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FLOH DE COLOGNE

Krautrock • Germany


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Floh De Cologne biography
Floh de Cologne were formed in 1966 as a political and anarchic collective of students from the University of Cologne. The group is composed by Gerd Wollschon (voices, keyboards), Markus Schmidt (violin, bass), Hans-Jorg "Hansi" Frank (drums & keyboards) and Britta Baltruschat (voices). They recorded their first album "Vietnam" (Pläne) in 1968. This musical act is a protestation against the war. The famous and controversial Rolf Ulrich Kaiser (ohr) published the following albums whose the classics "Rockoper Profitgeier" (1971) and "Lucky Streik" (1972). All albums contain provocative and humorous sketches about political and social facts. Musically their style can be considered as a mixture between avant-folk, sound experimentations, free rock and narratives. Recorded in 1973, "Geier Symphonie" punctuates Floh de Cologne's original style to demonstrative, semi theatrical and symphonic rock attacks. In 1974, after the split of ohr label, the formation go back to "Pläne" for several recordings until the end of the 70's.

Discography:
Vietnam 1969
Fliessbandbaby's Beat-Show 1970
Rockoper Profitgeier 1971
Lucky Streik 1972
Mumien 1974
Dieser chilenische Sommer war heiß 1974
Geyer-Symphonie 1974
Tilt! 1975
Rotkäppchen 1977
Prima Freiheit 1978

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FLOH DE COLOGNE Videos (YouTube and more)


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Buy FLOH DE COLOGNE Music


Fließbandbabys Beat-ShowFließbandbabys Beat-Show
ohr/pilz 1999
Audio CD$9.45
Geyer SymphonieGeyer Symphonie
ohr/pilz 1999
Audio CD$9.44
$23.28 (used)
ProfitgeierProfitgeier
Import
ohr/pilz 1999
Audio CD$9.44
$16.89 (used)
Lucky StreikLucky Streik
ohr/pilz 1999
Audio CD$9.44
$16.31 (used)
Lieder aus der Rock-Oper 'Koslowsky' (AMIGA) / Vinyl record [Vinyl-LP]Lieder aus der Rock-Oper 'Koslowsky' (AMIGA) / Vinyl record [Vinyl-LP]
Import
Vinyl$19.45 (used)
Lucky Streik - Rock Jazz RaketeLucky Streik - Rock Jazz Rakete
Spalax
Audio CD$18.90
$14.57 (used)
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FLOH DE COLOGNE discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

FLOH DE COLOGNE top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

0.00 | 0 ratings
St. Pauli Nachrichten
1968
2.08 | 5 ratings
Vietnam
1969
3.33 | 15 ratings
Fliessbandbaby's Beat-Show
1970
3.78 | 8 ratings
Lucky Streik
1972
2.41 | 10 ratings
Geyer-Symphonie
1973
2.96 | 5 ratings
Mummien
1974
0.00 | 0 ratings
Tilt!
1975
1.95 | 3 ratings
Koslowsky
1980
1.67 | 3 ratings
Faaterland
1983

FLOH DE COLOGNE Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.13 | 8 ratings
Rockoper Profitgeier
1971

FLOH DE COLOGNE Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

FLOH DE COLOGNE Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.00 | 5 ratings
Tilt & Prima Freiheit
1994

FLOH DE COLOGNE Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

FLOH DE COLOGNE Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Fliessbandbaby's Beat-Show by FLOH DE COLOGNE album cover Studio Album, 1970
3.33 | 15 ratings

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Fliessbandbaby's Beat-Show
Floh De Cologne Krautrock

Review by DrömmarenAdrian

4 stars Floh de Cologne's second record "Fliessbandbaby's Beat-Show" from 1970 is a strange album which craves an open minded listener to be enjoyed by. This is classified Krautrock, a genre I'm not convinced in but this form of music is great. It's easy to relate it to the left wing socialist music genre "progg" in seventies' Sweden which I am found of. I don't know so much German but they are singing(well...) about politics all the time, about the workers and about the first against the capitalist bastards. The musicians on this disc are Hansi Franchi(drums), Dieter Klemm(vocals), Gerd Wollschon(vocals), Markus Schmidt(guitar, keyboards) and Dick Stadtler(bass).

