Wednesday, July 17, 2013


"Deutsche Elektronische Musik" is focused on the best and most creative period of German underground music. Between the late 60s and the early 80s countless of young German groups and artists created their own fresh and highly unique sound. Krautrock was made by a generation who's parents were nazis refusing the memory of their own crimes and guilt. Furthermore many ex-nazis archieved high positions in the civil service and the government after the collapse of the Third Reich. Krautrock has to be understood as an alternative to oblivion and a conservative, bourgeois and fascist society. The result was some of the most visionary, open-minded and influental music, that got more attention abroad than in Germany. Soul Jazz did a great job covering bands and artists with a large variety of different styles. Record A of Volume 2 starts with A.R.&Machines, who were a krautrock project of ex-The Rattles guitarist/vocalist Achim Reichel, featuring lots of guitar and echo machines. Can are one of the best known krautrock bands. "Halleluwah" is a funky cut with moody swings taken from their "Tago Mago" masterpiece. Hans Joachim Roedelius from Berlin is a true pioneer of experimental electronic music. "Le Jardin" is based on warm piano harmonies and the chirping of birds. "Karussell" by Michael Rother starts with an impressing delayed synth melody and it is driven by groovy beats. Think of a more harmonic Neu!. Hailing from Munich Popol Vuh combined elements of classical music with psych and prog rock. "Der große Krieger" is a great example. Former Tangerine Dream member Michael Hoenig offers a cinematic and futuristic synth based tune, that sounds like it's coming from another far away galaxy. Michael Hoening was also a member of Agitation Free, who's track "You Play With Me Today" is a spaced out krautrock jam with impressing beats. DAF were something like the German answer to Suicide and they are probably the most important group among the second wave of German underground music during the early 80s. "Co Co Pino" is a weird and frantic synth-punk number. Harald Grosskopf's "Emphasis" is taken from "Synthesist". This record originally came out in 1980 and it's a Kraftwerk influenced and hardly overseen classic of german synth music. Amon Düül II were one of the ealiest krautrock bands merging sound collages with driving rock and highly uncoventional instrumental arrangements. Conrad Schnitzler was a student of Joseph Beuys and he discovered several different musical styles within his career. "Fata Morgana" was made in cooperation with Wolf Sequenze and it represents his synth-pop era. Bröselmaschine were a early folk influenced group with an esoteric sound based on accoustic guitars, airy vocals and the use of plenty of different instruments. "Base & Apex" is classic minimal synth cut by Berlin based masterminds of electronic music Roedelius, Moebius and Eno. Gila were a Popol Vuh side projects from Stuttgart with a simular musical approach mixing arty accoustic rock with folk influenced vocals. Wolgang Reichmann's nine minute trip "Himmelblau" is the perfect ending of thise fantastic compilation. The warm sound synth melodies are paired with cosmic sounds heavily influenced by both Kraftwerk and Neu! (Listen to it here)
You don't really have to look for great German punk and hardcore groups, because most of them are'nt worth to check out. The most exciting German music was written during the krautrock era during the 70s and this compilation is a great example. A.R. & Machines' track "Als Hätt Ich Das alles Schon Mal Gesehen" is again taken from his "Die Grüne Reise" album. A kosmisch and folkish tune based on hypnotizing beats and sick and chaotic changes. Gila played a pretty poppy style of krautrock. "Sundance Chant" is a great example. Neu! are probably the most important German group ever and they were highly influential on industrial, noise and experimental music. "Isi" with it's warm and harmonic sound is taken from their third "'75" full lenght. Pryolator was the moniker of Kurt Dahlke a former member of the brilliant Neue Deutsche Welle band Der Plan. "Danger Cruising" is a impressing and highly innovative pre-synthpop cut. Sergius Golowin was born in Prague and later moved to Berne, Switzerland. He merged esoteric folk with electronic sounds. "Die Weiße Alm" is a crazy drug influenced trip with his spoken echo chants in the forefront, taken from his one and only "Lord krishna Von Goloka" album. You's "Electric Day" is based on a high speed synth-pop melody that's beeing paired with cosmic, disturbing sound collages. Niagara were a supergroup from Munich including Udo Lindenberg, who later releases tons of horrible solo records. They were a drum orchestra  featuring percussionists from different musical backgrounds."Gibli" is a brilliant track if you like mesmerizing rhythms. Popul Vuh from Munich offer a shorter piano based tune with folk-like guitars and bizzare esoteric vocal harmonies. "Der Prophet" is the titletrack of Rolf Trostel's album from 1982. He combines the cold sound of 80s synth pop with the more spaced out approach of 70s krautrock. Like so many other krautrock groups Electric Sandwich from Bonn drew a wide range of influences ranging from jazz to psych, blues and rock. "China" sounds like a wild jam session with Jimmy Hendrix like guitars. Asmus Tietchens works are heavily influenced by both musique concrete and Stockhausen. His industrial synth track "Zeebrugge" is a great example. Faust were one of the big names of krautrock. The final track of this compilation, which is also named "Krautrock", is the opening of their much thought after "IV" masterpiece and it's a fascinanting twelve minute trip combining several influences of different rock genres. (Listen to it here