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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



The responsibility for the psych/space, indo/raga, krautrock and prog electronic subgenres is taken by the PSIKE team,
currently consisting of
- Sheavy
- Meltdowner
- siLLy puPPy
- Rivertree



handbook

Krautrock Top Albums


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

4.16 | 296 ratings
HOSIANNA MANTRA
Popol Vuh
4.25 | 130 ratings
EDGE OF TIME
Dom
4.14 | 372 ratings
ASH RA TEMPEL
Ash Ra Tempel
4.10 | 466 ratings
YETI
Amon Düül II
4.09 | 550 ratings
FUTURE DAYS
Can
4.45 | 50 ratings
EISZEIT
Gam
4.09 | 319 ratings
TANZ DER LEMMINGE [AKA: DANCE OF THE LEMMINGS]
Amon Düül II
4.13 | 185 ratings
GILA - FREE ELECTRIC SOUND
Gila
4.05 | 410 ratings
PHALLUS DEI
Amon Düül II
4.15 | 120 ratings
LETZTE TAGE - LETZTE NÄCHTE
Popol Vuh
4.05 | 351 ratings
NEU!
Neu!
4.07 | 135 ratings
SELIGPREISUNG
Popol Vuh
4.40 | 37 ratings
TONY CONRAD & FAUST: OUTSIDE THE DREAM SYNDICATE
Conrad, Tony
4.06 | 136 ratings
KÄNGURU
Guru Guru
4.00 | 256 ratings
MALESCH
Agitation Free
4.02 | 193 ratings
ELECTRIC SILENCE
Dzyan
3.95 | 626 ratings
TAGO MAGO
Can
4.04 | 143 ratings
VOLUME 10
Electric Orange
3.98 | 271 ratings
WOLF CITY
Amon Düül II
4.03 | 140 ratings
AGUIRRE
Popol Vuh

Krautrock overlooked and obscure gems albums new


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

A COUPLE OF TIMES
Twogether
MY SOLID GROUND
My Solid Ground
SILOAH [ALSO RELEASED AS SÄUREADLER]
Siloah
WELTSCHMERZ
Siddhartha

Latest Krautrock Music Reviews


 UFO by GURU GURU album cover Studio Album, 1970
3.63 | 139 ratings

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UFO
Guru Guru Krautrock

Review by Kempokid
Collaborator Prog Metal Team

4 stars While a lot of the really early psychedelic bands were very strange, the band that currently holds the position of weirdest sounding band from that era either goes to Amon Duul II, or Guru Guru. While Amon Duul II went for more of a madcap, insane, atmospheric route, Guru Guru instead opted for a more noisy, garage rock tinged style, heavy in distortion and general noise. I haven't listened far into their discography yet, but from this album, I can say that I don't enjoy them quite as much as Amon Duul II or Can, but it's definitely a high quality album with enough variety and inspiration to remain interesting throughout its entirety, and definitely an incredibly interesting one.

The album is split quite cleanly into 2 halves, each with their own sort of style, with side 1 being made up of energetic, off the wall bass grooves and jamming, distorted sounding guitar. The occasional appearance of vocals in Stone In further adds to the weirdness of this song, being sparse and drowned out by everything else, sounding lonly vaguely like an attempt to actually sing, more sounding along the lines of general vocal noises. I love the last minute of this song, where the constant bassline escalates slowly while a layer of fuzz over the sound becomes increasingly prominent while the guitar becomes more random and all over the place, and it's definitely a track that makes an immediate impression on you. Girl Call starts off in a slower manner, with a more gradual buildup into the wall of noise that is to come, with a scratchy, all around nasty guitar tone that I really love for its gritty nature. The second half of the song is really where things shine however, the song speeds up an ends up sounding heavily garage rock, similar to if the 13th Floor Elevators decided to go in an even weirder direction than what they did. Next Time See You At The Dalai Lhama is easily my favourite song here however, being somwhat more structured, but also even further carrying the 13th Floor Elevators sound in certain respects, reminding me of the song Roller Coaster, with a messy, yet relentless pace that seems to be in a constant state of tripping over itself, but always picking itself back up and running with it. This is also the one song that has something vaguely resembling something catchy in the form of that constant, off kilter beat and riff that just never seems to end, which adds another layer of greatness to it, making it incredibly trippy all around.

