2020-06-01 @Arts

I discovered Krautrock, a German musical subgenre developed at roughly the same epoch as psychedelic. In the words of Wikipedia, Krautrock (aka kosmische Musik), on top of the psychedelia, incorporates “electronic music and various avant-garde influences”; opting for “hypnotic rhythms, tape-music techniques, and early synthesizers” in lieu of “traditional Anglo-American” rock/blues structures.

Kosmische, avant-garde, hypnotic, synthesizers, psychedelic? With that subliminal bag of words, I’m instantly sold.

How many of you have heard of groups among Kraftwerk, Brainticket, Xhol Caravan, Out of Focus, Cluster?

Brainticket’s alluring Celestial Ocean (1973) bears such an aspect of a mythical journey that it’s become dangerous for my productivity. It takes inspiration from the Egyption Book of the Dead. What more could you want?

I’m a sucker for ancient influences. Give me a composition that draws from Virgil, Ovid, Plutarch, Herodotus, Faust, the fabular, the myth, or even Carroll for all I care. With likelihood, and not without certain obstinacy, I’ll seek the means to connect, although this hadn’t (yet) worked with Stravinsky’s Orpheus.

How about Xhol Caravan’s Electrip (1969)? As I listen, I perceive aspects of Folk, Reggae, Soul, Free Jazz, or something of a semblance to even a rock opera on occasion, in one heck of a journey. That, my man, you don’t hear quiet so often.

Such journeys cause me to recall the avant-garde jazzman Archie Shepp’s Mama Too Light, a stroll across the older jazz roots juxtaposed next to the dominant Free Jazz form.

Kraftwerk’s The Man Machine (1978), on the other hand, appeals to the robotic, the computerized, the heavily digital, predating Post Punk, Daftpunk, Gary Numan, the 80’s New Wave, Nine Inch Nails, and the such. This work, however, outlives the earlier Krautrock beginnings. For that, one of the earlier albums Ralf und Florian (1973) sounds sufficiently psychedelic if not plainly out of the cosmos.

Perhaps that peaks your curiosity. As for me, I’ll shortly consume a bit of Krautrock.

Questions, comments? Connect.