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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

- Meltdowner
- siLLy puPPy
- Rivertree
- Tapfret
- HarryAngel746

Krautrock Top Albums


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

4.16 | 353 ratings
HOSIANNA MANTRA
Popol Vuh
4.21 | 162 ratings
EDGE OF TIME
Dom
4.14 | 425 ratings
ASH RA TEMPEL
Ash Ra Tempel
4.42 | 58 ratings
EISZEIT
Gam
4.11 | 661 ratings
FUTURE DAYS
Can
4.10 | 545 ratings
YETI
Amon Düül II
4.08 | 372 ratings
TANZ DER LEMMINGE [AKA: DANCE OF THE LEMMINGS]
Amon Düül II
4.15 | 144 ratings
LETZTE TAGE - LETZTE NÄCHTE
Popol Vuh
4.05 | 420 ratings
NEU!
Neu !
4.06 | 203 ratings
GILA [AKA: FREE ELECTRIC SOUND]
Gila
4.02 | 472 ratings
PHALLUS DEI
Amon Düül II
4.06 | 159 ratings
KÄNGURU
Guru Guru
4.05 | 156 ratings
SELIGPREISUNG
Popol Vuh
4.04 | 154 ratings
VOLUME 10
Electric Orange
3.97 | 745 ratings
TAGO MAGO
Can
4.01 | 209 ratings
ELECTRIC SILENCE
Dzyan
3.96 | 519 ratings
EGE BAMYASI
Can
3.98 | 317 ratings
WOLF CITY
Amon Düül II
4.02 | 165 ratings
AGUIRRE
Popol Vuh
4.35 | 33 ratings
NIBELUNGENLIED
German Oak

Krautrock overlooked and obscure gems albums new


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

SUPERNOVA
Ibliss
WELTSCHMERZ
Siddhartha
PLANET OF MAN
Code III
I'M GONNA TAKE YOU HOME
Ya Ho Wha 13

Latest Krautrock Music Reviews


 Sacrae Symphonia No. 1 by WESERBERGLAND album cover Studio Album, 2022
3.59 | 34 ratings

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Sacrae Symphonia No. 1
Weserbergland Krautrock

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Apollon Records sent me a promo copy of this record earlier this year thinking I could handle this I guess. They were wrong. I knew from that first spin that this 40 minute piece of pretty much unstructured soundscape music was going to take a lot of listening in order for me to "get it". I didn't like it after the first listen and many, many listens later I still don't get it but I'm beyond spending any more time with it. A challenge because it is noisy with a lot of computer generated sounds that I for the most part don't enjoy. It's partly composed, partly improvized with nine musicians involved.

There's not two sax players as it shows on the site here, the other plays piano. Mr. Einersen is the man here composing the music and adding live FX, computer programming and synths. This is his vision. The best thing to come out of this for me was finding out that Einersen played on FRUITCAKE's final studio album adding flute and being part of the band. What?! That was back in 2004. We are a looong way from that kind of music my friends. This record was mixed by TORTOISE's John McEntire and mastered by Jacob Holm-Lupo who was part of WESERBERGLAND's debut album which I like so much more than this one. Even the guests on that one were so impressive.

The band described the debut as Prog meets Krautrock while the second record they described as contemporary classical meets experimental electronics meets some form of Krautrock. This one they refer to as contemporary classical meets Krautrock and micro computers with noise rock assaults. I'm not into noise. That is heard right from the start and it ends in a similar way with those scraping industrial sounds to the point I want to cover my ears but then some warmth. It stays experimental, almost haunting before some free jazz sounding horns wail away.

Manic drumming comes and goes throughout this record and again just not my thing at all but kudos for all the work man. After 17 minutes I'm hearing computer generated sounds I believe unlike anything I've heard. Is that a bass line? An abrupt change 21 1/2 minutes in to crazy drumming and a sweeping atmosphere. Some depth 28 minutes in is a nice change. More free jazz sounding stuff follows.

Apologies to my buddy Drew who considers this a contender for album of the year and he's not the only one. This one went right over my head but there's no way it's a 4 star record in my world. Finally I consider myself a spiritual person but not religious but honestly I don't hear even a whisper of either on this record.

