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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

4.20 | 263 ratings
HOSIANNA MANTRA
Popol Vuh
4.15 | 345 ratings
ASH RA TEMPEL
Ash Ra Tempel
4.10 | 420 ratings
YETI
Amon Düül II
4.22 | 110 ratings
EDGE OF TIME
Dom
4.07 | 488 ratings
FUTURE DAYS
Can
4.09 | 298 ratings
TANZ DER LEMMINGE [AKA: DANCE OF THE LEMMINGS]
Amon Düül II
4.07 | 310 ratings
NEU!
Neu!
4.09 | 170 ratings
GILA - FREE ELECTRIC SOUND
Gila
4.16 | 107 ratings
LETZTE TAGE - LETZTE NÄCHTE
Popol Vuh
4.02 | 372 ratings
PHALLUS DEI
Amon Düül II
4.51 | 35 ratings
EISZEIT
Gam
4.09 | 118 ratings
SELIGPREISUNG
Popol Vuh
3.96 | 569 ratings
TAGO MAGO
Can
4.08 | 117 ratings
VOLUME 10
Electric Orange
3.99 | 238 ratings
MALESCH
Agitation Free
4.06 | 121 ratings
KÄNGURU
Guru Guru
4.01 | 179 ratings
ELECTRIC SILENCE
Dzyan
4.43 | 32 ratings
TONY CONRAD & FAUST: OUTSIDE THE DREAM SYNDICATE
Conrad, Tony
4.03 | 128 ratings
AGUIRRE
Popol Vuh
3.98 | 165 ratings
IN DEN GÄRTEN PHARAOS
Popol Vuh

Krautrock overlooked and obscure gems albums new


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

ORION AWAKES
Golem
MAGIC THEATRE
Drum Circus
FORGET YOUR DREAM!
Pacific Sound
TERRA INCOGNITA
Metabolismus

Latest Krautrock Music Reviews


 Sehr Kosmisch Ganz Progisch by WESERBERGLAND album cover Studio Album, 2017
4.00 | 3 ratings

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Sehr Kosmisch Ganz Progisch
Weserbergland Krautrock

Review by Rivertree
Special Collaborator PSIKE Team & Band Submissions

4 stars Due to uncounted contributions to diverse bands, respectively music projects, Ketil Vestrum Einarsen can be seen as a real key figure when it comes to the prog rock scene in Norway. Now recently he could form a unit that should implement his personal vision of a krautrock inspired progressive rock album. And so 'Sehr Kosmisch Ganz Progisch' appears with a German title of course, moreover this is pointing to an Harmonia song. Besides a bunch of guest musicians the bands core is completed by Gaute Storsve and White Willow's Jacob Holm-Lupo, both on guitar as well as bass, and finally drummer Mattias Olsson of Änglagård fame.

While residing at the Weserbergland border since my birth, this issue attracted my attention in particular, you bet! But, are there even any specific relations to notice concerning krautrock and this region in Germany? Oh yes, there are some. The initial Umsonst & Draussen festivals launched in Vlotho for example. And temporarily, similiar to Kraan residing in Wintrup for some time, the Weserbergland has been a retreat for Hans-Joachim Roedelius and Dieter Moebius above all, both representing the band Cluster. This probably might have helped to name the project just like that.

The album shows a very unique flow and flavour. Although some references are given, for me it doesn't sound like blatantly leaning at any well known kraut outfit, fortunately. Thus 'Sehr Kosmisch Ganz Progisch' evolves to a revelation per se for every prog fan, especially when looking for something new and innovative. The particular songs are skillfully weaving diverse music styles and ideas, deriving from different epochs, to something very open minded and experimental. Well, that is mirroring a krautrock spirit, isn't it? Furthermore Mattias Olsson's drum presence is motoric, very special in general.

The approach to combine kosmische electronics and rock music is fullfilled. And so somewhat in the vein of Harmonia, Cluster, Neu! the charming and relaxed Tanzen und Springen - originally an old folk traditional - appears in a cinematic, symphonic manner, decorated with some nice guitar work. Followed by the Gustav Mahler adapted Das Trinklied Vom Jammer Der Erde, starting very melancholic, concerning the mood reminding of Kaukasus, but then provided with a very strong and dynamic flow furthermore. Kunst Der Fuge is picking up the legacy of baroque composer Johann Sebstian Bach with industrial alike implemented drums, partially just like forced by a machine, partially very tricky - a great challenge.

