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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

4.21 | 260 ratings
HOSIANNA MANTRA
Popol Vuh
4.15 | 344 ratings
ASH RA TEMPEL
Ash Ra Tempel
4.10 | 417 ratings
YETI
Amon Düül II
4.23 | 109 ratings
EDGE OF TIME
Dom
4.07 | 486 ratings
FUTURE DAYS
Can
4.09 | 297 ratings
TANZ DER LEMMINGE [AKA: DANCE OF THE LEMMINGS]
Amon Düül II
4.07 | 309 ratings
NEU!
Neu!
4.10 | 169 ratings
GILA - FREE ELECTRIC SOUND
Gila
4.16 | 107 ratings
LETZTE TAGE - LETZTE NÄCHTE
Popol Vuh
4.02 | 371 ratings
PHALLUS DEI
Amon Düül II
4.51 | 35 ratings
EISZEIT
Gam
4.09 | 118 ratings
SELIGPREISUNG
Popol Vuh
3.96 | 567 ratings
TAGO MAGO
Can
4.07 | 117 ratings
VOLUME 10
Electric Orange
3.99 | 236 ratings
MALESCH
Agitation Free
4.06 | 120 ratings
KÄNGURU
Guru Guru
4.01 | 178 ratings
ELECTRIC SILENCE
Dzyan
4.03 | 128 ratings
AGUIRRE
Popol Vuh
4.44 | 31 ratings
TONY CONRAD & FAUST: OUTSIDE THE DREAM SYNDICATE
Conrad, Tony
3.99 | 163 ratings
IN DEN GÄRTEN PHARAOS
Popol Vuh

Krautrock overlooked and obscure gems albums new


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

ARKTIS TAPES
Arktis
VAMPIRE STATE BUILDING
Alcatraz
A COUPLE OF TIMES
Twogether
WELTSCHMERZ
Siddhartha

Latest Krautrock Music Reviews


 Baba Yaga by BABA YAGA album cover Studio Album, 1974
3.32 | 6 ratings

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Baba Yaga
Baba Yaga Krautrock

Review by Progfan97402

4 stars It's almost unbelievable that Ingo Werner was even allowed to use the Baba Yaga name for two albums that are so drastically different you find it hard to believe Ingo Werner himself was involved with both, but I guess that's because he used the Baba Yaga name to pursue his artistic ambitions. On Featuring Ingo Werner, he fronts a regular five piece prog rock band, and on the next album Collage he simple collaborates with Iranian santoor and sitar player Nemat Darman for a much more freaky proposition. It's even more of a drastic sound change than when King Crimson changes lineups. Both Baba Yaga albums were released on the Cycle label and quickly became rarities.

Upon listening to Featuring Ingo Werner, you may forget they were actually German, as they sound much like those early British bands, like Fantasy or Cressida, with a bit of Camel and Caravan, with jazzy passages. Nice use of Mellotron and vocals. Don't expect that Krautrock freakiness that is Collage, because you'll only hear hints of that. The music sounds more like 1972 than 1974, so it does sound a bit behind the times. Still it's a very good album recommended more for progheads than those wanting more off-the-wall Krautrock.

 Supernova by IBLISS album cover Studio Album, 1972
3.46 | 34 ratings

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Supernova
Ibliss Krautrock

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

4 stars IBLISS was a short lived band that formed in 1971 in the German Rhineland region and is probably more famous for who was in the band rather than the music itself. In the fertile cross-pollinating musical streams of Krautrock, IBLISS was the next step of Basil Hammoudi who was in the band Organisation that morphed into the more familiar Kraftwerk. Likewise IBLISS contains another Kraftwerk connection in the form of drummer Andreas Homann who was on the debut Kraftwerk album. IBLISS differentiated itself from the multitude of Kraut bands of the era with the inclusion of a heavy percussive drive that was heavily influenced by Middle Eastern rhythms courtesy of Hammoudi having been born and raised in Iraq. In this regard their sole album SUPERNOVA has the same percussion heavy grooves as the first Agitation Free album, however IBLISS (the Arabic word for "devilish") is much more of a loose jammy type of album that focuses on meditative bass laden grooves with heavy drumming circles providing the backbone for psychedelic flute and sax solos.

