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KRAUTROCK

A Progressive Rock Sub-genre


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Krautrock definition

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

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

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

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

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

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

Philippe Blache
December 2007



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



handbook

Krautrock Top Albums


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

4.16 | 307 ratings
HOSIANNA MANTRA
Popol Vuh
4.24 | 137 ratings
EDGE OF TIME
Dom
4.13 | 384 ratings
ASH RA TEMPEL
Ash Ra Tempel
4.10 | 575 ratings
FUTURE DAYS
Can
4.44 | 53 ratings
EISZEIT
Gam
4.10 | 481 ratings
YETI
Amon Düül II
4.09 | 330 ratings
TANZ DER LEMMINGE [AKA: DANCE OF THE LEMMINGS]
Amon Düül II
4.12 | 189 ratings
GILA [AKA: FREE ELECTRIC SOUND]
Gila
4.15 | 124 ratings
LETZTE TAGE - LETZTE NÄCHTE
Popol Vuh
4.05 | 423 ratings
PHALLUS DEI
Amon Düül II
4.05 | 375 ratings
NEU!
Neu !
4.37 | 42 ratings
TONY CONRAD & FAUST: OUTSIDE THE DREAM SYNDICATE
Conrad, Tony
4.06 | 142 ratings
KÄNGURU
Guru Guru
4.06 | 137 ratings
SELIGPREISUNG
Popol Vuh
4.00 | 263 ratings
MALESCH
Agitation Free
4.02 | 197 ratings
ELECTRIC SILENCE
Dzyan
3.96 | 657 ratings
TAGO MAGO
Can
4.04 | 150 ratings
VOLUME 10
Electric Orange
3.98 | 282 ratings
WOLF CITY
Amon Düül II
4.03 | 143 ratings
AGUIRRE
Popol Vuh

Krautrock overlooked and obscure gems albums new


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

MAGIC THEATRE
Drum Circus
WELTSCHMERZ
Siddhartha
LET IT OUT
Dymon Jr., Frankie
4 TIMES SOUND RAZING
Silberbart

Latest Krautrock Music Reviews


 Mandala by DZYAN album cover Live, 2010
3.84 | 17 ratings

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Mandala
Dzyan Krautrock

Review by tmay102436

5 stars After all these years, I finally got this obscurity. I never quite understood its origin, and then from this board and others, realized that it is, just what it says it is - a live, in the studio, pre the first album "Dzyan." Sort of a trial run.

Well, for me, this is just fabulous, as it exposes the future nicely and brings us a true picture of what made Dzyan so magical and mysterious. The odd singing, that fits perfectly. The spacey feel, yet no keyboards. And that sax, wow, I just love sax when it's mixed like this into rock music (VDGG the best.)

I would love to have seen this being recorded, as it's quite professional for a "warm up" to their first release, and although spontaneous, not in anyway, unprofessional.

Real musicians creating accessible, experimental space / fusion / rock. Bravo.

 Unlimited Edition  by CAN album cover Studio Album, 1976
3.60 | 54 ratings

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Unlimited Edition
Can Krautrock

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

4 stars NOTE: "Limited Edition" is the first release of "Unlimited Edition" which offered six other tracks.

The former featured 13 tracks whereas the second reissue featured 19.

CAN was formed in 1968 and released five albums with two distinct vocalists, US born Malcom Mooney and the Japanese noisemaker Damo Suzuki. After the release of the band's fifth album "Future Days," Damo Suzuki left the band so he could both marry his girlfriend and to become a Jehovah's Witness. While the band carried on without a new lead singer as it was becoming more focused on the instrumental workouts, CAN decided to unleash some of the more experimental tracks from the vault before taking things to the next phase. In May of 1974, the compilation of unreleased tracks LIMITED EDITION emerged with a limited release of 15,000 copies that featured oddball tracks ranging from the band's inception in 1968 to the "Future Days" sessions in 1973. It featured 13 random tracks with both lead singers as well as a wide range of styles and sounds not heard on the official albums.

These tracks were culled from thousands of hours of recording time and showcases the wide range of styles and sounds that CAN covered outside the context of the five album run. While the original LIMITED EDITION was released just prior to the band's next album "Soon After Babaluma" released in the following November 1974, after the band signed to Virgin Records in 1976, the album was released a second time as UNLIMITED EDITION shortly after the release of the "Flow Motion" album. The new edition hosted an additional six additional tracks including one of CAN's most eclectic and freaky collage giants in the form of the near 19 minute "Cutaway." Other than the original pressing titled LIMITED EDITION which donned the rather unflattering cover art of several mice in a tiny house (what it represents we may never know), the album has been released as UNLIMITED EDITION ever since and given that all the tracks of the original are on the newer editions, there is really no need to track down the mousy version unless you are the most rabid collector.

