Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography


Neu !


From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Neu ! Neu! album cover
4.04 | 446 ratings | 35 reviews | 32% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

Write a review

Buy NEU ! Music
from partners
Studio Album, released in 1972

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Hallogallo (10:07)
2. Sonderangebot (4:50)
3. Weissensee (6:42)
- Jahresüberblick :
4. Im Glück (6:52)
5. Negativland (9:46)
6. Lieber Honig (7:15)

Total Time: 45:42

Line-up / Musicians

- Klaus Dinger / koto, drums, guitar, vocals
- Michael Rother / guitar, deh-guitar, bass, double bass

Releases information

LP Brain ‎- 1004 (1972, Germany)

CD Grönland Records ‎- CDGRON I (2001, Europe) Remastered

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
Edit this entry

Buy NEU ! Neu! Music

NEU ! Neu! ratings distribution

(446 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(32%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(42%)
Good, but non-essential (19%)
Collectors/fans only (6%)
Poor. Only for completionists (1%)

NEU ! Neu! reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by loserboy
5 stars NEU's debut album would have to go onto my desert island pick (although I think by now I am bringing a million albums with me!). This is Space Prog at its finest. This was NEU's first album and truthfully sounds as if it could have been released last year! Take all the soft psychy aspects of ASH RA TEMPEL and add the mid-era FLOYD guitar sounds and you are not far off of what you can expect here. For those unaware of this band let me help you digest it. This 2 member band make the noise of a band of Michael Rother and Klaus Dinger left KRAFTWERK to pursue their own musical endeavors. NEU's music grooves... and really equally fuses rich analog electronics with soaring guitar aspects. Their music generally wanders about but always manages to come back to help develop and expand on their themes. Their music is warm yet very electronic without ever sounding electronic. Quite obviously after listening to this album you will hear just how influential this album has been. Let me offer up one immediate and outrageously stolen parts from this old album... Track 4 could almost have been lifted directly off this album and put on the plastic fake new PINK FLOYD album "Momentary Lapse Of Reason" ...yes a deliberate steal for sure... the rowing of the boat... the electronic imaging and the eerie English Channel feel... oh well... life is all about the argument of the "taste and tasting". But seriously this album has been referenced by a vast number of musicians as one of their more influential albums. This gem has been kindly preserved in its newly re-mastered version with some nice tones and clearly defined images. Like so many other excellent German albums, this was one produced in Conny Plank's famous underground basement studios. A grand album...!
Review by philippe
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars This is the first and best album by NEU! The album oscillates between experimental guitar sound accompanied by a metronomic pulse and calm psych- instrumental rock. Sometimes it reminds me the two first Kraftwerk albums. The general mood is minimalist, notably due to the charateristic repetitive drum playing. If you are a beginner in krautrock adventure this is one of the first album you need to synth and cosmic sounds here but real imaginative and powerful post-rock pieces. This album had a long heritage to young generations of musicians
Review by Neu!mann
5 stars Whenever I feel the need to offer a no-strings-attached five-star recommendation I invariably turn to Krautrock, and the debut album by Düsseldorf's best combo (sorry Ralf and Florian) is one of the brightest jewels in the Krautrock crown.

What is it about this band that makes me want to legally add an exclamation mark to the middle of my surname? It can hardly be the richness and complexity of the music, or the virtuoso chops of its two players. Just the opposite, as a matter of fact. The music of NEU! is simplicity itself, taking a rock 'n' roll template and stripping it down to its most basic components: a steady drum beat, played with more stamina than skill, and some of the grooviest one-chord guitar work ever committed to vinyl.

Klaus Dinger called it the motorik beat, and he plays it non-stop throughout the sensational 10-minute long album opener "Hallogallo", with Michael Rother's guitar (in at least four overdubbed tracks) drifting in and out of the mix. With its ridiculously uncomplicated rhythm (the 4/4 meter raised to the acme of linear perfection), the song is the perfect soundtrack for a late-night, long distance road trip, no arguments or exceptions allowed. Listening to it is almost like a glimpse of infinity: the long fade at either end makes me think the song is still playing in some distant parallel universe, and always has been since the creation of sound itself.

The rest of the disc is no less of a challenge, from the jackhammer intensity of "Negativland" (with real jackhammers, please note) to the evocative ambient explorations of "Im Glück" and "Lieber Honig". The latter presents the album's only vocal performance (I hesitate to call it singing), with Klaus Dinger's wordless, pre-adolescent improv sounding like an autistic nursery schooler going down for his afternoon nap, and was miked so closely you can hear every catch in his throat, every click of saliva, before the "song" fades back to the slow rowboat drones of "Im Glück".

The album was barely released outside of Germany at the time, but has since been name-checked as a major influence by some of the coolest bands at work today: Radiohead, Stereolab, Yo La Tengo (to name only a few). Not bad for a 3+ decades old recording that took all of four evenings to assemble.

