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Krautrock: Cosmic Rock and Its Legacy Paperback – January 5, 2010

4.3 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“Offers a great overview of a hugely influential movement... An excellent primer” **** — Q Magazine

“The book that everyone has been waiting for” — Rough Trade

“Offers a Taschen-like wealth of photos, cover art, timelines, and bios, including specific producer write-ups” — Pitchfork

From the Back Cover

The late 1960s in West Germany was a period of profound breakthroughs, upheavals and reversals. Communes were spreading, protests organized throughout the entire country, the desire to begin everything anew permeating the young. Out of this climate, a music scene exploded that would forever change the face of western rock; at times anarchic, at others mystical, magical, or utopian, it pushed rock beyond any known limits.
Never a genre or a movement per se, Krautrock encompassed a very wild and diverse range of sounds, attitudes, and past musics, from free jazz to Karlheinz Stockhausen, from dada to Fluxus, from German Romanticism to the Mothers of Invention. The musicians operated outside any known categories, breaking new ground and turning their backs to both their country’s past and the conventions of Anglo-American rock. Their vision fired the imaginations of
generations of musicians after them: Cabaret Voltaire, Brian Eno, Nurse with Wound, PiL, DAF, Einsturzende Neubauten, to only name a few, have all acknowledged their debt to Krautrock’s uncompromising ethics and innovative sounds.
From the relentless drum beating of Amon Duul, to the eastern-tinged mysticism of Popol Vuh and the sonic assaults of Conrad Schnitzler, Krautrock: Cosmic Rock and Its Legacy traces the history of this phenomenon. Illustrated with concert photos, posters, record cover art and other rare visual material, including essays by Michel Faber, Erik Davis, David Stubbs, and testimonials from Gavin Russom (Delia and Gavin/ Black Meteoric Star), Plastic Crimewave, Stephen Thrower (Coil/Cyclobe), and Ann Shenton (Add N to (X)) this is an essential compendium to a music whose spirit and ideas still vibrate through contemporary culture today.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Black Dog Publishing; First Edition edition (January 5, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1906155666
  • ISBN-13: 978-1906155667
  • Product Dimensions: 10.6 x 8.6 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,309,828 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
There are not many Krautrock books out there. All of them seem to be OOP. There is "The Crack In The Cosmic Egg", a very good and informative guide. "Cosmic Dreams At Play" very similar in format to "The Crack In The Cosmic Egg", but I think less informative and with opinions at times more subjective. Than there is "Cosmic Price Guide", basically a guide to rare krautrock records and prices. Finally the most famous of them all, at times inaccurate and subjective "Krautrocksampler" that I don't really find all that interesting.

This one is a different from all of the above because it contains some historical info, great photos and pictures, but most importantly great articles by different writers. Essays about bands are very well written and go way beyond simple, sweet and short overviews.

If you are looking for purely informative comprehensive guide about all things krautrock related (band info, albums, record labels etc.) don't get this book, get "The Crack In The Cosmic Egg" or maybe "Cosmic Dreams At Play". But of you like krautrock or are curious what this kraut stuff is all about get this one.
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Format: Paperback
A beautiful book to be sure but unfortunately almost completely devoid of new content. There are virtually no interviews, no new real scholarship and no discographies. It contains EXCELLENT photos and some really stellar rare ones from personal archives. However the text itself is dull and uninspired. Freely tossing around cheap descriptions of the music such as "mindbending" and "colourful" takes up the bulk of the text and a close read reveals no more than a handful of stories and facts beyond the normal fare for a lengthy MOJO magazine article. Every so often one is tortured by essays about bands by people from other bands many of which have nothing to do what-so-ever with the style at hand. These descend into journalistic attempts at describing the music colorfully rather than how, why and where it was made. Reading a play by play of the track 'Krautrock' by Faust was about as entertaining as watching paint dry. A disapointment after such wonderful treatments Black Dog Publishing has given Throbbing Gristle, Tarkovsky and Kenneth Anger.
To be fair this is a great coffee table book but on the informative scale rates lower than the most average album from 1970's Germany. Buy this if you want to look at big, nicely laid out pictures of synths (cluster's live rig being a highlight) and longhairs. Don't buy this if you want to really get into the nuts and bolts of this creative time in rock music. If you really want to learn about Krautrock check out the book that this was obviously sourced almost entirely from: Eurock: European Rock & the Second Culture by Archie Patterson
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a great buy. The price makes it extremely worth getting, let alone all the interesting stories and great pictures. There is nothing really new offered here, BUT with Julian Cope's book on Krautrock being SO expensive now...this is a worthy alternative.

I would suggest this to anyone wanting to read something while listening to their vintage vinyl, or newbies wanting to learn what Krautrock was all about. I've listened to kraut for several years now, and even found new albums listed in here that I hadn't heard of before.

really great book!
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This is an amazing and absolutely necessary book for everyone that, like myself, works with music and music journalism. Not only is describes a subject normally left aside by critics, but it brings incredible images of albums and artists. My favorite part is the description of the most important labels in krautrock
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My reaction to this book? To listen to all the albums not deemed worthy of note: such as Tangerine Dream after they started using sequencers; or actual rock bands, such as Jane and Scorpions; or the more commercial recordings of Amon Düül II; or, a band not even mentioned, Lucifer's Friend. My experience of German music from the early 1970s bears little resemblance to the music described in this book. The fact that I missed a lot of interesting music because of the limitation of what was available in northern Minnesota at the time and the fact that I couldn't afford new records (maybe the people who got rid of their mainstream German albums hung onto the more prestigious recordings) lent this book appeal. Most of the German bands I'd heard, even those not actually German such as Nektar, had a very different sound to them than American and British bands of the era (my taste was for British music, prog and metal and even glam, over American). Partly, it was because Germany was behind the times, with psychedelia lingering and a minimum of overdubbing and other forms of technical polish being the norm. More interestingly, these bands seemed to have retained or reacquired a European æsthetic rather than trying to imitate the blues and soul.
So, yes, I wanted to learn more and hear more.
Unfortunately most of the contributors to the book are connoisseurs rather than music lovers, more interested in maintaining their Krautrock credibility than informing us as to the complexity and richness of German music at that time. I expect critics and fans to have strong opinions, to vehemently state that record A is vastly superior to record B, in fact to state that record B is such garbage that its effect on me will be worse than kryptonite on Superman, but I still want to hear about record B.
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