1sh. With an intensity that could have changed the very fabric of the West had it taken place in Britain or the USA. it was surprising but not bewildering to discover that here was one of thee Great Untold Visionary Stories. spoken of in hushed tones. As I researched behind this High-magick musick. Krautrock transcended all this and more. excluding only such legends as the Velvet Underground's "Sister Ray" (which some Krautrock fans would consider tame in comparison with certain tracks that could be mentioned. and most recently since 1991. e.h legacy of the daring German Youth-dance away fro~ t~elr ent past. La Dusseldorf. No way could I have lived with the knowledge that my parents' generation had had dealings in a crime beyond Biblical proportions. When I decided to write this Krautrocksampler in September 1994 (CE).
and proved that being himself could stil! earn the German artist a place in the international sphere. Paris. They learned to love chewing-gum. and British troops so German radio was very quick to pick up on rock'n'roll from the start. He was not yet looking for a' true German sound.it even had his cohort and contemporary Pierre Boulez dumbfounded. Germany in the early '60s In the early I960s. His wild music was taking him to New York. West Germany was a home to thousands of U. Stockhausen achieved a sound that was violent.a new way. was playing standards such as "In the Midnight Hour" three times a night in Johnny Halliday's Paris club. By 1960. By 1958. London. there were British and American airforce bases. such as Pierre Boulez. Edgar Froese. the rest of Europe merely watched.and in Karlheinz Stockhausen. Like Japan. Stockhausen was a visionary in every way.ia:"'4i§jll Prehistoric Underground W. He 5 . and grown up with the coming new influx of experimental composers. they already had the greatest modem composer living right there amongst them. They had already adopted Le '50s rock'n'roll style which would sustain them along their chic way. And once the West Germans had learned how to play pop music. he was positioning musicians and audiences in strange formations. they all had American accents. But in West Germany. Sometimes audiences encircled the musicians. whilst the Scandinavians went mad in their own quiet but psychotic manner. Olivier Messiaen. But the jump from fans ofrock'n'rol! to rock'n'roll artists is a very big one. its instant achievement. but everyone continued to return to rock'n'rol! for its instant gratification. and they learned to love the whole style. whilst fashion and pop music danced together across the skies of Britain and the USA. but always a great deal of experiment and always the possibility that this was it .S." But Froese was not at that time a prototype Krautrocker Rising. Born in 1928. and its instant entertainment at dances every Saturday night. percussi ve. it was a jump that West Germans were unable to make. And as the '60s progressed. By 1965. The French affected not to give a damn. rather than merely aping the British and American groups. And for most of the 1960s. As the scene of the Allies' victory. His mind saw and his ears heard things quite differently to other people. then the people had to act quickly. they still had the problem of Right Now! Experimental music was fine. and adopted a love for American cars. dizzying . If West Germany was to not sink under the weight of imported foreign culture. Coca-Cola. But they also saw the huge American cars driven by the troops on leave. ever-changing tradition. later to lead Tangerine Dream. Germany was the centre of al! the most important modem 4 e perimental music . he had performed the outrageous sonic klang called Kontakte. streetgangs and the most primitive music available. sometimes banks of loudpeakers blasted the music away from the listeners. jeans and everything else they saw as good from the USA. The post-war West German kids learned their English from the radio and the TV. Stockhausen became an icon to all aspiring new West German artists. "because it was the best song in our repertoire. Karel Goeyvaerts and John Cage. But there were stil! heroes to inspire West German youth. West Germany after the war was showered with so much aid that the culture of the aid-bringers inevitably left some pretty hefty thumb-prints on the people. Stockhausen was part of an ancient. He had studied under the French mystic. they would next have to learn how to truly assimilate it into their culture. Still seven years away from the first synthesizer. an electronic piece that sounds overtly modem even today. But though Stockhausen was a huge influence to young artists.
People kill. But the straight names belie the truly underground perversity of the Monks' songwriting. and studying under Karlheinz Stockhausen during the day. "Monk Time".S. On the opening song. On "Complication". merely heard as part of a Saturday night's drunken entertainment. The German art scene was quite a law unto itself and many of West Germany's future stars had already dismissed pop & rock'n'roll as kids' music . But there was no need for them to clean up their act. as guitarist and accordionist (I) for the Jetliners. If they hadn't been great or at least extremely entertaining. It still has its feet in the early '60s. with vocal styles as bizarre as Doris Day or the Four Seasons. We don't like the atomic bomb. They wrote songs that would have been horribly mutilated by arrangers and producers had they been back in America. the Monks themselves sure as hell put in as much as they. Yes. People die for you. an out-there collaboration of five young American ground crew from a U." Each lyric is spat out with the true contempt of forces personnel who know that their songs will not be listened to. that no British pop group of the '60s ever got close to rivalling their * Now 6 available on CD onlsraphon Records' ISR003. Ha ha ha. But for all their listeners' lack of a need for meaning. And the Monks took full artistic advantage of their lucky/unlucky position as American rockers in a country that was desperate for the real thing. the singer Gary Burger introduces the members of the group then launches into a violent diatribe: "We don't like the army.was a working musician in a rock'n'ro!l band at a time when most of the future German stars were not even involved in popular music. 7 . airbase in West Germany. Holger Czukay. but always over a backing track of insanity so intense and simultaneously such speedball entertainment. But even these had commercial considerations to think of. the singer howls the word "Complication!" over a savage fuzz guitar. People go to their deaths for you. their album is one of the most chilling electrifying freakouts of all time. Recorded by The Monks. they will for you. I don't like it Pussy Galore is coming down We like that. But there is one much greater proof of Germany's Out-there-ness in the mid'60s. ound. And NO-ONE ever came up with a whole album of such dementia. in the form of a 1965 album called Black Monk Time". for there were no artistic constraints in a country that liked the sound of beat music but had no idea about its lyrical content. They needed their entertainment to be Hot! The Monks as Missing Link It was the West German demand for the real thing that made the Beatles get so good performing at Hamburg's Star Club. as the Beatles and others had had to do on returning home. confident agreeing college-boy backing vocals scold the singer for being too wimpy. so the Monks' sound wipes the floor with all but the most savage. The Monks' Black J10nk Time is a gem born of isolation and the horrible deepdown knowledge that no-one is really listening to what your aying. "Higgle-Dy-Piggle-Dy" and The Ventures-style "Blast Off!". finally rhyming it with "Constipation!". was playing dance music in his spare time. no attempt was casually made to reconcile the black-based voodoo-dance of rock'n'roll and the remedial candy melodies of pop with the white intellectualism of post-war West Germany. Also in 1965. So the West Germans pursued all the ex-patriot American and British rock'n'rollers in their own country and made them play right out on the edge of their capabilities. What army. and archaic song titles like "Drunken Maria". Yet at this stage.entertaining but ultimately disposable compared to real art. future Can leader. before the backing vocalists join in a furore of how: "People die. as songwriters. Who cares what army? Why do you kill all those kids in Vietnam? My brother died in Vietnam. over & over. High falsetto shrieks tell of lost love. needed. James Bond?Who's he? Stop it. then they would have been out on their collective asses. the Monks' LP is a lost classic. Only certain US garage rock B-sides of the mid-'60s perhaps equalled the Monks' sound. Stop it.
"The Witch". But the Monks were able to collect all these styles. He wanted to keep out gimmicks which would sound old-fashioned in 18 months' time. style was far more important than fashion.fj A Little History of Krautrock Rising John and Yoko & the Paris Riots By 1967.Stop it. The phasing which could be heard as a fashionable extra earlv 1967 British pop hits would still be heard on 1974 ~rman Krautrock epics. In 1964. The Monks win through. It was the same on the pop music scene. And the newly-rocking West Germans were -again for shitdamn-sure. They had taken a while to embrace the whole trip. hollered and yodelled in unison . Utter machine gun guitar freakouts with endless descending organ. And of utmost importance to the explanation of Krautrock is the Monks' odd ability to cross from one musical style to another. . This was an over-cautious approach but it worked. 9. West German were slow to pick up on a trend but even slower to put it n. When Paul Rothschild produced the first Doors' LP. and a neurotic obsession with recording everything with the VU meters on red. stop it. The Monks were born of the same insane clubs as the Beatles. only three years later. Things moved so fast in Britain and the big American cities that a look could arrive. fuzz-boxes or distortion pedals. re Detroit's Stooges. 8 Gi@A·§. and such mayhem and insanity seeps through every pore of their music. but the groups still sounded like everyone e se. no beat groups played the lame jangle of yesteryear. because they adopt every gimmick of every moment and somehow rec. Merseybeat was so old as to be extinct. the Federal Republic of Germany was rocking. whilst the German tribes ere the hardest to Christianise. be adopted and then jettisoned by everyone on the scene in a matter of months. at a time when this was a heinous crime in Britain or America. Even the Roman historians been prompted to comment that. Briefly. not in spite of it. Psychedelia came six months late but stayed forever. and folk-rock was a year old and therefore old news. during 1967. God help the tribes north of the Rhine when the newly-Christi anised Germans went on their rn-again kick. The op-art. I don't like it. drum clatters of the First Tribe. oncile the lot in a sheer joyful abandonment of brilliant songwriting and arrangements.. Yes. pop-art and psychedelic light show which had defined British and American record-covers 196718period would come to dominate the whole of the 'est German underground. The Rallies had even produced West Germany's first international it. fully assimilated into the style band. Impeccable." Any audience seeing a performance of this intensity would have changed their lifestyles immediately. In West Germany. This is very important. West Germany was a late developer. It made the Doors' music timeless. Wild call and answer arias like an acid West Side Story are yelped. but that d always been the German way. doc-wop was prehistoric. and all because the combination of rock' n' roll and the Germans created an entrancing mania akin to Wagner's operas.the whole group. he refused to let the musicians use any wah-wah pedals. Yet by the '90s The Monks' music is just as timeless precisely because it does adopt the gimmicks of the moment. assimilate them and synthesise them together because they were in West Germany. By 1965. the Germans needed their rock'n'roll. who were so provincial that they were I wearing grown-out Troggs haircuts in 1969. West Geranv seemed to become a province of British and American ture.