You could argue (and I wouldn't disagree) that the music of NEU! bears little relation to genuine Progressive Rock. But the fact that they were, and remain, so far ahead of their time is enough reason to include the band in this forum. This album in particular sounds like it was recorded only yesterday, just like it did ten, fifteen, twenty years ago, and likely will a generation or more in the future.

Review by Carl floyd fan
4 stars This is a very easy going cd for the most part. But don't let the dreamy atompheres fool you into thinking this is ambient work, as there are moments of craziness and this is certiantlly an innovative cd, warranting the krautrock label 100%. The last track brings the score down a notch to about a 3.75, but the cd is still good enough to warrant a buy, just stop at the end of Negativland!
Review by Sean Trane
4 stars Neu!'s debut album is another cornerstone in Krautrock history! At the time of release of this album, all I could think of was link it with some of the strangest music ever , but a few years later, I discovered Can and saw where Neu! got their inspiration from!

The first side is made of three relatively calm tracks ( almost in the ambient style ), gradually picking up speed and strenght on Weissensee. But the real Neu! (pronounce noï) feeling starts at the second side of that vinyl. On those three tracks , this duo shows that they have nothing to envy to Can , using long and minimalist music to great effect, but also hinting at later Kraftwerk albums (Dinger hqving collaborated on a few of their album)

Unfortunately , this is the only really worthy Neu! album as the successor is very flawed ( in spiteof a superb sidelong track) and the third although highly rated , not having much to do with this album as far as feeling is concerned.

Review by King of Loss
4 stars Neu! is the band Neu!'s debut. A very charming performance here, a really dandy. Not a masterpiece but good overall.

HalloGallo is my favorite tune here, with its driving guitars and drums. A perfect driving track, I must say I had a good time when I was in the car listening to the car. Slightly falling short of Opeth's Damnation as good driving music or the grinding guitars of a Death Metal band, but relatively fair. Overall, the album mixes into a complete whole, not to blame them or anything, it sounds smoothly and transitions well, into a complete, full whole with Hallogallo being the start of it all, really the good, memorable part of the album.

As many of you from the Progarchives forums can read, I am mostly a fan of Symphonic Progressive Rock, Progressive Metal and Metal in general, and Neu! are a band that is commonly not assoicated with me on the Archives. In general, the best way to state Neu! is that they are a German krautrock band, one that is filled with interesting, unique sounds that I just recently have started to appreciate (Neu! anyways). So I decided to pick up this album at the local store and throw it into my car stereo and boom, the album came alive to me, almost like it was an interesting sort of feeling you get in your stomach when you listen to a good album. The album is fairly decent, with a hint of a lot of styles and I must say, this is the best Neu! album that is there is out there, its filled with interesting material and the almost entirely instrumental album serves a good purpose in my music collection, even though, its not really my style or anything. 3.75 stars really, but rounded up to 4 stars, because of the ease in musical changes and the experimentation definitely is very good. Definitely recommended for beginners of Krautrock and Progressive listeners, even though its not atruly amazing performance.

83% on King Of Loss "Flossy's" style

Review by Mellotron Storm
4 stars NEU! are a very influential band and an important part of Krautrock's history. I find it interesting that RADIOHEAD, specifically Thom Yorke list both NEU! and CAN as big influences in their musical careers. NEU! are made up of Klaus Dinger and Michael Rother who formed this band after leaving KRAFTWERK.

"Hallogallo" actually reminds me of CAN with the catchy, relentless beat that is joined by spacey guitar sounds.This one is my favourite. "Sonderangebot" has no real melody as spacey sounds open the song, eventually turning into an ominous and eerie atmosphere. Some loud sounds end it as it blends into "Weissensee". This one is a slow and dreamy track. These three songs originally made up the first side of the album, my favourite side by the way. "Im Gluck" features an experimental soundscape with sounds like water splashing on a boat that is docked. Spacey sounds follow. "Negativland" opens with the sound of a jackhammer before a smooth and catchy beat takes over. Spacey sounds are blowing across the desert soundscape. Great tune. "Lieber Honig" is slow paced with very fragile vocals (haha). The water sounds of the "Im Gluck" song are back 4 minutes in.

Well worth 4 stars for how groundbreaking it was back in the day, plus I do really like this record.

Review by UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars The selftitled debut album from German krautrock act Neu! was released in 1972. I´m not an old fan of the band and have only started listening to their music after reading about them on PA. After listening to this album for a while I can say that I´m both very happy and very annoyed with what I´m hearing.

The music on the album is almost purely instrumental except for the last song Lieber Honig which has some pretty strange vocals. A very stripped down track which consists solely of guitar, vocals and some sound effects. It´s an okay track. The 10:07 minute long opening track Hallogallo takes the price here though. What a great song with it´s relentless beat and pleasant guitar effects. A really powerful song. Unfortunately the album continues with the worst song on the album called Sonderangebot which I put in the experimental noise with no purpose catagory. I don´t enjoy this at all. The next song Weissensee is fortunately much better. A pretty psychadelic track. Im Glück is up next and again I have to ask myself why I bother. It´s a little better than Sonderangebot but it still doesn´t satisfy me at all. Negativland is the other highlight on the album for me as it features a relentless beat and great effects. note the way the pace changes throught the song. As mentioned the only vocal track Lieber Honig ends the album.