The secon half of the album is less eventful, instead focusing on ambience and soundscapes, obviously none of them sounding even close to normal. There are a lot more instances of sonic experimentation here, and its an interesting listen, the issue is that in the case of the title track, I really don't feel like it warrants being over 10 minutes long, and that a couple of minutes from the start could have been removed to make the rising guitar chords and sound similat to that of a rocket blasting off come that much quicker. I like aspects of this song for sure, but on the whole, I feel like it could have used some trimming. Der Lsd-Marsch is a better take on this ambient approach, having an ominous feel to it, with a creeping bassline and a constantly increasing volume on the distorted guitar chords. There's a slightly stronger semblace of traditional krautrock here, with the repetitive nature of the beats, which I appreciate, as it's then contrasted by the heavy psyche sound that the band puts forward. Definitely a great song that closes off the album in an excellent manner.

I'm definitely looking forward to checking more of this band out, as this album was amazing to me, combining ekements of heavy psyche and garage rock into their sound to make a noisy, unconventional record that ticks many boxes for me. The groovier songs are where this album shines the most, but those slower, more subtle ones definitely have a lot of merit as well. This is definitely not an accessible album, with the entire 36 minute journey being drenched in layers upon layers of noise and distortion, but at the same time, this album is great for those into that sort of psychedelic rock. Definitely a great, albeit slightly flawed krautrock album that is almost one gigantic high, if not for some sections of its title track.

Best songs: Stone In, Next Time See You At The Dalai Lhama, Der Lsd-Marsch

Weakest songs: Ufo

Verdict: While not an easy album to get into, due to the highly experimental, freeform nature of these songs combined with an almost constant heavy, distorted nature, those who are into heavy psyche and the more strange side of krautrock will find this to at the very least be an interesting album, and at most find it to be absolutely great.

 Paternoster by PATERNOSTER album cover Studio Album, 1972
3.60 | 61 ratings

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Paternoster
Paternoster Krautrock

Review by Menswear
Prog Reviewer

3 stars What the Deuce is this!?

Okay, again when you think you heard everything...well, you haven't. I bet my left buttcheek that Paternoster is the most obscure/ depressing/ call 911 album you ever heard. I frankly challenge the progosphere, this one's hard to top.

The guy who's singing is SO down the tubes, I have to chuckle. I mean the general mood is LOW. Nothing positive is coming out, but you have to take this second degree! No one in their right mind could write such darkness and be serious. The music is not complex but trippy, with funeral organ and a lack of diversity. Some songs feel like they have no real beginning or structure but they do have some snippets of melody.

Think a massively sleep deprieved Peter Gabriel who got dumped and lost his cat on the same afternoon, who sings about how the world's a gigantic pool of crap accompanied by a bluesy-King-Crimson soundtrack.

A curiosity you have to hear before you kick the bucket. Unpredictable, laughable and 100% fascinating.

 Für Mich by DINGER, THOMAS album cover Studio Album, 1982
3.85 | 11 ratings

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Für Mich
Thomas Dinger Krautrock

Review by shantiq

4 stars on the innersleeve it is explained that Fur Mich was written by a Thomas Dinger striking out and away from his overbearing brother Klaus the legendary Neu! drummer ... It is a very pleasant piece of music but it seems lacking a centre or layers; maybe some vocals or more of a backbone might have made it better ... But nonetheless it is a good snapshot of Krautrock at the start of the the 80s 1982 here; and a must for any fans of NEU :::::: La! Neu? :::::: La D'sseldorf :::::: 1-A D'sseldorf :::::: Japandorf PS there is in existence a vinyl version dated 2013 which is NOT [for which we are grateful] a digital "upgrade"
 Neu! by NEU! album cover Studio Album, 1972
4.05 | 351 ratings

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Neu!
Neu! Krautrock

Review by Kempokid
Collaborator Prog Metal Team

3 stars Of the various krautrock bands all trying for the minimalistic approach to their music, none quite stand out to me as much as Neu! in this regard, with simple instrumentation with very little variation, along with large, ambient passages. To me, they signify a very pure example of techniques utilised by so many other bands in the genre, especially the motorik beat, simple 4/4 times signatures with an almost metronomic quality to it, providing a near hypnotic effect. The album itself is split quite clearly into those songs which have a strong rhythmic element to them, and the more psychedelic songs, each having at least some songs which sound great, but often having the listener find themselves gravitating towards the rhythmic side of things more.

