GERMAN KRAUTROCK

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Terms used for German progressive music :

Krautrock :  Progressive movement in Germany. Thanks to a very good education in contemporary classical music by teachers as Karlheinz Stockhausen (in Köln), experiments of Free Music in Jazz, and an openness towards new musical experiments in several areas of Germany in the seventies, sometimes stimulated by a at that time very open media, progressive music reached a kind of freedom in expression at that time unique in the world, surely from that scale. While many people listened to "schlagers" (=traditional amusement and entertainment) most musicians gained a freedom in expression almost the opposite to that traditional movement.  Nowadays (-,unless the 80's brought an underground scene,-) several musicians survive at first with covers of known bands before experimenting with their own expression. But those days labels also accepted to risk their money in complete experimental music, even when that might have meant no extra income. Approaches of sometimes the same companies is very different nowadays.
Deutschrock, Polit Rock, Teutonic Music :
All terms used for German speaking rock.  You can read more about them on my separate page about Deutschrock.
Cosmic Music :
Thanks to the freedom some groups received from the label a new music form had been born in Germany, stimulated by Dr.Timothy Leary, electronic music with in the beginning mostly groups around Klaus Schulze (Ash Ra Temple, Tangerine Dream, Cosmic Jokers), or other groups from Köln.

If you're looking for experimental and adventurous progressive music with lots of instruments, with some contemporary music ideas involved, but still very structured, this is without being Avant Garde or dark and unclear, Krautrock might be your thing. This might be as far as Pop Music went in the seventies. Rarely any item from another country crossed the same lines. Of course there exist exceptions. Some similar products are added at the end of this page.

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GENERAL LINKS

The german Krautrock encycl.: http://tmachine.chat.ru/germ/Gerind.htm
Another resume of a complete encyclopedy ("a Crack in the Cosmic Egg") at http://myweb.tiscali.co.uk/ultimathule/krautrockers.html
German Rock list (from http://www.germanrock.de/) you can see listed at 
http://www.germanrock.de/navigation/lexikon/lexikon.htm
German Rock review pages (with many Krautrock sound files) at
http://mitglied.tripod.de/MartinPruckner/
with an impressive list of Krautrock bands links at
http://mitglied.tripod.de/prucknermartin/bands.html and labels that have Krautrock on one page : http://mitglied.tripod.de/prucknermartin/labels.html
Another encyclopedy with some soundfiles etc. : http://www.krautrockgroup.com/main.html
with audiofragments : http://www.krautrockgroup.com/PASTUPDATES.html
Some more Krautrock pages at : http://pages.unisonfree.net/midsuffolk/ or http://www.krautrock.org.uk/ and
http://www.phinnweb.com/krautrock/ and http://www.krautrock.com/
and http://www.krautrockseite.de/
Article : http://www.sci.fi/~phinnweb/krautrock/mojo-krautrock.html
Some reviews : http://www.thesoundprojector.com/exc_krautrock.html
Other page : http://members.tripod.com/~septimus7/musique.html
Italian Krautrock page http://digilander.iol.it/krautprogrock/
French Krautrock page : http://neospheres.free.fr/kraut/
Another Krautrock page : http://www.amaule.fsnet.co.uk/
(A plain list of German Rock releases with label index you'll find at
http://www.electric-orange.com/kraut/)
A few more groups (underlined ones have reviews) at http://gnosis2000.net/ratingscountry_ger1.htm
Some reviews of important items in Spanish at http://www.progresiva70s.com/krautrock.htm
A Krautrock label with some info about Krautrock in German : http://www.krautopia.com
Deutschrock (being (progressive) rock in German language) groups and links are listed on my Deutschrock page
The Folk related prog items I did gave also a seperate page about
German prog, psych and acid folk with some cover scans, lots of links.
The same items are listed here with a few remarks too :

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SELECTION OF A FEW SPLENDID ITEMS,
AND INTERESTING GROUPS :
(mostly Krautrock, some German Rock, but I've added the interesting Prog Folk too):
-(not updated since 2002)-:

A
ACHIM REICHEL
A very good dance like psychedelic album is "Echoes aus Zeiten der grünen Reise".
AMON DÜÜL
A commune based underground experimental group. Most of their music is hardly to listen to. Poor quality recordings, very dark experimental. Only one acoustic item, "Paradieswärts", some psychedelic acid folk I can recommend. The later project under that name are more alternative pop. Not really interesting.
(http://www.furious.com/perfect/amonduul.html)
AMON DÜÜL II
One of the most advanced and interesting German groups and a brooding source of ideas. Acoustic /electric contrasts (sitar/electric/acoustic guitar/electronic sounds/weird voices, song and instrumentals). From second record until Wolf city are highly recommended. "Wolf City" is the most easy, song record with still all experimental ideas integrated. Also "Vive la Trance" is more easy. "Yeti" and "Dance of the Leminghs" and "Wolf City" are classics. With lots of group changes they later they repeated themselves. All albums until "Vive la Trance" are worth to trace, even the outtake album "Utopia". (http://www.andygilham.com/amonduul2/ad2.htm)
Here's some webpage : http://home.c2i.net/dreambox/
ANNEXUS QUAM
Osmose is beautiful more quiet Kraut improvisation.
ASHRA TEMPLE
There are nice tracks of cosmic music on most of the albums. This was one of Klaus Schulze's first groups. "Join Inn" contains a beautiful Cosmic Music electronic track with spoken word combined. "Swingungen" and the first album are very good as well. "Starring Rosi", very different, this time with songs is a very beautiful album. Also later recordings must be very fine. (http://www.ashra.com/)
B
BRAINSTORM
Canterbury inspired group.
BRAINTICKET
'Cottonwoodhill" is as far as psychedelica can go. Based upon a 'bad trip', recorded as if it was real. (Comparable are the following experiments : "The Visitations" of White Noise (on "Electric Storm", US/UK) and fragments of Fifty Foot Hose : Cauldron
(US). "Psychonout" is more acoustic, loose ideas but very good.  "Celestial Ocean" is based upon the Tibetan Book of the Dead" into music. Not very easy, but interesting. "Voyage" and "Adventure" are interesting later recorded tracks. "Adventure part 1" for instance is mostly based upon Indonesian gamelan with electronics.
BRÖSELMACHINE
Very beautiful recommended psych folk album. One track with sitar. I wish I knew their other album. There are relations with the acoustic Hölderlin's Traum album.
C
CAROL OF HARVEST
Beautiful acid folk album with long tracks.
COSMIC CORRIDORS
Somewhat like a more simplified Tangerin Dream/Ashra Temple it contains also some beautiful spoken word with electronics on one track.
COSMIC JOKERS
"Planeten Sit-in" and"Cosmic Jokers" are highly recommended cosmic Kraut (Ash Ra Temple,..remix) albums from 1971.
CAN
A group who had its own studio very soon to make experimental recordings of of Free music ideas, psychedelic, ethnic/contemporary Classic combinations etc.
"Tago Mago" is regarded as a classic. I prefer "Future Days" and "Unlimited edition". I did not hear all their records yet. (http://www.spoonrecords.com/sitemap.html)
D
DEUTER
Where he evolved into a New Age Bagwan admirer, he started with a very good and interesting experimental psychedelic record, recorded completely on his own (with electronic,percussion, sitar etc.) : "D".
DEUTSCHE AMERIKANISCHE FREUNDSCHAFT
They started with a very experimental record (psychedelic improvisation, cut off to shorter pieces). Later the duo evolved to DAF, a very known underground new wave formation, very different in style.
DOM
Accoustic trip. Very experimental and beautiful.
DZYAN
Prog jazzrock and Krautrock improvisation. On "Electric Silence" some tracks are with sitar, some with a beautiful experimental base line (comparable with the base in the beginning of Goblin's "Suspiria").
E
EBERHARD SCHOENER
I know he must have more nice cosmic music albums. I have only "Bali Agung", with Indonesian influences. Some tracks are good.
EDGAR FROESE
He has some very nice, relaxed Cosmic Music LP's, compairable with the most accessble Klaus Schulze releases.
EMBRYO
Highly recommended are "Rache" in heavy and Jethro Tull inspired prog style,the more prog rock (but with jazz elements too) album "Opal" and the more warm jazzy prog "Steig aus" and "Rocksession" (with Mal Waldron). Also "Reise" is very noteworthy for the tremendous Indian Prog Fusion tracks. (http://www.embryo.de/)
