Steve from Ashra’s Top 5 Krautrock Jams

by AIAIAI

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Get this: we recently discovered that our German distributor, Steve, is not only a nice guy who does a stand up job of taking care of AIAIAI’s German market; he also just so happens to be part of the mighty Ashra whom some of you may rightly identify as one of the krautrock movement’s pivotal bands. Being music nerds we kind of lost it when we first heard that Steve currently plays keyboard alongside the group’s founding father, Manuel Göttsching. But after getting the fanboyisms out the way we eventually regained our composure and started pestering him for some krautrock insight. Read on for the tightest ish from NEU!, Kraftwerk and, of course, Ash Ra Tempel.

If you’re new to the somewhat dubiously named krautrock genre originating in late 60s Germany, we highly recommend checking out this in-depth documentary, which succinctly and accurately portrays how krautrock rose from the ruins of war to create some of the most radical and uncompromising music ever made.

Here's a little Wikipedia insight:

'Krautrock is rock and electronic music that originated in Germany in the late 1960s. The term was popularized in the English-speaking press. Later, German media started to use it as a term for all German rock bands from the late 1960s and 1970s, while abroad the term specifically referred to more experimental artists who often but not always used synthesizers and other electronic instruments.

Needless to say Steve’s Top 5 also makes for a very decent place to start krautrocking. So let’s dispense with the redundant jibber jabber and let our talented German distributor take you on a sweet, little ride into the heart of this seminal genre.

Take it away, Steve!

KRAFTWERK "Ruck Zuck"


Years before they turned into robots (yes there was a Kraftwerk before Autobahn). Featuring an amazing flute performance by Florian Schneider himself and very "krautish" drums by Klaus Dinger who left in 1972. Title track to the german TV-programm "Kennzeichen D". Really blew me away when i first listened to it.

NEU! "Hallogallo"


The legendary duo Michael Rother and Klaus Dinger at its best ... classic! Perfect highway soundtrack from their debut album.

Manuel Göttsching "Echo Waves"


One Man, one guitar, one delay, one 4 track tape machine ...The First album I encountered from Manuel, this record made the delay become my favourite effect. To me as relevant as Pink Floyd, still sounding as fresh today. Without that album the Edge from U2 would probably sound completely different. I would never have guessed that I would perform this track live with the master himself years later.

CAN "Vitamin C"


Jaki Liebezeit performing a classic "break" style beat, which together with Holger Czukay‘s bassline creates an absolut hypnotic killer groove featuring Damo Suzuki on vocals and the very influental Michale Karoli on guitar. Funky Extravaganza! No Krautrock Top5 without CAN.

Ash Ra Tempel "Amboss"


Another Incarnation of Manuel Göttsching together with Hartmut Enke and legendary Klaus Schulze on drums . 20 minutes of pure guitar madness. Klaus Schulze very busy on drums laying down some Drum & Bass style beats ... i think this is the krautrock blueprint for me.

www.ashra.com