The musicianship is excellent and I really enjoy the relentless and precise drumming from Klaus Dinger. Michael Rother adds many great effects to the music as well.

The production needs to be mentioned in particular as it is pretty exceptional to my ears. Organic and powerful. Really enjoyable. It´s actually pretty hard to believe that a sound like this was created in 1972.

Neu! is without a doubt a very interesting and influential band but I really wish they would have left out the noisy and ambient experiments and focused more on relentless rythms and power. When they do focus on those qualities they shine IMO. I can´t give more than a 3 star rating which is really a shame as the good moments on the album are worth much more, but the bad moments are far too outspoken and drag the album as a whole down to mediocrity.

Review by Rivertree
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Band Submissions
4 stars When you're asking someone to name typical krautrock bands, Kraftwerk and NEU! are among the most frequently noted for sure. As for the historical and stylistical aspect there are some relations, no wonder. Drummer Klaus Dinger has been a member of the early Kraftwerk line-up, but left the band to form NEU! in 1971. Just compare 'Ruckzuck' coming from Kraftwerk's debut (I don't count the Organisation album here) with the opener of this album named Hallogallo - there is a similar repetitive vibe which is impressing. I would count both songs among the krautrock classics. So I'm a big fan of this kind of style each band had delivered in the early 70s - the later efforts though can't touch my soul.

This album was recorded during four nights in December 1971, without using any lyrics because 'words are so specific and always deniable' (Dinger). I already mentioned the opener, along with 'Ruckzuck' later often demanded in subculture discotheques. It's the special drive, yes, definetely dancable - and Klaus Dinger has a large share with his repetitive drum style. He offers the fundament for Michael Rother's interesting spacey flavoured guitar impressions. Yeah ... German song titles - from time to time I'm in the comfortable situation to draw on my native language.

Probably the next song Sonderangebot is literally meant as a special offer - weird swirling sounds coming from the guitar. Quasi placed as an experimental hiatus - and later fading into the spacey Weissensee - a bit Pink Floyd adopted but provided with a special bluesy touch on top of it. Im Glück tells us about the happineness when riding on a sailing boat ... or when luckily getting back to the anchoring place at least, as the case may be. This one is wrapped in samples including some distorted voices originally recorded on a boat - provided with a wonderful melancholic mood.

Negativland now shows another very repetitive behaviour but changing time signatures too. In opposite to the song title there is nothing to point out as negative. Weird samples including noises, originating from a construction area, experimental guitar appearance. Lieber Honig shows whacked out vocals and the boat samples are back again surprisingly - anything but honey - this track is not quite a challenge - has more of an uninspired filler instead of that - probably others might disagree.

Anyhow - in its entirety this debut constitutes a fantastic workout - not new but NEU! In opposite to endless jams equipped with a nearly perfect proportion of experimental and catchy impressions. This album is a must have for every krautrock collector - that's it! There's nothing more to say.

Review by Bonnek
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars This album should be on every self-respecting Porcupine Tree fan's wishlist, at least if you like the first few years of PT's career. With two tracks that served as a clear inspiration for PT classics and a creative spirit that would inhabit so much of Wilson's output, you should own it already.

Hallohallo was first covered by Wilson and then, by altering the main riff a bit, it evolved into the track Signify. Less known but not less remarkable is how the he stark slow beat and bass groove of Weisensee must have served as inspiration for Radioactive Toy.

But it didn't take Steve Wilson to discover the amazing qualities of this band. While close to a total failure at its release, countless post-punk bands picked up a dusty copy in shabby second-hand store. The rhythmical drone, the snappy and dissonant guitar playing and the textured noise that serves as lead melodic element would inspire diverse bands such as Magazine, Simple Minds, PIL, Siouxsie, Einsturzende Neubauten, Sonic Youth and many more.

Due to all this digression on the band's relevance we would almost forget about the music. Each of the 6 tracks here are a very different adventure, sometimes upbeat, sometimes slow, sometimes harsh then again spacey. Most of it is unlike anything else in existence around 1972 which makes this band into one of the rare truly original forces in rock.

Neu! was formed by Klaus Dinger and Michael Rother from the early Kraftwerk line-up. Some songs echo the minimalist rhythms of Kraftwerk and also the sonic experimentation, or should that be 'sonic anarchy', is similar. But Kraftwerk never rocked as hard and punk as this album. This brings early Can into the picture who also experimented with noise, dissonance and relentless funky grooves. While different from each other it's likely you'll either like both bands or none of both.

Unlike many other Krautrock bands, Neu! didn't take inspiration from Pink Floyd or blues, but created a completely new and discomforting type of music, seemingly from out of nowhere. I'm actually surprised this album hasn't inspired an onslaught of 1 star reviews. The harsh dissonance of Negativland or vocal anomaly of Lieber Honig could easily achieve that. A landmark album and fun all the way!

