KRAUTROCK 75: FIVE KRAUTROCK ALBUMS FROM 1975
by Carlos M. Pozo, Angbase #1, Fall 1997
The impetus for this article was provided by several things - first is the fact the word "Krautrock" is being so widely used in the indie-pop world. Second is a quote by Lester Bangs from his book "Psychotic Reactions and Carburetor Dung". It first appeared in an article title "Kraftwerkfeature" in Creem magazine on September 1975:
"...'Where is rock going?' 'It's being taken over by the Germans and the machines', I unhesitatingly answered. And this I believe to my funky soul."
It's hard to remember it now but it wasn't that long ago (mainly the pre-CD Eighties) that Krautrock was pretty much snickered at whenever it was mentioned. Kraftwerk and Can had become quirky old "kraut" (and here I use the term in its most derogatory form) fools and their music deemed pointlessly slick and mechanical. You could always find Amon Düül's godawful later material in the bargain bins. Tangerine Dream was doing soundtracks to mediocre movies. Big Black covered Kraftwerk's "The Model" with a gleam of tired irony usually reserved for the Carpenters or the Osmonds. Now, every German band who ever released a rock album in the Seventies is proclaimed as being Krautrock. Everyone defines Krautrock differently - to some it simply means German rock music of the Seventies. To others it means Progressive German Rock, to others still it only applies to Faust and Can, or only the Kosmische groups, like Tangerine Dream and Ash Ra Tempel. It is a vast and difficult thing to define and classify. Two encyclopedic books on the subject have already been published in the UK and have been fairly widely distributed worldwide: THE CRACK IN THE COSMIC EGG by Steve Freeman and Alan Freeman and COSMIC DREAMS AT PLAY by Dag Asbjørnsen. They present the subject from two different perspectives: stoned Rock and Roller record collector (Asbjørnsen), and serious Prog-Rock enthusiasts (the Freemans). Both provide histories of groups and movements the way those histories should be written - in extended book length form. Both of them expand the definition of Krautrock beyond anything previously attempted. This article takes more of the shape of a brief listener's guide. If you want history or discography I doubt anyone could improve on what they have done. I can't imagine anyone interested in good music not owning both books - Wayside in the US sells them both for around $35 each - for the price of five new domestic CD's you could buy them both if you so desired. If you have to only buy one however, you can't go wrong with the Freemans.
I personally consider Krautrock as electronic rock music (with the emphasis on "electronic") - with the addition of Can, Guru Guru and Amon Düül 2 as the token (though by no means traditional and very "electronic" in their own ways) guitar-bass-drums bands. For the purposes of this article I narrow the scope even further. I present five albums, four of which connect with Kraftwerk to some degree, the fifth (Can's "Landed") is like a German pop-cabaret parody of rock and roll music. Dinger and Rother (Neu) were in various of the earliest incarnations of Kraftwerk, with Dinger even making an appearance in their 1970 debut LP. In addition to the personnel overlap (Cluster + Rother = Harmonia), Conny Plank produced or engineered "Neu 75", "Deluxe" and "Zuckerzeit". Can ties into this incestuous group on record only after 1976 - Czukay plays bass on the two Cluster and Eno albums and Conny Plank begins to collaborate with him on various projects (some of which also feature Jaki Liebezeit, and/or both memebers of Cluster) such as the Moebius and Plank LP, on which Holger also contributes bass. Jaki Liebezeit would also collaborate with both members of Neu, first with Rother in a series of LP's beginning with 1977's "Flammende Herzen" and much later in Dinger's 1985 comeback LP "Neondian". Conny Plank deserves some sort of medal for his services - especially in retrospect, his presence in early eighties projects like DAF and the whole Neue Deutsche Welle thing, is as telling as his involvement with the earliest incarnations of Kraftwerk, Neu, Cluster and Guru Guru. He is always there on the heavy electronic releases and later even released some of his own - either he sensed the future or had a good ear for the fat sounds that would always dominate the best Krautrock and beyond musics. Amazingly enough, four of these albums were released in 1975 - with Cluster's "Zuckerzeit" being released just a year previously. The idea that in 1975 you could walk into a hip record store and come out with shiny new copies of all five of these albums is tremendously satisfying. And make no mistake about it - in the US, you could definitely do this - recent correspondence with Archie Patterson, of Eurock magazine and one of the earliest proponents/importers of underground European music in the US, and Ken Golden of the Laser's Edge label/catalog. They were around back then, and they ought to know.