EMTIDI
"Saat" definitely is a classic. Prog acid folk in style, but now progressive because of the lots of mellotron added. The first album is much more basic acid folk in style. But that one contains a few beautiful drug inspired psych folk tracks too.
ERNST SCHULTZE
One of the more interesting Deutschrock albums is "Paranoia Picknick" .
F
FIT AND LIMO
New psych folk group. Recommended is "Folly is an endless maze" ("Angel Gopher" and "Autre Monde", "This Moment") is Incredible String Band style. "Serpent Unrolled" is still somewhat in that style. Now they are devoping into new more modern trance and beyond territory. See my seperate page about Fit & Limo.
FLUTE & VOICE
They made three records in sitar/guitar fusion style. The first one is the best one, but there are nice sitar tracks on the other 2 albums. (http://aedv.cs.tu-berlin.de/~brandeis/f_and_v.html)
G
G.Ä.A.
I did not hear their first record yet. "Auf Der Bahn zum Uranus" first 10 minute track is beautiful cosmic, with spoken word.
GILA
Except for intro track first record is classic in composition, concept with lots of elements. The second with Florian Fricke from Popol Vuh is more folk inspired, with mellotron. I reviewed this at the native influences page.
GILLES ZEITSCHIFF
A site project from Cosmic Jokers,Ash Ra Temple around Timothy Leary. Mixes from Ash Ra Temple albums with some spoken word mixes.
GROBSCHNITT
I especially like the first album, somewhat Canterbury/symphonic inspired, especially the 14 minute "Symphony" track.
GURNEMANZ
Very much UK folkrock styled (Fairport Convention/Mandy Morton). "No rays of noise"cd reissue contains beautiful tracks.
GURU GURU
More blues kraut improvisation, not so inventive as others of top Krautrock groups. UFO is interesting. See also Kickbit Information.
H
HÖLDERLIN
Most albums are more improvised, but "Traum" is a classic psych folk album with prog passages with nice flute, prog rock.
HÖLDERLIN EXPRESS
Based upon traditional folk the group's "Electric Flies" album is interesting.
I
J
K
KALACAKRA
"Crawling to Lhasa" is a psych folk acid strange item, worth to discover.
KARLHEINZ STOCKHAUSEN
I am absolutely sure in the 21st century they will regard him as the most important contemporary composer of the 20st century. He adapted everything that was discoverd in music so far, he followed electronic music from its pioneer days. Stockhausen is lso a very important influence on Krautrock. His work from the seventies and after that is the most interesting. His recordings are not so known because he still sels most of them only privately. My favorite are "Stimmung" (second version),"Singcircle" and his opera "Sammstag aus Licht".
(http://www.stockhausen.org/)
KICKBIT INFORMATION
"Bitkicks" is the best recording from the Guru Guru related products. Unfortunately the recording quality was bad. I hope they remaster this with no noise system,.. one day to get this back right.
KLAUS SCHULZE
Electronic music and Cosmic music pioneer. "Blackdance" contains also some acoustic elements. I also like some tracks on "Cyborg" very much. On "X" he did fine experiments of orchestra/electronic music. (http://www.klaus-schulze.com/)
KRAFTWERK
They started with Jazz improvisations (somewhat psychedelic repetitive, under the name Organisation) to evolve towards very experimental recordings with electronica combined with a progressive band, making with 1 and 2 standards of their time. The group is mostly known for their Futuristic Pop experiments after that (concepts around modern train, concept of driving on a highway, around computer (sounds), a concept of electronic 3-dimentional sound on "El.Café" -that became a source for inspiration for decades),.. All the time they continued renewing music, even in the Pop Music period. Only their latest item is not that interesting.
(http://www.kraftwerk.com/)
L
LANGSYNE
Beautiful Psych folk item with some sitar, Medieval elements.
LIED DES TEUFELS
Some good bluesy rock Deutschrock tracks on their only album.
LIGHTSHINE
Still did not figure out if this fragile psychedelic song band had a very good release or not. It's not essential, but I believe it's just good.
M
MANUEL GÖTTSCHING
(Manuel Göttsching came from Ash Ra Temple) The "E2-E4" album sound as a trance electro album from this century, but it's actually from '81. Interesting.
METABOLISMUS