 The Faust Tapes by FAUST album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.80 | 156 ratings

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The Faust Tapes
Faust Krautrock

Review by Dapper~Blueberries

3 stars As a follow up with their album of So Far, Faust decided to do a different type of experiment, which was instead of making a complex and weird krautrock album (which this album definitely is one, but I digress) they instead create an album that'd sell at the same price as a single. While I do not know how much a single would cost in 1973, it clearly was some sort of hit, at least in the UK, selling over 60,000 copies. Whether that number was due to the UK having a bunch of Faust fans, which I doubt, or the sales pitch of the album being the same price as a single was enough to get people to buy it, it became one of Faust's best selling albums and solidified them in the Krautrock spectrum more than they ever were.

The reason for the small price was due to the band's producer, Nettelback, signing the band to Virgin Records, and with a deal that the record company can acquire the group's tapes they worked on when making So Far, in exchange for making an album at a very low price. Virgin agreed to this, which prompted the band to gain a lot more traction than they ever got before. The traction was so great that the album would land a 12 on the charts, but was redacted due to the price, which in today's world with albums being at pretty much any price, it'd probably stay on the charts.

The sales pitch and the title doesn't lie however, because what you get here are just a bunch of tapes the band recorded, featuring both a mix of sound collage, Avant Garde, minimalism, and the whole shi-bang of music the band messed around with. What I dig about this record is that no song here sounds the same. You get a bunch of different musical stylings and jams that all create this expansive sound that the band played around with from time to time. I like the fact that many of the songs here create this uncomfortable atmosphere, more so than what their first and second albums provided. It allows them to stretch their arms and grasp the expansive genre of Krautrock in new and exciting ways that makes things fresh and new each listen. I like this a lot in music since it just allows for more eclecticism, and this album really does sell in its novelty.

I also really like how fun this album can get, with how random the songs are, you cannot predict what will come next, and how long they can last. Sometimes you might get something like Flashback Caruso, but then you might get something like Donnerwetter, and it doesn't matter if you want something actually rocking, or ambient, or just an album filled with sound collages, this is an album filled with nothing but tapes, pure experiments the band just wanted to try out for fun, and that is what this album is at the end of the day, dumb fun. An album that is nothing but fun is something I can get behind, even if it has a weird Faust charm to it.

However, in the same retrospect, I really do not like a lot of these songs due to how little they have in substance. Since I am listening to the versions on Spotify, and not a vinyl version (which these days costs way more than what it used to sell for), I do not get the glory of simply calling both sides two separate songs, instead I have to listen to 26 songs, each with their more varied lengths, and whether or not they have any real amount of power they fill me. The longer songs, the ones that are not just a few seconds long, are the highlights for me. They feature a lot more than what some of the 20 second stuff gives, sadly though they do not appear as much as I'd hoped.

Songs come and go like lightning rounds in a pistol, and with it means that none of the shorter songs will last for me, aside from maybe Dr. Schwitters (Continued) having this very nice melody carrying the song. I think Faust works best when they aren't making incredibly short songs that do not last, and instead focus more on their craftsmanship of more pronounced songs. That is the reason why I did not like Mamie Is Blue, Picnic On A Frozen River, and Me Lack Space on So Far due to just how short and unimpactful they made me feel in comparison with many other songs on that album. This is the same deal, and sadly due to there being way more of those ones here, it feels less like a true improvement and more of just the same from So Far with a lot more shorter stuff than the better and more improved stuff the band would create later on, which the more I think about it, really does make sense since these tapes were made during the So Far sessions.

Despite the fact that this may not be the band's best record, I can say for certainty that this was an important record in the band's career, and one that is important for me as well. Personally I probably would not be reviewing these Faust albums if it weren't for my intrigue of this album. While I do not love it, I cannot deny its impact on me, and on a lot of folks in the 70s. Something interesting, but one that shouldn't be overlooked.