Review by frippism
COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Neu!'s debut and I had a tough love sort of relationship with me. I, being the Krautrock Newbie that I was, was expecting 1000 notes a second and insane arpeggios. But instead in front of me opened a soundscape which I was not ready for. It wasn't very melodic, it certainly didn't consist of a thousand notes. It was not PROGRESSIVE ROCK, but something completely different! It took me ages (well, a week or so) for me to get it. It's not about the notes, it's about the sounds! About being progressive, not prog. I can say now proudly that I get "it" and let me now say that Neu! is one of the most unique bands (well duo, whatever!) I have ever listened to. And let me tell you that this is one of the most rewarding records I have ever heard and now I absolutely love this record.

Well of course the opening track "Hollagallo" which in my opinion a fantastic opener to a fantastic record. Michael Rother displays some of the most interesting guitar work I have ever heard, and with the help of the very strong rhythm section Klaus Dinger supplies, the song propels forward like a tank! Wonderful track.

Sonderangebot is an amazing experimental track, which reminds me of future ambient music. The very atmospheric and open feeling on this track is soothing, while the loud screeching of the who-knows-what jolts you right back into reality. Superb, creepy, eerie, and yet wonderfully calm.

Weissensee is probably the most melodic track, not saying much though the song has about one melodic trace I can detect. But not the point. The song is breathtaking, again wonderful guitar (and bass of course) by Michael Rother. What more can I say about him? Just a genius guitarist.

Im Gluck is probably the track Rother is front and center the most, and he uses it to good effect. Again this is a pretty mellow track, beautiful, and highly experimental. Rother's guitar at one point sounds like a flock of seagulls, and in general the guitar work feels a bit like it's floating on water.

Negativland is probably the most intense track. The track, which to me reminds of 80's King Crimson in many ways (though of course this was recorded ten years before that). The drilling sounds lead into an absolutely mind blowing guitar by Rother, and the bass line is just thumps and gives the whole track this "umph" that makes the track so intense.

Lieber Honig is probably in my top 10 favorite songs of all time if not top 5. I can't put into words the absolute beauty of this song. I'm not sure who singing on this track, but this is some of the most emotionally drenched, powerful, downright scary, ugly but just so beautiful it will bring you to tears. You just really have to listen to it to get it, but it is one of those songs I can consider perfect.

I think that many people on this website have a problem with krautrock. I don't if it's the 4/4 time or the minimalism many of the bands use. But many people here need to understand this just adds to the depth. This music needs as much time and effort if not more than any really challenging prog album. I should say not for all, but I want all to really spend time and invest in this amazing stunning album!

Review by Sinusoid
4 stars NEU!'s self-titled debut is some of the most compulsive, natural (compositionally speaking) and minimalist music you could come across. Three pieces are extremely minimalist that feature nothing but bare noises that replicate things like water ripples or sunsets. As much as I detest noise pieces, NEU! seems to get away with it without sounding annoying or dull.

The longest track and debatably the most well-known track, ''Hallogallo'', is basically a ten- minute dance tune with a repetitive beat and layers of guitars and keyboards on top. It's so anti-conventional to what a prog fan would want out of their music, yet so convulsively pleasing that it doesn't really matter. Keeping the beat steady with a few variations doesn't sound complex, but it's near genious if you really pay careful attention.

''Weissensee'' is more-or-less a mood setter (makes me think shoreline) and ''Negativland'' pulls crazy tempo changes and screaming guitars well enough to make you notice. Both are not quite as classic as ''Hallogallo'', but they stamp their mark well enough.

NEU! is a hallmark album of Krautrock and is more progressive than you think; the whole packaging and sound seem to predate indie rock by about twenty years. And I'm sure Radiohead phoned in on the last track and took heavy influence from it. The music may sound straightforward, but there are more things bubbling underneath the surface if you investigate.

Review by Warthur
4 stars From the avant-garde end of Krautrock, Neu!'s first album combines pulsing, hypnotic rhythms with moments of spacey drifting. Vocals here and there on the album in a strange, strangled voice emphasise that this is no ordinary Krautrock album - Dinger and Rother have stated that the whole point of Neu! was to explore musical possibilities that they felt their compatriots in the German cosmic rock scene were neglecting - so fans of the likes of Amon Duul II, Tangerine Dream or Ash Ra Tempel may find the material here isn't necessarily to their liking, though I suspect many will enjoy it on the strength of its successful experimental approach and the unique atmospheres evoked. A great start to the band.
Review by EatThatPhonebook
4 stars 7/10

Neu!'s self titled debut is the spinal cord of the band's career.

When considering Krautrock as a whole, Neu! Are one of the first projects to pop into mind. This duo from Dusseldorf has been extremely influential for a very wide range of genres, from Ambient to Punk. The self titled debut album of theirs is acclaimed as a masterpiece of the genre, a perfect Krautrock model.