Finally tending to some free formed jazz in between Tristrant spiritually seems longing back to the 12th Century after all, pointing to the love story of Tristan and Iseult, which has been nothing but an emotional rollercoaster affair to them. Musically this is realized in a rather dramatic manner. And no wonder, most of the guest musicians are involved in this song. While taking some episodes from the German cultural history as a template, Ketil Vestrum Einarsen has started something really unusual and precious here with 'Sehr Kosmisch Ganz Progisch'. Krautrock? What else? Maybe for some reason, but if, surely equipped with the prefix Neo.

 Eternal Flashback by AMON DÜÜL II album cover Studio Album, 1996
2.22 | 9 ratings

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Eternal Flashback
Amon Düül II Krautrock

Review by Lewian

2 stars Eternal Flashback was released in 1996 apparently as a freebie by the Düül's Japanese record company. To what extent the musicians themselves had their hands in this at the time is not clear to me. In any case this is not music that was recorded in the 1990s, rather it uses material from the end 1960s and early 1970s. Much of this has already appeared on Phallus Dei, Yeti and Tanz der Lemminge. There may be bits from Carnival in Babylon and also bits from older Amon Düül sessions when the commune was not yet split into I and II. Some material is unreleased as far as I know; I know all the regular albums of AD II but I'm not sure whether what I don't know yet appeared as bonus tracks somewhere.

Still, this is not some kind of "Best of", rather the material was put together in a new way, partly overlaying bits that did not originally belong together. This is all one track here. A 67 minutes fantasy jam was created, that never really happened, using many known elements. I've got to say though that it doesn't feel like a single track. There are a number of sudden changes that feel like starts of a new track; the creators just decided to keep everything together "officially". On the other hand, elements used early reappear at times toward the end, so one could find, with some generosity, some kind of arch holding things together.

They succeeded in giving this a feel that is somehow different from the original recordings, so you can get something new out of this. The unfamiliar bits are interesting, although they are probably often the oldest ones and the musicianship on these is quite pedestrian, to put it nicely. Unfortunately there is hardly any singing by Renate; vocals are male, by Karrer and somebody else. Overall this is very psychedelic, structures are even less transparent than in the original recordings (although there's much rhythm and guitar soloing) , and some people will say that you have to be stoned for enjoying this, although I'm not and I can get something out of it at least.

Ultimately there's some fun to be had listening to this endless jam going through a number of familiar snippets, although some transitions and overlays are rather unmotivated, and surely this will not convert anybody who is not yet a fan (there's a good chance you'll hate it if you're not already in love with the band). The Düüls have done crazy things on regular albums, too, though. You should expect this kind of wackiness from this band, and whatever you may object against this, it is unmistakably the weird Amon Düül II.

As a fan I find this free-flying 67 minutes pretty good entertainment, although no match for their sublime regular albums from that period.

There's a sister piece of this, "Kobe (Reconstructed)", that in several places is described as pretty much the same as Eternal Flashback. I actually disagree, Kobe is based much more on drum loops and creates a quite different atmosphere.

2 stars; can't be one because it's fun, can't be three because that'd be stretching it too far really.

 Orbit by HEDERSLEBEN album cover Studio Album, 2017
3.92 | 5 ratings

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Orbit
Hedersleben Krautrock

Review by Rivertree
Special Collaborator PSIKE Team & Band Submissions

4 stars HEDERSLEBEN have gained some attention in the meanwhile, or how does it come that some of their tracks are featured in upcoming action movies like Diamond Cartel and The Devil's Domain? The band name originally derives from a small German village. This relation, and I would say it will affect mastermind Nicky Garratt most likely, manifests in a German speech at the end of Distant Sun for example. Hedersleben however includes the word 'life' too, which also stands for a constant coming and going. And this is significant when it comes to the line up over the course, completely renewed again, solely Nicky excluded of course.

Hence every album will sound remoulded too. Hey, what a benefit! There's a focus on female vocals here somehow, due to Alicia Previn being involved, a wonderful find equipped with so many variants. Either an otherworldly appearance while digitally retouched on Judas Star. Or concerning Rarefied Air massively reminding me at some early experiences comprising Embryo and Missus Beastly featuring Maria Archer on vocals during the mid 1970s. Furthermore, when counting her in playing the violin, Curved Air comes into mind occasionally.

