Kraut was once a derogatory term for Germans, but now, in the future–like so many slurs–it has been reapropriated as a term of endearment. Well, OK, the only case that comes easily to mind would be Krautrock (not including my recently invented term for a German-American, Krautmerican). This is a kind of uniquely teutonic music that was generated on lots of love (German-style), lots of hash (Afghan Power, I’m guessing) and lots of electronics (moogs, synths, who the hell knows) during the late 1960s and well into the late 1970s.
While John and Paul were figuring out who was the Walrus and who was the Eggman, and The Byrds were Eight Miles High, German hippies in communes from Munich to Mannheim to Cologne to Hamburg to Berlin were tripping balls on Golden Sunshine and figuring out how to make their synthesizers sound like walking on Visnhu’s ninth astral plane.
A few years ago, my Swedish individualist friend and music fiend, Knut (pronounced k’noot), handed me a CD-R of Faust’s So Far, a legendary recording in the vein of the Velvet Underground’s first album–in that, as they say about VU, it was originally only heard by 500 people but all of those people immediately started bands.
Anyway, three years later, I have learned that there is a lot more to Krautrock than–as great as they are–Can and Kraftwerk. My explorations continue and sometimes, like today, complete a circle. Luckily a whole Garten of blogs have sprung up recently, offering everything from the mainstream to the arcanest of the arcane. So, this is for Knut: Faust’s never-released final album for Virgin Records, here (or here). It’s more like a gift from God herself. So, thank you God, tak Knut, thank you Faust and thank you internet.
Also, back to Sweden: Wired’s chronicle of the ‘spectacular’ downfall of has-been game console company, Gizmondo (featurning the Uppsala Mafia–I didn’t know Uppsala even had crime–I was so naïve, apparently).Stumble it!