Neu! Have a very distinct and unique sound, which makes it question their position of being the most typical band of the genre. All the songs feature strong repetition, determined and solid rhythms that never fade out or change, accompanied by guitars with different effects, the only element that gives some sort of change during the course of a song. The atmosphere might be calm or more tense, peaceful or more chaotic, but this formula will never change, at least not for this album. As a consequence all of the songs are very stretched out, despite not being extremely long (the maximum length on this album for a track is about ten minutes).

The only problem about this album is that although well planned, executed, and everything else, it has no meat to it, it has only the spinal cord. Here we have an album that relies mostly on structure, and not specifically on the music. Then again, if this album did have more meat to it, it would have been a masterpiece, and probably the following albums would not have been so, unless the duo went towards a completely different direction. This album could have overshadowed everything else Neu! did in the future, but, thank God, it didn't.

These are minor complaints that don't at all affect the entertainment this album gives, when looking upon some of the songs here: "Hallogallo" is one of the best, most memorable and well constructed songs by the band, an instant classic that mixes robotic, futuristic atmospheres with deeply human emotions. Among the more lively songs, the dreadful and torturous "Negativland" has a creepy feel to it that isn't easy to forget, while among the more experimental and mellower songs, the minimalistic "Lieber Honig", the Ambient based tracks "Im Gluck" and "Sonderangebot", not to forget the more optimistic sounding "Weissensee", give a further hint of originality to the picture.

Neu!'s debut is no doubt an important release not only for the band but for Krautrock in general, to the point where this kind of value comes before the music itself. It is a very entertaining album nevertheless, essential listening for anyone who loves the genre.

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Space Krautrock at its finest.

A listener's first excursion into the murky dense world of Neu! can be a love hate relationship. The tracks range in emotion from dynamic, vibrant exhilaration ('Hallogallo') to brooding impenetrable intensity ('I'm Gluck'). This early pioneering album is as important to Krautrock as it is to independent alternative modern music.

At times the rhythms are positively hypnotic such as the spacey 'Negativland', and the album does have its fair share of disturbia reminiscent of God Speed You! Black Emperor. 'Sonderangebot' has some unsettling gong splashes and distant cries and is one to avoid in pitch darkness.

The motorik beat of Michael Rother's guitar is a force in itself on the 10 minute hypnosis of 'Hallogallo'. This is my introduction to Neu! And I was delighted it did not over indulge in experimental avant-garde ramblings. 'Weissensee' is as close to Pink Floyd's musicality as one can get and its slow crawling psychedelic tones drone beautifully with measured guitar wah-wah swells.

'Lieber Honig' has a vocal performance in the form of Klaus Dinger's mournful intonations about the pain of feeling isolated; at least that is how it sounds in a language as foreign as Kobaian. The minimalism is unnerving in places but Neu! never overdo things by releasing a loud blast to induce a cheap heart failure as some bands do so. Actually, in the most curious way, the song is rather relaxing.

'Im Glück' is memorable for its ambient textures especially the soundbytes of a rowboat paddling on the river slowly. One may be reminded of a scene in a horror movie where the paddlers are being watched from afar by rednecks ready to strike terror; cue the banjo.

One may hear the makings of alternative indie such as Sigur Ros, Radiohead, GSYBE or Stereolab. This debut was light years ahead of its time and would have stunned listeners and of course it carved an indelible mark in the foundation of Krautrock.

Review by LinusW
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Reaching more directly into the heart of things, the Motorik sound make itself known immediately in Hallogallo. A smooth transaction between disciplined beat (in an almost half-heartedly sloppy way!) and swooping, searching and sleekly self-aware and immediate melodic clarity. Neu!'s debut takes no prisoners. It's a clear and assertive form of expression. Love it or hate it. The regular and almost (sometimes definitely) backwards juggling of phrasings and relaxed melodic self-importance moves about in rising and bubbling guitar arrangements. It's in many ways relatively mundane, but the shape-shifting forms and different layers consciously bring the artistic statement into a forceful start.

Afterwards, in Sonderangebot, resonant metal gongs, slams and crashes reverberate and linger over (and around) tortured electric guitar lines. A claustrophobic darkness of equally lost-in-space, equally aggressive chilling ambience turns into a sombre, but meticulously crafted drive forwards into a meatier and warmer reality in Weissensee. The searching, clashing atmosphere settles into a beautifully rich parade of graceful and guitar-driven spacey orderliness and harmony. The contrast is just something else. The rhythms sneakily kidnap the understated but expressive guitar lines and twists them into a natural progression of smoothly and soothingly rising and falling motions. Im Glück continues down this path of uncertainty between electronic, abstract ambiance and shy, gliding melodic guitar sprinkles. Water, in most shapes or forms, is ever-present in Neu!'s output it seems. A lingering, clucking sound of a slightly underwater shoreline that morphs into instrumental minimalism. An ever so slowly oscillating drone that breaks up into peacefully evolving, wah-wah-ing melodies of poignant, but understated electric warmth and elegance. All of this give rise to a subtle infusion of clear, sapphire-blue and talkative guitars for a while. Ringing tones stroke the sampled watery sounds and sleekly and elegantly bring the sounds into an organic finish.

