krautrock Archive

Hundred-word Reviews for September 2016, Part 1

This week, I’m publishing 25 album reviews, each a tidy 100 words. In no particular order. Asia – Phoenix For most listeners, Asia was a one-and-done proposition; their self-titled 1982 debut was a huge hit that spawned three Top 10 hit singles. True, their second and third albums charted and had singles, too, but nobody

Black Mountain: Canadian Krautrock?

Conventional wisdom holds that Vancouver-based Black Mountain is somehow retro in its approach to making music. A more careful listen, however, suggests that the band’s music features new sounds that are informed by (but not copies of) the heavy sounds of 1970s rock. But on their latest album (and first in nearly six years), IV,

Eliot Sumner: Sounds Familar

When singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Eliot Sumner began her recording career, she used the name I Blame Coco for her project. That choice was based at least in part upon her desire not to trade on her famous name. As the daughter of bassist Gordon Sumner (that’s Sting to you and me) and actor Trudy

Album Review: Cary Grace — Tygerland

Depending on the manner in which one learns about Cary Grace, the music on Tygerland may come as a surprise. An American expatriate now living in the United Kingdom, Grace is a keen synthesist. So much so, in fact, that she owns and operates Wiard, a company that hand-builds modular, analog synthesizers. You know: the

Hundred-word Reviews for July 2015, Part 2

Five releases from five acts from five different countries (Poland, The United States, Germany, Belgium and Sweden) are the focus of today’s brief reviews. Lunatic Soul – Walking on a Flashlight Beam Bassist/vocalist Mariusz Duda seems to be taking a cue from the astoundingly busy Steven Wilson; he’s involved in several musical projects all at

Lloyd Cole: Standards and Practices, Part 2

Continued from Part One… I laughed and expressed my surprise that the sometimes singer/songwriterly Lloyd Cole is a fan of 1970s krautrock. “I’m going to be in Berlin in September, making my debut as a modular synth player onstage live,” he told me. I asked him if he’d be wearing a cape. “I haven’t thought

Lloyd Cole: Standards and Practices, Part 1

Lloyd Cole and the Commotions debuted onto the music scene in the 1980s, a period that dovetailed nicely with my college years. Their debut Rattlesnakes came out in 1984, and Mainstream, their third and last album (not counting posthumous live and compilation sets) was released in 1987. Cole went on to a highly regarded solo

Hundred Word Reviews for March 2015, Part 3

“Rock” is such an all-encompassing term. It can include speedy punk, gothic rockabilly, krautrock, indie rock, and more. So, too, can a selection of my hundred-word reviews. To wit: Stuyvesant – Shmyvesant The cover art suggests pop-punk. The band photo shows husky, middle aged white guys. The music says, “We may be from New Jersey,

Album Review: Son of Kraut: The Next Generation of Krautrock

Though it might seem otherwise to the casual observer, the term krautrock is neither pejorative nor disparaging. In its classic sense, the label refers to improvisationally-based rock with spare musical foundation. As the word suggests (in an undeniably gauche manner), the form originated in Germany. When one thinks of krautrock, the first bands that often