 So Far by FAUST album cover Studio Album, 1972
3.57 | 169 ratings

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So Far
Faust Krautrock

Review by Dapper~Blueberries

3 stars After the band's ground-shaping debut, it would be criminal to not keep going and experiment more. With a fairly great yet commercially inaccessible album, Faust decided to step away a bit from less of their sound collage and highly Avant Garde style and instead try to be more accessible. Not pop, since I doubt they'll ever be pop, but accessible enough to draw in more crowds. For me, this worked for the band's benefit. Experimenting with song lengths and album run times to draw more crowds into their bizarre sound would become pretty critical, especially when you take into consideration the massive popularity their next two albums after this one, The Faust Tapes and Faust IV would receive to the public. With that, everything starts somewhere, and after their self-titled debut, they made So Far, comprising 9 tracks, each with interesting musical styles that twist and turn into new directions, though some not for the better.

The album begins with a more baroque pop song called It's A Rainy Day Sunshine Girl. I think in the grand sea of weirdness Faust employs, this is an interesting turnout. We get a very new style from the band here, focusing on acoustics and a more, almost more western style in their playing. It has that acoustical psychedelic feeling that you could spot in the early ages of the whole psych-rock movement of the 60s and 70s, which I think adds a lot of charm to the record as a whole. Added onto this is a good bit of the band's signature, more distorted sound that they were kinda known for in their early years. It is all built upon a looping acoustic strumming with pretty much only one chord. It is a very interesting song and one that gives off some interesting vibes that I do not think Faust has ever done before. Neat stuff.

While the last song was acoustic in a sense of the instrumentation, it was not purely acoustic. On The Way To Abamae remedies that by comprising only one instrument, an acoustic guitar. It is a lovely melody that comprises the whole 2 minutes of this song's run time. It gives you a breather after the distorted and repetitive strums of the last song, giving some relaxation to the listener, especially me. The folk tone of the song and how it all feels so peaceful makes this a nice song to listen to, and relax to. It is a good, admittedly short song that I think helps carry the first side of the album.

After that, we get back into the fray with No Harm, and this song is chaotic. Movements and moments go from different points at different times every other minute and it all makes for a wild ride throughout these next 10 minutes. It goes from a more symphonic progressive rock to something more big band-like, to straight-up intense jamming that ends off with weird sounds. Where it is due, this is the highlight of the first side. It leaves you guessing, and it rewards you throughout its run. It is never boring, and that is how I like my Faust songs, stuff that never leaves me bored, stuff that allows leaves me to guess, and stuff that deserves its credits that it's due. Side 1 is the signature treat for this album, filled with three impressive and really good songs that always leave me wanting more.

To some respect, side 2 also continues this weight with the next song of So Far. I think this title track is good at starting side 2. It continues the more jazzy sound the band had remnants of in their debut and refined them to a fun degree that reminds me of some contemporary jazz legends like John Coltrane and Miles Davis. Even though it is inherently repetitive, I never really feel bored listening to this song as it is still very good no matter what. It's 6 minutes of some bountiful jazzy wonder.

On the complete flip side, we get Mamie Is Blue, which is kind of a predecessor to harsh noise that'd be influential among artists like Merzbow. For my stance on this type of music, this song does drag on me. I am into this more annoyingly distorted and bare-bones type of music that only serves the purpose of being loud and messy rather than nice and expertly made. This is sort of my whole stance on harsh noise in general, it feels noisy and messy without a purpose. It is just weird for the sake of being weird, nothing more and nothing less.

Though the song afterward, Car and TV, experiment a bit more on the side of established music genres. This song is very Canterbury-like, especially with the tone of the organ found here and the bass guitar. It is to the point where I feel almost like I am hearing the result of if you combined the more eccentric folk of Gryphon and the fun and almost pop-like feeling of Caravan, sprinkled in some of Faust's signature weirdness, and you got yourself a very fun track that does deliver in many ways. I love how joyful it is throughout the track's run. It never relaxes and it results in probably the most fun song the group has made in their career. Some really good stuff.