To some people this could sound weird. They are not singing so much. I will name this music "discussion rock" or some form of political musical theatre. If you haven't done that, search for the group's name on Youtube and you will find one fantastic video when they were singing a song. This full record has not distinct ends between the songs and the themes, both musical and lyrical seems to come back all the time som this is really a concept record. Their sound is not very complicated, it's heavy and clear. The most distinct instrument is the organ which gives the music deep. Mostly they discuss things or scream phrases but the instrumentation is varied and sweat. "Fliessbandbaby, Manchmal Träum Ich" has different passages and a bit of Beethoven's Für Elize. Some parts have much of a comedy in it. "Ford Capri" is a joyfull piece and "Hey Johnny" seams to reply rock'n'roll music. Over all this is very interesting music to listen to. I like their anger and the way this record is unique. Perhaps not for the common progger. Listen for yourselves and do a review so I se what you think! I like it!

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 Fliessbandbaby's Beat-Show by FLOH DE COLOGNE album cover Studio Album, 1970
3.33 | 15 ratings

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Fliessbandbaby's Beat-Show
Floh De Cologne Krautrock

Review by the philosopher

4 stars "Arbeit macht spass! Überstunden machen nog mehr spass!" (Labor makes happy! Working overtime makes even more happy!)

Floh de Cologne is the primary example of the caberetesque part of the krautrock movement. The music is best compared with the Mothers of Invention and The Fugs for their caberetesque way of making music. The styl of music fits actually more in the 60's psychedelic scene then the 70's progressive rock scene, although the production is far better then 60's rock. The music contains beat music, rock'n roll, garage rock, psychedelic rock, some avant-rock and hippy folk. There are also some nice tunes which do fit very well in the krautrock scene and like most krautrock bands this music feels original.

The most issues handled in this "Fliessbandbabies Beatshow" (freely translated: "assembly line baby's beat show") could have been inspired by the economic philosophy of Karl Marx. It is about labor and working class; about the need of bying sport cars and the like. The issues are told from different point of views (the kids that don't want to work but want to play; the boss who speeches that if one would like to eat he gotta work; and so on and so on. Because all the lyrics and spoken texts are in the German language, a minimal understanding of the German language is required for enjoying this record for the full amount.

This record needed some time to grow on me. I think that the more I understood of the lyrics, the more I enjoyed it. The music itself is quiet good -at parts even excellent-, but not good enough for a real pleasant experience. At some parts the structure of the music is very simple and the focus should be on the lyrics which do excel at that time. This is the case on songs like "Ford Capri" and "Hey Johnny". Because I always judge the music before I'm getting into the lyrics, I have changed my thoughts from giving this record a two star rating to a four star rating. Nowadays this one has become one of my favourite krautrock records and is often to be found on my turntable.

I recommend this record for fan's of caberetesque rock like the Mothers of Invention and The Fugs who also can understand German. For those who don't understand German I'll advise to skip this one.

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 Fliessbandbaby's Beat-Show by FLOH DE COLOGNE album cover Studio Album, 1970
3.33 | 15 ratings

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Fliessbandbaby's Beat-Show
Floh De Cologne Krautrock

Review by Dobermensch

2 stars I actually thought this was pretty good the last time I heard it - being half asleep, semi conscious and unthinking in my bed around 2.00am. two weeks ago.

Hearing it in the cold light of day with a clear head makes me realise with terrible clarity that what I actually listened to is in fact a festering pile of old arse. I can only hope that such realisation only extends to the poorer bands of the ouvre and that I don't awake one morning to discover that ALL prog is terrible.

Clankily written, stodgily played and made on what sounds, a budget of £2 and a can of lager. The opening sounds like a 1944 war time casualty report which develops a nasty high pitched whine which will hurt if you suffer from Tinnitus.

I can never remember anything about "Fliessband Baby". Every time I hear it, it sounds fresh, by virtue of it being so forgettable. I'm currently despising the ineptitude so much that I'm seriously considering kicking in my Hi-Fi...

I'm usually a big fan of albums sung in German, but this one just annoys the hell out of me. The introduction of Donald Duck vocals half way through does nothing to improve my increasingly bad mood. Cheesy organ, nasally vocals (lots of them!), thin reedy bass and pedestrian guitars are pretty much all you get.

It's lucky to get 2 stars, and that's simply because I don't understand the lyrics - I get the impression they're Communist sympathisers by the small snippets that I do pick up on this very wordy cd. I'm sure that if I did understand them I'd fly off into a fit of rage.