Please forgive my ... eh, feasible narrow-mindedness ... just when having a very sceptical eye on this, ... somewhat strange is the album's total length, even if aiming at a vinyl issue. So much the more when they are taking the liberty to fade out most of the given nine songs! On the other hand though, the more this is proving the band's compositional prolificness, one may say. Either way, the entire song collection appears like a well sorted string of shiny tiny pearls, one after another, ending with Perigree like arriving in paradise, this accompanied by looping acoustic guitars and bird's twittering. No loss of spirit, you're welcome again!

 Debon by BRAST BURN album cover Studio Album, 1975
3.91 | 25 ratings

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Debon
Brast Burn Krautrock

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

4 stars One of the truest obscure classics of the Japanese psychedelic rock scene, BRAST BURN emerged from nowhere back in 1975 to unleash one single psychotropic sounding album before disappearing into the ethers from which they sprung forth. While many a kaleidoscopic seeking band were dressing up their sonic excursions in to the lands of tripping honey, BRAST BURN remained stalwarts of the absolute most unrelentingly faithful to what Pink Floyd released with their landmark track 'Saucerful Of Secrets' which takes the listener on the sonic equivalent of being abducted by alien forces and whizzed from dimension to dimension to outer and inner space and back again. To add to the mystery, the band is anonymous and the sonic journey is as nebulous and disorienting as the album cover suggests. And what in the world does BRAST BURN or the album title DEBON even mean? There is simply nothing to grasp onto with this one other than a few musical motifs that recur and patterns that are formed by vocal nonsensical utterings, sliding guitars, a hyperactive bass and plenty of sleigh bells!

The album consists of only two long tracks. 'Debon Part 1' starts off as though the listener had been picked up by extraterrestrial entities and the sounds of UFO sounds sputtering forth into another space or dimension start things off. As the music progresses it becomes rhythmically stable with a recurring melody, an unstable slide guitar that feels a bit caffeinated and a schizophrenic Captain Beefheart impersonation accompanied by the Christmasy sounding slew of sleigh bells only with no carol singers to be found. The two tracks are actually divided up into suites of sort and after one idea is exhausted they sort of fizzle out and begin something new. In this case phase one cedes into an electronic tripped out frenzy and then starts phase two with percussion that sounds sort of church bell like accompanied by an acoustic guitar chord loop with electronic elements. Those rascally sleigh bells make a cameo now and again but the electronica simulates the wind and we feel like we're riding high in the clouds with all kinds of colors whizzing about like rainbows on acid riding unicorns. Second phase totally fades out before the third emerges as the tintinnabulation of church bells jingling on for a while but the sleigh bells begin a conversation with them and take over while gentle flutes and tribal drumming dance around sounding as if a cult ritual were being performed around a Pagan midnight fire dance as vocal chants ensue in uniform jocularity.

'Debon Part 2' begins with bird songs and a quirky guitar lick with, of course, more sleigh bells providing percussion! Also heard are dogs barking and various background noises. Eventually the folk guitar changes into a more psychedelic sound with a howling wind and a more conga type of percussion sound. Actually sounds like someone banging on a pot or something. This one changes things up by the layering effect. One stream of sound fades in while others fade out. This one focuses on folky guitar strumming with that same percussion and airy wind sounds. It strolls on aimlessly with the occasional animal sounds and recurring melodies on guitar that sort of just drift in and out haphazardly. This is quite the party as a laughing soundtrack comes and goes on as well. It drifts on into something that sounds sort of tango like rhythmically but completely weird and whacked out in la-la land. About 14 minutes in it fades out and another phase completely changes it up by fading in with an echoey guitar that ushers in bombastic drums and an acid drenched heavy psych guitar run that sounds like the real inspiration for pretty much everything Acid Mothers Temple built a career out of decades later. It continues into dreamscape like overlaps of ocean waves, ethereal guitar echoes and vocal chants.