While most of the album is a repetitive groovy vibe that allows the flute and sax to go gangbuster, there are also psychedelic electronic passages that eschew the jazz-fusion meets bellydance themes and enters into true lysergic arenas. While Andreas Homann is the main drummer, so strong is the percussion drive that three other members contribute as well. Basil Hammoudi not only dishes out beautiful spacey flute flutterings but various percussive sounds as does brothers bassist Norbert and guitarist Wolfgang Buellmeyer. Only Rainer Buechel has entered the percussion-free zone and stands as a sax and flute guy exclusively. The original album release was rather limited and first copy editions are quite rare with only 1000 or so having been created and has become quite the collector's item however a new remastered CD has been released most recently on Garden Of Delights and the sound quality is excellent.

This is one of the Krautrock albums you will either love or not. This is not one of those sophisticated monster freakout type bonanzas of the Amon Duul II type but rather a fairly repetitive light and fluffy jam session that offers up strong percussive beats with cheerful flute melodies along side with a jazz-fusiony saxophone presence that emerges from time to time. Rhythmically it reminds me a lot of the minimalism that Neu! would soon make their own although more varied along with an overall fusion sound somewhat reminiscent of early Embryo but never as sophisticated. These are minimalistic trance inducing tunes that never break into complex song structures but rather remain within a parade of pleasant percussion laden grooves with happy melodies along for the ride. All is instrumental for the most part but vocal utterings do emerge in cheers coming from the background.

While i readily admit that IBLISS was not the most talented band in the early 70s Krautrock movement, i find their sole album SUPERNOVA to be mesmerizing and a cheerful little listen nonetheless. This is basically four long jams that never stray into super proggy territory but stay well-grounded in the Earthly realms rather than straying too far into the sonic ethers although there are scant moments of airy passages. Despite the rather easy to digest sounds on board, this band still found a home on the Nurse With Wound List most likely for its unorthodox experimental voyaging into hitherto untried genre mixing however it still qualifies as a fairly euphoric heady musical experience. Personally i love this one.

 Pyragony X by AMON DÜÜL II album cover Studio Album, 1976
2.41 | 49 ratings

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Pyragony X
Amon Düül II Krautrock

Review by FragileKings
Prog Reviewer

2 stars A year or two ago, I came across Rolling Stone's list of the top 50 prog albums of all time and found at number 41 "Yeti" by Amon Düül II. I marked it down as an album to check out. When I finally did check out it on YouTube, I wasn't convinced. The singing was too discordant with people singing out of tune or not in tune with one another. However, I was still determined to find something decent from this krautrock band. After skipping through different albums and tracks, I thought that there were a couple on "Pyragony 10th" that might be okay and I ordered the album. Only after was I to learn the truth about the band.

Before reaching their tenth album, Amon Düül II had undergone multiple line-up changes and were searching for a new direction for their music. By "Pyragony 10th", few original members remained and the band were really uncertain of how to craft their new sound. The music here sounds very much like a band lacking confidence in recording what they must have felt strongly about when they wrote. The songs have been given attention and care in their construction but the final result is lackluster. One vocalist sounds like a punk singer who has been asked to attempt subtlety while singing along to softer semi-mainstream songs. When "Telly Vision" comes on, I feel like it's a cross between a psychedelic Beatles rip-off and The Toy Dolls.

The album does bravely attempt to tackle a variety of styles with the Oriental "Flower of the Orient", the early Nazareth ("Exercises" era) rock and roll of "Merlin", and the softer synthesizer-guided instrumental track "Crystal Hexagon". The only song that features a part that sounds prog is "The Only Thing" and that happens shortly before the three-minute mark.

The weak production of this album doesn't help. The acoustic guitar strumming has all the life sucked out of it, and when the music actually does bring a punch, the production softens the blow like a wall of tissue paper. But not just the production, as I stated above this seems to be an over-cautious band without confidence. The CD booklet includes this quote from Ingeborg Schober's book "Tanz der Lemminge":

"The mythical and charismatic Amon Düül II known from the sixties didn't exist anymore. Until today the band searched somewhat desperately and chaotically for a new musical identity which made them try the most different styles."