"And then came the late 60s, groups like Cluster, Kraftwerk, Faust etc. I do not mean the shit music of the Cosmic Couriers like Tangerine Dream, Ash Ra Temple or Silly Kids who play Cosmic Music. Cluster and the others fascinated me..."
Asmus Tietchens interview in EST magazine
I think that if we were to honestly try and define the greatest Krautrock groups, you could pare it down to Kraftwerk, Cluster, and their off-shoots and still come up with an impressive list of classic albums. It's a tenuous connection, I know, but with Conrad Schnitzler you can tie both Tangerine Dream and Klaus Schulze to this list. As I see it, noise invention, mostly evident as alien eruptions of electronic fuzz - echoed and reverbed is the hallmark of great Krautrock. I'm sure these groups were not the first to hit on the idea of running a Farfisa through a fuzz box, but they did something new and exciting with those sorts of techniques that did not sound like a novelty pop song, or an academic exercise - maybe they merged those two extremes and created something new - I call THAT Krautrock. Like Schnitzler has demonstrated, a sense of humor is an absolutely necessary thing to possess when listening to these types of records - whether something is funny, or unintentionally funny has never deterred my enjoyment of it, as long as it gives me that tingly pleasure all these five albums do. The main thrust of all this is that Rock music is pop music is popular culture. Krautrock is ROCK music. ROCK music is crazy stupid music for dancing and fighting and fucking to. I don't care how much people say "he studied with Stockhausen" when detailing Can or Kraftwerk's history, I file those bands next to my James Brown, Beach Boys and Blue Cheer records, not Stockhausen or Ligeti or Xenakis. For that reason among others, I'm partial to Kraftwerk - everything they've done has been inspired and worthy, even (or maybe especially) their "pop" records. Their pop records culminating with "Computer Love" are now seen as so deeply influential, people who dismissed them at the time and all through the Eighties might have no choice but to acknowlege their widespread influence if not their greatness. The fact that Kraftwerk's post "Autobahn" albums are so widely available is a great thing - there is no excuse for not owning all of them - the same goes for Can's Virgin era material. All of these late 70's albums have more to do with the contemporary sound of new electronic and "post-rock" groups than the material these bands were releasing early in their careers - there is no reason why anyone should pay 30 dollars for a Japanese version of Harmonia's "Deluxe" without first having acquired all of these albums.
"Have you ever checked Stockhausen's output? About 5 (five) compositions that could be called "electronic", and they were done about 30 to 40 years ago, made with an oscillator or something like this. He did over hundred of other compositions that have no relation whatsoever to electronic music. Besides, what I heard meanwhile, sounds awful to my ears and to most other people's ears. Stockhausen is maybe a good theorist. But, who's listening voluntarily to his actual music, and who "enjoys" it?"
A very kranky Klaus Schulze in an interview in Perfect Sound Forever (http://www.furious.com/perfect/kschulze.html).
NOTE: Faust and Klaus Schulze I left out for widely different reasons. Faust were and are a media sensation group - like the Velvet Underground or Sonic Youth or Throbbing Gristle it takes a great deal of work to separate their musical reality from whatever conceptual thing they are/were going for. Yes, like the Velvets and the Youth they were influential, widely imitated and great. Schulze is another matter entirely - he (and to a similar degree, Tangerine Dream) are certainly monsters of modern music, and deserve quite a bit of adulation. Honestly, Schulze's oeuvre is just too massive to come to grips with, and I thought about including his monumental "X" double LP from 1978 in this article but decided that it did not fit in with the other five. Faust as well deserves their own separate discussion. Popol Vuh, Agitation Free, Conrad Schnitzler, Gila, Ash Ra, yeah yeah yeah.
"When it comes to CAN (a band that I regard highly), I cannot help but feel that they also first tried to copy Anglo-American music, and just because they were not able to do it well (especially because of the awful "German" beat, a typical hindrance of most German bands), whoopie, out came something new. What made them special was that they accepted it and went on to develop this as their "style". Not many groups dared to do this. Those who did are still great today: Tangerine Dream, Kraftwerk."
Klaus D. Müller in Perfect Sound Forever (http://www.furious.com/perfect/krautrock.html).
The backlash has already started - the above quote was taken from an Internet article that pretty much ridicules the whole 90's Krautrock worshipping phenomenon. It's a fairly bitter thing written by a german insider veteran of the seventies rock scene - Müller presents an interesting point of view on the whole Krautrock thing. But he needs to lighten up a bit - it's only rock and roll, like they say...