While often skipped over in CAN's discography due to its status as a collection of so-called throwaway tracks, (UN)LIMITED EDITION actually contains some of CAN's wildest and most experimental cuts taken from its massive run of recordings and offers a sneak peak into the band's strategy for crafting its unique blend of Krautrock that stood apart from virtually every other German band of the same era. While some tracks like the opening "Gomorrha" may evoke a familiarity as heard on some of the weirder tracks on album's such as "Tago Mago" which are entirely instrumental and host a unique mix of heady keyboard and guitar workouts laced with a funk laden bass groove and busy percussive section, other tracks strip bare the piling up of effects and expose the true nature of CAN's secret weapon, namely a diverse palette of world ethnic sounds that were twisted and coerced into performing psychedelic mind tricks and created repetitive looping effects and oscillating swirls of sound. Of these, the "E.F.S." series of tracks which referred to the "Ethnological Forgery Series" featured many world music sounds that more resembled the African, Asian and Middle Eastern folk genera that they were borrowed from. These were some of the band's earliest experiments.

The album hosts many unique features that would never fit on any given album. For example on "Doko E" Damo Suzuki sang in his native Japanese and "Mother Upduff" featured Malcolm Mooney's impromptu storytelling in spoken word vocals along with an uncharacteristic jazzy musical accompaniment. There are also other examples of instruments such as the violin and shehni, an Indian reed instrument that give many tracks a completely different flavor than most of what CAN offered however despite the wildly experimental improvisational flavors that seemed somewhat random in freeform, Jaki Liebezeit still maintains firm control of the rhythmic drive with his distinct percussive style that never deviates too far from his status quo however on some tracks he has more of a license to incubate some exotically technical drum rolls that are allowed to wander off the leash. Another unusual instrument featured is the schizophone on "The Empress And The Ukraine King" which sounds like a xylophone if it's the exotic instrument that i think it is.

Many tracks such as the aforementioned also deliver a much more progressive rock oriented sound with more angular instrumental workouts that develop more intricate melodic counterpoints. The instruments also play off of each other in different keys and tunings which offers distinct bouts of dissonance and complex harmonic interplay. While CAN's albums can sound uniform in stylistic approach save the bizarre nature of "Tago Mago," on (UN)LIMITED EDITION, each track is completely unique and that's the beauty of this grab bag of disparate ideas that displayed the band on creative highs that for whatever reason were deemed to alienating to appear side by side with the more distinguished tracks that made it onto albums. Some of the tracks, especially the "E.F.S." series sound like a completely different band while some of the early tracks like "Connection" show a gestating band still connected to the 60s psychedelic scene but hadn't quite found its own distinct way.

The highlight of the album is one of the extra tracks on UNLIMITED EDITION. The lengthy powerhouse "Cutaway" was recorded all the way back in March 1969 during the "Monster Movie" sessions and is by far one of CAN's most interesting tracks. Unlike many behemoth monstrosities that veer toward the 20 minute mark (this one is just over 18), this track is in reality several shorter tracks stitched together in seemingly random ways and is in effect a collage of various experiments that fit in quite well with the wild and crazy creative uptick that was exploding in 1969. Overall the tracks on (UN)LIMITED EDITION are excellent with only a very few throwaway tracks ("Blue Bag" is rather pointless for example). This album is not just a collection of substandard tracks at all but rather tracks that were just too far outside the context of what the album's were going for as these standalone tracks are really bizarre for the most part. This is highly recommended for those who cherish the most experimental aspects of CAN. While not an "official" studio album per se, this one is chock full of entertaining musical tidbits and the wide range of styles makes this THEEEE most diverse CAN album that has seen the light of day.

It's most likely you will encounter the UNLIMITED EDITION version since every reissue has appeared in that format.

It's also more fruitful in that it offers six extra tracks that are well worth it so unless you are a collector of all things CAN, the remastered version of this CD is the way to go.

 Limited Edition by CAN album cover Studio Album, 1974
2.97 | 15 ratings

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Limited Edition
Can Krautrock

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

4 stars NOTE: "Limited Edition" is the first release of "Unlimited Edition" which offered six other tracks.

The former featured 13 tracks whereas the second reissue featured 19.

