The word "Krautrock" was most probably inspired by the song "Mama Düül und ihre Sauerkrautband spielt auf" by Amon Düül. Amon Düül began in 1967 as a radical political art commune of Munich-based artists. The commune consisted mainly of university students, who formed a music group initially to fund the commune, with everyone who lived there joining in to play music whether or not they had any experience or ability.
Amon Düül engaged in exuberant open-ended experimentation and all except one of their five albums were recorded at the 1968 sessions for their debut.
The band was founded having met at the Amon Düül 'art commune' in Munich. A faction within the commune was more ambitious, conventional and musically structured than the commune society overall. This led to a split within the collective, and in September 1968 they performed at the International Essen Song Days—Germany's first underground festival—as two groups, "Amon Düül" and "Amon Düül II", As Amon Düül II grew and personnel changed they still remained a commune, living together as a band.
Guru Guru is a German krautrock band formed in 1968 as The Guru Guru Groove.
Their shows were extravagant and anarchistic, some of the musicians lived together in a commune in the German Odenwald region and experimented with hallucinogens. Guru Guru's frontman Mani Neumeier is one of the organizers of the annual Krautrock-Festival Finkenbach in the Odenwald region.
Guru Guru has released over 40 LPs and CDs, and has sold over 500,000 records.
Neu! was a German krautrock band formed in Düsseldorf in 1971 by Klaus Dinger and Michael Rother, after their split from Kraftwerk. Though Neu! had minimal commercial success during its existence, the band is retrospectively considered one of the founders of krautrock and a significant influence on a variety of subsequent rock, post-punk, and electronic music artists.
Their song "Hero" inspired David Bowie's 1977 song “Heroes”.
Grobschnitt was a West German rock band which existed between 1970 and 1989. The band accrued a loyal fan base through its live performances which included pyrotechnics and German comedic sketches. Highlight performances include Solar Music, an extended mostly instrumental piece which lasted up to an hour.
Ton Steine Scherben was one of the first and most influential German language rock bands of the 1970s and early 1980s. Well known for the highly political and emotional lyrics of vocalist Rio Reiser, they became a musical mouthpiece of new left movements, such as the squatting movement, during that time in Germany and their hometown of West Berlin in particular.
Hoelderlin were a German progressive rock band that was formed in 1970 as Hölderlin by brothers Joachim and Christian von Grumbkow with Nanny de Ruig, whom Christian was married to. They were influenced by rock, jazz, and folk music.
Tangerine Dream is a German electronic music band founded in 1967 by Edgar Froese. The group has seen many personnel changes over the years, with Froese being the only continuous member until his death in January 2015.
The first Tangerine Dream album, Electronic Meditation, was a tape-collage Krautrock piece rather than the synthesized music they later became famous for.
Can was a German experimental rock band formed in Cologne, West Germany, in 1968. Drawing from backgrounds in the avant-garde and jazz, Can incorporated minimalist, electronic, and world music elements into their often psychedelic and funk-inflected music. They have been widely hailed as pioneers of the German krautrock scene.
Birth Control is a German rock band known for their progressive hard rock sound and provocative album covers.
They formed in 1966 in Berlin and are still performing over 5 decades later, the line-up having changed numerous times over the years.
Faust started in Hamburg 1970, then moved to the rural setting of Wümme, where they recorded their first two albums in a studio their record company had set up in the old village school. The band broke up in 1975 but reunited in the 90s and released their 13th studio album on May 5th, 2017.
Jane were formed in October of 1970 in Hanover. Their style was a melodious synthesis of symphonic hard rock, that has occasionally been compared to Pink Floyd. Seeing numerous changes in the line-up, the original members split up, keyboarder Werner Nadolny forming a band with the name "Mother Jane".
Eloy is a German progressive rock band, whose musical style includes symphonic and space rock, the latter theme being more prevalent on earlier albums. Despite their nationality and time period, the band is not generally considered krautrock because of their sound, which has much more in common with English progressive rock and symphonic rock groups such as Pink Floyd, King Crimson, Yes, and Camel.
Kraan is a German band based in Ulm and formed in 1970. It recorded several albums through the 1970s and 1980s. After a break of ten years, the group reunited in 2000. Their early style can be described as Krautrock that turned later to fusion, combining elements of both rock and jazz.
La Düsseldorf was a German band, consisting of onetime Kraftwerk drummer and Neu! multi-instrumentalist Klaus Dinger and occasional Neu! collaborators Thomas Dinger and Hans Lampe. La Düsseldorf was formed after Neu! disbanded following the release of their Neu! '75 record. They released a string of successful albums (with sales totaling over a million) during the late 1970s and early 1980s and were considered highly influential by the likes of Brian Eno and David Bowie, with Bowie going so far as calling La Düsseldorf "the soundtrack of the eighties".
Floh de Cologne (Translated as: Flea of Cologne) were a German band, active from 1966 to 1983, regarded as a pioneer of krautrock and Political Satire Music. After success at the beginning of the 70s, the band separated in 1983.
Witthüser & Westrupp was a German singer-songwriter duo consisting of Bernd Witthüser (29 April 1944 – 4 August 2017), guitar, mandolin and Walter Westrupp (born 12 February 1946) guitar, ukulele, trombone, harmonium, psalter and many other instruments. The band was formed in June 1969 as "W&W's pop cabaret", singing German texts in a special way. In 1970 the name changed to "Witthüser & Westrupp". The band was active until 1973.
Popol Vuh were a German electronic avant-garde band founded by pianist and keyboardist Florian Fricke in 1969 together with Holger Trülzsch (percussion), Frank Fiedler (recording engineer and technical assistance) and Bettina Fricke (tablas and production). Other important members during the next two decades included Djong Yun, Renate Knaup, Conny Veit, Daniel Fichelscher, Klaus Wiese and Robert Eliscu. The band took its name from the Popol Vuh, a manuscript containing the mythology of the Post-Classic Quiché Maya people of highland Guatemala and southeast Mexico.
Today, Popol Vuh's best-reviewed works are In den Gärten Pharaos (1971) and Hosianna Mantra (1972).