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KRAUTROCK

A Progressive Rock Sub-genre


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Krautrock definition

Krautrock (also called "Kosmische musik") is a German avant-garde / experimental rock movement that emerged at the end of the 1960's. It was intended to go beyond the eccentricities developed by the wild psychedelic rock universe of the US, by giving a special emphasis to electronic treatments, sound manipulation and minimal hypnotic motifs (continuing the style of "musique concrete" and minimalist repetitive music but within a more accessible environment).

Krautrock put the emphasis on extended and ecstatic instrumental epics, neglecting the format of conventional psych-pop songs. The term Krautrock was first used by the British music press in a very derogatory way. The term rapidly found a better reputation in underground music circles and finally gained a certain popularity (thanks to the Brain-Festival Essen...)

The Krautrock movement is widely associated with notorious bands such as Popol Vuh, Amon Duul, Faust, Neu!, Ash Ra Tempel, Agitation Free, Guru Guru, etc. With their own particular artistic expression, these musical collectives provided rocking psychedelic incantations, mantra like drones, melancholic lugubrious atmospheres, long and convoluted collective improvisations, binary repetitive drum pulses, fuzz guitars, feedback, primitive electronic noises, hallucinatory ballads, and garage blues rock trips. Krautrock can be described as an anarchic, intense, acid, tellurian, nocturnal, spacey, dark and oniric "adventure" through rock music.

The most consistent years of the Krautrock scene cover a relatively short period from 1970 to 1975. After their first spontaneous, hyperactive and psychedelic efforts, the bands generally split up or declined into other musical sensibilities, more in line with mainstream rock or with ambient soundscapes.

Each region develops its particular musical scene, interpreting differently the Krautrock musical structure. For instance the Berlin school focused on "astral" synthscapes, weird electronic experimentation and acid jams (Ash Ra Tempel, Agitation Free, Mythos, The Cosmic Jokers, Kluster...), The Munich scene offered fuzzed out (Eastern) psych rock mantras with some folk accents (Popol Vuh, Amon Duul, Gila, Guru Guru, Witthuser & Westrupp...). Cologne and Dusseldorf underground scenes focused on happenings, political rock, electronics, pulsating rhythms and clean sounding Krautrock (Floh de Cologne, La Dusseldorf, Neu! Can...).

This musical cartography is correct in the absolute but naturally reveals some variations and exceptions. This intriguing and freak 'n' roll 1970's German scene enjoyed a rebirth in recent years thanks to a large number of reissues (of long lost classics) published by several independent labels (Spalax, Garden of Delights, Long Hair Music...) as a direct result of Krautrock's musical inspiration of modern post rock bands. There are actually some neo psychedelic rock bands who try to hold up Krautrock, and who notably find a major place to express themselves during the historical Burg Herzberg Festival in Germany.

Philippe Blache
December 2007

handbook

Krautrock Top Albums


Showing only studios | Based on members ratings & PA algorithm* | Show Top 100 Krautrock | More Top Prog lists and filters

4.22 | 237 ratings
HOSIANNA MANTRA
Popol Vuh
4.15 | 312 ratings
ASH RA TEMPEL
Ash Ra Tempel
4.25 | 95 ratings
EDGE OF TIME
Dom
4.08 | 383 ratings
YETI
Amon Düül II
4.05 | 456 ratings
FUTURE DAYS
Can
4.07 | 275 ratings
TANZ DER LEMMINGE (DANCE OF THE LEMMINGS)
Amon Düül II
4.07 | 284 ratings
NEU!
Neu!
4.62 | 29 ratings
EISZEIT
Gam
4.10 | 153 ratings
GILA - FREE ELECTRIC SOUND
Gila
4.16 | 99 ratings
LETZTE TAGE - LETZTE NÄCHTE
Popol Vuh
4.03 | 350 ratings
PHALLUS DEI
Amon Düül II
4.10 | 106 ratings
SELIGPREISUNG
Popol Vuh
4.12 | 91 ratings
VOLUME 10
Electric Orange
4.03 | 167 ratings
ELECTRIC SILENCE
Dzyan
3.95 | 530 ratings
TAGO MAGO
Can
3.99 | 225 ratings
MALESCH
Agitation Free
4.07 | 104 ratings
KÄNGURU
Guru Guru
4.44 | 29 ratings
OUTSIDE THE DREAM SYNDICATE
Conrad, Tony
4.02 | 117 ratings
AGUIRRE, THE WRATH OF GOD
Popol Vuh
3.95 | 239 ratings
WOLF CITY
Amon Düül II

Krautrock overlooked and obscure gems albums new


Random 4 (reload page for new list) | As selected by the Krautrock experts team

MAGIC THEATRE
Drum Circus
4 TIMES SOUND RAZING
Silberbart
FORGET YOUR DREAM!
Pacific Sound
ORION AWAKES
Golem