CAN was formed in 1968 and released five albums with two distinct vocalists, US born Malcom Mooney and the Japanese noisemaker Damo Suzuki. After the release of the band's fifth album 'Future Days,' Damo Suzuki left the band so he could both marry his girlfriend and to become a Jehovah's Witness. While the band carried on without a new lead singer as it was becoming more focused on the instrumental workouts, CAN decided to unleash some of the more experimental tracks from the vault before taking things to the next phase. In May of 1974, the compilation of unreleased tracks LIMITED EDITION emerged with a limited release of 15,000 copies that featured oddball tracks ranging from the band's inception in 1968 to the 'Future Days' sessions in 1973. It featured 13 random tracks with both lead singers as well as a wide range of styles and sounds not heard on the official albums.

These tracks were culled from thousands of hours of recording time and showcases the wide range of styles and sounds that CAN covered outside the context of the five album run. While the original LIMITED EDITION was released just prior to the band's next album 'Soon After Babaluma' released in the following November 1974, after the band signed to Virgin Records in 1976, the album was released a second time as UNLIMITED EDITION shortly after the release of the 'Flow Motion' album. The new edition hosted an additional six additional tracks including one of CAN's most eclectic and freaky collage giants in the form of the near 19 minute 'Cutaway.' Other than the original pressing titled LIMITED EDITION which donned the rather unflattering cover art of several mice in a tiny house (what it represents we may never know), the album has been released as UNLIMITED EDITION ever since and given that all the tracks of the original are on the newer editions, there is really no need to track down the mousy version unless you are the most rabid collector.

While often skipped over in CAN's discography due to its status as a collection of so-called throwaway tracks, (UN)LIMITED EDITION actually contains some of CAN's wildest and most experimental cuts taken from its massive run of recordings and offers a sneak peak into the band's strategy for crafting its unique blend of Krautrock that stood apart from virtually every other German band of the same era. While some tracks like the opening 'Gomorrha' may evoke a familiarity as heard on some of the weirder tracks on album's such as 'Tago Mago' which are entirely instrumental and host a unique mix of heady keyboard and guitar workouts laced with a funk laden bass groove and busy percussive section, other tracks strip bare the piling up of effects and expose the true nature of CAN's secret weapon, namely a diverse palette of world ethnic sounds that were twisted and coerced into performing psychedelic mind tricks and created repetitive looping effects and oscillating swirls of sound. Of these, the 'E.F.S.' series of tracks which referred to the 'Ethnological Forgery Series' featured many world music sounds that more resembled the African, Asian and Middle Eastern folk genera that they were borrowed from. These were some of the band's earliest experiments.

The album hosts many unique features that would never fit on any given album. For example on 'Doko E' Damo Suzuki sang in his native Japanese and 'Mother Upduff' featured Malcolm Mooney's impromptu storytelling in spoken word vocals along with an uncharacteristic jazzy musical accompaniment. There are also other examples of instruments such as the violin and shehni, an Indian reed instrument that give many tracks a completely different flavor than most of what CAN offered however despite the wildly experimental improvisational flavors that seemed somewhat random in freeform, Jaki Liebezeit still maintains firm control of the rhythmic drive with his distinct percussive style that never deviates too far from his status quo however on some tracks he has more of a license to incubate some exotically technical drum rolls that are allowed to wander off the leash. Another unusual instrument featured is the schizophone on 'The Empress And The Ukraine King' which sounds like a xylophone if it's the exotic instrument that i think it is.

Many tracks such as the aforementioned also deliver a much more progressive rock oriented sound with more angular instrumental workouts that develop more intricate melodic counterpoints. The instruments also play off of each other in different keys and tunings which offers distinct bouts of dissonance and complex harmonic interplay. While CAN's albums can sound uniform in stylistic approach save the bizarre nature of 'Tago Mago,' on (UN)LIMITED EDITION, each track is completely unique and that's the beauty of this grab bag of disparate ideas that displayed the band on creative highs that for whatever reason were deemed to alienating to appear side by side with the more distinguished tracks that made it onto albums. Some of the tracks, especially the 'E.F.S.' series sound like a completely different band while some of the early tracks like 'Connection' show a gestating band still connected to the 60s psychedelic scene but hadn't quite found its own distinct way.

The highlight of the album is one of the extra tracks on UNLIMITED EDITION. The lengthy powerhouse 'Cutaway' was recorded all the way back in March 1969 during the 'Monster Movie' sessions and is by far one of CAN's most interesting tracks. Unlike many behemoth monstrosities that veer toward the 20 minute mark (this one is just over 18), this track is in reality several shorter tracks stitched together in seemingly random ways and is in effect a collage of various experiments that fit in quite well with the wild and crazy creative uptick that was exploding in 1969. Overall the tracks on (UN)LIMITED EDITION are excellent with only a very few throwaway tracks ('Blue Bag' is rather pointless for example). This album is not just a collection of substandard tracks at all but rather tracks that were just too far outside the context of what the album's were going for as these standalone tracks are really bizarre for the most part. This is highly recommended for those who cherish the most experimental aspects of CAN. While not an 'official' studio album per se, this one is chock full of entertaining musical tidbits and the wide range of styles makes this THEEEE most diverse CAN album that has seen the light of day.

