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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 | 272 ratings
HOSIANNA MANTRA
Popol Vuh
4.15 | 356 ratings
ASH RA TEMPEL
Ash Ra Tempel
4.11 | 435 ratings
YETI
Amon Düül II
4.22 | 117 ratings
EDGE OF TIME
Dom
4.08 | 507 ratings
FUTURE DAYS
Can
4.09 | 305 ratings
TANZ DER LEMMINGE [AKA: DANCE OF THE LEMMINGS]
Amon Düül II
4.08 | 322 ratings
NEU!
Neu!
4.49 | 41 ratings
EISZEIT
Gam
4.09 | 175 ratings
GILA - FREE ELECTRIC SOUND
Gila
4.15 | 112 ratings
LETZTE TAGE - LETZTE NÄCHTE
Popol Vuh
4.03 | 386 ratings
PHALLUS DEI
Amon Düül II
4.08 | 125 ratings
SELIGPREISUNG
Popol Vuh
4.00 | 244 ratings
MALESCH
Agitation Free
4.06 | 124 ratings
KÄNGURU
Guru Guru
4.02 | 183 ratings
ELECTRIC SILENCE
Dzyan
4.41 | 34 ratings
TONY CONRAD & FAUST: OUTSIDE THE DREAM SYNDICATE
Conrad, Tony
3.95 | 590 ratings
TAGO MAGO
Can
4.05 | 124 ratings
VOLUME 10
Electric Orange
4.03 | 135 ratings
AGUIRRE
Popol Vuh
3.95 | 259 ratings
WOLF CITY
Amon Düül II

Krautrock overlooked and obscure gems albums new


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

A COUPLE OF TIMES
Twogether
SILOAH [ALSO RELEASED AS SÄUREADLER]
Siloah
I'M GONNA TAKE YOU HOME
Ya Ho Wha 13
ARKTIS TAPES
Arktis

Latest Krautrock Music Reviews


 The Art Of German Psychedelic 1970-74 by A.R. & MACHINES album cover Boxset/Compilation, 2017
4.05 | 2 ratings

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The Art Of German Psychedelic 1970-74
A.R. & Machines Krautrock

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

4 stars As the early 70s slowly gave way to a new era, many of the psychedelic and progressive acts of the day had to figure out how to adapt to the changing music world around them. Achim Reichel was no stranger to change. Having emerged as a pop star in 1960s Germany, he left his popular beat band The Rattles behind to join the ranks of the lysergic tripping music that would become known as Krautrock to the rest of the world. After five studio albums and another live with his band known as A.R. & MACHINES, Reichel ultimately came to the conclusion that his days were numbered with such lofty ambitiousness in sonic form and once again moved on into new musical territories that would lead him into traditional German folk music. As hard as he tried to bury the past and leave it behind, eventually the fanbase he had hoped to evoke during the MACHINES heyday had finally come to roost in the era of the internet and world wide communications. This realization hit him hard when a 20 year old girl in the 21st century was touting how cool an album called "Die Grüne Reise" was and that it is quite popular amongst her friends.

Lo and behold the band known as A.R & MACHINES emerges again, not delivering a brand new album of material (well, we can hope) but as a stunning 10 CD box set of the band's entire output with craploads of unreleased material and a 96 page hardcover book narrating the entire history of the Achim Reichel's ascent into the world of kosmische Krautrock and the journey that he with his band embarked upon during a short five year stint between 1970 and 1974. Finally in 2017, the complete works under the title THE ART OF GERMAN PSYCHEDELIC 1970-74 hits the market and let me tell you, this is exactly how a band should release its entire output. Everything about this one is outstanding including the artwork, artist liner notes that narrate the band's history in a diary type format (in both German and English) and the beautifully fully remastered discography of all the bands work including four CDs of unreleased and remixed material. While much of this material has been hard to come by in legitimately released formats, this one is fully sanctioned by Reichel himself who had his hand in its creation. Oh, and the box is the size of an LP as is the book inside. Another LP sized book contains the 10 CDs in slots and all is decked out with amazingl psychedelic colors like the early 70s never ended!

CD1: Die Grüne Reise. This one appears exactly as it did in the original pressing only it is completely remastered.

CD2: Echo. This too is the original double album in its entirely and remastered to modern day splendor.

CD3: AR3. Also a faithful presentation of the original album in remastered form.

CD4: A.R.IV. The "Vita" and "Acqua" suites find new life in the totally remastered forms and this disc also includes "Live In Studio" bonus tracks.

