mercredi, décembre 31, 2008

SIGNAL, Waves+Lines (1997)

Good EP released by Raster-Noton in the 1995 / 2000 minimal wave - a very accessible entry for those who are afraid by "minimalism".
Find it here.

ELLI & JACNO, Boomerang (pop, 1982)

As all the old links (on the shitty MassMirror server!) are dead, here's a new link for this LP-Rip of a french pop classic album that has never been released on CD (am I wrong?).
Here it is.

dimanche, décembre 28, 2008

ZWEISTEIN, Trip - Flipout -Meditation (krautrock, 1970)

"Krautrock" electronic soundscapes / experimentations in the same mood as SCHNITZLER / early CLUSTER. Only for the fans of this kind of music, the others may find this double LP really boring... I confess now that I'm not sure I should have posed it any more, but as I've made the job, here it is!

CONRAD SCHNITZLER, Rot (1972, Experimental Krautrock)

By request.
Not my favourite kind of krautrock. It's basically two long drone-like pieces based on early synths radical experimentations. Obviously, it's not the best way to discover krautrock, but it's interesting for all those who like early (or pre-) industrial music.
Maybe, some of you know the first CLUSTER (and KLUSTER) albums, SCHNITZLER had just left the band in 1972 so "Rot" is not far from these albums.
And it's here.

mercredi, décembre 10, 2008

KRAUTROCK TOP#50 : BRAINTICKET, Celestial Ocean (1973)

At last...
After a much too crazy (and overrated - who's able to listen to side A at once??) first album, BRAINTICKET added some pop in their craziness, and became more accessible though they kept on experimenting. It's especially true on the 3rd album, "Celestial Ocean", even if some tracks may appear a bit too pretentious (in the typical 70s too serious style). It's hard to describe : not far from AMON DÜÜL II, with plenty of eastern instruments but more electronic, with vintage synths and organs, and softer too. Well, I'm happy to end this selection with such an abum, because actually it's really good.
As it's short, you'll find on this link the 2nd album "Psychonaut" too, it's less adventurous and less surprising, but good too.

Thanks to all the readers who've been following this basic krautrock selection for so many weeks (sorry for those who are not interested in it!). Of course, I could have posted many more albums, but it was not my goal. Nevertheless, if you've heard about one album you'd like to discover, just ask, if I have it I'll try to post it.


Not far from KOLLEKTIV you've found here last week or from ORGANISATION / early KRAFTWERK. Probably a little more repetitive and sometimes tiring, it's a really good album for all the fans of this kind of repetitive and motorik krautrock. It seems they made only one album.
Sorry, it's only a 128 kbps CD rip, and it's here.

vendredi, décembre 05, 2008


One may think that the only album of this minor band doesn't deserve to be part of this selection. It's a very underground band from the second (and last?) wave of krautrock, and, like PATER NOSTER, SIDDHARTA etc..., let's consider them a "pre-gothic rock" band, as they sound dark and spacey at once.
The music, full of mellotron, moog and organ, + the classic bass / guitar / drums trio, could habe been much better if the male singer "Poseidon" (with such a name...) had sounded better, it's totally shitty. Why couldn't F. singer Pauline Fund sing more? She's really ok and even sometimes moving! Instrumental versions would have been much more interesting, and I'm afraid that most of you won't have the courage to hear more than 1 or 2 minutes. It would be a mistake!
Anyway, you should try, and it's here. (ripped at 192 kbps).


KOLLEKTIV made only one album, but this is a live recording for the radio SWF, it is very similar to the album but sounds even better in my opinion, with longer and spacier tracks.
To describe the music, let's say that it's a kind of groovy KRAFTWERK in their early days (K1, 2 or ORGANISATION), it's fully instrumental and very well produced. A bit too repetitive maybe?
Those who love KRAFTWERK (until 74), CAN and even NEU will probably like it, though KOLLEKTIV is probably not as inventive as them. And here it is (192kbps).
If you like it, check also the S/T album of course - its artwork is far better than this one!!

dimanche, novembre 30, 2008

KRAUTROCK TOP#46 : COSMIC JOKERS, Galactic Supermarket (1973)

Second release of the ultimate cosmic band featuring members of ASH RA TEMPEL, WALLENSTEIN, KLAUS SCHULZE and friends, produced by Dieter Dierks. And it's really the ultra cosmic trip you could expect from a band with such a name. The direction of the music is less obvious than in the 1st album, it's more experimental but not too hard to listen to if you know krautrock. What I love particularly here is the adventurous electronic trickery and the tremendous mix by Dierks, one of his most extreme work I think.
By the way, it's hard to describe it better for a non english speaking (and even in french!!), I propose you try it here, ripped at 192kbps.

