Krautrock & Remembering Maggie Roche

In the 1970s, German art-rockers took psychedelia and added hypnotic drumbeats and innovative synthesizer sounds to create a style known as Krautrock. Jim and Greg dissect the Krautrock genre and its influential bands like Kraftwerk, Can, and Faust. Plus, they remember the late Maggie Roche of The Roches.

Subscribe via iTunesDownload This Episode

Music News

A couple of President Donald Trump's first executive actions have some musicians worried about their art and their livelihoods. This week President Trump tapped Ajit Pai as the next chairman of the Federal Communications Commission. The pick has indepent music labels and artists worried about the future of net neutrality rules. Net neutrality is the practice of requiring internet service providers to treat all wesbties and apps equally, and not provide premium services for individual companies. For example, allowing for quicker access to one music streaming service, while slowing down another. Pai is a noted critic of net neutrality and feels the regulations get in the way of innovation. He recently said it was time to take a "weed whacker" to net neutrality. Additionally, the Hill recently reported that President Trump's budget may eliminate funding for the National Endowment for the Arts. That organization provides funding for artistic endeavors including music.

genre dissection


Jim and Greg devote this episode to dissecting the '70s German art-rock movement known as Krautrock. The Krautrock bands themselves, however, preferred the term "kosmische Musik" (cosmic music) to describe their spacey, pulsating freak-outs that combined psychedelia with the electronic innovation of classical composers like Karlheinz Stockhausen. Kraftwerk pioneered the use of electronic instruments to achieve an industrial sound. Neu!, initially an offshoot of Kraftwerk, introduced a hypnotic drumbeat called "motorik" that has been copied by bands for decades. (Check out our 2010 interview with Neu! founder Michael Rother). Jim particularly highlights the inimitable metronomic drumming of Can's Jaki Liebezeit, who died on January 22 at age 78. For Greg, the band Faust was the prime example of the movement's willingness to experiment.

Jim and Greg also trace the incredible influence of Krautrock on music that followed. In the rock world, the German bands have been a touchstone for indie rockers like Stereolab, shoegazers like My Bloody Valentine, post-rock bands like Tortoise, and much more. But the influence is perhaps most pronounced in electronic dance music. It's hard to imagine Detroit techno, Eurodisco, or ambient techno existing without these cosmic forerunners.


Sample Platter: Kraftwerk

Often overlooked is Krautrock's influence on hip-hop. So and Jim and Greg present another installment of Sample Platter, where Jim and Greg take a look at chart toppers that prominently feature a unique sample. This week, they analyze how Krautrock has influenced hip-hop artists for decades. Jim and Greg discuss how artists from Afrika Bambaataa and Soulsonic Force to Kanye West have sampled Kraftwerk and Can to create new pieces of music that still evoke the industrial rhythm of the streets.