Band member Chris Karrer adds, "It had been the time when the band's music became more and more song-like and the once underground group descended to the songwriter's league." The CD booklet author also points out only half the songs as having any semblance to the old Amon Duul II with the other half being like creations of any mainstream band.

Were it not for the promise of "Yeti" being a much better representation of the band and a classic prog album to boot, I would have stopped my Amon Düül II experience here with this first purchase. But I am curious and I will see what the "Yeti" is keeping that is so special.

 Electric Sandwich by ELECTRIC SANDWICH album cover Studio Album, 1972
3.43 | 37 ratings

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Electric Sandwich
Electric Sandwich Krautrock

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

4 stars German band Electric Sandwich's self-titled debut from 1972 appeared on the legendary Brain Records label and was produced by German rock notable Dieter Dierks, but any suggestions that it has connections to Krautrock are pretty much completely inaccurate. However, the terrific English language album has much to recommend about it, having far more in common with psychedelic, soul, blues, R&B and horn-based rock with a touch of jazz here and there, with traces of Hendrix, Ten Years After, Santana band, Nosferatu, Message and even Out of Focus popping up throughout.

Eight-minute opener `China' certainly comes the closest to the Krautrock tag, an acid-rock instrumental with stormy washes of drifting distortion, exotic percussion and Jörg Ohlert's fuzzy electric-guitar soloing. `Devil's Dream' is a smouldering vocal rocker (not a trace of an accent in sax/harmonica player Jochen Carthaus's voice, though!) with bluesy guitar soloing weaving around Wolf Fabian's nimble drumming throughout an extended lightly jazzy improvised middle, and just listen to the way the distorted sax melts and bleeds from about the 3:47 minute mark! Side one closer `Nervous Creek' then jumps between the frantic and mysterious passages of fellow German band Message's first two albums `The Dawn Anew is Coming' and `From Books and Dreams', but also adds in a splash of wild Hendrix-flavoured rock.

There's more bluesy rock on `It's No Use to Run' with a rough n' raspy vocal, spirited harmonica and plenty of slow-burn electric guitar licks, and `I Want You' is purring and dreamy with tougher bursts of relentless harder-edged guitars, tasty Out of Focus-like sax wafting and whirling Hammond organ. `Archie's Blues' is unsurprisingly a bluesy meander that's a real showcase for guitarist Ohlert and his killer strangled electric guitar slinging, and `Material Darkness' closes the album with drowsy chiming guitars and almost whispered vocals that are punctuated with dirty sax blasts, trickles of pristine Mellotron veils and Klaus Lormann's thick bass. It's definitely one of the more ambitious moments of the album, although it proves to be a little anti-climactic with not much in the way of a big ending.

The CD reissue includes a short infectious bonus track of exclusive 1973 single `On My Mind', a cool and confident pop/rocker with strident electric guitar around a raw lead vocal, as well as its b-side, a three minute remix/edit of the album opener `China'.

Although it's far too structured and `clean' to be considered a Krautrock album, `Electric Sandwich' is endlessly melodic with strong song-structures that still allows for plenty of jamming and improvised instrumentation that the talented young musicians deliver with exceptional skill. It's a damn shame that the band dissolved in the same year this album was released, but it's nice that their legacy is preserved with this one cracking bluesy psychedelic stunner.

Four stars.

 II by CLUSTER album cover Studio Album, 1972
3.92 | 77 ratings

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II
Cluster Krautrock

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

4 stars The duo of Dieter Moebius and Hans-Joachim Roedelius deliver nothing in the way of tunes or melodic moments on their second Cluster album from 1972, `Cluster II', nor is it particularly similar to the subdued spacey drifts of the frequently near- ambient debut. Instead, noisy experiments, druggy improvisations and cryptic instrumental collages of guitar, organ and electronics are the order of the day here, closer to the darker atmospheres of the early Krautrock-era works of Kraftwerk, Tangerine Dream and Klaus Schulze.

Opener `Plas' is a churning stormy drone that grows in stature amidst a heartbeat-like wavering klaxon and harsh ebbing and flowing serrated slivers. A snarling and grumbling electric guitar line repeats over and over into infinity throughout `Im Suden' with ambient distortion washes shimmering to the surface behind them, everything swamped in an unceasing brewing rumble of feedback. Chiming guitar tendrils try to snake their way through an air of shuffling electronic spirals and pulsing machine hisses that slowly abate to allow the briefest of light to enter, and`Fur Die Katz's alien-like twitches and scratchy distortion close the first side, a piece that could have easily found a home on Tangerine Dream's proto-dark ambient `Zeit'.