KRAUTROCK TOP#45 : EMBRYO, Rock Session (1973)

Well, the track named "Warm Canto" (3rd track) is by itself a reason to get this early EMBRYO's album, a band that some of you may find too much "jazz-rock" oriented - I think they're often right (listen to the much too long 2nd track here). I would also say that if you don't like this album, don't try the other EMBRYO's recordings (except "Opal", posted sooner), contrarily to what some say, they are not so different, at least in their 1971 / 76 period - I don't mean they're not good though, it's a very interesting band with a sound typically of their own.
Find it here, ripped at 192kbps.

ps : don't you find that the artwork is quite extraordinary? The 2nd part gives it all its meaning and is really funny.

lundi, novembre 24, 2008


CARBONE, c'est votre serviteur et son comparse Guillaume, pour un petit set 100% synth analo, quelque part entre Add N to X et WhiteHouse - juste à titre indicatif, parce que les références écrasantes, hein...
Le tout en cloture d'une soirée orientée punk "alla early Wire".


dimanche, novembre 16, 2008


Sorry for being so long in completing this top 50 list, I've lost many MP3s in my hard-drive problems.
VINEGAR made this only album, and probably they could have been better if they had kept on recording, as the main problem of this album is obviously a lack of charisma. The music is good, it's much darker than the sleeve, I don't have the words to describe it because it's basically a bass / guitar / drums / organ combo, nothing more, but nothing less. With a little more personnality, it would have been higher in my top 50.
Only ripped at 128kbps, I'm sorry for this, I don't have the original CD...
Try it " here.

lundi, octobre 27, 2008

KRAUTROCK TOP#43 : SIDDHARTA, Weltschmerz (1975)

To say the truth, this is probably one of my favoutite krautrock albums these days, but I wouldn't admit it until now.
It's one of the later bands of what I consider the "classic period" of krautrock (AMON DÜÜL 2, AGITATION FREE etc...), they released one album only, and the least you may notice is its weirdness! Why?
1. It's absolutely dark and "pre-gothic" in the tone (extraordinary series of minor chords to awake the dead and scare your gand-ma!)
2. I don't know another album where there are so many breaks and changes in rythm, sometimes several times in 10 seconds, as if it was a problem for the band to keep the same tempo for one minute or more.
3. It's very rich in the instruments, but doesn't sound like a demonstration.
4. You'll hear plenty of harmonies and melodies, alternating with some more improvised moments, in an almost prog style, but typically german and kraut.
5. the band seems to have great technical skills, I wish I saw them playing live, were they able to play their music as well as in the album? Their weakness is probably the voices, that may be surprising at first glance (listen to the female voice that appears in the first second? Surprising no?), but I love them now.
For all those reasons, and because the production is (unfortunately) rather amateurish, I suggest you listen to the album many times and carefully if you want to appreciate it. Finally, I would compare it to a dark early NEKTAR, to a prog PATER NOSTER, to a dark PINK FLOYD in its 70/72 era.
here's is the link.

mercredi, octobre 22, 2008


Well, the "supergroup" LILIENTAL will particularly interest those who like CLUSTER, NEU and HARMONIA. It's basically a CLUSTER side project with jazz krautorock band KRAAN members and the producer Conrad Plank, and it's very similar to CLUSTER / HARMONIA albums of the same era. It's sometimes naive early electronic music, sometimes space and nearly drone music, even if it's sometimes a little boring it's a very good and tasty album.
Find it here.
And, yes, I'll try to post more albums in the next days and weeks...

lundi, octobre 06, 2008

KRAUTROCK TOP#41 : ELOY, Inside (1973)

Obviously not the best krautrock you've heard here, "Inside" has its moments nevertheless, especially in the opening 17 minutes long track. And there's this almost classic tune that ends the album, the very melancolic "Up and down" - I love it, what a pity the sound is not better. Well, it's 25 minutes of good music (the album is only 37 minutes long), not so bad...