Music News

Featured Songs

  1. Harmonia, Dino, Musik von Harmonia, Brain, 1974
  2. Can, Spoon, Ege Bamyasi, United Artists, 1972
  3. Joseph Beuys, Ja Ja Ja Nee Nee Nee, Ja Ja Ja Nee Nee Nee, Gabriele Mazzotta Editore, 1970
  4. Neu!, Für Immer, Neu! 2, Brain, 1973
  5. Karlheinz Stockhausen, Region III, Hymnen, Deutsche Grammophon, 1969
  6. The Velvet Underground, Sister Ray, White Light/White Heat, Verve, 1968
  7. Kraftwerk, Radioactivity, Radio-Activity, Kling Klang, 1975
  8. Kraftwerk, Megaherz, Kraftwerk, Philips, 1970
  9. Kraftwerk, Autobahn, Autobahn, Philips, 1974
  10. Kraftwerk, Kometenmelodie 2, Autobahn, Philips, 1974
  11. Kraftwerk, The Robots, The Man-Machine, Capitol, 1978
  12. Kraftwerk, Europe Endless, Trans-Europe Express, Kling Klang, 1977
  13. Neu!, Negativland, Neu!, Brain, 1972
  14. Neu!, Hallogallo, Neu!, Brain, 1972
  15. Can, You Doo Right, Monster Movie, Music Factory, 1969
  16. Can, Moonshake, Future Days, United Artists, 1973
  17. Can, Father Cannot Yell, Monster Movie, Music Factory, 1969
  18. Can, Vitamin C, Ege Bamyasi, United Artists, 1972
  19. Can, Mushroom, Tago Mago, United Artists, 1971
  20. Faust, It's a Rainy Day, Sunshine Girl, Faust So Far, Polydor, 1972
  21. Faust, Exercise – With Voices, The Faust Tapes, Virgin, 1973
  22. Faust, Flashback Caruso, The Faust Tapes, Virgin, 1973
  23. John Cale, A Midnight Rain of Green Wrens at the World's Tallest Building, Dream Interpretation: Inside The Dream Syndicate Volume II, Table of the Elements, 1968
  24. Tony Conrad & Faust, From the Side of Man and Womankind, Outside the Dream Syndicate, Caroline, 1973
  25. Amon Düül II, Sandoz in the Rain, Yeti, Liberty, 1970
  26. Tangerine Dream, Sunrise in the Third System, Alpha Centauri, Ohr, 1971
  27. Ash Ra Tempel, Space, Seven Up, Ohr, 1973
  28. Popol Vuh, In den Gärten Pharaos, In den Gärten Pharaos, Pilz, 1971
  29. Tubeway Army, Are ‘Friends’ Electric?, Replicas, Beggars Banquet, 1979
  30. David Bowie, V-2 Schneider, "Heroes", RCA, 1977
  31. Stereolab, Jenny Ondioline, Transient Random-Noise Bursts with Announcements, Elektra, 1993
  32. Queens of the Stone Age, Regular John, Queens of the Stone Age, Loosegroove, 1998
  33. Tortoise, Djed, Millions Now Living Will Never Die, Thrill Jockey, 1996
  34. Rhythim Is Rhythim, Nude Photo, Nude Photo (single), Transmat, 1987
  35. Kraftwerk, Trans-Europe Express, Trans-Europe Express, Kling Klang, 1977
  36. Donna Summer, I Feel Love, I Remember Yesterday, Casablanca, 1977
  37. The Orb, Into the Fourth Dimension, The Orb's Adventures Beyond the Ultraworld, Big Life, 1991
  38. La Düsseldorf, La Düsseldorf, La Düsseldorf, Nova, 1976
  39. Afrika Bambaataa & the Soulsonic Force, Planet Rock, Planet Rock (single), Tommy Boy, 1982
  40. Kraftwerk, Numbers, Computer World, Warner Bros., 1981
  41. Fearless Four, Rockin It, Rockin It (single), Enjoy, 1982
  42. Kraftwerk, The Man-Machine, The Man-Machine, Capitol, 1978
  43. JJ Fad, Supersonic, Supersonic (single), Dream Team, 1988
  44. Egyptian Lover, Egypt, Egypt, Egypt, Egypt (single), Freak Beat, 1984
  45. Kraftwerk, Tour De France, Tour De France (single), Kling Klang, 1983
  46. Can, Sing Swan Song, Ege Bamyasi, United Artists, 1972
  47. Kanye West, Drunk and Hot Girls, Graduation, Roc-A-Fella, 2007
  48. The Allman Brothers Band, Ramblin' Man, Brothers and Sisters, Capricorn, 1973
  49. The Roches, The Married Men, The Roches, Warner Bros., 1979
  50. MisterWives, Reflections, Reflections, Photo Finish, 2014
  51. The Marvelettes, Beachwood 45789, Playboy, Tamla, 1962
  52. Carl Perkins, Sorry, I'm Not Sorry, Sorry, I'm Not Sorry (single), Sun, 1956
  53. Justin Townes Earle, Nothing's Gonna Change The Way You Feel About Me Now, Nothing's Gonna Change The Way You Feel About Me Now, Bloodshot, 2012
  54. Vic Chesnutt, Kick My Ass, Drunk, Texas Hotel, 1993
  55. The Rolling Stones, Sticky Fingers, Dead Flowers, Rolling Stones, 1971
  56. The Flaming Lips, There Should Be Unicorns, Oczy Mlody, Warner Bros., 2017