The twist towards edgier, more drilling sounds that follows is almost unwelcome. Sharp, wailing guitars accentuate a metal symphony of boundless, productive and shearing aggression. Aimlessly soaring screeches and wailing guitar misanthropy scratches and beckons on top of the underlying orderliness. Rhythmic, groovy bass propulsion slithers underneath a busy, flickering soundscape of sharply wheezing undulations of relentless guitars. The propulsive bass and drums accentuate and stress the pre-shoegaze wall of sound into a busy, unwelcoming world of stress in Negativland. It's disorienting in an eagerly provocative kind of way. Repetition, rhythm and texture. Combined into a familiar strangeness. Altogether wonderful. Searching, fleeting, full-bodied and reverently within Neu!'s rigorously self-imposed rhythmic constraints at the same time. It's this bubbling, groovy and often aggressive straight-forward melody that runs amok over the strictness in Neu! that I often find myself enchanted by.

Lieber Hoenig is a hissy lo-fi tribute of things to come. An understated guitar melody that searchingly seeps into a tape hiss of vulnerable, physical and up-close vocal lines that greedily, but warily reach out into the light. This amazing insecurity gets enveloped back into the safe, bassy strings that we've heard before.

I really don't know how to summarize a musical experience such as this. It's a strictly rhythmic commandment to follow along and never look back as well as a relaxed, ambient journey into the subconscious hinterland of human vulnerability. It's a demonstratively futuristic sound of music. And eagerly progressive. Perhaps a bit challenging on your way forward through the album once you've pressed play, but fearlessly plowing its way into the unknown has its own rewards. It reeks of a self-assured poise and a security in its musical ideas, even though its a debut album. Paradoxically, a sense of careful, almost tender, attention and vagueness is equally important. And that's what turns it into a masterpiece. It's so restless. And it feels as restless today as it must have felt like over forty years ago.

Gotta count for something, right?

5 stars.


Review by Kempokid
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.

Review by siLLy puPPy
4 stars While retrospectively going down as one of the most influential German bands to affect the works of a range of artists from Brian Eno to Sonic Youth, this D'sseldorf's dynamic duo's brief existence resulted after becoming refugees from one of the other great influential German bands Kraftwerk. The newly found refugees of Michael Rother and Klaus Dinger took solace in their project simply called NEU!, which is the German word for 'new' purportedly derived from the fact that the word was a primary color in the multi-pigmented world of advertising. Having gained his acquaintance in the fledgling Kratwerk, the late great producer Connie Plank also joined ranks with this new outfit and has been considered the third secret ingredient to the band's enduring legacy.

NEU!'s lauded self-titled debut hit the scene in early 1972 and contrasted greatly with the more blues and rock oriented psychedelia that made up much of the Krautrock scene. With Plank's keen ear to incorporate subtle electronic nuances coupled with his appreciation for all things metallic for percussion, the first offering from NEU! not only debuted a unique style of simple 4/4 rhythmic grooves based over a single chord which has become known as the motorik style (as heard on the opening 'Hallogallo' and the even more outlandish 'Negativland') but found bizarre new soundscapes that melded industrial bleakness with cheery bass grooves and hypnotic guitar tones. The recipe was simple on the surface but unleashes a deeper magic upon further investigations.

The sessions are now legendary as Plank served as the diplomatic voice of reason between the two inflamed passions of Rother and Dinger's eccentricities. While the initial recording sessions were proving to stagnate, everything changed when Dinger brought in a shamisen which is a Japanese banjo which once heavily processed through Plank's magic hands offered a glimpse into some of the strangest surreal music that the early 70s had to offer. The samisen can be heard on the band's notorious track 'Negativland,' which was so revered that the California experimental band adopted the name as its moniker and continued the zeitgeist of these early pioneering recordings.

This debut by NEU! is a strange beast and not one that immediately presents itself to the uninitiated. While the opening 'Hallogallo' which is a fully operating example of the motorik style which was a term retrospectively designated after having replaced the duo's own preferred 'Apache beat,' the majority of the album is a trip into the lysergic possibilities of electronic musical soundscapes, industrial bleakness, noise and psychedelic rock often existing indecently but more offering melding into the Strawberry Fields forever that the Beatles only hinted upon. While the accessible opener almost feels like pop candy, the following 'Sonderangebot,' 'Weissensee' and 'Im Glueck' only dive deeper into psyched morass of Planet OM.

The highlight surely has to be the outstanding 'Negativland' which offers all of the band's forays into weirdness sorted out and forced to perform in this exotic circus of sounds that extends towards the ten minute mark. While opening with the bleak harshness of industrial grade noise, the motorik drum and bass fall into a groove while the bulbul tarang aka Japanese banjo slinks and slides all over the place with an abrasive noisy guitar dueling out. This early noise rock appears to be one of the primary references for later successful bands such as Radiohead, Sonic Youth as well as the artier side of the post-punk bands that emerged several years later. While hypnotically groovy, the track picks up steam towards the middle and generates a more frenetic mix of the motorik groove accompanied by the 'spiraling-out-of-control' antics of the industrial sounds. Contrasts between silent parts and the bombastic is quite effective.