The album starts of with what is fairly clearly one of its highlights, as Hallogallo not only stands out as one of my favourite songs by the band, but also is definitely one of the better songs in the genre as a whole. The song is incredibly repetitive, usinng the motorik beat and having very little variation in the instrumentation in general, having multiple melodic motifs running throughout, giving the song distinct characteristics, but ultimately basing everything around the wonderful, groovy nature of it. The following three songs all have extremely similar feels to them, although they do all work to different extents. Sonderangebot is an extremely minimalistic track that more or less can be summed up as 5 minutes of ambience, there's little to like about this song, but there's also not much that I can really say is bad about it, it just exists. It's not like I even dislike ambient, as Aphex Twin's SAWII is an album that I do think quite highly of, this to me just doesn't feel like very good ambient overall, especially after the previous track. Weissenee continues the trend of more minimalistic tracks, but the inclusion of some light drumming and guitar work provides it with a far more psychedelic feel. Listening to this, I can also see some hints of post rock in it, the way an image or emotion is captured so well with fairly minimalistic instrumentation, each element not contributing to any particular melody or hook, focusing instead on sonic imagery and tone. I personally find it to carry on for a bit too long, but it's not bad, despite the fact that I think it would have worked better at 4 minutes. Im Gluck is the third of these more ambient tracks, and while it once again is nothing that I find particularly special, I do find that the water sound effects have an incredibly soothing effect, with the sparse guitar notes having similar effect. A bit boring on the whole, but nothing offensively bad for sure.

Negativland kicks things up once again with another rhythm driven song, this one with some more variation in it, although I don't think it quite captures the same spirit as Hallogallo. This song has a much more prominent bassline to it, rather than the driving power and pace of the drumbeat, although that still does significantly contribute to this song. I love the way it changes tempo throughout, progressively getting faster and adding more and more noisy elements to it, making it become more intense with every passing minute until it essentially becoes noise with a hint of bass underneath. The album ends with another fairly pleasant track, Lieber Honig, and is the only one to include vocals, no matter how unnatural they sound. There's not much to say about this song honestly, the vocals are its defining feature, and they're interesting, but not very good at all, and sounding like the vocalist is far too close to the microphone, with the rest of the instrumentation not really doing too much for me either.

Despite the significance of this album in the scope of krautrock along with its influence on later aspects of indie and post rock, the album itself is honestly a fairly mixed bag. On one hand, you have some absolutely killer tracks that exemplify the genre, but on the other hand, you also have a collection of mundane ambient experiments, which ends up balancing the album out to end up being quite average. I definitely enjoy this album, but it's not one I'll listen to in its entirety very often, choosing a variety of other albums over this one if I'm ever in the mood for krautrock.

Best tracks: Hallogallo, Negativland

Weakest tracks: Sonderangebot, Lieber Honig

Verdict: While being definitive in its genre in certain ways, along with feeling like a clear influence to later artists, this album is all in all quite patchy, with the ambient experiments being far weaker than the more traditional sounding tracks. Definitely would recommend listening to this album once if you have interest in the genre, but I wouldn't blame you if you wanted to cherry pick songs after that initial listen.

 Faust by FAUST album cover Studio Album, 1971
3.87 | 215 ratings

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Faust
Faust Krautrock

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams

5 stars On the more adventurous side of Germany's Krautrock spectrum, the Hamburg based FAUST took their name not only because it was the name of the classic German protagonist legend who made a pact with the devil but also because it was the German word for "fist" and therefore had a double impact and after experiencing this legendary debut from this highly experimental band that was way ahead of its time, it becomes clear that both meanings of the moniker apply. The band members Arnulf Meifert (drums, vocals), Gunther Wüsthoff (synthesizer, saxophone), Rudolf Sosna (guitar, keyboards, vocals), Hans-Joachim Irmler (organ), Jean- Hervé Péron (bass, vocals) and Werner 'Zappi' Diermaier (drums) all met in 1969 but didn't officially form FAUST until 1971. The second drummer Arnulf Meifert joined for the debut album but then departed.

Despite almost no history of playing together, FAUST was signed immediately to Polydor records due to the rush to cash in on the burgeoning Krautrock scene engulfing the German music scene however the various members had all played in the bands Nucleus and Campylognatus Citelli which apparently was good enough for the label under the Deutsche Grammophon parent company. Despite the band's newbie status, they were given full reign to have complete artistic freedom and were gifted the time, space and money to create anything they desired which sounds almost unheard of by any day's standards. With all liberties any such band could dream of, the members spent a year recording this debut album in a rural studio in the small town Wümme near Hamburg.