On the contrary, we get into weird territory with two very short tracks, that being Picnic On A Frozen River and Me Lack Space. To me, these two songs feel like filler. These are the most filler songs the band has made to where it feels like a waste of space on the record. I do admit that Me Lack Space is interested in trying to mesh their early sound collage style into this record, but I think it is just a waste of space.

Despite the few hiccups, the album ends with a high in Put On Your Socks. It gives you that fun 50s-styled swing music that was popular among ragtime musicians. It harkens to that very fun style of music that makes you want to dance, and while Faust would never advance this more bebop style of music, it is a great showcase of them trying new styles to find out what can stick. For me, this is a great ending for this album, and it makes the journey all the more worthwhile.

Where the debut was the band's prototype stage, So Far is the band's searching stage. It is where they find what they really wanna do and what captures their audience's attention. This album is highly accessible not only in some of the songs but in the band accessing new ways of sound that were pretty unknown in the underground Krautrock scene. While I wouldn't say it holds a candle to their first album, I cannot say it wasn't a worthwhile experience when I listened to this. Some pretty good stuff for the most part.

 Faust by FAUST album cover Studio Album, 1971
3.89 | 262 ratings

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Faust
Faust Krautrock

Review by Dapper~Blueberries

3 stars If you broke into my house and told me one band that was a huge factor in the development of experimental, post- rock, electronic, minimalistic, shoegaze, psychedelic, and generally bizarre music; I'd first tell you to get out of my house, and two, I would have to say, Faust. Krautrock is a genre that has influenced the shape of modern music in many ways, whether it be Can's more jammy and illustrious visage or Amon Düül II's great deal of advancing improvisational music. However with Faust, many genres from post-rock, to industrial music, to even shoegaze can be traced with their albums and music, to where I can say that they pretty much are the sole creators of those musical movements. Faust has become the best Krautrock band in my opinion due to the mysteriously mystical aura that they provide in their music. Even with their last great works, they can still manage to hold their own for me with their highly adaptable experimental brand of rock music that was extremely ahead of their time. For me, once you start a Faust album, you can never put it down no matter if you like the music or not. So since their first two albums are now on streaming, I figured to review them, just for fun.

First impressions can make or break a band, and this stays true even with Faust's reputation among the Krautrock community. So how Faust went on to create their first effort, their self-titled album, they were signed to Polydor. Polydor wanted a German group that could rival the likes of The Rolling Stones and The Kinks, so it must've been a pretty weird ordeal to experience the music of Faust via demo tapes and recordings of people washing the dishes. Plus when their debut did release, the cover was transparent, and so was the vinyl, which most likely made a market out of the advent of colored records and interesting uses of album covers. So how does their debut stack up to some of their more critically acclaimed works such as Faust IV or Ravvivando? Well, I can safely say that this album is pretty good, but a prototype for the Faust we know today.

As such, their first song has made quite an interesting impression on me. Why Don't You Eat Carrot is an interesting example of a more Rock-In Opposition type of music, utilizing Avant Garde aspects such as heavy amounts of distortion, jazz, and ambiance. The main standout for this track is the use of sound collage, which is a practice similar to that of most collage art, where the artist takes scraps of something (in this case sound recordings the band took) and works them into the music or remix them to be more bizarre. This could be where the seeds were sown for the practice of sampling, chopping, and skewing, which would be highly influential in more experimental hip-hop artists like Viper, Death Grips, and especially Dälek, who has been a big fan of Faust and collaborated with them on their Derbe Respect Alder album. You can see their work paying off due to their experimental repertoire bleeding into scenes of subcultures that benefit from these styles. I cannot deny that I do like this song, I think it is a weird and fun movement that showcases the band's experimentation, but I do admit it is not their best effort. At this point, the band's sound was still in its infancy, and with that many aspects feel less refined than most. It is a fate many bands go through in their early years, so I can forgive the band for their part in it.

For what it is, though, you can hear remnants of that Faust sound, especially in Meadow Meal, which I wholeheartedly believe to be the best song off this album. It carries the same hammer and chisel that Why Don't You Eat Carrots did, but while that song made the rough draft, Meadow Meal would create the fine details that'd be implemented in future songs such as Jennifer or Du weißt schon. You can still tell that this is in the band's baby years, yet I can still see what they wanted to create. They had clear ideas, and while the executions are rough, the spirit is still there. This song is charming for me due to how rough yet so clear and focused it is. I can say for a fact that this is the band's first truly great song.