The album ends about as left field as possible from where it began. While 'Hallogallo' generated an instantly addictive warm and fuzzy rhythmic groove, 'Lieber Honig' provides the sole vocal performances with drugged out nonsensical utterances leading a rather angular chord progression of a guitar into who knows where. NEU!'s debut album has gone down in history as one of the most dynamic displays of indie outlandishness as each track delivers a stark contrast to the previous and found several unique ways to create hitherto unheard sounds. Unfortunately NEU! experienced little success although this debut album did manage to sell 30,000 albums in the underground album which gave the green light for a couple more albums.

While it may come off as a bunch of blathering idiots making undisciplined noise upon first listen, this 1972 landmark album is in reality a goldmine of tightly woven sounds sprawled out into one of the coolest musical tapestries of the Krautrock scene. Perhaps not quite the masterpiece that many make it out to be due to the inconsistent nature of the tracks that devolve into freeform freakery at various points, however this influential slice of experimental mix of rock, noise and electronica has really grown on me over the years and is just what the doctor ordered when i want to experience an album that runs the gamut of easily digestible entrees laced with a smorgasbord of lysergic side dishes. Much more interesting than the rather ho-hum album cover conveys.

Review by patrickq
4 stars How many seminal "Krautrock" debut albums were recorded in 1971? The first LPs by Ash Ra Tempel, Brainticket, Faust, Mythos, and Neu! all come to mind, although I'm sure there were others. Neu! must've been one of the last, recorded in December and released in 1972, and thus the group (drummer Klaus Dinger and guitarist Michael Rother) had the benefit of hearing what many of these other acts were doing. Yet Neu! doesn't sound much like these others (full disclosure: I've only heard excerpts from Brainticket's Cottonwoodhill).

Unlike much contemporaneous Krautrock I've heard, Neu! contains broad swaths of cool-headed and laid-back music, in some places rhythmic and trance-y, in others atmospheric. The exceptions are "Im Glück" and "Lieber Honig," the relatively experimental first and last sections of "Jahresüberblick." "Lieber Honig," the album-closer, is the only one of the six tracks I'm not particularly fond of. It's the only vocal song here (singing courtesy Dinger), and the vocals aren't very good. Maybe I'd feel different if I understood the language, but it seems dragged out, almost as if the group and producer Conny Plank were compelled to stretch this little tune to seven minutes.

But much of the album is very enjoyable. My favorites are "Hallogallo" and "Negativland," both of which are based on the "motorik" drum style. Dinger's (literally) driving beat makes "Hallogallo" in particular sound like Kraftwerk, the group he and Rother had just left to form Neu!. It's kind of amazing how much these songs prefigure early-1980s euro-wave (Gary Numan, A Flock of Seagulls). Maybe not surprisingly, Plank later produced albums by number of important British new-wave bands, including three Ultravox LPs (1978 to 1981) and the debut of by the Tourists (1979) and Eurythmics (In the Garden, 1981). American robo-rockers Devo also recorded their 1978 debut album Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo! at Plank's studio in Cologne.

Returning to Neu!: "Weißensee" is also a nice piece. Rhythmic, but mellower than "Hallogallo" or "Negativland," it's the second half of the acidic "Sonderangebot" → "Weißensee" sequence on Side One. This is the space-rock portion of the record, and from the point of view of format, its inclusion alongside the rock tracks and the experimental pieces marks Neu! as quintessential early-1970s Krautrock album.

Neu! is one of the best albums I've heard of this genre, and one of the most accessible. Thus I'd suggest it as a starting point for anyone interested in Krautrock.

Latest members reviews

4 stars A krautrock essential, recommended for everyone who Is interested in it. Review #3. NEW! was a two man band that inspired a lot of 90's bands and this is their first album so now is the time to listen to it and find out why it's so important. Hallogallo: Instrumental that constantly repe ... (read more)

Report this review (#2742143) | Posted by CosmeFulanito | Saturday, May 7, 2022 | Review Permanlink

4 stars NEU!, the self titled debut album, was where I chose to being listening to Krautrock, just over three years ago, and I maintain that it remains one of the most accessible and interesting albums of the genre. Compared to groups like CAN, Ash Ra Temple, and many other "jam bands", the NEU! has ... (read more)

Report this review (#1461340) | Posted by Deferred Defect | Wednesday, September 9, 2015 | Review Permanlink

5 stars I'm not an expert of Krautrock but Krautrock is a great music also for my knowledge. Personally for me Krautrock is a mix between Psychedelic Rock, Blues, Jazz and classical music, a lethal mix, because it is simple music, not colored, hypnotic. There is no melody, because it not serves: it is t ... (read more)