G e Slick of Jefferson Airplane. and Holger Czukay was astounded that rock'n'roll had come so far. known forever after as Amon Dutil I and Amon Duul II. a violinist/guitarist called Michael Karoli. West German pop festivals followed in the wake of Monterey and the first great event was the 1968 Essener Sontag Festival. trippy and deeply out there. most of all. and not least in the heads e young artists. Among those at his :ninars were the Grateful Dead's Jerry Garcia and Phil Lesh. Also in 1968. Far from snubbing the new music. they doubly loved him "hat they recognised as the beginning of a freeing of all German symbols. where had lectured on experimental music. Alex Conti. But the release of Hymnen had repercusthroughout all of W. the combined populations of Britain and America frowned in disapproval. It was a huge 113 minute piece. She was visible and she was a fine and inspiring artist. whilst the Russians sent tanks into Alexander Dubchek's Czechoslovakia. entitled Region I. was not impressed. He phoned his friend. is tal to that whole unconscious movement. ~nd .playing for hours for free. subtitled thems for Electronic and Concrete Sounds"." So 1 [ the young German artists loved Stockhausen for . really blows my mind. a very young bass-less trio led by the drummer. were vehemently opposed to all capitalism . it's easy nderstate this fact. and Region IV. Germany. and was ed as saying that the music " . ezion ill. re-enforcing the ideal of freedom in any wavering young West German hippies.. For many artists in W. Klaus Schultze. Copycat riots in Berlin took place over a musical backdrop of the new freakout music by road veteran Edgar Froese's new acid freeform group. the riots in Paris saw students hurling Molotov cocktails at the police and Situationists spraying "Save petrol. In West Germany. and Psy Free.. And it was a show that would run and run . 1966's Hymnen. He played his teacher the Beatles' "I am the Walrus". The left-wing didn't see the funny side at all and u ed him of appealing to the basest German feelings. It had much the same effect as a British man or T 11 . Stockhausen was n at a Jefferson Airplane show at the Filmore West.. Stockhausen had Just rned from six months at the University of California. racing their own rock'n'roll culture. Schultze and Psy Free guitarist. Burn Cars". that was reason enough to form a rock'n'roll group. One day.Certain events all over the world had caused this musical gearchange into overdrive.. Frank Zappa's Mothers of Invention and Ed Sanders' Fugs. screwed it down. One ofthe German groups invited to play at the. Irmin Schmidt. But why was it so important to the Ge~ans? In short. Stockhausen had ified it.zrlheinz Stockhausen is central to the entire history of • utrock. The young student. festival was a politico/musical commune called Amon Dutil. because it took "Deutschland. Hymnen was ided up into four long LP sides. Karlheinz Stockhausen. whilst right wing hated him for vilifying their pride and joy. and non-playing managers were illegal. The new scene continued to develop across wide age ranges. played it zh weird electronic gizmos. And one massive piece of work. she gave her high artistic approval to the Beatles' kids music right then and there. night after night.ine the Europeans laugh at them. this was not the case at all.ed. When Yoko Ono got together with John Lennon. Deutschland r Alles" to its minimum possible length. distorted it horribly and basi~treated it pretty badly. and suggested they form a p with Michael Karoli. By reducing "Deutschland. Groups were all co-operatives now. The hip artistic community knew all about Yoko Ono. 10 years their junior. which featured two of the groups most inspiring to the German Underground. Holger Czukay was talking to one of his students about his own former teacher. Region II. Because Stockn is also the most important living composer and has pired so many different movements and musicians. Hours before the show. S ockhausen Sees the Jefferson Airplane . The music was somersaulting. it was announced that their short' lived peace was at an end. 10 ther student of Stockhausen. And. Tangerine Dream. by picking John Lennon. Deutschland t: r Alles" and screwed it up. The German public ALL furry. This weird mbination of Stockhausen and psychedelia would soon be _ led The Can. and two different groups actually played that night. Germany. and many other psychedelic sicians.
Its overtly mysterious sleeve first conme when I was 13 and standing in Tamworth Wool•. artists. German musicians called it . and the mistreatment only appears on Side 2. Don't tell your :. Stockhausen had unconsciously diffused a symbol of oppression. I was with my Welsh grandfather. But they are dosed with a higher level of vibe than er freakout records . 12 'nderground. First Rumblings of Kosmische Music any was full of supposed 'head' groups by now. omething else again was stirring in Cologne. uplifting and full of the t gimmicks that all work perfectly. All the 'real' musicians had left Amon Dutil I to join Amon Dutil II. but kept up the illuyears with seemingly new LPs. along with the Russian anthem and a whole group of African anthems. and so enabled the people to have it back.Kosmische music. German musicians talked about Kosmische music with a great reverence. the musical half of the commune. like Orcs playing neverending versions of The Mothers' of the Son of Monster Magnet" and the Stooges Blues". which lasted so long that three of their LPs . and the communes and collectives of Beautiful & Dutiful young idealists came alive all over W. Some claim that they split from music altoto continue in a purely political way. But of them still did not sound remotely German.some kind of response is triggered whether they want ice-cream or not. a London recording almost a year old. to be more precise) one enormous session.. It was a meltdown music-form which defied all categories but that which the W.. everyday pictorial motifs of the American pop. and the producer Guy Stevens. both the chimd and dizzy two-colour sleeve like something from the r Elevators' International Artists label in Texas. their tragic hero.."identification signs for the nation .relentless. but they laid the beginnings of Krautrock with their and with one particular song on Psychedelic Under. determined to rid themselves of all memories of their parents' despicable recent history . mixed obvious Teutonics into unsuccessful with British/American rock and jazz. Beethoven.. like Embryo. whom I asked about aning of Phallus Dei.. the castle home of their patron. Collapsing and the double-album Disaster came from it. but in 1969 all the young idealistic W. Michael Kurtz. as though they knew that it was their way to the stars. the lazy British e at last had something to latch on to. whose work Stockhausen knew so well. slavishly -_ 0 be Hard Rach!! !Others. This record was very extreme. But in the meanArnon Dutil II. Germany was not rock'n'roll at all. The term has been credited to Edgar Froese. Aha. we'll call it k . Germany. Emergency and . he snorted. * Mama Dlilil & her Sauerkrautband . like the greatest Plastic Ono Band session ever. But the new rock'n'roll in W. h Liberty label. which had been led by the designers Nigel Weymouth and Michael English. The first Amon Dutil are extraordinary classics and extremely raw. a process that would continue over the years.Control.Psyche* During all thisfighting. it was casually overlooked that the German national anthem was only one of over 10 national anthems on Hymnen.. a great idealism. inspired specifically by the 1967 Hapshash & The Coloured Coat LP.. 13 . for ri . It was the time of communal Freakout albums. both branches of Amon proved their commitment to the new cosmic political e cene. But the effect was still the same. "Bloody Hell. The senlPsychedelia-inspired Can were now a five-piece ng at Schloss Norvenich. One extremely psychedelic weekend. "That means God's cock!" And with the of that 20 minute title track. The name of the song translated as "Mama Dutil and auerkraut band Start Up!" With that title. comparable to the banal. But the drain on Amon Dutil I was so great that they were soon reduced to one strumming drumming chanting male/female mass. Stockhausen had explained his use of national anthems as symbolic . had said that music was far greater than philosophy.to lose all these pent up feelings in a Great Rush To The New KosmischeMusic. Amon Dutil I recorded (or over-recorded. had d an amazing free-flowing LP called Phallus Dei. a pop-art gesture .woman hearing an ice-cream van outside . future leader of Tangerine Dream. Amon Dutil did not ng.. " wrote his biographer.
I the early Ohr records were interesting and all of them cd. German rock scene. pable Mothers of Invention. to design the first five LP sleeves with a uniformity that d make the label instantly aligned with Right Now. a black ex-teacher called Malcolm Mooney. with the accent on Germanic-sounding groups and spepackaging. and opened the way for more conservative companies to take risks. gan to take more risks. If "A Saucerful of Secrets" had been played 14 multi-dimensional space beings instead of the ingly insipid Waters. Dream line-up to create the awesome and freeform acid-blitz LP Electronic Meditation. "Der Ekectrolurch". to put together an especially different Heavy .. ca symphonies eight years ahead of time.linguistic space communicator. LPs of two or three tracks de. On the LP Fliesbandbabys Beatshow. continually pushed them further into the severest most restrictive rock'ri'roll.propulsion engineer & mystic space chart reader. the crazed young trio Psy Free split. These were exceptional people with an exceptional musical vision: "an anarchist community. Irmin Schmidt.I.. Floh de Cologne ed an impenetrable wordy structured garage music.. Jaki Leibezeit . "Der LSD-Marsch". -e Guru Guru. Wright. but their greatest songs were Glenn . the tiny 500 pressing sold out immediately and changed the whole W. German sound. But it was the release of their first album that opened up the whole scene. And Electronic Med'I was given special treatment. And their titles n ne. They ld be faster than anyone. yet it retained the brooding German Velvets-inspired sound.hot from Vietnam. there was a place for many y groups and Polydor. the MC5 were never allowed to record. "Spacep". Edgar Froese. Gerindustry equivalents of Britain 's EMI and America's CBS. The . The archexperimentalist Conrad Schnitzler completed the T. the acclaimed young industrial . were brutal and crudely finished. There was still no visionary in any big recordcompany willing to put money into the new W. frustrated with his current situation. Monster Movie is a stone classic.sonar & radared guitar pilot. This was truly the Kosmische music they had dreamed off. too. and cover of Electronic Meditation. " ." as Holger Czukay later said. nly just huge epic instrumentals.Adminaspace co-ordinator & organ laser. Much better. ked Reinhard Hippen. 1/' /1 . collapse. In a ntry as big as West Germany. repeated and not very often at all. Though most of the early efforts rippy 15 . towards the Velvet Underground. Shit! "Stone In". Meisel. though Malcolm Mooney had a tendency to freak out. "Oxymoron". a heavy rock trio with its heart in the free-rock . Deep Purple and a more Kosmische version of :1 Young's experimental feedback frenzies on Arc. Though Can's first pieces were situations more like performance art. persuaded drummer Klaus Schultze to collaborate in a new Tangerine Dream. The Ohr experiment was a tremendous success. Malcolm Mooney . German record-company Metronome had finally _ t on to the new sound. Some genius at the W.. their new singer. The Rise of Ohr Records & The Birth of Kraftwerk In Berlin. oen's recurring theme used the broken bodies of dolls. Their debut album UFO was a spaced menage a trois of : Division. BASF & Phillips. Gilmour & Mason. It was the first album of the scene that sounded as powerful and as well recorded as standard American and British records. a bierkeller Fugs. Lots of ling and urgent socialist messages breaking up the already ~ hackle sound. then it surely have sounded as real as this. Metronome. and occasionally incredible. No vocals except ted 'thing' voices: scary.. Some idea of the attitude of the Kosmische music brigade at this time can be gained by merely reading the credits on the first Can album: Irmin Schmidt . Meisel called the label Ohr (German for 'ear'). But when Monster Movie was released on Music Factory Records in August 1969. but delightfully so. or attack the audience. technical laboratory chief & red-armed bass.I I Mani Lohe. Holger Czukay . They asked the record producer. like an . Michael Karoli ." said their organist. man. a headless doll is trapped wires of an early synthesizer patch-bay. All except one was in his 30s and they were a frightening combination of exuberance and great experience. The shows were fantastic.
the group's roots began at the Renschied Kunstakadamie where the duo had studied Karlheinz Stockhausen. wa-guitar and a drummer. Tonejloat was a major-label anachronism from the moment it was released. But despite the name-change and shift to the Polygram label. Frankfurt.ree major conurbations that the rock'ri'roll live circuit upply. though of all the British bands of that time ybe only Roxy Music who could ever claim a true fluence. He blew into Ohr Records and riled everyone mediately.. And their first Ohr 17 . like the ingenuous German corporation Phillips who released the equally bizarre Cluster LP soon afterwards we can only presume that the signing of Organisation was quickly filed away in RCA's box called 'Interesting Corporate Mistakes'. Now he with Edgar Froese over the definition of Kosmische and said that it could be applied to all forms of music. Organisation became Kraftwerk and released their self-titled first LP. But 'lrich Kaiser was a progressive in everything.. /1 would be tame British/American copyists. and it soon became clear that West German _ uld sustain itself without ever looking out to the intercene again. aenhelm. an ever changing 17-minute experimental mantra with a Stockhausen-inspired beginning. Ausbnrg. And the group was to change beyond all recognition after their huge 1974 hit album Autobahn. "Ruckzack". the group was still a ramshackle flute and percussion-driven experimental unit. Mainz. that is as far as Organisation's alignment with contemporary rock went.Rolf-Ulrich's Grand Design h folk journalist is the last thing the scene expected.. Though delivered in a typically colourful 'heavy' sleeve of the period. a 10 minute freakout called "Vom Himmel Hoch". Soon after this.11mthat travels south in a great arc from the far-westf Cologne to Munich in the south. " the USA through its thousands of miles of easily raight roads. gearchanges included.. and Ralf Hutter and Florian Schneider were both insistent experimentalists with a particular Vision. On being asked by inessmen at Metronome to take over the running of Ohr -rds. And. But always Kraftwerk returned to 16 . With flute-based musical pieces such as "Milk Rock".. he proved it.. the uncertainty amongst German businessmen about what constituted the Hip New Sound ensured that certain experimentalists inevitably sneaked through.. Perhaps it is the . But the autobahn was only . Unreleased recordings from that time reveal them to have been in a constant state of flux. Rolf-Ulrich Kaiser knew the members of Arnon I and had Kosmische plans for them. Led by RalfHutter & Florian Schneider.. later leaders of the huge international group Kraftwerk. "Kraftwerk" is a strictly German word which translates as both "Men at Work" and "Powerplant". Kraftwerk sped up at will. "Rhythm Salad" and the creaky percussive grooveless bossanova title-track. On the album opener.yche of the post-war West Germans . Whilst including.nroughout the W.. Kraftwerk 2 would open with "Klingklang". -rving mentality in West German music was forged on . German Underground for being a man " mission. Kraftwerk was a bizarre though mainly successful attempt to make an entirely German record. the grey metronomic driving -gness of the Velvet Underground manifested in most ian bands. " even more outrageously. And one of the most bizarre releases of earl) 1970 was RCA Records' Tonejloat LP by the quintet Organisation.. and had no groove at all.. The thirst for music on this circuit alone was ize to the entire British scene. Stuttgart. Kaiser had already written about Tangerine "1 in his book Das Buch Der Neuen Pop-musik. Asorganiser of the now legendary Essener Son_ Festival. West Germany was by :ggest market in Europe. slowed down at will.unconscious... and noto. On the last track of the album. Mannheim. But it was just then that one of the most _ .. the wondrously named Julius. taking in the cities Coblenz.g fixations. synthesizers emulated dive-bombing raids and actual recordings of explosions punctuated the music in a shattering way. R-U Kaiser immediately signed Amon DUtil I and them a 'head' producer. ular contributors of all appeared on the Krautrock aiser on the Warpath . Certainly.
Dream's Kosmische classic e-album Zeit. that "Vuh" actually can -nuch to listen to in the wrong frame of mind. He into their offices and balled them out whilst they were _ 10 their bands.h Floor . and started a record company of their as to be known as Brain. Po?ol Yuh were Rolf-Ulrich's next obsession. they would certainly have recorded for ESP-Disk! Impressed ?y Kaiser's success at Ohr. Prior to that. Now 19 .with its use of Moog synthesizer in a (gasp!) nonclassical setting. Affenstunde's peculiarly environmental form18 s was huge news in 1971.. the industry giant BASF asked him to take over the Pilz label.album Pa:adieswarts Duid was an amazingly beautiful freefolk epic. and immedi:: ed the extremely experimental Cluster. then proceeded to sign and influence his next big thing.c-scene. their third member being Conrad Schnit-o-in-exile of T.ynthesizer as a guest on T.~~~vators. but you needed him on your side. Pilz is German for 'mushroom'. the real vision was in the he. was on the way to a inspiring career . they had been the even trio Kluster.. It maintains an incredible hold on the listenuch is the intensity of the piece. Wendel & rought Guru Guru with them from Ohr. His .powerful. and Florian was a master composer and quite capable of taking the into dimensions unheard of by the other Kosmische ans. He took the far-out buskers Witthuser and :"estrupp and turned them into an absolutely inspiring Gothic cham?er space-folk thing like mixing Neil Young's On the Beach WIth Frank Zappa's Straight records releases Tim Buckley's free-form album Starsailor. In America. freaking out everyone concerned. Snow Your Thirst. the meeting of Florian Fricke with RolfKaiser in late summer of 1971 reverberated all across . and that album Affenstunde ("Monkey Hour") was already sending shockwaves throughout the German Musi. he kept control of Ohr and annexed Pilz as a cosmic folk label. Love ISPeace.. The first album had already been released by LIberty Records by the time Kaiser became involved. were Amon Duul I's glorious swansongs before they rode off heroically into the sunset. The whole of Side 2 of In Den Garten Pharoas was =h magic of "Vuh". And R-U new wonder boy.. of the Brain label . Everything about In rten Pharoas feels right. Two A&R led Bruno Wendel and Gunter Korber decided they take any more. somewhere midway between an acoustic "White LightlWhite Heat" and a Teutonic 1968 Red Crayola playing ~~e l3t.ad and hands of its leader. But whilst R-U Kaiser could perhaps influence this group. For Affenstunde's follow-up its predecessor's dick into the dirt. and Fricke played his e. This duo was zophrenic mixture that had recorded one bizarre LP for llips Records.Enter Cluster and Neu! e middle of 1971. In true Rolf-Ulrich Kaiser style. Florian Fricke. Just about as Kosmische as they came. He stood over them whilst they worked. It is trance music. The Popol Yuh is the Mayan Book of the Dead a terrifying mythology of a prehistoric Meso-American people who survived until the 9th Century AD. and the German Sounds magReaders' Poll nominated them "Best Newcomer of the Popol Yuh were on Beat Club. he dropped the entire roster overnight in the great road to the ultimate Kosmische folk label. h" tunes the listener into the heavens like no other piece ever heard. ~nd t?at record-company's logo was a fabulous pop art Flyaganc . and dizzyhe freedom of feeling the music engages. the wonderful Florian Fricke. He was here to do magic an~ that's a fact. their hip subsidiary. Fncke had not chosen the name Popol Yuh lightly. Dream's Electronic Meditation. Rolf-Ulrich transferred Witthuser and Westrupp to Pilz as a symbolic gesture. and also his earlier Happy Sad and Goodbye and Hello LPs. and was to become synonyth some of the greatest Krautrock of all. And the artistic success of Paradieswarts Duul confirmed Kaiser's suspicion that many forms of the Kosmische music were out there waiting to be found. Its three long fuzz-acoustic songs. Sun Your Open Mouth" and "Paramechanische Welt". Of course. And I do not say high magic lightly. Rolf Ulrich Kaiser was driving his ees mad. for all this. a group as big as their name. osmische music scene.
the soon-to-be-legendary Neu! But that's a whole other can.) Rolf-Ulrich Kaiser will appear again many times throughout this book. And again he was from the world of the media. that there was a place for the extreme new German rock music in the international rock'n'roll !'e. a formidable weight to carry around. -. They were a conband." Uwe Nettlebeck.hern live on their legendary 1973 tour. but the lights of the city ever present. but you could me 10 photos of Krautrock musicians. like The Scorpions and Jane. By d of 1970. And I t tell you the names of all their songs. Like some bizarre husband and wife team. an A&R man • rman Polydor. Plank was the mainstay of all the greatest Krautrock on record. 1973 Sound of Yourself Listening no group more mythical than Faust.and it worked. and ng to. and in isolation is how they were conceived. But clothed in a skinny body which contrives to keep you from hearing all of the unearthly power. San Francisco's The Residents. and Ash Ra Tempel. those two engineers alone would be responsible for the combined sound of Tangerine Dream. Early Cluster has a raging peace in it. it became clear to Kurt Enders.. st worked under a conscious veil of secrecy akin to. there came another Second Great Conceptualist. But after Kaiser. Uwe Nettlebeck. Though involved on the earlier Phillips LP as engineer. aust eatest Gimmick of All ves not to copy anything going on in the Anglo-Saxon e . I bought my first ord over 22 years ago. They also saw the demise of Guru Guru. Neu l.. but I could not tell you the f the group members off the top of my head. From free-rock to free jazz to free gift that you can't give away. Brain had a fair share of dreadful and contrived American/British copycat rubbish. and his name was Uwe Nettlebeck . One of Brain's greatest releases was undoubtedly number 1004. of worms. Krautrock's First Great Conceptualist. planet-sized and awesome. and play until it didn't feel good anymore. Along with Dieter Dierks. Guru Guru. . was extremely impressed and wanted to lead just such a 21 20 . they let their machinegenerated muse fire up. and they would sit there in front of it.Schnitzler had left the group to pursue what would become a career of hilarious over-achievement leaving Cluster as a duojust the poetically named Dieter Moebius & Hans-Joachim Roedelius.heart. in fact a whole other chapter (See Neu! history. though I know better than almost everything else in my record library. like a hot stove. Like all other heavy labels of the early '70s. Moebius & Roedelius were joined by the producer/engineer Conrad Plank. creating an incessant nightscape: a helicopter ride over miles of countryside. here Plank cowrote the music and produced the whole thing. Cluster were (and still are) a rare collaboration. and even occasionally flying right into the city itself and almost burning up in the glare. But this man was to make Krautrock international. a huge beating. Kraftwerk. For their first Brain album. Cluster 1/. Over the years. But no-one had yet attempted an entirely new sound roke all of the imported rules of the British and American e _He told this to the music journalist. and I could not t the five members of Faust.