CD5: Autovision. The remastered version of the album in its entirety.

CD6: Erholung. The first official release of this rare live album in its entirety meaning it contains the extra two tracks deleted from the original release of this 1973 concert in Krefeld.

CD7: The Cologne Concert. In 1973 the band was asked to play in the local series "Nachtmusik in WDR (Night Music in WDR), a radio station that was famous for recording acts of the day. This one contains two lengthy tracks that showed the band in their full power.

CD8: Transformation. Remixes. This one contains modern day electronic remixes of some of the band's material. Startlingly different as the complex percussive drive of old has been replaced by electronic beats and atmospheres. Some of this actually sounds more like Buckethead's electronica meets rock albums than A.R & MACHINES. This is a worthy experiment but probably my least favorite aspect of this box as it sounds like it's trying to hard to fit into the modern world.

CD9: 14 Pieces For Guitar And Echo Chamber. Having survived countless moves over the years, Reichel located his huge stash of practice tapes from which he painstakingly sifted through to find the best material to include as unadulterated bonus material. This is basically Reichel playing around with his guitar loop echoes and creating the most tripped out melodies allowed. Perhaps a bit too much for a single listen but definitely excellent for unreleased bonus material.

CD10: Virtual Journey. DJ Aspects. Despite the title of this one, it's not like the remix CD but rather indicates Reichel getting his feet wet in the world of modern day technology and creating a few new musical numbers in the spirt of the old but with the modern day luxury of recording standards. This one sounds exactly like what you would expect from the classic period yet does indeed have subtle production techniques employed to bring it into a new millennium.

THE ART OF GERMAN PSYCHEDELIC 1970-74 is a must if you are an A.R. & MACHINES fan whether you own all of the original albums or not. The remastering is impeccable and breaths new life into timeless classics. The extra material, while not OMG essential is definitely an interesting supplemental supply of behind the scenes and unreleased Krautrock magic. This is one of the best box set releases i've ever seen for an artist from the golden era of progressive rock with stunning artwork, extraordinarily detailed historical dialogue and of course, beautifully restored music magic. This one is highly recommended and the only legit way to obtain some of the original albums.

 Erholung by A.R. & MACHINES album cover Live, 1975
3.69 | 10 ratings

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Erholung
A.R. & Machines Krautrock

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

4 stars After Achim Reichel recorded his last Krautrock oriented album with members of his A.R. & MACHINES band on "Autovision," he was signaling to the world that he was moving on to more profitable arenas by firstly releasing that work under his own moniker and secondly by ending that album with a snippet of traditional German folk music that would signal his next career move which would be to record and perform more traditional regional folk music that would occupy him until the 21st century revival of interest in all things progressive from the 60s and 70s. Tucked in between the MACHINES era and his less adventurous followup years was this sole LIVE release titled "ERHOLUNG" which means "recuperation" and emerged in 1975 on the Brain Record label. This wasn't really a planned album at all but rather one that was bootlegged by Kurt Mitzkatis who recorded the entire performance on a hand-held battery operated tape machine and then later released officially.

The event took place at the German Rock Festival at the Eisstadion in Krefeld, German on 16 September 1973 after the release of Reichel's entire output as A.R. & MACHINES. Just to give you an idea how popular the Krautrock scene was in Germany at the time, Reichel only appeared in tiny print at the bottom of a poster that displayed the multitude of bands who were playing. This excellent list (wish i could've been there!) includes Birth Control, Triumvirat, Doldinger's Passport, Guru Guru, Wallenstein, Embryo, Ihre Kinder, The Soundedge, Amon Düül II, Udo Lindenberg, Atlantis, Nectar, Karthago, Chris Braun Band, Emergency, Abacus, Randy Pie, Franz K, Eloy, Jack Grunsky and Achim Reichel under his own moniker with help from three of the MACHINES crew. This three guys included only Peter Franken on drums, Olaf Casalich on more percussion and Jochen Petersen alternating between saxophone, flute and maracas. Reichel himself cranked out the guitar with the famous echo effects and other various noises from tape.

The original 1975 LP has ever only found one legit release (as mentioned on the Brain Record label) and it contained four tracks that lasted almost 38 minutes in length, however the actual playing time was nearly twice that length with the other two tracks being lost to the history books until the recent 2017 boxset "The Art Of German Psychedelic 1970-74" which set out to rectify this injustice by releasing every possible work that was remotely A.R. & MACHINES related. In this format, the original is not only remastered to stunning effect but also includes the two extra missing tracks thus presenting the album as originally intended if only success hadn't eluded the band and releasing a double album was a viable choice. This one has pretty much been brushed aside with much of the Kraturock world focusing on the four albums that actually displayed the A.R & MACHINES moniker but this LIVE album is for all intents and purposes a bona fide band effort albeit a truncated version of their earlier days.