The suffocating `Live In Der Fabrik' on the flip side is a cavernous environment of chugging machine oscillations feverishly ripped apart by delirious electronic ripples, and the growing menace of `Georgel's sombre droning organ with the lightest of crystalline airy wisps flitting about could have easily worked its way out of the spacey improvised section of Pink Floyd's `A Saucerful of Secrets' and `Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun' live performances from the late Sixties. Closer `Nabitte' wraps the disc on smiles and sunshine...no, wait, make that mucky clanging nightmares of brooding jagged piano and groaning eerie voices makes for deeply unpleasant stuff, pretty much the perfect soundtrack to the seediest snuff tape.

`Cluster II' really gets under the skin with grubby fingernails, making for supremely uneasy listening but also one that remains wickedly addictive and completely consuming, laced beginning to end with that dirty sense of danger that permeates all the most satisfying Krautrock works.

Four stars.

 Guru Guru 88 by GURU GURU album cover Live, 1988
3.00 | 1 ratings

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Guru Guru 88
Guru Guru Krautrock

Review by Kepler62

— First review of this album —
3 stars This is a wacky one and just like the previous 'Jungle' features a female vocalist, Lysa Kraus, an amalgam of Nina Hagen and The B- 52s. Really. This is the Guru Guru of the late 80s so don't expect the early Krautrock experiments or tripped out jazz-rock blowouts of the seventies. Head Guru Mani Nuemeier had spent most of the eighties on individual projects and was trying out new things with the newly reformed Guru Guru. Released on the German Casino label that was better known for jazz/techno/dance artists, the contemporary craze. It features the late Hans Reffert who was the most recent guitarist/composer for Guru Guru so we do get some really interesting well produced stuff here. The 8 tracks are quite different from one another but as a whole Guru Guru '88 is very psychedelic. The biggest surprise is a spooky electronic instrumental track titled 'His Time' which is dedicated to Edgar Allan Poe, author of the strange and macabre. Probably the most bizarre cover version of 'Batman' ever recorded appears here and is barely recognizable save for the Batman hyena screeches and includes Mani Nuemeier silliness or else it would not be a Guru Guru album, would it?. The groovin' 'Work', 'Take It All' and 'Jim Jimmy' are straight off the dance floor. On the funky 'Dig That Fun' Lysa Kraus flaunts her impressive R&B panache.The instrumental 'Long Ago' tacquires a more vapourous jazzy feel.. Finally, 'Guru Guru Shake' is a catchy Carib/East Indian world beat fusion with a guest drummer Master Paramashivam Pillal.

I have been a fan of Guru Guru since the early seventies so this esoteric 1988 album or EP ( running time clocks in at just over 30 minutes ).didn't faze me. My only problem here is that the development potential on some tracks was not exploited to the fullest. It is nonetheless a half an hour of some really fun stuff. from one of the most 'out there' bands ever.

 La Luna by CZUKAY, HOLGER album cover Studio Album, 2000
3.01 | 12 ratings

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La Luna
Holger Czukay Krautrock

Review by Neu!mann
Prog Reviewer

3 stars First, a personal note: like many fans I prefer the music of CAN's mischievous short-wave radio painter when he's in a more lighthearted mood, composing Odes to Perfume or Persian Love songs. But there's something oddly hypnotic about this minimalist curiosity: an unbroken 47-minute "Electric Night Ceremony" recorded live at Holger's Lab on May 17, 1996 (and yes, I checked: there was a full moon over Cologne that night).

Don't expect the soothing environmental ambience of a Brian Eno album, however. Czukay's tone poem was built around a sinister mechanical pulse not far removed from the dystopian rhythms enslaving all those subterranean workers in Fritz Lang's 1927 film classic "Metropolis". He then goes to creative lengths to put a human touch on his automaton bleepfest, adding ephemeral layers of pirated radio signals, odd percussion accents, random vocal interruptions and so forth.

