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Krautrock: Cosmic Rock and Its Legacy Paperback – January 5, 2010
"Rebound" by Kwame Alexander
Don't miss best-selling author Kwame Alexander's "Rebound," a new companion novel to his Newbery Award-winner, "The Crossover,"" illustrated with striking graphic novel panels. Pre-order today
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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
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.
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
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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.
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. I have no patience for writers who can't overcome their insecurities enough to pass on information that weakens and taints their position of superiority just by admitting that they possess such knowledge. I want to taste it all and make up my own mind, even risking a display of crassness and vulgarity.
The gems within this book: Michel Faber's introductory essay, Im Glück, discussing why Germans don't listen to Krautrock, and an exit article from Actuel No. 27, January 1973 by Jean-Pierre Lantin, At Last: German Rock Has Arrived. Many of the articles about specific bands are interesting and informative--don't get me wrong, not all of the contributors are worthless pustules.
The one truly pathetic article was on Tangerine Dream. Even though they've been around for close to 45 years, they only did four albums worth discussing, the fourth already being a disappointment, and everything else is nothing but betrayal of Krautrock purity. I think a lot of people would like to read more about the later developments of Tangerine Dream, to say nothing of the fact that most fans consider the next phase of their recordings, the early albums on Virgin (Phaedra, Rubicon, et al.) to be the band's best work. It's not quite like saying Barry Manilow had that one good record, but Tangerine Dream is so often reviled by Krautrock aficionados that to even like their first few recordings is to put one's self in a very distasteful place, you may as well be singing along with Barry as to admit liking post-sequencer T. Dream.
I would agree that the individuals and bands covered in this book are among the most interesting and exciting at that time, in Germany or anywhere else. I also have to stress that their was a lot of mainstream music in Germany that was still more interesting and exciting than many of their British and American contemporaries. To quote Michel Faber's essay, "To my ears, even a run-of-the-mill German album from the 1970's has more charm than a run-of-the-mill British or American one. 1970s Germany was special."
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!