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Various Artists (Concept albums & Themed compilations) - Romantic Warriors IV: Krautrock, Part I CD (album) cover


Various Artists (Concept albums & Themed compilations)


Various Genres

4.00 | 3 ratings

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4 stars Well, just ask one hundred music experts, and you will get one hundred very different explanations when it comes to the complete phenomenon Krautrock, respectively which band will fit this odd genre music-wise. Fortunately Adele Schmidt and José Zegarra Holder avoid the mistake to delve into another new comprehensive essay. And this will also include the following two parts, I'm quite sure. However, what they necessarily have is a concept, of course. They are selective somehow, and that's good. Every other attempt trying to create something all-embracing or so would fail. For me the real fortitute, advantage, is that they let some considerable musicians and other key figures speak, simple as that. Pay attention of the zeitgeist. Let them explain their views, impressions, memories. And the interviewees are fulfilling the demands in an impressing manner throughout, enthusiastic overall, really being proud of their knowledge, experiences, and developed music most notably. Very informative.

Although this issue will support many interpretations, some facts are quite obvious. Less controversal, for example the 'Essener Songtage' in 1968 can be seen as an important point of origin. And let me emphasize the special historical dimension in Germany, coming together with a rebellious youth, for example manifested by the student revolts and protests against the US agression during Vietnam War. Open-mindedness was hip, nearly everything called into question. This benefitted a general atmosphere of departure, having effect on many sectors of the society, especially all sorts of art. One may sum it up with the approach 'unlimited experimentalism', which even infected Schlager music producer and major labels. While most of the musicians outside of Germany still were feeling comfortable with a more standard blues, psychedelic and jazz attempt, German artists started to break all barriers very early. And some of them evolved to real pioneers hereby.

This initially was concentrated on some major cities, those who regularly were equipped with diverse academies respectively universities and a vivid avantgarde scene. Part 1 (out of 3) now is focused on the Düsseldorf/Cologne and Hamburg region. The presented bands, their vita, each of them is rather diverse. Some are still active (Faust), some not (Can), Kraftwerk then completely changed the modus operandi to a totally programmed sound, reaping some critical words by Wolfgang Flür. Protagonists Eberhard Kranemann and Harald Grosskopf recently have founded a new fruitful entity (Krautwerk). 'Actually we were an agitprop theater group' - Floh De Cologne members even insist on not belonging to the Krautrock family in the strict sense (I agree). US duo Wume are in place for those artists from outside of Germany who are adopting diverse stylistical characteristics. And the Electric Orange staff is drawing references too, though nevertheless one of those neo kraut bands which are representing, okay, even are a push for a little renaissance in Germany currently.

Most of the sequences are filmed by Schmidt and Zegarra Holder themselves, often enough linked with music excerpts taken from live sessions or studio recorded songs, just referring to well-known key terms like Autobahn, Hallogallo, Vitamin C, you bet! But they are also incorporating archive material plus simple sightseeing impressions. This probably because several musicians are underscoring inspirations from the immediate evironment like nature or traffic noise, machines, construction areas aso. 'Krautrock Part 1' is a skillful effort, provided in two languages and the option to turn on subtitles in English, French and Italian. Chapeau! The Zeitgeist Media team have successfully started their mission, I would say. This documentation is a recommended add-on to your collection, a must have for Krautrock fans so much the more.

Rivertree | 4/5 |


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