Songwise, this one is somewhat unique as the titles of the songs appear on no other Reichel album that came before. All the songs have new titles and the compositions are not really adherent to what came before either but are rather loose jams that include elements from the albums that preceded. ERHOLUNG is very much in the vein of "Echo" and "A.R. IV" which shows the musicians meandering down psychedelic alley with long drawn out jams that find a steady percussive groove as the backbone and the other instruments taking turns fluffing up their freakiest feathers to take off into the clouds. For a hand-held device, it's amazing how good this sounds even before the remastering process. The album sounds like a bona fide studio release actually and except for the audience noises between tracks and the dialogue in German speaking to the audience, this doesn't sound like a crappy live album at all but is quite transcendent in nature and could quite rightfully be considered the bands "sixth" album of sort. The performances are quite relaxed and create a satisfying head-in-the-clouds experience. This one can be quite pricey to track down an original LP but more recommended to obtain as a part of the stunning boxset which doubles its playing time. Even in the original form however, this one is excellent.

 Autovision by A.R. & MACHINES album cover Studio Album, 1974
3.38 | 15 ratings

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Autovision
A.R. & Machines Krautrock

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

4 stars By 1974, the times were a-changing as the psychedelic and progressive rock that exploded onto the scene just a few years earlier was already starting to collapse under its own overindulgence and Germany's burgeoning Krautrock scene was no exception to this phenomenon. Whereas some bands kind of burst onto the scene and exited without a trace, Achim Reichel had a gentler approach. While he started out as a fairly successful pop star in 1960s Germany, he transitioned into the psychedelic prog world without jettisoning his pop creds right away. Instead he kind of fused the two together on his first album"Die Grüne Reese" before jumping all the way into the more elevated freeform psych jam sessions that led him all the way to "A.R. IV." Around the time of the recording of that album though, Reichel knew that the days of his A.R. & MACHINES phase were coming to a close. Not only were times a- changing but the band never really courted the success they had hoped to achieve. In retrospect, Reichel deemed the whole period as a self-reflection in a sonic form event that would be years ahead of the public's musical tastes.

For the next phase, Achim Reichel would release the next album "AUTOVISION" under his own name however this was very much an A.R. & Machines album bringing back four of the most prominent players in that period. "AUTOVISION" is very much a transition album in Reichel's career and simultaneously pays tribute to his final Krautrock phase as it does give clues to his next move in the music industry. In some ways, this album is sort of a combo effect of the entire A.R & Machines historical overview with elements from the four albums prior coming together in one big farewell shebang. While the debut focused on pop-oriented songs based on the rhythmical relationships between echo loops the next three albums meandered more into extended jam sessions that displayed more interaction between the large pool of musicians. On "AUTOVISION," Reichel marries the echo loop guitar effects so prevalent on the debut with the improvisational jams that characterized the feel on the "Echo" and "A.R. IV" albums. The track "Turbulenzen" celebrates most enthusiastically the echo loop guitar effects and revisits the ethnic percussion days with in a more hyperactive mode.

Reichel explains that at this period in his life, he was studying at The Academy For The Development Of Personality where he was living in a small room with a daily practice of meditation and yoga. Beside his bed he kept his recording equipment and found that the best time to grab his instruments and lay down some tracks was after the practice of meditation, thus displaying a musical glimpse of that world that lies between two distinct layers of consciousness. The music very much feels different than the previous albums with a more energetic drive that is both somewhat more improvisational and yet somehow a bit more focused with the compositions differing more than "A.R. IV." Basically this is a Reichel solo album in composition with the Machines crew joining ranks to carry the sound into the recording studio. This one only has four musicians in addition to Reichel which gives it a somewhat stripped down feel from the previous albums but overall has the same tripped out lengthy sonic journeys into that zone between worlds.

