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NEU!

Neu!

Krautrock


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loserboy
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars NEU's debut album would have to go onto my desert island pick (although I think by now I am bringing a million albums with me!). This is Space Prog at its finest. This was NEU's first album and truthfully sounds as if it could have been released last year! Take all the soft psychy aspects of ASH RA TEMPEL and add the mid-era FLOYD guitar sounds and you are not far off of what you can expect here. For those unaware of this band let me help you digest it. This 2 member band make the noise of a band of Michael Rother and Klaus Dinger left KRAFTWERK to pursue their own musical endeavors. NEU's music grooves... and really equally fuses rich analog electronics with soaring guitar aspects. Their music generally wanders about but always manages to come back to help develop and expand on their themes. Their music is warm yet very electronic without ever sounding electronic. Quite obviously after listening to this album you will hear just how influential this album has been. Let me offer up one immediate and outrageously stolen parts from this old album... Track 4 could almost have been lifted directly off this album and put on the plastic fake new PINK FLOYD album "Momentary Lapse Of Reason" ...yes a deliberate steal for sure... the rowing of the boat... the electronic imaging and the eerie English Channel feel... oh well... life is all about the argument of the "taste and tasting". But seriously this album has been referenced by a vast number of musicians as one of their more influential albums. This gem has been kindly preserved in its newly re-mastered version with some nice tones and clearly defined images. Like so many other excellent German albums, this was one produced in Conny Plank's famous underground basement studios. A grand album...!

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Send comments to loserboy (BETA) | Report this review (#23675)
Posted Saturday, March 20, 2004 | Review Permalink
philippe
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Content Development & Krautrock Team
5 stars This is the first and best album by NEU! The album oscillates between experimental guitar sound accompanied by a metronomic pulse and calm psych- instrumental rock. Sometimes it reminds me the two first Kraftwerk albums. The general mood is minimalist, notably due to the charateristic repetitive drum playing. If you are a beginner in krautrock adventure this is one of the first album you need to purchase...no synth and cosmic sounds here but real imaginative and powerful post-rock pieces. This album had a long heritage to young generations of musicians

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Send comments to philippe (BETA) | Report this review (#23676)
Posted Friday, March 26, 2004 | Review Permalink
3 stars Esoteric music frrom a definitely esoteric band if you can even call them a band since it it only consisted of two entities. This is definitely not for everyone! Experiments with noise would better define this very unique sound, although it does go upbeat in places particularily on the opening track Hallogallo. Don't expect to fully appreciate them on the first listen.If you are not into weird electronic music from Tangerine Dream, Kraftrerk or Brainticket stay away from this album. It is none the less one of my faves. NOT FOR EVERYONE.

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Send comments to Vibrationbaby (BETA) | Report this review (#23679)
Posted Sunday, October 10, 2004 | Review Permalink
great@goat.co
5 stars Please, listen to this!This is just crazy, fantastic, dreamy music, it's excelent!!!Get this album!You must hear this kind of music!It is sooo good.Listen to this and you will start to love krautrock if you don't like it already!Perfect for driving in your car and chilling.Please, please, please listen to this album it has so much to offer...thanks!

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Send comments to (BETA) | Report this review (#23680)
Posted Sunday, October 10, 2004 | Review Permalink
Neu!mann
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars Whenever I feel the need to offer a no-strings-attached five-star recommendation I invariably turn to Krautrock, and the debut album by Düsseldorf's best combo (sorry Ralf and Florian) is one of the brightest jewels in the Krautrock crown.

What is it about this band that makes me want to legally add an exclamation mark to the middle of my name? It can hardly be the richness and complexity of the music, or the virtuoso chops of its two players. Just the opposite, as a matter of fact. The music of NEU! is simplicity itself, taking a rock 'n' roll template and stripping it down to its most basic components: a steady drum beat, played with more stamina than skill, and some of the grooviest one-chord guitar work ever committed to vinyl.

Klaus Dinger called it the motorik beat, and he plays it non-stop throughout the sensational 10-minute long album opener "Hallogallo", with Michael Rother's guitar (in at least four overdubbed tracks) drifting in and out of the mix. With its ridiculously uncomplicated rhythm (the 4/4 meter raised to the acme of linear perfection), the song is the perfect soundtrack for a late-night, long distance road trip, no arguments or exceptions allowed. Listening to it is almost like a glimpse of infinity: the long fade at either end makes me think the song is still playing in some distant parallel universe, and always has been since the creation of sound itself.

The rest of the disc is no less of a challenge, from the jackhammer intensity of "Negativland" (with real jackhammers, please note) to the evocative ambient explorations of "Im Glück" and "Lieber Honig". The latter presents the album's only vocal performance (I hesitate to call it singing), with Klaus Dinger's wordless, pre-adolescent improv sounding like an autistic nursery schooler going down for his afternoon nap, and was miked so closely you can hear every catch in his throat, every click of saliva, before the "song" fades back to the slow rowboat drones of "Im Glück".

The album was barely released outside of Germany at the time, but has since been name-checked as a major influence by some of the coolest bands at work today: RADIOHEAD, STEREOLAB, YO LA TENGO (to name only a few). Not bad for a 3+ decades old recording that took all of four evenings to assemble.

You could argue (and I wouldn't disagree) that the music of NEU! bears little relation to genuine Progressive Rock. But the fact that they were, and remain, so far ahead of their time is enough reason to include the band in this forum. This album in particular sounds like it was recorded only yesterday, just like it did ten, fifteen, twenty years ago, and likely will a generation or more in the future.

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Send comments to Neu!mann (BETA) | Report this review (#23682)
Posted Sunday, February 20, 2005 | Review Permalink
Carl floyd fan
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars This is a very easy going cd for the most part. But don't let the dreamy atompheres fool you into thinking this is ambient work, as there are moments of craziness and this is certiantlly an innovative cd, warranting the krautrock label 100%. The last track brings the score down a notch to about a 3.75, but the cd is still good enough to warrant a buy, just stop at the end of Negativland!