CAN -"Landed" 1975
The album opener "Full Moon on the Highway" seems almost (gasp) post-modern in its cut-and-paste assemblage of bar-band James Brown-meets-Booker T. rhythm section, ridiculously fuzzed guitar, sped up tape chorus, and Holger's tuneless crazy German professor vocals. It all comes together masterfully, and it swings with a rock'n'roll swagger even if the mix is so clear and separated that it sounds mechanical in a Kraftwerk sense. The weird chipmunk chorus and acid out-of-control guitar adds an (insane) human touch. "Half Past One", "Hunters and Collectors", and "Red Hot Indians" are slightly more controlled pop songs that retain the weird collaged feel of "Full Moon on the Highway" but except for maybe "Hunters and Collectors" seem less deranged. They feature a mix of appropriated "ethnic" rythms and chirpy German melodies, all tied together by the superb mixing and production, which seems intended to confuse, surprise and disorient the listener, and uses the band members (plus a guest on Sax) the way modern music makers use samples and turntables. "Hunters and Collectors" features an opening noise blast (guitar? synth? tape?) that will knock you senseless with its abrasive fury. "Vernal Equinox" is a nearly nine minute monster instrumental with a relentless beat over which the sounds of the band's expert jamming are mixed around with the same dynamic collaged flair that sparks "Full Moon on the Highway". The percussive sounds on this track resemble the sounds of Indonesian gamelan, played with the instantly recognizable panache of Jaki Leibezeit. The closing track, the 13-minute "Unfinished" is a Holger Czukay tape piece that drops the beats and shimmers with a contemporary classical energy on the order of Xenakis, Ligeti or Penderecki, but throws in other elements that add a little humor to the mix. Mainly cheesy submerged melodies and electronic roars, and as the track closes, you can hear the clicks and pops of whatever scratchy record Holger is "sampling". Sounds like a weepy Nino Rota/Morricone string section over a rumbling earthquake. A truly original, exciting album, generally considered to be their last "GREAT" album, it might just be their best as far as I'm concerned, mainly due to the variety of styles displayed, all played (and perhaps more importantly, mixed, produced, and recorded) with a tremendous degree of skill and confidence.
NEU-"Neu 75" 1975
Recorded Dec. 1974 - Jan. 1975
Released Feb. 1975
There is an almost two year gap between Neu 2 and Neu 75 during which Michael Rother recorded an album as Harmonia with Moebius and Rodelius of Cluster. Klaus Dinger on the other hand, started his own label and produced (but did not play in) and released one album for a band called Lilac Angels, which everyone seems to describe as an average "pop-glam" rock group, but which I'd still be curious to some day track down. Klaus also rehearsed with his brother Thomas and drummer Hans Lampe, who did not release any recordings of their own. Somehow Rother, the Dingers and Lampe ended up back at Conny Plank's studio to record this, which would be Neu's final album. The "ambient" aura of Harmonia hovers over this one, but so does a hard (dare I say "punk") Rock and Roll edge evidenced in the tracks "Hero" and "After Eight" (which is basically "Hero" part two). Where it gets complicated is when you logically assume Rother is responsible for the ambience of side one, and Dinger the Rock and Roll swagger of side two. What does one make of Harmonia's "Monza", recorded by Rother, Moebius and Rodelius with Mani Neumeier (who was, incidentally one of several drummers Neu tried to use in live settings) on drums six months after Neu 75? It sounds so much like "Hero" its not diffcult to assume they are the same song, or at the very least, different versions of the same song. So what does this prove? Maybe that the noisy parts of Neu were not just Dinger's doing. Or maybe it explains why Dinger would resent Brian Eno's pronouncement of Harmonia as "the world's most important rock band". Regardless, this is a fine album, better and more cohesive than "Neu 2", and in its own way just as good as "Neu", although its not easy to top that debut. "Isi", the opening track, starts with a pretty melancholy piano line that is a definite departure from the relative harshness of the first two LP's before that classic "Neu" drumbeat kicks in. Is there anything purer or more stunning than that metronomic beat the way Dinger plays it? I don't think so - compare it to the tracks on side two where Thomas D. and Lampe do the drumming and you'll see how much more economical and sparse Klaus Dinger's