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This first album appeared in the wake of Klaus Dinger and Michael Rother's split from an early lineup of Kraftwerk. It has some of the motoric rhythms + sonic tampering of the early (ie: "Kraftwerk" and "Kraftwerk 2") Kraftwerk releases, but more of an emphasis on rock beats, guitars, and a late-psychedelic sensibility. But lurking under this...especially hinted-at in the liner notes and the noise-romp "Negativland"...is a leaning toward the glorious racket of punk and postpunk outfits such as PiL (whose John Lydon, it should be noted, is a confirmed NEU! fan). But also lurking here and there is a weird ambient-experimental murk that also leans one toward thing such as Eno's work, or later on, that of The Orb.
All of the original Brain-released 'canon' NEU! albums are worth having, but either this or the final "NEU! '75" are the right places to start.
"Weissensee" is a calm, sometimes brooding soundscape, very linear with small psychedelic touches. "Im Gluck" ("Lucky") never dreams too much further than its low, ambient drone, from beginning to end it is pulsing. A small swell of guitar is heard and it represents the "mu", the nothing. But yet, it is something.
"Negativland" is another well known piece, itself giving name to another krautrock influenced group. It plods along with phased guitar lines and a throbbing pulse in its bassline.
This album is beyond words, beyond improvisation, beyond thought. It needs to be listened to. It is a timeless work of experimentation inside the Afro-American aesthetic set up by rock music two decades preceding. For ANY fan of classic rock, this is a must hear.
With the exception of the last track, which features some slightly off-key and hoarse whispering/singing, the six tracks on the album are instrumental and range in length from 4'50" to 10'07", with most tracks in the 4 - 7 minute range. The album is at times hypnotic and nearly trancelike, with a pulsating and insistent drum part atop which very spacey guitar parts weave in and out. There are experimental tracks too, that present "found sounds" (everything from human voices to jackhammers, and a shouting audience) and eerie effects generated on electric guitars. This is (to my ears at any rate) indicative of a 1968 - 1969 Pink Floyd influence. In fact, I would even go so far to say that these guys were also somewhat influenced by American minimalist composers such as Terry Riley - their music is similarly very rhythmically charged with subtle permutations in a given musical theme. Although I love the whole album, my favorite track is Negativland, which is pretty heavy.
Overall, this is a very atmospheric and experimental album and is very highly recommended along with "Neu 75" (1975).
Most Recent Customer Reviews
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003HJWJY6?redirect=true&ref_=cm_cr_ryp_prd_ttl_sol_2Published 1 day ago by Rolando Silva
Great for work and long drives. A shame it took me forty years to find them.Published 7 days ago by Materialist Formalist
I'd already listened to this CD online so I knew that I liked it. It is from 1971 and I grew up in that kind of music.Published 7 months ago by Richard C. Porter
Neu! is one of the most influential albums to come out of Germany. The music is soothing and driving like a big river. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Bognar_Regis
First Class album- well packaged and promptly delivered- Thank you.Published 10 months ago by Simon Roderick Cook