After putting out their highly impressive eponymous LP earlier this year, Brooklyn-via-Denver’s neo-kraut troop Woodsman return with a new EP this fall that offers a glimpse into their improvisational studio recording process. Acting as a companion piece to the full-length record, the EP features a raw, extended version of the album’s final cut, “Teleseparation,” in the form of a 30 minute jam cut into in 4 parts with no overdubs. A transcendent, stream-of-consciousness sonic journey, bathed in repetitive guitar atmospheres and totemic rhythmic interplay. Zone out to the Teleseparation EP below.
Purchase the Teleseparation EP on cassette via Fire Talk.
Just last week, the fine folks at Chicago’s Trouble in Mind Records released unto the world a new 7″ by Swiss duo Klaus Johann Grobe. Harkening back to the days of the primordial krautrock era and the early days of post-punk, the duo fahr’ns through synth-heavy motorik grooves and German half-spoken word ala Neu! and Kraftwerk while plunging into dark drones and Suicide-like waters.
While we patiently await the duo’s debut full-length, Trouble in Mind has tide us over with this two song banger that will surely delight fans of neu-psych like Tame Impala. Their full length, Im Sinne der Zeit comes out April 28th.
Popol Vuh seems to be like the Skull & Bones of the krautrock world—once you’ve succeeded in passing a series of entry level tests, you are suddenly granted access to this magical well of musical greatness. Their name, taken from the Popol Vuh (a manuscript containing the mythology of the Post-Classic Quiché Maya people of highland Guatemala and south east Mexico) coincidentially translates to “meeting place.” Understandably, as a measure of protecting this divine secret, Popol Vuh is one of those bands you really don’t hear much about. But bring up their name to an individual who is properly enlightened and it will elicit a response similar to a holy man hearing the lord’s true name. Formed in ’69, the group released albums up until the early aughts touching on all sorts of genres from space rock to world to electronic avant-garde. In 1976, they released their most rock-aligned album, Letzte Tage – Letzte Nächte, which presents a cosmic journey from start to finish highlighted by Daniel Fischlescher’s soaring lead guitar. Discovering this band and this album was like a lifelong search coming to an end. I hope to offer the same experience to some of you.
The following songs come from Popol Vuh’s 1976 album Letzte Tage – Letzte Nächte.
When Can wasn’t on the road, the legendary krautrock pioneers spent their time tirelessly experimenting away in their studio, Inner Space, located in a a century old German castle (and later in a converted cinema). Unlimited Edition, released in 1976 as an expanded version of 1974’s Limited Edition, culls unreleased songs and instrumental jams recorded at the coveted studio spaces between the years 1968-1976 featuring both of the group’s main singers (Damo Suzuki and Malcolm Mooney). Among the odds and ends, of particular interest are the early 1969 tracks recorded with Malcolm Mooney as vocalist—thought to be unreleased cuts from the Monster Movie sessions—”The Empress and the Ukraine King,” “Mother Upduff,” “Connection,” and “Fall of Another Year.” Just imagine how these tracks would have sounded in place of some of the lengthier cuts that wound up on the group’s debut.
Föllakzoid hail from Santiago, Chile where the group began as a “product of a trance experience between friends, sort of a soul abduction in which they’ve been living since 2008.” Fans of the kraut genre will delight in the Zoid’s lengthy sound explorations, often channeling pioneers like Amon Düül and Ash Ra Temple along with contemporaries like Camera and the Lumerians. Listen to “Rio” off their new album, II, available now via Sacred Bones.
In recent years, an increasing number of bands have begun waving the neo-krautrock flag, attempting to recreate and build upon the sounds of the genre’s forefathers like Neu!, Can, Amon Duul, Faust and so on. But few, if any, have actually received praise from said forefathers, aside from Berlin-based trio Camera who have recently been championed by Michael Rother of Neu! Formed by Franz Bargman (guitar) Timm Brockmann (synth) and Michael Drummer (drums), Camera have been dubbed the “Krautrock Guerillas” for their spontaneous concerts in public spaces like subway stations, public bathrooms and even a gatecrashing stunt at the German Film Prize after show party. They’ve shared the stage with Rother and his old comrade Dieter Moebius (Cluster, Harmonia), and just this past summer released their debut LP, Radiate, on Bureau-B Records. Download/stream album track “Ausland”—the latest “Hallogallo” tribute (yet one with a seal of approval!)—and view its official video below.
The other night, some friends and I were discussing the geography of the contemporary psych revival. It’s obvious that, while places like San Francisco and Bushwick will probably be on your radar, others such as Minneapolis or Kentucky are more likely to be left off. Jovonates, one of the latest additions to Woodsist’s Hello Sunshine subsidiary, hail from Lexington, KY, where they recorded their new LP Things Are Different Here in the back of a local skateshop. On the album, Jovonates journeys through stoned-out kraut grooves reminiscent of Neu! or Can, while laying atop space guitar riffs and cyclical psych trances in the vein of Ash Ra Tempel. The album drops October 11 on a limited 500-edition vinyl release, but until then you can watch the video for one of the songs below. Pre-order Things Are Different Here via Insound.
For today, I’m honored to present to you a special Krautrock playlist curated by my good friend Mike Newman from Beyond Beyond is Beyond. You can hear more from Mr. Newman by tuning into his radio show every Thursday from 12-2PM on East Village Radio.
From Mike Newman: Hey there! I was excited when DGB asked me to assemble a playlist a of some of my favorite Krautrock jams. So here we go! Well, first of all, I think people have different ideas of what Krautrock is. To some it is simply rock made by Germans in the late 60s and 70s. To others it comes more down to style: the motorik drumming, the nod to experimental electronic music, the ambient textures, the avant garde. And some that prescribe to the latter, don’t even consider being German a crucial element, so long as it checks out in the other categories. I like the jumble. The uncertainty. The gummi distinctions. What I’ve got here for you today is some of my favorite Kraut rock. Dig it…
01 Exmagma – Box 25 02 Can – Mother Sky 03 Amon Duul II – A Morning Excuse 04 Kraan – Andy Nogger 05 Faust – Flashback Caruso 06 Hairy Chapter – Illusions 07 Andy Goldner – Full Moon 08 Ashra – Oasis 09 Frumpy – I’m afraid, Big Moon 10 Cluster – Zum Wohl 11 Birth Control – We All Thought We Knew 12 Epitaph – Big City 13 Lake – Scoobie Doobies 14 Popol Vuh – Get Up 15 Niagara – Bones 16 Scorpions – It All Depends 17 Kin Ping Meh – My Future 18 Agitation Free – Atlantic Overcrossing 19 Kraftwerk – Autobahn