As usual Czukay is playing the studio like a musical instrument, and was apparently so mesmerized by the effort that he forgot his trusted French Horn. There isn't much room here for comic relief, but when High Priestess U-She (real name Ursula Kloss; Holger's muse since the end of the last millennium) approaches the electronic altar and starts muttering about "the Mother of the Universe", it's hard not to imagine Holger's tongue lodged firmly in his cheek.

There's actually a lot happening over the album's uncut three-quarter hour length, at a level of perception audible only with both ears wedged between the speakers. For better or worse, this is one of those experiments that needs your full attention to appreciate, but is best enjoyed when only half-heard as background radiation.

 Gila - Free Electric Sound by GILA album cover Studio Album, 1971
4.10 | 169 ratings

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Gila - Free Electric Sound
Gila Krautrock

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

4 stars German band Gila was formed in 1969 around guitarist Conny Veit, a Krautrock notable who would also go on to contribute to the music of Popul Vuh and Guru Guru. Their debut `Gila (Free Electric Sound)' arrived in 1971, a predominantly instrumental disc with a refreshing raw sound of spacey rock improvisations, lengthy psych guitar solos backed by plenty of organ, and it frequently reminds of the psych/acid/space early period of Pink Floyd with its fuzzy meandering atmospheres, as well as touches of Dom and Agitation Free.

An early Guru Guru and Hendrix acid rock style permeates opener `Aggression', all Conny's plodding and grooving heavy guitars, Daniel Alluno's rambunctious drumming, murky slithering bass with tickles of Hammond organ rolling around the background, and there's just a touch of spacey echoing in the final moments to hint at what's to come. The nearly thirteen minute cosmic jam `Kommunikation' weaves through everything from acoustic acid-folk shambles, distortion- heavy drones, sudden tempo changes, Embryo-like ethnic flavours and endless drowsy guitar strains with a touch of that mellow bluesy tone and those shimmering reaching piercings that David Gilmour perfected on the early Floyd albums. Walter Wiederkehr's punctuating bass is thick and fluid, Fritz Scheyhing subtly employs runaway electric piano tiptoes and panning organ swirls, and there's even brief ethereal treated vocals and wasted spoken word passages to end a killer first side.

The mantra-like `Kollaps' is all humming feedback droning, whirring Hammond organ, mysterious creeping bass and dreamy weeping guitar tendrils that turn rumbling and splintering, reminding very much again of the early psychedelic Pink Floyd works. `Kontakt' opens as a disorientating collage of shuffling mucky distortion and eerie voices before coming down as an early Deuter-like acid/folk Eastern-flavoured acoustic guitar meditation. There's shades of German band Agitation Free's blend of electronics and ethnic elements in the ten-minute two-part finale, `Kollektivitat' first starting life with reflective and joyful Hammond organ soloing, subdued drumming that carefully builds, seductive purring bass and chiming guitars with bluesy tinges. The Hammond eventually turns scratchy laced with dangerous quickening drums and manic twisting guitar jangles before `Individualitat' dissolves into furious tabla and distortion, although the mere fade-out to close the whole album is a bit of an uninspired letdown!

`Gila' is perhaps similar to an album like, say, the self-titled first Cosmic Jokers album from 1974 that offers many textbook examples of that would be recurring sounds and styles on the Krautrock- flavoured works, but without the more uncompromising and abrasive harder qualities that make up many of those discs, so this could appeal to newcomers and be an ideal introduction. There's certainly more important, experimental and ground-breaking Krautrock discs to explore, but there's not a poor second of music on `Gila', and it definitely deserves to be a proud part of any Krautrock collection.

Four stars.

 Zuckerzeit by CLUSTER album cover Studio Album, 1974
3.55 | 62 ratings

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Zuckerzeit
Cluster Krautrock

Review by Modrigue
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Electronic sugar cubes

1974 was definitely an important year in the history of development of electronic music. Alongside with KRAFTWERK's "Authobahn" and TANGERINE DREAM's "Phaedra", CLUSTER's "Zuckerzeit" is the last piece of the Holy Trinity of 70's electronica. Much more accessible than the freaked-out experimental long krautjams from their two first opuses and completely different from other synthesized suites of the same time period, the compositions of this third album are short titles, less improvised and more structured, with a greater usage of electronics and sound effects. Why is this disc so particular?

