Reminds us of:
NEU, Can, Faust, Hawkwind, Kikagaku Moyo, Loop
Links to music/references in blue
According to Wikipedia, ‘Krautrock is a broad genre of experimental rock that developed in West Germany in the late 1960s and early 1970s among bands that blended elements of psychedelic rock and various avant garde influences. These artists largely distanced themselves from the blues influences and song structure of traditional Anglo-American rock music instead utilizing hypnotic rhythms, tape music techniques, and early synthesizers.
The term "krautrock" was coined by British music journalists in the early 1970s as a humorous umbrella label for the diverse German scene though many so-labelled artists disliked the term. The period contributed to the development of ambient music and techno and influenced subsequent genres such as post punk, new age music and post rock’.
If you go to Minami Deutsch’s social media accounts, you’ll see their very short but to the point description of their music: ‘Japanese Krautrock’. It’s a clever description, as the genre encompasses so much variation and creativity and doesn’t tie them down to any particular sound, and they do it very well.
The band were formed in 2014 and the name translates literally as ‘South Germany’. At the heart of their sound is repetition and their excellent music drifts from instrumental pieces to vocal tracks mainly sung in Japanese.
Their self-titled first album was released in 2016, and it’s very much awash with the Motorik beat that’s so associated with Krautrock or Komische Music overall. You can listen to the whole album here and I recommend that you do, as it’s great. You should be well into by the end of track 2 ‘Futsu Ni Ikirenai’ especially with that wonderful fuzz guitar that lights up the end of it.
Second album ‘With Dim Light’ was released last year and sees their sound evolve further – in addition to their love of Krautrock the band also like a bit of techno and seventies funk, with the latter influence prevalent in opening track Concrete Ocean. Tangled Yarn, Bitter Moon and Don't Wanna Go Back take more of a psyche rock direction with the remaining two tracks Tunnel and I've seen a ufo reverting back to Motorik. It’s all good though, and pretty immediate like its predecessor so do dig in.
The band returned early this year with the Live at Roadburn EP, which has ex Can vocalist Damo Suzuki warbling freeform over it. The music is very good of course, but Suzuki ruins it for me – at times he sounds like he’s commentating on horse racing.
Also (just) released this year is the Can’t Get There EP, with lead track ‘Can’t get there’ available in three mixes – a Psychedelic original, a techno take by Mytholgen and a beatsy version by Jamie Paton. I’m less partial to the Paton version but the others are very good. The EP also has Israeli Blues which they themselves have described as ‘cold funk’ (and who am I to disagree?) and Nishi No Jiku which takes a while to warm up but when it does you get that glorious blast of fuzz again.
I’d love to tell you how good they are live, but I’ve not seen them yet and they have decided to play over here when I’m on holiday (grrrr) so I won’t get the chance. Apparently they’re very entertaining though, so check them out if you can. I’ve put the dates in the gigs page of the site.