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Three years after the first installment, Soul Jazz Records return with a second volume of Deutsche Electronische Musik. A two disc set featuring 27 tracks, it clocks in at a generous 2½ hours and it's even better than its predecessor. Much like Volume 1, Kraftwerk don't get a look in (probably something to do with licensing rights) but, when the music is this good, it doesn't really matter. Most of the leading lights - Amon Duul II, NEU!, Faust and Can - are represented but there are plenty of lesser known artists to be heard too.

Comprising of electronic and progressive sounds with elements of psychedelia, this is both experimental and forward thinking music that occasionally incorporates aspects of various musical strands that were emanating from around the globe during the same period. Synths and keyboards underpin much of the music but there's a fair amount of first rate heavy rock too and even some folk. Mind blowing percussion, guitar freakouts and the relentless repetition often associated with Krautrock - it's all here.

It's very difficult to select highlights from a collection this strong. Agitation Free's 'You Play For Us Today' is a trippy tension builder with hypnotic guitar and the percussion on Can's 'Halleluwah' (albeit a heavily edited version) still takes the breath away. Featuring lush female vocals, Broselmaschine's folkish 'Nossa Bova' does have, as evidenced by the wordplay of the song title, a Brazilian vibe. 'China' by Electric Sandwich is an eight minute mind-bender with tribal beats and phased guitars. The abrasive and appropriately titled 'Krautrock' by Faust closes the album and ultimately sums-up the whole scene and sound in less than 12 minutes.

Regardless of whether you're a connoisseur of Deutsche Kosmische Musik or just interested in experiencing something different, this compilation deserves a place in your collection. Featuring a sumptuous 48 page booklet with extensive notes and archive photos that's housed alongside the CD jewel case inside a cardboard slipcase, this is sure to feature near the top of most end of year charts.
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on 18 March 2013
The earlier review from RJS pretty much sums everything up - so this is really just a further endorsement. This is an exceptional compilation even by the high standards Soul Jazz have established for themselves over the years.

It's probably even better than the original instalment from a year or two back, by virtue of an even more eclectic range of music. Almost all of the big names are present and correct - the exception, as before, being Kraftwerk, but honestly, if you're interested in this at all, you've already got all the Kraftwerk you need. Look on this one as the gateway to even more fantastic music, though self-styled hipsters should be warned that amidst all the hardcore freakouts and zu-cool-fur-die-Schule Neue Deutsche Welle antics there's a few tracks that are too proggy and folky to sit well with the Hoxton bonnet. The standout is probably Agitation Free's "You Play For Us Today", which is brilliantly foreboding and intense. Agitation Free are undeservedly neglected (possibly because they're too jazzy to appeal to Julian Cope and thus fell through the net for canonisation in "Krautrocksampler") but they were a superb band and let's hope this set re-establishes them, and many others, for the fantastic work they did. It's nice to see love for the outstanding meditative music of Sergius Golowin too (Golowin was also a baker of exceedingly good cakes, though that's another matter entirely).

Please note that the "sumptuous 48 page book" is mostly photos and very large text. It does give you all the basic info you'd want on the artists, but it's quite hard to follow as the musicians are discussed in a totally random order, neither alphabetical not following the track order. A minor grumble, though. This is not merely worthy but demanding of your love and attention at the soonest possible opportunity.
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on 24 March 2013
An excellent follow-up to the first volume, released in 2010. A similar pattern is evident, mixing hypnotic synths, hippie grooves, driving guitar riffs and ambient chill-outs.
Overall I would say volume 2 is on a par with the first release. Much is drawn from a similar palette, including return visits for the likes of Neu!, Can, Popol Vuh, Gila & Faust. As you might expect, this selection has a higher quota of lesser-known gems. It was a joy for me to be introduced to the magnificent voice of Sergius Golowin and the pulsating synth of Rolf Trostel. Once again the production values are of the highest quality with the songs and tunes sounding like they've been newly recorded. Despite a few weaker tracks, this is clearly a perfect way to dip into this glorious period of German music.
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on 1 April 2013
Another excellent compilation. Can't wait for a volume three! Its always a pleasue to hear non-mainstream recordings it goes to show that thers more to German electronic music than Kraftwerk! Some more Michael Bundt next time perhaps?
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Obviously the best tunes were cherry-picked for volume 1, but this selection is very nearly as good. Anybody who enjoyed the volume 1 is going to love this.
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on 14 July 2013
Bought this as a gift, so didn't listen to it much, and not really my 'thing'. If anything the music was less experimental than I thought it would be...nicely packaged though, and a good buy if you want to know more about this strand of music.
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on 8 March 2014
Now I don't know about you, but if I was a german this CD would make me proud. Damn proud.
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on 18 January 2015
not as good as vol 1
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