New Krautrock group. I reviewed their latest item at my review page.
O
OUGENWEIDE
A very underestimated band. Unique in the same way Pentangle,Mallicorne are unique. Very much German Mediaval music inspired, but folkrock. All albums until "Freijheit" are very good. "Ohrenschmausen" and "Eulenspiegel" are my favourite.
Strangely enough none of the albums ever made it officially to a CD reissue. If you like Gryphon's first albums try to find Ougenweide too and you'll be surprised.
P
PARZIVAL
"Barock" is much more 70's Pop Rock mostly with flute than folk as they say. "Parzival" is a very good album, this is in a more UK prog folk style. The CD contains a very good long improvisation track. ( http://www.siems.de/parzival/Index5.htm)
POL
New group. "Transomuba" contains incredible paddages of combinations of all what happened in German Prog history. But be careful. I heard an awful soundscapes from other albums too. Responsible is Marcus Schmickler. His solo album "Onea Gako" is also like this. Lots of contrasts. Very good.
POPOL VUH
Unique group with meditative capacities without being New Age at all from Florian Fricke. I posess the complete collection except for his later work from his son. Recommended starters are "Florian Fricke" as introduction, "Einsjäger & Siebejäger" for prog rock group item, "Sei Still,wisse ich bin" for impressive choir based work, "Hosianna Mantra" (and "Tantric Songs") for meditative works. Also "Nosferatu" is special. I only don't like his two first titles so much and two last titles.
R
RIFF AND THE MAD HATTERS GARDEN BAND MACHINE
First album is mostly acoustic psych, with small Gong like songs. Second album is more UK psych. (http://www.psychedelic-music.net/shops/stono/index.php4 from stonorecords.com)
RUFUS ZUPHALL
"Weiss der Teufel" contains some heavy tracks with flute blowing away Jethro Tull. "Phallopst" is more song orientated prog rock and is very good too.
S
SIGMUND SNOPEK III
The album "Who's afraid of Virginia Woolfe" not really in German style, but more American ? is a very interesting release. His work after that not perticularely.
SILOAH
First record is in "Paradieswärts" style from Amon Düül. Sukram Gurk" is more original Kraut improvisation with organ,..
SPACECRAFT
Good cosmic Krautproject from 1978.
T
TANGERINE DREAM
Cosmic electronic music, mostly appreciated and known for their first records.
"Electronic Meditation",their first is most experimental and still somewhat out of rock improvisation, more than electronic music,and is very interesting.
(http://www.tangerinedream.de/)
U
ULI TREPTE
A good recording session from Guru Guru's Uli Trepte was from 1974, on cd with Guru Guru. Unfortunately the recording quality is not the best.
V
VARIOUS ARTISTS
A very good compilation of Krautrock is "Kraut Demonsd Kraut" with rare tracks.
W
WALLENSTEIN
"Blitzkrieg" starts with an unbelievable heavy track drum/keybords etc. with lots of notes. Uncomparable except with some Italian symphonic music.
WITHÜSER & WESTRUPP
Psych folk duo. "Trips und Träume" contains long psych folk trip songs. "Bauerplath" is only very good for it's beautiful long fairytale song. "Der Jesus Pilz" is a concept around a book that acclaims that the Bible is all about drugs. Very funny (and rewarded by the church at that time !) and very nice. For the (very good) solo work of Bernd Witthüser : "Lieder von Vampiren,Nonnen und Toten", a concept with literature into music with humoristic approach of ssw folk songs about vampires and death it's better to understand German for it.
(example :  http://www.babyblaue-seiten.de/bands/witthueserwestrupp.html)
X
XHOL CARACAN
"Motherfuckers gmbh" has a very beautiful unearthly organ improvisation track.
Their album "Electrip" is incredible Canterbury styled. Highly recommended.
Reviews and playlist on next review page
Y
YATHA SIDHRA
"A meditation Mass" is a fine psychedelic meditative work.
Z


SOME KRAUTROCK INSPIRED GROUPS
AND INTERESTING KRAUTROCK INSPIRED ITEMS
FROM OTHER COUNTRIES (much more will be added later) :

GNOMUS
New group from Finland. See my review at new Finnish items.
MUSHROOM
New Krautrock inspired group with more stretched instrumental tracks.
May be "Analog Hi-Fi surprise" is their best.










links updated 2003-10-07

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related pages :
Go to reviews of new German (re)issues
Go to Deutschrock page
Go to German Prog Folk page