More than worthy of being included on the Steve Stapleton's demented Nurse With Wound list, BRAST BURN is what psychedelia and lysergic laced dreams are made of. This mysterious band stayed true to the goal of total escapism with only enough melodic and rhythmic construction as not to become completely unhinged from reality and sputter into meaningless noise. All in all, it's actually quite folky underneath it all which makes it easier to release, detach and reattach to the ritualistic vibes being performed. While mysterious in nature BRAST BURN is thought to be the same band as Karuna Khyal which released an album the year later because of the similarities in its approach to psychedelic droning and experimental oriental takes on Krautrock. This is one for the true trippers out there who love to melt their minds with a sizzling soundtrack of sublimeness. BRAST BURN was the real deal blowing away anything that came before. While many psychedelic bands were more based in heavy psych, BRAST BURN has a gentle pastural take on lysergic escapism. It flows along as gentle as waves meandering across the sea's surface only punctuated by the irregularities that change it's overall trajectory. This is a way cool album!

 Baba Yaga by BABA YAGA album cover Studio Album, 1974
3.32 | 6 ratings

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Baba Yaga
Baba Yaga Krautrock

Review by Progfan97402

4 stars It's almost unbelievable that Ingo Werner was even allowed to use the Baba Yaga name for two albums that are so drastically different you find it hard to believe Ingo Werner himself was involved with both, but I guess that's because he used the Baba Yaga name to pursue his artistic ambitions. On Featuring Ingo Werner, he fronts a regular five piece prog rock band, and on the next album Collage he simple collaborates with Iranian santoor and sitar player Nemat Darman for a much more freaky proposition. It's even more of a drastic sound change than when King Crimson changes lineups. Both Baba Yaga albums were released on the Cycle label and quickly became rarities.

Upon listening to Featuring Ingo Werner, you may forget they were actually German, as they sound much like those early British bands, like Fantasy or Cressida, with a bit of Camel and Caravan, with jazzy passages. Nice use of Mellotron and vocals. Don't expect that Krautrock freakiness that is Collage, because you'll only hear hints of that. The music sounds more like 1972 than 1974, so it does sound a bit behind the times. Still it's a very good album recommended more for progheads than those wanting more off-the-wall Krautrock.

 Supernova by IBLISS album cover Studio Album, 1972
3.46 | 34 ratings

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Supernova
Ibliss Krautrock

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

4 stars IBLISS was a short lived band that formed in 1971 in the German Rhineland region and is probably more famous for who was in the band rather than the music itself. In the fertile cross-pollinating musical streams of Krautrock, IBLISS was the next step of Basil Hammoudi who was in the band Organisation that morphed into the more familiar Kraftwerk. Likewise IBLISS contains another Kraftwerk connection in the form of drummer Andreas Homann who was on the debut Kraftwerk album. IBLISS differentiated itself from the multitude of Kraut bands of the era with the inclusion of a heavy percussive drive that was heavily influenced by Middle Eastern rhythms courtesy of Hammoudi having been born and raised in Iraq. In this regard their sole album SUPERNOVA has the same percussion heavy grooves as the first Agitation Free album, however IBLISS (the Arabic word for "devilish") is much more of a loose jammy type of album that focuses on meditative bass laden grooves with heavy drumming circles providing the backbone for psychedelic flute and sax solos.

While most of the album is a repetitive groovy vibe that allows the flute and sax to go gangbuster, there are also psychedelic electronic passages that eschew the jazz-fusion meets bellydance themes and enters into true lysergic arenas. While Andreas Homann is the main drummer, so strong is the percussion drive that three other members contribute as well. Basil Hammoudi not only dishes out beautiful spacey flute flutterings but various percussive sounds as does brothers bassist Norbert and guitarist Wolfgang Buellmeyer. Only Rainer Buechel has entered the percussion-free zone and stands as a sax and flute guy exclusively. The original album release was rather limited and first copy editions are quite rare with only 1000 or so having been created and has become quite the collector's item however a new remastered CD has been released most recently on Garden Of Delights and the sound quality is excellent.

This is one of the Krautrock albums you will either love or not. This is not one of those sophisticated monster freakout type bonanzas of the Amon Duul II type but rather a fairly repetitive light and fluffy jam session that offers up strong percussive beats with cheerful flute melodies along side with a jazz-fusiony saxophone presence that emerges from time to time. Rhythmically it reminds me a lot of the minimalism that Neu! would soon make their own although more varied along with an overall fusion sound somewhat reminiscent of early Embryo but never as sophisticated. These are minimalistic trance inducing tunes that never break into complex song structures but rather remain within a parade of pleasant percussion laden grooves with happy melodies along for the ride. All is instrumental for the most part but vocal utterings do emerge in cheers coming from the background.

