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Future Days: Krautrock and the Building of Modern Germany [Kindle Edition]

David Stubbs
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)

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Book Description

West Germany following the Second World War was a country in shock: estranged from its recent history, and adrift from the rest of Europe. But this disorientating landscape proved fertile ground for a generation of musicians who, from the 1960s onwards, would develop the experimental and various sounds that became known as Krautrock.

Eschewing the Anglo-American jazz/blues tradition, they took their inspiration from elsewhere: the mysticism of the East; the fractured classicism of Stockhausen; the pneumatic repetition of industry and the dense forests of the Rhineland; the endless winding of Autobahns.

Faust, Neu!, Cluster, Ash Ra Tempel, Amon Düül II, Can and Kraftwerk. These may not all be household names, but the influence of their ruminative, expansive compositions upon Western popular music is incalculable. These groups were key to the development of postpunk, electronica and ambient music. Without them Bowie would not have made his Berlin trilogy, Talking Heads would have been a straight-ahead rock band, and the Pet Shop Boys would have a completely different stage act.

Future Days is an in-depth study of this meditative, sometimes abstract, often very beautiful music and the groups that made it, throwing light on the social and political context that informed them. It's an indispensable book for those wanting to understand how much of today's music came about, and to discover a wealth of highly influential and pioneering musicians.

Product Description


A weighty and wide-ranging genre history full of mystic moments and insightful analysis. (Mojo 4*)

Krautrock's broad church is detailed and enthused about with skill by Stubbs, a man immersed in the music he adores. It's informative and full of fantastic interviews - a must for any fans of the man machine. (Q 4*)

This clear-headed and sympathetic account of great things that happened in a temporary nation is as serious and entertaining as its subject. (The Independent)

His book is so well researched and filled with such enthusiasm for its subject that it absorbs from start to finish. (The Observer)

Their revolution - sweeping, with international consequences on the shape of modern popular music - was cultural, a momentous if fleeting creative blossoming, whose many and disparate achievements are fittingly celebrated in this admirable book. (Uncut 8/10)

Absorbing and illuminating. (The Wire)

A thorough critical and cultural history of the genre. (The List 4*)

Musically literate, historically astute and socially smart appreciation. (The Times)

The brief, wide-ranging and influential musical movement is charted in forensic detail in David Stubb's engrossing Future Days. (The Telegraph)

Book Description

Future Days: Krautrock and the Building of Modern Germany, by David Stubbs, is the indispensable and definitive new guide to Krautrock.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 2519 KB
  • Print Length: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Faber & Faber; Main edition (5 Aug. 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00KEW6A6M
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #158,963 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I have been a fan since encountering Can's 'Ege Bamyasi' [Means "Aegean Okra" no less] circa 1972, its cover photo of Okra, as Stubbs cleverly notices, is a pointer to an affinity with Warhol's Factory. I just thought it was funny, not an aesthetic symbol. It certainly stunned me with its psychedelic rhythms, unique singing and all round difference. I love what I have always called 'Krautrock', something I am surprised to find I never considered might be seen as offensive. I learned early that the pernicious notion of the Germans as without humour, of theirs as a land of mindless obedience was just plain ignorant. Stubbs's comprehensive, searching and fascinating account had me, a lover of Amon Duul 2, Faust and Can especially, revelling in the love of Germany and its war-inflected music starkly different from Anglo-American rock. And the war reference is interesting, explaining the context of the heterodox, invariably communalist nature of these combos; the Fuehrer principle was detested by them all. That he argues for using the controversial term for this music despite it being reviled by the groups shows, curiously, how much he cares and is a statement of intent of great integrity and intelligence. This is a bold, ambitious cultural history of what has been a surprisingly pervasive influence on much pop music. He interviews many of the musicians, an interesting lot and full of compelling ideas; the evocations of the music had me getting the CDs out to luxuriate in the strange beauty of a sub-genre that had the pop and the avant garde intersect: the lack of prominence of the lead singer, the ambient, trance-like tunes, the atonality, the insistent, driving 'motorik' percussion eschewing the Dreaded Drum Solo, 'found sound'/music concrete, the frequent quirkiness. Read more ›
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What I'd been waiting for but... 4 Jan. 2015
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I'd always wanted and been waiting for someone to write a thoughtful, analytical account of Krautrock as a companion to Julian Cope's admittedly highly-entertaining but determinedly non-cerebral Krautrocksampler.

This then is mostly that book. However it does have its failings. There is a small number of very, very basic errors. For example, Michael Karoli is described as Swiss; there is a reference to the 'title track' on Ege Bamyasi; and there's a paragraph in the Amon Duul section about Renate Knaup's signing on Dance of the Lemmings (she wasn't on that album except as guest on one short track).

