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When it comes to krautrock, it’s impossible not to mention the war

The wild and wonderful music that exploded from West Germany in the 1970s stemmed from a young generation’s determination to escape the trauma of the Nazi past

22 June 2024

9:00 AM

22 June 2024

9:00 AM

Neu Klang: The Definitive History of Krautrock Christoph Dallach, translated by Katie Derbyshire

Faber, pp.500, 25

In recent years, sensitive music critics have attempted to replace krautrock with kosmiche as the consensus term for the wild and wonderful music that exploded out of West Germany during the 1970s: Can, Neu!, Cluster, Faust. A word that literally translates as herb-rock, cooked up by glib Brits who had read too many war comics, lacks a certain gravitas, and nobody would describe Tangerine Dream or Kraftwerk as rock anyway.

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