Neu

Michael Rother (guitar/keyboards) and Klaus Dinger (drums) formed the band in 1971, and with their first three albums established a pattern of minimalist melodies and locked groove "motorik" beats that were to later exert a tremendous influence over left-field music, both in dance and rock. Indeed, one of the great U.S. avant-garde '90s bands, Negativland, take their name from a track on this album. "Hallogallo, Sonderangebot," "Im Gluck"--these are the conveyor-belt grooves, the elemental sweep and soar of the neon-bright autobahn, and the sound of the future when it was still shiny and clean. As David Bowie put it, "(Neu! were) Kraftwerk's wayward, anarchistic brothers." And so much more
Neu - Neu 2

Artist: Neu
P: 1973 / 2005
The behind-the-scenes story of Neu! 2 has become the stuff of legend. When Neu! went into the studio to record their second album, they were short on cash and tunes and ran out of both in the middle of the job.
To come up with enough music to fill an LP record, Michael Rother and Klaus Dinger took the songs "Super" and "Neuschnee" and re-recorded them at different speeds (both got 78 rpm treatment and there is a cut of "Super" at 16 rpm). That should have been enough filler on its own but, apparently inspired, they pressed onward and also gave us "Hallo Excentrico!" (it sounds like part of the song "Hallo Gallo" from the previous album, but played on a bad tape recorder that is slowly running out of batteries and/or eating the tape) and "Cassetto", which is two minutes of similar hi-jinks, though I cannot identify the source song.
Simply put, Neu! 2 contains about 28 minutes of new songs and about 14 minutes of screwing around. When you read a review of this album, though, you rarely get much analysis of the new stuff, as the focus tends to be on the unorthodox methods used to create the bulk of the album's second half. Personally, I'm not all that impressed by the band's experimentation here. While I suppose that Neu! should be credited with making the first "remixed" album, the remixes themselves aren't much worth listening to, in my opinion. Furthermore, I highly doubt that Neu! was the first band to mangle a tape or play their songs at different speeds ­ they're just the first band to consider this worthy of recording and releasing. Much of the album's praise is usually centered around the values that it represents and for its alleged influence on experimental bands who worked later in the decade, and not the actual music (hey, if I had to write about the positives of "Neuschnee 78" or "Cassetto", I wouldn't have much to say, either). I've never been too concerned about what an album "represents" in the abstract, especially when the album is not contemporary and the band is defunct.
So you get an idea what I think about the second half of this album (though I'll say that the original version of "Neuschnee" is pretty decent and anticipates classic Kraftwerk). The first half, though, is pretty good.
"Fur Immer" is essentially a rewrite of the debut album's "Hallo Gallo", but that's the quintessential Neu! song and if Neu! wanted to go back to that well, it's fine by me.
"Fur Immer" anchors the first half; the other three tracks are much shorter.
I think that "Spitzenqualität" and "Gedenkminute" are OK-ish sound experiments but Lila Engel rocks out, proto-punk style.
If you want to give Neu! credit for being forward-thinking on their second album, consider doing it for this track instead of for the shenanigans later on.

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Neu - Neu 75

Artist: Neu
P: 1975 / 2005
After "Neu! 2", Michael Rother and Klaus Dinger went their separate ways, with Rother going on to collaborate with Cluster and forming Harmonia with them. Neu! reconvened to make "Neu! 75", half a lament for what might have been for the band, and half an attempt to go out with all guns blazing. The first half of "Neu! 75" plays like sad, nostalgic cinema. "Isi" packs as much melody into its five minutes as almost all of the previous two Neu! albums. It's a fond look back in time. "Seeland", all dry cymbal crashes and lonely fuzztone guitars playing into a void, is where the nostalgia turns to pain. The meditative "Leb' Wohl" (meaning "bye bye") follows, lulling you to some place near sleep. For a few minutes, "Neu! 75" doesn't seem to be too far out of step with the modern taste for chillout CDs programmed for comfort, until "Hero" rears its punky head. In a way, it's a necessary antidote to the sadness that threatens to envelop the album. "E-Musik" sees Neu!'s pop art sense of irony at work again, the title being a German abbreviation for "serious music". Amid the sound effects that close the track are excerpts of "Seeland" and "Leb' Wohl", the melancholy of the first half of the album lurking below. "After Eight" closes the album on an ambiguous note - the preceding collage doesn't set the scene for the song, and the punkish backing track sits oddly with the vulnerable lyrics ("Help me through the night"). If it was intended as some triumphant send-off, it misses the mark. Like both the albums that preceded it, "Neu! 75" offers what are at times, frustrating glimpses of possibilities. In its switch from sulky to punky is a suggestion of some unwillingness to admit defeat, but the album is never better than in its sadder moments.