In the section on Popol Vuh, I had hoped to read more about the (to me) essential German-ness of their music and also to read more about Daniel Fichelscher whose contribution to PV has always seemed to me to not get the credit it deserves. You'd think that PV were really just Florian Fricke when they were most definitely composed of two equal contributors.

It also seems quixotic to give Agitation Free and Guru Guru such little space (AF get only two mentions) when in the case of the latter when they were in some respects a quintessential Krautrock band what with the frequent guitar freak-outs, intense but untutored drumming, lots of heavy reverb, heavily effected vocals and so on.

I also experienced a fair amount of deja vu as there's a considerable amount of quotation from previous interviews e.g. in the Wire, the Quietus etc.

The book is really good on the cultural backdrop and also on the enduring legacy of Krautrock. However, I was surprised not to see more if anything at all about the influence of Krautrock in Japan. I don't recall any mention for example of Acid Mothers Temple and their ilk.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars well frankly really quite boring.. 6 Dec. 2014
By Shantiq
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
well frankly really quite boring... no info there that you would not have already known if you had paid attention to the press and then the internet in the last 30 years
Mr Stubbs writes a wicked album review and there are a few in here and brilliant there but to my mind he does not write a wicked biography;
it is mostly functional and merely factual at best; the section on Can was duller than dishwater

I would still read it as it is about Krautrock but we need a better book in the English language ... maybe find a pdf of Krautrocksampler as it is no longer in print ... that is more lively a piece of writing if not as all-encompassing
I was disappointed as David Stubbs clearly researched long and hard but reined in his creative writing skills maybe to fit in with bland Faber .... the book cover says sociology manual NOT KRAUTROCK
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Stubbs' book is a passionate and personal exploration of Krautrock, giving a chapter on each of the main players from that period (Amon Duul, Can, Kraftwerk, Neu! etc). Not only does this book provide useful context for understanding the development and influence of Krautrock, but it has also provided real incentive to re-listen to these albums in a new light.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thoughtful and comprehensive. 31 Oct. 2014
A thoughtful, comprehensive overview of the genre, comprising an overview of the postwar political and social conditions that gave rise to the bands, chapters on all the main players (quite rightly discarding the German prog rock acts that have often been lumped in with the scene) and a coda on the 80s bands who carried the torch, such as Einsturzende Neubaten.

However, it's far from being just a hagiographic history. Mr. Stubbs points out that that most of the bands went out so far into the realms of experimentation that there was nowhere else to go, and those that did continue to make music perhaps shouldn't have. I was reminded of that scene in the BBC Krautrock documentary a few years back, which showed the now septegenarian Faust still gamely banging away on an old tractor with a drainpipe in a way inescapably reminiscent of Vic and Bob's Mulligan And O'Hare. He also points out that the development of affordable and functional synthesisers in some ways had a negative effect on the development of the music, with many of its early experimenters spending the balance of their careers in keyboard noodling. There are lots of interesting ideas like that in here, and it's a must if you have any interest in the genre.

Plus, of course, the author's wonderful descriptions of the albums will have comparative neophytes like myself putting in some pretty hefty Amazon orders over the next few weeks. Excellent.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars the good things first
Well, the good things first. Stubbs is highly passionate about his subject. He has extensively researched most of the leading players of the scene and interviewed many. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Shane Pacey
5.0 out of 5 stars Everything you need to know about Krautrock.......
A brilliant book, less judgmental in a positive and negative way than Julian Cope's great diatribe especially with regards to the coolness of the British media created Krautrock... Read more
Published 2 months ago by djken
5.0 out of 5 stars I'm happy with this
Yep, I'm happy with this.
Published 5 months ago by Scott Blixen
5.0 out of 5 stars Unputdownable!
Readers who think they know everything about Krautrock will be enthralled by David Stubbs' book, which provides a fresh insight into the music coming out of Germany in the 1970s. Read more
Published 6 months ago by tverlaine
4.0 out of 5 stars Krautrock for punks and postpunks. Proggers beware!
Excellent chapters on Kraftwerk, Neu! and `The Berlin School' form the backbone of this fine book, which is written with plenty of style and critical acumen. Read more
Published 6 months ago by A. ADAM
3.0 out of 5 stars Good introduction to Krautrock
Interesting analysis of the genre, though gets a bit ropey when the author delves into politics. He could also do with buying a thesaurus, 'antithetical' seems to crop up in every... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Patrick Barker
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Excellent !
Published 7 months ago by I S.
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Wunderbar liebe
Published 7 months ago by Jackie Catterall
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
I'm happy.
Published 7 months ago by John Colquhoun
5.0 out of 5 stars best book in this subject
Thoroughgoing, impassioned, best book in this subject. Period.
Published 8 months ago by toni lopez querol
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