drumming is. Simple beauty and hypnotic power. The melody line on "Isi", played on acoustic piano as much as drifting synths and lightly strummed guitars is also much more romantic an delicate than their previous work. "Seeland" is a submerged spacy low velocity guitar riff repeated endlessly to hypnotic effect - very Germanic in a sort of heroic way, it sounds less like Neu than it does Pink Floyd (or maybe even those semi-humorous Floyd influenced German bands like Jane, Grobschnitt or Eloy) at their most pretty-melodic. It's mind numbing repetitiveness makes it distinctly Neu, however. "Leb'Wohl" closes side 1 with the sort of naive gospel flavored "blues" tune that the Velvet Underground mastered so well in "Pale Blue Eyes" and "Candy Says". Presumably it is Klaus Dinger doing the distant stoned moaning (or is it singing?) - the sort of sounds a drunk might make crying over his lost life. Aside from the vocals this very beautiful track consists of nothing more than a tape of surf sounds, a metronome, piano and a soft barely audible organ line. The rock tracks on side two are edgier and sweatier, perhaps due to the drummers Thomas D. and Lampe, who play the Neu beat with less machine-like precision than Klaus, and add a little human stutter to the basic beats. The two part "Hero" is a fitting epitaph for Neu's career, carrying within it so many strains of past and future pop music that as a single it would have to be one of the classic artifacts of the seventies underground. It still reminds me of a mechanical abstracted take on the New York Doll's "Mystery Girl". It is powered by a nicely echoed and fuzzy lead guitar riff and Klaus Dingers semi-deranged vocals screaming "I'm just another hero/Riding through the night". "E-Musik" seems to take its piano line from "Sister Ray" as much as anything else, but is a basic rocker with a stuttering rythm and slowly building high pitched echoed and processed guitar/keyboard sounds with an extended ending that reprises the surf and organ line of side 1's "Leb'Wohl" with the addition of extremely slowed down vocals and backwards tape effects. This album, especially side two sets the the stage for the synthetic pop glam romanticism of La Düsseldorf, which is basically the Neu 75 lineup minus Rother. Of the five albums on this list, it sounds more recognizably Rock and Roll, and tracks from it would not sound out of place next to Hawkwind's "Urban Guerrilla", Pink Faeries' "City Kids", or maybe even T-Rex's "Twentieth Century Boy".
Produced by Michael Rother with Conny Plank's assistance. Recorded some time in between the first Harmonia album and Neu 75. A complete shift from their previous output, which was more like a spacier early Kraftwerk with some (gasp) cosmic touches. You would have to assume that this change was due to Rother's influence in their collaboration. Junky chunky drum machines and beautiful melody lines played on synth and guitars dominate this disc. There is a naive beauty to this album (and much of Cluster's output after this) that is very warm and difficult to define. The instrumentation they use is so primitive and odd that the music seems like it should be much more difficult and abrasive than it actually is. As primitive as their techniques are, because modern music has stayed so close to these roots it sounds way more futuristic (or contemporary, if you prefer) than it was probably intended to be. You could play "Caramel" sandwiched between µ-Ziq's "In Pine Effect" and, say, Plastikman and have no one notice the switch in time periods. The very "ambient techno" sounding track "Fotschi Tong" also has a very contemporary sound. The very odd "Rote Riki" sounds like a stuttering Pong game, with some sinister machine clunking in the backgound. "Rotot" also has a video game or cartoon feel, with a speedy little melody and lop-sided drum machine beat. Actually what this album most sounds like is a missing link between Kraftwerk's "Radio-Activity" and "Trans-Europe Express", with the added touch of Cluster's melodic sense, which is innately more listful/romantic than Kraftwerk's self-consciously machine-like tunes. With that in mind, though, they always throw in atonal and seemingly random bleeps and squeals- this is not New Age music. The weirdest track on here is "James", a mechanical nearly bluesy dirge played on echoed (and slowed down?) guitar which, like "Rote Riki" seems to play off the idea of malfunctioning electronics, which nowadays almost seems cliche for electronic music makers. "Marzipan" is a playful little ditty, melancholy in a style further explored on their following (and also very recommended) "Sowiesoso" LP.
