Krautrock

Datashock – Her mit dem Kelch, (das) hier muss es sein


Datashock is a ritualistic “neo-hippie-spook-folk” collective from Saarlouis, Germany. There is no constant lineup, as the group is joined by new members every now and then.

Their music is defined almost entirely by psychedelic multidimensional live-improvisations stemming from 70ies krautrock influenced by contemporary electronic music and psychotic dronescapes. As a result we find complex layers of sultry muffled vibrations met by heavy waves of electronic sound experiments and strangely disfigured images. Here and there reality-distorting bits of whispers and cut-up voices are woven into the texture of these alien patterns of sound. Every step here is like nervously stumbling through the swampy ground of a jungle. Here every look is like a secret glimpse at a hidden ghost-train world.

If, however, you would want to use other bands from past and present as a reference, names like Tangerine Dream or Sunburned Hand of the Man might come to mind. Datashock’s music has a similarly warm and organic feel to it. Labels like “spooky psychedelic-post-krautfolk” are at the same time graphic description as well as missing the point altogether.

During the band’s four-year history one of the highlights has been this year’s (2007) release of a live-collaboration picture-LP with Nadja, also known as Aidan Baker and Leah Buckareff.

After several releases on floppy disk (this is how the collective started to deep-freeze their sound experiments in 2003), tape, CD-R and Vinyl, Datashock released an LP on Textile Records (France) in January 2008. Furthermore, an LP-release on the legendary label Qbico Records (Italy) was scheduled for spring 2008. 2010’s Para Dieswarts Dull’C60 available on Colour Ride now.

Founding member Pascal Hector is also running Meudiademorte Recs, known for releases of noise and improv music by artists such as Thurston Moore (Sonic Youth), Sunburned Hand of the Man, Vanishing Voice and many others.

Ulf Schütte also plays in Aosuke, works as a solo artist as Shivers and Diamond Lemonade and is running the Tape Tektoniks label. Together with Pascal Hector he plays in Tavatare and with Marcel Türkowsky in Cones.

The collective’s newest member is Marcel Türkowsky who besides his work as a solo artist is involved in Cones, UUHUU, Wooden Veil, Leo Mars and Kinn.

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Pretty Lightning – Marble Moon


Christian Berghoff and Sebastian Haas are two lifelong friends from Saarbrucken, Germany who back in 2007 formed the band Pretty Lightning. The duo ticks off a long list of influences – from 60s psych and delta blues through to krautrock and drone – and the end-product is a heady dose of raw, twisted psychedelic-blues recalling an utterly visceral, mind-blowing mix of Oh Sees, Wooden Shjips and early Black Keys.

“These two pals from a small town in Germany have hit on an honestly impressive variation of Delta blues. When they summon a spooky drone, it’s been likened to the Amon Duul II hippy shake, but I hear something closer to Junior Kimbrough in its composure and hypnosis. They’ll hang on a single bobbling lick for a long time, and when it changes up, it’s both traditional and unexpected.”

Pretty Lightning’s rural and heavy psychedelic blues is definitely southbound – not to sweaty Mississippi Juke Joints but to their sundrenched hometown, located south-west Germany, near the french border. Think of Christian handing over a cold beer to Sebastian after having finished an exhausting recording session and you might catch a glimpse of the general vibe.

But despite the sunny enviroment surrounding Pretty Lightning’s sound is more of a powerful dark affair. Pounding drums, muddy guitars and some ghostly vocals mixed altogether and ready to put a spell on you!

Pretty Lightning’s feverish tunes are referencing electrified blues from fiery Hound Dog Taylor to sleepy Junior Kimbrough and are of course reminiscent of contemporaries like the Black Keys or Mr. Airplane Man.