that is. re-enacting the beginning of it. and a fist they were. It was a fabulous challenge and showed how.all black this time. not really. emblazoned with a fist in X-ray.abulous sound. funny and extremely uncommercial. followed by a vocal calling from another room.nd proved that Faust cut it as an un-straight pop band. y were human after all." Peel played the album all the time. And so to catch certain glimpses of other ' . Far..ptations call and answer chorus over a boom-boomm Mo Tucker one-chord trance-out. ide The Dream SyndicateThe Roots of Faust Faust ever ripped-off something. a bit Lumpy Gravy-ish. In fact. they loved it.'I And so Faust was born . The effect was dramatic. When they heard 23 . illustrated each song. -ax solo is my favourite on record. Faust has taken you into the most inventive editing territory 22 II has seen. whenever we hung out together or took the train into Birmingham. the press hated it. they were laughing at the sheer boring ridiculousness a_ha_ha_I_can_play_this_with_no_hands_I'm_so_fucking_ But when Faust played it. k lettering on the record-label. Some sources quote under one thousand records sold in the first months of Faust being released.. the strongest appeal of their LP was that it was produced in clear vinyl. Faust's unexpected success in Britain them to focus themselves here. ed "So Far" as a single. then a pretty schoolhouse piano (of course l). They took the lachine's "We did it Again" (which is just The Kinks' Really Got Me" in any case) and called it "Baby". It's the same throughout the . And when the LP was released in late 1971. By 1966. When the Mothers played "Louie e". I had to acquire one. even John Peel wrote that when he first saw the album" .. the sales were so poor as to be as legendary as the group would some day become. sible not to be overtly inquisitive as to how they came . The audience didn't know what to make of it. "It's a bit of a minds me of something from the third Velvet's album. It sounded like music from some parallel universe suspended in time and played through the oldest radio . between Hamburg and Bremen. But Faust were good. So Far opens with my ever Faust song. they were already old gits d come through endless bar bands playing "Louie Louie" • night for 25 years. visionaries in record companies have been seen to get it absolutely right. of copying Zappa's most annoying habit of playing ie Louis" on distorted organ a la Uncle Meat. and my Krautrock mates and I would all bore ourselves stupid. ppa & the Mothers. It was such a catchy bizarre sound. It just took time to get it And when Polydor released Faust in Britain. And at a time when a hype could kill a new band stone-dead. way early Roxy Music did. with a clear lyric sheet and a clear jacket. Polydor also thought so. Faust means 'fist'. it was a record . "It's A Rainy Day (Sunshine Girl)" . It made sense . into a very arranged Zappa-esque horn piece which comes over a bit Teutonic. This old converted schoolhouse. The production is d wants to be heard. Again.he same level as the Velvet Underground's Live J 969. very occasionally. Who the hell knows what their rehearsals were like in the Spring/Summer of 1971. Faust used the Mothers of Invention's own archetypes. became their place of learning (and de-learning) a style which was fuzzy. re were Faust coming from? Though their influences are ly unimportant. and a set of 12"x 12" . when a group is as original as Faust. and so the whole public thing started very badly for them in their home country. and the second LP. with a black inner sleeve. And in two minutes of music. The rhythm gui. to the . they had made a very special first album. But this album was somehow confident that the first one. Extremely overloaded over-recorded synthesizers and radio static begin the album as fractions of "All you Need is Love" and "Satisfaction" burst in. But when they made their debut at the Musikhalle in Hamburg. Uwe Nettlebeck had spent Faust's large advance on building a studio at Wumme. yet busted out with weird hooklines and extraordinary sounds. regardless of the music within. was actually released here first. then they did it the way greatest artists rip-off .as cold and antiseptically as that..attitude in their music is to heave a sigh of relief that. No. The B-side... Directly.
Much mor minimal even than John Cale. in March 1973. but perfect really.49 in early '73. Everybody bought i the band in ajolly way. The name Uwe Nettlebeck was constantly heard.the Mothers' crap slack double-album Uncle Meat. all... ettlebeck is clearly over-stating his case here. but was a mythical and ancient currency to be plundered. but never did it even dip or sway. It was ironic. The Fau -se of the stage and put headphones on. but streets to death.ettlebeck explained the basic Faust intentions to the song is achieved. and they decided at last to tour Britain . now a successful recording studio' ... whilst simultaneous] . mg or jamming and then cut the recorded material wildOutside the Dream Syndicate was a heavenly marriage. The Faust Tapes for 49p. then. ad chosen such a lame bunch as Henry Cow to supboosting the credentials of the very young record compare olayed their wacky Cambridge University Degree With a Bridgit Riley op-art painting on one side. and released on Virgin's budg an never have foreseen explaining the workings of price Caroline label for £ 1. the music should sound like cate. out. Like the huge grej for Faust. 24 25 . Steve Lewis at Virgin had worked out that they could se . and pretendTapes was an overnight phenomenon. sonically and also in the way that th .. Faust were really out and about "Miss Fortune" is very similar to the Velvet Underground' " The music press was full of them and.. There was no irony at all. ue the heavy Faust trip in. dignified and strung out. This long unchangin izarre Musical-unit to the popular press.. And the two pinball-machines. sold 10 times more than all their other records. their best album . 410 came on stage. They loved rock'n'rol 'inest in rock'n'roll . and not lose money. Zappa's hung-up eavesdropping little muse).. Tony Conrad was ghost upon his own record. here was a musician with a que dst of Faust-mouzik time ticks like a bomb. in terms of production . The Faust Tape '0 explain the excitement that the Faust tour brought. From Faust's free 1973 Tour-handout. of. And the) e a true rock'n'roll Moment was Created. His violin hung like a spectre ov the whole album. Now was the mantra was epic. They played epic unchanging chamber dirges with intel _ . in October 1972. and a bunch oons and time-changes galore.an unconditional stone-classic! But VirgiIF.. " from the beyond. Not everybody loved it.: -nates came to Birmingham Town Hall to see them.. and the music were certainly music fans of a very high order.heavily influenced by. it's som times hard to see the real value.ey're not professional in that sense . and white photo of him on the LP jacket. fine style. . or even if they rad. The tour took on a sort of Records had licensed the LP from Uwe Nettlebeck. The L was recorded at Wumme.-~-urs in the press abounded. was one whole pound cheaper than the collaboration with Con"73. that the next Faust LP. It was ironic.nobody had a clue who they were. It would con tin reory Cow posters. "The Murder Mystery". and the guitarist reviews picked by Uwe Nettlebeck on the other. But then they were clearly so in love with a~ E. as if recorded by someone who passed a group lectual perfection combined with lots of pre-Hippy Fuckoff . and wa. We've always rad. but its own right. Conrad had been John Cale's cohort ne idea of releasing records which lacked conventional in the Lamonte Young New York ensemble. The last part a uerly cuts it 22 years later.r were free Faust manifestos handed to everyone. or even the editing (which is "Louis Louis" and vibed onit forreal. they hear ot only because of the songs. thns: things Warhol that their 1972 collaboration was with Tony Con. In the very early '60s. It was the 1 was all change as the road drills and hand-paintbest by far. The Dream Syndi . as part nd event of the year' vibe and even some of my the new recording deal now that the Polydor contract had run•• i:£:-:. The Western Music scen . When a record is so cheap. But I dug it to death. Ho-hum .
. Faust tell of roic time when reaching for the stars did not have to de getting the stars in order to be successful. But hindsight does any good. They followed it with amazing songs. Faust were inevitably in a comer. "Jennifer" and "Giggy Smile" are Krautrock classics. In truth. were highly inspirational to the soon-coming h punk-scene. Faust IV came out it was an enormous letdown. One played the drums. At times they caught snatches of thei songs and flung them about a bit. The packaging was weak. certainly as great as all but The Faust Tapes. But. I can't think a anyone who bought it. but they had concrete on stage and big road drills and their very Stooges' Ur-punk presenc awed me and shocked me. the sleeve was vastly inferior to all the oth26 27 . And then Faust walked on . with extremely directional strobes that lit up the high high ceiling of the Town Hall. is really just a continuation of their whole trip. and there was a reggae song on it! That song. the classic 12-minute epic that opened the album. was given the thumbs down. Faust IV and the End of the Line d maybe they should have stayed in Wumme instead of -. It was epic. After that. and the two others played pinball machines that triggered synthesizers . like and Can. facing outwards and connected to synthesizers. to se how much of it we knew and sort out the real Heads. "Krautrock". one played acoustic guitar and sung. And the lights were all intense white. And neither could anyone else. as strobes caught the strings of the finest rhythm guitarist since Lou Reed. and great ugly guys nanced around in cheese-cloth singing about fucking nothing at all. it was brilliant. With hindsight. in Oxfordshire. They had becom a part of mid-teenage British culture and The Faust Tapes wa subjected to Monty Python-like rituals in the schoolyard. greater than all their records. It was 1973. one played the piano and sung. I couldn't believe it .one on each side of the stage. Munic & Elsewhere.the opened with "It's a Rainy Day (Sunshine Girl)". The Last LP. wearing those pale European straight-legs you'd see on hip German students over here in the early '70s. Faust were guaranteed ediate legend status for what they had achieved and. the story did not end there. Faust IV.:'mgit in the Manor. and 71 'e of Faust all contain unreleased songs in various gurations. and when Faust 5 was rejected by Virgin. .backs to each other on either side of the stage. it had attitude enough to raze cities and it ruined every show I went to for at least two years after. and musicians usually soloed and looked to the audience for applause. When.longhairs without flares. The songs ha real riffs. But I suppose Faust IV didn't have the innate sense of Moment that all their previous events/releases had. "The Sad Skinhead" is now one of their best.ettlebeck lost interest and Faust disappeared just as mysJy as they had first arrived. but I couldn't see it at the time. New albums of old songs have surfaced time to time.
ncoction of magic and ritual was quickly built. But more than all this. grubbing In October 1969." r long educations in Experimental Music. It was a musical form * I do not use the term Visionary lightly. 28 29 . a free-rock was created with its feet in "1lusicalcamps at the same time. the Tangerine Dream line-up fa ELECTRONIC MEDITATION is..C.. Like them all or not.U'.. three intensely powerful and Visionary eXIJer-. by now.. smashed glasses. e marshlands floated the low-church ugly-duckling Edgar Froese's Swan Rising..:t!iQ'§. des-nake a brand new musical statement...m'.<1'. Dream took off into outerpean nothingness and only connected to the outside Western world by a 96 mile 'corridor'. whilst Klaus Schultze hat Tangerine Dream release way over 50 LPs since this first LP Unbelievably. Indeed. in u. "To The frustrations of one who has had visions of truth.nd. born of _ up on its hindlegs and screaming. this compulsion to produce & produce is quite awe-. Schultze &: as as timeless as is nearly all the very greatest art..t. a little like having Syd Barrett led youth's Rock'n'roll sounds with the Classical. zzled with a ferocity of True Renaissance Man. And never have the musiciarul tiona! with the most extreme forms of novelty. the musical truth of these The Making of Electronic Meditation s dwelt in a low low Earthbound Realm. . inspiring. dedicated to all people who feel obliged to space. Dream catalogue is enormous. Using an un-standard musical'__ ~_. Edgar Froese's T.~with a quest. in Krautrock terms.1 Itze. Arid the ALL continued in music at a pace as crazily achieving as Froese.Lt. plus the fittest drummer in music..tt least three other line-ups and he was. at Berlin. and used ellish edits as Luddite as the early Amon Dutil recordmes during the recording. Froese had led T. but brought here : by Edgar Froese's desperate need to capture at emblance of the Tangerine Dream live musical Once a player of Top 40 music but now a re-formed . Dream since the end .L on violin and 2nd guitar. Schnitzler. Klaus gerine Dream there recorded an album of such intense trpprl.a"'-. they put together an raj tape that transcended all those of their contempodifferent musical configurations. Schultze & Schnitzler had learned . and Robert Wyatt & Eddie Phillips all in the same group. drumming was like a religion-fuelled feedback. and needs t n!!!" With Klaus Schultze's drums liberated from the project them to others Right Now! The three Visionaries * stent bass guitar. It was the sound of Germany's entire collective psyche tronic Meditation is an album of undeniable genius. Tangerine configuration of lead guitarist/organist.".'::: their primeval cello and percussion swamps. a walled city surrounded by miles of grey Eastern EuroELectronic Meditation. using ques that Froese. Edgar Froese & Conrad Schnitzler. whilst imental musicians entered the Mixed Media Studio. T.. And on the guitar/drums Burn-outs of both "Cold and "Journey Through A Burning Brain". . Schnitzler surpasses evelf this incredible output .mny of Ottoman Mo Tuckers beating at the Gates of and Vision as was seldom recorded in the Western world. a cellist who UUUU.IIII. They put a T Dream note from Alpha Centaur! 197 ike on to a cash register.._ . all formiif own unorthodox musical fields. a bizarre netherFrom Electronic Meditation to Atem . And when the cians entered Mixed Media Studio (actually just a r space owned by local Heads).one year in the late' 80s he produced 14 solo LPs and two col laborations.