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Latest Krautrock Music Reviews


 Cosmic Music Experience  by LIMBUS 3 & 4 album cover Studio Album, 1969
2.70 | 10 ratings

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Cosmic Music Experience
Limbus 3 & 4 Krautrock

Review by Neu!mann
Prog Reviewer

2 stars The music of Limbus 3 was hardly proficient enough to qualify as avant-garde (meaning: the forefront of an artistic movement, which these guys certainly were not). Instead, they were content to function as motivated amateurs, with no real creative agenda beyond a noisy disregard for structure and form. At a time when music was learning how to liberate itself from the twin manacles of melody and rhythm, this was truly artless stuff, even when it skirted the ragged edge of an actual riff, usually by accident, and never for long.

But at the same time it's hard not to admire their slapdash, anything-goes attitude. "Oneway Trip" opens the album with a sudden cartoon 'sproinggg!' and a gust of laughter, which sums up the project nicely. Midway into the trip a cool groove actually develops...until it falls apart, of course.

A pair of brief, almost cheerful interludes follows. "Valiha" is named for one of the trio's more arcane instruments: a bamboo zither from Madagascar with a lovely bucolic sound. And "Brueghel's Hochzeitstanz" (Brueghel's Wedding Dance, featuring an obviously tipsy bridegroom) is even more playful: The Residents at pre-school, snacking on milk and graham crackers.

Which leaves the 22-minute "New Atlantis", subtitled "Islands Near Utopia" and likely filling the original album's entire B-Side. The track's length suggests an epic journey, but don't be misled: the fabled Lost Continent might have been an inspiration, but needless to say we're a long way from Eloy's "Ocean" here. On a purely aesthetic level it's little more than a Rorschach inkblot set to music, and the image it presents isn't a pretty one, full of atonal cello scrapes and other organic noises, all of them no doubt fabricated on the spot.

To best approach such hardcore noodling you only need to ask one question: were the performers actually listening to each other, or simply indulging in reckless noisemaking? I'm inclined to suspect more of the latter here, but in 1969 this kind of arbitrary improvisation served a greater purpose. Without such contrary impulses, would the full spectrum of Progressive Rock ever have evolved?

 Mandalas by LIMBUS 3 & 4 album cover Studio Album, 1970
3.10 | 20 ratings

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Mandalas
Limbus 3 & 4 Krautrock

Review by Neu!mann
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Listening to this album for the first time, and looking at the generous three stars I'm prepared to give it, I have to seriously consider the possibility that I might have gone insane. If ever a group deserved to languish in sub-cult limbo it was the willfully obscure Limbus trio, newly rechristened in 1970 after hiring a fourth player. The amorphous project, a loose collective more than a professional band, was co-directed by the aptly named Odysseus Artner, like his namesake from ancient Greek mythology a genuine explorer, forever wandering uncharted oceans.

Operating at a hermetic distance from the usual Krautrock focal points of Düsseldorf, Munich, Berlin and Cologne, Limbus was one of the few German bands making noise in historic Heidelberg. And 'noise' is indeed the right word to describe their completely freeform way of making (more accurately, of approximating) music. The sound is vaguely Middle Eastern in approach and style, not unlike a lot of counterculture rock in the late '60s, but was given a token measure of authenticity by all the arcane ethnic instruments: tablas, tsikadraha, totalophon...plus other, even more esoteric devices, none of them played with any kind of fluency, and probably by choice.

It all adds up to an almost laughably inscrutable racket, hard to regard seriously as legitimate music, especially when the album opens with what sounds like a weekend birder's 10-cent duck call, followed by more than a half-hour of scraping strings, whistling woodwinds, random percussion, and unidentified noises from unknown sources (musical instruments? studio-modified flatulence?) Imagine a band of amateur dervishes vainly attempting to whirl in unison after too many hits of wacky Balkan tobacco, while bouncing with clumsy jubilation off the walls, the furniture, and each other.

The above paragraph might read like snarky hindsight derision, but really isn't. I'm not entirely convinced there was any real talent behind all the unscripted experimentation, but that in itself is a lesson worth remembering: sometimes virtuosity and skill are the enemies of true musical invention. If you can find a copy of the album by all means give it a spin, at least once. And if you agree that it has merit, there's plenty of room in this straightjacket I'm wearing...

(Collector's note: "Mandalas" was the second release on R.U. Kaiser's legendary Ohr record label, back when the signature album cover art featured dismembered doll bodies, courtesy of graphic artist Reinhard Hippen. The original gatefold LP sleeve also included a complimentary balloon (!), ideal for celebrating the outer limits of musical nonconformity or, when partially deflated, for plugging sensitive ears when the results approach the pain threshold.)

