Posts Tagged ‘Radiohead’

An introduction to Krautrock

Tuesday, August 3rd, 2010

Not the sour kind of kraut.

There has been a “genre” of music that has been influencing musicians around the world in a way that can really be described as “stealth”. It has influenced rock music, dance music and hip hop over the last 30 years without many people realising its existence.

It has influenced the likes of Radiohead, The Fall, Blur, Kasabian, Oasis, Happy Mondays and Wilco to name just a tiny few. Crudely speaking it’s called “Krautrock”, “kraut” having a few translations such as “weed” or even a racial slur, but was the term coined by the UK music press (who else!). But don’t let the tag tarnish the intelligence that the genre possesses.

From the late 1960’s there were a number of artists in Western Germany who were fed up with the conventions of rock and pop music they listened to around the world, and in particular in Germany. They wanted to move themselves away from the bad memories of Germany’s then recent past, and look to the future.

Groups were made up of people with musical backgrounds, as well as those without any musical knowledge, and together experimented. They toyed with the conventions of rock music by mixing progressive rock, psychedelic rock, folk and early synthesizers to come up with something new. Who knew that it would lead to something that has influenced the world ever since?


The most notable name to come from this movement is Kraftwerk, one of the forefathers of digitally created music. They have influenced dance producers, rock and pop musicians and have been sampled by hip-hop producers dating back to the early days of hip-hop.

The other powerhouse names from “Krautrock” are Neu!, who were ex-members of Kraftwerk and who pioneered the “motorik” beat; Can, who brought together an incredible blend of rock, jazz and funk as only Germans can (no pun intended), and Faust who kept pushing the boundaries further than anyone else in the scene.


If you dig down further then you will discover real gems from the likes of Harmonia (a “supergroup” featuring Neu’s Michael Rother as well as Brian Eno at one point), Amon Düül 2, Tangerine Dream (probably known for their soundtrack work), Cluster and Roedelius to name a few.

So much can be written about “Krautrock”. Just bare winess to the plethora of books and even the BBC documentary, but for the best experience it’s best to just check out the artists and get lost in the music. Here are some great places to start your collections:

Neu! – Neu!
Can – Tago Mago
Can – Ege Bamyasi
Harmonia – Deluxe
Kraftwerk – Autobahn
Tangerine Dream – Zeit
Cluster – Zuckerzeit

If you like exploring your music history then this is a wonderfully rewarding genre to explore with plenty of really decent albums to find. Some of it is quite “out there” I admit, especially for its time, but that’s what made it so great. Also check out our Krautrock essentials list, all part of our ‘Music Around the World’ collection.

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This Weeks UK Album Chart And Hot New Entries

Tuesday, June 24th, 2008

So for the first time in 12 weeks we have the same album at #1 for two weeks in a row.
This tops off a sensational week for Coldplay who last week also managed to top the Billboard Hot 100 chart for the first time and secured their first ever #1 single in the UK chart.
Quite a week for the Boys!

Here is the Top 10 run down for you, most for just £7.99 delivered from CD WOW!

  1. Coldplay_viva_la_vidaColdplayViva La Vida or Death & All His Friends
    STILL ONLY £6.99!!       (Limited Edition is £8.99)
  2. DuffyRockferry (£7.99)
  3. Neil DiamondHome Before Dark (£7.99)
  4. Darren StylesSkydivin’ (2CD) (£8.99)
  5. Paul Weller22 Dreams (£8.99)
  6. FratellisHere We Stand (£7.99)
  7. RadioheadThe Best Of (2CD Version is £8.99)
  8. FeederSilent Cry ONLY £6.99!! (Deluxe Edition is £8.99)
  9. Sara BareillesLittle Voice (£7.99)
  10. RihannaGood Girl Gone Bad (£7.99)

Other notable new entries this week at bargain prices with free delivery on CD WOW!

UK Album Charts And New Entries

Tuesday, June 17th, 2008

Well I guess that there is no one out there that is in the slightest surprised about this weeks #1 album, ColdplayViva La Vida or Death & All His Friends.
What is surprising however is that this makes a total of ELEVEN weeks in a row where the UK #1 spot has changed hands.
Will Coldplay be the first artists in nearly 3 months to hang on to the top spot for 2 weeks in a row? Only you can make it happen my friends!

Coldplay_viva_la_vida_2ColdplayViva La Vida or Death & All His Friends
So much has been reported about this album already that it is difficult to find something new to say about it. But I have come up with something that will make you sit up and listen…
CD WOW! have it on offer for the Today and Tomorrow Only at the incredible price of just £6.99 delivered! Buy it now!

