Future Days: Krautrock and the Birth of a Revolutionary New Music

Future Days: Krautrock and the Birth of a Revolutionary New Music

by David Stubbs


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A sweeping history of the men and women who transformed postwar Germany—and created a musical genre that revolutionized rock and roll and gave birth to hip-hop.
West Germany after World War II was a country in shock: estranged from its recent history, and adrift from the rest of Europe. But this orphaned landscape proved fertile ground for a generation of musicians who, from the 1960s onwards, would develop the strange and beautiful sounds that became known as Krautrock.
Eschewing the easy pleasures of rock and roll and the more substantive seductions of blues and jazz, they took their inspiration from elsewhere: the mysticism of the East; the fractured classicism of Stockhausen; the grinding repetition of industry; the dense forests of the Rhineland; the endless winding of Autobahns.
Faust, Neu!, Cluster, Ash Ra Tempel, Amon Düül II, Can, Kraftwerk—the influence of these groups’ music on Western popular music is incalculable. They were key to the development of movements ranging from post-punk to electronica and hip-hop and have directly inspired artists as diverse as David Bowie, Talking Heads, and LCD Soundsystem.
Future Days is the brilliantly reported, deeply researched story of the groups that created Krautrock, and a social and cultural history of the Germany that challenged, inspired, and repelled them.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781612194745
Publisher: Melville House Publishing
Publication date: 07/21/2015
Pages: 512
Product dimensions: 6.25(w) x 9.25(h) x 1.90(d)

About the Author

DAVID STUBBS is an author and music journalist. Alongside Simon Reynolds, he was one of the co-founders of the magazine Monitor before going on to join the staff at Melody Maker. He later worked for NME, Uncut and Vox, as well as The Wire. His work has appeared in The Times of London, The Sunday Times, Spin, The Guardian, The Quietus, and GQ. He has written a number of books, including Fear of Music: Why People Get Rothko but Don’t Get Stockhausen, a comparative study of twentieth-century avant-garde music and art. He currently lives in London.

Table of Contents

Unna, West Germany, 1970 vii

Introduction 1

Prologue 19

1 Amon Düül and the Rise from the Communes 85

2 Can: No Führers 109

3 Kraftwerk and the Electrification of Modern Music 151

4 Faust: Hamburg and the German Beatles 209

5 Riding through the Night: Neu! and Conny Plank 243

6 The Berlin School 277

7 Fellow Travellers 311

8 A Raging Peace: Cluster, Harmonia and Eno 329

9 Popol Vuh and Herzog 355

10 Astral Travelling: Rolf-Ulrich Kaiser, Ash Ra Tempel and the Cosmic Couriers 371

11 A New Concrete: Neue Deutsche Welle 407

12 Post-Bowie, Post-Punk, Today and Tomorrow 425

Acknowledgements 467

Bibliography 469

Index 473

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