The band has stated that they basically wasted six months with alcohol, drugs and partying with only wild experimentation with sound effects emerging and only got their act together in the second half of the year. When it was time to cough up the goods, the band panicked but found a way to patch in all the avant-garde experiments with some more conventional musical output. The result was this bizarre amalgamation of Krautrock, musique concrète, sound collages, industrial noise and an early example of avant-prog many years before bands like Henry Cow took it to new levels. The result of this experimental mishmash was that it sold disastrously but did please the critics who were excited by such bold musical statements. Polydor's disappointment was followed by an equally disastrous tour that only demonstrated that FAUST was unable to replicate these wild antics in a live setting, nevertheless the band gained a cult following and would slowly but steadily gain an audience however not fast enough for Polydor who dropped them after three albums.

While bands like Amon Duul II and Can were going for the psychedelic jugular, FAUST took the surrealist's approach and crafted an album that took a multitude of musical styles, sound manipulations and chaotic displays of progressive rock attributes on steroids and cranked out one of the most demanding musical deliveries of 1971, a year when the progressive rock scene was just gaining full maturity. FAUST eschewed catchy melodies, 60s grooves or any other conventional means (for the most part) of musical expressions and instead constructed a rotisserie of tones, timbres, mood enhancers and playful antics that were cryptic, chaotic, complex and highly creative. The three tracks that constituted the near 36 minute running time consisted of side A delivering two lengthy tracks roughly around 9 minutes each with side B consisting of a single track that was just shy of 18 minutes.

The opening track with its absurd title "Why Don't You Eat Carrots" obviously found some Canterbury scene whimsy that was mostly absent from the nascent Krautrock scene but the music was dark, mysterious and atmospheric. The opener begins with FAUST's famous first impressions of heavy static that sounds as if it's leaping through various frequencies and happening upon popular music such as The Rolling Stones' "I Can't Get No Satisfaction" and The Beatles' "All You Need Is Loving" but the fleeting samples disappear as soon as they are detected and the inter dimensional trip through musical portals leads to new alien soundscapes. "Meadow Meal" continues this avant-garde musical journey into a labyrinth of sonic possibilities and only contains sparse dabbling of "real" music.

The lengthy closer "Miss Fortune" is the closest thing to a contemporary Krautrock track as it has lengthy psychedelic jam sessions interspersed by spastic eruptions of jazz, avant-prog and just plain weird outbursts of creativity. Perhaps my favorite part of this mondo bizarro flirtation with insanity comes from the cleverly recited poem where two members take turns saying a word in different channels while the band plays seemingly nonsensical sounds away in the background. This is where the Strawberry Fields forever blossomed into watermelons and the LSD kicked in full force.

There was literally nothing like this when this album was released and obviously a little too far ahead for many. Of course, Polydor demanded the band tame things down after the commercial train wreck sunk in and for the second album "So Far" the band crafted a slightly more accessible album, however FAUST remained steadfastly untamable and nowhere does that ring more true than this wacky avant-garde musical statement on this debut. The album originally was released with a clear cover of an x-ray of a hand silkscreened on the outer sleeve. The beauty is that somehow this flows from one insane idea to the next so perfectly. A true masterpiece of the avant-garde and the blueprints for both avant-prog and the bleak industrial music scene that followed.

 Phallus Dei by AMON DÜÜL II album cover Studio Album, 1969
4.05 | 410 ratings

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Phallus Dei
Amon Düül II Krautrock

Review by Kempokid
Collaborator Prog Metal Team

5 stars While on one side of the spectrum of prog rock, you have bands like Neu! and Can, who while they do experiment with strange concepts at points, they often stick to very rigid, repetitive, almost mechanical beats in order to create a hypnotic effect. On the other side of things, you get bands like Amon Duul II, more focused on that experimentation side of things while keeping to the basic sound of krautrock. Furthermore, the fact that this is one of the earliest examples of krautrock shows a style already madly experimenting, taking and avant garde approach to writing, being absolutely insane in many respects, especially given the fact that this was released all the way back in 1969.