One of the most noticeable differences on "AUTOVISION" is in the percussion department. The standard rock drumming is more prominent with the congas and ethnic influences having dispersed into the ethers however the vibraphone effects are back (with the exception of "Turbulenzen"). The jazzy touches are back but are less jazzy and more light and fluffy and merely subordinate to the guitar echoes and are too quite echoey in the production department. Personally i like this one quite a bit and unlike most Reichel fans find this one to be more dynamic and diverse than anything since the stunning debut as "AUTOVISION" as it simultaneously reflects on the short but mind-expanding career of the band and also looks to the future as displayed by the short but prescient "Kopf In Den Wolken - Beine Auf Der Erde" (Head in the clouds - feet on the ground) which is a tiny snippet of German folk music which ushers out the Krautrock leaning album and indicates to fans that this is the next step on the Reichel Reise (jounrey). This is probably one of the most under-appreciated Reichel albums in his A.R. & Machines Krautrock days most likely due to its scarcity but there is nothing on here to prevent you loving it like the rest. Another obscure gem in the world of 70s progressive rock from Germany.

 AR4 [Aka: A. R. IV] by A.R. & MACHINES album cover Studio Album, 1973
4.00 | 57 ratings

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AR4 [Aka: A. R. IV]
A.R. & Machines Krautrock

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

4 stars As most Krautrock enthusiasts are aware of, Achim Reichel was one of Germany's biggest pop stars in the 60s before he dived headfirst into the burgeoning psychedelic scene that turned progressive as the 70s hit, however on his debut album with A.R. & MACHINES, "Die Grüne Raise," the songs still had a lot of pop compositional style wrapped up in extended psychedelic tripped out effects and more lingering passages that qualified them as progressive. On "Echo," the band dropped a lot of the pop influences and instead opted for longer sonic journeys into blissful psychedelic jams that found subtle instrumental interactions slowly parade into infinity. On "AR3," Reichel attempted to bring back more conventional song structures, perhaps missing the instant gratification of pop stardom but fell short as the band had lost their hit making mojo and watered down the Kraut aspects a wee bit too much.

As most Krautrock enthusiasts are aware of, Achim Reichel was one of Germany's biggest pop stars in the 60s before he dived headfirst into the burgeoning psychedelic scene that turned progressive as the 70s hit, however on his debut album with A.R. & MACHINES, "Die Grüne Raise," the songs still had a lot of pop compositional style wrapped up in extended psychedelic tripped out effects and more lingering passages that qualified them as progressive. On "Echo," the band dropped a lot of the pop influences and instead opted for longer sonic journeys into blissful psychedelic jams that found subtle instrumental interactions slowly parade into infinity. On "AR3," Reichel attempted to bring back more conventional song structures, perhaps missing the instant gratification of pop stardom but fell short as the band had lost their hit making mojo and watered down the Kraut aspects a wee bit too much.

On "A.R. IV", Reichel and his Kraut crew once again revert back to the long sonic journeys that delve into long psychedelic meandering jams that carry a somewhat funky groove as the backbone. While the album was broken down into four tracks, the first three constitute the "Vita" suite that allowed a strong bass groove and overabundance of percussive drive to meander on for over twenty minutes with a series of ethereal flute and jazzy sax to give it a multidimensional feel. The electric piano and keyboard effects kept it grounded into the progressive world of psychedelia as the tracks, while technically separate actually run together seamlessly and generate an instrumental journey into total blissful escapism. While vocals are scarce, there are segments where Reichel belts out some lyrics but thankfully these passages end quickly as i find them to be the weakest link of the band's unique musical journey.

The finale is saved for the super long twenty-three minute suite "Aqua" which consists solely of the track "Every Raindrop Longs For The Sea" that finds an extended groovy psychedelic jam sallying forth like there is no end to time. The formula is the same as side one with an energetic bass and percussion section accompanied by the driving rhythmic force with healthy doses of electric keyboard runs, blues funk guitar and the airy flutes and a constant background sound of ocean sounds including seagulls lurking in the distance. The sax also returns for the extra jazzy touch. There is a very carefree vibe to "A.R. IV" with little or no attention paid to any sort of compositional style whatsoever. It is simply the sort of heady improvisational psychedelic jam that was common for the days. While personally i prefer the debut to any of the other albums, "A.R. IV" is a massive improvement over the mediocre "AR3" as it captures the mood of the experimental sound journey that was intended. This is one that is a nice free floating escapist's journey into the clouds.

This is the type of music that isn't made to blow you away. This is very much an introspective journey that builds through a solid rhythmic flow that allows an atmospheric backdrop to shape shift much like clouds slowly changing shape as they roll by in the sky. "A.R. IV" was basically a group of ten musicians getting together (granted not all at the SAME time) and trading off licks around a solid groove. While this album doesn't have the same compositional prowess as other prog outfits of the day, there's something very soothing about it that makes me feel one with the universe. At this time Reichel was heavily into spirituality and yoga practice and that's exactly what emanates from this long drifting odyssey in musical form. "A.R. IV" would also find the band A.R. & MACHINES winding down as Reichel would continue as a solo artist, releasing one more psychedelic Kraut album before drifting into traditional German folk music.