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Send comments to Carl floyd fan (BETA) | Report this review (#23683)
Posted Friday, May 27, 2005 | Review Permalink
Sean Trane
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Prog Folk
4 stars Neu!'s debut album is another cornerstone in Krautrock history! At the time of release of this album, all I could think of was link it with some of the strangest music ever , but a few years later, I discovered Can and saw where Neu! got their inspiration from!

The first side is made of three relatively calm tracks ( almost in the ambient style ), gradually picking up speed and strenght on Weissensee. But the real Neu! (pronounce noï) feeling starts at the second side of that vinyl. On those three tracks , this duo shows that they have nothing to envy to Can , using long and minimalist music to great effect, but also hinting at later Kraftwerk albums (Dinger hqving collaborated on a few of their album)

Unfortunately , this is the only really worthy Neu! album as the successor is very flawed ( in spiteof a superb sidelong track) and the third although highly rated , not having much to do with this album as far as feeling is concerned.

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Send comments to Sean Trane (BETA) | Report this review (#36296)
Posted Sunday, June 12, 2005 | Review Permalink
3 stars Cool music that has inspired a lot of bands in the nineties. However, to me it is only that; cool music. I've listened to Neu a lot of times and I have to say that I'm a bit bored. There are a few "experimental" or rather "edgy" parts on this album, but the overall impression of Neu is that it is nothing exceptional. Hallogallo, is one of those classical krautrock tracks that is typical for the genre. Today it is also one of those sophisticated and "trendy" art-showroom background tracks. Of course that's not the bands fault, but there's a reason why they play this music as background music. So my review is a weak 3.

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Send comments to 1971 (BETA) | Report this review (#59233)
Posted Monday, December 05, 2005 | Review Permalink
fleaication@e
5 stars truly amazing.

have never heard anything like it. only found out today that the songs are over 35 yrs old. i love the 1st song its beautiful.

they are very origonal. very simple tunes though. kinda hypnotic. nice to see some1 being creative without playing guitar really fast.

musically as a whole this cd is great. cant compare it to anything though. tryna think. em,... cant :)

neways, i cant wait to get the other two cd's.

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Send comments to (BETA) | Report this review (#72766)
Posted Thursday, March 23, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars This is an essential slice not only of Krautrock, but of musical history. "Hallogallo", of course, is perhaps the main draw and the best-known of these works, with its instantly recognizable mechanical beat around which surprisingly delicate melodies frolic. The end result is something both propulsive and beautiful - a sublime combination. When I first heard "Weissensee", I thought I was listening to early Pink Floyd, only it seemed on the whole too fragile, the melodies too cleanly pretty. But then there's "Negativland" enveloping that trademark beat with feedback, noise, and obliquely screeching guitars and synths. Despite the generally lazy tempo (though at appropriate points it picks up and you know you're in for it), this is some seriously intense stuff, and definitely the most memorable track on the album for me. To tell the truth, I can live without the half of the album that I haven't written about; they're either ambient experiments with pure sound or, in the case of "Lieber Honig", a vocal track that boasts typical Krautrock vocals. In the end, with three tracks that, well, are obviously classic, and the rest of them that works as glue in an incredible way that holds it together as an album. And that's all they have to do.

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Send comments to MorgothSunshine (BETA) | Report this review (#75375)
Posted Tuesday, April 18, 2006 | Review Permalink
3 stars Neu! is one of those early days krautrock bands that started exploring more ambient and minimalistic music. I don't think they ever reached their full potential, but it's required listening for fans of the ambient krautrock genre.

The album starts with hypnotising space rock of "Hallogallo", which remind me of later works of Steve Hillage, with repetitive bass and drum paterns, creating a hypnotising back track for spacy guitar works, really awome, specially when played really loud.

The next special offer called "Sonderangebot" is a bit more estranging, with ethereal guitar works, but does get a tad boring as is isn't really heading anywhere. But when we reach "Weissensee" it picks up some speed again, adding some drums to accompagnie the slow spacy guitar development. good song.

"Im Glück" is yet another great song, taking minimalism to the border again. So little happening that the suspense is killing you, for you know something has to come of this almost silence. And "Negativland" is where it all lead. fabulous drum-bass rhythm again with the trance like guitar above below and around it. Great song and together with the first track my favourite of the album, probable becaus it's quite intens compared to the rest of the material. "Lieber Honig" is just a bit too much for me, harking back at the more exciting passages of Im Gluck, which weren't very abundant.

Neu! is an amazing band, exploring space, post rock and some novelty music in a nihilistic way. Great if you like the more ambient style of Krautrock. I can say Ilike it, but I'm aware that only few people will actually enjoy the entire album. Three stars will suffice, but explorers of Krautrock and Postrock should listen and try this minimalistic gem.

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Send comments to tuxon (BETA) | Report this review (#92380)
Posted Wednesday, September 27, 2006 | Review Permalink
King of Loss
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Neu! is the band Neu!'s debut. A very charming performance here, a really dandy. Not a masterpiece but good overall.

HalloGallo is my favorite tune here, with its driving guitars and drums. A perfect driving track, I must say I had a good time when I was in the car listening to the car. Slightly falling short of Opeth's Damnation as good driving music or the grinding guitars of a Death Metal band, but relatively fair. Overall, the album mixes into a complete whole, not to blame them or anything, it sounds smoothly and transitions well, into a complete, full whole with Hallogallo being the start of it all, really the good, memorable part of the album.