What do you have to know about ELOY..? Well, after a rather mediocre and straight rock 1st album, the band discovered space and prog rock; it resulted in "Inside" and, the year after, "Floating" (very similar though a little harder, that's the reason why you'll find the album too here). In 1975, ELOY seemed to enjoy so much the new direction taken by PINK FLOYD with "Dark side" and "I wish you were here" that they simply copied them; and sometimes it was rather good, like "Power and the passion" in 1975, but the truth is that it was often very boring (I can't understand why their double "Ocean" is so reputed... not bad, but so so so boring...).
In the 80s, the band has probably moved towards more 80s prog rock, but I don't really have listened to the albums...

Of course it's not the funniest nor the newest music of this selection, but "Inside" and "Floating" are really worth listening.
Find "Inside" here and "Floating" there.

dimanche, octobre 05, 2008


Problems with my uploads make me late in the top 50, I'm sorry for this.
I was absolutely sure that I had already posted this, but... where is the post?
It's the second album of TD' "second era", after "Phaedra", their first album for Virgin. I prefer this one, it's really good if you play it loud. The two tracks are structured in the same way : at first, some ambiant noises and waves (almost new-age on side A, darker and almost like an horror movie soundtrack on side B), and then a shift towards bass sequences and simple synth / electric piano melodies, that create a fascinating soundscape in my opinion.
TD would try one last album in this style, "Stratosfear" (not forgetting the good live album "Ricochet" before falling into pure cheesy new-age music - I confess I don't know it much...
If you don't have it, find "Rubycon" here.

mardi, septembre 16, 2008

KRAUTROCK TOP#39 : NEKTAR, Remember the future (1973)

Back again.
With a second album by NEKTAR, remember I've posted their excellent first album sooner. It's amazing that after a rather good second album, the 3rd one xas absolutely shitty. More surprising then was this extraordinary concept album.
I think there will be 2 categories of people : those who'll love it, and those who'll hate it. The album consists in 2 long "progressive krautrock" tracks (one on each side), sung in the typical progressive way that you may not like. In my opinion, some moments sound so great that the worst moments are quickly forgotten (the beginning is probably the worst!). I'm personnaly impressed by the technical skills, NEKTAR were obviously the kind of musicians that punk rocker wanted to kill! And the album evolves beautifully towards a surprising end : a 5 minutes near disco-funk rock - remember that it was composed in 1972, from this point of view I think NEKTAR were ahead of their time.
I wanted to create more tracks to make it easier to listen to but I didn't have time, maybe I'll try to do it later if you're interested.

For the next posts, my classification does not mean as much as for the 40 first albums : obviously, TANGERINE DREAM, AMON DÜÜL II, ASH RA TEMPEL, NEU or CAN should appear again (and they probably will), but I may forget some of them to favour some other "new" bands.
here is the link (when I forget it, find it on the title of the post).

jeudi, août 28, 2008

KRAUTROCK TOP#38 : PATERNOSTER, Paternoster (1970)

The only album this really underground band made is quite a curiosity : it sounds like a gothic version of Pink Floyd (70/72 version) : the voice, tha sounds, the guitar treatments, the church-like organ chords. What a strange feeling! What a pity the compositions are not even better, sometimes you feel that it could have been a far better album.
Find this curiosity here.

PS : these days I meet many huge problems with my hard drive, I'm not sure I will be able to post anything in the next days... please be patient!