With his psychi ed to Berlin. but was con"The first time I heard the Rolling Stones was in the middl set of push pads which created a chain of different of a rehearsal with a rock'n'roll group (The Ones... Here Edgar Froese's life and its meaning to change things too much. Thomas Kessler sullen-looking and unglamorous Froese. which they cooked on an open fire along been in sculpture and painting. whe he submerged himself and his group in the work of the ne Experimental Composers. Froese was euphoric an is de Boulogne. The Ones struggled into the early months of was possible. his schooling had t horsemeat.hausen himself.not to mention the many new and Eastern Spain to playa summer season in the Catalonian tow ~-. all five of them slept in one room and ate the dard Art School route. ras music backwards. He had turned to . Morton Subotnick. As they became poorEdgar Froese had come to rock'n'roll through the now stan poorer.. Seminars by Karlheinz Stockhausen and Italy's Lucian' Berio even questioned what music was. been the home of people who cut up tapes. record. he was still new Pop Culture embracing all kinds of very different types eteran not completely in synch with the revolutionary Beauty in art. who were of Cadaques. advocated But how had Tangerine Dream come to this musical place? possibilities of the brand new Bucla synthesizer. all these thing He finally split The Ones. in music. John Cage arrive Edgar Froese Meets Salvador Dali . ng to Paris only reminded the depressed Froese of his lost which he could paint. Other foreign composers like all attracted by their looks. .Northern Spain 1965 30 31 . f many years..e. tour. The French film producer J. Later the same year. And all the beautiful young people saw countless strands reaching out into the future _ ways . from Barcelona. Edgar Froese dragged entirely changed by a chance meeting of some clarity with back to Cadaques for one final show at Salvador vador Dali. packed up his things and inside a fabulous new kind of art package. They were the absolute opposite of The Beatles. Avery was at the for Froese was ever the same again: aking a film about Dali's famous Christ Statue and he "This was the biggest change I ever had in music. The Ones travelled to N I of young Berlin .II1I York.) I was first -usical 'happenings'. where he had been creating 24-hour piano Another American. Now. Like Salvador Dali.. But it was a the way he was talking and thinking. write. placed speaker systems in strange configura tions. By "be Ones to record the film's soundtrack. we must first return to 1965 when Edgar y the lateral-thinking technical Visionary Don was lead guitarist in a quite standard beat group called The On new instrument had no keyboard at all. and tried to weird their audiences out in each and ever> way." hub of the West German Experimental scene orbited The success of The Stones was most inspiring of all to audio-workshops of Roland Kayn. hackles up. I thought that I would do the same thing as he reduced to playing "In the Midnight Hour" three times a in painting." Johnny Halliday's club in Paris._. Berlin was at the centre of this radical discovery and had. aged. Froese took The Ones back to West Berlin. bbit. an artistic and exclusive seaside resort 30 ed by the beat music of the early and mid-'60s. I found that every thin ary elation. much younger than Froese. Their faces were absolutely dan. guitar only after discovering that he could not sing as he saw ugh Froese immersed himself in the new. The Ones played a show at Dali's villa and ilia.' idealists. Xenakis and Toshi Ichyanagi gave seminars. understand this.
Dream played their first show at.S. He asked Conrad Schnitzler. Featuring side-long one-chord psychedelic grooves and chants. U. Freeman. Lanse Hapshash replaced by a Swedish jazz drummer called Sven Johannvhilst Volker Hombach left to become a cameraman for erman film director Jurgen Fassbinder. HAPSHASH & THE COLOURED COAT as a statement is not one which sustains its muse into the '90s.. Froese and Hapshash rehearsed with Kurt Kerkenberg on bass and Volker Hombach on flute and violin. to complete t line-up. For comparisons with all Amon Duul l recordings. Edgar Froese had also attended many of essler's lectures and felt compelled to continue with an rthodox instrumentation." Edgar Froese attempted to re-arrange instrumental versions of Doors' songs(!) for his new free-rock quartet Tangerine Dream. Still bemoaning his lack of a singing voice and in love with "the special modulation in Morrison's voice. They were about three to four years ger than Edgar Froese. This new Berlin idealism totally rejected * Though central to the formative moments of recorded Freejorm psychedelic rock. An undergraduate at the Technical University of . Like Klaus Schultze's CYBORG. -us Schultze. search out "A Mind Blown Is A Mind Shown" and "The New Messiah Coming ]985". majoring in psychology and experimental composition. Gradually. Edgar se asked Klaus Schultze to play drums in a new Tangerine am. 32 eap Carnaby St.ure student several years older than himself.in West Berlin lived the ultra-left wing psychedelic freakno called Psy-Free. it was far more extreme than any of the American music thus far released . A new Dutch bass ~r.n the schedule and policing of such events was punishing "'lusicians left constantly. The Velvet Underground and The Doors. Throughout the autumn of 1967. " Edgar Froese.Tangerine Dream & Psy-Free at the Zodiac Club "The biggest shock I ever got as a guitarist was to listen to Jimi Hendrix. was a student of Thomas Kessler. and Edgar Froese's new vision ground to His head was caned. Once called the "untameable experimentalist" by sicologist A. soon after the break-up of the second version of gerine Dream. a . a small commission TV soundtrack.mer called Klaus Schultze in their organ/guitar/drums p. . playing free-form freakout music to Berliners for 5 or 6 hours per night.din. The source of that name was a British free-rock freakout LP Hapshash & the Coloured Coat *.American record companies so far keeping such a tight rein of discipline over their supposed psychedelic groups that the first Grateful Dead LP made them sound like a frisky country band. Where were ndividuals that could sustain the intensity of the Trip he n his Burning and Dali-rnagnified Brain? ay. The Mothers. brutalised and battered. Schnitzler proved to be the bizarre d atonal Sonic-anchor on which Edgar Froese & Klaus ltze would be able to hang their unearthly Pre-verbal 33 .. This led to a huge Berlin cult following. Since 1968. as T. A Berlin drummer called Lanse Hapshash contacted Froese who invited Hapsash to join Tangerine Dream on the hipness of his name alone. it created a genre which quickly turned around and kicked its creator's dick into the dirt. It's Got No Commercial Chance But We'll Take . ad been making experimental tapes and had insight into the mingly impenetrable electronic music from his work at ssler's studio. Psy-Free split right out of the blue. HAPSHASH & THE COLOURED COAT is now available on CD. 1976 The Berlin Underground had by now sucked up and assimilated the music of The Grateful Dead.lill Live '68 . T. Berlin Technical University amidst an orgy of riots. and had that amazing free-form . and German underground. Dream took on an enormous residency at the Zodiac Club. and musicians were happy to n a pittance so long as they could play without the police irbacks. which had been released just that summer to enormous acclaim from the British. The Fugs. through lack of recording deals ney. And by January 1968. capitalism on which much of the Amerind British scenes thrived. free-thought and anarchy. a Liverpool drummer called Paul. Then. people began to leave.
Froese had freaked out at the Essen Pop & Blues Festival.Ash Ra Tempel. duo first & massive CLUSTER LP on the Phillips label lacks that spineella that coursed through the Kluster recordings and irrigated the very soul "7(ONIC MEDITATION. then freaking out when they acted like themselves. He was a huge fan of the group and was determined to have as much input as possible. The results were wild to say the very least. yet nnily like the inspirational freakbeats of Klaus Schultze on ronic Meditation. Schultze left soon after Electronic Mediation's release.II11 muse.anything heard before.uned shaking synthesizers threaten to obliterate the whole until. Whatever. with Schultze and Schnitzler he had transcended it.000 copies. As early as October '69. He quickly integrated into the group and. modern and futuristic all at once. Though played by electric and acoustic instruments. Dream's performances. for a while.P. because Klaus Schultze was using "strange organ tapes" on stage! Maybe it was just a control trip he was on. the musical scales had tipped too far away for Schnitzler. orthodox instrumentation had conjured a magic totally .ening psychic storm that Klaus Schultze had left on the :. Electronic Meditation's unorthodoxy makes it no more technologically equipped than a man in a dungeon playing music with his bare hands and feet. Dream and Rolf-Ulrich -er booked the group into Dieter Dierks' studio at Stom"Tl. Franke had been intrigued by the visual experiments that accompanied T. he said: "Okay. He was constantly asking extreme individuals into T. joining another raw and shatteringly cosmic group . When the head of Ohr Records Rolf-Ulrich Kaiser heard Electronic Meditation. As the flute on a more and more atmospheric vitality. part of Tangerine Dream's collective attitude towards experimental music. And more than embrace it. and Edgar Froese's desire to be Seen to have Embraced this culture. near Cologne. they recorded the album ZWEI OSTEREI. Agitation Free. Phoenix-like and utterly at odds with everything great de-tuned kettledrums rise out of the mix to jam with -razybeautiful flute. In early 1971. Dream had found a fan in the young jazz drummer. With the arrival of Chris Franke. It's highly likely that the use of the word 'Electronic' in the LP title was more for symbolic reasons.. so the organ rnes intrusive and stubborn. Dieter Moebius & Hans-Joachim Roedelius to create vast weather-like ic. The flute picks up. a vast thing g of two ZO-minute pieces. Dream. pushing the TANT CONRAD SCHNITZLER NOTE: Kluster was formed by Conrad r.that is unashamedly shackled to the earth. Dream in his 1969 rock'n'roll book Das Buch Der Neuen Pop Music. dances even crazier ~fore and lifts the drums to a new plateau until the drumuddenly blasts into a brand new space and . Electronic Meditation is ancient. against a grey low-church chord . Tangerine Dream :ruck a deep chord in its German audience. explodes his drumkit in a way unlike all other rock'n'roll. pha Centauri was the name of the second LP and it was cosmically garage and pagan as Electronic Meditation... Christophe Franke. From one of the earliest and most inspiring of all the early German free-rock groups. R-U Kaiser had already written about T. Again. Resurrection & Alpha Centaur. With sure from R-U Kaiser. Schnitzler & Franke recorded music for TV and played at the Vienna Arts Lab. It's difficult to truly understand Edgar Froese's headspace at this time. "Fly & Collision of Comas Sola". it's got no commercial chance but we'll take you. the _ begins with a screeching stellar synthesizer that wheels the sky before slipping into an unholy union of beautiful flute. But this time. Chris Franke had obviously felt the . who left to form a 34 hmless ultra-experimental group called Kluster*. Froese. he 13-minute epic. and Alpha uri sold an unprecedented 20. Edgar Froese asked the young nist Steve Schroyder to join T. light and elfin. though it is really neither electronic nor meditative. Both tracks "Electronic Music Und Text" and nic Music (Kluster A)" bear far more resemblance to ELECTRONIC MEDIthan to the later Schnitzler-less group who changed their name to Cluster. And it was with awe-inspiring thoroughness that he ed Schultze's performance on Alpha Centauri. s 35 . Then Conrad Schnitzler left. cantankerously shifting from r to major chords at will. But T. And then it all takes off." Destruction. Huge .