As many of you from the Progarchives forums can read, I am mostly a fan of Symphonic Progressive Rock, Progressive Metal and Metal in general, and Neu! are a band that is commonly not assoicated with me on the Archives. In general, the best way to state Neu! is that they are a German krautrock band, one that is filled with interesting, unique sounds that I just recently have started to appreciate (Neu! anyways). So I decided to pick up this album at the local store and throw it into my car stereo and boom, the album came alive to me, almost like it was an interesting sort of feeling you get in your stomach when you listen to a good album. The album is fairly decent, with a hint of a lot of styles and I must say, this is the best Neu! album that is there is out there, its filled with interesting material and the almost entirely instrumental album serves a good purpose in my music collection, even though, its not really my style or anything. 3.75 stars really, but rounded up to 4 stars, because of the ease in musical changes and the experimentation definitely is very good. Definitely recommended for beginners of Krautrock and Progressive listeners, even though its not atruly amazing performance.

83% on King Of Loss "Flossy's" style

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Send comments to King of Loss (BETA) | Report this review (#122872)
Posted Sunday, May 20, 2007 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars NEU! are a very influential band and an important part of Krautrock's history. I find it interesting that RADIOHEAD, specifically Thom Yorke list both NEU! and CAN as big influences in their musical careers. NEU! are made up of Klaus Dinger and Michael Rother who formed this band after leaving KRAFTWERK.

"Hallogallo" actually reminds me of CAN with the catchy, relentless beat that is joined by spacey guitar sounds.This one is my favourite. "Sonderangebot" has no real melody as spacey sounds open the song, eventually turning into an ominous and eerie atmosphere. Some loud sounds end it as it blends into "Weissensee". This one is a slow and dreamy track. These three songs originally made up the first side of the album, my favourite side by the way. "Im Gluck" features an experimental soundscape with sounds like water splashing on a boat that is docked. Spacey sounds follow. "Negativland" opens with the sound of a jackhammer before a smooth and catchy beat takes over. Spacey sounds are blowing across the desert soundscape. Great tune. "Lieber Honig" is slow paced with very fragile vocals (haha). The water sounds of the "Im Gluck" song are back 4 minutes in.

Well worth 4 stars for how groundbreaking it was back in the day, plus I do really like this record.

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Send comments to Mellotron Storm (BETA) | Report this review (#144719)
Posted Monday, October 15, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars This is a very fine example of Kruat space prog /acid rock and is so far ahead of the competition it has become something of an Icon. Where as bands like Faust pretend and are therefore pretentious NEU is the real deal. This Band understands the music it is attempting to produce. Although the instrument and many of the themes could be described as minimalist the music is never boring or sounds like it is contrived. This is what Hawkwind could have been if they had stayed simple. Of course its acid music with an upfrontness that may have made listening to it tripped very uncomfortable. This record is proto-Industrial and I suspect that many of the Throbbing Gristle types would lap this up. Fact is though it works even for me a symphonic and eclectic progger. We should be careful about naming this Kruat rock this is not the efficient arrangement of melodic pop that Birth Control aspired to or the dreaming landscapes and musical lack luster of Tangerine Dream. It is a little in keeping and style with Amon-deull 2 but it remains far better far less fussy and far more immediate than all but the very finest of bands and of moments. It is of course something of a fluke, it was a product of a time and place that produced bands as interesting as this and as boring as Faust live. It is I suppose most like Faust but it is far better than that bands contemporary efforts, if faust got better it is I imagine because of competition like this. It is of course a classic and you must own this recording. Later efforts are worthy but not as worthy as this so this remains the jewel in Neu small but compelling output.

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Send comments to burgersoft777 (BETA) | Report this review (#146923)
Posted Thursday, October 25, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars Neu!'s immpresive debut album, no doubt one of the best debut albums in all of prog and easily one of the best in krautrock toghter with Amon duul II, this one sounds very polished too me compered to the other krautrock bands i have heard so far, it sounds like they spent allot of time on this one too make everything sound perfect. Sure this is still krautrock so you whont be geting any symphonic epics, more like cosmic garage rock but very well played cosmic garage rock, even tough it all culd have been improvisations in the studio, the producation is yust to good sounding and everything is to prefectly played. Its not hard to see why this is so high regarded album every song or instrumental, since theres not much singing here, all of em are good, sure the last one might not be much to jump and shout about but its still intresting like always with krautrock if you have and open mind theres alot of intresting things goin on you might love or hate it but cant deny its very creative, and this album was no doubt a very influential one on alot of 80s and 90s music. The reason the album is so polished and good is probobly caus the 2 guys in neu both where in Kraftwerk before they joined force and started neu so they hade some experience. The songs i like best are the opener Hallogallo, one of the most famus tracks on here, its pretty much a drum beat with some guitars playing over it nothing incredibly complex but it sounds good. The next 3 tracks are all allot more experimental with lots of wierd sounds, sounding allot like Faust, my favorite song is no doubt Negativeland this one sounds allot like hallogallo but it got a beter drum beat, a incedlible bass line and the guitars are rawer and more sinister sounding. The last track is someone singing very bad with some minimalist things goin on in the background shuldent be very good but still it is somehow and pretty intresting and unusual. All in all this is not realy a 5 star perfect album but no doubt a very good high quality krautrock album, 4 stars. Excellent addition to any prog music collection.

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Send comments to Zargus (BETA) | Report this review (#162009)
Posted Sunday, February 17, 2008 | Review Permalink
4 stars Rating: B+

In case any of you were wondering what the greatest, most perfect rock song ever happens to be, wonder no more. It's NEU!'s masterpiece, "Hallogallo". With an unceasing 4/4 drum groove (known as the motorik beat and appearing in countless songs since 1972) giving it an endless supply of energy (with just a pinch of bass guitar helping out), "Hallogallo" is able to rely almost entirely on psychedelic guitar pastures for atmosphere. It's the perfect song for driving, but it's also just a perfect song. It kicks into gear around thirty-five seconds in, and it never leaves from there.