Annexus Quam – Osmose


Annexus Quam’s first record, originally released in 1970, is a peculiar mix of psychedelic rock and jazz, one of those distinctly Krautrock records from that era. There are plenty of spacy sound effects as well as drugged-out vocal moaning, while primitive rhythms pound away with savage ferocity, especially on the second track. The longer third cut slows things down slightly, with plenty of soloing of guitar, keyboard, and more vocal moaning over the rhythmic washes of sound and ragged percussion, and then adds in some cosmic electric guitar riffing toward the end. The side-long fourth track is far mellower, as a piano leads into a relaxed but swinging number that is far jazzier than the rest of the disc, though still based more in underground rock than jazz. The piece soon takes on the psychedelic weirdness of the earlier tracks as it starts to sway off kilter with more wordless vocals and studio effects and many transitions of sound. Annexus Quam (Osmose) is not quite rock and not quite jazz, but is a very nice listen for more adventurous listeners from either school, especially in the light of more recent post-rock developments.

K-X-P – Obsolete and Beyond


K-X-P is a rock trio consisting of Timo Kaukolampi and Tuomo Puranen of Op:l Bastards fame and Anssi Nykänen, a weathered session drummer. The main reference of their hypnotic music is krautrock from 40 years back, but they do throw in a few afrobeat rhythms, ominously cinematic keyboard sound walls, hippy Middle Eastern melodies and some dancey pulse. Kaukolampi’s idiosyncratic singing style has been sorely missed, although it comes only in small doses this time. Here and there you can also make out the distant breathy vocals of Norwegian pop princess Annie.

The Cosmic Dead – The Spaceman


The Cosmic Dead are a psychedelic rock quartet from Glasgow, Scotland, UK.
They formed in early 2010, and have since released an album on CD & Cassette, as well as a few download only compilation releases. They have played a large amount of gigs in and around Glasgow since forming, sharing the bill with the likes of Cave, White Hills, Pontiak, Abouretum, Gnod, Bong & Mandog. They also collaborated with Can legend Damo Suzuki live in 2011, acting as his ‘soundcarriers’. A recent feature on the band by Zero Tolerance magazine described the band by saying that “If the rings of Saturn could sing, this is the sound they would make.”

Guili Guili Goulag – Avec Sophie Marceau


Guili Guili Goulag is a weird XP rock band influenced by african music, Kraut Rock, doom, punk … and a lot of other things. It consists in a noisy harp, a groovy bass, and a tribal drum. The musicians were or are involved in various underground projects such as Duflan Duflan, Spoilature, Arts et Techniques … Their performances can be described as a dansable noisy act with improvised moments. Guili Guili Goulag has recently released their first record. 4 labels are involved in this release (Mon cul c’est du Tofu, Rockeril Records, Cheap Satanism and Attila Tralala).

Stabil Elite – Wir Kommen Aus


Stabil Elite is a young band from Düsseldorf. In the last three years, Lucas Croon, Nikolai Szymanski and Martin Sonnensberger have created a cosmos of driving bass lines, danceable rhythms, floating pads and shimmering electric guitars. Using repetitive lyrics with double meanings, analogue synths and icy cold clackering computers, they revive Krautrock and the avant-garde moments of the German New Wave. After compilation contributions to the Düsseldof DIY label “Themes for Great Cities” and the American “Mathematics” label, run by Jamal Moss, the boys from the Rhineland now celebrate their debut with the Gold Ep. and offer a preview of the band’s first album, due in September 2011. For Gold, the Paris-based fashion photographer Kíra Bunse shot a music video on Super 8, which very authentically shows the band in their Düsseldorf environment. Recently Stabil Elite (among other artists) were photographed by Andreas Gursky for the “Salon des Amateurs” feature in Groove magazine and were also part of the DE:BUG cover story on Düsseldorf in the October 2010 issue. Stabil Elite take their band name from the German television film “Das Millionenspiel” from 1970 by Tom Toelle, for which Irmin Schmidt of CAN wrote the music. Also involved in Gold as a drummer and additional producer is Jan Philipp Janzen (Von Spar) and, as a guest musician, Jörg Burger (The Modernist).