The r 37 . 1972 follow-up was Zeit. the band contributing a track called "Oscillator Planet ert"." Again. Four deep sonorous and fractious cellos led by Jochen Von Grumbcow. take were caused by Ohr boss R-U Kaiser. fused together to create a Krautrock equivalent of the films 2001 or Dark Star. less punky. It must.group and Kosmische music into a far greater sphere of . then. all around 20 minutes long. Affenstunde. With great expectations from the German underground. and the space it occu. had.. Zeit was only the second electronic example to 36 d. held sway as Fricke's unutterably beautiful phased woman-tone cuts through the melancholy. he was not fully integrated into the group. replaced b) epic rhythmless motionless ambient tracts of deep space. Four pieces. one full month before Zeit. Arguments about the next direction the group . over 20 minutes long. I have listened to Zeit well over a thousand times.re extremely different . With hindsight. Dream pieces were performed on some unearthly Pacific atoll. Pete Baumann. and still it hangs outside any formal time-zone. For when the amazing and free-form Ash Ra Tempel. ence than had before been considered possible. a great-looking rock organist from a group called The Ants. the modern epic 1rrlicht.Irrlicht is far more cacophotring arrangements far headier. a huge sprawling double-album. Here. Dream. accusing Schroyder of "freaking totally out. . Kaiser's new Cosmic riers/Kosmische Musik label was doing extremely well . The show was recorded for a BASF live . the two . But in the cold moment -ement. By the recording of Zeit. ne desperately wanted Tangerine Dream to jump ship from to the hip new label. have infuriated Edgar Froese that his artner. I shit you not. single called "Ultima Thule (Teils 1 & 2)". opaque titles served only to enforce the idea that all T. Edgar Froese had replaced Steve Schroyder with Hanspeter Baumann. Tangerine Dream played at the h Festival. "Teil 2" was an entirely different piece. the . Klaus Schultze. k kicks off with a hilarious madly strummed bar-chord rom Froese. more action-packed than Zeit. Dream were pired to new heights by the recording of their one 45. This and the recording of "Ultima Thule" had quicktegrated Pete Baumann into T. and a hole appeared in the music which proved to be very positive. also an Ohr Records band. Florian Fricke. surrounded not by the ocean. Again. and the magnificent drumming of older times was dismissed to some distant horizon. of the German Medieval folk-group Holderlin. means 'time' and that is precisely what this unexpected so' minute monster was missing. Gone was the confrontation of the previous LPs. With Kosmische music a widely discussed phenomenon throughout the West German scene. which loses its way a little before picking up e RSJ Slab-funk riff which Pete Baumann's keyboards ate.ike the soundtrack to some famous Ancient Egyptian the summer of 1972. but by the stars. The spaces stretched out into huge silencescapes. is big like lima Thule (Teil 2)" and it is quite clear that T. had enchanted Edgar Froese who invited Popol Vuh's leader. welcomed Steve Schroyder with open arms. the Orb is the fastest of speed metal. Froese may have been merely powertripping. was an altogether more Traditionally capable musician than had previously inhabited T. Tangerine Dream recorded an outraGarage-Prog. Froese was moved to invite the young organist back to playas a guest on [heZeit sessions. their last show with a conventional organ! guitar line-up. Dream. the two records were constantly compared h other. aumann's rock attitude reared up on Side 1. But Froese would not be swayed and his Vision remained t. . to play his outrageously fabulous and expensive big Moog on Zeit's daunting opening track. "The Birth of Liquid Plejades". Before the Zeit recording sessions. The title track of Atem. Popol Vuh's Moog mantra. Ultima Thule" 45 & Atem me time as Zeit. Rolf-Ulrich on a Vision-trip similar in power to Edgar Froese and the men did not see eye-to-eye.d. which is a onolithic slab of Barrett Floydian instrumental mania. who suddenly themselves in their stride and produced the mighty epic I Atem.
almost overnight. the group was suddenly recording in Virgin's Manor in Oxfordshire. There was certainly no sell-out but. then back to those beautiful drums so absent from Zeit. instead. But the essential moment of their early Muse was clearly gone. But Edgar Froese was furious to discover a Kosmische Musik logo on all the Polydor copies of At em. Perhaps it was time to move on. Froese. even occasionally exhilarating piece of sequenced pulsing easy-listening trip-out music. Dream quickly sussed that this was their way to cosmic m. With such enormous interest in Britain. T. replaced. -n's later 1970s albums Phaedra. But at me. and would soon become a staple diet of the early '70s British student. Dream's first simultaneous GermaniBritish release and Phaedra was a Top 10 album in Britain. And gone forever was the snarling-in-the-dust intensi. a large Virgin advance enabled Froese. The John Peel Show and the constant British press had prepared the way for T. The last track on the LP. went the True experiment. It opens like Side 2 of Joy Division's Closer. John Peel made Atem his Import LP of the Year and Rolf-Ulrich Kaiser secured the album's release on Polydor. Franke & Baumann to buy banks & banks of sequential whatsoevers whenever they 38 39 . is the furthest out there. funny and moving sound. Tangerine Dream were so big now that most Germans thought they must be British. Yes. Perhaps it was the combination of changes which precipitated Tangerine Dream's sudden shift of direction. for it shows masters of Experimental Music reaching their Muse in any way that they can. as if evaporated in an instant. they seemed an unforgivable tragedy after that blazing L. without knowing their older siblings. T. a short piece called "Wahn".New age sequenced automaton izer music. by short 33 . The days of conikes on cash registers were obviously over. Away went the broken busted . mellotron fanfares salute Atlantis as it slips into the ocean.three shaman synthesists that have finally betrayed their instruments to dance together in a circle and harmonise only through each others' breathing. It is a beautiful. From their constant sessions at Dieter Dierks' studio.title-track of Atem is big like the driest desert. It was a good. In Britain. The synchronicity was perfect. Phaedra Goes International eed it. He furry-freaked at R-U Kaiser for the last time and successfully got out ofthe Ohr Records contract.JTe quite a good listen in the cold light of the '90s.Pbirth and gestation. even Stratos. rhythmless but randomly pulsating. Rubicon. At the same time that the conventional and often a-rhythmically-used percussion instruments were finally ditched. Dream get all feral and start barking and chimping it up .e LPs of programmed pre.. Tangerine Dream were signed to the brand new and (then) ultra-hip Virgin Records. It was late 1973 and 1967 felt a long time ago to . This all gives way to a long long Zeit-like time-suspension section.hose first four classic LPs.
And in true keeping with their convoluted history soon to come.. Ralf Hutter and Florian Schneider were. That truly incredible Klang they calle . as we are very dependent " Klaus Dinger & Michael Rother.. Arde followers of Karlheinz Stockhausen. This curiously drawn time-piece swerved from ee-form bass-less noise-rock Neu! would become so well n for. and Expressionist & Ur-punk the next ~ the sound in a direction that neither Ralf Hutter nor Flochneider had intended.ryone. into a ng and it was taking a long while. -id that replaced the hectic stop/start of the Kraftwerk 41 . Kraftwerk re-formed as the remedial synthesizer duo Id record the cult LP Ralf & Florian. Neu! was born . Hutter & Schneider had thus far recorded two L 40 «rk: and Kraftwerk 2. Temporarily reduced . and they very quickly carved a ithin Kraftwerk that was both Impressionist & Meditane moment.10. Neu! with Florian (Kraftwerk without Ralf) Neu! was born in a royal shitstorm. Re-cast and re-named as the ultra-Germ Kraftwerk. including delicate and chillingly beautiful snatches of their forthcoming classics "Irn Gluck" an "Weissensee". which were barely less un-hinged if first record. a five piece experimental group whi had recorded the Out-there Noise-rock LP for RCA call Tonefioat.. Klaus Dinger & Rother borrowed enough money to buy them four _. 'Kraftwerk without Ralf' played Beatmidst huge orange German traffic cones. gasping. at that time. The same lopsided skanks prevailed and : was never really less than the hard ftamming Crunch of ental musicians attempting the most basic rock'n'rol!. It was a stupendous piece of music that . with the inspirational cr Conrad Plank. and a frantic RalfHutter freaked d left the group. 191' on situations and circumstances. though it would re correct to call the group 'Neu! with Florian'. "TruckGondolero" encapsulates the entire Neu! career in its 11 res length. Neu! was a mini-mas. or trying to break. "Trucks top Gondolero" was played by a Neu! phoenix risin. to the tiny eked-out wa-guitar swamp they inhabiting in the classic motorik Hallogallo-style they always o hard to avoid. An attempted Brief Un-ravelment of Neu! "We make no premature fixing of style. was not even played under the banner of Neu' but of Kraftwerk. But the live TV appearance on ub was already booked. on bizarre night in August 1971. that incredible II minute per formance on Beatclub. and quite a move on from the duo's Kraftwerk roots.. in Hamburg. The recordings created a mightily successful first utshone everything around it. pi neers of the very fiercest sounding experimental music. Ralf Hutter & Florian Schneider asked Michael . now Kraftwerk were breaking. live on German TV. N eu! (prod 'Noy') means 'new' and this group was just that. they had begun life leaders of Organisation. Windrose Studios.I pronounced 'rota') to play guitar and Klaus Dinger to or them. including the musicians.the epitome of Krautrock. out of the Kraftwerk funeral pyre. Rother & Dinger were good friends and ely confident musicians.Neu! From Kraftwerk to La Dusseldorf via Cluster & Harmonia . whom they already knew through er '.