The opening track, "Geiger Counter" will have you thinking those enterprising Finns from Panasonic found a time machine and stuck one of their tracks as an intro to this classic album. It evokes the pun of the title - "Radioactivity" playing off "Radio Activity". Oh, those wacky germans. Perhaps their most fragmented disc, this squeezes 12 tracks into a 37 minute album that seems more like a collection of sound snippets than a flowing concept album about Radio and Radiactivity. Of course, that might be part of the concept. The fragmented tracks (especially the opener as well as "Intermission" and "News") bring to mind the hipster sounds of Oval, Microstoria, and the aformentioned Panasonic. Only tracks 2, 3, 4 and 12 break the 4 minute mark, the rest hovering between under a minute to barely three, so a wide variety of odd buzzings and frequencies wash over you for a brief moment before they drift away. It also might be their most primitive, sounding at times more primitive than "Ralf & Florian" and maybe even "Autobahn". The longest tracks get filed away at the beginning of the disc, and its a very low key start - "Radioactivity" and "Radioland" are very slow deliberate songs with haunting melodies and synths that sound like choirs of angels mixed in along with the earthier bleeps and clangs. They seem to float along in slow motion, with the vocals sounding strangely distant, perhaps slowed down. Those two slow tracks lead into "Airwaves", which is one of Kraftwerk's fastest songs, and it is a very contemporary sounding thing - perhaps contemporary is the wrong word, since it sounds as much like Depeche Mode as it does Drexciya, or as much as the second Suicide LP as it does any number of analog happy recent groups. The middle section of that song, where the shuffling drum machine is accompanied by what sounds like a shortwave radio is one of Kraftwerk's best moments- danceable, melodic, otherwordly, and great. The tracks from "Intermission" to "Transistor" are some of the most "plinky-plonky" (not really "kling-klang"-y) they've ever recorded, and sound at times more like video game background music and sound effects than their later music ever did. Among those though, there are some pop nuggets - "Antenna" features a great moronic catchy chorus ("I'm the antenna/Catching vibration/You're the transmitter/Give Information!")and some neat synth bleeps and echoed percussion sounds. "Radio Stars" has an insistent (and somewhat abrasive) shortwave sound pattern over which vocoder vocal effects and looped words are played - very tranced out and psychedelic in execution. The closing track is the very Germanic sounding "Ohm Sweet Ohm", which opens like a weepy robotic waltz, and gradually speeds up to a near Neu-metronomic beat. Very pretty melody too. This album is the bridge between their experimental records and their pop records- it retains the abrasive edge of their first 3 LP's while beginning to find their signature futuristic machine-pop style, which although highly developed already on tracks like "Antenna", is only attained to perfection two years later on the "Trans-Europe Express" album.
HARMONIA - "Deluxe" 1975
Recorded June 1975
This sounds like a pop (partly vocal) take on the themes developed on their first album and consequently sounds like a more cosmic Kraftwerk somewhere between "Radio-Activity" and "Trans-Europe Express". Not that they stole anything from Kraftwerk - this album, released the same year as "Radio-Activity" is more polished and self-confident than anything Kraftwerk did before at least 1977's "Trans-Europe Express". And at least on this release their melodic sense is just as hook-happy as anything Kraftwerk ever concocted. It sounds pretty fine too - some wide open cosmic synthscapes, endlessly echoed fuzz guitars from Rother and crisp drum machine sounds, carefully laid onto tape by these sonic magicians under the helpful able eyes of Mr. Conny Plank, who co-produced and engineered. The key word here is crisp - sound wise this stacks up nicely with any contemporary recording. The nearly ten minute long opening track "Deluxe (Immer Wieder)" is a nearly perfect cosmic synth-pop hybrid, starting out with a very catchy melody and harmony chanted vocals from the boys before the percolating drum machines give way to the floating synths. The sort of thing Sonic Boom was going for in the first two Spectrum albums. "Walky Talky" is a serene exploration of subtle echoed drums and woozy endless guitars with yet another catchy melody- the sort of thing Manuel Göttsching would so effortlessly toss out just a couple of years later. It peaks nicely for about ten minutes of tranced out day-dreaming. "Monza" starts very electronic and mysterious until Mani Neumeier joins in on drums and it develops into what is basically Neu's "Hero", with the even more stiff germanic vocals of Rother, Moebius and Rodelius. "Notre Dame" is another one of those of drum machine and synth pieces that sound more redolent of the mid 90's than the mid-70's, with a very warm rich and chunky synth sequence as its main theme and a great clunky hissing drum machine that fades out almost completely as the spaced out keyboards take center stage, eventually coming back into the mix as the track ends. "Gollum" is the odd track out here, as indicated by the Tolkien reference. Starts off a bit jazzy perhaps, with a nearly cheesy lounge organ sound under which Mani keeps time effortlessly until a nice high pitched theremin-like tone comes in. Album closer "Kekse" is a delicate set of keyboard patterns looping around a wistful organ ditty - nature sounds drift in (Synthetic Ducks?). As the track fades out, one of those tin-can drum machines klangs away in the backgound as the frogs and ducks grow louder, over which a lone harpsichord (?) plays a regal classical melody. Altogether the album has a melancholy air, which is lightened a bit by the vocals and drums.