In some releases, the last song has varying levels of length. Since I am reviewing the version on Spotify, I'll be focusing on that one due to its availability to most people. The album closes off with the 16-minute epic, Miss Fortune. This is one of the few epics they have made, and closing the album off with one is quite the bold move for a band especially this early in their career, though Can do a similar thing with their first release of Monster Movie, so I cannot deny it isn't too far fetched. While the first two songs revolutionized the ways of sound and music, I think Miss Fortune does allow itself to breathe newer air into the psychedelic music of the era, which was already beginning to phase from the more pop routes of albums as Sgt Peppers and Their Satanic Majesties Request. We get elements that would later become the more jammy side of psychedelic rock and even the more melancholic side of shoegaze. All of it wrapped in with a ton of collaging, and ethereal poetry about a lady going through misfortune after misfortune, sinking deeper into depression at the very end. For me, while not their best epic, not by a long shot, still feels truly like Faust. I may think some things could've been tweaked to be less loose, but I cannot deny the appeal of early Faust, especially when I have decided to revisit their music a lot more closely than ever before.

Not my favorite Faust record, but with the seeds sown we can see aspects that modern music would employ. Faust will always be ahead of their time, creating music that is so bizarre it works in their favor. They aren't just groundbreaking, they are ground-shaping, and I love them for it. I think any of their albums must be listened to, and this is no different. While it is imperfect, and pretty flawed all around, I cannot deny the way this album can shape me and inspire others to experiment with music more closely than ever before.

 Hinten by GURU GURU album cover Studio Album, 1971
3.70 | 100 ratings

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Hinten
Guru Guru Krautrock

Review by DamoXt7942
Forum & Site Admin Group Avant/Cross/Neo/Post Teams

5 stars Cool bluesy psychedelic rock structure blended with electronic junky fuel. Sounds like their second album "Hinten", despite such a nasty jokey sleeve pic, should be filled up with everything they want to do and want to provide for the audience. This crazy musical structure gets more and more attractive than their brilliant debut creation "UFO" and drives us into another dimension. Impressive and innovative is the combination of sticky, complicated drone electronic agents and funky, freaky, simple rock perspectives. We can feel their massive tolerance for Krautrock that broadens the outlooks of German young generations. And at the same time they straightly launch their big respect for the rock pioneer ... The third track "Bo Diddley" is full of their positive mindset for blues rock. Not so complex nor weird for Krautrock the song is, but colourful sound variations and deep heavy musical development can be heard. Simplicity is also good.

And do not forget they definitely play with much pleasure and enjoyment here and there. The former part of the second one "The Meaning Of Meaning" possesses kinda quite lazy dazy dizzy lizzy atmosphere but in such a sound- polluted air we can find apparent innocence and amusement via their play. And the latter throws us heavy deepy shoegaze-y composition and dark-guitar-based psychedelic vertigo. Of course the rhythm bases strictly support the background. The epilogue "Space Ship" is another perfect space rock featuring drone electronica and improvised guitar discharge. Dynamic, serious, sticky, repetitive sound potential and the very last electronic madness should take the audience into dreamy inorganic space. What a hell.

But I consider that their real masterpiece is the first bullet "Electric Junk", that involves quite magnificent electric (guitar) energy and impressive rhythmic position. Only a few phrases in the beginning of this song have enough power and energy to kick our b**t strongly and to notify us they are really cool. The middle wondrous slowertempo steadiness is also tremendous. And the final run with uptempo dignified rock rigidity encourages us. No suspicion we can notice their innovative soundscape should be sorta vanguard in the early German Psychedelic Rock Scene.

