Krautrock is an easily overlooked genre; most people will only recognize the name Kraftwerk among the artists that get grouped as Krautrock. But it is well worth exploring the surprisingly deep waters. The pulsating rhythms, the electronic experimentation, the often-strange lyrics, the crazy dynamics…
The three big names in Krautrock are NEU!, Faust and Can. NEU!’s members were in an early, pre-“Autobahn” lineup of Kraftwerk before splitting to become NEU!. Drummer Klaus Dinger created what became known as the Motorik beat, the very simple, mechanical-sounding and highly propulsive 4-on-the-floor beat that came to define NEU! and Krautrock.
The story goes that during production of “NEU! 2,” the band blew through their budget before completing more than half of the album. So they virtually invented remixing, filling the second side of the album with sped up, slowed down and otherwise manipulated versions of the tracks they’d already recorded! Here is “Super 16,” which ended up as the theme to the kung fu movie “Master of the Flying Guillotine”:
“Isi” is the wonderfully hypnotic piece of music that opens the album NEU! 75. Dig the motorik beat that drives the song: