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and played 2 years later : their technical skills and their material is not the same, old organs and basic effects have been replaced by huge synths and an evolved mix work.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.

lundi, juin 16, 2008

ORAL CONSTITUTION, Bibelpreik EP (1992, weird folk)

I've posted their album several weeks ago, here's the EP that was recorded and released just before. It's more "industrial folk" oriented, actually it sounds very psychedelic and dark in the same time. I like it.
The CD was a limited edition of 1000. You can download it here.


A very underrated album that is almost never appears in krautrock selections. Divided in 2 very different sides, its B-side alone would have been #1, it's the best krautrock track in my opinion, a very moving space rock suite, peacefull and full of melancolia. The A-side is a curious variation around blues themes, but, whereas I don't like blues, thanks to their craziness and effects (plenty of them), I love them too.

Here is a good description found on the blog "My Generation" :
"Ash Ra Tempel's third album is often very misunderstood by fans of their music. It's a real odd one to say the least, and if you're familiar with such albums as their 1971 debut, or Join Inn (1973), this one is quite a shock indeed. By this point, trying to figure out who was in the group has became pretty pointless. Guitarist Manuel Göttsching and bassist Hartmut Enke are still here, with tons of different vocalists, and ex-Tangerine Dream organist Steve Schroyder (he played on Alpha Centauri).
The album starts off with "Space", a suite divided in four movements. It starts off with "Downtown" (...) a downright generic blues sung by a female vocalist. You quickly face some truly mind blowing spacy electronic effects and noise that never lets up! It's pretty much the same throughout, although three more blues songs will follow, but as always, the blues songs never last because it sounds like the band was just so stoned at the time, they'd rather blow people's mind. I can sense quite a bit of irony in the way the band played those blues numbers.
Thanks to the presence of Timothy Leary (who was in exile in neighboring Switzerland), it's no surprise that this music is the effects of an LSD trip. The second half of the album is taken up by a three movement suite called "Time". Here's where detractors of the album finds its redeeming qualities, as this is very much like like Alpha Centauri-era Tangerine Dream. The last movement of "Time" is "She" which is basically a re-recording of "Suche & Liebe" off Ash Ra Tempel's 1972 album Schwingungen (note by Tonton M. : "she" is far better than the version from "Schwinungen"). This is a wonderful, and underrated album, which if you approach with an open-mind you'll probably enjoy it."

Find this magic album here.


My "second best choice" is the famous second album by AMON DÜÜL II, maybe my favourite krautrock band.
For krautrock beginners who listen to CAN or NEU and consider their music as the only true krautrock style, this extraordinary psych out album may be hard to accept. "Yeti" is more than 1 hour of a tremendous adventure in music, plenty of effects, electric and organic sounds, craziness in the instruments and voices. There is the major 70s hit called "Archangel Thunderbird", the proto-metal riff based (and 1'40 short) "Return of Ruebezahl" - a very promissing title! - and the typically long krautrock track and extraordinary well composed / improvised "Yeti" suite.
I confess that the 1st time I've heard it, it seemed to sound a little too "70s hard rock", but believe me, insist a little more, you won't regret it.
Find it here, ripped at 192kbps, and don't hesitate to buy it - I recommend the Repertoire digipack re-edition that has been beautifully remastered (for once you hear what "remastered" means), with an early and superb 2 sides single as bonus tracks (not in the files I share).


It's hard to explain in english why I love so much this area in music called "krautrock"; maybe because more than american or english bands, german bands from the 70s could play a music with no boundaries, influenced by their travels (for real or in dreams), their (often) high technical skills, maybe because they probably had a major conflict against the previous generation (don't forget their parents had potentially voted and supported Hitler) and wanted to break with the german tradition more than american , english or french young people did in their own country. It's amazing that the psychedelic revolution came 2 years (at least!) later in german music than in the US or in UK, but how stronger it came! I let you read Julian Cope's book about the origins of krautrock, he speaks better than me about it.

Ok, let's beginning this KrautRock top 50. At first, a warning for the completists : you won't find here anything rare nor things you could not find on specialized blogs like Mutant Sounds, Out of Focus etc... This selection is intended for the curious who read so often that their favourite band was influnced by krautrock (they are so many!), who may have tried CAN, NEU, KRAFTWERK of FAUST but who didn't have the means or the patience, to go further. It's the reason why I begin from the top of my selection, the more curious you are the further you go (I will post at least 50 albums, maybe more).

I've chosen 2 albums at the head ot this selection, the TECHNICAL SPACE COMPOSERS CREW's only album as the 1st one. Composed by CAN's bass player and producer Holger Czukay and Rolph Dammers, it has nothing to do in a "rock" selection, as it consists in 2 long ambient and tribal chants. Both sides, and especially the 2nd one, are absolutely moving, the musicians seem to have found the precise tones and vibes to create very deep emotions, for a very intimate emotion.

It's been previously posted on MUTANT SOUNDS at 192kbps, and the RapidShare link is still active. Find it here.

jeudi, juin 12, 2008


Sur le blog de Joseph Ghosn en section commentaire, on lit tout et son contraire sur le concert de THROBBING GRISTLE. Ce que je vois - au moins sur un point j'avais raison de m'abstenir - c'est qu'on a pu y compter un belle rangée de laptop, tout ce qu'on n'a plus envie de voir depuis quelques années. Mais puisqu'ils auraient joué ("diffusé"?) "2nd annual report", je suis assez curieux. "Slug Bait", extra quand même non?



PS : après vision de quelques images sur le blog d'un confrère qui a laissé un commentaire : p'tain c'que ç'avait l'air chiant!