 2nd by AGITATION FREE album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.84 | 203 ratings

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2nd
Agitation Free Krautrock

Review by octopus-4
Special Collaborator RIO/Avant/Zeuhl,Neo & Post/Math Teams

4 stars Jamming is one of the things that I like in Krautrock, especially when it's well balanced. A bad example of jamming is the ridicolous trippy debut of Amon Duul. "First Communication" is a good one, instead. The two guitars and the bass sound like the early Wishbone Ash, but the dissonant note, likely played by mistake at about minute 2 witnesses the fact that it's a jam and possibly a one- take recording. Despite this fact, the track is well structured. Ok, it's a few chords progression, but the first part of "Sometimes World", to mention Wishbone Ash again, hasn't much more. This track is relaxing, if it was meant to be trippy, that's surely a good trip. Possibly, I would put it on while driving (if only my wife allowed this kind of music when we travel by car).

"Dialogue And Random" is totally different. Just electronic noises of the kind that make "Invisible Connections" by Vangelis. Not as iconic as "On The Run" by Pink Floyd. It's a sort of bridge between the chaotic final of the first track and the beauty of the third.

"Laila part 1" Has again an initial Wishbone Ash vibe due to the 12 strings guitar, but the electric guitar riff is another story: it's rock with a touch of psychedelia, maybe a bit late as it's 1973 and it sounds as it came from the previous decade. By the way, it's my pot. I love it. "Laila part 2" is a surprise. It still reminds me of Wishbone Ash but also of CAMEL. If somebody told me that's a track missed from Moonmadness, I could believe it. Here Rausch and Diez show that they are also good instrumentists. There are few fast guitar passages where a good technique is on display, while the drums are similar to the style of Andy Ward that I don't think it's an easy thing.

"In The Silence Of The Morning" runs on the same binaries. A repetitive bass line, metronomic drums, dissonant 12 strings guitar trippy electric guitar and a subtle background of keyboards. Another good trip that the dissonant chords played by Ulbrich make more interesting.

Probably there's something that I don't get, but I often skip "A Quite Walk". To me it's like a failed attempt to experimentalism. It has good moments, but I find it inconsistent. Probably if it was accompanied by colorful images it would have a different impact. The bouzuki part sounds Indian even if it's a Greek instrument and not a SItar, and it's the best part of the track. Does anybody remember George Harrison's solo stuff?

The album is closed by "Haunted Island". The only track featuring lyrics and vocals. Thow voices, one whispered and a bass note at the end of each sentence before organ and drums create a crescendo of suspance. When the bass enters, we are almost in the Eloy realm. It's not Atlantis sinking, or is it? The final explosion closes the track too suddenly. It's a pity.

The weak parts of the album are well counterbalanced by the goods, there's some musicianship that's not always ensured in Krautrock, so even who is not too much into this subgenre can enjoy about 40 minutes of good vibrations. With or without smoking stuff.

 Affenstunde by POPOL VUH album cover Studio Album, 1970
3.19 | 120 ratings

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Affenstunde
Popol Vuh Krautrock

Review by mickcoxinha

3 stars As many of those early experimental albums, Popol's Vuh debut is mostly a hit-or-miss with progressive rock fans because of its unstructed nature. Even for many people who like Krautrock and Electronic Prog in some way, this might be difficult to enjoy.

It is interesting that, unlike other bands in the same situation, like Tangerine Dream and Kluster, which evolved in their way of doing the electronic prog albums, Popol Vuh remained in the progressive rock realm but with a completely different style.

Not wanting to go too much in what isn't in the album, Affenstunde is a high-experimental album with only Moog Synthesizer explorations and percussion. Considering the date it was recorded (1970), where analog synthesizers were only in form of big sets of knobs, swithces and cables, it is a great technical acheivement to be able to produce these sounds and be able to fill an entire album with them.

That said, most of the album consists in tuneless melodies that sound improvised. It feels like the purpose of exploring the synth capabilities than to using it to generated the sounds to play a composed song. The songs have long parts of drone sounds with some improvised melodies. The percussion sometimes gives a rhythmic feel to the long drones, sometimes are improvised as well, as if each musician was playing their own thing.

To be able to enjoy this album, one must like a very specific kind of music, experimental and improvisational. And, even for the ones who like it, there are some better albums out there (for example, the second Popol Vuh album). So, while I enjoy it, I'd recommend this album only to those who have an idea of what to expect.

