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Nosferatu - Nosferatu CD (album) cover

NOSFERATU

Nosferatu

 

Krautrock

3.60 | 50 ratings

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siLLy puPPy
4 stars The 1968 student riots in Paris sparked a huge backlash in cultural norms and the world of music was no exception. Both France and Germany were profoundly affected by this time of profound upheaval and artists far and wide began to craft more explorative sounds that pushed the boundaries of musical established paradigms. Germany's Krautrock scene was one of the products of this explosive event and soon West German artists who were stuck in the typical beat and blues exports from the Anglo influenced world were finding new creative ways to detach from those dependencies. While a few artists like Limbus 3 immediately went for the jugular by deconstructing every possible aspect of rock music, others like Frankfurt am Main's NOSFERATU tread more cautiously by retaining the beat and blues aspects while adding jazzier influences inspired by the free jazz pioneers such as Ornette Coleman and Albert Ayer with the increased use of progressive rock time signature changes and Teutonic motorik rhythms.

NOSFERATU was one of the earliest Krautock bands founded in 1968 along with other pioneers such as Can, Xhol Caravan and Amon Duul I. While the others would go on to define the entire Krautrock scene with their creative experiments, NOSFERATU has been largely forgotten and is amongst one of the most obscure bands from this era perhaps due to the fact that its sole eponymously titled album was still too steeped in the English sounds that preceded the 1968 uprisings. The band's brief three year existence found this sole relic being released the Vogue label and consisted of Michael Thierfelder (vocals), Christian Felke (saxophone), Michael Kessler (bass), Reinhard "Tammy" Grohè (organ), Michael Meixner (guitar) and Byally Braumann (drums). Part of the problem with NOSFERATU finding any foothold in the emerging Kraut world was the fact that at the time Vogue was more set up for promoting schlager and pop artists. Due to the neglect the band was forced to move on fairly quickly with only a mere album to prove it existed.

Despite being classified as Krautrock, NOSFERATU gives few hints of its German heritage. The lyrics are completely sung in English, the music is primarily blues and beat based suggesting a direct connection to the early and mid-60s and although the band was clearly in the realms of progressive rock at this point focused more on off-kilter time signatures and deviations from the rock norms rather than the expected Kraut practices of complete disassociation from the R&B and blues influences that came from the American rock scene however despite the cold feet in jumping into the extreme world of experimentalism, NOSFERATU did engage in a few jazzy interludes, a touch of lysergic trippiness and in effect provided the perfect transition album for those having a hard time bridging the gap between the Anglo-rock clones that preceded the 1968 timeline and the bands that immediately jumped into the stratosphere regarding the established rock ethos. As a result this NOSEFERATU album sounds more like something that actually would have emerged in 1968.

This band very much emerged in the spirit of the hippie communes that were all the rage in West Germany around this time and in fact once the band folded, many members would move to the countryside and participate in the commune lifestyles however sax / flute player Christian Felke continued on to play with the band Epsilon. For many this sole NOSFERATU release may only be of historical importance but overall it's actually a decent period piece listen even if a tad dated by the 1970 timeline. It's quite rare to find an album that so perfectly straddles the line between the mainstream beat and blues rock music that preceded prog fortified with clear elements of prog that even ventured into adventurous terrain. While i doubt this album will ever be rediscovered as some sort of long lost classic, it is without a doubt an interesting curiosity that is worthy of its place in the early annals of Krautrock.

3.5 but rounded up because even a vampire needs love

siLLy puPPy | 4/5 |

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