Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Music From Around the World: Krautrock Edition!

So, you think you know music huh? When you hear the word Krautrock, what comes to mind? If you answered Kraftwerk, you would be partially right, but also really, really, really lame. So put down that TI-83, nerds, and get ready to expand some horizons.

Krautrock was born in West Germany, and is characterized by a mix of repetitive jazz-based bass lines, psychedelic guitar, and very prominent drum section. Like many things, this genre was brought into the world scene by the great DJ, John Peel in the early 1970s.

Some of the most accessible music was made by a band named Can. Their album Tago Mago is arguably their magnum opus; and stands as a great example about what to expect from the genre.

Click here to listen to a song by Can

Next up comes the inevitable Faust namedrop. I dig them, but some of their records are pretty unlistenable. Great if you like ambient music, psy-rock or just a fan of some good, old fashion noise!

Click here to listen to a song by Faust

And finally, my personal favorite out of the bunch; Neu! Their self titled album has been in rotation on my driving playlist for years now and I don't see it coming off any time soon. Elements of free-jazz, psychedelic guitars, and Prog-rock are all here, and yet this music doesn't come off as pretentious! A.K.A. They are like Dream Theatre without sucking and much more creativity.

Click here to listen to a song by Neu!

If these songs have enticed you to check out krautrock, here is a sampling of some great bands over the years:

Walter Wegmuller-Ambient/pop
La Dusselfort-Upbeat/popish
Kraftwerk-Token Kraftwerk post/Trans.Euro.Expresssss
Harmonia-Nice keyboard work/very laidback
Guru Guru-Very similar to Can/excellent vocals
Grobschnitt-Fast, technical guitar work
Amon Duul-Harder rock than most Krautrock

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