 Vertigo of Flaws by TREES SPEAK album cover Studio Album, 2021
4.83 | 5 ratings

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Vertigo of Flaws
Trees Speak Krautrock

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

5 stars Time to ramble a bit as this is my final TREES SPEAK review and I'm so thankful to have discovered them and owe Hugues a "thanks!" for seeing him time and time again on multiple sites recommend this band. Once again we get this stew of Electronic Krautrock, Psychedelic, Soundtrack music and Miles Davis experimental-like stuff. Damian and Daniel Diaz are two intelligent musicians who named their band after a technology of putting data in trees believing trees communicate to each other. All you have to do is read their thoughts on music to realize these guys are on a different level. On that SHAMBLEMATHS level I'd say.

I reviewed their two albums from 2020 finding "Ohms" a tough nut to crack much like this one. "Shadow Forms" the other album from 2020 was easier to get into and felt like a companion record to "Ohms". In 2021 they released "PostHuman" which contains their most exciting music and reaches highs that the other records don't. Having said that "Vertigo Of Flaws" is everything I believe they have been shooting for. It's different in that the others are all 40 minute records while this is one 84 minute plus cd with 29 tracks. It took many spins to unlock it but man this is the one in my opinion. It's also the only one to actually have useful info in the liner notes. From nothing basically on the earlier three cds to pictures of the band and their instruments and lots of written info too. The total package right here.

"When communicating a musical idea, we often refer to musical diagrams to express dynamics, chords, key signatures, and emotional expression. These graphic notations are a template to communicate esoteric concepts, and musicians are free to improvise and perform within these parameters. We use this form of art expression during live performances and in-studio recordings. It is a simple way to explain an overarching idea without getting into too many details to capture a particular aesthetic." There are many examples of these diagrams in the thick liner notes which is really cool to study. So we get the duo plus five guests and Gabriel Sullivan really should be your third member guys come on! Pictures of the Diaz boys and Gabriel and the Dust & Stone recording studio are all appreciated. We get a quote from John Cage and other stuff that is way over my head. "Vertigo Of Flaws" was recorded in Brooklyn, New York, and Tuscon, Arizona during the plague of 2020 and 2021."

I feel like the drumming has been given more prominence here and it is outstanding. There's probably ten tracks that really standout for me including the opener "Seventh Mirror" a catchy tune driven by drums and bass. "Interference" has this jazz groove like NUCLEUS with the bass, beats and horn drones. Check out the drumming before 2 minutes. "Pyramid" again has this groove with excellent drum work. Bass and keyboards as well. "Optics" has these deep bass sounds with drums and atmosphere. Really good! It turns to electronics before 2 minutes then back to that powerful sound from before. "Stasi" has these sounds that pulse quickly as the bass joins in. It's building with drums joining in. Catchy stuff. Drums to the fore around 2 minutes then back to the previous sound.

"Violence Cascades" has vibes and piano along with atmosphere. This is haunting as drums arrive. Really interesting music here. Sounds like cello around 1 1/2 minutes. A great avant sounding piece. "Traumsprache" is a dark and experimental soundscape like part two of the previous tune. "Threnody" has trumpet expressions, electronics and drums. A Miles vibe 2 minutes in. "Mind Oscillation" has these sounds that pulse so fast as other sounds join in. This is like an electronic UNIVERS ZERO track. So good. "Hidden Machine" with that spacey sound with bass. Finally "Cloud Chamber" my final top ten with bass, trumpet expressions and piano as it plods along.

I have quit buying new music on-line once again after many problems. Funny I think in the ten years I ordered music I had one issue during that time. Over a few months I have had many issues so I have stopped and will enjoy what I have. Looking forward to the 35 or so cds from 2018 to 2022 that I did buy though. These four TREES SPEAK cds were over 2 months getting to me as the order got lost. So glad they came! Great way to end my run.

