Krautrock

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Krautrock

Krautrock came to be through an underground nation wide effort to create something never before seen. Artists took bits and pieces from multiple styles of music from Germanys past. The name Krautrock originated as a joke against the music and Germany’s culture because people were not approving of it. The term went through phases of approval and dislike. At one point artists were ashamed to be labeled a Krautrock group. The styles that characterize the Krautrock movement are very eclectic; it is described as rock, and electronic, and psychedelic, the list goes on. The history of the movement is just as colorful as the music itself. The lyrics of the songs became so influenced by current happening in Europe and around the world, from the nuclear crisis to protests across the continent. Krautrock is a staple of German music history and will remain that for near foreseeable future.

Germany is regarded as a nation with an extremely diverse music culture that spans centuries and all music types and styles. There are countless forms of German-Language music. This includes Neue Deutsche Welle, german for New German Wave, Hamburger Schule, or Hamburg School, Volksmusic, Classical, German Hip Hop, Neue Deutsche Harte, a form of German metal, and possibly one of the most influential, Krautrock. (“German…) Krautrock is the name for the very avant-garde wave of music that exploded through Germany in the late 1960’s. It gained popularity throughout the 70’s especially after it spread to Great Britain. The spread of this neuvo music style was credited to a disc jockey from the British Broadcasting Company (BBC), John Peel. Krautrock was intended to go far beyond the idiosyncrasy associated with the American rock movement. The Germans planned on doing this by giving greater emphasis to the electronic elements of the songs as well as the manipulation of sound and the inclusion of hypnotic effects.

The coined term “Krautrock” was originally supposed to poke fun at the new unheard of German music style. The British music press created the term. To their astonishment, Krautrock developed an early and enthusiastic following, mostly underground though. (Cope) The term derives from the ethnic slur for Germans, “kraut”. Its extensive use by the music press was “inspired by a track from Amon Düül’s album Psychedelic Underground titled Mama Düül und Ihre Sauerkrautband Spielt Auf” German for Mama Düül and her Sauerkraut Band Strike Up. Keeping suit with most other obscure music genre labels, many of the bands that fell under the title wished not to see their band pigeonholed and tried to avoid the term Krautrock. This is understandable because the variety of bands placed in the category of Krautrock is very broad. There are considerable differences between the subdivisions of Krautrock artists, much more so then the differences between American artists in a certain genre.

Julian Cope documented the movement in his book Krautrock Sampler, where he presents a first person analysis of the musical movement. Krautrock Sampler gives a one-sided and very dynamic account of the krautrock sensation from the perspective of Cope, who said in his work "I wrote this short history because of the way I feel about the music, that its supreme Magic & Power has lain Unrecognized for too long" (Cope). The highly controversial book encompasses a narrative of the rock and roll culture in post-WWII West Germany, along with and abundance of chapters focusing on individual major artists of the movement, including Faust, Neu!, and Amon Düül. Cope continued to say "[k]rautrock is a subjective British phenomenon," based on the way the people in England received the music, rather than on the actual “West German music scene out of which it grew. (Blache) One of the pioneer Krautrock groups, Faust, recorded a 12 minute track titled "Krautrock", however he group, would soon remove themselves from the scene, justifying it by...
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