 Der Grosse Rote Vogel by PINGUIN album cover Studio Album, 1972
4.30 | 6 ratings

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Der Grosse Rote Vogel
Pinguin Krautrock

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

3 stars PINGUIN released this lone album back in 1972 and I think penguins would be very happy living in my town the last few days with highs of -15 to -18. Yeah the wind really hurts these days. The members of this six piece band were previously in German Beat bands which I guess you could say was German Pop music with German vocals. Part of the reason most Krautrock bands sang in English was to go against the establishment, but there were some very political German bands who sang in their native language because they wanted to get their message across. Not sure about these guys though. I really have a problem with German vocals, just not an appealing language like say Italian. Yeah I'm in trouble now, of course the Russian language is even worse but I digress.

The singer here has a thin voice and I really don't like his singing at all, not sure if I mentioned that. We get sax and flute but the organ leads the way here as the most dominant instrument. Oh, and four of the members also play percussion and another one bongos. It's a fairly catchy album overall not surprisingly given their background but there's some rare experimental stuff on one track that would make most Krautrock bands proud. The two reviewers ahead of me both gave this 5 stars which is something to keep in mind with my 3 star rating.

"Der Grosse Rote Vogel" opens with organ and flute and when the vocals arrive the flute steps aside. A full sound with sax leading the way before 1 1/2 minutes. Catchy stuff here as the vocals and organ also help out. Lots of percussion before 3 minutes with the bass, drums and organ in this instrumental section. The sax is back. Great section! A brief silent calm before 4 minutes then it kicks in again. More vocals as themes are repeated. There will be a few more instrumental sections to follow with each one being a highlight of this track.

Die Angst" has outbursts of sax and organ as the vocals join in. I think the vocals might be at their worse here. This is catchy but yikes! The guitar after 2 minutes makes some noise.

"Der Frosch In Der Kehle" has this catchy little melody played by the guitar and flute. It's joined by drums then organ and vocals. Man he is not singing very well here, check him out just before a minute. I do like that guitar style and that mellow instrumental section which is so much better than the rest of this track. Vocals are back after 2 1/2 minutes but thankfully we get another instrumental section with flute leading. Some nasty guitar after 5 minutes then a drum solo starts after 6 1/2 minutes to the end.

"Der Blaue Wind" has a wicked flute intro then it turns mellow with flute as bass, guitar, organ and soft vocals join in. Clashing cymbals before 3 1/2 minutes. The vocals stop around 5 minutes as it turns experimental in the Krautrock tradition.

"Die Nachtmusik" opens with solo organ that stops just after a minute. Then sax, organ, bass, drums and guitar take over. Vocals around 2 minutes. That sax melody that comes and goes is annoying. It settles back some after 3 minutes. Sax, organ and cymbals after 4 minutes then the guitar comes to the fore. That sax melody is back coming and going as the vocals return.

"Der Traum" is my favourite by far. Organ to start with some picked guitar then the bass and drums take over. Nice. Organ is back after a minute then the flute starts to come and go just before 2 minutes. I do like that bass! Great sound 2 1/2 minutes in with organ and bass as the flute and drums join in. Vocals after 3 1/2 minutes but thankfully they are brief here although they are back late.

Clearly I'm not into the vocals and they are fairly dominant here so there's just no way I would recommend this. It was good to hear it though but I feel this is a miss in the Krautrock genre.

 Orbit by HEDERSLEBEN album cover Studio Album, 2017
3.48 | 10 ratings

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Orbit
Hedersleben Krautrock

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

3 stars I was a little disappointed with this latest HEDERSLEBEN album called "Orbit". Surprised too that Kaphera(keys/ vocals) and Jason(drums) have been replaced. They along with band leader Nicky(guitar/ composer) had been on the first three studio albums together, along with being in Nik Turner's band. Now I did notice that all three were on Nik's latest "Life In Space" so there's that. I'm not a huge fan of the new female singer here along with some of these songs. There are some good songs though and many excellent ideas in place here it's just that very few of them are working for me.