There's more to NEU!'s standout debut than just "Hallogallo", however. "Negativland" is the only other song at the same energy level as "Hallogallo", though it sounds entirely different. It is composed of snippets of motorik beats at various speeds, paving the way for abrasive guitar that sets the stage for punk music. Between the monoliths that are "Hallogallo" and "Negativland", however, are some quieter tracks. "Weissensee" is a very ambient track with a s.l.o.w motorik beat (NEU!'s entire sound was based off the motorik beat, in case you couldn't tell). Slightly more problematic for some listeners are "Sonderangebot" and "Im Gluck", both of which are very similar to "Weissensee", only without even the drums. As such, they feel freeform (and they very much are), but they make sense in the context of the album. By far the most controversial track on NEU!'s eponymous debut, however, is the closer, "Lieber Hoenig". It's another slow piece, only this time, it has vocals (the rest of the album is instrumental), and these are sure to drive many a listener up a wall. It's purely a matter of taste, but I (and many others) absolutely adore them.

Take these six songs - each one great - and make an album of them, and you've got one of the greatest debuts of all time. Scratch that, you've got one of the greatest CDs of all time, hands down. Listen to any punk/post-punk/alternative/indie/noise rock CD since 1975 and you'll hear hints and snatches of this phenomenal CD. Simply put, it's absolutely, undeniable, unquestionably, incontrovertibly essential. And that's only a sideshow to the fact that NEU! (the album) hasn't dated to this day (well, maybe a little for the spacey noise tracks); it sounds as good now as it must have sounded 36 years ago when it first came out.

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Send comments to Pnoom! (BETA) | Report this review (#165341)
Posted Sunday, March 30, 2008 | Review Permalink
2 stars Hallogallo - the drum beat really drives this song.... around in circles, for 10 solid minutes! Sonderangebot - space rock that never gets to the rock, skip it and run your finger around the edge of a symbol for 5 minutes Weissensee - a slow build, into a slow build, then something small happens around the 4 min mark, then back into a slow build, then the song fades out Im Gluck - gurgling water and chatter, low whaaawhaaaa of guitar, more gurgling Negativland - a jackhammer!? what's that, an air raid siren? at least I'm awake again. Hey, a bit of a jam here, oh wait, it just keeps repeating itself like every other track but with more bizaar distortion in the background. At, 4 min they speed up the repetition a bit, then back down again at about 5:30. Ear piercing sound at 8 min followed by a fast driving repetitive beat with some guitar noodling over it. Lieber Honig - Slow, nice melody, ok a song! Are you alright, did someone punch you in the stomach before you started singing? That's fine, I can dig the nice soft emotional display. STarting to get really sleepy again with the water coming back in, losing will to soldier on.........zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

What is everyone seeing in this album? Why does it carry a rating over 4? It isn't that it is bad music it is that nothing ever happens! This is a lump of repetitive beats, slow moving sections of sound effects, and some occasional decent guitar noodling. This is the very definition of collectors/fans only because I cannot see this having any broad appeal to listens who aren't already into this type of yawn fest. Have to believe that fanboy driven reviewing is carrying this album.

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Send comments to manofmystery (BETA) | Report this review (#192740)
Posted Friday, December 12, 2008 | Review Permalink
UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars The selftitled debut album from German krautrock act Neu! was released in 1972. I´m not an old fan of the band and have only started listening to their music after reading about them on PA. After listening to this album for a while I can say that I´m both very happy and very annoyed with what I´m hearing.

The music on the album is almost purely instrumental except for the last song Lieber Honig which has some pretty strange vocals. A very stripped down track which consists solely of guitar, vocals and some sound effects. It´s an okay track. The 10:07 minute long opening track Hallogallo takes the price here though. What a great song with it´s relentless beat and pleasant guitar effects. A really powerful song. Unfortunately the album continues with the worst song on the album called Sonderangebot which I put in the experimental noise with no purpose catagory. I don´t enjoy this at all. The next song Weissensee is fortunately much better. A pretty psychadelic track. Im Glück is up next and again I have to ask myself why I bother. It´s a little better than Sonderangebot but it still doesn´t satisfy me at all. Negativland is the other highlight on the album for me as it features a relentless beat and great effects. note the way the pace changes throught the song. As mentioned the only vocal track Lieber Honig ends the album.

The musicianship is excellent and I really enjoy the relentless and precise drumming from Klaus Dinger. Michael Rother adds many great effects to the music as well.

The production needs to be mentioned in particular as it is pretty exceptional to my ears. Organic and powerful. Really enjoyable. It´s actually pretty hard to believe that a sound like this was created in 1972.

Neu! is without a doubt a very interesting and influential band but I really wish they would have left out the noisy and ambient experiments and focused more on relentless rythms and power. When they do focus on those qualities they shine IMO. I can´t give more than a 3 star rating which is really a shame as the good moments on the album are worth much more, but the bad moments are far too outspoken and drag the album as a whole down to mediocrity.

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Send comments to UMUR (BETA) | Report this review (#194127)
Posted Wednesday, December 17, 2008 | Review Permalink
5 stars NEU! - Neu!

Neu! debut is cornerstone of one side of krautrock music. It has it all. Experimental, minimalist, repetitive, it is something special. No, it doesn't look anything like CAN, Amon Duul II, POPOL VUH, TANGERINE DREAM maybe connection can be drawn between early Kraftwerk and has some CAN elements but in the end NEU! is NEU!. It's NEW! and that's that. In all Krautrock genre this is one of my favorite albums. It stands proudly among giants like TAGO MAGO and YETI, and creates universe of sounds and waves.... One simple word: masterpiece.

5 stars rating no doubt, so buy it and enjoy! It's brand NEU! :)

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Send comments to alionida (BETA) | Report this review (#206599)
Posted Thursday, March 12, 2009 | Review Permalink
3 stars Neu! produces music in the "rhythmic" part of krautrock, along with the likes of Krafwerk and Can. In fact, krautrock isn't so much a genre as a movement- it's so diverse, encompassing endless grooves (Neu!), experimental rock (Faust), avant-garde, funk-influenced rock (Can), cosmic floating (Tangerine Dream), electronica (Kraftwerk), and much more, and Neu! is one of the leaders of this movement. The problem with this album is consistency- it ranges from stunningly awesome to stunningly boring, all in 46 minutes.

First, the good; Hallogallo is a pulsing, rhythmic masterpiece, with Dinger's superhuman drumming marching along as Rother's guitar and various effects swirl and fly in the background- if there ever was a song that exemplified the word "groovy" and "trippy", it's this- a ten-minute long trip for the ages.

After that is Sonderangebot, a five-minute stew of weird, random noise, electronic and otherwise. This would be really cool if there was something other than murky, orderless junk- as far as stews go, it's just water with chunks in it. Though the phrase gets thrown around a lot, I feel that I can say that this really isn't music- it's random noise. Sorry, but thats how I see it. Though, if you're in the right mood, it can hit you just right.

After that is Weissensee, which I can say is really good. It sounds almost exactly like an early Pink Floyd instrumental, and indeed people have though it was the Floyd while I was listening to it.

Im Gluck continues in the vein Sonderangebot probed- however, while Sonderangebot was random and unorganized, Im Gluck is murky and dull- I mean, seriously, seven minutes of water noises and a single, slowly changing drone, with maybe a seagull noise or something in the background? Maybe if you're high, but otherwise, no.

Then, then, out of nowhere, starting on a bed of jackhammers and female moaning... NEGATIVLAND! What a song this is, a triumphant statement of all music. The best I can describe the sound is; Dinger's godly drumming, with the sounds of an aircraft carrier deck in the background- it plays out like a more aggressive, awesome version of Hallogallo, but more interesting, because there's more change going on here. And just when it looked bleak... what a song indeed.

But, it doesn't last, and eventually turns into Lieber Honig, which, against all logic abandons percussion altogether, focuses on dissonant, quiet guitar notes, and one of the worst vocal performances ever, before picking up a tin bit as a loud, monotonous drone comes to accompany the guitar, making it at least somewhat enjoyable- and then, the song dies in two minutes of water noises- not some of the best work ever here.

So, what do we have? Two amazing songs, taking up nearly half the album, one good song, and three near complete throwaways. I'll give it three stars, because you can just listen to Hallogallo, Weissensee, and Negativland, which are more than worth your money, if only to know what exactly Krautrock is built on.

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Send comments to Neurotarkus (BETA) | Report this review (#261033)
Posted Friday, January 15, 2010 | Review Permalink
Rivertree
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Psych/Space Team & Band Submissions
4 stars When you're asking someone to name typical krautrock bands, Kraftwerk and NEU! are among the most frequently noted for sure. As for the historical and stylistical aspect there are some relations, no wonder. Drummer Klaus Dinger has been a member of the early Kraftwerk line-up, but left the band to form NEU! in 1971. Just compare 'Ruckzuck' coming from Kraftwerk's debut (I don't count the Organisation album here) with the opener of this album named Hallogallo - there is a similar repetitive vibe which is impressing. I would count both songs among the krautrock classics. So I'm a big fan of this kind of style each band had delivered in the early 70s - the later efforts though can't touch my soul.

This album was recorded during four nights in December 1971, without using any lyrics because 'words are so specific and always deniable' (Dinger). I already mentioned the opener, along with 'Ruckzuck' later often demanded in subculture discotheques. It's the special drive, yes, definetely dancable - and Klaus Dinger has a large share with his repetitive drum style. He offers the fundament for Michael Rother's interesting spacey flavoured guitar impressions. Yeah ... German song titles - from time to time I'm in the comfortable situation to draw on my native language.

Probably the next song Sonderangebot is literally meant as a special offer - weird swirling sounds coming from the guitar. Quasi placed as an experimental hiatus - and later fading into the spacey Weissensee - a bit Pink Floyd adopted but provided with a special bluesy touch on top of it. Im Glück tells us about the happineness when riding on a sailing boat ... or when luckily getting back to the anchoring place at least, as the case may be. This one is wrapped in samples including some distorted voices originally recorded on a boat - provided with a wonderful melancholic mood.

Negativland now shows another very repetitive behaviour but changing time signatures too. In opposite to the song title there is nothing to point out as negative. Weird samples including noises, originating from a construction area, experimental guitar appearance. Lieber Honig shows whacked out vocals and the boat samples are back again surprisingly - anything but honey - this track is not quite a challenge - has more of an uninspired filler instead of that - probably others might disagree.

Anyhow - in its entirety this debut constitutes a fantastic workout - not new but NEU! In opposite to endless jams equipped with a nearly perfect proportion of experimental and catchy impressions. This album is a must have for every krautrock collector - that's it! There's nothing more to say.

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Send comments to Rivertree (BETA) | Report this review (#261140)
Posted Saturday, January 16, 2010 | Review Permalink
Bonnek
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Prog Metal Team
4 stars This album should be on every self-respecting Porcupine Tree fan's wishlist, at least if you like the first few years of PT's career. With two tracks that served as a clear inspiration for PT classics and a creative spirit that would inhabit so much of Wilson's output, you should own it already.

Hallohallo was first covered by Wilson and then, by altering the main riff a bit, it evolved into the track Signify. Less known but not less remarkable is how the he stark slow beat and bass groove of Weisensee must have served as inspiration for Radioactive Toy.

But it didn't take Steve Wilson to discover the amazing qualities of this band. While close to a total failure at its release, countless post-punk bands picked up a dusty copy in shabby second-hand store. The rhythmical drone, the snappy and dissonant guitar playing and the textured noise that serves as lead melodic element would inspire diverse bands such as Magazine, Simple Minds, PIL, Siouxsie, Einsturzende Neubauten, Sonic Youth and many more.

Due to all this digression on the band's relevance we would almost forget about the music. Each of the 6 tracks here are a very different adventure, sometimes upbeat, sometimes slow, sometimes harsh then again spacey. Most of it is unlike anything else in existence around 1972 which makes this band into one of the rare truly original forces in rock.

Neu! was formed by Klaus Dinger and Michael Rother from the early Kraftwerk line-up. Some songs echo the minimalist rhythms of Kraftwerk and also the sonic experimentation, or should that be 'sonic anarchy', is similar. But Kraftwerk never rocked as hard and punk as this album. This brings early Can into the picture who also experimented with noise, dissonance and relentless funky grooves. While different from each other it's likely you'll either like both bands or none of both.

Unlike many other Krautrock bands, Neu! didn't take inspiration from Pink Floyd or blues, but created a completely new and discomforting type of music, seemingly from out of nowhere. I'm actually surprised this album hasn't inspired an onslaught of 1 star reviews. The harsh dissonance of Negativland or vocal anomaly of Lieber Honig could easily achieve that. A landmark album and fun all the way!

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Send comments to Bonnek (BETA) | Report this review (#282063)
Posted Saturday, May 15, 2010 | Review Permalink
frippism
COLLABORATOR
RIO/Avant/Zeuhl Team
5 stars Neu!'s debut and I had a tough love sort of relationship with me. I, being the Krautrock Newbie that I was, was expecting 1000 notes a second and insane arpeggios. But instead in front of me opened a soundscape which I was not ready for. It wasn't very melodic, it certainly didn't consist of a thousand notes. It was not PROGRESSIVE ROCK, but something completely different! It took me ages (well, a week or so) for me to get it. It's not about the notes, it's about the sounds! About being progressive, not prog. I can say now proudly that I get "it" and let me now say that Neu! is one of the most unique bands (well duo, whatever!) I have ever listened to. And let me tell you that this is one of the most rewarding records I have ever heard and now I absolutely love this record.

Well of course the opening track "Hollagallo" which in my opinion a fantastic opener to a fantastic record. Michael Rother displays some of the most interesting guitar work I have ever heard, and with the help of the very strong rhythm section Klaus Dinger supplies, the song propels forward like a tank! Wonderful track.

Sonderangebot is an amazing experimental track, which reminds me of future ambient music. The very atmospheric and open feeling on this track is soothing, while the loud screeching of the who-knows-what jolts you right back into reality. Superb, creepy, eerie, and yet wonderfully calm.

Weissensee is probably the most melodic track, not saying much though the song has about one melodic trace I can detect. But not the point. The song is breathtaking, again wonderful guitar (and bass of course) by Michael Rother. What more can I say about him? Just a genius guitarist.

Im Gluck is probably the track Rother is front and center the most, and he uses it to good effect. Again this is a pretty mellow track, beautiful, and highly experimental. Rother's guitar at one point sounds like a flock of seagulls, and in general the guitar work feels a bit like it's floating on water.

Negativland is probably the most intense track. The track, which to me reminds of 80's King Crimson in many ways (though of course this was recorded ten years before that). The drilling sounds lead into an absolutely mind blowing guitar by Rother, and the bass line is just thumps and gives the whole track this "umph" that makes the track so intense.

Lieber Honig is probably in my top 10 favorite songs of all time if not top 5. I can't put into words the absolute beauty of this song. I'm not sure who singing on this track, but this is some of the most emotionally drenched, powerful, downright scary, ugly but just so beautiful it will bring you to tears. You just really have to listen to it to get it, but it is one of those songs I can consider perfect.

I think that many people on this website have a problem with krautrock. I don't if it's the 4/4 time or the minimalism many of the bands use. But many people here need to understand this just adds to the depth. This music needs as much time and effort if not more than any really challenging prog album. I should say not for all, but I want all to really spend time and invest in this amazing stunning album!

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Send comments to frippism (BETA) | Report this review (#293005)
Posted Sunday, August 01, 2010 | Review Permalink
Sinusoid
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars NEU!'s self-titled debut is some of the most compulsive, natural (compositionally speaking) and minimalist music you could come across. Three pieces are extremely minimalist that feature nothing but bare noises that replicate things like water ripples or sunsets. As much as I detest noise pieces, NEU! seems to get away with it without sounding annoying or dull.

The longest track and debatably the most well-known track, ''Hallogallo'', is basically a ten- minute dance tune with a repetitive beat and layers of guitars and keyboards on top. It's so anti-conventional to what a prog fan would want out of their music, yet so convulsively pleasing that it doesn't really matter. Keeping the beat steady with a few variations doesn't sound complex, but it's near genious if you really pay careful attention.

''Weissensee'' is more-or-less a mood setter (makes me think shoreline) and ''Negativland'' pulls crazy tempo changes and screaming guitars well enough to make you notice. Both are not quite as classic as ''Hallogallo'', but they stamp their mark well enough.

NEU! is a hallmark album of Krautrock and is more progressive than you think; the whole packaging and sound seem to predate indie rock by about twenty years. And I'm sure Radiohead phoned in on the last track and took heavy influence from it. The music may sound straightforward, but there are more things bubbling underneath the surface if you investigate.

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Send comments to Sinusoid (BETA) | Report this review (#388857)
Posted Friday, January 28, 2011 | Review Permalink
Warthur
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars From the avant-garde end of Krautrock, Neu!'s first album combines pulsing, hypnotic rhythms with moments of spacey drifting. Vocals here and there on the album in a strange, strangled voice emphasise that this is no ordinary Krautrock album - Dinger and Rother have stated that the whole point of Neu! was to explore musical possibilities that they felt their compatriots in the German cosmic rock scene were neglecting - so fans of the likes of Amon Duul II, Tangerine Dream or Ash Ra Tempel may find the material here isn't necessarily to their liking, though I suspect many will enjoy it on the strength of its successful experimental approach and the unique atmospheres evoked. A great start to the band.

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Send comments to Warthur (BETA) | Report this review (#490036)
Posted Monday, July 25, 2011 | Review Permalink
EatThatPhonebook
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars 7/10

Neu!'s self titled debut is the spinal cord of the band's career.

When considering Krautrock as a whole, Neu! Are one of the first projects to pop into mind. This duo from Dusseldorf has been extremely influential for a very wide range of genres, from Ambient to Punk. The self titled debut album of theirs is acclaimed as a masterpiece of the genre, a perfect Krautrock model.

Neu! Have a very distinct and unique sound, which makes it question their position of being the most typical band of the genre. All the songs feature strong repetition, determined and solid rhythms that never fade out or change, accompanied by guitars with different effects, the only element that gives some sort of change during the course of a song. The atmosphere might be calm or more tense, peaceful or more chaotic, but this formula will never change, at least not for this album. As a consequence all of the songs are very stretched out, despite not being extremely long (the maximum length on this album for a track is about ten minutes).

The only problem about this album is that although well planned, executed, and everything else, it has no meat to it, it has only the spinal cord. Here we have an album that relies mostly on structure, and not specifically on the music. Then again, if this album did have more meat to it, it would have been a masterpiece, and probably the following albums would not have been so, unless the duo went towards a completely different direction. This album could have overshadowed everything else Neu! did in the future, but, thank God, it didn't.

These are minor complaints that don't at all affect the entertainment this album gives, when looking upon some of the songs here: "Hallogallo" is one of the best, most memorable and well constructed songs by the band, an instant classic that mixes robotic, futuristic atmospheres with deeply human emotions. Among the more lively songs, the dreadful and torturous "Negativland" has a creepy feel to it that isn't easy to forget, while among the more experimental and mellower songs, the minimalistic "Lieber Honig", the Ambient based tracks "Im Gluck" and "Sonderangebot", not to forget the more optimistic sounding "Weissensee", give a further hint of originality to the picture.

Neu!'s debut is no doubt an important release not only for the band but for Krautrock in general, to the point where this kind of value comes before the music itself. It is a very entertaining album nevertheless, essential listening for anyone who loves the genre.

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Send comments to EatThatPhonebook (BETA) | Report this review (#605430)
Posted Saturday, January 07, 2012 | Review Permalink
AtomicCrimsonRush
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Symphonic Team
4 stars Space Krautrock at its finest.

A listener's first excursion into the murky dense world of Neu! can be a love hate relationship. The tracks range in emotion from dynamic, vibrant exhilaration ('Hallogallo') to brooding impenetrable intensity ('I'm Gluck'). This early pioneering album is as important to Krautrock as it is to independent alternative modern music.

At times the rhythms are positively hypnotic such as the spacey 'Negativland', and the album does have its fair share of disturbia reminiscent of God Speed You! Black Emperor. 'Sonderangebot' has some unsettling gong splashes and distant cries and is one to avoid in pitch darkness.

The motorik beat of Michael Rother's guitar is a force in itself on the 10 minute hypnosis of 'Hallogallo'. This is my introduction to Neu! And I was delighted it did not over indulge in experimental avant-garde ramblings. 'Weissensee' is as close to Pink Floyd's musicality as one can get and its slow crawling psychedelic tones drone beautifully with measured guitar wah-wah swells.

'Lieber Honig' has a vocal performance in the form of Klaus Dinger's mournful intonations about the pain of feeling isolated; at least that is how it sounds in a language as foreign as Kobaian. The minimalism is unnerving in places but Neu! never overdo things by releasing a loud blast to induce a cheap heart failure as some bands do so. Actually, in the most curious way, the song is rather relaxing.

'Im Glück' is memorable for its ambient textures especially the soundbytes of a rowboat paddling on the river slowly. One may be reminded of a scene in a horror movie where the paddlers are being watched from afar by rednecks ready to strike terror; cue the banjo.

One may hear the makings of alternative indie such as Sigur Ros, Radiohead, GSYBE or Stereolab. This debut was light years ahead of its time and would have stunned listeners and of course it carved an indelible mark in the foundation of Krautrock.

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Send comments to AtomicCrimsonRush (BETA) | Report this review (#613135)
Posted Wednesday, January 18, 2012 | Review Permalink
2 stars Neu! may be considered as Gods by some music listeners, but I've been carrying their first and third albums around in my mind and on my computers for almost three years, and I'm still impressed with their content by only a few smidgens. If you asked me which one of these two albums I like better, I would have to say "The first one". Why?

The album starts with a ten-minute affair that took me quite a few listens to appreciate it. "Hallogallo" is largely constituted of mild grooves by Michael Rother and minimalist drumming by Klaus Dinger. I have no clue who exactly concocted those weird experimental guitar sounds, but they sure sound mild too. This is like a steady-paced boat- or car- trip, better yet a mid-tempo motion of windshield wipers, that gives you an opportunity to relax and take a break from all the hectic activities you might have gone through.

The second track is probably something that has never been done before, but I mean that without any implications of good quality whatsoever. It's an interesting track the details of which I refuse to disclose so that you would have the opportunity to shape your own perspective about it. Let's just say that "Sonderangebot" ("Special Offer") has a surprise that significantly improves the track's quality in general, defines its purpose more clearly, and has the potential of corrupting your prostate (if you have one) if you are listening to this through a pair of headphones or a surround system.

Frankly, I don't know what tracks 3, 4, and 6 do on the album. The duo seems to be pretty hung up on some ambient minimalism ideas so mediocre that I fail to see the point of the existence of these three tracks. The last one, especially, makes me want to do some crazy things to myself whenever I hear that weird vocal performance.