A very amateurish and badly dated album by the so called 'pioneers' of Krautrock.

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 Rockoper Profitgeier by FLOH DE COLOGNE album cover Live, 1971
3.13 | 8 ratings

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Rockoper Profitgeier
Floh De Cologne Krautrock

Review by Tom Ozric
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Floh De Cologne are one of the lesser known contributors from the German underground movement, commonly known to us as 'Krautrock'. Sure, musically, they share a rough, psychedelic sound not far from AMON DUUL (closer to the original incarnation, as opposed to Duul II), but also features the classic Vox Continental organ sound (associated with THE DOORS) and an eccentric, humourous bent not far away from FRANK ZAPPA, unfortunately though the texts and lyrics are all in German, making it a bit lost on most of us non-German speaking folks. Overall, the 5 musicians present are proficient on their instruments (particularly main organist, Markus Schmidt), but seem to employ an in-band policy of chopping and changing who-plays- what, and they convey their voices with a lot of character - often modifying their expression, depending on what it is they're saying and how the music is structured behind the voices. It's fair to say that the music is somewhat secondary to the texts, but this arrangement strikes me as highly creative, genuine and even fun to listen to. 'Profitgeier' is performed live 11 January, 1971 in Neumunster, and in Windrose-Dumont studio over the following couple of days, hence, there's very little in the way of audience noises and live interaction. Listening to this, I find little in the way of offensiveness or weakness, I really enjoy it - side 2 features some pieces which are extended and serve the band well, especially 'Die Luft gehort denen, die sie atmen' segueing into the 7 min+ title track. This album is quite excellent actually, and highly recommended for all those adventurous Proggers. Krautrock, yeah, where else could you file something this diverse and unique ???

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 Lucky Streik by FLOH DE COLOGNE album cover Studio Album, 1972
3.78 | 8 ratings

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Lucky Streik
Floh De Cologne Krautrock

Review by philippe
Special Collaborator Content Development & Krautrock Team

4 stars After the great Fliesbandbabys Beat Show, this agitated german polit rock published the crazy and subversive Lucky Streik for narratives, radical musical instrumentations (made of trippy organ chords, moody pastoral flutes, agressive rockin' & folkish guitars, popular chants). This one has been recorded during live performances. It includes semi-structured songs with a great assortment of bizarre, satirical, provocative, radical political sketches in German accompanied by imaginative instrumental works largely dominated by heavy-fuzzy-psych-rockin arguments. The result is very personal and eccentric, admiting parallels with RIO's derives and experimental moments. An authentic musical curiosity with great anti- capitalist hymns. The album opens with the obscure and tormented Countdown then carries on a collection of theatrical songs, combining sad-nervous-melancholic accents (kalt wut, saurier...) provocant, deliriously beautiful parodies, communicative contagious catchy songs (Wir sind millionenmal so stark u.a...). An original, non conventional and really pleasant album from this polit-rock / avant garde ensemble.

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 Rockoper Profitgeier by FLOH DE COLOGNE album cover Live, 1971
3.13 | 8 ratings

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Rockoper Profitgeier
Floh De Cologne Krautrock

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

2 stars Reflecting the rebellious times ...

FLOH DE COLOGNE represents a german rock section which is provided with a strong political orientation. Their music is not that spectacular (at least for this recordings), mainly used for wrapping the messages I would say. For judging this album it's recommended to go deeper into the lyrics and to be familiar with the german language plus the social situation a little bit.

Starting as an agitprop theater group FLOH DE COLOGNE appeared on the Essener Songtage 1968 which was one of the initial events for the development of krautrock. Obviously they were impressed by other participating rock bands like Zappa's MOTHERS OF INVENTION for example and the emphasis changed to make political rock music afterwards. And therefore in January 1971 FLOH DE COLOGNE put the first german rock opera 'Profitgeier' on the stage.

This album is full of harsh left-wing criticism at the situation in Germany and reflects the social background with the student protests at the end of the 60s and a spirit of optimism which also had an effect on many workers. Unlike other german bands with a political approach like EULENSPYGEL the FLOH DE COLOGNE members didn't make any compromises. 'Profitgeier' is another german description for 'exploiter'. The album back cover for example is provided with invitations to join marxist organisations which especially were oriented at the USSR politics.

