Neu! – E-Musik

Neu_albumcoverA visionary band in the process of maturation or an old band that has become new to us? Neu was a German krautrock band formed in Düsseldorf in 1971 by ex-Kraftwerk members Klaus Dinger and Michael Rother. While little known and relatively unheralded during its brief existence, Neu is retrospectively considered one of the founders of the German electronic motorik sound (or Krautrock) and cast a large shadow over the UK punk scene and generations of musicians as diverse as David Bowie, Brian Eno, Josefin Ohrn + the Liberation, Pere Ubu, Julian Cope, The Fall and Wooden Shjips.

The duo formed in Düsseldorf, Germany, in 1971 and their self-titled debut album was recorded in the space of four days with Can producer Conny Plank. Released in 1972 it quickly established their affection for minimalist melodies and lock-groove rhythm. While virtually ignored throughout the rest of the world, the album sold extremely well in West Germany, resulting in a tour with support from Guru Guru’s Uli Trepte and Eberhard Krahnemann.

‘Hallogallo’, the entirely instrumental song that opens the album is a mesmerizing pulse that is one of Krautrock’s trademarks. Intelligent dance music. The guitar-driven classic soars, sighs, throbs, tics and wahs for over 10 meditative minutes, and constantly teeters on the edge of punkish revolt. Mono-chordal but never monochromatic, it announced the extraordinary dexterity, variety and intensity that could be explored by an exposition of one chord over a metronomic drumbeat.

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Neu returned to the studio in 1973 for their sophomore effort: Neu 2. The eleven-minute lead in track Fur Immer (Forever) is a serpentine krautpunk classic, channeling fierce repetition into something anthemic, but a shortfall of cash allowed the duo to complete a minimal amount of materiel which they subsequently remixed at varying and disorienting speeds to flesh out a full-length album. After the record’s release, Rother joined Dieter Moebius and Joachim Roedelius of Cluster to form Harmonia, but Neu officially reunited in 1975 to record Neu! ’75, the group’s final statement. The record’s lush ambiance masks a primal tension at heart. It has the rhythmic pounding of their debut distilled through the radical proto-punk of their second album, punctuated by spells of dreamy ambiance as heard on the extraordinary E-Music. After its release, they again disbanded; Rother continued on as a solo performer, while Dinger and drummer Hans Lampe formed La Dusseldorf.

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In the mid-’80s, Rother and Dinger re-formed yet again, although the recording sessions did not officially surface until 1996.

While Neu never received the recognition it deserved during its all-too brief existence, dropping this German band’s name nowadays ensures you’re awfully cool and down with alt and indie rock’s revered ones. Their music has seeped into the musical consciousness of several generations, and the influence is everywhere. Rest assured there is substance behind the legend as heard on this compilation entitled Neu! E-Musik.

Neu! – E-Musik mp3

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All selections are lifted from their first three seminal releases.

  1. Hallogallo
  2. Neuschnee
  3. Fur Immer (Forever)
  4. Negativland
  5. Super
  6. Lila Engel
  7. E-Musik
  8. Isi
  9. Seeland

Further Listening:

  1. Harmonia – Deluxe (1975)
  2. La Düsseldorf – La Düsseldorf (1976)
  3. David Bowie – Lodger (1979)

This entry was posted in Downloads, Mixtapes, Neu!. Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Neu! – E-Musik

  1. Pingback: David Bowie – “Heroes” | THE PRESS | Music Reviews

  2. Andiau says:

    MAN! Please write something about MAN from Wales! I saw MAN many times in Germany

  3. paolomeccano says:

    Thanks for sharing. I’ve been reading about the recording of the mid-’70s Bowie albums recently, so this will be an ideal companion.

  4. Pingback: Didn’t Know It Was A Cover? | THE PRESS | Music Reviews

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