 Wolf City by AMON DÜÜL II album cover Studio Album, 1972
3.95 | 239 ratings

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Wolf City
Amon Düül II Krautrock

Review by Modrigue
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Psych City

At first glance, you probably noticed that the cover art does not represent a wolf, but a tiger... a winged tiger... Nonetheless, remember that words such as 'logic' and 'sense' do not exist in AMON DÜÜL II's strange parallel universe, and this album is one of its bright galaxy. After the uneven "Carnival in Babylon", "Wolf City" is the second "accessible" opus from the early period of the band (the best one). Despite shorter compositions, the music is more impacting and creative than on its predecessor, and reuses the psychedelic, heavy and spacey elements that made the first albums so original and lovable. The long jams are definitely gone, but the ideas, audaciousness and multiple faces of AMON DÜÜL II are still present, and that's the most important.

"Surrounded By The Stars" displays a dark haunting psychedelic atmosphere dominated by Renate Knaup's particular singing. "Green Bubbles Raincoated Man" is a soft acid ballad that contains a pre-punk passage in the style of late 70's HAWKWIND! AMON DÜÜL II, you'll always amaze me! The most surprising composition may however be "Jail-house Frog", various different ambiances and styles in only 5 minutes.

The floating title track sounds like a futuristic ritual, ahead of its time. Then comes "Wie Der Wind Am Ende Einer Strasse", a slight electronic calm Indian instrumental, letting the listener breathe before the thundering and trippy "Deutsch Nepal". The only regret concerning this "song" are the sentences pronounced by German actor Ralf Zacher, his tone sounding quite out of place. The folk middle-eastern rock "Sleepwalker's Timeless Bridge" is less remarkable, the only average track of the disc.

Again, as on "Carnival in Babylon", the music is certainly more conventional than on the first three albums, but don't forget this is AMON DÜÜL II, so the compositions still remains adventurous for the average listener. However, contrarily to its predecessor, the songs are much more convincing and memorable, and there are no true weak passages. In conclusion, "Wolf City" is a good balance between accessibility and originality, thus should by no means be rejected by pretending there are no long pieces anymore. This is no argument. The audaciousness and surprises are still here, and this opus is even a little avant-garde by moments.

The best album of early AMON DÜÜL II's second half, maybe the one to start with if you're too intimidated by the two mastodons "Yeti" and "Tanz der Lemminge", or by their experimental debut "Phallus Dei". Very recommended to fans of the band, psychedelic, space rock and, of course, krautrock!

 Carnival In Babylon by AMON DÜÜL II album cover Studio Album, 1972
3.54 | 147 ratings

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Carnival In Babylon
Amon Düül II Krautrock

Review by Modrigue
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Last early Amon Düül II album to acquire

After the psychedelic experimentations of the first three opuses, "Carnival In Babylon" marks a small rupture in the krautrockers' career. Less complex and adventurous than before, the compositions are now shorter and more accessible, but remains pleasant and quite original for the average musical listener. However a question comes to mind: Spirit of AMON DÜÜL II, are you (still) here?

Since the first note, you can perceive the change. Is this a GONG track? "C.I.D. In Uruk" is a pleasant folk song, with a slight mystical feel, however a bit repetitive. Then comes the soft rock "All The Years Round", more nervous and featuring Renate Knaup's particular singing. The heavy finale is very nice. On the contrary, "Shimmering Sand" tries to reuse the collage recipe from "Tanz der Lemminge", but lacks musical direction and is rather forgettable. The last minutes are pleasant though.

The pop rock piece "Kronwinkl 12" is not very interesting either. The weakest passage of the disc. Here you can have a preview of what AMON DÜÜL II will become in the mid-seventies... Nonetheless, the original spirit of the band can be heard in "Tables Are Turned", a cool psychedelic jam with a little middle-eastern and Indian atmosphere. The ender "Hawknose Harlekin" is also an improvisation, more space rock-oriented, featuring strange keyboards and floating guitars.

"Carnival In Babylon" is undoubtedly the weakest album of the debut period of AMON DÜÜL II, from 1969 to 1973 (the best one). Although uneven, containing a few wobbly songs and far less adventurous music than the first three opuses, the overall result remains enjoyable and quite unconventional. The attaching personality of the musicians is still present... for now. In conclusion, this record is not essential, but nonetheless pleasant, possesses its own charm and should not be skipped in the Germans' discography.

After then listen, we may wonder if the accessible music formula is adapted to this unique band or if they have just lost a piece of their creativity? Don't leave now, these questions will be answered the same year, in the next album...