It definitely has qualities of such an early blueprint of what the genre was to become however, as there are some rough edges to be found within, although these rarely tend to be an issue, as they are far overshadowed by simply how crazy this album is, with madcap lyrics and vocals making appearances everywhere, ranging from drawling chanting to insane screams and wails. This works exceptionally well when paired with the absolutely incredible sound created, a truly psychedelic mix, heavier on the bass, while incorporating great deals of world music into the mix, giving it a tribal feel. Each song incredibly expansive and explorative, bringing in a plethora of different soundscapes and moods while consistently maintaining a very trippy atmosphere. One of my favourite moments of this is in the second song, Dem Guten, Schönen, Wahren, where after some dissonant chords and an offbeat feel are being projected to the listener, everything briefly falls apart and becomes much more energetic and fun as some more standard vocals enter the mix after the previous high pitched squealing has dominated the track. I also adore the upbeat nature of Lucifer's Ghilom's intro, and find it to continue the somewhat dark, yet ultimately zany and fun nature of this album as a whole, as this song in particular is infectiously upbeat and fun, while still keeping up a mysterious air. This song is definitely just a fun romp in every way, with even the slower section being quite entertaining due to the violin used contrasting the distorted vocals in a perfect way, both being very unusual in their execution, but both working so well in tandem, especially with the exceptional drumming and bassline keeping pace. The highlight of the album however is undoubtedly the 20 minute eponymous jam, which takes a much darker approach compared to everything else the album has to offer, along with a far more free flowing one. The multiple crescendos, often baced up by some impressive guitar solos. The furious energy of the drumming further intensifies this soundscape, creating a complex, immersive atmosphere, ever changing and ever brilliant, with interweaving guitar sections, dissonant violins, and downright ominous sonic imagery. The shift into more strange territory just past the halfway point makes this incredible song even better, feeling as if an entire world is being created within the vigourous tribal drumming and screams, feeling as if I've just walked in on some sort of sacred ritual, all before the intensity drops out and introduces some of the most delightful vocal work I've heard. Each line sung is equal parts charming and mad, with each word sounding heavily slurred, but executed in such a loveable way that simply screams "fun".

Overall, as one of the first krautrock albums, this is a masterwork, being extremely dense in atmosphere and not breaking it even with some extremely avant garde concepts being thrown in the mix. There is a definite roughness that this album has, similar to how Can's Monster Movie showed, except in this case it works excellently, rather than taking away from the music, it adds a certain primal edge to it that just further pushes it up into absolute greatness. This is definitely a krautrock masterpiece and definitely an album that I recommend you check out if you're either a fan of krautrock or simple strange music in general, because wow, this album is something else.

Best tracks: Lucifer's Ghilom, Phallus Dei

Weakest Tracks: None

Verdict: This album is incredibly impressive, fusing styles amazingly to create what I can only describe as an absolute masterpiece. If you're into krautrock by any stretch of the imagination, I implore that you give this a listen if you haven't already.

 Electric Silence by DZYAN album cover Studio Album, 1975
4.02 | 193 ratings

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Electric Silence
Dzyan Krautrock

Review by Kempokid
Collaborator Prog Metal Team

4 stars This was my introduction album into krautrock, and it was no small part thanks to the extremely strange, colourful album cover that immediately grabbed my attention. I admit that this probably wasn't the best start in terms of how indicative of the genre it was, as while I do love this album, it falls under the more difficult, free flowing soundscape side of krautrock, the likes of early Tangerine Dream and Guru Guru, rather than the repetitive groove of bands such as Can and Neu!. Furthermore, I believe that this record in itself is also quite unique in the strong ethnic influence of each song, especially in terms of the exotic percussion and string instruments such as sitar. All of this comes together to make such an awesome, trippy album that I find myself frequently putting on, as there is an otherworldly quality it has that I really enjoy.

The album starts off with one of my favourite tracks, largely for that incredible intro, moments of screeching guitars mixed with a soothing line on a marimba. I love the way that the instruments fade out, leaving a conflicting drum beat and underlying melody from the marimba, starting off sounding muddled and discordqant before slowly developing into a really great rhythm that's then further added onto with the bass. The instruments all increase in pace and eergy immensely other than that bassline, providing a really interesting effect where the song still feels incredibly slow and laid back despite the absolute insanity unfolding. If there's one issue I have with this album, it's the fact that the majority of the tracks after this sound almost the same, which I'd dislike more if not for the fact that they still do all sound quite good. A Day in My Life is even more chaotic from an instrumenta standpoint while maintaining the extremely trippy nature of the album, as does The Road Not Taken. although with less Indo influence and more focus on a sparse soundscape of noise that builds towards the end. The approach Khali takes is once again fairly similar, but more minimalistic. For Earthly Thinking is definitely the other highlight of the album however, staring off with a sinister, foreboding sensation with soft flutes as the percussion is lightly tapped at, this gives way to a build up of noise, a constant ebb and flow throughout, with good use of steel drums. The song definitely has more of a set structure to it than others, essentially being one massive crescendo into cacophonous, atonal jamming. The title track ends up providing more of the same and continues to explore more of this soundscape, providing a decent end to the album.