Even without the extra tracks, LIMITED EDITION is a four star powerhouse of excellence

 Future Days by CAN album cover Studio Album, 1973
4.10 | 575 ratings

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Future Days
Can Krautrock

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

5 stars CAN continued its influential streak of influential recordings all throughout the early 70s as Germany's Krautrock scene splintered into myriad directions. CAN itself had crafted several albums each with distinct musical personalities but all rooted in a trimmed down version of progressive rock that focused on tight musical interplay, funk driven grooves and psychedelic, even hypnotic musical motifs. While "Tago Mago" caught the world's attention for its extreme unorthodoxies that took music based on the rock paradigm to include some of the world's furtherest out head trips, the band steered their sound to a more accessible percussive driven ambient flow on the following "Ege Bamyasi" which focused on the pulsating dynamics of the motorik deliveries of Jaki Liebezeit along with the spidery guitar playing of Michael Karoli, the alienating atmospheric keyboard playing of Irmin Schmidt and the extraordinary space funk bass grooves of Holger Czukay.

On the band's fifth album FUTURE DAYS, the band continued in the trajectory of "Ege Bamyasi" and focused even more on the ambient elements fluttering around the exotic busy percussive grooves that allow the instruments dance around while each musician creates a completely different counterpoint to the rhythmic oscillations. The change in musical direction meant a lessening role for vocalist Damo Suzuki and as a result he would depart the band after FUTURE DAYS which would continue on as a quartet with various members picking up the occasional vocal duties that found less and less of a spotlight. Unlike "Ege Bamyasi" that focused on aspects of rock music, FUTURE DAYS is a calmer effort that creates four tracks that evoke more atmospheric constructs even though the percussion remains as energetic as ever. The keyboards for example embody a floaty feel while the guitars create a form of space rock that eschews traditional 70s rock bombast.

Originally FUTURE DAYS consisted of three tracks on side one of the vinyl LP; the title track, "Spray" and "Moonshake" with the second dedicated to the side long magnanimity of "Bel Air" which just shy of the 20 minute mark resulted in one of CAN's most memorable and well-crafted tunes of its entire career. The title track begins the album with an immediate airier sound than the band's previous albums. Starting out with a fascination for water sounds and a tumult of ambient sounds that engage in an eerie procession before the expected motorik drumming leads the way accompanied by an oscillating "shaker" sound and a series of cyclical loops that have proved to be inspirational for all types of musical genres of the modern age including post-rock, industrial and various other experimental musical forms. While clearly rooted in the Krautrock scene, CAN stood out even amongst its peers in that its deconstructive approach was much more radical than any other act of the entire era.

"Spray" perhaps displays Czukay's importance as a bassist more than most tracks as his uncanny fretwork finds the bass implementing as important roles in the musical flow as the percussive drive. Also notable are Schmidt's amazing organ runs on this one with the guitar taking a lesser role. Perhaps the busiest sounding track on the album, the incessant percussive drive and organ heft are supplemented by the space funk bass and guitar counterpart that offers only occasional heft that can be heard distinctly from the dominance of the drumming. Suzuki is demoted to merely throwing out a few vocal utterances every now and again which sound rather patronizing as the musical flow is not dependent on him at all. The ultimate case of creating a need where none is needed. No wonder he would leave as the band developed such a full sound that the vocals were actually becoming a distraction. "Moonshake" takes on the strongest motorik percussive drive of all and reminds me of "Neu!" on its 1972 debut. This is also the only track that really allows Suzuki to stand in the limelight but even on this one there are vocal-free moments that allow the bizarre antics of the guitar and keys to dominate.

The strongest track by far is the side long "Bel Air" which displays the band in full effect. Whereas the shorter tracks showcased various trends in the band's developing fascination with ambience, this closer is the one that allows the subtle differences to organically unfold and also finds each musician slowly ratcheting up the tension since there is no time limitations. It also successfully implements Suzuki's vocal style to fit in with the developing motifs and doesn't sound like his contributions are wasted. In other words, this is the most convincing band effort on this one and the last gasp of Suzuki's involvement in the band before its consistent flow of strong albums would end before the hit and miss era that followed FUTURE DAYS. "Bel Air" is divided into sections although it's connected by a thematic flow of rhythm and melodic drive however after every few minutes, the song changes up a bit and engages in a new procession of variations. All the parts are equally enthralling and are stitched together quite beautifully.

