Krautrock

Created by maluca on 04 Feb 2018 | Last edited by maluca on 04 Mar 2018

Krautrock is a broad genre of experimental rock that developed in Germany in the late 1960s. The term "krautrock" was originated by English-speaking music journalists as a humorous name for a diverse range of experimental German bands whose music drew on sources such as psychedelic rock, the avant-garde, electronic music, funk, minimalism, jazz improvisation and world music styles.

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.

Embryo is a musical collective from Munich which has been active since 1969. It was one of the most important German jazz-rock bands during the 1970s and has also been described as "the most eclectic of the Krautrock bands."

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.

Song | English NEU!

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.

Translations:  French English Italian
Song | German Eroc

Eroc served as the drummer and band leader of Grobschnitt from 1970 until 1983. He also released five solo albums between 1975 and 1987. His most aclaimed work is the instrumental "Wolkenreise".

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.

Translations:  English Turkish

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.

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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.

Translations:  English German Spanish 3 more

An early incarnation of the ban Can.

Translations:  English
Song | English Can

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.

Translations:  Russian Greek Turkish 1 more

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.

Translations:  German
Song | English Faust

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.

Formed already in 1960 as a beat and rock band, they had their biggest hit with "The Witch" featuring Edna Bejarano as the singer. The album "The Witch" is their only album which fits into the category "Krautrock".

Translations:  German
Song | English Jane

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.

Translations:  German French
Song | English Kraan

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.

The band Wallenstein, founded in Viersen in Lower Rhineland, later based in Mönchengladbach, was a German rock band from 1971 to 1982, their musical style being described as space rock influenced by Pink Floyd.

Harmonia is a Krautrock supergroup from Germany. They formed as a collaboration between Michael Rother of Neu! and Hans-Joachim Roedelius and Dieter Möbius of Cluster and later included the British musician Brian Eno.

Translations:  English

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".

Translations:  English

Novalis was a 1970s Krautrock group formed in Hamburg. Their best-known albums include Sommerabend and Wer Schmetterlinge lachen hört.

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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.

Eulenspygel was a progressive rock band formed in 1971 in the area around Stuttgart. They were singing in German, their lyrics being mainly political statements critizising western society, pollution of the environment and the Vietnam war.

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.

Anyone's Daughter is a German progressive rock band founded in 1972 in Stuttgart by Uwe Karpa und Matthias Ulmer. They are considered Progressive rock, similar to German bands like Eloy and Novalis.

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).

Improved Sound Limited is a German krautrock group formed in 1961.
The band specialized in making soundtracks for German television series and for the films from the directors Michael Verhoeven and Wim Wenders. Properly speaking, Bernd Linstädt wasn't a musician of the group, but he wrote all the lyrics and had a real impact on the band.

Comments
maluca    Tue, 06/02/2018 - 18:44

To be continued...

maluca    Sun, 18/02/2018 - 22:44

All added. I'll leave Ton Steine Scherben, some other bands are also not considered (or are not considering themselves) Krautrock, like Birth Control or Eloy, but they appear on lists of Krautrock bands anyway...