Overall, while I do believe that this album could have become even greater by further extending certain pieces and providing slightly more identity for each track, this is nonetheless a really great, psychedelic album. I love the ethnic, jazzy sound brought forth, and definitely find it to be an incredibly compelling listen. While I stand by there being many better entry points into krautrock, this is definitely not an album to be missed if you like spacey minimalism and explorative soundscapes.

Best songs: Back To Where We Come From, For Earthly Thinking

Weakest songs: none

Verdict: While the songs under 5 minutes may all sound somewhat too similar, the sound here is far too compelling for me to say to give it a miss. I'd recommend this album to those who really like music that focuses on soundscapes and ambience, as this album has that in spades, while balancing it out perfectly with some more frenetic sections of music.

 Monster Movie by CAN album cover Studio Album, 1969
3.81 | 333 ratings

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Monster Movie
Can Krautrock

Review by Kempokid
Collaborator Prog Metal Team

4 stars For those who listened to Can's later work and admired their amazingly groovy repetition in places, I feel like you'll enjoy this album greatly. While Tago Mago and the like may have had hypnotic, repetitive beats throughout the songs, this album takes it to another level in that regard, with each song almost solely being dedicated to a single rhythmic pattern and hook, and then repeated ad nauseum throughout the length of the song. As well as its extreme simplicity which ends up working wonders due to the highly groovy, hypnotic nature of the tracks, there is also a certain energy and manic quality to the songs, the latter definitely provided by the bizarre, unhinged nature of Malcolm Mooney's vocal performance.

Father Cannot Yell immediately sets the precedent for the kind of music thi album will consist of, starting off with a high pitched beeping noise while the instruments are all quickly introduced, with a creeping bassline, drumming like clockwork, and simplistic guitars. The aspect of the song that most catches my attention is the extremely irregular vocal rhythm that's present, seemingly going all over the place with little regard for tempo and time signatures, which is honestly really interesting sounding here. The only majorly shifting instrumental element of the song is that of the guitar, which sometimes becomes near cacophonous at points, with a constant ebb and flow providing for an interesting listening experience further heightened by the wonderfully quirky vocal breakdown halfway through. Mary, Mary So Contrary displays an entire other side of the band's sound, still applying the simplistic, repetitive and rhythm focused songwriting approach, but being much softer and with some more melody put in. The main thing I love about this song is that high pitched wail of the guitar, as it provides a nice bit of sonic depth to the song while the metronimic drumming continues on and on, making the back half of this song absolutely wonderful. Outside My Door, while less memorable and impressive than the previous two tracks, definitely has its own unique identity, with a surf rock style as well as a harmonica, so it's far from a complete write off. You Doo Right makes up the bulk of this album, and is definitely a strange song, taking the mentality applied to the rest of this album, but then stretching it out to 20 minutes in length, essentially providing a 20 minute long jam centred around key vocal hooks. I feel like it's pulled off quite well overall, being able to remain entertaining throughout, more or less exploring the furthest reaches of this particular groove and melody.

While some of Can's later works are definitely where I would gravitate towards, especially their excellent Tago Mago, I really love the stripped back simplicity here, and find that it's executed extremely well. Malcolm Mooney's vocal performance provides a certain charm to the albums that Damo Suzuki couldn't replicate, despite him being a far better vocalist and definitely having moments of further insanity than anything that they could dream of here. All in all, I do thoroughly enjoy this album and would strongly recommend giving it a listen after hearing the Damo Suzuki material from the band.

Best songs: Father Cannot Yell, You Doo Right

Weakest songs: Outside My Door

Verdict: Extremely repetitive, rhythm focused music with great energy in parts, while also being able to make it all sound extremely enjoyable. I'd definitely recommend starting off with the peak material of Can before moving on to this, but I do find it to be an album you should definitely listen to if you enjoyed the minimalistic nature of those albums.

