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Krautrock:The Re-birth of Germany- Youtube taster!
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Popel Vooje
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Edited Jul 22, 2010, 16:29
Re: Krautrock:The Re-birth of Germany- Youtube taster!
Oct 27, 2009, 15:16
Hunter T Wolfe wrote:
Popel Vooje wrote:
Lord Lucan wrote:
Hunter T Wolfe wrote:
Seems the German bands have grudgingly come to live with it.

Thing is, I reckon whatever the term had been they'd have had objections, because it implies there was a unified alternative scene in Germany at the time, which there certainly wasn't. It was all over the place geographically and a lot of the bands didn't even know of each other's existence at the time. Then if you think of it in terms of definition of a sound, it's not very useful either: Cluster and Amon Duul II or Klaus Schulze and Faust have got fuck-all in common sonically really. It comes down to labelling things and journalists genrefying everything, which has always got up musicians' noses.

Pretty much all the German bands of the time really had in common musically was a love of improvisation and a penchant for legnthy 20-minute tracks, and that certainly wasn't unique either to Germany or to rock music at the time (if Miles Davis had been German, "In A Silent Way" and "Bitches' Brew" would probably have been labelled as krautrock, and there are others like the Plastic People of the Universe who weren't German but have clear similarities with some of the Krautrock bands in both sound and attitude).

Of all the interviews with German musicians that I've read, the only one to have gone on record as taking exception to the krautrock term was Ralf Hutter. He claimed that it was a purely English idiom and compared it to sauerkraut only ever being sold for, and bought by, English tourists in Germany.

I agree- these days 'krautrock' as an influence seems to boil down to just having a generic Neu / Mother Sky motorik beat on your record- the laziness applies ro both journalists and bands.

I suppose the common groud is in trying to do something that ISN'T American rock n' roll. Hypnotic, droning one note grooves and the use of electronics and early syhnthesisers seem to be a fairly common denominator, too.

That's true, but I think a lot of the hypnotic, one chord grooves came reflected the influence of the New York underground scene at the time - Tony Conrad & Faust's "Outside the Dream Syndicate" providing the most obvious missing link between ther two scenes. There were US rock bands experimenting with early synthesizers too (like the United States of America and Fifty Foot Hose), although only Silver Apples integrated them into their music to the same extent as Tangerine Dream or Cluster.

Aslo, as Stevo says below, I always heard s strong West Coast psych influence on both Amon Duuls, although (again) they captured the more free-flowing elements of that scene on record rather than just onstage - so I'm not sure how un-American their aesthetic really was in the cold light of day

Plus, if you look beyond the 1st dicvision stuff that's actually remembered, the German music scene was just as chock full of derivative prog/jazz/fusion twaddle as Britain's or America's at the time (one listen to Kraan, Embryo or Birth Control confirms this for me, although someone more prog-friendly than me will probably defend them...)
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