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Neu - Neu 86

Artist: Neu
P: 1986 / 2010
After a brilliant fertile period of compositional creativity that begat three studio recordings ­ NEU!, NEU!2 and NEU! '75 ­ NEU! shut things down in 1975. Core members Michael Rother and Klaus Dinger moved through a series of creative collaborations which eventually led them to reteam 10 years later. The material on NEU! '86 reflects both the advanced recording techniques as well as the more elaborate electronic instruments of the time and is a synthesis of their groundbreaking studio work and developments in the genre of electronic/dance music.
On NEU! '86, "Crazy" captures the sonic drone and attack of the band's earlier work while "Dänzing" is the duo's take of the popular dance sound and culture of the time from the likes of Dead Or Alive and Falco. "Drive (Grundfunken)" is appropriately titled, as it's the ultimate driving song, with a tight drumming beat and slightly effected guitar leads.
While the majority of the album remains alive, fresh and timeless, the inclusion of a technofied version of "La Bomba (Stop Apartheid World-Wide!)" comes off quite dated. Give the band full marks for the song's sentiment, but major thumbs down for the cheesy keyboard sample that infects the whole cut.
The rest of NEU! '86 shifts between band eras with mixed results. "Wave Mother" captures the spirit of classic NEU! cuts like "Fur Immer (Forever)" and "Weissensee" while "Paradise Walk" introduces the use of sound effects to the band's music and seems like a tip of the hat to New Order.

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Neu - Neu!

Artist: Neu
P: 1972 / 2008
Back in 1972 Neu! invented the motorik beat - Krautrock's defining relentless rhythm.
Track 1, Hallogallo is a statement of intent: a single distorted guitar chord, minimum percussive frills and maximum impact.
Managing to influence both punk and - via equally single-minded quiet numbers - ambient, Neu! even invented the remix album.

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V/A - Brand Neu!

Artist: Various Artists
P: 2009
A collection of rare, unreleased and exclusive tracks from a collection of today's artists comprises the great new 'tribute' album to 70's German musical stylists Neu! The amount of artists citing Krautrock godfathers, electronic AND rock music innovators NEU! as a major influence has been exponentially rising over the last 3 decades. Artists from Bono to Noel Gallagher, Radiohead to LCD Soundsystem, Damon Albarn to John Frusciante who have clearly drawn from their influence from one of the most groundbreaking bands ever to appear out of the 70s. This compilation tries to show music fans what key influence this German duo had on some of today's biggest bands and it includes 2 tracks by NEU! musicians Klaus Dinger (as La Dusseldorf) as well as one by Michael Rother. Across tracks from acts such as the above mentioned as well as Kasabian, LCD Soundsystem, Oasis, Primal Scream, Holy Fuck, School Of Seven Bells and Melbourne's Pets With Pets, the compilation exemplifies to music fans what key influence this German duo had on some of today's biggest bands.

14,90 EUR
 
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V/A - Who's that Man A Tribute to Conny Plank

Artist: Eno, Moebius, Roedelius, Rother,
La Düsseldorf,NEU,Streetmark u.a.

P: 2013
Grönland Records releases a 4 disc CD Box called 'Who's That Man - A Tribute To Conny Plank' as a tribute to legendary German producer Conny Plank. It includes a selection of Plank's most iconic work, along with a series of productions that exemplify his unique sound design. CD 3 features reworks by a host of contemporary artists of the original 24 track magnetic tapes found in the Plank archives. As a previously unreleased gem, the box also contains a live concert by Moebius/ Steffen/ Plank recorded on tape while touring Mexico in 1987.

39,90 EUR
 
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