KRAUTROCK TOP#37 : GILA, Bury my heart at Wounded Knee (1973)

Mmmh... could almost be in a "guilty pleasures" collection too maybe, it's sometimes cheesy and quite patchy, sometimes tragic , maybe bombastic in the singing...
This second and last album the band recorded has absolutely nothing in common with their first "free electric sound", you'll notice it's not electric nor free at all! If you're familiar with POPOL VUH's second period, "Bury..." is not far from it. It's not surprising, since it's been recorded with exactly the same band : P.V's leader had joigned GILA for this album, after GILA's Conny Veidt had joingned P.V for several albums; and they shared the same guitar player!. What is different is the way the album is composed, it's brilliant in my opinion. Some tracks like the epic "The Buffalo Are Coming" are richly textures, there are plenty of instruments / tracks, and it can be heard many times before you appreciate it completly. Sorry, I realize I don't have the words in english to describe the music, it's a kind of world-pop-folk, sung with enthousiasm and gravity in the same time.
So : at first glance, a deception for those who like their first album; but listen to it carefully, it's full of surprises.
Try it here.

KRAUTROCK TOP#36 : JANE, Age of madness (1978)

Ah! JANE! Let's say that it's "Guilty pleasures part II" (after WALLENSTEIN).
JANE is known as a heavy krautrock band and gained its reputation playing rather straight 70s hard space rock at the beginning of the decade. Their fans probably consider this period their best (I don't, and I think you won't) and could easily speak about them better than I do.
In the mid-seventies, synths (and space) became more important in their music, until this incredible album that was one of my last shocks when I discovered it. We're lucky that they absolutely ignored punk music almost 2 years after it appeared!
What will you hear then? It's definitely krautrock, but a decadent version of it. Don't forget it's been released in the "Animals / The Wall" era of PINK FLOYD, it's not far from it but it's much better (I don't like anything P.F has released after 1974), and if one single album of space rock should be kept in your collection it's certainly this one. Unlike P.F, JANE didn't play prog anymore in this time, so it sounds more "intimate" (if it means anything speaking of space rock). Some tracks are so slow they seem to played at "slow motion" (is it the right word?), and are probably the best things to hear on your MP3 walking in the huge avenues of Berlin, I guess (and have tried!). Some tunes contains really dreamy and catchy melodies, maybe even too catchy (those you keep in mind for hours). Some tracks - the retro futurist "Memory Symphony" and "Auroville" - are my favourite space rock songs, and reminds me this french cartoon "Time Master". At last, another comparison would be our french AIR - "Meadow" could have been played by AIR in 2001, no?
Obviously it's not politically "krautly" correct as FAUST, NEU etc..., but let's be honest : it's much more exciting than most of their recordings!
And it's here.
(P.S : don't stop after the 1st track, it's the worst. Unfortunately its reprise ends the album too...)

KRAUTROCK TOP#35 : NEU!, Neu 75 (1975)

One classic more and still nothing you for the usual rapidshare downloader... It could habe been NEU2, but since it's very similar to NEU's first album I've prefered to upload this one, that many consider the 1st "new-wave" album - it's probably true. Obviously it's the easiest album, as it contains some potential "hits".
Find it here.

jeudi, août 21, 2008

KRAUTROCK TOP#34 : CAN, Saw Delight (1977)

Ok, everyone here knows CAN, "Tago Mago" at least. But I really wanted to post one album of their totally underated later period, and "Saw Delight" is probably the best one. As you've read it many times in this blog, I'm basically "anti-Tago Mago" : according to me this album does not promote / help krautrock at all, with its useless experimentations and awful guitar solos / noises. Who can seriously hear that? I still don't understand why it appears in the head of the charts...
The CAN I love begins with "Future Days" (previously posted). How do they sound in 1977? Very groovy, sometimes almost "funky" (in their own way), and still inventive in the production and sounds (listen to the masterpiece "Airwaves").
If you don't have it yet, try it " here (192kbps)

mercredi, août 20, 2008

KRAUTROCK TOP#33 : EMBRYO, Opal (1970)

Better known for their (often great) "world" oriented jazz-rock, EMBRYO had begun in a slightly different style with "Opal", that sounds almost like a jazzier and almost only instrumental version of the early AMON DÜÜL II. Even if there's saxophone in every track (and I rarely loke saxo) I love the sound, and there are plenty of inventions in the compositions, it's a very good album, and it's really not too jazz oriented. Maybe it's a little "too intelligent", you may understand what I mean listening to it.
From the numerous recordings EMBRYO made, I strongly recommend "RockSession" - I don't know yet if it will be in this selection.
Try "Opal" here, ripped at 192kbps.