There is nothing to dislike about Coldplay, Viva La Vida or Death & All His Friends is full of their trademark piano hooks with a heavy guitar edge, and Chris Martins distinctive vocal style. And maybe that’s the problem, everybody likes it, it creeps into your bones and you are hooked!
The album was released on Thursday and in just three days managed to outsell the combined sales of the rest of the top 5 albums, which of course had a full week. The sales of 302,000 units recorded  " of UK’s all-time biggest first week album sales, despite the short, three-day sales period.." said an Official Charts Company spokeswoman. So there you go…..

Fratellis_here_we_standFratellisHere We Stand
The lovable Scottish trio return to the charts at #5 with their sophomore offering Here We Stand, as you would expect the album is full of their pop/rock songs every one of which could be a single.
This album is if anything slightly more rock biased than the first one but unmistakeably of Fratellis origin. This is a good album to play loudly, very loudly, in the car, with the roof down if you are lucky enough to own a soft top, on a sunny summer afternoon.
Hardly ground breaking but if anthemic sing along indie tunes with rock filled riffs are your scene, like The Kooks or The Kaiser Chiefs you’re gonna love this one!!

Here is the Top 10 run down for you, nearly all of them at just GB£7.99 delivered to your very door from CD WOW!

  1. Neil_diamond_home_before_dark_2Coldplay – Viva La Vida or Death & All His Friends ONLY £6.99!!
    This offer valid today and tomorrow only!! (Limited Edition is £8.99)
  2. Neil Diamond – Home Before Dark
  3. Duffy – Rockferry
  4. Paul Weller – 22 Dreams (£8.99)
  5. Fratellis – Here We Stand 
  6. Radiohead – The Best Of (2CD Version is £8.99)
  7. Neil Diamond – The Best Of (£6.25)
  8. Usher – Here I Stand
  9. Scooter – Jumping All Over The World (£8.99)
  10. The Cistercian Monks Of Stift Heiligenkreuz – Chant; Music For Paradise

Nerd_seeing_soundsOther notable new entries this week from:-

This Weeks UK Charts and New Entries

Wednesday, June 11th, 2008

Paul_weller_22_dreams_2Paul Weller22 Dreams
This continues a run of new release titles topping the chart, this time knocking UsherHere I Stand from the top spot which drops to #5.
Can Paul break the cycle and stay at the top for more than one week? Only time can tell!
This is the ninth studio album from the former front man of The Jam and The Style Council. It was recorded at Weller’s own Black Barn studio and was also co-produced by the man himself. Weller draws on his three decades of musical output in it’s various guises and has made a classic British Indie Rock album.
It has many various styles, from the anthemic rock sing along of ‘All I Wanna Do (Is Be With You)’ through the funkiness of ‘Have You Made Up Your Mind’ and on to the ballad like ‘Empty Ring’, and the piano and voice of ‘Invisible’ every track is different yet Weller’s distinctive style and voice are unmistakable..

The Best Of hits the #4 spot this week, and does exactly what it says on the tin! Bringing you a selection of 16 of the greatest tracks from the band who have released 7 albums and sold over 23 million records since their formation in 1992.
The album features tracks from the first six Radiohead studio albums and includes such classics as ‘Creep‘ one of my all time favourite songs, ‘Fake Plastic Trees’, ‘Paranoid Android’, ‘Everything In It’s Right Place’, ‘Pyramid Song’ and ’2 + 2 = 5′
This album also comes as The Best Of Radiohead 2-CD the extra disc containing a further 13 great tracks!

Here is the Top 10 run down for you, nearly all of them at just GB£7.99 delivered to your very door from CD WOW!

  1. Zutons_you_can_do_anythingPaul Weller – 22 Dreams
  2. Duffy – Rockferry
  3. Neil Diamond – Home Before Dark
  4. Radiohead – The Best Of
  5. Usher – Here I Stand 
  6. The Zutons – You Can Do Anything
  7. Neil Diamond – The Best Of (£6.25)
  8. The Ting Tings – We Started Nothing
  9. Scooter – Jumping All Over The World (£8.99)
  10. Alphabeat – This Is Alphabeat

Alphabeat_this_is_alphabeat Other notable new entries this week from:-

Lovely Leona Lewis Makes American History

Thursday, April 24th, 2008

Leona_lewis_spiritLeona Lewis‘ has made the history books in the US by becoming the first UK artist to top both the singles and albums charts with a debut release.
On the chart countdown on Wednesday she became only the 2nd ever British female artist to enter the Billboard 200 chart at #1 with her debut album ‘Spirit’, replacing country star George Strait at the top.

In the 63 year history of the Billboard Chart ‘Sade‘ was the only other female artist to hit #1 when ‘The Promise’ spent a three week run at the top in 1986, however this was not a debut entry.
This was topped on Thursday when Leona’s debut single "Bleeding Love" returned to #1 just two weeks after being replaced by ‘Mariah Carey‘. It has been 18 years since a UK artist has topped both charts ‘Phil Collins – But Seriously‘ and ‘Sinead O’Conner‘ with ‘I Do Not Want What I Have Not Got’ (UK signed!) both managed the feat in 1990, not with debuts though!

