Tag Archives: Kraftwerk

Laying the seeds of Krautrock.

The early albums of the German scene.

The german rock scene, later labeled Krautrock by international press, began in early 70’s. Krautrock later turned out to be hugely influential, on many band and styles. Radiohead, The Fall, Joy Division, Public Image Ltd, David Bowie, Stereolab, John Frusciante, Sonic Youth, Porcupine Tree, The Mars Volta, Deerhunter and Queens of the Stone Age are just some of the many major artists have cited Kraut, as an inspiration. The term Krautrock was not a reference to any one particular scene, style, or movement, anything from Germany that was considered experimental rock , was labeled Krautrock, making the term span over wide variations in style. Today I will listen to some the very first albums, pointing towards Krautrock, you may say the proto-kraut from the late 60’s german scene.
“Psychedelic Underground” is a sole album from Bokaj Retsiem’s, an experimental side project, from one of Germany’s many beat musicians of the time Rainer Degner, but it perfectly marks the transition from just playing an English / American beat music, to the development of a uniquely German experimental style.

BOKAJ RETSIEM 1968, from “Psychedelic Underground”

Another essential release for the development of German rock music, was “Ihre Kinder’s” self- titled debut, combining flute, protest songs founded in left wing politics, rock, and German language vocals. Ihre Kinder must be seen as an extremely early German progressive rock album, making it essential in German rock history.

Ihre Kinder – Ihre Kinder : Wenn Liebe das ist, 1969

Organisation’s “Tone Float”, was another one album wonder of early proto-krautrock, full name “Organisation zur Verwirklichung gemeinsamer Musikkonzepte” (Organization for the realization of common music concepts). The album points in the direction of the instrumental, the minimalistic and the electronic facets of Krautrock, with its slow and calm but highly experimental music.
After very low sales founding members Ralf Hütter and Florian Schneider-Esleben, left the band to form electronic Krautrock pioneers “Kraftwerk”.

Organisation – Tone Float (1969)

Amon Düül, was music improvised within an alternative-living project, a commune in Munich of radical hippies (also associated with members of what was to become the militant group Rote Armee Fraktion/Baader-Meinhof), their music was more just another free living expression, than the work of serious musical ambition, never the less their sessions, marks the first Krautrock put to record, with its experimental improvisations. The sound is not great, and the recording is mostly of historical interest.
Soon the better musicians from Amon Düül would be forming Amon Düül II, one of the major forces in early Kraut.
From Amon Dull’s “Psychedelic Underground” recorded 1968-69: