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Various Artists (Concept albums & Themed compilations) - Krautrock - Music For Your Brain CD (album) cover

KRAUTROCK - MUSIC FOR YOUR BRAIN

Various Artists (Concept albums & Themed compilations)

 

Various Genres

4.16 | 10 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

fuxi
Prog Reviewer
4 stars AN INCREDIBLE TREASURE-TROVE

Did you think Germans couldn't rock? Think again! I must admit, in 1970s Belgium (where I grew up) German rock wasn't taken seriously. Most music collectors were infatuated with British and North American acts. Germans were known almost exclusively for cheesy ballads - so-called Schlagers. Kraftwerk's "Autobahn" did make it to the radio, but most listeners saw it as a novelty number.

Some prog-rock fans were aware, though, of the existence of German symphonic bands like Jane and Novalis. I'm glad to say that their best-known tunes are included in this highly generous collection. If you've never heard Novalis's "Wer Schmetterlinge lachen hört" or Jane's "Windows", you can't call yourself a fully-fledged sympho-freak! (Jane's lead vocals are unbearable, but their playing is hot.) German "cosmic music" also had plenty of devotees in the Low Countries, but I must admit the genre never appealed to me. Sure enough, the 23 minutes of Klaus Schulze included here are 23 minutes wasted (though it's fascinating to discover that our Klaus prefigured the opening section of "Shine On You Crazy Diamond").

Some prog reviewers think compilation albums are silly, but I've always enjoyed box sets and anthologies of all kinds, and this inexpensive collection (six discs of more than 79 minutes each!) has been a real eye-opener. I bought it as a general introduction, to find out which German acts are worth exploring in detail, and I haven't been disappointed.

True, not all of the music here corresponds to what Prog Archives calls Krautrock. There are quite a few tracks by bands that play what would now be called 'Classic Rock'. Most of them seem strongly influenced by the likes of the Free, Deep Purple, Uriah Heep and Santana. Some of those tracks (e.g. Weed's "Sweet Morning Light", Lucifer's Friend's "Lucifer's Friend" and Topas' "Hurricane") are gonzoid hardrock you won't catch me playing a second time!

On the other hand, wonderful acts like Os Mundi, Embryo, Professor Wolfff, Hölderlin, Odin, Yatha Sidra, Cluster, Faust, Harmonia, Gomorrha, Sperrmuell, Epitaph, Birth Control, Can, Guru Guru and Grobschnitt provide so much excitement I'm truly glad I bought this set. Make no mistake - there's many, many hours of listening pleasure here. Oh, I know some of 1970s Germany's most important bands are missing (Amon Düül II for example) but in fact a second 6-CD set has now appeared.

Meanwhile, for starters, give yourself a treat! If classic German rock is new to you, you won't regret acquiring this collection.

fuxi | 4/5 |

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