Sunday, 4 May 2008

Krautrock Sampler

I have now finished all 4000 words of my hippy project, which is satisfying. I still have another politics essay to go, but let's forget about that for now. This post is going to be highlighting the best tracks from the 6 disc Krautrock compilation for my birthday. If you're into your Krautrock already, but are struggling where to look next, this compilation gives you tracks from all sorts of weird and wonderful bands allowing you to find out where to go next. It's also excellent for total newbies to the genre. I am not going to recommend Can, Faust, Cluster, Harmonia or Guru Guru, who all appear on here, because we all know they are fantastic anyway and should be purchased by anyone trying to get in Krautrock. Also, buy Neu! and Amon Duul II, two not included on this compilation, but I think that is a given already. Anyway then, here goes.

1. Birth Control - The Work is Done

This is a good repetitive tune. based around something resembling a bluesy bass line, weird guitar noises circulate for around 2 minutes, then a wonderfully strange organ led jazzy freak out kicks in, which is rather cool. Cocktail piano solo's and guitar noodling, but much better than that description sounds.

2. Os Mundi - Question of Decision

A nice long freak out, that doesn't change a great deal, but builds up and up based around a chord pattern. Really cool.

3. Lava - Tears are Going Home

The guitar sound at the start is fucking cool. Dirty sounds and solid heavy drums. Two chords. Brilliant. Hawkwind-esque is probably the best description I can give it, and that is a very high compliment indeed. It has the spacey electronics floating around it too, and is loose enough to sound perfectly at home on 'Space Ritual'.

4. Electric Sandwich - China

Drums lead this track round 8 minutes of swirl and noises. Excellent Krautrock.

5. Frumpy - How the Gipsy Was Born

Deep Purple esque track, rocks out this one. Not what you would expect from Krautrock bands, but good none the less.

6. Kin Ping Meh - Fairy-Tales

This is a cool tune, reminds me of bands like The Open Mind, that late 60's psychedelic heavy rock, but this time drawn out for near enough 10 minutes, rather than sitting constrained in a 3 minute pop song.

7. Klaus Shulze - Mental Door

Klaus Shulze is a krautrock legend, having played drums on the first Tangerine Dream album, as well as helping out the self-titled Ash Ra Tempel. This is from his solo career, and is synthesiser led, and is 22 minutes of experimentation. Cool. The photo at the start of this post is Shulze, how cool is that picture?

8. Sperrmuell - No Freak Out

The sound of a fantastic band jamming out a riff, with effects thrown all over the recording, on the guitars, the drums, everywhere. Sounds lively and has a belting repetitive bass and drum groove leading the way. It of course freaks out, regardless of the title.

9. Lucifer's Friend - Lucifer's Friend

Big noisy keyboards and guitars lead the band through 6 minutes of bluesy psychedelic rock. Guaranteed to get your hair flying. More straighter edged hard rock than a lot of the stuff on here, but still well worth a listen.

10. La Dusseldorf - Rheinita

A beautifully uplifting synth-led track to end my selections on, lovely. Sounds like Harmonia type stuff, but with slightly more live instruments. Aparrently, La Dusseldorf were a big influence for those krautrock revivalist kids Secret Machines, along with Can.

So there you go, then 10 best tracks that aren't by bands you should already know, or bands that you should buy lots of their stuff. There's also lots more good stuff on here, but I have kept it to one track per bands for eases sake. A pretty damn good compilation overall.

Currently listening to Rheinita by La Dusseldorf

Sonic Sam

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