Lovely Leona joins an elite bunch in the billboard history… only 14 artists have had an album debut at #1 and she is joining the elite ranks of Elton John, U2, Pink Floyd, The Beatles, Rod Stewart and Radiohead whose ‘In Rainbows‘ debuted at #1 earlier this year, to name but a few.
With an appearance on American Idol (estimated audience 25 – 30 million) introducing her to a whole new bunch of Americans, and the new single ‘Better In Time’ already in the chart before it’s official release, watch this space.
May the Spirit be with you!

Live In Concert Is Just A (Rolling) Stones Throw Away

Thursday, March 27th, 2008

A recently started new phenomenon is that of the "go to a gig at the cinema" experience. The live music scene is booming and some of our bigger artists and promoters are using modern technology to bring the live event to ever more people.
Take_that_beautiful_world_liveIn January Radiohead announced an intimate gig for 200 people in London, but not to fear, if you could not get down to London and queue in the freezing rain for hours on the off chance that you would get in… you could watch the whole performance in real time via their website.
Recently The Kills have launched their new album "Midnight Boom" with a series of gigs at cinemas, and last year Take That had live showings of their tour "Beautiful World" at Vue cinemas across the country.
Muse, Genesis and Kylie have all jumped on the same bandwagon, and fair play to them, tickets are ever harder to get hold of, and if you live in the sticks a cinema might be an easier and cheaper option to see your favourite bands.
No more the sticky floors, or muddy fields, but a nice comfortable cinema seat with coke and popcorn on tap, now what could be wrong with that?

Rolling_stones_shine_a_light And now, Martin Scorsese is responsible for another must see addition to the Music Concert category.
"Shine A Light" stars the Rolling Stones, a career spanning documentary this film is however predominantly a record of two shows in New York, shot over two nights at the intimate, for them, Beacon Theatre.
The film shows all but two of the numbers played on those two nights and has some songs never before played live, some stunning guests, and cut with old documentary footage to tell the story is nothing short of a masterpiece.
The Stones have decided to make the film premier the biggest in UK cinema history. On Wednesday, April 2nd it will be broadcast live from Leicester Square to 100 theatres across the UK.
Tickets are just £12.50 each, and with that you get a special edition Tour Tee Shirt! Bargain! For a short pre-view and to book your tickets use this link.
The double CD Soundtrack "Shine A Light" is available now for pre-order from your favourite guys at CD WOW!

Jimi_hendrix_film_2 This is of course just a new twist on a very old tale, cinemas have been showing popular music for many a long year, some of the films were documentary style, like the fabulous "Jimi Hendrix".
Some featured pop stars of their day, I guess the Beatles would be the most famous with films like "Help" and so the list goes on.
Then there was the actual live music films, but of course these came out after the even. None of this simultaneous broadcast business!
The greatest ever festivals fall into this category… "Woodstock" was captured on film and shown in cinemas with multi split screen angles, "The Concert For Bangladesh" filmed over two shows at Madison Square Gardens, "Stop Making Sense" featured Talking Heads and said to be the greatest concert film to date when it first came out, and the fantastic "The Last Waltz" a film by Martin Scorsese about "The Band".

Goldfrapp on target for #1

Friday, February 29th, 2008

Goldfrapp_seventh_tree‘Seventh Tree’ was released last week and according to early sales reports it’s riding high in the charts and looks set to be this week’s #1. This latest album by British electronic dance duo Goldfrapp is also available as a CD+DVD Edition.

The album is outselling both versions of Back To Black – the regular album and the 2CD version… which btw for the sake of a few quid extra is money well spent. It has 7 extra tracks including a live version of the great ‘Valerie’!
Musically Amy Winehouse is doing amazingly well these days, and following her performance at the Brits she looks set to be #2 and #3, quite an achievement!

Goldfrapp_felt_mountainAnyway, back to Goldfrapp, this album is their fourth and following the glitter & glam of “Supernature”  some have compared this more to the sound of “Felt Mountain”… which you should know is just £5.99 on CD WOW! Just saying.
However, like all artists that could be set for longevity (Status Quo aside!) Goldfrapp have pulled a U2 or a Prince by once again re-inventing themselves and taken a different, although totally recognisable, move.

The songs are delicate yet laced with layers of instrumentati on that make this album one you could listen to again and again and still pick up something that you have not heard before, featuring Orchestration, Piano and even 70’s Moog. Alison Goldfrapps’ voice reminds me of Cerys Matthews of Catatonia fame, although maybe that’s just me… so you can make your own mind up about that!

If you are a fan of Morcheeba’s “Dive Deep”,  Cat Power’s “Jukebox”,  Hot Chip’s “Made In The Dark”  or even Radiohead’s infamous “In Rainbows” then grab yourself a copy of this album, you might just love it!