And they clung on to that annoyetty fucking good.llOlllt. red. Four costs. ~~'ht. The recording's success was heigh tremely buzzsaw-punky bassless hoot'n'holler dance ened by Dinger & Rother's natural inclination to mt.trip was an ambient bassless White-light Pop-rock mantra th . in 1981. "Neuschnee" is a fairly standard so grabbed hold of the creative 'moment' in the studio as to -:._k ~Q. Dinger & Rother were under steadied itself directly between the two extremes of Bu ressure to get bigger after the unexpected success of the blegum music and the extreme German experimental o Neu! recorded their first single for Brain. a greener richer l l-minute "Hallogallo".l}.aId. he was in the studio with a brand new and called Harmonia. one of them (and I'll bet the first LP was a radio hit in 1972. the v and began to record Neu 2. -:1onthsafter the split. However. Both had a flair for melody that was straight out of Dis and Can. whereupon the duo designed themselves a record-sleeve of Washing Powder attentionwing to outside pressure.~ci Qt Cluster . in a moment of 10 minute E major guitar mantra "Hallogallo" which VI-""''''U.too early and not right.. the doubleNeu! was the product of two young Master-magicians who Teuschnee"/"Super".ement. As I wrote earlier.. Neu! was quickly signed to Bruno Wendel & The success of the first album began to weigh heavily on Korber's new Brain label. drastic action was needed.:'n'C 'It'h'Cx~\. Neu! .. its bright ~played some of "Super" at 78 and 16 and recorded some of dayglo pink sleeve with Neu! in white and underlined like a . Their LP had an even more vivid jacket in euschnee" at 78 rpm and recorded some of that.ric "Fur Immer". Michael Rother was totally ing Pop-art exclamation mark at the end of their name at all reaked by the whole experience.~ ~llK5\"~~~ "N~'b'. were almost done recording Side I when they were told The album was an instant hit and it seemed that everybody their recording budget was screwed and they were almost found out about them right from the beginning. Furious and distraught and in a total mess.'bt. making some of the greatest music f his career and of the whole Krantrock trip.It's hard to feel spiritually satisfied by Neu 2 but it is truly artwork was speedfreak clean. "Super" ate a true jewel of an LP. they first album when it was released in Britain by UA in 1972. Eberhard Krahnemann. ilk cluttered full of Space junk._ ~K t.~ ~%'b'PQ. As these two very cool songs combined only added and they have defined it more clearly and fundamentally than '0 seven minutes. And then Britain and it screamed off the record shop shelves. and German music. hich DAF copped completely for their classic "Der intriguing and beautiful sounds alongside the clanking mi". Neu! went straight back into the simplicity. Musik Van Neu 2 & The Death of Neu! Harmonia was co-written and produced by Michael Rother & 'l_. e basis.. So they played any other group. on bass 42 . At a time of Roger Dean's Yes sleeves and their ring his fingers on the machine to slow it down. Andrew Cut-up prevalent in so much contemporary experiment at UA was having big success in Britain with Amon music. I bought f money. was suddenly being given lots of space in the fierce. .llle •• as Klaus Dinger) suggested making Side 2 a pop-art cut-up stoner vibe penetrated all of Britain via John Peel who dug it t . But the single was not a big hit. . ted out at the size of their problem.m""". and no hang -ups at all about sounding pretty as well e better. They even recorded "Neuschnee" with Klaus Dinger Daz container. Neu! was the epitome of Krautrock. mythical animals and members And so the LP became a sort of weird rip-off Krautrock stanof ugly groups cast as supermen in some prehistoric void. pretty mid-tempo Neu! instrumental groove. 43 with another ex-Kraftwerker.. the weirder and more Gerney land._'I. Its mid-tempo UlH.. Then. causing Neu! to split up. using their single tracks "Neuschnee" and "Super" death. On an all white gloss 12"x12" background._ tic vision cut with dubious clarity. They worked hard on the other presence was the word "Neu!" shouting enormous .
Conny Plank's tape-op from all the ~sessions. were looking for an entire change of direction. The driving force musically was Michael Rother. m.roedelius (Cluster)" . They had not released a record for almost two years and that last LP Cluster II was in a styIe that now belonged to a different age. For Cluster II. It as if the first Neu! LP had returned from a long heavy jour45 . who invested every moment with the candy melody and simplicity of guitar licks that had made all Neu! songs so austere and Joe Meek-ian. controlled freakout. as usual. who also recorded f. they continued as a duo. Cluster had successfully avoided friction between each other thus far by working with other musicians. Thereafter followed two of Neul's most utiful suspended seascapes. low down in the mix and medanal in effect. Yet Moebius & Roedelius also showed enor- freedom as artists.rother (Neul). u 75 & The Return of Neu! -n Klaus Dinger met Michael Rother. And the strange Glam Dinger image turned full blast on to his younger cohorts. In one refreshing and. And Cluster. Soon.r Brain Records. When Schnitzler left to pursue what would become an outrageous solo career. Klaus Dinger had been working quion his proto-punk band La Dusseldorf with his brother mas and Hans Lampe. As ever unorthodox. a trippy spiritual followed by a long minimalist Pagan wig-out. Moebius & Roedelius. Each piece was a short vignette of sound which faded in. 'hilst all this went on.. Michael Rother looked for temporary asylum in the anus of Cluster. Schnitzler's influence was extreme.and so trippily beautiful that the trio felt compelled to call themselves Harmonia. with artlessly ed announcements proclaiming: "Mit. Roedelius & Musik Von Harmonia Having begun their career with one similarly poetically named duo. Cluster or even other ~albums were. filled the room with its unearthly beauty. Side I nged to Michael Rother. j. It was soon after this point that they signed with the much hipper Brain label. The album was to be divided in half. and his compulsive and phenomenal output of work was too wild for Moebius & Roedelius. y inspiring act.Moebius.they were a true utrock supergroup. but driven by that unmistakable bass-less Dinger drumming. Punk as eating the snot off your mates face. Neu! was reborn for a farewell pre-La Dusrf LP. its three long pieces opening with ": as elegant as-Harmonia. They had started out as the trio Kluster with the arch-experimentalist Connie Schnitzler.) . particularly in their sheer bravery of ndoning the vast Aircraft-hangar structures of their recent fOF a whoJe new thing (see Review 30 oj Top 50 section. then left just as quickly. As a duo also. The trio of Rother. A future-shaping moment of teous vision. but a classic. "Seeland" and "Leb Wohl". Hutter & Schneider.Enter Cluster . It was a moving fucking -out. But the relationship between Dieter Moebius & HansJoachim Roedelius was a strong one. ntual as dawn on any clear day. it seems only artistically correct for Neu! that there next should have been contact with the other great poetically named duo. as Klaus preed for a Trip that was entirely integrated. geddit? 'eu 75 came together at Conny Plank's studio in December --l. releasing epic and spacey records that sounded unearthly and hollow but always listenable. everything ready . Conrad Plank was placed in the Schnitzler role and received full writing and production credits for it all. releasing the vast weather balloon of sound called Cluster on Phillips Records. though. Moebius & Roedelius created a wonderful sound and the recording sessions were astonishing .. They talked about the everything had gone wrong and felt as though it had all n thrown away stupidly. oebius (Cluster). so when the Neu! split occurred. a great album like the Harmonia. Klaus Dinger's La Dusselwas going to be another bass-less tom-tom heavy Kraut. But then came the long lay-off and the need for change. The album was called Neu 75 and it was a classic.\1usik Von Harmonia LP sleeve was a retarded super-realainting of a towering blue ammonia bottle. better known as Cluster. Cluster and Neu! shared record companies and the same co-producer/engineer.
He had one drum fill and one drum beat.ney. For over si minutes. perhaps time will tell . The Zippeeeeee! In comes Dinger and his Dusseldorf cronies ( kick your head off on Side 2 with music that was surely th most radical version ofrock'n'roll since Eddie Cochran. as I must re-state. I y this over & over till I'm a boring old git but Side 2 is as fuck and two years ahead. it was really the Neu!-driven of the Sex Pistols that turned on the young punks. ch he played at many different tempos. It was beautiful dewy-eyed music. In keeping with the spirit of the other most famous German duos Cluster and Kraftwerk .P. both Dinger & Rother had considIe success in the art that they created. but a consta barrage of Johnny Thunders. No-one did that except the Sex Pistols two years late' . A Summary of Neu! That was the end of the Neu! story. But the fall-out and reper cussions from those three albums was (and is) immense and i is only now that the implications are being understood. You hear "Hero" and "After . 46 ways suspected those riotous key-changes into the Pisguitar solos to be the inspiration of some sharp Krautrockher than the addled mind of some mild and boogie Faces But it still felt good to have it semi-confirmed by the preRotten attitude.Neu! was made of two extremely pow erful personalities.. was extremely drum-led.* You know. Of the two. And. yet Klaus Dinger was the greatn-drummer ever. and they split up twice and had to have time away fro each other. the photos. but could find no drummer nearly -Ie enough for what Neu! required. Michael Rother and Klaus Dinger argued they fought. Rotten. those crunching guitars never let up.ealed in the recent autobiography. it was a-punk and years ahead.' n'roll. No guitar solos at all.and it uplifts the slavering hound in each us insuch an Obvi ous but Glorious Way. Dinger was a key-d player/guitarist first.. another massive influence on pre-punk. His _ -Pop-in-the-Photo-Booth image. but the point I'm trying to make is th Neu 75 thrived on Im-balance. So he did it himself.because the guy deserved to be a fucking big star. the School. That it was not weal and thin is a nice bonus. which shifted around time to time but always surrounded him. even playing Hammill's 1975 "Institute of Mental Health. and to the safety of not knowing the world . I was his influence on the transitional Neu 75 and its follow-u La Dusseldoifwhich. Th was pop. That Dinger's name is not standard currency ngst the majority of Heads is one of the great tragedies of . 47 . ! R. the musical backing sue as it was could afford to be weak and thin.I. in 1976. They start Full-on and they Maintain. Burning'l from the NADIR'S BIG 'CE LP. via Johnny Rotten. was one of his . It was Im-balance that gave tho epic side opener "Hero" its mesmerising power. nd everything about Neu! was punk. successful and endearing traits in the whole of his 10 year _ career. not American at ALL. La Dusseldorf quickIlly Rotten did give it away on a radio show sometime in July 1977. For a few beaumonths before old-prick Johnny Thunders brought heroin_ ing into the punk scene. And it Klaus Dinger & Michael Rother who deserved the credit never really got it. who cut it in thee most fabulous of ways. not the . ." and British punk suddenly makes sense. the sleeves. directly caused David Bowie t take his Low direction.Viva La Dusseldorf & Harmonia's Deluxe e early post-Neu! years. long green hair and Hawkwind fixation . As a huge fan of Johnny Rotten."Frankenstein" Ernie Ernie Ernie ing On & On & Fucking on. and pre-empted punk.playground Boy-chants. Klaus Dinger was also an exquisglam tart.. they each surrounded themselves with separat scenes. Wi the music pivoting entirely around the double-drumming an. Klaus Dinger' direct effect on the Sex Pistols. can be dis covered merely by playing Neu 75's "Hero" or "After Eight next to any Sex Pistols singles. I do consider that Klaus Dinger was the greate because his contributions most affected the future of music. Not the Stooges.. everything that Neu! did. And they had key changes. backward lookin to childhood. and was much changed and grown introverted by the experience.