 Yeti by AMON DÜÜL II album cover Studio Album, 1970
4.10 | 466 ratings

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Yeti
Amon Düül II Krautrock

Review by Trevere

4 stars Born out of the ashes of an artistic and political community called Amon Duul, who undertook some free improvisation sessions in the late '60s, Amon Duul II hit the German scene in 1969 with their debut release 'Phallus Dei'. This stunning debut is often heralded as the high point of their long and varied musical career but this follow up certainly scales the dizzy heights of that seminal release and even manages to surpass it in some respects. I hesitate to use the term 'Krautrock' to describe this record as it was used as a somewhat derogatory term to describe a host of experimental bands that were spawned in Germany around that time so let's just describe this as progressive psychedelic rock.

The approach on here is similar to their debut both in its delivery and musical character but the ideas are rather more distilled. While 'Phallus Dei' relied on building atmosphere and groove in a rather sedate manner, most notably on the extended title track, Amon Duul II opted here for shorter song formats and more panache in their song-writing. Even the multi-part suite 'Soap Shop Rock' is merely a loosely connected set of distinct songs with musical bridges linking the whole. But this seemingly patchwork approach doesn't actually detract from the flow and integrity of the music. There are such a plethora of bold ideas thrown onto this album, yet with such attention to maintaining the darkly unsettling vibe, that it never fails to titillate. One moment you will be swaying along to buzzing psychedelic riffs and languid leads, then a few bars of unhinged madness will devolve into a glorious mess of shrieking atonality before a caterwaul of screeching violins carry you on a mystical Eastern tinged magic carpet ride. And that's just the first 10 minutes or so of this psychedelic masterpiece.

'Archangel Thunderbird' is possibly the coolest song title of all time and it lives up to its promise. Renate Knaup's vocals soar above the irresistible freak-beat style riffs, flappy bass lines and scraggy rhythms. The ponderous 'Eye Shaking King' introduces itself with a grinding Zeppelin-esque groove before evolving into a head-swaying morass of swirling psychedelic Daleks, jarring keyboards and bluesy guitar licks. But this album isn't only about fuzzy riffs and strident rhythms. 'Cerberus' is a meandering instrumental piece full of undulating lines, South Asian style percussion and grunting angular licks and 'Sandoz In The Rain' is a lysergic trip full of hypnotic cadences, haunting violin and lavish flute.

There is a 'loose jam' feel across the whole record, even during the more succinct pieces, but on the title track (explicitly referred to as an improvisation) Amon Duul II really let go and space out in style. The ideas are spread rather thinner over this 18 minute jam than elsewhere on the record but it is eminently suitable as a musical inspiration to chill out and spliff-up, as is the shorter improv 'Yeti Talks To Yogi'. However, it is within the tighter compositions that the true magic of 'Yeti' lies and finds Amon Duul II at the peak of their prismatic powers. This record is a truly mesmerizing experience from start to finish and, along with 'Phallus Dei', an essential listen for anyone remotely interested in psychedelic music.

 In Her Garden by COLOUR HAZE album cover Studio Album, 2017
4.30 | 11 ratings

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In Her Garden
Colour Haze Krautrock

Review by Igor91

5 stars Colour Haze is a heavy psych rock band from Germany that has been a long-standing fixture of Europe's underground rock scene. They are often categorized as a "stoner Rock" band, and while they do display some of the bass-heavy guitar riffs associated with that genre, Colour Haze have much more to offer musically than your average "stoner rock" band. I have been a fan of this band for a good ten years or more, but I must admit that I was not that impressed with the band's 2014 album "To The Highest Gods We Know." After 20-plus years it seemed as though they had finally become a bit stale. Not that "To The Highest Gods We Know" was a bad album, it just seemed to lack something (exactly what I could not put my finger on). So, I said to myself, "Oh well, they had an excellent run, not may bands stay that fresh and relevant for as long as they did."

Fast forward to 2017 and I noticed that the band had released yet another new album. Due to my lackluster reaction to their previous effort I neglected to check out their new material right away. When I finally got around to checking it out, the music instantly grabbed my attention, yet it wasn't until after multiple listens that I became aware of how much I had underestimated Colour Haze. "In Her Garden" may be the best album of their long career, and it is certainly their most progressive.