Nowadays it's quite astonishing that the band found a financially strong label which released such an album (besides some others). But at that time OHR as a sub-label of Metronome was especially charged to explore bands and artists which were reflecting the rebellious times - headed by Rolf-Ulrich Kaiser who supported a lot of new experimental bands and therefore became a key figure for the krautrock genre.

The songs are fading into each other which can be expected for a live presented rock 'opera' whereas this title can only be considered in the widest sense because of a very generic concept. Some applause is to detect here and there which demonstrates the live character. Musically the songs are dominated by rock n' roll, heavy rock and blues - technically good but not very ambitious - even not prog-related though. Maybe one could say pre-kraut with some reasons. Textually interesting parts are alternating with slogans which are way too simple or provocative, often presented as sprechgesang or recitative.

The political lessons are starting with He, hallo Stift whereas 'Stift' is colloquially ment for an apprentice and the song especially deals with the situation of young factory workers. 'Who owns the world?' and other fundamental questions are asked during the following songs. Auf dem Arbeitsmarkt is played in a heavy psych rock mood and musically an outstanding track with excellent guitar work. The last song Wir werden immer mehr, literally translated to 'We are always getting more', expresses a big ambition which finally could not be realized until today.

I know the band since the 70s but never saw them live in opposite to similar acts like the austrian SCHMETTERLINGE with their 'Proletenpassion'. Their orientation at the politically bankrupt USSR, the plain music combined with flat textual substance here and there - this was not a big hit according to my taste.

Recommended to collectors of obscure german rock output who are able to get into the very special german lyrics.

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 Vietnam by FLOH DE COLOGNE album cover Studio Album, 1969
2.08 | 5 ratings

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Vietnam
Floh De Cologne Krautrock

Review by Sean Trane
Special Collaborator Prog Folk

2 stars This very « original » group emerged from the extreme left-wing political factions and created almost by themselves a small current Polit-Rock, one of the many facets of Krautrock. While other groups engaged in this type of experimentation of including politics into rock music (Wyatt in Matching Mole's Little Red record, Henry Cow in In Praise Of learning or Italy's Area's Arbeid Macht Frei), there is sense of the political message being more important than the music in FDC's oeuvre.

Taking their name from the Eau De Cologne, this Köln present some typical krautrock music in the background of their German- spoken/sung lyrics, and although I've never seen any film footage, one can't help but thinking that one of their concerts must've approached avant-garde theatre that was the rage, following Counter Culture's brief triumph in the early 70's.

This debut album (a collab with Dieter Süverkrup) certainly did not go by unnoticed as their full frontal attack to the Vietnam disaster was not only the planet's prime concern, but had become the focal point of all of the planet's military efforts, possibly leading to the Cold War's warming to full global conflict. Obviously this group's very critical stance against the US's invasion forces, whether invited or not is regardless to the disastrous results. More than on later FDC albums, the music takes a back stand to the group's political message that seems to be more akin to theatre or some kind of avant-garde performance. But whatever music is present is indisputably progressive, even if sometimes nearing complete caricature, and is designed to enhance the German declaimed/sung lyrics supporting the text's absurd and derisive situation, attacking capitalism and rather thick-humored silly jokes, providing some difficult and uninteresting moments for the progheads not wishing such satire in their music. The music is mixed between some excellent prog moments (there are cash teller noises that will become so famous with Floyd) and absolutely grotesque tuba-music for cabaret and marching bands or Oktoberfest popular orchestras.

Difficult to recommend such a weird late-60's artifact, as it is completely obsolete nowadays, unless you master German well enough to draw some philosophical wisdom from such a masquerade. And for potential investigating proghead, this album would not b e a suitable intro, either, not only in musical contents, but also ibn terms of potential repeated listenings.

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 Mummien by FLOH DE COLOGNE album cover Studio Album, 1974
2.96 | 5 ratings

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Mummien
Floh De Cologne Krautrock

Review by Sean Trane
Special Collaborator Prog Folk

3 stars Floh De Cologne's now-ell-established musical formula being transported to Chili's recent political troubles (Pinochet having over- turned Salvador Allende's socialist government with the CIA's help) during a very sensible period of the Cold War, obviously left FDC astounded but anything but speechless. This very talkative record is their reaction, as they felt very concerned as many 2nd WW Nazi criminals had escaped to South America and Chili being one of their "preferred" final destinations. Pinochet's clique and their outfit left little doubt as to the extreme right inspirations either and FDC's artwork for this album leaves very little doubt as to their opinions, rightly shared by most everyone on the planet' except for a few "blind" malevolent secret services.