While i readily admit that IBLISS was not the most talented band in the early 70s Krautrock movement, i find their sole album SUPERNOVA to be mesmerizing and a cheerful little listen nonetheless. This is basically four long jams that never stray into super proggy territory but stay well-grounded in the Earthly realms rather than straying too far into the sonic ethers although there are scant moments of airy passages. Despite the rather easy to digest sounds on board, this band still found a home on the Nurse With Wound List most likely for its unorthodox experimental voyaging into hitherto untried genre mixing however it still qualifies as a fairly euphoric heady musical experience. Personally i love this one.

 Pyragony X by AMON DÜÜL II album cover Studio Album, 1976
2.41 | 49 ratings

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Pyragony X
Amon Düül II Krautrock

Review by FragileKings
Prog Reviewer

2 stars A year or two ago, I came across Rolling Stone's list of the top 50 prog albums of all time and found at number 41 "Yeti" by Amon Düül II. I marked it down as an album to check out. When I finally did check out it on YouTube, I wasn't convinced. The singing was too discordant with people singing out of tune or not in tune with one another. However, I was still determined to find something decent from this krautrock band. After skipping through different albums and tracks, I thought that there were a couple on "Pyragony 10th" that might be okay and I ordered the album. Only after was I to learn the truth about the band.

Before reaching their tenth album, Amon Düül II had undergone multiple line-up changes and were searching for a new direction for their music. By "Pyragony 10th", few original members remained and the band were really uncertain of how to craft their new sound. The music here sounds very much like a band lacking confidence in recording what they must have felt strongly about when they wrote. The songs have been given attention and care in their construction but the final result is lackluster. One vocalist sounds like a punk singer who has been asked to attempt subtlety while singing along to softer semi-mainstream songs. When "Telly Vision" comes on, I feel like it's a cross between a psychedelic Beatles rip-off and The Toy Dolls.

The album does bravely attempt to tackle a variety of styles with the Oriental "Flower of the Orient", the early Nazareth ("Exercises" era) rock and roll of "Merlin", and the softer synthesizer-guided instrumental track "Crystal Hexagon". The only song that features a part that sounds prog is "The Only Thing" and that happens shortly before the three-minute mark.

The weak production of this album doesn't help. The acoustic guitar strumming has all the life sucked out of it, and when the music actually does bring a punch, the production softens the blow like a wall of tissue paper. But not just the production, as I stated above this seems to be an over-cautious band without confidence. The CD booklet includes this quote from Ingeborg Schober's book "Tanz der Lemminge":

"The mythical and charismatic Amon Düül II known from the sixties didn't exist anymore. Until today the band searched somewhat desperately and chaotically for a new musical identity which made them try the most different styles."

Band member Chris Karrer adds, "It had been the time when the band's music became more and more song-like and the once underground group descended to the songwriter's league." The CD booklet author also points out only half the songs as having any semblance to the old Amon Duul II with the other half being like creations of any mainstream band.

Were it not for the promise of "Yeti" being a much better representation of the band and a classic prog album to boot, I would have stopped my Amon Düül II experience here with this first purchase. But I am curious and I will see what the "Yeti" is keeping that is so special.

 Electric Sandwich by ELECTRIC SANDWICH album cover Studio Album, 1972
3.43 | 37 ratings

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Electric Sandwich
Electric Sandwich Krautrock

Review by Aussie-Byrd-Brother
Special Collaborator Rock Progressivo Italiano Team

4 stars German band Electric Sandwich's self-titled debut from 1972 appeared on the legendary Brain Records label and was produced by German rock notable Dieter Dierks, but any suggestions that it has connections to Krautrock are pretty much completely inaccurate. However, the terrific English language album has much to recommend about it, having far more in common with psychedelic, soul, blues, R&B and horn-based rock with a touch of jazz here and there, with traces of Hendrix, Ten Years After, Santana band, Nosferatu, Message and even Out of Focus popping up throughout.

Eight-minute opener `China' certainly comes the closest to the Krautrock tag, an acid-rock instrumental with stormy washes of drifting distortion, exotic percussion and Jörg Ohlert's fuzzy electric-guitar soloing. `Devil's Dream' is a smouldering vocal rocker (not a trace of an accent in sax/harmonica player Jochen Carthaus's voice, though!) with bluesy guitar soloing weaving around Wolf Fabian's nimble drumming throughout an extended lightly jazzy improvised middle, and just listen to the way the distorted sax melts and bleeds from about the 3:47 minute mark! Side one closer `Nervous Creek' then jumps between the frantic and mysterious passages of fellow German band Message's first two albums `The Dawn Anew is Coming' and `From Books and Dreams', but also adds in a splash of wild Hendrix-flavoured rock.

There's more bluesy rock on `It's No Use to Run' with a rough n' raspy vocal, spirited harmonica and plenty of slow-burn electric guitar licks, and `I Want You' is purring and dreamy with tougher bursts of relentless harder-edged guitars, tasty Out of Focus-like sax wafting and whirling Hammond organ. `Archie's Blues' is unsurprisingly a bluesy meander that's a real showcase for guitarist Ohlert and his killer strangled electric guitar slinging, and `Material Darkness' closes the album with drowsy chiming guitars and almost whispered vocals that are punctuated with dirty sax blasts, trickles of pristine Mellotron veils and Klaus Lormann's thick bass. It's definitely one of the more ambitious moments of the album, although it proves to be a little anti-climactic with not much in the way of a big ending.

The CD reissue includes a short infectious bonus track of exclusive 1973 single `On My Mind', a cool and confident pop/rocker with strident electric guitar around a raw lead vocal, as well as its b-side, a three minute remix/edit of the album opener `China'.

Although it's far too structured and `clean' to be considered a Krautrock album, `Electric Sandwich' is endlessly melodic with strong song-structures that still allows for plenty of jamming and improvised instrumentation that the talented young musicians deliver with exceptional skill. It's a damn shame that the band dissolved in the same year this album was released, but it's nice that their legacy is preserved with this one cracking bluesy psychedelic stunner.

Four stars.

 II by CLUSTER album cover Studio Album, 1972
3.92 | 78 ratings

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II
Cluster Krautrock

Review by Aussie-Byrd-Brother
Special Collaborator Rock Progressivo Italiano Team

4 stars The duo of Dieter Moebius and Hans-Joachim Roedelius deliver nothing in the way of tunes or melodic moments on their second Cluster album from 1972, `Cluster II', nor is it particularly similar to the subdued spacey drifts of the frequently near- ambient debut. Instead, noisy experiments, druggy improvisations and cryptic instrumental collages of guitar, organ and electronics are the order of the day here, closer to the darker atmospheres of the early Krautrock-era works of Kraftwerk, Tangerine Dream and Klaus Schulze.

Opener `Plas' is a churning stormy drone that grows in stature amidst a heartbeat-like wavering klaxon and harsh ebbing and flowing serrated slivers. A snarling and grumbling electric guitar line repeats over and over into infinity throughout `Im Suden' with ambient distortion washes shimmering to the surface behind them, everything swamped in an unceasing brewing rumble of feedback. Chiming guitar tendrils try to snake their way through an air of shuffling electronic spirals and pulsing machine hisses that slowly abate to allow the briefest of light to enter, and`Fur Die Katz's alien-like twitches and scratchy distortion close the first side, a piece that could have easily found a home on Tangerine Dream's proto-dark ambient `Zeit'.

The suffocating `Live In Der Fabrik' on the flip side is a cavernous environment of chugging machine oscillations feverishly ripped apart by delirious electronic ripples, and the growing menace of `Georgel's sombre droning organ with the lightest of crystalline airy wisps flitting about could have easily worked its way out of the spacey improvised section of Pink Floyd's `A Saucerful of Secrets' and `Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun' live performances from the late Sixties. Closer `Nabitte' wraps the disc on smiles and sunshine...no, wait, make that mucky clanging nightmares of brooding jagged piano and groaning eerie voices makes for deeply unpleasant stuff, pretty much the perfect soundtrack to the seediest snuff tape.

`Cluster II' really gets under the skin with grubby fingernails, making for supremely uneasy listening but also one that remains wickedly addictive and completely consuming, laced beginning to end with that dirty sense of danger that permeates all the most satisfying Krautrock works.

Four stars.