Report this review (#773182) | Posted by 1967/ 1976 | Monday, June 18, 2012 | Review Permanlink

2 stars Neu! may be considered as Gods by some music listeners, but I've been carrying their first and third albums around in my mind and on my computers for almost three years, and I'm still impressed with their content by only a few smidgens. If you asked me which one of these two albums I like better, I ... (read more)

Report this review (#613987) | Posted by Dayvenkirq | Friday, January 20, 2012 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Neu! produces music in the "rhythmic" part of krautrock, along with the likes of Krafwerk and Can. In fact, krautrock isn't so much a genre as a movement- it's so diverse, encompassing endless grooves (Neu!), experimental rock (Faust), avant-garde, funk-influenced rock (Can), cosmic floating (Tange ... (read more)

Report this review (#261033) | Posted by Neurotarkus | Friday, January 15, 2010 | Review Permanlink

5 stars NEU! - Neu! Neu! debut is cornerstone of one side of krautrock music. It has it all. Experimental, minimalist, repetitive, it is something special. No, it doesn't look anything like CAN, Amon Duul II, POPOL VUH, TANGERINE DREAM maybe connection can be drawn between early Kraftwerk and has some C ... (read more)

Report this review (#206599) | Posted by alionida | Thursday, March 12, 2009 | Review Permanlink

2 stars Hallogallo - the drum beat really drives this song.... around in circles, for 10 solid minutes! Sonderangebot - space rock that never gets to the rock, skip it and run your finger around the edge of a symbol for 5 minutes Weissensee - a slow build, into a slow build, then something small happens ... (read more)

Report this review (#192740) | Posted by manofmystery | Friday, December 12, 2008 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Rating: B+ In case any of you were wondering what the greatest, most perfect rock song ever happens to be, wonder no more. It's NEU!'s masterpiece, "Hallogallo". With an unceasing 4/4 drum groove (known as the motorik beat and appearing in countless songs since 1972) giving it an endless supp ... (read more)

Report this review (#165341) | Posted by Pnoom! | Sunday, March 30, 2008 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Neu!'s immpresive debut album, no doubt one of the best debut albums in all of prog and easily one of the best in krautrock toghter with Amon duul II, this one sounds very polished too me compered to the other krautrock bands i have heard so far, it sounds like they spent allot of time on this o ... (read more)

Report this review (#162009) | Posted by Zargus | Sunday, February 17, 2008 | Review Permanlink

5 stars This is a very fine example of Kruat space prog /acid rock and is so far ahead of the competition it has become something of an Icon. Where as bands like Faust pretend and are therefore pretentious NEU is the real deal. This Band understands the music it is attempting to produce. Although the i ... (read more)

Report this review (#146923) | Posted by burgersoft777 | Thursday, October 25, 2007 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Neu! is one of those early days krautrock bands that started exploring more ambient and minimalistic music. I don't think they ever reached their full potential, but it's required listening for fans of the ambient krautrock genre. The album starts with hypnotising space rock of "Hallogallo", ... (read more)

Report this review (#92380) | Posted by tuxon | Wednesday, September 27, 2006 | Review Permanlink

5 stars This is an essential slice not only of Krautrock, but of musical history. "Hallogallo", of course, is perhaps the main draw and the best-known of these works, with its instantly recognizable mechanical beat around which surprisingly delicate melodies frolic. The end result is something both pr ... (read more)

Report this review (#75375) | Posted by MorgothSunshine | Tuesday, April 18, 2006 | Review Permanlink

5 stars truly amazing. have never heard anything like it. only found out today that the songs are over 35 yrs old. i love the 1st song its beautiful. they are very origonal. very simple tunes though. kinda hypnotic. nice to see some1 being creative without playing guitar really fast. musically ... (read more)

Report this review (#72766) | Posted by | Thursday, March 23, 2006 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Cool music that has inspired a lot of bands in the nineties. However, to me it is only that; cool music. I've listened to Neu a lot of times and I have to say that I'm a bit bored. There are a few "experimental" or rather "edgy" parts on this album, but the overall impression of Neu is that it ... (read more)

Report this review (#59233) | Posted by 1971 | Monday, December 5, 2005 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Please, listen to this!This is just crazy, fantastic, dreamy music, it's excelent!!!Get this album!You must hear this kind of music!It is sooo good.Listen to this and you will start to love krautrock if you don't like it already!Perfect for driving in your car and chilling.Please, please, plea ... (read more)

Report this review (#23680) | Posted by | Sunday, October 10, 2004 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Esoteric music frrom a definitely esoteric band if you can even call them a band since it it only consisted of two entities. This is definitely not for everyone! Experiments with noise would better define this very unique sound, although it does go upbeat in places particularily on the opening ... (read more)

Report this review (#23679) | Posted by Vibrationbaby | Sunday, October 10, 2004 | Review Permanlink

Post a review of NEU ! "Neu!"

You must be a forum member to post a review, please register here if you are not.


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives

Donate monthly and keep PA fast-loading and ad-free forever.