Perhaps it was the fallout m a truly symbiotic relationship. Flammende erzen) were recorded with Cari's Jaki Leibezeit. Weeping synthesizers and weeping guitars over electric percussion and 48 mllllllll'lll edy early poly tone keyboards. His melodies were simple but incredibly moving. Cyclical synthesizer riffs over archaic drumboxes and dumbfounding insistent melodies as stupid as the titles ("Caramel". etc. Michael Rother ran to the role of Cluster's producer for their forthcoming album Zuckerzeit.Iy had a big hit with "Silver Cloud". cheering soccer stadium crowds chorus "Dusseldorf. "Hollywood". The first. Klaus Dinger had good artistic and commercial success with La Dusseldorf. 49 . another fast pre-77 bass-less buzzsaw guitar trip repeating (yet again) the single word "Dusseldorf' over & over. Happily. La Dusseldorf. imentary Dinger drum-fills that he had obviously grown d dieted to. the first few LPs (Sterntaler. And the exquisitely unhinged toy town Velvets melodies were superimposed over Moebius & Roedelius' utterly catchy but crazy idea of what Pop-music was. a soft-frantic synth-rnantra that repeats the word "Dusseldorf' over & over & over again as though it is a story. Dusseldorf. Was this a combative stance on the part of 'ichael Rother? He knew full well that the La Dusseldorf LP going to sound the same way. Harmonia must rank among the most mysteriously overlooked. when Michael ther went solo. It is melodic in a most melancholic way. "Rate Riki". And its influence until . This was the first Cluster album in years and it was hugely Rother-influenced.e '90s is minuscule compared to its future position in Rockn·roll. and it pre-empted the clatter beats of La Dusseldorf some months. who lifted the Harmonia sound r beyond that of the first LP. The British writer Biba Kopf recently wrote: "Of all the great German groups of the mid-70s. When the song finally comes to an end. Whatever. aus Dinger was the driving force of Neu! The song is' vlonza"." Then its off into the next song.. "Marzipan". They were joined on drums by ru Guru's Mani Neumeier.. the stunning beauty called Deluxe. Viva and Individuellos were both crazed Bavarian cosmic knees-ups of the first order. of course. the music and story of Neu! is a legend ith a great canon of work attached to it. This song is called. mainly because Klaus Dinger had an uncanny ability to sing about serious subjects in a way that had you both rolling in the aisles and caring at the same time. Or maybe it doesn't matter at all when you're Klaus Dinger and on-one with your mates. the attitude of which David Bowie again copped in a big way for "A New Career in a New Town" on Low. as well as maddeningly catchy. is the greatest of the three. "La Dusseldorf'. who could '"fer Rother that steady unfussy non-drumming and the same . After the Neu! split. Zuckerzeit means 'Sugartime'. Perhaps it is the female partner of the first song. It opens with the 13 minute two-chord ramalama of "Dusseldorf'. Deluxe has a tragic magic to it t is reminiscent of epic poems like Longfellow's Hiawatha the short stories of Rudyard Kipling's Jungle Book.) Then Rother-Moebius & Roedelius reformed Harmonia for one final LP. Certainly. who recorded three very cool LPs between 1976-81. And one ng on Deluxe stands out to utterly confound my belief that . Deluxe is a magnificent album that everyone should own." And it is true. The following two albums. Dusseldorf. 1~~llIlIljl .
and modern classical music.Can Any Colour is Bad (1968-731 "Inability is often the mother of restriction. the group found a free-jazz -ummer. Malcolm Mooney was a black American. Irmin's wife. and said: "Why do you play that shit? You must play monotonously." but Czukay also required ." Irmin Schmidt was later to claim that he himself often played nothing on early tracks. Jaki Leibezeit had never heard the word 'monotonously' used in a positive way before. and a writer for both theatre . Leibezeit changed his drum style immediately. electronic expenmental. and they were still talking obsessively about it when/Hildegard Schmidt. But it was rock'ri'roll's sense of moment that thrilled them most of all. again over"30 years old. And it was with this concept of monotony that the drummer entered Inner Space. Smc~ 1965. that Irmin Sch~rHdt and Holger Czukay finally decided to take the plunge and include rock'n'roll elements in their group. Irmin Schmidt was 31 years old. a positive name that had many meanings. Mooney suggested that they became known as The Can. films before his move to rock'n'roll. He had never sung before but threw himself into the role with such fervour that the others readily followed him. Schmidt had been a conductor. "some ind of freak. a theatre-critic. 19 year old Michael Karoli on guitar. But recently. edom to operate the tape-machine. ' eue Musik. chided Holger Czukay for playing too much bass. So Inner Space was forged on restriction.ree-jazz. And it was soon after this whilst listening to Jimi Hendrix. With Schmidt on organ and piano. and again on a new musical _uest. And such was t~e effect of psychedelic rock on all of them that they had to ra~lcally change their style in order to even play the music. John Cage and Pierre Boulez." The "freak" had slagged Leibezeit for playing . He claims that this was initially because o-one really listened to the bass. The Mothers of Invention and the Velve~ Underground's Banana LP one night. found their first singer. " and restriction is the Hoiger Czukay of Can Can was formed in the exhilarating revelation of seasoned musicians discovering rock' n' roll. what he called. One of his students Michael Karoli. 'can' (pro51 . He. four of the greatest comrs of the 20th Century. t_w0 students of Stockhausen. and were uncomfortable yet fascinated by every aspect of rock'n'roll. and it was as editor of e group's musical visions that he would come to be known. in turn. they were from an extremely academic background. !ling themselves Inner Space. most members of Can were over 30 and music veterans when the group formed. so trained as he was for standard musical achievement. had talked of forming a group together. he had studied under Stockhausen. great mother of inventive performance. Like Kraftwerk later. and a life-long fan of exper50 ntalist Olivier Messiaen. Holger Czukay and Irmin Schmidt. a sculptor and teacher. Whilst most rock musicians play only what they are capable of. Leibezeit had been . Jaki Liebezeit had been playing free-jazz in Spain for five ears. he had had a moment of immense lifehanging clarity at a show he'd played. and the pealing bells of truth shot through him. a ging teacher." Those words stayed with him forever. and Czukay's student. that would both utilise and transcend ethnic. Holger Czukay se to play bass. At the famous Darmstadt Kurse . In Turkish. had recently blown Czukay's mind by playing him the Beatles' "I am the Walrus". But now it was 1967 and Czukay was a music teacher. Luciano "l0. a group. and insisted that he try to play bass with "only one tone.ouched and changed by the words of.
Irmin Schmidt woul playfully claim that Can stood for Communism Anarchisrr Nihilism. But try as they did. Eliot chided the establishment for alway seeing similarities between artists as negative. In Japanese 'kan' means both 'feeling' and 'emotion'. the whole thing was recorded on two reel-t reel tape recorders and parts were later used on their firs album. The constant movement of the audience. an rarely a note-for-note cop of any other band. Can's Monster Movie. tinued through the intermission and into Can's second -rnance.S.ng the album wlth "father Cannot yetI". album opener. w the event more as a multi-media piece than the group's ow. was it not possible to return to. He had named them. In keeping with Can's trul. until late 1968 saw them as an experimental rock band It was now that their friend. was Iy acclaimed. perhaps. The show at Schloss Norvenich clashed with an exhibition the performers. This affected the singer. A Jewish of Mooney told him that he was on the wrong path. "Father Cannot Yell". DownUpstairs.icthey wished to be aligned . with clearly -d boundaries. the presence of Malcolrr Mooney forced the group into even greater musical restric tions. In his essay "Th Metaphysical Poets". It is. Can organised a show at Norvenich.the ancient bardic perspectiv that happily accepted the apprentice's use of his master's blue print? Only in acceptance of what had gone before could h himself truly move on. Can's 'linguistic space commu. whilst 'chan' mean love when used in salutation. And it was on the unk holler of "Outside Your Door" that Malcolm Mooney iously defined their musical stance with the repeated cho'Any colour is bad. released in 1982. (Later on.ely which kind of fI:UL. owner of the castl Schloss Norvenich. a happening t be recorded. suggested they build a rehearsal studio i his home. Why. and specifically like the Velvet Under ground. Can had stylised themselves the beginning as raw and expressionist.s&\\"h~'t"1l\'it"·h. and so placed them on nternational stage immediately. would return again an" again to its roots. It's an incredible record in terms of both original inven~~~ ~~~ ih""~~1>. caused Mooney to start singing "Upstairs. But soon after the five-hour happening they "Can-action-rock -incitement-playground". "Father Cannot Yell" was a fascinating and fruitful exerci that T. restrictive style. we tal Can knew preci. But Mooney was having problems. the MONSTER MOVIE sessions. Yet the sound oflate '68 Can is still very much its ow A brutally simple intuitive trip. One of the recordings of "You Doo Right" the Schloss Norvenich show now covered the whole of _ 2.nounced "chan") means both 'life' and 'soul'. Call's DELAY 1968 LP.-The early recordings that Can made were a disparate eros between early Captain Beefheart (Safe as Milk period up I Mirror Man). Malcolm v's psychiatrist advised him to return to the United nd." Unlike the Kosmische music of most other great German bands. 'ley's departure devastated Can. ·tIS. * n its release in August 1969. With this weight of material to chosefromfor MONSTER MOVIE.) On becoming The Can.~1t"il ~"tl'!zfZenness Cannot Yell" gave the world a great song that lesser arti ld have shied away from attempting. Eliot would have been proud of. All are very original." . The here was really good. star tlingly like The Fall. he asked. These recordings were made just i(Ime just before. still th. ironic then that Can's classic debut LP Monster Movie began thei career on record desperately trying not to play the Vel v Underground's "European Son". eventually collapsing from exhaustion. wim"'~ 52 53 . in which they would play two long performance of a song called "You Doo Right". Downstairs" over and over until he was repeatwords on his own and the rest of the group had finished. Michael Karoli even saying: "It was quite nice Malcolm lost his head. only to transcend similarities and shake a yet another classic song from the same form. The rest " accepted this as part of the 'whatever' that happens at events. Can certainly proved this on Monste Movie. and he began to visit a psychiatrist tment. and was a moving epic masterpiece. Freak Out-period Mothers of Invention. which happens sometimes. Mani Lohe. Mooney found life in West Germany increasingly diffiIe was totally out there and he was black. in December 1969. too. repetitive to the extreme. did just that.
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