Musically this is not much different than their previous effort, the music behind the message being indisputably progressive rock, even sounding like Genesis' type of symphonic prog, including harpsichord and Hackettian guitar lines. Of course, the music is much hidden/buried by the up-front vocals, but still quite enjoyable if you don't mind the German singing and constant allusions to Allende and the evil Pinochet.

Somehow I can't help but wondering what the music would sound like if the political lyrical content and vocals were completely erased and leaving the music alone (albeit probably remastered and volume adapted) to be judged by the progheads. No doubt that most of them would be quite impressed. Very much worth a listen, I doubt most of FDC's album would stand much repeated listening without developing Stalinian tendencies (a slight exaggeration as FDC's anti-Nazi message does not mean that they actually endorse extreme left-wing fascism either), but the music's political message is not only very dated (albeit.) but it is overshadowing an otherwise very progressive rock. Must be heard, but not necessarily essential for progheads' collections.

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 Koslowsky by FLOH DE COLOGNE album cover Studio Album, 1980
1.95 | 3 ratings

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Koslowsky
Floh De Cologne Krautrock

Review by ClemofNazareth
Special Collaborator Prog Folk Researcher

2 stars Man, this stuff really must be an acquired taste. A left-leaning (I assume) RIO kind of thing with interlaced folk tales and several early glimpses of what sounds like where some of the dance/pop crap of the early MTV-eighties would come from, particularly on the strangely rap-leaning “Familiengeschichten” and “Koslowsky Schlagt Zu”.

The rest is really far too German for any hope of mass-appeal. “Die Prinzesin Auf Der Nadel” has some decent piano and a fairly languid tempo, and “Schlackenfahrer Schorsch” features a few interesting guitar licks. But the German vocals are heavy and often spoken-word, with messages that escape those who don’t speak the language. This isn’t the kind of music you’re likely to listen to if you are primarily interested in the instrumentation.

I gather this is close to the final gasp for this band that started out as some sort of social protest group at the end of the hippie-love revolution. Vietnam was long over by the time this came out, and the band seems to be struggling to find something new to be angry (or even motivated) about.

Not my thing for sure. I’ll assume this appeals to someone or it wouldn’t have been reissued on CD. So two stars for the collectors, but I don’t know anyone personally I could recommend this to.

peace

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 Geyer-Symphonie by FLOH DE COLOGNE album cover Studio Album, 1973
2.41 | 10 ratings

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Geyer-Symphonie
Floh De Cologne Krautrock

Review by ClemofNazareth
Special Collaborator Prog Folk Researcher

2 stars This may be one of the shortest reviews I ever write. My take on this album is fairly simple: if you like politically-tinged Krautrock with lots of spoken German-language dialog and what might actually be some sarcastic humor, you might like this album. If you don’t speak or understand German, you are going to be lost. This album was a somewhat misguided attempt to stretch my horizons out to include Kraut music. I think I may have chosen the wrong album to start with.

This isn’t symphonic music by any stretch of the imagination, despite the title. The influence of Mr. Zappa is readily apparent in both the musical arrangements (such that they are), and in the socio-political tone. It seems to me that there were an awful lot of Eastern bloc people listening to Zappa music back in the Cold War days, and from what little I’ve read about this band, they seem to fit more into the RIO category than anywhere else.

There is a whole lot of spoken dialog, as I’ve said, and since I don’t speak German I don’t know what much of it is about, so let’s assume it is politically-charged and somehow deep. There is much less music, and what little exists is fairly minimalist. Most hearkens back to the Mothers of Invention, although some sounds almost martial in tone. On the longest track, the twenty minute-plus “Satz-Serenade Des Bautours (Leichenschmaus)” there are a few spoken-word passages that sound like a Monty Python skit, so I’m going to assume they are supposed to be funny.

That’s about it I guess. The album cover is pretty cool too. I’m really lost on this one, and can only say that it is probably a great album for Floh de Cologne fans, but for the average non German-speaking prog fan, this probably won’t do much for you. In deference to Krautrock fans, I promise not to write any more Kraut album reviews any time soon. Two stars.

peace

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