SIX ORGANS OF ADMITTANCE, my selection for beginners (psych folk, 1998 / 2008)

What a shame... I couldn't help sharing some SIX ORGANS original tracks from albums YOU MUST BUY. I have not seleted the longest / "dronest" tracks, some of which are what SIX ORGANS does the best, it may be another post later. Ben Chasney is the most inspired musican I know and listen to nowdays, I could listen to his albums 24 h a day. Moving, spacey, deep etc... Incredibly inspired!! If you don't know this you have to try.

Tracklist :
From 6 ORGANS OF ADMITTANCE : Shadow of a dune /Race for Vishnu / Don't be afraid
From DUST & CHIMES : Blue sun chiming / Dance among the waiting
From DARK NOONTIDE : Spirits abandoned / Regeneration / On returning home
From COMPATHIA : Wind in my palm (best folk song ever?) / Gone astray / Hum a silent prayer
From SCHOOL OF THE FLOWER : Eight cognition / All you've left /Words for two
From SHELTER FROM THE ASH : Strangled road.

In my opinion the first albums you should buy are the self titled and "Dark Noontide".

Ok, now you can download this selection ripped at 128kbps only here.

mardi, juin 10, 2008

SIX ORGANS OF ADMITTANCE, Live in Paris 4.6.2008

Photo of another show by NARCOAGENT who made on his blog a good description of SIX ORGANS's performance.

Here is probably their 1st live performance in Paris; for the occasion SIX ORGANS were Ben Chasney on the guitar + a band of 2 ("lead guitar" & excellent drums).
A very good show for those who follow the band, even if we could expect more technique from Chasney. As you'll hear it, the voices are dangerously low, it's a pity you can hardly hear them.
Of course, the sound comes from my basic mic + MiniDisc material, don't expect too much from it, but it's ok (and I've erased the pauses / blanks between the songs).
Download it here. And, once more, buy ALL the band's discography, beginning from the oldest recordings, everything is quite extraordinary (except the last two..?).

Thanks for your attention.

PS : do you need the tracklist before downloading it?

lundi, juin 09, 2008


> SIX ORGANS OF ADMITTANCE Live in Paris, basic mic recording (but sounds ok)
> a selection of SIX ORGANS OF ADMITTANCE songs for beginners - you have to know that ALL the band's CDs are worth buying.
> I try to begin soon my own KRAUTROCK ALBUMS TOP 50, but it may be a bit longer.

Any more ideas?

mardi, juin 03, 2008


Let's be honest : I don't have many "favourite rare albums" or recordings any more in my library. So I wonder if it's worth keep on posting things; I could post things that are not my "favourite" albums, but it's not the purpose.
Before closing the blog, I may post my "favourite albums found on the web" - but nothing new for those who, like I do, spend time on those blogs that share so many incredible albums. It would be especially a selection of kraut and psych music.
It's just an announcement, I may change my mind, who knows.
Oh, at last, I'll try to post some of my music, things I'm proud of.
Thanks for your support.

lundi, juin 02, 2008

MIDNIGHT OIL, 10,9,8,7,6,5,4,3,2,1 (1983, alternative)

A new evolution in MO's discography, and a step towards their commercial sounds, "10,9,8..." contains some classic tunes. It's definitly pop music, there are more and more ideas in the structures and the sounds, it's probably brilliant. So, why am I not more enthusiast when I'm listening to it? A bit "cold" and too eclectic maybe. You feel that for the 1st time they were exported out of Australia and could reach the famous "american market" (though I've never understood what it means artistically) and it's the reason why "10,9,8..." does not sound as "honest" as the previous albums maybe.
But I know that this album has more fans than "Head Injuries". Maybe you?
Anyway, I rate it 3,5/5, it's a good album on the long run. So here it is, ripped at 192 kbps.

MIDNIGHT OIL, Place without a postcard (1982, alternative)

Well, you don't seem to believe me very much when I say that "Head Injuries" is an essential masterpiece of the late 70s, seing the statistics... Nevertheless, to end this series, I post 2 more albums by MIDNIGHT OIL.
My favourite after "Head Injuries" is this "Place without...", a more pop oriented indie rock, with various melodies and instruments (more synths and guitar effects). So the music is certainly more various too, and eventually very exciting - some tracks sound like early 80s hits. Here you begin to hear the MO you know, who was going to compose "Beds are burning" or "Put down that weapon", but with a much stronger touch.
A 4/5 for this one, a must have for sure. And you find it here.

MIDNIGHT OIL, 1st 2 albums (1978 / 79, alternative)

Ok, it may be surprising to find some MIDNIGHT OIL albums on a blog thant announces "kraut, weird rock" etc... The reasons why I post these albums are :
1. you don't find them so easilly on the web nor in music stores, a friend of mine has been looking for them but they were so expensive...
2. these are fabulous albums that I've discovered the same years as PIXIES / WIRE etc..., in 1989 / 90 and that every one should have in his iTunes.
So, forget the late MIDNIGHT OIL you know and try this, especially the much more achieved "Head Injuries" in which each track is absolutely! outstanding, except the 1st one. You'll find there what I consider one of the best "singles" ever : "Koala sprint", an incredible prog / punk / new wave sum.
"Head injuries" is obviously their masterpiece, so listen to it first, then try their 1st that sounds more like a mainstream hard / punk band of the late 70S - begin it with such intense a track as "Surfing with a spoon" maybe.

3,5/5 for "Midnight Oil", 5/5 for "Head Injuries". And it's here, ripped at 192kbps.