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“While Americans were busy buying Simon and Garfunkel records, West Germany was tripping the f†ck out.”

from The Observer

8 Krautrock Artists You Need to Hear Right Now


Imagine if the legendary rock leviathans of the late 1960s and early 1970s didn’t have the Gollum of pop radio whispering hoarsely in their ear, “Make it around three or four minutes long, repeat the chorus three times, and how ‘bout a nice bridge in E-minor?” What magic would the Stooges, the Doors, the Jefferson Airplane, Jimi Hendrix, the Pretty Things, and others have achieved if there had been no awareness that radio was a destination?

During the first half of the 1970s, a pile of West German musicians escaped from pop’s three-minute veal cage, and the results were fantastic. This movement—not just a branch, but a whole forest of rock fashioned without the radio in mind—came to be known as Krautrock (a vaguely offensive but generally accepted label). Its progenitors created eminently logical magic: They took the fierce, feral essence of the old gods of rock and roll—Eddie Cochran, Bo Diddley, the Troggs, anyone capable of playing two chords while having a firecracker up their ass—and imbibed it with a truly progressive and revolutionary spirit.

Krautrock is an entire secret history of rock unto itself, and we don’t have the space here to trace its origins, ephemera and trajectory. (I’ll leave that to Julian Cope, who is to this subject what Doris Kearns Goodwin is to L.B.J.) Instead, let’s focus on a few of the absolutely essential artists and tracks in this gorgeously mesmeric movement.

Here are eight Krautrock artists you really need to know about.

Two songs that utterly personify Krautrock are “Autobahn” by Kraftwerk and “Hallogallo” by Neu! (please note that Neu! are the only band permitted to use punctuation in their name without being mercilessly ridiculed). Kraftwerk were a blueprint for the future; Neu!, an outline for a future that hasn’t arrived quite yet.

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Posted on July 8, 2015 by Editor

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