While i prefer the much more experimental "Tago Mago" to the more sedate following albums, there's no doubt that FUTURE DAYS is one of the strongest album's in the CAN discography and is a close second for its consistency and ambient charm which is more focused than its predecessor and shows CAN at a creative peak before the inconsistency of the FUTURE DAYS would be the norm. In short, FUTURE DAYS is utterly infectious with tight interlocking grooves that display one of the most unique mixes of funk, rock, psychedelia and ambient. No musician steals the limelight here and CAN exhibits the qualities of a true democratic sound performance where every member's contributions are a vital aspect of creating a greater sum of the parts. True that Suzuki's vocals have been tamped down for the majority of the album but all is redeemed on the ending "Bel Air" where his presence is fully integrated into the CAN paradigm. Only slightly weaker than "Tago Mago" in my book but overall the second great masterpiece of CAN.

4.5 rounded up

 Cormorant Dusk by FOTOSPUTNIK album cover Studio Album, 2019
3.05 | 2 ratings

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Cormorant Dusk
Fotosputnik Krautrock

Review by TCat
Collaborator Eclectic / Prog Metal / Heavy Prog Team

3 stars Fotosputnik's music has been described as having "propulsive-hyperactive motorik retro-kraut tendencies" and typically their music has been recorded with a lo-fi process to give it a grittier and more improvisational feeling which would reflect back to the earlier days of krautrock and space rock.

The band was founded in Chicago in 2008 and has released both physical albums and digital downloads through the years since that time. "Cormorant Dusk" was released in November of 2019 and features 4 long tracks with a total run-time of about 45 minutes. This time, the band has chosen to move into hi-fidelity sound to help bring out the subtle sounds and elements in the music to help more textural nuances sound more focused. However, even with a more hi-tech sound on this album, it was still recorded at home. The sessions for the albums began in March of 2016, and this time, the band was more focused on emphasizing a middle ground that not only retained the motorik style, but also incorporated the use of drones which are used in their live shows. The band line-up continues to consist of the original trio of Graham Grochocinski, Jeff Tverdek and Tom Blackwell.

"Leveling" (14:48) immediately starts with a typical motorik style with the moderate 4 / 4 beat, and the exploratory sound of psychedelic and echoing guitar layers. At the 6 minute mark, the drumming stops and we are left with the guitar layers as they continue to play along, but the sound of a fuzzy drone starts to ebb and flow underneath. Everything tends to break apart, falling away from any rhythm and becoming more exploratory as interesting effects start to float around, the music becoming quite minimal, yet also experimental, but never losing its trancelike style. The sound becomes more unearthly and spacey as more electronic manipulation takes over, yet just floats along at an even dynamic. The rhythm never returns as this sound continues to the end.

"Parade's End" (7:04) is begun with a low drone, and then crashing and squealing guitars come in creating a dark and heavy tone. The music is much noisier now, with the fuzzy undertone continuing and the guitars sounding heavy and sludgy and a muffled slow beat of the percussion buried in the mix. Guitar layers are thick and noisy, but softens after the 5 minute mark, and then the rhythm develops into a hand-drum sounding effect with soft crashing cymbals and a repeating pattern with the guitar until the end.

"Beneath the Reef" (11:13) begins with a steady beat of the drum in 4/4 again, slow with an accent on the 3rd beat so that it sounds almost like a Native American rhythm. All the while, chiming and soft guitars play a pensive progression the repeats, almost melodically. The drums, after awhile, start to include short rolls, so it almost becomes a slow march, and the bass becomes more prevalent and giving more forward movement to the music. There is only subtle changes as it rolls along, but at 6 minutes, a dark drone comes in and wipes out the rhythm, leaving only an echo that flows in and out. Bass and percussive sounds try to reestablish themselves resulting in a tricky but repetitive pattern and the drone continues to modulate between brightness and darkness, loud and soft, and this trance-inducing pattern continues to the end.

"Suppositions" (9:46) begins with a bass pattern and some echoing effects and slow sustained guitar notes. The music continues to be ominous and slow, crawling along and taking it's own sweet time. Listening closely, you can hear some effects and sounds that you wouldn't hear with casual listening. Soon, around the 4 minute mark, a bit of intensity starts to build with effects swirling and winding around as an oscillating drone pulses along. The pulse stops and the bass crescendos and pensive guitar notes start to take over. The music now begins to move forward as the guitar creates a nice improvised melody.

This album can be easy to get lost in as the music is mostly trance-like and for the most part, stays pensive and reflective, except for the louder "Parade's End". The music is mostly soft and slow moving, with only one real foray into motorik/krautrock on the first track, the others being more atmospheric or heavily layered. The album is great for background listening or for meditation or getting "lost in", but the tracks themselves only show subtle and slow changes throughout their length. It's pretty good listening, but not in a entertaining way as much as a relaxing or meditative way, at least for the most part. There really isn't anything new here, but it is still good.

 Girlrls ! by EILIFF album cover Studio Album, 1972
3.54 | 36 ratings

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Girlrls !
Eiliff Krautrock

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Eiliff's second album finds the short-lived Krautrock unit sputtering and stumbling on that whole difficult "second album" thing. Their debut was extremely strong, but it's clear that they'd expended all their best ideas here; Girlrls! feels more like a jam session than a cohesive album compared to the debut, the band workshopping new ideas but not giving them that much polish. There's too much here which just comes across as empty noodling; album opener Eve of Eternity has some nice organ, though it takes way too long to actually properly get going. Not outright incompetent for those who just want a bit of a psych-tinged jam, but far from essential.
 Unterwasser - Live 2002 by ELECTRIC ORANGE album cover Live, 2002
4.48 | 6 ratings

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Unterwasser - Live 2002
Electric Orange Krautrock

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

5 stars Getting a fresh release in two lavish and expanded separate double vinyl editions from Adansonia Records is a special live performance from modern German krautrockers Electric Orange, or at least the core line-up of two of its founding members in Dirk Bittner and Dirk Jan Müller. Recorded all the way back in April 2002 at the Manikan Records 10 year Anniversary Festival at a thermal bath/spa in Bad Sulza, Germany, the duo lugged in their collection of analogue synthesizers, Mellotron, guitars, organ, samplers and tapes and performed two fully improvised sets - one in the morning, one at night - running over two hours each. The results are a hypnotic drift of hazy electronics and dreamy psychedelic atmospheres, perfectly suited to the relaxed and warm atmosphere of the bath and those drifting in, around and under the water!

The side-long opener of the first LP, `Ffurg', offers many of the kind of sounds you can expect on the entire set, being a collage of incoherent vocoder ramblings, groaning electronics, fizzing synth spirals and a subdued pattering of lurching programmed beats all melting together into an unhurried and hypnotic aural stew.`Sauerkirsch' evolves from a cavernous drone into a swirling white-noise vacuum, and `Transit Ins Jenseits' sounds like a late Sixties jam from Pink Floyd at their most mellow, all dreamy guitar wisps, shimmering organ and stuttering bass (and throw in a pinch of Tangerine Dream's `Rubycon' while you're at it!).

`Myd' holds ebbing and seeping Cluster-like electronic drones flecked with unhinged spoken proclamations, stalking sequencer pulses and eastern-flavoured mantra-like ringing guitar reverberations to take on an eerie menace. `Not Off' is a meander of rising/falling grumbling distortion and twitching electronics with shambling guitar strums and tastily lethargic soloing, and `Wet Cake' is a shorter mix of bubbling electronica and loopy psychedelic ambling.

Volume Two's nineteen minute `Ortat' sounds like Pink Floyd and Hawkwind jamming in an alien nightclub before slinking into a grooving trance of the chilled dance sounds that used to pop up much more frequently on the earlier Electric Orange discs. Side F takes a darker turn with `Span' an unrelenting sequencer stalk and `Lake' a maddening tribal cult initiation (probably!). A relentless and punchy programmed beat charges the Neu!-like `Hydrog' stridently ahead amidst bleeding synth melts, there's plenty of fuzzed out guitars and electronics throughout `Quiet Party', and `Mk' is a final mellow Mellotron-seared come-down.

Every side of music on `Unterwasser' is a constantly floating, deeply spacey and endlessly trippy performance with that scuzzy trace of dirt and uneasy danger found in all the best `krautrock' works. Think Agitation Free, Cluster, `Alpha Centauri - Phaedra'-era of Tangerine Dream and early Floyd, and the sparse production of the analogue equipment makes it sound even more like a genuine lost Seventies relic. This might be a reissue, but it is one of the absolute standout releases of 2018, and a truly essential pick-up for Krautrock fans.

Five stars for an album you could keep disappearing into forever.

