Kraut rock

Posted on January 10, 2015

You remember that time when your mother first heard King Crimson’s “21st Century Schizoid Man” and asked “what’s that noise?”. You don’t? Well, must be my personal trauma.

So I’ve got myself a complete discography of threefold band Xhol Caravan-Soul Caravan-Xhol and decided to tell a little bit about the way I’ve got into kraut rock. Along with that, I’ll give a couple of suggestions about how to listen kraut rock.

When I first heard a band that was playing kraut rock I felt strange. Given that I’m a fan of symphonic and vocal progressive music — Emmerson, Lake and Palmer, Gentle Giant, and so on — I couldn’t help but to think to myself “what’s that noise?!”. I think, it was something by Kollektiv, not sure which composition, but think of something like Xhol’s Orgelsolo (from “Motherfuckers GmbH & Co KG”).

The little I knew that there is mindblowingly beautiful and complex Universe of jazzy-progressive there with twenty-minute improvisations and fine-grained recordings. It’s like Art Nouveau of jazz. In the universe of kraut rock there is also place for symphonic deviations (like Grobschnitt), for a little bit more “standard” prog (Can) and much more (read at progarchives).

Never underestimate amazingness of kraut live recordings, remember — that’s where possibly greatest improvisations of seventies happened! Don’t freak out when you get one of “those” kraut compositions, having occasional child laughing to a bass violin for four minutes is perfectly normal for kraut albums (but hey, doesn’t that happen to the best of bands?).

Don’t expect strongly conceptual albums from kraut bands, it’s not what it’s all about, just grab an album, such as “Electrip” by aforementioned Xhol and get dissolved in the great and rich music full of twists and changing patterns. Alternatively, you can get this disk set — Krautrock - Music for Your Brain, it surely is a great compilation made by people, who really care a lot about the kraut scene.

By the way, I’m thinking about making this blog hybrid and utilize non-textual content delivery over hyperboria. This way I’ll be able to post compositions, or fragments of compositions (as far as fair use goes, of course) without having to go through any C&D nonsense. What do you think? Drop me a mail if you’d like that! I’d surely be glad to link compositions I’m talking about in the posts about music.