Michael Rother - Flammende Herzen CD (album) cover


Michael Rother



3.64 | 13 ratings

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4 stars The first solo album by Michael Rother was a natural extension of his pioneering work in the Düsseldorf Krautrock combo of NEU!, but without the baleful influence of his proto-Punk erstwhile partner Klaus Dinger. What remained was simply some of the most beautiful guitar playing ever recorded, ranging from limpid acoustic picking to laser-beam electric sustains, all of it captured with remarkable, crystal-clear fidelity by the legendary producer and German music guru Conny Plank.

This is the lighter side of the sometimes schizophrenic NEU! canvas, as foreshadowed on the first half of their "Neu! '75" LP but with all the rough edges of the motorik blueprint ironed out smoother than an autobahn macadam. In classic Krautrock fashion the music makes a virtue out of simplicity, building uncomplicated, repetitive melodies over the steady metronome beat of drummer Jaki Liebezeit (the ace percussionist of CAN, moonlighting alongside an obvious kindred spirit), with discreet electronic enhancements adding an attractive, atmospheric sheen.

It's a sure-fire musical formula Rother would continue to fine tune, but never radically tinker with, over the course of his ongoing career. In an age when fleet-fingered guitar virtuosos were burning up their fret boards at 190 mph, Rother's style was a model of grace and economy, and like a lot of music from Germany in the 1970s it hasn't aged a minute in almost 30 years.

Neu!mann | 4/5 |


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