POSTSCRIPT: EVERYBODY WANTS TO BE A KRAUT
For some, Krautrock has become merely the bands that Tortoise and Stereolab "ripped their sound off from" - the label "neo-Krautrock" now becomes attached to any rock group using old synths and metronomic beats, the same way the name "Beefheart" is whipped out for any band that has a spastic drummer and scratchy guitar. I've tried to listen repeatedly, but Tortoise just do not strike me as Krautrock derived or maybe even inspired. When I say they sound like Pylon, Love Tractor, and the cheesy keyboard sounds of mediocre early 80's jazz fusion I'm not being totally sarcastic. Love Tractor covered Kraftwerk's "Neon Lights" as I recall, so even they were aware of the classic German groups - their sound seems to me as Krautrock influenced as Tortoise's, which is to say, not very much. This whole indie-pop neo-Krautrock thing (sometimes also called Space Rock?), has more in common with mid 80's groups like My Bloody Valentine, Spacemen 3, New Zealand groups on the Flying Nun and Xpressway labels, Crystallized Movements, UK "Shoegazer" bands and the whole of the limp 4AD label than any Krautrock group except perhaps for the stolen drum beats from Neu or Can. Crystallized Movements, especially, sounded back in the mid 80's about as close to what the average Kranky label signee sounds like today. Bardo Pond, the Kranky label, the soon to be canonized Flying Saucer Attack and literally hundreds of others have all taken two things from all the above mid-80's bands that makes them nearly unlistenable to my ears: the hazy whispered vocals of MBV, 4AD, "Shoegazer" bands and Xpressway label groups, coupled with the lazy basically drummer-less aproach of Spacemen 3, or Crystallized Movements. Hazy and Lazy. Which brings us to Stereolab. Actually maybe it's just the ladies or the French influence but they're pretty cool.
Loner outsider groups of the Seventies, whose story still remains largely untold, were the first to borrow from these German groups. In the US you could mention the Cleveland groups (Pere Ubu and many, many others) in the midwest, Smegma and the LAFMS on the West Coast, and (perhaps best known) Suicide on the East Coast. In Europe, the French group Heldon were a rough contemporary of the German groups and deserve an article to themselves; slightly later in England there was This Heat, Cabaret Voltaire and Throbbing Gristle, although their fame and fortune quickly spiralled out of the scope of these other outfits. These groups were all Krautrock aware and shared (besides the air of depravity and drugged out madness) a concern for futuristic pop music - a music for the NOW without the hippie nostalgia and bland complacement that affected the mainstream music scene on both sides of the Atlantic at the time. In the very late Seventies - early Eighties when some of this music was reissued (Faust's exact reissues on Chris Cutler's Recommended Records, Can's "Cannibalism" compilation of their early material on their own Spoon label, Neu on a double album that included their first two albums - all of which I bought around 81-82 AFTER Throbbing Gristle/Cabaret Voltaire/SPK whetted my appetite for weird electronic musics - those were the days, eh?) this music's fuzzy alien rumblings and hot crackling electronics made a distinct impact on forward looking musicians and listeners around the globe. This interest was propelled by bands as distinct and disparate as Dome, Sonic Youth, Einstürzende Neubauten, SPK, DAF and a whole mess of underground "industrial" groups who were certainly touched by that Krautrock spirit and were all releasing their debut recordings at very roughly the same time. Of that list, perhaps Dome made the best music, and were distinct in that because they were older (already in their 30's when they started in Wire) and probably experienced the Krautrock phenomenon as it happened. Their music today sounds fresh and exciting, and, I venture to say, very worthy of being lumped somewhere between Faust, Kraftwerk and Neu without devolving into some sort of nostalgia or tribute group (they were certainly of their time) or aiming for the top of the college radio charts, like some of the more recent groups.
THE CRACK IN THE COSMIC EGG by Steve Freeman and Alan Freeman
COSMIC DREAMS AT PLAY by Dag Asbjørnsen
OCEAN OF SOUND by David Toop
PSYCHOTIC REACTIONS AND CARBURETOR DUNG by Lester Bangs
Various Internet sources, most of them available through Erkki Rautio's essential Krautrock @ pHinnWeb site: http://www.sci.fi/~phinnweb/krautrock/
Copyright © 1997 Carlos M. Pozo < firstname.lastname@example.org >.
Krautrock @ pHinnWeb