2. What and who was Krautrock?
June 18th, 2013:
Krautopia congratulates the man who once was Rolf-Ulrich Kaiser on his 70th birthday.
"Cosmic Courier", "Godfather of Kraut", "Meson Cristallis", "Mr. Null" whatever you will be called in theses days:
New at Krautopia:
Gradually I shall post interviews that I conducted with musicians and others from the Krautrock scene. At present, this material is only available in German. To go to the interview section, use the INTERVIEW links in the text on this page.
- Manfred Miersch
Jean-Hervé Peron /Faust: "We searched for
a utopian location."
(Die Zeit, Nr.16, 11.4.1997)
Manuel Göttsching /Ash Ra Tempel: "The late 1960s - the students protest and hippie culture splashed over the ocean from the USA. Musically, most young Germans listened to and copied American and, more often, English rock and pop. It was the era of 'Beat', 'Rhythm and Blues' and a little 'Soul'. But, there were a few bands in Germany trying to withstand the Anglo-American invasion. They were creating their own typically German style by turning their backs on common song structures."
(Archie Patterson, Eurock, 1998)
Ralf Hütter /Kraftwerk: "We were the first generation post-war in Germany, when not so the houses were bombed, but there was a disorientation in german culture. But it was a great opportunity, because we start from zero, there wasn't a constant tradition. We had this idea to create the 'elektronische Volksmusik', like Volkswagen, something popular."
(Folha de São Paulo, October 1998, Source: Internet)
Joachim Irmler /Faust: "First it was Ethno, then it was Rock, then brass-band, then orchestra music. We tried out everything."
(Zitty-Magazine, Berlin, April 1997)
Michael Wehmeyer /Embryo: "There was a strong urge perhaps it came from experience with the jazz scene to create your own sound, your own way of playing, otherwise its not worthwhile because everything else already exists."
Conrad Schnitzler /Kluster: "I started doing music without knowing anything. I can't play an instrument. What I do is total improvisation, which is why I'm interested in the new sounds you can do with electronics; but I started with normal instruments - piano and cello."
(6/80, Eurock #16, Source: Internet)
Werner ("Zappi") Diermaier /Faust: "The music begins on the work-site, that is; the street. It's developed further in the studio. We did an experiment when we were living on a very long street. When a truck raced by, we would listen to the sounds it made as it disappeared into the distance and thought about what we would associate those sounds with!"
(Der Tagesspiegel, 8./9. February 1997)
Holger Czukay /Can: "The whole 'Krautrock-fever' had been mostly established through that book (i.e. Julian Cope´s Krautrock Sampler) - suddenly people remembered and the whole thing started. Now initially the 'Krautrock' label was a derogatory term. But today you don't get that label out of the people's heads anymore. In America it's just the more expert people who understand that - everyone else regards 'Krautrock' as just a usual term, just like 'Rock 'n' Roll'."
(8/98, Source: Internet)
Falk Rogner /Amon Düül: "In the first Amon Düül tribe, everybody was playing something. There were only four musicians, but there were 20 people on-stage who were doing something!"
(Mojo, UK, N°41, April 1997)
Dieter Bornschlegel /Atlantis /Guru Guru: "I think its really fantastic that nearly all Krautrock bands succeeded in creating their own individual sound and musical cosmos."
Chris Karrer /Amon Düül: "From the beginning, we wanted to accomplish something which one today might describe as multimedia - large events which werent limited to only music."
(Zitty-Magazine, Berlin, 21/1996)
Irmin Schmidt /Can: "With Can, it was all about life."
(Tip-Magazine, Berlin, 7/1999)
Michael Rother /Neu /Harmonia: "We were always close to the abyss."
(Der Tagesspiegel, 20.6.2001)
Michael "Fame"Günther /Agitation Free on an appearance of the group in the Winter of 1969 in Berlin: "The group played in a cube made of clear plastic on which projections could be seen. Screens, on which slides and films were projected, were mounted on the walls and floor. Liquid projections also played a roll. A wall of television monitors was set up. In front of them were motor-controlled rotating discs with holes in them, giving the appearance of moving patterns. The floor was covered with half-inflated automobile inner-tubes, and meal worms and ants scorched in a projector for all to see on a screen."
Uwe Nettelbeck /Faust: "We arent professional in the usual sense. The music is meant to sound like a bootleg recording - like someone following a jam-session, then piecing the recorded material together in a wild fashion."
Damo Suzuki /Can:
"... (and) as a busker on the street, I always improvised when performing my music; I don't enjoy singing the same things every day. Therefore, I wouldn't call myself a professional musician and say that music is my occupation. (...)"
Karlheinz Stockhausen on the piece Aumgn" from Can: "The basic attitude is musically inquisitive".
(Die Zeit, Nr.17, 18.4.1997)
Holger Czukay (Can) on Karlheinz Stockhausen´s music: "More than forty years later this music remains being an outstanding musical jewel though the technical development makes one think this being an old hat. Wrong dear, listening to 'Gesang der Juenglinge' makes modern technique sometimes look old."
(OHM- The Early Gurus of Electronic Music Interviews and Essays by Jason Gross, 1998)
Renate Knaup /Amon Düül II describes an extraordinary church organ that became a crucial component in defining the Amon Düül's sound: "It was a large, ancient Mellotron-type instrument that had been designed by some crazy instrument builder. For every key on the keyboard he had made a tape of that note which had been sung by a real choir. It wasn't sampled or anything."
(Communing with Chaos - by Edwin Pouncey, The Wire, issue 144 February 96)
Michael Rother /NEU /Harmonia: "I had a cassette recorder which used to eat the tape and howl really bad, but in the context I really liked it - this is how 'Cassetto'came about (on the 2nd album: 'NEU! 2'). Since then listening habits changed towards this direction, but in 1973 a lot of critics and fans were irritated and felt as we had made fun of them, which wasn't intended by us at all."
(Interviewed by Billy Hargus, March 1998, Source: Internet)
Edgar Froese /Tangerine Dream: "If you listen to the Tangerine Dream albums in chronological order, you practically have a history of the synthesiser, sequencer and sampler."
Wolfgang Flür/Kraftwerk: "When we first started experimenting with the first minimoog-synthesiser and my self-built electronic drum-set at the beginning of the 70s, the press thought of it as avant-garde music; not to be taken seriously."
(Wolfgang Flür, Ich war ein Roboter, published by Hannibal Verlag, 1999)
Michael Karoli /Can: "I always wanted to make dance
music, even if it's only the soul that's dancing."
(Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Nr. 75, 30.3.1999)
On the 17th of November, 2001 in Essen, Germany, Michael Karoli, the guitarist from CAN, died after fighting a long battle with cancer.
Florian Fricke /Popol Vuh: "I attempted to discover the essence of all religions in a single note -- in a single sound."
(Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Nr. 2, 3.1.2002)
On the 29th of December 2001 Florian Fricke of Popol Vuh died (57 year old) in Munich.
Thomas Dinger /NEU /La Düsseldorf
On the 9th of April 2002 Thomas Dinger died in Duesseldorf.
Peter Leopold /Amon Düül /Amon Düül II
On the 8th of November 2006 Peter Leopold died in Munich.
Klaus Dinger /Kraftwerk /NEU /La Düsseldorf: "I don't come from a particularly musical background. I'm more of a 'working class hero', if you know what I mean by that."
Interview with Klaus Dinger by: Michael Dee/ London for: "POP"/ Stockholm/ Sweden/ Oct. 1998
Thomas Dinger died on the 21st of March 2008.