 Tanz Der Lemminge (Dance Of The Lemmings) by AMON DÜÜL II album cover Studio Album, 1971
4.07 | 275 ratings

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Tanz Der Lemminge (Dance Of The Lemmings)
Amon Düül II Krautrock

Review by Modrigue
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Acidman's Dance of the Crazy Seventies

Last AMON DÜÜL II's album featuring long compositions, "Tanz Der Lemminge" marks the end of first half of the band's first period, considered by many as their best. Reusing the musical style of its predecessor, the thundering "Yeti", the tracks are less rock and impacting, there are no immediately catchy songs. Instead, the music is more complex and features more early electronic technologies used to create eerie atmospheres. Neither very danceable, nor in relation with the lemmings, the content is in par with the the cover art: an esoteric superposition of different elements hard to describe. In fact, this may be the darkest, most spacey and elaborated opus conceived by AMON DÜÜL II. Like the previous double-album, "Tanz Der Lemminge" is divided in two parts: the first half consists in (nearly) structured compositions, whereas the second half is improvisational.

With its bizarre introduction, the hallucinogenic "Syntelman's March Of The Roaring Seventies" can be described as a long mystical folk-rock containing different melodies and LSD ambiances. A bit harsh to follow, but includes quite good stuff. In the same vein, "Restless Skylight-Transistor-Child" is my favorite composition of the record. A weird collage of various short heavy, spacey, indian and other experimental pieces, with abrupt transitions. Even if this track is not very coherent, it possesses nice moments and unexpected surprises. The final quarter is the best.

Now begins the so-called "Chamsin Soundtrack" suite, entirely improvisational. As you may have guessed, "The Marylin Monroe-Memorial-Church" has little to do with the American actress. It is rather a dark ambient, cosmic and mysterious long journey, like a crossing of PINK FLOYD's early experimental pieces and TANGERINE DREAM's "Zeit", but the AMON DÜÜL II way. This will make discover a new spacey face of the band, proving (again) their creativity and variety concerning the addressed musical styles. One of the highlight of the record! Listen in the dark for maximum effect. Back to Earth with the small instrumental hard-krautrock "Chewinggum Telegram", more usual but however cool. The oppressive heavy "Stumbling Over Melted Moonlight" is also very effective! "Toxicological Whispering" concludes the trip on a space rock journey into stars.

Compared to the seminal "Yeti", the tracks are less structured and the transitions more abrupt. Difficult to digest the first time and lacking a bit of unity, "Tanz Der Lemminge" is however part of these albums that may take time to appreciate, and in which you can rediscover something new at each new listen. The dance of the little animals protects a little treasure of musical creativity. If the 1970 opus made you travel around the world, this one will make you explore unknown galaxies, or the depths of your mind. You decide.

Least accessible release of AMON DÜÜL II's early discography, this is definitely not the disc to start with. If you're new to the band, be sure to listen to "Yeti" and "Phallus Dei" first (in this order) to fully appreciate the music. Once said, "Tanz Der Lemminge" is essential for the fans and for adventurer psychedelic / space rock lovers in need of madness!

After this album, the Germans' compositions will become shorter and more concise, but this does not necessarily means less interesting...

 Yeti by AMON DÜÜL II album cover Studio Album, 1970
4.08 | 383 ratings

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Yeti
Amon Düül II Krautrock

Review by Modrigue
Prog Reviewer

5 stars The Adorable Psych Monster

After the experimental "Phallus Dei", AMON DÜÜL II brings more structure to their compositions and offer one of the greatest krautrock record ever, the seminal double-album "Yeti". Heavier, more mature and accessible than its predecessor, but still preserving the same creativity and audaciousness regarding the mixture of western and eastern influences, this second opus is a genuine trip to unknown worlds, in space and time. Surprising, thundering, mystical, esoteric, psychedelic, unique, out of time are the few words that come to mind during this hallucinogenic listening multicolor experience. However, these mushrooms come from another dimension.

About the cover art, the man in a dress with a scythe is a sound engineer of the band, Wolfgang Krischke. A few months after he was photographed, he died due to a LSD overdose. The German krautrockers paid him tribute by putting his picture on the cover.

The first half consists in structured compositions. "Soap Shop Rock" is divided in four parts. The mystical hard rock "Burning Sister" section sounds quite unreal with its bizarre voices and heavy guitars, while the incantatory "Halluzination Guillotine" is slower. The tiny opera-like "Gulp A Sonata" introduces the depressive "Flesh-Coloured Anti-Aircraft Alarm" part, which displays a slight gothic ambiance. Truly unique, this suite is simply one of AMON DÜÜL II's best compositions! The mood changes when arrives the calm "She Came Through The Chimney" and its ethnic percussions and middle-eastern textures. Then comes the powerful and mystical unidentified massive rock object "Archangel Thunderbird". The most remarkable point concerning this track is the contrast created by the over-heavy guitars duo and Renate Knaup's demented crystalline voice. Mindblowing! This song will become a concert favorite. On the opposite, "Cerberus" is a tribal folk of unknown origin, finishing in a crazy distorted rage. Where am I now? Seeking ancient temples, in some middle-eastern desert, my soundtrack is the cool heavy instrumental "The Return Of Rübezahl"... Except that Rübezahl is a Germanic mythological being from giant mountains, but it does not matter anymore. But then... when am I? The hard psychedelic "Eye Shaking King" seems like a strange oriental ritual with... robotic voices, whereas the mysterious"Pale Gallery" displays a threatening atmosphere happening at an undefined period, as if the past and the future were mixed together.

