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Various - Cologne Curiosities: The Unknown Kraut Rock Underground 1972-1976

  by Steve Kinrade

published: 22 / 12 / 2016

Various - Cologne Curiosities: The Unknown Kraut Rock Underground 1972-1976
Label: Mental Experience
Format: CD


Appealing compilation of largely obscure Krautwork recorded in Cologne betwwen 1972 and 1976

When you think of Krautrock, it is highly understandable that the usual suspects of this genre spring to mind: - Kraftwerk, Can, Faust, Tangerine Dream, and my personal kings of the Motorik, Neu! Has there ever been a finer, aesthetically crafted work of art as Neu!’s 'Hallogallo'? However, 'Cologne Curiosities' takes a pretty sharp hand-break turn off the autobahn, and careers off–road into the musical landscapes of early 1970s Germany. But is this collection more Trabant than BMW? The recordings included here were made between 1972 and 1976 using studios in and around Cologne, and were produced by Toby Hrycek Robinson. Most of these sessions were recorded by Toby, and they feature Toby himself plus a cast of friends and musicians (some of them big Kraut names under pseudonym). Interestingly, Toby went on to compose themes and incidental music for the BBC, thereby going from Stockhausen to 'Dr Who'. Of the seven tracks, you can probably file three under “experimental” – 'Innerst', 'Ganz Wie Du Willst', 'Feurerwek' – although it’s fun to try and guess what the more established Kraut names working under alias had a creative hand in. My Christmas Pudding shilling is on Can’s Holger Czukay being involved in 'Feurerwerk', solely based on it reminds me a little of his work with David Sylvian on 'Plight & Premonition'. The stand out tracks, however, are the openers: 'Interstellar Shortwave' is a good-time Germanic stomp with an infectious groove. 'The Message' is a tremendous, laid back tune, the perfect musical antidote to stressful day. God–fearers would be best to avoid 'No God / Astaroth.' It is genuinely weird and creepy, the result of an Arthur Brown and Aleister Crowley social get-together in a Bavarian Castle. All in all, this is an interesting side-look into the underbelly of experimentation, and will be of some interest for sincere Krautrock connoisseurs. With the festive season looming, this collection of curiosities would be an ideal stocking filler for the goodly Weihnachtsmann to distribute on Christmas Eve. Just steer clear of 'Astaroth'.

Track Listing:-
1 Interstellar Shortwave
2 The Message
3 Schaudernacht
4 Feuerwerk
5 No God / Astaroth
6 Innerst
7 Ganz Wie Du Willst

Band Links:-

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