 Ege Bamyasi by CAN album cover Studio Album, 1972
3.91 | 445 ratings

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Ege Bamyasi
Can Krautrock

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

4 stars Although CAN had been active since 1968, the German band that blended together avant-garde jazz, psychedelic rock, funk and experimental noise techniques had mostly been an underground act that while having been cited as a major influence by future generations was still largely unknown to the German public. However that all changed after the band's third album 'Tago Mago' when CAN released the single 'Spoon' which proved to be a major hit that peaked at #6 on the German singles charts due to the fact it was used as the theme of the German TV series called 'Das Messer' (The Knife). The single sold over 300,000 units and in the process CAN was able to upgrade its situation to a much better recording studio where they commenced to record the band's fourth album EGE BAMYASI, which is Turkish for 'Aegeon Okra,' an odd title that was adopted spontaneously after a quick glimpse on the shelf.

While the band's studio was state of the art and ready for recording, the band was going through a creative slump and it took considerable effort to record enough material to release a followup album. The lack of material also mean that the supposed non-album single 'Spoon' was attached to the end of the album. Musically CAN followed in the footsteps of 'Tago Mago' minus the most tripped out parts as heard on 'Aumgn' and 'Peking O' but instead excelled in crafting the unique hybrids that deconstructed rock and roll and infiltrated the rock energy with various styles of ethnic music. Bassist Holgar Czukay was always fascinated by Vietnamese music and the rest of the band members were equally enthralled with Middle Eastern percussion as well as music from Morocco and Bali. The results were a unique sound that continued in the making of EGE BAMYASI.

Like much of 'Tago Mago,' EGE BAMYASI's focus is on the varied percussive styles of drummer Jaki Liebezeit whose techniques corrupted the jazz world and teased them into hypnotic groove driven loops that allowed the guitar, bass and keyboards to free float around. Once again vocalist Damo Suzuki delivers a deranged lead performance with mostly unintelligible lyrics that add to the mystique as well as insinuate exorcisms on tape. The final moments of 'Soup' for example exemplify his most erratic behavior where he screams and delivers vocal anguish in the first degree. For the most part EGE BAMYASI is a more even keel release than its predecessors with a constant percussive drive leading the way and other instruments and vocals going along for the ride. The rhythms are beefier as are the diverse percussive grooves. The bass remains in a psychedelic funk mode and the guitar and keys are implemented to provide musical textures rather than develop intricate melodies.

The band also performed free concerts in order to raise awareness of its music which was met with critical acclaim and delivered the promised results. The album while not as experimental and daring as 'Tago Mago' nonetheless delivers a ceaseless supply of hypnotic Krautrock that provided danceable funk grooves that also offered the perfect psychedelic respite from the status quo of blues based rock of the era. 'Vitamin C' is an interesting track as Suzuki has moments where he screams 'Hey You' that sounds a lot like what Pink Floyd would shout out on future albums like 'The Wall.' It seems that CAN has been one of the most influential Kraut bands in all of Germany. The indie rock band Spoon took its name from the CAN single and countless artists such as Public Image Limited, Sonic Youth and even Portishead learned a thing or two from EGE BAMYASI. The album has also been a rich source of sampling.

Initially i was disappointed by EGE BAMYASI as it wasn't as freaky as 'Tago Mago' but after several listens over the years my appreciation has grown although i prefer the albums that sandwich this release. While not the most innovative CAN release, it certainly is consistent in its delivery and offers its most psychedelic deviancy in the form of the multi-part 'Soup' which offers a break from the groovy beats at key moments. The single 'Spoon' actually works quite well as the most accessible track on the end as it allows a nice comedown from the frenetic percussive rich tracks that precede it. Overall, EGE BAMYASI is a solid CAN release that may take a few spins to sink in but once it finds its foothold, it's actually quite infectious.

 Transmission by DARSOMBRA album cover Studio Album, 2019
3.50 | 4 ratings

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Transmission
Darsombra Krautrock

Review by patrickq
Prog Reviewer

3 stars It's been said that every duo has its Daryl Hall and its John Oates. Put another way, no twosome can have two equal leaders. Or another way: there's no shame in being Art Garfunkel , Robin the Boy Wonder, or Sandy the Squirrel. Anyway, synthesist-vocalist Ann Everton is apparently the John Oates of Baltimorean duo Darsombra.* To be fair, she may be the Dr. Watson of the operation, but if Transmission is any indication, Darsombra is a guitar-based project:* Everton's parts essentially support Brian Daniloski's guitar soloing and riffing.

The whole affair's difficult to classify, and the band's promotional materials has Darsombra 'drawing from varied traditions such as doom, musique concrete, southern rock, space rock, and contemporary classical.' I see space rock, but the other prog-rock subgenres I'd name are progressive-electronic and crossover-prog (more on that in a minute) - - but probably not Krautrock, which is how the group is classified on progarchives.com.