The second half is less varied, but still also very good, as it features one of the best psychedelic improvisations ever recorded. "Yeti" can be described as a long jam in a style similar to PINK FLOYD's "A Saucerful of Secrets" and "Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun", but still the AMON DÜÜL II way. It alternates rocking and softer passages. "Yeti Talks To Yogi" extends the trip with a more mystical ambiance. The spacey ethnic folk "Sandoz In The Rain" finishes these 70 minutes of unreal musical madness in the calm.

"Yeti" is one of the most fascinating krautrock album in existence! A treasure of creativity, weird arrangements, unexpected marriages and audacious tripiness. Unique, out of time, the music are a perfect balance between craziness and accessibility, creativity and melody, heavy and calm moments. The listener is never bored and always surprised by the various influences displayed on this disc. Needless to talk about the band's personality here, as not many bands manages to merge such opposite genres with this talent.

Like the Yeti, the creature remains mysterious, of an unknown origin. AMON DÜÜL II's best album, an unequalled masterpiece of the genre, highly recommended! Fans of krautrock, psychedelic, space rock or PINK FLOYD, listen to this record, otherwise the abominable snow monster himself will come at your house and eat you!

 Phallus Dei by AMON DÜÜL II album cover Studio Album, 1969
4.03 | 350 ratings

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Phallus Dei
Amon Düül II Krautrock

Review by Modrigue
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Weirdus Dei

3.5 stars

After the split of the German collective AMON DÜÜL, the musician ex-members reunited to form one of the craziest and most creative krautrock band ever, AMON DÜÜL II. Gorged with multiple western and eastern influences, "Phallus Dei" is their first opus, and also one of their most experimental, inventive and psychedelic records. Exotic and mystical sonorities are partly due to the presence of their fellow countrymen EMBRYO's Christian Burchard and POPOL VUH's Holger Trülzsch as guests, but the identity of the band is already strong. Since the first notes of "Kanaan", you know you're in for something special. The music sounds like an incantation ritual for a mythological god in an ancient temple. It also contains a slight Indian feel. Simply unreal! The freaky "Dem Guten, Schönen, Wahren" is quite haunting with its weird voices. "Luzifers Ghilom" displays an esoteric ambiance similar to "Kanaan", however rock-ier and more tribal. This nice piece incorporates Indian vocals and possesses an unique depressive finale. "Henriette Krötenschwanz" is the shortest track and not a very necessary passage too.

However, the longest and maybe also the weirdest composition of AMON DÜÜL II is the title track. Beginning with a nightmarish atmosphere and creepy voices, it continues on a long psychedelic journey into unknown lands. The violin and tribal bongos take you all around the world, you don't know where you are anymore. The finale is just mesmerizing. This 21 minutes mastodon can be a bit harsh to enter, the overall is not very accessible and lacks coherency. Nonetheless, it contains cool passages where the listener can catch up and is finally pleasant.

As one of the first krautrock albums, "Phallus Dei" unveils a novel and unique style, mixing mystical, rock, psychedelic, incantatory and eastern sonorities. Maybe this can be considered as one of the first records of the so-called "world music" genre, as it displays a long journey through different continents. The other important krautrockers strongly incorporating exotic influences to their compositions are EMBRYO and POPOL-VUH, who are represented in this disc by one invited member. A coincidence? I don't think so.

For a first release, "Phallus Dei" is really innovative and groundbreaking. Although not always accessible and still bathed in freak'n'roll jams of the late 60's, it's nice to hear this mixture of different musical landscapes. Not the best place to start with to discover AMON DÜÜL II, as this is their most experimental and weirdest efforts. But don't miss it if you want to hear something original. Essential for krautrock, psychedelic or mystical music fans.

Fortunately, the minor flaws will be quickly corrected for the next opus...

 Frob by FROB album cover Studio Album, 1976
3.90 | 23 ratings

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Frob
Frob Krautrock

Review by Igor91

4 stars First off, no disrespect to those here at PA, but Frob is not Krautrock. I honestly do not hear any Krautrock influence on their sole LP, as I do with other German jazz-rock/fusion bands of 1970's (like Embryo, for example). They are, however, one of the finest examples of European jazz-rock bands of that era. Frob only managed to release one album, but what they laid down was some serious jazz-pych-rock, displaying some fantastic musicianship. All of the members of Frob shine at points throughout the album, most notably guitarist Philippe Caillat, who went on to have a fairly successful career as a solo artist.