 Guru Guru 88 by GURU GURU album cover Live, 1988
3.00 | 1 ratings

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Guru Guru 88
Guru Guru Krautrock

Review by Kepler62

— First review of this album —
3 stars This is a wacky one and just like the previous 'Jungle' features a female vocalist, Lysa Kraus, an amalgam of Nina Hagen and The B- 52s. Really. This is the Guru Guru of the late 80s so don't expect the early Krautrock experiments or tripped out jazz-rock blowouts of the seventies. Head Guru Mani Nuemeier had spent most of the eighties on individual projects and was trying out new things with the newly reformed Guru Guru. Released on the German Casino label that was better known for jazz/techno/dance artists, the contemporary craze. It features the late Hans Reffert who was the most recent guitarist/composer for Guru Guru so we do get some really interesting well produced stuff here. The 8 tracks are quite different from one another but as a whole Guru Guru '88 is very psychedelic. The biggest surprise is a spooky electronic instrumental track titled 'His Time' which is dedicated to Edgar Allan Poe, author of the strange and macabre. Probably the most bizarre cover version of 'Batman' ever recorded appears here and is barely recognizable save for the Batman hyena screeches and includes Mani Nuemeier silliness or else it would not be a Guru Guru album, would it?. The groovin' 'Work', 'Take It All' and 'Jim Jimmy' are straight off the dance floor. On the funky 'Dig That Fun' Lysa Kraus flaunts her impressive R&B panache.The instrumental 'Long Ago' tacquires a more vapourous jazzy feel.. Finally, 'Guru Guru Shake' is a catchy Carib/East Indian world beat fusion with a guest drummer Master Paramashivam Pillal.

I have been a fan of Guru Guru since the early seventies so this esoteric 1988 album or EP ( running time clocks in at just over 30 minutes ).didn't faze me. My only problem here is that the development potential on some tracks was not exploited to the fullest. It is nonetheless a half an hour of some really fun stuff. from one of the most 'out there' bands ever.

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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
ATTEMPT TO RESTORE 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
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CRAVINKEL Germany
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DAMENBART Germany
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DATASHOCK Germany
DAVENPORT United States
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DEUTER Germany
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THOMAS DINGER Germany
DOLOROSA France
DOM Multi-National
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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
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EMMA MYLDENBERGER Germany
EPSILON Germany
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EROC Germany
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ET CETERA (DE) Germany
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EXPONENT 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
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MANUEL GÖTTSCHING Germany
GRAVE Germany
GRAVESTONE Germany
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HABOOB Multi-National
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HÄX CEL Germany
HEDERSLEBEN Germany
IBLISS Germany
IGNATZ Belgium
IHRE KINDER Germany
IMPROVED SOUND LIMITED Germany
INSTANT DRONE FACTORY Multi-National
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JERONIMO Germany
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KANOI Austria
KAPUTTER HAMSTER Germany
KEMIALLISET YSTÄVÄT Finland
KILLED ON X-MAS Germany
KLUSTER Germany
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KONTRAST Germany
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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
LUNAR GRAVE United States
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MAGMA Germany
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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 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
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
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MICHAEL ROTHER Germany
RUFUS ZUPHALL Germany
SAMETI Germany
SAND Germany
SCARECREW Germany
SEEDOG Germany
SEIKAZOKU Japan
SEMOOL France
SHANNONDOA Germany
SIDDHARTHA Germany
SIINAI Finland
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SILENT CARNIVAL Italy
SILOAH Germany
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SINTO Germany
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SKEPPET Sweden
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SPERRMÜLL Germany
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STARA RZEKA Poland
SWARA SAMRAT Germany
MITSURU TABATA Japan
TASTE OF BLUES Sweden
TEARPALM Serbia
TEMPLE Germany
THINK Germany
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TIERE DER NACHT Multi-National
TON STEINE SCHERBEN Germany
ULI TREPTE Germany
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ULENSPIEGEL Germany
ULTRALYD Norway
UTOPIA Germany
VAMPIRES OF DARTMOORE Germany
VELJENI VALAS Finland
VERDE (MIKA RINTALA) Finland
VIBRACATHEDRAL ORCHESTRA United Kingdom
VINEGAR Germany
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CHRISTIAN VON ESCHERSHEIM Germany
WALTER WEGMÜLLER Germany
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WIND Germany
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XHOL CARAVAN / XHOL Germany
YA HO WHA 13 United States
YATHA SIDHRA Germany
ZEMENT Germany
ZIPPO ZETTERLINK Germany
ZWEISTEIN Germany

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