vendredi, août 08, 2008


A krautrock classic, in the improvised space jazz vein with bands such as EMBRYO, XHOL etc... Side B consists in one long track that could have been more interesting; but the A-side contains one of my favourite tracks, the 2nd one. It's a moving floating improvisation on minor chords that i can hear for hours, not far from the spaciest and most moving tunes played by the early ASH RA TEMPEL you've found sooner on this blog. It's instrumental only, as elegant as CAN's recordings and better in my opinion.
ANNEXUS QUAM has recorded one second album only, that sounds more conventional as a whole but that contains an incredible mantra based on acoustic guitar and saxophone; it may be part of my TOP50 selection.
Speaking of this, I may go further than 50 albums. We'll see...
Find "Osmose" here (192kbps).


To be honest, without the leader Stephan Kaske's voice, and without the ridiculous 1st track too, this 1st album the band recorded would have been much higher in my top list. It's really trippy, creative and dense krautrock here, with good melodies, ; it's built and sounds like a concept album (what it may be... about destruction of the earth by humanity?). You recognize all the things you like in bands such as AMON DÜÜL 2 or GILA : strong guitar / bass / drums basis, organs and synths effects for a more complex sound + flutes, congas etc..., with an eastern feel sometimes, and I really like the production.
Once more, the problem is the voice - the strong german accent makes it hard to forget, and it will be even worse in the next albums... Nevertheless, the 2nd one is strongly recommended and may appear later in this top albums selection.
Find MYTHOS 1st here (192 kbps)

mercredi, août 06, 2008


At first, this seemed to be one of these jazz prog albums that the 70s produced by millions, and it was obviously not for me. But, listening more carefully, the sound reminded me "Malesh" by AGITATION FREE (and you know how I love it), there were really nice melodies and deep spacey moments, and in the 2nd part of the album, there is this "theme for James Marshall" that would become one of my favourite krautpop tune.
What a pity it's the only album IKARUS made, I'd like to know what they could have become later.
Once more, be patient with this one, listen to it carefully, and not once, forget the jazz prog clichés that appear sometimes, I think you won't be disappointed.
Download it here (192kbps).


First album by the supergroup formed by members of ASH RA TEMPEL, WALLENSTEIN, and KLAUS SCHULZE, it's been produced by by famous producer Rolph Ulrich Keiser (what a name!) from several famous giga-sessions played when the band was in Switzerland, reputedly more or less the same as for WALTER WEGMULLER. Unlike the next albums released the same year (that are worth having for those who like the most freaky experimental / electronic side of Krautrock), it's a very cosmic affair, typically kraut in my opinion - I mean : if you ask "what's krautrock?", I would answer it's COSMIC JOKERS 1st. In its 2nd side, the music becomes deeper and more moving; but it's a really nice and trippy album as a whole.
If you've liked ASH RA TEMPEL 1st, no doubt this classic is for you, and it's here (at 192kbps)

jeudi, juillet 31, 2008

KRAUTROCK TOP#28 : UDO LINDENBERG, Lindenberg (1971)

Back for a few days.
UDO LINDENBERG is certainly not considered as the main artist for Krautrock, according to the Crack in the Cosmic Egg encyclopedia UDO is "one of the top bubblegum pop stars in Germany" and has nothing to do with krautrock. Nevertheless, on this album UDO has definitely a sound of his own, there are many good moments and this masterpiece I love and can hear again and again, the last 11 minutes long track "The children of your children won't even know your name" (a good title no?). The beginning of the album sounds like a basic (but not bad) 70s pop album, but the further it goes the better it is. At last, I love the production, with a cool rythm base and good guitars on it.
You should try this unknown and probably underated gem. It's here, (VBR>256kbps), it's an ideal listening for summer.