All eight tracks are superb slabs of 70's jazz-rock, injected with a dose of pysch. Peter Schmits' keys dominate several of the tunes, while the machine gun attack of drummer Peter Meuffels is relentless. Caillat's stellar, often acid-jazz guitar work, gleams throughout, especially on "Hektik." At times his guitar is mixed down to make way for Schmits' workouts on the keyboards, which most of the time is fine for the most part. However, there are moments when you can hear Caillat wailing away, but off in the distance and it's difficult to make out.

Another rare gem, Frob's self-titled LP should please most fans of the genre (jazz-rock/fusion). Unless you can find an original vinyl copy (which is probably expensive), the only physical version currently available is the Garden of Delights CD reissue. It's too bad these guys never saw much success, but at least we have one great album to chill to late at night. Highly recommended: 4 stars.

 Kinsei by OMOIDE HATOBA album cover Studio Album, 1995
4.00 | 2 ratings

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Kinsei
Omoide Hatoba Krautrock

Review by DamoXt7942
Forum & Site Admin Group RIO/Avant/Zeuhl & Neo Teams

4 stars Their fifth full-length-album "Kinsei" released in 1995 can be thought as one of their masterpieces, Through this creation inside such a bizarre sleeve the audience can understand their extensive, eccentric intention for "rock". Filled with various music elements and strategies built up by lots of rock pioneers but simultaneously seasoned with their superlative interpretation and cynical dissemination here there and everywhere. Just their strong, colourful identity that should never got restrained under old rock stereotype launched such a cornerstone in the Japanese rock scene.

You can notice easily that this album flooded with "music mess" - weird synthesizer sounds, crooked drumming, tape- effected voices, along with bizarre soundscape - cannot be classified under any subgenre ... simple minimalistic rhythm and melody lines like Totsuzen Danball, tribal ethnicity with meaningless words, deep heavy riffs like King Crimson, experimental monotony plus tape effects like Neu!, acid-folksy sound traveler, explosive noises like Hanatarash (one of Seiichi's previous projects), or catchy poppy outcome ... their musical basis might be quite massive, and historically important veins must be messed with flashy sound crooks launched by Seiichi and Atsushi - the big two of OMOIDE HATOBA.

And their lyrics are pretty impressive at the same time. Their words mainly sung in Japanese should be smeared with full of cynics, laziness, disappointment and desperation against the current society and human life. Looks like "Kinsei", Venus in English, means that they might want to rush or fly away from the earth into the universe. Via this album we cannot find any cool phrase nor pleasant melody line but just only criticism and hopelessness solidified with lyrics and composition. However we cannot get depressed but chuckle along their comical atmosphere. What a mystery, what a cynical hysterie tour.

 Eleven Years Innerspace by CZUKAY, HOLGER album cover Boxset/Compilation, 2015
3.00 | 1 ratings

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Eleven Years Innerspace
Holger Czukay Krautrock

Review by Lewian

— First review of this album —
3 stars New music from Holger Czukay at last! Or is it? Unfortunately neither the label nor Holger himself have cared about giving the fan much useful information about this. When was it done? Who apart from Holger himself was involved in it? We don't know and the cover (which looks like it took no more than 10 minutes to make) won't tell.

I was in doubt about whether I should classify this as compilation/boxset or as regular release; I'm not totally sure about the definitions either. These are remixes of existing material. The remixes themselves are mostly pretty innovative. They, or at least some of them, may have been done pretty recently, in which case I arguably should have classified this as regular studio album. The title suggest that they were done over 11 years but which? 2004-2014? It's a mystery. But it's material that in this state you haven't heard yet elsewhere.

Two of the six remixes are pretty close to what is already available. Secret of my Life is based on Rhythms of a Secret Life from Moving Pictures, and My Can Axis is based on material from Canaxis 5, and both of these vary the original material little. They seem like compressed miniature versions of the original tracks.

The other four tracks have much more of an existence independently of the original material that went into them, and are much more interesting. On "In-Between" and "A Maiden's Dream" sampled classical music features quite prominently (orchestral on In-Between, a string quartet on A Maiden's Dream). This is coupled with some sound experiments and snippets from previous work. The marriage between these elements doesn't work 100% without frictions but makes for a fascinating experience. We can nicely speculate about the meaning of this collage; in what sense are Holger's sounds a comment on the classical material? Is it an echo from the past, or is it rather the thing to survive in a darker future in which it still has the power to shape the then contemporary noises?