Transmission is comprised on one forty-one minute track, 'Transmission,' which, regardless of how you pigeonhole it, is an entry in a tough-to-crack bracket: that type of rules-eschewing studio-assembled music which used to require incredible technical and music skills to pull off - - something that probably wasn't worth trying fifty years ago if you didn't have the dedicated time of, say, Geoff Emerick or Teo Macero. In 2019, of course, it's a different game. Personally, I appreciate the democratization engendered by Garage Band and Pro Tools, and I think one of its effects is the proliferation of musicians who can create works like 'Transmission.' So, like wedding photography, it's a crowded field. It's much, much more possible to create good-sounding computer-based recordings, and it's much, much tougher to stand out. To Darsombra's credit, there were only one or two obvious edits on the entirety of this album - - and while there are sections that are copied and pasted, I never got the sense that such repetition was done to extend the length of the piece.

The other thing this group has going for them is Daniloski's ability to devise catchy guitar hooks, which accounts for the crossover characteristics of 'Transmission' (perhaps this is the 'southern rock' mentioned in their publicity materials). 'Transmission' is not crossover-prog (by that logic, 'Bohemian Rhapsody' would be opera), but if you extracted those riffs, you'd have a good start on a pop/prog hybrid album. In one sense, 'Transmission' can be viewed as guitar motifs dispersed among a wide-ranging variety of background ambiances, akin to the way the vocal snatches appear on the hidden track on Yes's Open Your Eyes. But there are many ways to approach 'Transmission.' It has substantial drone sections, some synth-based, others based on guitar arpeggios, and yet others built around rhythmic vocal samples. And given the catchiness of some of the riffs, there are points at which the whole piece feels like a medley.

Transmission is an absorbing listen: I can't say it's constantly enthralling, but it never gets boring, which is a genuine feat for a group which chooses to make a forty-plus-minute track. While this album is unconventional, it does observe the conventions of Western music; if you're into periodic improvisation that stops short of experimentalism, give this one a spin.

====

*Everton's role in live performances is different, according to P.R. materials on darsombra.com which refer to 'guitarist Brian Daniloski's current project Darsombra ... with the help of projectionist Ann Everton, whose psychotropic video work...'

 Shaman by EX CANIX album cover Studio Album, 2019
4.00 | 4 ratings

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Shaman
Ex Canix Krautrock

Review by BrufordFreak
Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars A modernized take on the music that CAN and NEU! and even POPUL VUH, ZAO, Franco Battiato, and AREA were experimenting with in the 1970s. Sounds as if BRIAN ENO were to have produced CAN back in the day.

1. "Juice" (4:14) rhythm-based psycho-babble/chant. A Top Three song for me. (9/10)

2. "Nights'n'Days" (4:48) bass, percussives, atmospherics, and heavily treated vocal ramblings. Throw a little DAVID SYLVIAN-JON HASSELL-sounds in there and what you have is awesome! Another Top Three song. (9.25/10)

3. "Meeting At CO" (4:57) drone like opening strums with hand drums and other percussives establish an odd-time base upon which vocal whisperings and moans enter and float around. Hypnotic STEVE JANSEN-like rhythms and HOLGER CZUKAY-like sounds! (8.75/10)

4. "When The World Breaks" (4:32) throw in a little Mississippi swamp slide guitar with some deranged-sounding vocals and you have a song! (8.25/10)

5. "Void?" (1:24) theatric scare tactics. (4.75/5)

6. "Tribunus Ultra [Hats Off To Figrin D'An]" (4:30) full on CAN with some more modern keys interspersed among the hand drums and drums. Very cool imitation! (8.75/10)

7. "Nebel" (4:32) more meditative like POPUL VUH or ENO-HASSELL collaborations. (8.25/10)

8. "Raga Muffin" (7:20) organ arpeggi open this one before bass and percussion make themselves prominent. Ultimately a pretty and very hypnotic if slightly long song. (12.5/15)

9. "Out Of The Can" (4:45) full on drums with congas, bass, and organ! A real song with a rock format! And it's awesome! Great swirling organ play, great jazzy bass lines, great drumming, and awesome "lead" from the synth and, later, the screaming electric guitar. My final Top Three song from this highly satisfying album. (9.5/10)

Total Time 41:02

4.5 stars; a near-masterpiece of 1970s-style Kosmische Musik and a very worthy addition to any prog lover's music collection.

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Krautrock bands/artists list

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

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