"Judas Star" has this spacey atmosphere with some guitar expressions until the song kicks into gear with organ and drums after a minute. I'm not into the sound before 2 minutes, annoying. I much prefer the calm that follows although the manipulated female vocals bug me too. I can't win here. Her vocals become normal after 4 minutes as she shouts the lyrics. A spacey calm ends it. "Walk Above The Clouds" has a nice heavy sound to it but it settles back quickly. A steady beat with vocals takes over a minute in. I'm not really into her vocals but I like that determined beat and the guitar starting before 2 1/2 minutes. It's angular here by the way.

"Distant Sun" has a dark atmosphere as sparse piano joins in. Male and female vocals follow as they almost drone like they are drugged. A calm before 2 1/2 minutes then it starts again with atmosphere, experimental sounds and sampled voices. "History Of Light" is a more energetic "rock" piece with female vocals. Organ and a heavy sound but I'm not into the vocals. I do like how the guitar echoes after 2 minutes. A catchy track.

"Apogie" opens with what sounds like church organ swirling as spacey sounds help out as they come and go. The drums kick in as well. A cool instrumental. "Hedersleben(Dream State)" is a top two as we get this melancholy with laid back guitar melodies and bass as reserved female vocals join in. Violin a minute in. Spacey, melancholic synths before 2 1/2 minutes. Just a great sound to this one.

"Rarefied Air" is my other favourite. Surprisingly(not) both are very melancholic. I think that's guitar and keys as drums then heavy bass lines join in. There's those melancholic synths I love before a minute. Vocal melodies replace the synths after a minute and they will continue to take turns. That sure sounds like mellotron around 4 minutes. "Be There" is an uptempo rocker with female vocals that I don't really enjoy while the closer "Perigree" is birds chirping throughout with dual acoustic guitar melodies.

As I said earlier there are some interesting ideas here but I want my old band back(haha). No this is a good album but I'll stick with the first three.

 Fresh Air by FAUST album cover Studio Album, 2017
3.93 | 8 ratings

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Fresh Air
Faust Krautrock

Review by DamoXt7942
Forum & Site Admin Group Avant, Crossover & Neo Teams

4 stars Real experimental just like "Why Don't You Eat Carrots", my first surprise ... this golden phrase should be appropriate for the Krautrock legend FAUST. "Fresh Air", released in 2017, is filled with colourful sound variation, completely without any restraint by authentic rock scene. This attitude of theirs could be thought as kinda antitheses against everything nowadays, I guess ... as if they claimed "pop music must go to hell" all around the album.

The first over 17 minute titled extremity is a cynic of sound. This crazy one reminds me exactly of "Esplanade" by Fille Qui Mousse, flooded with sensual female voices and irritable, irregular noises. Inorganic danceable rock rhythms here and there amongst noises are such a comfort, in that the audience should get immersed. "La Poulie" has tribal, ethnic percussion and spelling shouts in the same vein of Brast Burn's Debon. Obviously got freakout 'with strong intention'.

On the other hand in the following track "Chlorophyl" we can feel of downtempo psychic agents via repetitive sticky melodies with slimy saxophone sounds. Surprising at noticing some rap / hiphop essence via "Lights Flicker" (of course not simply progressive rap music but artistic hallucinogenic avantgarde electronika, we can call it as). Through the last "Fish" we can find kaleidoscopic appearance of pelagic fishes beneath the sea (normally appearance of a pelagic fish is not colourful but monotonous, so this texture might be sorta cynical presentation by FAUST I suppose).

 Avalon And On by RUFUS ZUPHALL album cover Boxset/Compilation, 1993
3.50 | 4 ratings

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Avalon And On
Rufus Zuphall Krautrock

Review by Sean Trane
Special Collaborator Prog Folk

3 stars I'll be reviewing the single-disc release

The story of this posthumous album is that the high-quality demo tape did not please their new label that had started promoting the group in a different manner than the band was heading in another. So the band could not record it and broke-up. These 5- tracks demo tapes reappeared in the 94 4-record box-set and they were later released under the ten-working title Avalon. Were added three tracks from their early stages and another three from a reunion concert in 99.

These demo tapes can actually show how much a great album this would've been had it been allowed to be properly recorded. Actually, the demos are fine enough to be released on their own as a full-fledged album (since RZ was always proud of its rough and raw sound). The 11-min+ Avalon is a rather interestingly progressive track with a medieval-influenced guitar middle section. The next tracks are yet unfinished also, but the great Pachebel and the short Prelude (a guitar duo that has reminiscence of Hackett and Rutherford) are both a pure joy if you are not picky of sound quality. The last two demo tracks were clearly intended as part of other more intricate composition.