Whereas the men-machine of Düsseldorf will become the godfathers of electro/synth-pop, whereas TD's extended hypnotic meditative soundscapes announce the techno/trance of the 90's, Roedelius and Moebius explore another path, populated with little electronic creatures living on their own in an ethereal and out-of-time place. The approach goes a little further than other bands and foreshadows 90's electronica, more precisely the so-called "IDM", such as APHEX TWIN and early AUTECHRE. Even more ahead of its time than their fellow countrymen, this minimalistic post-electronic music succeeds at emancipating from its krautrock roots and Moog brothers by proposing very futuristic and modern tracks, seeming to come from another world (and another decade too). Furthermore, the beats are also quite unusual and inventive for the 70's, 15 years before the second electronic revolution. Incredible!

Curiously, the two musicians have not collaborated for this record. They composed five titles each, their styles being entirely opposite. Hans-Joachim Roedelius' compositions are the white sugar cubes, spacey, relaxing and accessible, whereas Dieter Moebius' are the brown sugar cubes, darker, more disturbed and aggressive. The contrast is thrilling. As a result, the listener is constantly switching between ambiances, alternating peaceful and rockier passages.

This approach and opposition will also be present one year later in another important "eleckraut" album of the decade, "Neu!75", with Michael Rother and Klaus Dinger. Interesting when you know Rother is the third member of HARMONIA alongside with the CLUSTER duo, as well as "Zuckerzeit"'s coproducer.

More calm and spacey, Roedelius' tracks are my favorite. The mesmerizing drops of "Hollywood" will make you directly travel through the stars. This title has certainly influenced APHEX TWIN in his youth. Magnificent! The soothing crystalline "Rosa" is rather contemplative, nearly melancholic, like a delicate pocket universe. "Fotschi Tong" and "Marzipan" are peaceful and playful Asian passages, while the finale "Heiße Lippen" is just sublime, in the style of "NEU!'75", a genuine open window on the future to come... Voluptuous and magic, needless to say more...

Moebius' compositions are also rather good but more demanding and uneven. "Caramel" is somber, repetitive, and possesses a really modern beat. Only track to exceed 5 minutes, "Rote Riki" sounds like a ramshackle old computer out of control. Dissonant, a bit too long, nonetheless futuristic. However, the title the most ahead of its time may be "Caramba". Despite its threatening krautrock background... was this pre-techno music really recorded in the 70's? In contrast, the intruder of this record is the guitar-driven "James". With its bizarre introduction, this slowed down krautblues reminds a little NEU!'s "Super 16". "Rotor" is my least favorite passage of the album, quickly becoming irritating. Fortunately, this is also the shortest.

With "Zuckerzeit", CLUSTER definitely opens a new musical universe up. The German duo can be considered as the APHEX TWINs of the 70's. As for the English autodidact, their titles are little independent synthetic creatures, living and growing on their own, exhibiting two opposite faces: the light side, relaxing, ethereal and dreamy, and the dark side, disturbing, like a mad machine. Although overshadowed by their electronic brothers, this groundbreaking third opus is highly influential and truly visionary for the 70's, going beyond krautrock and Berlin School, with beats and arrangements unheard before.

Both vintage and incredibly modern, both imperfect and breathtaking, "Zuckerzeit" is a milestone, simply essential for anyone interested in the history of electronic music, as well as for fans or 90's electronica, such APHEX TWIN and AUTECHRE.

 Knirsch by ET CETERA (DE) album cover Studio Album, 1972
4.20 | 17 ratings

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Knirsch
Et Cetera (DE) Krautrock

Review by Igor91

4 stars With the recent passing of the great Larry Coryell, I made it a point to put on this monster of an album on in his honor the other day. This was the only Et Cetera album that he played on, but man did he leave his mark! The previous LP had the excellent German guitarist, Sigi Schwab, who injected his ethnic style into the music. Coryell, an American, brought in more of a West Coast, psychedelic, jazzrock style to Et Cetera's Kraut-jazz. Experimental German jazz keyboardist Wolfgang Dauner, of course, was the leader of Et Cetera and composed all but the opening track.

That opening track, "The Really Great Escape" is Coryell's, and it is a one of the grooviest, stoned-out tracks from that era. The song reeks of the 70's, and is sticky with resin. Some might call it dated, but I call it pure awesomeness. Coryell's guitar work is superb, and his vocals are stunning. He wasn't known for his vocal skills, but here he kills it. It is the only song to feature vocals and it really differs from the rest of the album, but the album definitely benefits from it being on there. Coryell released a different version of this song on one of his own albums, which is longer and features horns, but it does not compare to the version on Knirsch.

There rest of Knirsh is pure Dauner, and Coryell's stunning guitar work helps lift it to great heights. The rest of the band, long-time Dauner drummer/percussionist Fred Braceful, Colosseum drummer Jon Hiseman, and German jazz bassist Günter Lenz, all shine on their performances.

The second track, "Sun" is a piano driven jazz number, which also displays Coryell's jazz chops. "Yan" is the most avant-garde piece on the LP, and is devoid of structure, melody, or rhythm. There is lots of experimental noodling and noise here, parts of it reminding me of the studio disc of Pink Floyd's Ummagumma, "The Grand Vizier's Garden Party" in particular. Next up is the stellar track, "Tuning Spread," which is a nice mix of Krautrock unconventionality and jazzrock. It has an excellent groove in parts, with Jon Hiseman laying down a funky-as-hell beat. The closing cut is "Yin," which gradually builds from a quiet jazz tune to a more energetic jazzrock.

While I feel it is a stretch to call this album Krautrock, it definitely encompasses a good deal of that genre into its jazzrock cocktail. This is a great record to chill to with friends late at night, or with headphones on your own, if you prefer. I would have given this a five star rating had it not been for the track "Yan." While I can appreciate some good old experimentation in music, when it lacks any kind of structure, rhythm, or melody, and goes on past the five minute mark, I will often begin to get bored and/or annoyed. "Yan" goes on for thirteen minutes.

I highly recommend Et Cetera's Knirsch for those who are into Krautrock and/or experimental jazzrock. It does have a very early 70's vibe to it, but the experimental structures and performances keep it from sounding dated, in my opinion anyway. I give it four stars. Larry Coryell R.I.P.

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Krautrock bands/artists list

Bands/Artists Country
A.R. & MACHINES Germany
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
AVARUS Finland
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 Multi-National
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 (GER) 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
DZYAN Germany
EAT LIGHTS BECOME LIGHTS United Kingdom
EGYPT IS THE MAGICK # United States
EILIFF 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
EULENSPYGEL Germany
EXPONENT Germany
FATHER YOD AND THE SPIRIT OF '76 United States
FAUST Germany
FIFTH DEAD Germany
FILLE QUI MOUSSE France
FLOH DE COLOGNE Germany
FLORIAN GEYER Germany
FOTOSPUTNIK United States
FRANKIE DYMON JR. Germany
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 Germany
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 LAÜFER Germany
KRAKATAU Australia
JEAN-JACQUES KRAVETZ Germany
KROKODIL Switzerland
LA DÜSSELDORF Germany
LA!NEU? Germany
LARD FREE France
LAVA Germany
LE REVEIL DE TROPIQUES France
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
MUNJU Germany
MUSHROOM'S PATIENCE Italy
MY SOLID GROUND Germany
MYTHOS Germany
N-1 Germany
THE NAZGUL 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
POPOL VUH Germany
PRINCESS FLOWER AND THE MOON RAYS Multi-National
PROF. WOLFFF Germany
PROSPER Germany
PSYCHEDELIC MONSTERJAM Germany
PYRAMID Germany
PYRANHA Switzerland
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
SPERRMÜLL Germany
STAN UND HILDA Germany
STARA RZEKA Poland
SWARA SAMRAT Germany
MITSURU TABATA Japan
TASTE OF BLUES Sweden
TEARPALM Serbia
TEMPLE Germany
THINK Germany
THRICE MICE Germany
TIERE DER NACHT Multi-National
TON STEINE SCHERBEN Germany
ULI TREPTE 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
WIND Germany
WONGA Germany
WOODEN VEIL Multi-National
XHOL CARAVAN / XHOL Germany
YA HO WHA 13 United States
YATHA SIDHRA Germany
ZEMENT Germany
ZIPPO ZETTERLINK Germany
ZWEISTEIN Germany

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