Now let's discuss "Negativland", my biggest favorite on the album. I remember that back in the day when I was in high school I was a bit frightened of the idea of enduring the lengthy noise torture present on this track. Some two-three years later I have perceived its mighty power and the possible purpose of that power. "Negativland" could serve as a great soundtrack for that segment of the footage on the Deutsch Avantgarde documentary "The Rebirth of Germany", where all these West-Berlinians had to flee the police force as fast as they could. I presume that it is Klaus Dinger who demonstrated his vision for punk since he is the punk of the duo. He shoots out some mean, just neurotic, guitar patterns as if he is about to rip his heart out. I think that I wouldn't be able to see that has it not been for the amazing guitar tone. I forgot to mention that the track is also very well structured, which is another plus for it. It's like as if Dinger is soloing with riffs. Quite an idea, huh? Also, the production on the track sublime.

Ratings/comments (if you have to ask):

1. 'Hallogallo' - *** ; 2. 'Sonderangebot' - *** ; 3. 'Weissensee' - ** ; 4. 'Im Gluck' - ** ; 5. 'Negativland' - ***** ; 6. 'Lieber Honig' - * ;

Stamp: "Try it yourself."

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Send comments to Dayvenkirq (BETA) | Report this review (#613987)
Posted Friday, January 20, 2012 | Review Permalink
5 stars I'm not an expert of Krautrock but Krautrock is a great music also for my knowledge. Personally for me Krautrock is a mix between Psychedelic Rock, Blues, Jazz and classical music, a lethal mix, because it is simple music, not colored, hypnotic. There is no melody, because it not serves: it is the intricate repetition of a theme that does not exist but that is artificially created. However, it is intriguing, really. But this is music? Perhaps is it pure art! In the case of Neu! (a duo consisting of Klaus Dinger and Michael Rother) appears to me an exaggeration to talk about rock music.

"Neu!", the debut album Neu! is an album that sends you into a parallel dimension. Clearly you need to be relaxed and ready for anything in order to understand this music. It is the pursuit of a parallel world, often higher. Certainly it would seem elementary music, but every note is not random.

There are many aspects that should be dissected, such as a whole speech on the ambient scene, it would be important. However I feel I can say that even in a narrow view to the scene of the 70's Krautrock "Neu!" is an honest masterpiece.

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Send comments to 1967/ 1976 (BETA) | Report this review (#773182)
Posted Monday, June 18, 2012 | Review Permalink
LinusW
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Italian Prog Specialist
5 stars Reaching more directly into the heart of things, the Motorik sound make itself known immediately in Hallogallo. A smooth transaction between disciplined beat (in an almost half-heartedly sloppy way!) and swooping, searching and sleekly self-aware and immediate melodic clarity. Neu!'s debut takes no prisoners. It's a clear and assertive form of expression. Love it or hate it. The regular and almost (sometimes definitely) backwards juggling of phrasings and relaxed melodic self-importance moves about in rising and bubbling guitar arrangements. It's in many ways relatively mundane, but the shape-shifting forms and different layers consciously bring the artistic statement into a forceful start.

Afterwards, in Sonderangebot, resonant metal gongs, slams and crashes reverberate and linger over (and around) tortured electric guitar lines. A claustrophobic darkness of equally lost-in-space, equally aggressive chilling ambience turns into a sombre, but meticulously crafted drive forwards into a meatier and warmer reality in Weissensee. The searching, clashing atmosphere settles into a beautifully rich parade of graceful and guitar-driven spacey orderliness and harmony. The contrast is just something else. The rhythms sneakily kidnap the understated but expressive guitar lines and twists them into a natural progression of smoothly and soothingly rising and falling motions. Im Glück continues down this path of uncertainty between electronic, abstract ambiance and shy, gliding melodic guitar sprinkles. Water, in most shapes or forms, is ever-present in Neu!'s output it seems. A lingering, clucking sound of a slightly underwater shoreline that morphs into instrumental minimalism. An ever so slowly oscillating drone that breaks up into peacefully evolving, wah-wah-ing melodies of poignant, but understated electric warmth and elegance. All of this give rise to a subtle infusion of clear, sapphire-blue and talkative guitars for a while. Ringing tones stroke the sampled watery sounds and sleekly and elegantly bring the sounds into an organic finish.

The twist towards edgier, more drilling sounds that follows is almost unwelcome. Sharp, wailing guitars accentuate a metal symphony of boundless, productive and shearing aggression. Aimlessly soaring screeches and wailing guitar misanthropy scratches and beckons on top of the underlying orderliness. Rhythmic, groovy bass propulsion slithers underneath a busy, flickering soundscape of sharply wheezing undulations of relentless guitars. The propulsive bass and drums accentuate and stress the pre-shoegaze wall of sound into a busy, unwelcoming world of stress in Negativland. It's disorienting in an eagerly provocative kind of way. Repetition, rhythm and texture. Combined into a familiar strangeness. Altogether wonderful. Searching, fleeting, full-bodied and reverently within Neu!'s rigorously self-imposed rhythmic constraints at the same time. It's this bubbling, groovy and often aggressive straight-forward melody that runs amok over the strictness in Neu! that I often find myself enchanted by.

Lieber Hoenig is a hissy lo-fi tribute of things to come. An understated guitar melody that searchingly seeps into a tape hiss of vulnerable, physical and up-close vocal lines that greedily, but warily reach out into the light. This amazing insecurity gets enveloped back into the safe, bassy strings that we've heard before.

I really don't know how to summarize a musical experience such as this. It's a strictly rhythmic commandment to follow along and never look back as well as a relaxed, ambient journey into the subconscious hinterland of human vulnerability. It's a demonstratively futuristic sound of music. And eagerly progressive. Perhaps a bit challenging on your way forward through the album once you've pressed play, but fearlessly plowing its way into the unknown has its own rewards. It reeks of a self-assured poise and a security in its musical ideas, even though its a debut album. Paradoxically, a sense of careful, almost tender, attention and vagueness is equally important. And that's what turns it into a masterpiece. It's so restless. And it feels as restless today as it must have felt like over forty years ago.

Gotta count for something, right?

5 stars.

//LinusW

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Send comments to LinusW (BETA) | Report this review (#1007164)
Posted Saturday, July 27, 2013 | Review Permalink

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