Where things go slightly awry is with Krause's vocals: they were never RZ's forte, but in this demo, they are (understandably) just acceptable. Again looking at the three potential albums, RZ had a relatively unique sound, but even these demo tapes sound so typical of them, that it remains difficult to tell quickly on which track you are listening to.

On the other "side" of this record are three tracks coming from early recordings, among which is a 12-min+ Dylan cover of Hollis Brown, which starts slowly and builds a slow crescendo, and if the track stays on the same tempo, the jam-like ramblings are quite enjoyable for non-demanding progheads. Granum Cerebri has a rather messy intro, but develops quickly into a riffy guitar and flute thing. A bit naïve, but this track was recorded prior to their debut album and is still a joy to hear. An early version of their classic reprise of Portland Town follows.

The last three tracks are taken from a re-union concert in 99 with the original line-up and doing tracks from their debut album: Of a much better quality than the bonus live tracks of their two historical albums (Cd version), all three are closely respected in spirit.

If you enjoy much the other two historical albums and like me considered RZ worthy of an obscure and tiny cult-status, this "posthumous " release will most likely please you, and it might not be anymore essential than the other two records, but not much less either.

 Sehr Kosmisch, Ganz Progisch by WESERBERGLAND album cover Studio Album, 2017
4.22 | 14 ratings

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Sehr Kosmisch, Ganz Progisch
Weserbergland Krautrock

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

4 stars This is the project of Ketil Einarsen probably most known being part of WHITE WILLOW and JAGA JAZZIST but he's played on so many albums over the years. And he's enlisted many of those musicians he's played with to help him out here. Ketil wrote all the music and produced this recording, while playing flute, clarinet, keys, guitar and he adds programmed sounds. His buddy in WHITE WILLOW Jacob Holm-Lupo adds bass and guitar but he also mixed and mastered this album. Many of these musicians have played together. In fact five of these guys play in THE OPIUM CARTEL. Mattias Olsson from ANGLAGARD fame and more adds drums and he's very important to the sound here. Stephen Bennett adds keys and he's from HENRY FOOL, of course there's Lars Fredrik Froislie from WOBBLER adding synths and clavinet. How about Einer Baldursson the guitarist for GOSTA BERLINGS SAGA but also he's played with WHITE WILLOW and NECROMONKEY.

So a Krautrock album from Norway? Well Ketil was introduced to Krautrock in the 90's and fell in love with it. The band's name comes from a very beautiful area of Germany where the mountains and that river create gorgeous scenes. The music reminds me of HARMONIA, LA DUSSELDORF along with some CLUSTER and Eno influences I believe. Lots of higher pitched synths and keys but really the more I have listened to this the more intrigued and impressed I become. It's all instrumental but for some brief vocal melodies from Ketil. This is a homage to the 70's Krautrock scene. What an interesting album and there's so much talent on display here and so many connections.

"Tanzen Und Springen" gets us started and it's percussion and drums at first before a full sound arrives with guitar, keys and more. HARMONIA comes to mind here. It settles down after 2 minutes with bass and more before kicking back in. High pitched sounds after 3 1/2 minutes followed by an interesting sounding guitar solo. I do like that bass 5 minutes in. Drums and percussion like the intro follow after 5 1/2 minutes. A change before 7 minutes as spacey sounds dominate before some atmosphere adds depth. A full sound returns before 8 minutes with guitar, drums and much more. Percussion ends it.

"Das Trinklied Vom Jammer Der Erde" opens with experimental sounds. Interesting stuff as a beat starts to slowly build. Faint sitar can be heard eventually then some dark and melancholic synths arrive changing the mood. It turns louder after 2 1/2 minutes and the drums speed up as we hear mostly drums and synths here. It slows down a minute later before picking back up before 4 minutes. Lots of drums and synths once again. There's so much going on after 5 1/2 minutes. Incredible! Flute before 7 minutes with drums and synths. A calm a minute later as different sounds come and go until it kicks in with power. Nice. Check out that bass before 9 1/2 minutes, then those high pitched synths come to the fore. Love the drumming and guitar before 11 minutes. A dark and spacey calm takes over before 12 minutes and it becomes experimental with some avant Krautrock stuff to the end.

"Kunst Der Fuge" opens with light keys and spacey sounds. Drums and deep sounds join in just after a minute. It then picks up in pace, organ too. That drumming is relentless. Some brief vocal melodies after 3 1/2 minutes but the drums and synths continue to lead the way. Spacey synths 8 1/2 minutes in with the drums and bass standing out. The guitar comes in late then electronics ends it.