mercredi, juillet 09, 2008


Second album by GURU GURU in this selection, this is their first release, and it's much more improvised than "Kanguru" you've heard before. It's the same power trio, but here they play a kind of "pre-industrial psych rock" - some sounds of "burned guitar" remind me those played later by THROBBING GRISTLE. Don't expect any melody nor quality in sound (it sounds like a live recording). Nevertheless it's really really good and exciting. Exceptionnal work and experiments on the guitar in the Hendrix style (but it goes much further).
Try it here.

mercredi, juillet 02, 2008

KRAUTROCK TOP#25 : WALLENSTEIN, Cosmic Century (1973)

Ok boys, let's speak seriously now, let's speak about last century, the "cosmic century" - and krautrock integrist should quit now, I mean : those who can't go further that the CAN / FAUST / NEU trio, what I respect too. And I admit that you have to be really open-minded to try this one, but try!
The easiest way to speak about WALLENSTEIN's music, and particularly of this 3rd album, is to compare it with the craziness of "Phantom of the Paradise" (yes, the movie) and its beautiful soundtrack composed by PAUL WILLIAMS. Not particularly kraut, it's a bizarre piano-based pop prog rock, with brilliant developments, all along extended tracks that seem impossible to play if you haven't worked the compositions nor the instruments nor practice with your band 10 years long. The thing becomes even harder when you hear the voice, typical from the 70s lyrical type - and add a strong german accent to this (sung in english though).
Believe me, it's a really fun and rejoicing experience here. Who can resist such incredible tracks as "grand piano / silver arms"? Yes, I hear the Phantom...
Here it is.


Huge couble concept album by a "supergroup" consisting in ASH RA TEMPEL and WALLENSTEIN (see later for them) members, KLAUS SCHULZE joined by WALTER WEGMULLER (but who he is I really don't know... kind of a poet / prophet?). Consider it as a massive presentation of all that krautrock is capable of : killer guitar riffs, haunting melodies, cheesy voices, weird noises, beautiful soundscapes, long band improvisations... hard to describe, there are too many styles in this double album. I'm afraid it's too "german" for some of you : it's sung in english (with strong accent) but sometimes spoken in german (probably? but with an accent that seems weird too); but it's german in its spirit too : what I try to mean is that "Tarot" is much too excessive to appeal to everyone.
I consider the first CD as one my essential "kraut-shocks"; unfortunately the 2nd CD is a more classic long improvised cosmic krautrock suite, in the same style as ASH RA TEMPEL's or COSMIC JOKERS 1st (see later), but not as good (and a bit boring...).
Two links for this double album : 1st disc here and 2nd disc there.


Thanks very much to those who have leave the encouraging messages, I hope the next posts won't be disappointing.

This one maybe yes, it's basically another TD recording, their 3rd album. Let's consider it as their first real professionnal recording, as their previous albums seemed to have been recorded with basic instruments and probably live. It's obviously their hardest too : entirely atonal, it consists in 4 20 minutes long floating and dark tracks, with very subtle changes from the beginning to the end. It's very similar to the 1st albums by KLAUS SCHULZE "Irrlicht" and "Cyborg" - try them if you like "Zeit". But there's something more here in my opinion : deeper, more moving.
Certainly to be played at night, alone, and in one shot.
An essential recording for those who like drones and ambient music. Download it here.

mercredi, juin 25, 2008

KRAUTROCK TOP#21 : KALACAKRA, Crawling to Lhasa (1972)

First real weird album in this selection, this is the only album recorded by the band and, according to the photos in the booklet from the Second Battle CD re-edition, it seems to have been recorded in their attic or something like that!
The music is hard to describe for a non-english speaking like me : a very tribal feel in the playing (based on drums, acoustic guitar and winds, maybe flutes), menacing or whispered voices, improvisations on repetitive structures inspired by eastern music... everything is perfect for me.
Will it be the same for you? Just try, here it is.

