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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Cosmic music encyclopedia
This isn't the first book on the subject of German electronic and avant garde music from the 1960s onward, of course, but it's the only one I've read. Having recently bought several CDs by the likes of NEU!, Cluster and Popol Vuh, I wanted a book that would guide me on exploring this kind of music further. At just under 200 pages it looks expensive, but it's glossy,...
Published on 19 Dec 2009 by D. J. H. Thorn

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6 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good, but flawed
This is essentially a series of essays about the various bands, labels and influential figures involved in all things Kraut. As that, it's a very enjoyable and a pretty decent introduction to Krautrock, especially for those interested in finding out a bit more than the usual Can/Neu/Tangerine Dream/Kraftwerk/Faust spiel that bands and journalists are all too eager to...
Published on 14 Aug 2010 by Mr T


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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Cosmic music encyclopedia, 19 Dec 2009
By 
D. J. H. Thorn "davethorn13" (Hull, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Krautrock: Cosmic Rock and its Legacy (Paperback)
This isn't the first book on the subject of German electronic and avant garde music from the 1960s onward, of course, but it's the only one I've read. Having recently bought several CDs by the likes of NEU!, Cluster and Popol Vuh, I wanted a book that would guide me on exploring this kind of music further. At just under 200 pages it looks expensive, but it's glossy, almost A4 size and informative. One of its strengths is in having more than a dozen contributors and the text is divided into sections: background essays, A-Z artist and producer profiles, a timeline which puts releases into a wider context, a look at labels and a long 1973 article on the subject. There are also many great photos.

The four essays take up the first fifty pages, the best of which is by novelist Michel Faber. It is an account of his initiation into and continuing love for this music which frequently touches a chord. Unlike other contributors, he acknowledges the popularity of other forms of modern music and the whole piece is highly readable. Some of the other writing, though informative, is more dense, often in an academic style. Where it's badly-written, it can be virtually impenetrable. David Stubbs, who also writes some interesting artist profiles, makes the mistake of dismissing 'Anglo-American Rock' as a continuing influence on current music. His biggest gaffe, however, appears in his piece on Tangerine Dream, in which he claims that their album 'Zeit' is 'the true voyage to the Dark Side Of The Moon, one which puts Pink Floyd's own declared efforts in this vein in their proper perspective as cosy, shagpile astronomers by comparison'. Assuming that he's listened to Floyd's album, he ought to know that, despite its title, it has nothing to do with space and has a completely different agenda to 'Zeit'.

That aside, the profiles are interesting, identifying each artist's best, most innovative and most groundbreaking work. They've introduced me to some great artists of whom I haven't previously heard, such as Agitation Free. Lumping artists into a subject as uncertain as this is difficult, though, because 'Krautrock', for want of a more respectful label, isn't a movement as such. The people involved are linked only by a certain approach to music-making. Some are rooted in jazz, others in Stockhausen, and then of course there's Faust - where do you put them? Can are unlike anyone else and Popol Vuh veer from beautiful melodies to impressionistic brilliance. Nektar are a baffling inclusion: a British band based in Germany who sound much more like a conventional rock band caught between hard rock and prog.

I suspect that this book will add little to a bookshelf that already contains something on the subject, such as Julian Cope's take on it, but as an introduction I've found it very useful.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An indispensable guide, 12 Jan 2010
By 
J. A. Koch "joalko" (Cambridge, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Krautrock: Cosmic Rock and its Legacy (Paperback)
From Can to Kraftwerk and Nektar to Neu! This is a very informative guide to the origins of the experimental German rock movement of the late 60's and early 70's that came to be known as Krautrock. While it provides profiles of the key bands and their music, it also explores the underlying reasons why and how such a phenomemnon developed with its parallels in politics and social upheaval. The book is some 190 pages and is well laid out with plenty of photographs and artwork that you can dip into without ever feeling you have to read it from cover to cover. It probably won't interest those who find Krautrock relentless, boring and repetitive. But for those who appreciate what its all about, it should makes you value your old vinyl records (and the artwork on their album sleeves) even more with a desire to hear more of what you may have missed.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars German Electronica Finally Nailed In Coffee Table Heaven, 29 Oct 2010
This review is from: Krautrock: Cosmic Rock and its Legacy (Paperback)
Krautrock or Cosmic Rock & It's Legacy is by far the most visually perfect rendering of the music that emanated from Germany from the late 1960s to the mid 1970s. It's 8.5 inch by 10.5 inch size enables wonderful photographs to be displayed. My favourite is a full colour image of Karlheinz Stockhausen (the father of German Electronica) at the controls of the studio as he creates his almighty 'Hymnen' in 1967. Other wonderful images are Tangerine Dream with Klaus Schulze on drums, Cluster manipulating banks of equipment, Tangerine Dream against a forest of Moogs,rare images of Harmonia and the wonderful Gille Lettmann of the Cosmic Jokers. There are 31 band profiles, 8 wonderful label tabs with copious colour illustrations of those far out covers like those of Ohr, Kuckuck,Brain and the legendary Pilz which means Mushroom. Of great interest is the analysis of the producers including profiles of Dieter Dierks, Rolf -Ulrich Kaiser and Conny Plank. And this entire glorious tome ends with a timeline which puts the entire experience in context including copious mention of the infamous Baader/Meinhof gang or Red Army Faction. Exhaustive and quite brilliant in every way.

