Krautrock: German Music in the Seventies
Krautrock is a catch-all term for the music of various white German rock groups of the 1970s that blended influences of African American and Anglo-American music with the experimental and electronic music of European composers. Groups such as Can, Popol Vuh, Faust, and Tangerine Dream arose out of the German student movement of 1968 and connected leftist political activism with experimental rock music and, later, electronic sounds. Since the 1970s, American and British popular genres such as indie, post-rock, techno, and hip-hop have drawn heavily on krautrock, ironically reversing a flow of influence krautrock originally set out to disrupt.
Among other topics, individual chapters of the book focus on the redefinition of German identity in the music of Kraftwerk, Can, and Neu!; on community and conflict in the music of Amon Düül, Faust, and Ton Steine Scherben; on “cosmic music” and New Age; and on Donna Summer’s and David Bowie’s connections to Germany. Rather than providing a purely musicological or historical account, Krautrock discusses the music as being constructed through performance and articulated through various forms of expressive culture, including communal living, spirituality, and sound.
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The Recordings of Can Kraftwerk and Neu
The Communes of Amon Düül Faust and Ton Steine Scherben
The kosmische Musik of Tangerine Dream Ash Ra Tempel Klaus Schulze and Popol Vuh
Popol Vuhs Soundtracks for Werner Herzog
Donna Summers Sound of Munich and David Bowies Berlin Trilogy
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African American Aguirre album cover ambient Amon Düül Amon Düül II Anglo-American artists Ash Ra Tempel Autobahn band band’s bass beat became Bowie’s British Can’s collaborations communal cosmic culture David Bowie debut deterritorialized disco Donna Summer double album drums Düsseldorf electric guitar electronic European experimental Faust featured Fitzcarraldo Froese Germany’s Giorgio Moroder globalization Göttsching Guru Harmonia Herzog’s films Holger Czukay hybrid Ibid influences instrumental jazz keyboards Klaus Dinger Klaus Schulze kosmische Musik Kraftwerk krautrock krautrock groups later living Love machine Macht major melodies Michael Rother Moog Moroder’s movie Munich musicians Nazi Neue Deutsche Nosferatu Pitchfork played political Popol Vuh popular music psychedelic rock punk Quoted recorded released rhythm Rio Reiser rock music scene Schulze’s side singing sonic sound soundtrack spirituality Steine Scherben studio synthesizer Tangerine Dream themes title track Ton Steine Scherben traditional transnational vocals Vuh’s Werner Herzog West Berlin West German