"My Can Revolt" uses material from Can, which means that we listen to a fast pulsating instrumental by Schmidt/Liebezeit/Karoli with some Suzuki voice appearing in the second half. I believe that this has been pieced together in a quite new way, possibly with some added guitar or other trickery. It is pretty intense and the fastest and loudest thing on this album. Can fans will probably like this. I remember that Holger did something like this when I saw him in the Roundhouse in 2009.

"Breathtaking" reminds me of the "21st Century" album, it is rather free form, meditative and fairly slow, with some dreamy U-She vocals.

Overall the listener gets quite a bit of interesting and fascinating new material, so this is certainly a worthwhile acquisition. The album is somewhat uneven though, and as I have Canaxis 5 and Moving Pictures already, I don't get much from the two tracks that are made of those albums (if you don't have Canaxis 5 and Moving Pictures, get them before this one, they are truly great). The remaining four tracks may well be worth four or even five stars if they stand the test of time (I'm not going to wait 20 years before I review this), but still currently I give the album 3 stars, with annoyance about the lack of information perhaps playing a role here.

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Krautrock bands/artists list

Bands/Artists Country
A.R. & MACHINES Germany
ACHTZEHN KARAT GOLD Germany
AG A.M. Germany
AGITATION FREE Germany
AINIGMA Germany
AIR Germany
ALASKA RANGE Switzerland
ALCATRAZ Germany
ALEX ORIENTAL EXPERIENCE Germany
ALTONA (GER) Germany
ALUK TODOLO France
AMON DÜÜL Germany
AMON DÜÜL United Kingdom
AMON DÜÜL II Germany
ANIMA-SOUND Germany
ANNEXUS QUAM Germany
ANT-BEE United States
ARKTIS Germany
ASH RA TEMPEL Germany
ASHTRAY NAVIGATIONS United States
ASTERIX Germany
AVARUS Finland
AWAKE & GALLO Greece
BABA YAGA Germany
BACKNEE HORN Israel
BAD STATISTICS New Zealand
HERBERT F BAIRY Germany
BAUMSTAM Germany
BEAK> United Kingdom
JERRY BERKERS Germany
BETWEEN Multi-National
BLACK SPIRIT Italy
BLACKBIRDS Germany
BLACKMANN LANE Germany
BLACKWATER PARK Germany
BLUMEN DES EXOTISCHEN EISES Germany
BOKAJ RETSIEM Germany
DON BRADSHAW-LEATHER United States
BRAINTICKET Switzerland
BRAST BURN Japan
CHRIS BRAUN BAND Germany
BRAVE NEW WORLD Germany
BULLFROG Germany
ROMAN BUNKA Germany
CAMERA Germany
CAN Germany
CHEVAL FOU France
CLUSTER Germany
CODE III Germany
COLOUR HAZE Germany
TONY CONRAD Multi-National
CORNUCOPIA Germany
COSMIC CIRCUS MUSIC Germany
THE COSMIC JOKERS Germany
COUPLA PROG Germany
COZMIC CORRIDORS Germany
CRAVINKEL Germany
CURLY CURVE Germany
CYCLOPEAN Multi-National
HOLGER CZUKAY Germany
DAMENBART Germany
DARSOMBRA United States
DATASHOCK Germany
DAVENPORT United States
DEAF Switzerland
DEJA VU (GER) Germany
DEUTER Germany
DIES IRAE Germany
THOMAS DINGER Germany
DOLOROSA France
DOM Multi-National
DREAMWORLD Germany
DROSSELBART Germany
DRUM CIRCUS Switzerland
DSCHINN Germany
DULL KNIFE Germany
DÜDE DÜRST Switzerland
DZYAN Germany
EAT LIGHTS BECOME LIGHTS United Kingdom
EGYPT IS THE MAGICK # United States
EILIFF Germany
EJWUUSL WESSAHQQAN Germany
ELECTRIC MUD Germany
ELECTRIC ORANGE Germany
ELECTRIC SANDWICH Germany
EMMA MYLDENBERGER Germany
EPSILON Germany
ERLKOENIG Germany
ERNA SCHMIDT Germany
EROC Germany
ERUPTION Germany
ET CETERA (DE) Germany
EULENSPYGEL Germany
FATHER YOD AND THE SPIRIT OF '76 United States
FAUST Germany
FIFTH DEAD Germany
FILLE QUI MOUSSE France
FLOH DE COLOGNE Germany
FLORIAN GEYER Germany
FOTOSPUTNIK United States
FRANKIE DYMON JR. Germany
FRIEDHOF Germany
FRIENDSOUND United States
FROB Germany
GÄA Germany
GAM Germany
GASH Germany
GEBARVATERLI Germany
GERMAN OAK Germany
GIFT Germany
GILA Germany
GOLEM Germany
SERGIUS GOLOWIN Germany
MANUEL GÖTTSCHING Germany
GRAVE Germany
GRAVESTONE Germany
GREEN WAVE Germany
GRUMBLING FUR United Kingdom
GURU GURU Germany
GURUMANIAX Germany
HABOOB Multi-National
HAIRY CHAPTER Germany
HANUMAN (LIED DES TEUFELS) Germany
HÄX CEL Germany
HEDERSLEBEN Germany
IBLISS Germany
IGNATZ Belgium
IHRE KINDER Germany
IMPROVED SOUND LIMITED Germany
INSTANT DRONE FACTORY Multi-National
IRMIN'S WAY Multi-National
JERONIMO Germany
JUD'S GALLERY Germany
KANOI Austria
KAPUTTER HAMSTER Germany
KEMIALLISET YSTÄVÄT Finland
KILLED ON X-MAS Germany
KLUSTER Germany
KOLLEKTIV Germany
KONTRAST Germany
KOSMISCHER LAÜFER Germany
KRAKATAU Australia
JEAN-JACQUES KRAVETZ Germany
KROKODIL Switzerland
LA DÜSSELDORF Germany
LA!NEU? Germany
LARD FREE France
LAVA Germany
LE REVEIL DE TROPIQUES France
LIFE Germany
LIGHTSHINE Germany
LIMBUS 3 & 4 Germany
LISTING SHIPS United Kingdom
LOKOMOTIVE KREUZBERG Germany
MAGDALENA SOLIS Belgium
MAGMA Germany
MAGNETIK NORTH Multi-National
MAHOGANY BRAIN France
DAVID MARANHA Portugal
MCCHURCH SOUNDROOM Switzerland
MERLIN; SWARA; ILOR & FRIENDS Multi-National
METABOLISMUS Germany
METROPOLIS Germany
MITTELWINTERNACHT '71 Germany
MOOLAH United States
MOON OF OSTARA United Kingdom
MUNJU Germany
MUSHROOM'S PATIENCE Italy
MY SOLID GROUND Germany
MYTHOS Germany
N-1 Germany
THE NAZGUL Germany
NECRONOMICON Germany
NEU! Germany
THE NO-NECK BLUES BAND United States
NOSFERATU Germany
RALF NOWY Germany
NU & APA NEAGRA Romania
OKTOBER Germany
OMOIDE HATOBA Japan
ONYOU United States
ORANGE PEEL Germany
PACIFIC SOUND Switzerland
PANCAKE Germany
PANKO Germany
PATERNOSTER Austria
POPOL VUH Germany
PRINCESS FLOWER AND THE MOON RAYS Multi-National
PROF. WOLFFF Germany
PROSPER Germany
PSYCHEDELIC MONSTERJAM Germany
PYRAMID Germany
PYRANHA Switzerland
MICHAEL ROTHER Germany
RUFUS ZUPHALL Germany
SAMETI Germany
SAND Germany
SCARECREW Germany
SEEDOG Germany
SEIKAZOKU Japan
SEMOOL France
SHANNONDOA Germany
SIDDHARTHA Germany
SIINAI Finland
SILBERBART Germany
SILENT CARNIVAL Italy
SILOAH Germany
SILVESTER ANFANG Belgium
SINTO Germany
SITTING BULL Germany
SOUTH OF NO NORTH Belgium
SPACE EXPLOSION Germany
SPERRMÜLL Germany
STAN UND HILDA Germany
STARA RZEKA Poland
SWARA SAMRAT Germany
MITSURU TABATA Japan
TASTE OF BLUES Sweden
TEARPALM Serbia
TEMPLE Germany
THINK Germany
THRICE MICE Germany
TIERE DER NACHT Multi-National
TON STEINE SCHERBEN Germany
ULI TREPTE Germany
TRIKOLON Germany
TRIP TO ELARA Germany
TWOGETHER Germany
UCHIHASHI KAZUHISA & MANI NEUMEIER Multi-National
ULENSPIEGEL Germany
ULTRALYD Norway
UTOPIA Germany
VAMPIRES OF DARTMOORE Germany
VELJENI VALAS Finland
VERDE (MIKA RINTALA) Finland
VIBRACATHEDRAL ORCHESTRA United Kingdom
VINEGAR Germany
VIOLENCE FOG Germany
VIRGIN'S DREAM Germany
CHRISTIAN VON ESCHERSHEIM Germany
WALTER WEGMÜLLER Germany
WIND Germany
WOODEN VEIL Multi-National
XHOL CARAVAN / XHOL Germany
YA HO WHA 13 United States
YATHA SIDHRA Germany
ZIPPO ZETTERLINK Germany
ZWEISTEIN Germany

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