The Sentinel

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Category Archives: Krautrock

Kraftwerk – Köln II (1971)

The birth of NEU!, live on German TV back in 1971.


Faust – Excerpt from Side A of “The Faust Tapes”

This 1973 album did not have a track list when it came out, and one seems to have been made retrospectively. Now here at The Sentinel, we would hardly describe ourselves as “purists”; however, these tracks titles that were added many years later (or were they?) don’t really add to the experience, so we could just say this is the section on Side A that starts with rummaging, walking around, and the sound of an automated telephone message, before launching into (Kraut) funky bass and drums and electric drill accompaniment; which fizzes into insanity before a fog of organs descends upon the listener. Next is some spooky ghost howling before a buzzing raw motorik number (recorded in a dustbin) fucks your ears. Then we have lush, prog frills that can bring a smile to the most jaded music fan, before the track falls apart into erratic noodling, then…..drifting on a ferry on a pitch black misty lake.


Amon Düül II – Yeti Talks to Yogi

A track that starts where the previous one on the album left off, ‘Yeti Talks To Yogi’ starts off as all expansive space (Kraut) rock, before the track becomes scattered and the listener is lost in a multitude of murky, psychedelic pathways. This is, of course, off of the almighty slab of psychedelic rock that is the 1970 album ‘Yeti’.

Faust – Miss Fortune

Faust’s debut album was a dizzying collage of avant-rock, noise, freak folk, and everything in between; it was certainly radical at the time, and would still unsteady the uninitiated to this very day. The third track, which covered the whole of side B, continued in this cut up style, and takes the listener on a journey through the 1971 German underground. One minute you feel like you’re walking through a beautiful meadow, only to suddenly be confronted by a hideous industrial structure belching smoke. Also, check the section where the band clearly took direct inspiration from the Velvet Underground’s ‘The Murder Mystery’.

Can – Mother Sky

A huge motorik monolith from the Cologne Krautrock darlngs. A classic track from the 1970 album ‘Soundtracks’.

“I say madness is too pure like Mother Sky”.

Cluster – Im Süden

An outfit who liked to push their mostly electronic setup into the outer limits, there never was much ‘Rock’ in Clusters Krautrock. This track is from their amazing second album ‘Cluster II’, which is jam packed with spaced, throbbing electronics, with
this  particular track featuring treated guitar; and what could be a cello along with various analogue synthesizers.
These guys were heavyweights and true pioneers of electronic music. What was even more brilliant about these guys is that they were doing this in their 40’s; which kinda puts them up there with James Brown.

Can – Moonshake

We honour Holger Czukay, who sadly passed away, with this mantric, propulsive banger from Can’s 1973 album ‘Future Days’.

Kraftwerk – Heavy Metal Kids

This is from the 1st phase of Kraftwerk, where they sounded like NEU! as imagined by Faust (the NEU! connection was obviously due to the fact that Klaus Dinger and Michael Rother were the rhythmic backbone of this incarnation). This is from some live material from 1971, about a year after they released their absolutely stunning debut album on Phillips; and is definitely in the same vein. Ralf Hütter was taking a break around this time, so this is essentially NEU! with Florian Schneider. (Kraut) Rock on!

Faust – Hurricane

Stomping Avant-Rock from the German Daddies of the “genre”, which is from their great 1997 album ‘You Know Faust’; an album that felt more like the return of Faust than their reformation ‘debut’, 1995’s ‘Rien’.

Guru Guru – Meaning of Meaning

Some spaced out “hairy” Kraut from the bands 1971 album ‘Hinten’. This band are much maligned by the Kosmische elitists (all praise Can/Faust/NEU!/Cluster/Kraftwerk), but their early albums, whilst not reaching the heights of aforementioned A listers, are certainly not in the realms of Jane, Birth Control, et al. This is still more Kraut than Blues Rock etc. Dive in.

Laurence Johns

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