Mark Prendergast (Author of The Ambient Century-From Mahler To Moby)
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The definitive guide?, 17 Sep 2014
By 
R. Shaikh "presstoeject" (London, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Krautrock: Cosmic Rock and its Legacy (Paperback)
If you are into Krautrock or music/band biographies then this must be the most comprehensive one available. It might not reach the depths you are looking for but by covering the major bands associated with the genre with some socio-political insight as well it does a pretty good job for me.

The communal living of many of the bands is interesting to read about, how that must have influenced the genesis of the sound I wonder? A few hefty essays are also included, giving the background context to help make sense of the sprawling interconnection of bands within the pages.

As a primer for finding where to start with Krautrock it is invaluable, not only citing important album releases but also looking at the important record labels that supported them.

As a fan of bands who were influenced by Krautrock, (P.I.L., Loop, The Fall, etc.) it was nice to be able to find out so much more and feel inspired to check out some of the lesser known groups mentioned.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply A Beautiful Krautrock Book, 1 Jun 2014
This review is from: Krautrock: Cosmic Rock and its Legacy (Paperback)
This is a beautiful book that can make you fall in love with your old Kraut favourites again. Kraftwerk, Tangerine Dream, Can and Faust all make an appearance, with enthusiastic and focussed essays by fans and critics. I don't always agree with definitive albums picked for that particular artist, but this gets a point over Julian Cope's Krautrocksampler for covering Agitation Free, one of the best of the scene. Second and Malesch are as significant as Tago Mago and Yeti.

Re: the cover art, I would have liked more on Christian Burchard and Embryo, but that is a minor quibble - this is a fantastic, handsome book with vital information, including a photo gallery of cover art to die for.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars love it, 26 Dec 2012
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R. Peckiene - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Krautrock: Cosmic Rock and its Legacy (Paperback)
lovely book that I was searching for ages, real bargain very happy with it as well with the service as it arrived earlier than i was expecting and was planned as a present for Christmas.
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6 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good, but flawed, 14 Aug 2010
This review is from: Krautrock: Cosmic Rock and its Legacy (Paperback)
This is essentially a series of essays about the various bands, labels and influential figures involved in all things Kraut. As that, it's a very enjoyable and a pretty decent introduction to Krautrock, especially for those interested in finding out a bit more than the usual Can/Neu/Tangerine Dream/Kraftwerk/Faust spiel that bands and journalists are all too eager to mention when in need of a "cool" reference point.

It would have been a four star book, but I'm deducting one star because there's a few factual errors in it and some essays appear to have been published without being checked by a proof reader. Doh!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 1 Sep 2014
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This review is from: Krautrock: Cosmic Rock and its Legacy (Paperback)
Excellent
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6 of 27 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Krautrock book, 10 Jan 2010
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Mr. Derek A. Levermore (Whitstable, Kent) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Krautrock: Cosmic Rock and its Legacy (Paperback)
I purchased this book as a gift for my son who had it on his Christmas Wish list.Personally therefore I am unable to offer a review however I understand that he is pleased with it and that is what matters most..
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Krautrock: Cosmic Rock and its Legacy
Krautrock: Cosmic Rock and its Legacy by Ken Hollings (Paperback - 5 Nov 2009)
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