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GERMAN OAK

Krautrock • Germany


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German Oak biography
A free form rock band founded by a small community of 5 German hippies / "avant garde" artists back at the beginning of the 70's (Wolfgang Franz Czaika, as Caesar, is credited with "Lead- & Rhythmguitar", Ullrich Kallweit, known as Ulli "Drums/Percussion". His brother Harry Kallweit known as Harry, contributes "Electric bass/voice", Manfred Uhr AKA Warlock on "Organ/fuzz-organ/voice" and Norbert Luckas AKA Nobbi on "Guitar/A77/Noises"). Their self title effort was published in 1972 in Düsseldorf at Luftschutzbunker (Air Raid Shelter) studio. The cover of their self title album (a militaristic image which is a portrait of the third Reich military force) provides an illustration of anger expressed by the WWII's young generation against their parents. By consequence German Oak's music is very eerie, dark and weird, dominated by heavy, "distorted" guitar solos & raw bluesy rhythms. The background creates "shadowy" & "ambient" sequences thanks to delay echoes, electronic "fuzzy" noises & repetitive bass lines. A funkadelic/jazzy felt punctuates with discretion this grandiose, "creepy" instrumental album. A first CD reissue was offered by Witch And Warlock in 1991. Today this album is re-edited by Radioactive records (2005). In a rather discretion they also released the moody, cloudy and experimental epic-kraut "Niebenlungenieg" (1972).

::: Philippe Blache :::

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German OakGerman Oak
Flashback 2010
Audio CD$13.43
$13.00 (used)
NibelungenliedNibelungenlied
Import
World 1997
Audio CD$97.13 (used)
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GERMAN OAK discography


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GERMAN OAK top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.55 | 32 ratings
German Oak
1972
4.39 | 12 ratings
Nibelungenlied
1972

GERMAN OAK Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

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GERMAN OAK Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 German Oak by GERMAN OAK album cover Studio Album, 1972
3.55 | 32 ratings

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German Oak
German Oak Krautrock

Review by presdoug

5 stars It has been a while since i have been so excited and enthusiastic about music new to me as this debut, self-titled album by krautrock obscurity German Oak, which i heard for the first time recently. Recorded in 1972, this album was overlooked and not really promoted at the time, and that is a shame, as the music therein is of a high quality and uniqueness. Of course, the band reminds you in some ways of others of that time and place, but there is an originality in the way the musicians put everything together with the result that their sound is mainly their own way, and not really what could be called derivative.

The group recorded this in an old Dusseldorf WW2 bunker, with the result being a kind of eerie atmosphere pervading the recording-but German Oak's inimitable "eeriness" is never a turn off, quite the opposite-this atmosphere helps to stamp their unique way upon the listener, and is fascinating. I have never really heard anything quite like it. The record is completely instrumental, and doesn't need any vocals, as the musicians maintain your interest all the way through with their interesting interplay. That goes for the extra three tracks which some pressings have included, recorded around the same time, but a bit more up tempo, though still fitting in with the album itself.

The three extra tracks are longer than the short album pieces, and shorter than the long album tracks, which is kind of nice. References to the Nazis and WW2 are all over the place on this record, in the song titles, even small excerpts from Hitler speeches! But this band are not just a run of the mill throwback, far from it. Too unique, and too hip a sound!

German Oak should be known and talked about far more than they are-i give their debut five stars.

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 German Oak by GERMAN OAK album cover Studio Album, 1972
3.55 | 32 ratings

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German Oak
German Oak Krautrock

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

3 stars A very unique sounding album from 1972. Apparently this was recorded in an air raid shelter and unfortunately you can tell. It's muddy and murky sounding and I spent a good deal of time trying to adjust my stereo so it would sound half decent with no success. It is what it is (haha). So while this is hailed by many for being original and very underground sounding, in my opinion it just sounds bad. Poor sound quality. I should mention my cd has no bonus tracks on it, just the original songs.

"Airalert" opens with sounds that build but it hard to tell what the sounds are. Organ takes the lead late in this short intro track. "Down In The Bunker" features sounds that echo, bang and drift. Again it's very muddy sounding. Drums start to lead before it turns spacey after 9 minutes as a beat follows. Guitar joins in making some muffled sounds. This is a tough listen as it goes on for 18 minutes.

"Raid Over Duesseldorf" is the only song that sounds clearer. I don't know if it was recorded somewhere else or just differently but this track brings this recording up to a 3 star album for me from the 2 I would have given it. It's a great tune as they jam in that Krautrock style. "1945-Out Of The Ashes" is back to the murky waters with organ and a beat but i'm not sure what else.

3 stars for the one track alone, but overall a disappointment.

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 German Oak by GERMAN OAK album cover Studio Album, 1972
3.55 | 32 ratings

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German Oak
German Oak Krautrock

Review by Dobermensch

1 stars Blimey. it's another of those albums I should like, but just don't. It has a great front cover which attracted me to it in the first place. But it's just so God awful dull! and it sounds like it was recorded in a wine cellar - with all the musicians having drunk all the booze. It's a painful dirge - even after getting past the 1st few tracks which are... ahem!... 'bonus live numbers' at the beginning the CD, for some reason. It really stinks I'm afraid. It's hard to believe 5 blokes were involved recording this. A One man band with his flute and booming drum could have done better than this. No redeeming qualities at all I'm afraid. It's pants.

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 German Oak by GERMAN OAK album cover Studio Album, 1972
3.55 | 32 ratings

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German Oak
German Oak Krautrock

Review by Rivertree
Special Collaborator Psych/Space Team & Band Submissions

3 stars This eponymous GERMAN OAK album is somewhat controversial. For some it's the ultimate krautrock effort for others an amateurish unskilled product which can be ignored. My truth lies in between somewhere. The band members are working up the horrible historical experiences of the Second World War in their own way. I'm quite sure this was only meant to provoke reactions but it might be mistakable to take such a cover art and song titles which are referring to war themes. Additionally they decided to use an original bunker resp. air-raid shelter situated in Düsseldorf for the recordings. This altogether defines a special mystery around the album.

The four songs - two longer jams prepared with a two minute intro and outro - sound like simple garage recordings with a hall-effect. The bunker atmosphere brings a special dark, depressive touch to the music. Airalert seems to be a snippet of a longer jam provided with heavy organ contributions and it would be really interesting to hear more but soon the song fades out and Down in the Bunker starts experimental with industrial sounds remembering of Faust or Space Explosion. Later the band begins to play more structured and the mood changes to a longer doom part similiar to the early Black Sabbath provided with some weird guitar solos. The bass is played absolutely unvaried and plus guitar and drums I can only hear a standard trio crew whereas the line-up is indicated with 5 members.

The same with Raid over Düsseldorf following as an acid rocking psych jam in opposite to the depressing forerunner track and finally assuring the third star. The song has a really optimistic drive - primitive but good with a remarkable team work. But organ is absent once again here in opposite to the outro 1945 - Out of the Ashes continuing the first track but with a surprising end offering a short sample with church bells, traffic sound and birds' twittering.

It's typical for krautrock productions to use simple song structures, repetitive patterns and weird contributions. But for me this album is musically and conceptionally not very challenging and therefore not essential. It might be a great find though for other fans of obscure krautrock and psych music.

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 Nibelungenlied by GERMAN OAK album cover Studio Album, 1972
4.39 | 12 ratings

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Nibelungenlied
German Oak Krautrock

Review by philippe
Special Collaborator Content Development & Krautrock Team

5 stars The dark German collective back with completely catchy kraut-improvisations. All tracks deliver memacing heavy, fuzzy psychedelic moments that merit a serious listening. After their amazing and most popular effort, "Nibelungenlied" stresses the free-sonic-destruction dimension of their music. The sound is always dominated by screaming / electric bluesy guitar parts, sound experiments and macabre keyboards effects. "The heroic deeds of Siegfried" is a dark and minimalist, melancholic composition with a dubtle "medieval" flavour. The savage percussions announces a delicate, simplistic guitar sequence in a moody tone. "Nibelungenlied I" is an agressive, dynamic guitar orientated composition, featuring really hypnotic, rocking sequences; all in improvisation with a repetitive bass line and some vicious guitar solos. "Gunter & Brunhild", "Hagen von Tronje" & "Siegfried's death" are bluesy-kraut jam with wha wha effects and strangely doom, sinister atmospheres. Heavy, complex, weird & cool! A "poisoning" masterpiece. This album only has to be avoided by those who can't support an extremely poor, infect sound production

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 German Oak by GERMAN OAK album cover Studio Album, 1972
3.55 | 32 ratings

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German Oak
German Oak Krautrock

Review by philippe
Special Collaborator Content Development & Krautrock Team

5 stars A conceptual album? Maybe. Anyway this self title album is all about the II world war and its denunciation. This album is an electrified and original kraut improvisation with many weird, strange atmospheres injected into it. "Airalert " is an illustration of a military march. The electric organ stresses the tempo on it. "Down In The Bunker" can be seen as a funeral hymn related to chaos and the tragic consequences of war. A dark, creepy ambient atmosphere prevails, sustained by rolling drum parts, heavy, crying guitar lines and some frantic repetitive bass lines. Imagine something somewhere between TD's "electronic meditation" and Kluster but with more emphasis on the "dark" side. "Raid Over Düsseldorf" is an impressive, catchy "psych" heavy rock tune with lot of wha wha guitar effects and an outstanding contrast between a moody ambiance and a bluesy rock instrumentation. The rhythm is perpetual, systematic and guides the listener into an "acid" rock avalanche. "1945 - Out Of The Ashes" is a similar theme than the first track, based on a plaintive electric organ with an obsessional rhythmic. The 3 bonus tracks on the new CD reissue express also very interesting musical moments with some aggressive rock tunes, punctuated by inspired meditative, repetitive organ arrangements and concrete noises. A beautifully sinister musical adventure. Very fine and one of my all times favourite 70's rock item.

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 German Oak by GERMAN OAK album cover Studio Album, 1972
3.55 | 32 ratings

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German Oak
German Oak Krautrock

Review by raffax

4 stars Lets be honest, this is not a prog-rock music. If you like King Crimson, Yes or ELP run away! If you like weired sounds, krautrock, psychedelic trips, dreamy, long, raw sounding brainshakers you found what you like. If someone say it is a space rock I could agree. That record was made in Air Raid Shelter in Germany and sounds like : dark, close-in, claustrophobic. It is a bit like Guru Guru but more garage sounding. I highly recommend it to all krautrock lovers. Due to inadequate rating system - it is for collector/fans only but an excellent record as well I give it 4 stars.

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Thanks to Philippe Blache for the artist addition. and to Snow Dog for the last updates

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