KRAUTROCK TOP#20 : NEKTAR, Journey to the center of the eye (1971)

A very shocking album for the ears of CAN / NEU -like krautrock fanatics, as NEKTAR is more or less a progressive rock band!
I don't know much about prog rock but NEKTAR obviously from their debut ave composed their albums as long suite more than short pop-rock tracks. This "Journey" is an often surprising album, full of weird and cosmic sounds, with plenty of gorgeous and sometimes poignant (like in the extraordinay "Burn out my eyes), everyone should try.
So, forget all the things you've been told about prog and download "Journey" here.
PS : I'm disappointed, you don't seem to be so many to be interested in this krautrock retrospective. Any problem with it?

KRAUTROCK TOP#19 : HARMONIA, Tracks and traces (1976)

It's the second time I post this album.
I'm not sure it's been released at the time it was recorded in 1976, though it's been played and composed by famous inventors of electronic music Brian ENO + NEU and CLUSTER 3 members - the 3 who have recorded 2 albums under the name HARMONIA before this one.
In my opinion, "Tracks and Traces" offers the best music made in the CLUSTER / ENO / HARMONIA galaxy; it's somewhere between CLUSTER's "Zuckerzeit" and ENO's "Another green world", but with longer and deeper tracks. Curiously, it hasn't much in common with the more rythm based two other (and over rated) albums recorded by HARMONIA.
If you missed it in my previous post, here it is again.


Still nothing really new for krautrock basic fans, I'm sorry for this.
Basically, it's the same description as for their "Alpha Centauri", but you feel it's been composed and played 2 years later : their technical skills and their material is not the same, old organs and basic effects have been replaced by huge synths and an evolved mix work. Forget the 1st and last 3 minutes that are not precisely in the tone of the entire album, much more mysterious.
A great album I hope you'll want to discover. It's here.

KRAUTROCK TOP#17 : AMON DÜÜL II, Carnival in Babylon (1972)

I love this underrated album. After 3 real psych-out space trips albums, "Carnival..." is the first LP where the band shows their talent is basic pop folk rock compositions. For the fan of their first period, it's disappointing at first glance, but you have to insist and listen to it twice more to really appreciate it. For newcomers, let's say that it sounds a little like BOWIE in his 72 / 74 period.
Download this nice album here and don't hesitate to purchase its nice remastered digipack CD edited by SPV.


One long track on each side, it's this perfect archetype and one of the best examples of krautrock in its "foundations". The band at this time was a "power trio" like GURU GURU, but it's interesting to hear how different the music is. Basically, it's true space rock (though it's more "space" than "rock"), based on improvisations, in structures that could remind those recently heard with such bands as GODSPEED YOU BLACK EMPEROR (for the repetitiveness and crescendos), but of course in a different feel - I prefer ASH RA T. by far. B-side is particularly moving, played in floating minor chords on space-echoed guitar.
The original 33rpm gatefold was beautiful, if you find it in flee markets buy it!
Here is the album, ripped at 192kbps, like all the albums in this series.

jeudi, juin 19, 2008

KRAUTROCK TOP#14 : NEU!, 1st (1972)

You've seen this album in thousands of blogs... well, it's obviously a "must have" in the krautrock genre, and, unlike many psych / folk / experimental kraut albums, is absolutely not dated. I won't say anything that has not been told about it, except my favourite track is not the famous opening "hallo gallo" that defines the typical NEU! metronomic sound and style (their entire 2nd album is based on a variation of it), but the incredible pre-industrial and full of tension "Negativland" that I could hear 10 times a day when I've bought the album.
If you don't heave it yet, it's here.

KRAUTROCK TOP#13 : GILA, 1st (1971)

Put together AMON DÜÜL II, AGITATION FREE and GURU GURU, the result won't be far from this first album by Conrad Veidt's band GILA - not to be confused with his grand father Conrad Veidt, the famous german actor of the 20s / 30s who's been playing in "The Cabinet of Dr Caligari" or in "The Man who laughs" (they really look like each other). The album is clearly devided in two sides : the first one is based on guitar riffs and improvisations, the second one sounds more folk, based on almost tribal drums. The music is slightly evolving from one to the other and can be heard as a near concept album. I've forgotten to say that it's mainly instrumental, but you hear Veidt's voice here and there, speaking and singing.
A really really good but too short album you can download here.

KRAUTROCK TOP#12 : POPOL VUH, Affenstunde (1972)

Still nothing really new for the basic krautrock collector, but it's not a surprise those reputed bands appear at the top of this selection.
"Affenstunde" consists basically in tones and drones played with prehistoric Moogs on an eastern percussions' basis in a very eastern feel. Very spacey indeed! So why hasn't POPOL VUH kept on making this kind of music after this brilliant 1st album? The 2nd one has its moments, but later their music turns into neo-medieval / classical and is rarely interesting in my opinion.
But who cares? For the moment you just have to try this one, and it's here.

KRAUTROCK TOP#11 : GURU GURU, KanGuru (1972)

The 3rd GURU GURU made, this is an album fans of HENDRIX should have at all cost! Extraordinary killer guitar solos, effects and noises on a deep rock basis. The albums is made of 4 long tracks, richly composed and textured, with wonderful harmonies, drums breaks and powerfull riffs. It's probably more typical of the average 70s hard rock than some other weird albums krautrock produced, but believe me, you shouldn't miss it!
So here it is.


Already posted when sharing the 4 albums by DEUTER, his second "Aum" is finally the best one in my opinion, even better than his excellent debut "D". To compare with TECHNICAL COMPOSERS CREW and early TANGERINE DREAM, though more based on guitar treatments, it's a very peaceful, dark, spacey album, with a deep "tantric" feel. What a pity DEUTER went into more new-age oriented music later.
Those who have missed it can download it here, it's obviously dangerously underrated.

mardi, juin 17, 2008

KRAUTROCK TOP#9 : CODE III, Planet of man (1974)

No comment for this one, I've posted several weeks ago and you can read my comments further on this blog. But as it's one of my favourite krautrock albums, it's not a surprise it appears it the top 10.
Here is the link again.

KRAUTROCK TOP #8 : SAND, Golem (1974)

Nothing new, as this wonderful album has been posted here twice (at least). The old link seem to be working. Some tracks in the album - "Helicopter" and "Sarah", their music and their incredible lyrics - are among my favourite krautrock songs. For those who come here for the 1st time, SAND is a minimal trio who is playing bass / guitar / synths and sings long meditative tracks - not far from DOM.
Here is the album. CURRENT 93 and NURSE WITH WOUND have re-released it on their own label on a double CD with plenty of unreleased bonus tracks you won't find in my files.

KRAUTROCK TOP#6 : AMON DÜÜL II, Phallus Dei (1969)

Basically , all the albums released by A.D.II before 1973 are the basis of every krautrock discography and are worth buying : they are full of ideas and inventions, more in each album than most bands have never had in their whole career.
"Phallus Dei" is their first album, production is very approximative but the result is absolutely unique - no comparison comes to my mind. It's a mixture of folk, dissonant rock, tribal drums and voices, theatral singing, experimental sounds etc...
I've already posted it when posting the entire A.D.II's discography, find it again here, without the bonus tracks of the Repertoire edition I let you buy.

KRAUTROCK TOP#5 : DOM, Edge of time (1972)

Almost the contrary of AGITATION FREE, this obscure band - who recorded this sole album - played a dark and meditative experimental folk music that is almost perfect in my opinion. The sounds used for the experimental ambient around the dark folk basis is typically the same as PINK FLOYD produced in their "More" period - "Edge of time" could have been the soundtrack for this film too (in its psychedelic parts).
Ok it may sound too dark and meditative for this summer, but not in my opinion, it's so good! Well, you can find it here.


Arrrghhh, this one could have been first of my selection. Back from Egypt, the band has brought back pictures and sounds they put in their groovy instrumental rock 1st album. Production is beautiful - very similar to what PINK FLOYD did with "Meddle"; guitar and organ leads and solos are really inspired. It's mostly improvisation, except some melodies that interfere sometimes, but it's never boring at all.
Like most albums in the top of this selection, I've already uploaded it several months ago. Nevertheless, here it is again for those who have missed it - the perfect album for a beginning in krautrock.
I can already tell that I won't put in my top 50 the other albums AGITATION FREE made, they are too jazz oriented for me. But "Last" is ok if you wish to go further with the band.