 PostHuman by TREES SPEAK album cover Studio Album, 2021
4.04 | 5 ratings

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PostHuman
Trees Speak Krautrock

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

4 stars 4.5 stars. I feel that this duo are only getting better. I reviewed their two releases from 2020 both solid 4 star albums where the electronics dominates but I love that we get real drums, guitar, bass, trumpet, keys and more. They have guests come in adding their talents on many of these instruments. So I feel "PostHuman" beats the two 2020 releases as they seem to get more melodic and less experimental although there is plenty of the latter. Less melancholic as well. I just feel there are way more highs on this one. And while they don't offer a track that is even 4 minutes long these 16 songs blend into each other in fact the next song usually is playing before my player shows it moving to the next track. A seamless piece that recreates that electronic based Krautrock of the late 60's and early 70's and yet I've noticed right from "Ohms" to "Shadow Forms" to "PostHuman" that they do not sound derivative at all.

I want to talk about the three tracks that were love at first listen. "Glass" just sounds amazing when the sequencers join the opening experimental soundscape. This is intense. Drums a minute in as I'm just bobbing along. Guitar joins in next as they are killing it here. Electronics over top and what sounds like mellotron. "Scheinwelt" one of a few German titles is right there with "Glass" with how incredible it sounds. Urgent is the word and driving with those dark sounds with drums, guitar, bass and electronics leading the way. It's building after 1 1/2 minutes. Great track! "Healing Rods" again clicked with me right away but it's not as good as the first two in my opinion. Spacey winds are joined by acoustic guitar then electronic beats and drums before a minute. This just seems to get fuller as it plays out.

I also really enjoyed the closer "Glaserner Mensch" for the depth and darkness. Experimental with trumpet expressions, pretty cool. "Divided Light" appeals to me for what sounds like vibes although they echo so... but drums and experimental sounds. Really good. "Elements Of Matter" is catchy and mid paced with bass, drums, experimental sounds and atmosphere. "Steckdose" is another highlight and I like the way this changes as it plays out. The tempo shifts too and we get some heaviness and a calm. I'm not as big on the opener "Double Slit" and "X Zeit" although they are channeling NEU! with those two very catchy and almost danceable tunes. The NEU! connection helps me to appreciate these two. I had to smile at "Incandescent Sun" because of "Lightbulb Sun" and there's actually a FLOYD vibe there.

Man I've enjoyed this band so much and the electronics that I've added a half dozen Electronic albums to listen to this Summer which is supposed to be my Psychedelic Summer.

 Shadow Forms by TREES SPEAK album cover Studio Album, 2020
4.00 | 5 ratings

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Shadow Forms
Trees Speak Krautrock

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

4 stars This is studio album number three for TREES SPEAK out of Arizona and the second one of 2020 released less than 6 months after "Ohms". Not a lot to choose between the two records as we get that Soundtrack Music/ Krautrock/ Electronic style with trumpet expressions bringing Miles Davis to mind. Just a cool sounding record much like "Ohms" and maybe there's more sequencers on this one and less real drums. Motorik is the word at times. These really feel like companion albums to my ears.

So much good music here and the vibes on "Tear Kisser" is a highlight with the electronics and beats. Trumpet too at 1 1/2 minutes. "Transforming" is mid-paced and melancholic with piano and a lot of atmosphere. Headphone music. "Automat" might be my favourite with the electronic beats being joined by a haunting atmosphere. Then heavy beats which sound so good. Crank this one. "Crystal System" is very spacey to start then beats and trumpet expressions are added as it plods along. Atmosphere too joins in. It's haunting and sparse late to end it.

"Agonize Signal" opens with deep bass electronics that slowly howl as other sounds join in. Some spooky female vocal expressions arrive before 2 minutes but not for long. "Magick Knives" has these fast paced electronic beats with this light synth melody that comes and goes. Deep sounds and atmosphere join in. The sound will change slightly as this plays out. A dog is barking. Trumpet expressions. Sequencers get louder and the trumpet blasts and I'm thinking TD meets Miles right there. The closer and title track is a surprising 8 minutes long and fits right in with what's gone on before.

A really strong album and a duo that continues to impress me. Some excellent guests help out with bass, trumpet and more. So glad I discovered this band.

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