"Tristrant" is my favourite. Drums to start as spacey sounds join in. Bass and synths will arrive as well in this catchy soundscape. Man this reminds me of HARMONIA. Love the sound 2 minutes in, it's quite moving for some reason. A change before 3 minutes as it all stops and horns kick in. Back to that previous sound rather quickly though. More of that moving section before 5 minutes. The horns are back 7 minutes in. there's so much going on at this point but it will wind down to the end.

A solid 4 stars and an album that I'll get a lot of mileage out of given how unique it sounds. Well done!

 EOXXV by ELECTRIC ORANGE album cover Studio Album, 2017
3.52 | 6 ratings

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EOXXV
Electric Orange Krautrock

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

4 stars German band Electric Orange have been around in some form for twenty five years now, founded by Dirk Jan Müller, a multi- instrumentalist who primarily handles keyboards (and also recently started a well-received Berlin School-influenced prog- electronic side-project Cosmic Ground). Over their early years, alongside frequent contributor Dirk Bittner, the group was mostly occupied by guests and/or a rotating door of varied musicians, but a settled line-up of the band eventually found their calling in heavy Krautrock-flavoured ambient jams on their most recent works. To commemorate their anniversary, Dirk and the group have delivered three very different and worthy works this year, with the main focus being on `EOXXV', an expansive 134-minute set that falls somewhere between a new studio work and compilation (the recordings date from 2013 to January of this year), and for your money you get a lavish triple LP set or a double CD collection of superb Krautrock jams that frequently run to over twenty minutes in length each.

`Continuum' opens the album like many of the improvisations here and on recent Electric Orange works, blending long stretches of slowly unfolding ambient electronic drones, dusty distortion-laced guitar atmospheres and rumbling bass grumbles turned in multiple unpredictable directions by unrelenting drumming, the band expertly lifting in drama and retreating again over and over. Grumbling fluid bass ruminations and trippy guitar shimmers permeate `Under The Nun' around ethereal electronic canvasses, searing Mellotron bursts and slowly growing spacey swirling Hammond organ swells (that often call to mind the `Inside/Floating' psychedelic period of vintage German symphonic band Eloy). The sublime `Gnosis' (sadly only included on the CD edition) is spiced with the most subtle of delicate jazzy flavours among its glacial synth pools and lightly pattering drums that eventually take on a hypnotic tribal beat-like grasp, the piece taking a dangerous turn with some maddening fiddle slices and wavering electronic shivers in the finale.

There's an uncomfortable unease to the first half of `Misophonia IV's rumbling and brooding faraway ambient sound-collages that float and shimmer in unhurried hallucinogenic washes, with the piece soon moving in and out of tense drumming hypnotics, nightmarish psychedelics and stormy distortion melts. `Misophonia V' glides between dreamy mellow guitars, ethereal synth caresses and cacophonous flurries of wild drumming, the final crashing moments of `Faint' with its pounding mountain-sized drumbeat stomping down on everything in its path has to be heard to be believed, and album closer `Residuum' is equally a lulling space-music collage and darker ambient distortion drone with moments of blissful life- affirming touches.

`EOXXV' jumps back and forth between `kind of more of the same' as the last few studio releases, and serious contender for one of the albums of the year. While several tracks follow a similar pattern and the album is far too long, each individual piece is an outstanding Krautrock jam of heady sounds and exploratory colour all its own, and to have them compiled in the one place makes it a very attractive release. If you're a massive EO fan and not bothered by the fact that parts of the album mine similar ground to `Volume 10', `Misophonia' and `Würzburg Cairo 2015', then `EOXXV' will make a huge impression on you and make for yet another first-rate modern Krautrock work from one of the best heavy psych bands going around today.

Four and a half stars.

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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
ATTEMPT TO RESTORE 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 United States
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
FRANKIE DYMON JR. Germany
DZYAN Germany
EAT LIGHTS BECOME LIGHTS United Kingdom
EGYPT IS THE MAGICK # United States
EILIFF Germany
EINSEINSEINS 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
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 NAZGÛL 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
PINGUIN Germany
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
STAFF CARPENBORG AND THE ELECTRIC CORONA 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
WESERBERGLAND Norway
WIND Germany
WONGA Germany
WOODEN VEIL Multi-National
XHOL CARAVAN / XHOL Germany
YA HO WHA 13 United States
YATHA SIDHRA Germany
ZACHT AUTOMAAT Canada
ZEMENT Germany
ZIPPO ZETTERLINK Germany
ZWEISTEIN Germany

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