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)