The album opens with "Into Her Garden," which is really just a guitar intro to the next track, "Black Lilly." "Black Lilly" is a mid-paced rocker that features a cool, choppy riff from guitarist/vocalist Stefan Koglek. His vocals remain solid, but are more of an accompaniment to the music rather than a focus. What follows "Black Lilly" are several tracks, some instrumental, which are sewn together to form a wonderful tapestry of psychedelic rock. There are some familiar raga touches throughout provided by Koglek's guitar and guest musician Mario Oberpucher on sitar. Other guest musicians further enhance the music with Hammond Rhodes and modular, as well as horns, various strings and percussion. Koglek plays some of the most impressive soloing on an album in some time, while cohorts Phillip Rasthoper and Manfred Merwald lay down a fierce backdrop. Merwald's slightly jazzy drumming is as energetic as ever, and Rasthoper's bass keeps everything warm and toasty. There are some repeating themes that appear at various junctures in the album, which helps pull the whole album into one cohesive piece of music. The album closes with the two outstanding complementary tracks, "Skydancer" and "Skydance," the former featuring vocals and the latter being all instrumental. A superb, lively ending to a most enjoyable album that spans over 72 minutes.

"In Her Garden" is truly a thrilling ride. Let's face it, it's generally difficult to sit and listen to a double album and really enjoy it from start to finish. I feel "In Her Garden" is one of those albums that succeeds in being able to keep you satisfied all the way through. Which is an amazing feat for a band who has been at it for 25 years. The band has some albums that feature a few better songs on them than on "In Her Garden," but no album in their canon is this great throughout. And through it all, Colour Haze still sound like Colour Haze, just more refined. After much deliberation, I have concluded that this is a five star-worthy album of progressive psychedelic rock.

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Krautrock bands/artists list

Bands/Artists Country
A.R. & MACHINES Germany
ABSCHAUM France
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
ATTEMPT TO RESTORE Germany
AVARUS Finland
AVEC LE SOLEIL SORTANT DE SA BOUCHE Canada
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 United States
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
FRANKIE DYMON JR. Germany
DZYAN Germany
EAT LIGHTS BECOME LIGHTS United Kingdom
EGYPT IS THE MAGICK # United States
EILIFF Germany
EINSEINSEINS 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
ETURIVI Finland
EULENSPYGEL Germany
EX CANIX Sweden
EXPONENT Germany
FATHER YOD AND THE SPIRIT OF '76 United States
FAUST Germany
FEVER KNIFE Finland
FIFTH DEAD Germany
FILLE QUI MOUSSE France
FLOH DE COLOGNE Germany
FLORIAN GEYER Germany
FLYING MOON IN SPACE Germany
FOTOSPUTNIK United States
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 Switzerland
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 LÄUFER Germany
KRAKATAU Australia
JEAN-JACQUES KRAVETZ Germany
KROKODIL Switzerland
L.S. BEARFORCE Germany
LA DÜSSELDORF Germany
LA!NEU? Germany
LARD FREE France
LAVA Germany
LIFE Germany
LIGHTSHINE Germany
LIMBUS 3 & 4 Germany
LISTING SHIPS United Kingdom
LOKOMOTIVE KREUZBERG Germany
LUNAR GRAVE United States
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
MINAMI DEUTSCH Japan
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 NAZGÛL 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
ORGANISATION Germany
OUR SOLAR SYSTEM Sweden
PACIFIC SOUND Switzerland
PANCAKE Germany
PANKO Germany
PATERNOSTER Austria
PINGUIN Germany
POPOL VUH Germany
PRINCESS FLOWER AND THE MOON RAYS Multi-National
PROF. WOLFFF Germany
PROSPER Germany
PSYCHEDELIC MONSTERJAM Germany
PYRAMID Germany
PYRANHA Switzerland
LE RÉVEIL DES TROPIQUES France
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
SKEPPET Sweden
SOUTH OF NO NORTH Belgium
SPACE EXPLOSION Germany
SPACEBOX Germany
SPERRMÜLL Germany
STAFF CARPENBORG AND THE ELECTRIC CORONA 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
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
WESERBERGLAND Norway
WIND Germany
WONGA Germany
WOODEN VEIL Multi-National
XHOL CARAVAN / XHOL Germany
YA HO WHA 13 United States
YATHA SIDHRA Germany
ZACHT AUTOMAAT Canada
ZEMENT Germany
ZIPPO ZETTERLINK Germany
ZWEISTEIN Germany

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