Krautrock, also known as kosmische musik, is a genre of experimental and progressive music that originated in Germany during the late 1960s and early 1970s. It is a fusion of different styles such as psychedelia, avant-garde, electronic, and jazz, and is considered to be one of the most influential movements in the history of popular music.
The term “Krautrock” was coined by the British music press to describe the new sound coming out of Germany at the time. It was a way to differentiate it from the traditional rock music of the United Kingdom and the United States. However, the term is considered controversial and offensive by some, who see it as derogatory towards the German culture.
One of the key aspects of Krautrock is its rejection of conventional song structures and commercialization. The musicians who created this genre were more interested in exploring and experimenting with different sounds and techniques rather than creating hit songs. This led to the use of long instrumental improvisations, repetitive rhythms, and electronic effects, making Krautrock a highly innovative and boundary-pushing genre.
One of the pioneers of Krautrock was the band Can, who blended elements of rock, jazz, and electronic music. Their use of unconventional instruments and recording techniques, such as tape loops and sound collages, set the foundation for the genre. Other influential bands include Kraftwerk, Faust, Tangerine Dream, and Neu!, each with their unique sound and approach to music.
Krautrock also had a strong political and cultural influence. The musicians of this movement rejected the traditional German culture and its associations with Nazi ideology. They instead embraced a more global and forward-thinking perspective, drawing inspiration from various cultures and philosophies. This can be seen in the diverse musical influences present in Krautrock, including African beats and Eastern sounds.
The popularity of Krautrock spread throughout Europe and the United States, influencing other artists and genres such as punk, post-punk, and electronic music. Its impact can still be heard in contemporary music, with bands like Radiohead and LCD Soundsystem citing Krautrock as a major influence.
In conclusion, Krautrock is a genre that pushed the boundaries of traditional music and paved the way for experimental, progressive, and electronic genres. Its rejection of commercialization and embrace of global influences make Krautrock a unique and significant movement in musical history. By breaking away from the norms, Krautrock continues to inspire and influence musicians to this day, solidifying its place in the history of popular music.