Various Artists - Deutsche Elektronische Musik (2xLP Vinyl) Record A

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Featuring a stunning line-up of groups including Cluster, Can, Faust, Popol Vuh, Neu!, Amon Düül, Harmonia, La Düsseldorf and Tangerine Dream as well as a host of lesser known groups such as Kollectiv, Ibliss, Between and many more. This new edition is fully re-mastered and features all the original artwork and tracks.

The first seeds of German rock and experimental electronic music were planted in 1968, as students and workers in Paris, Prague, Mexico and throughout the world demonstrated against mainstream society, the war in Vietnam, imperialism and bourgeois values. The birth of a counter-culture, drug experimentation and social change expanded musical worlds. Germany experienced its own cultural revolution fuelled by these worldwide student and worker revolts and by a generation’s desire to rid itself of the guilt of war.

German rock and experimental electronic music grew out of this worldwide counter-cultural revolution of 1968. The objectives were to create new music, ‘free’ from the past, many German youth turning their back on mainstream society. From the opening of the first collective/cooperative, Kommune 1, in Berlin, to the formation of the Baader-Meinhof terrorist group and the bombings, kidnappings and killings of the Revolutionary Armed Forces (RAF), young Germans sought out new values and a lifestyle outside of ‘the system’.

These cooperative and communal experiences led to a number of new collective German bands forming such as Amon Düül, Faust, Can (all featured here) and others and these ideals drove this new movement. A music that gave seed out of the cultural ‘nothingness’ that young Germans felt as a consequence of Germany’s role in the Second World War. A generation who grew up stifled by the recent history of Nazi atrocities, the guilt of their parents’ generation and their disillusionment at the reintegration of old Nazis into mainstream society.

Influenced equally by the electronic experimentalism of Stockhausen, the progressive rock of Pink Floyd and the black American jazz and soul music played at the occupying armed forces bases, young German artists seamlessly created out of this a new unique music with its own unique identity.


While Krautrock and German progressive electronic music are vast enough umbrella terms for a compilation to be particularly difficult to pull off, Deutsche Elektronische Musik: Experimental German Rock and Electronic Music 1972-83 does a good job of, at least, mapping out the general clues. The accompanying booklet also provides plenty of insightful information regarding the social context that spawned the music, the absolute disenfranchisement of Germany's post-war generation and their willingness to cut off ties to both German traditions and American influences, leading to the unfettered, extraterrestrial music concocted by a number of these bands. Naturally, the fluid way in which Soul Jazz compilers sequenced the album highlights a sustained atmosphere, understandably giving a pass to Krautrock's wildest moments. This isn't really meant to be a definitive guide to such wide ranging styles, it does however serve as an extraordinary aperitif, an invaluable eye-opener.
Personal favorite track: the striking descent from the clouds of Popol Vuh's "Aguirre 1".

By: Tezcatlipoca

A1 Can - A Spectacle
A2 Between - Devotion
A3 Harmonia - Dino
A4 Gila - This Morning
B1 Kollectiv - Rambo Zambo
B2 Michael Bundt - La Chasse Aux Microbes
C1 E.M.A.K. - Filmmuzik
C2 Popol Vuh - Morgengrüss
C3 Conrad Schnitzler - Auf Dem Schwarzen Canal
C4 La Düsseldorf - Rheinita
D1 Harmonia - Veterano
D2 Faust - It's A Rainy Day Sunshine Girl
D3 Neu! - Hallo Gallo

Soul Jazz Records

If you like PIL, Julian Cope, Pink Floyd, LCD Soundsystem, Sonic Youth, Stereolab, Happy Mondays, The Stone Roses, David Holmes, Primal Scream, Brian Eno, Aphex Twin or The Fall then you will love this compilation.