Tag Archives: David Bowie

January 3rd – February 10th, 2016 (Eighteenth “Week”)

I’m back, but in a different configuration!

The idea now is that I’m going to write about 10 records I never listened to before, but this time there’s no time limit. So it’s ten records a month? two weeks? three and a half? two months? These ten took a little over a month to listen to. I hope to keep this pace, or maybe even listen to more every month. We’ll see. I’m just happy I found a way to keep motivating myself to listen to new stuff while also taking the time to listen to music I already know and like.

 

1. Ravi Shankar – Improvisations [1962]

I became interested in Indian music, not sure how or why, but I realized I should check out this  stuff. So I heeded some advice and got this record.

I think I’ve been exposed to some elements of classical Indian music through Western music (not the Beatles), so this is outside my “comfort zone” but also familiar at the same time. Speaking of familiarity and exposure through Western music, John Fahey totally “lifted” the first song, Improvisations on the theme music from ‘Panther Panchali’, for On The Banks Of The Owchita from the Dance of Death and Other Plantation Favorites. However, what he does with it is different enough that both his version and this one are original sounding and interesting to me.

The second track has a western jazz band backing Ravi Shankar, and I find it a little distracting. My cat digs it, though.

2. Curtis Mayfield – Got to Find a Way [1974]

I wasn’t very excited about this record on my first listen. It’s a little more schmooze-y than Curtis and Super Fly and that takes a while to get used to. Also, the first song, Love Me (Right in the Pocket), kind of loses direction after a while. It’s an amazing song, but maybe it could have been five minutes instead of 7?

Overall this record is definitely a lot more “baby let’s turn the lights real low” than all the other Curtis stuff I’m familiar with. It almost feels like that’s his response to Let’s Get It On, or something, but it’s still Curtis, which means it’s some of the best music out there.

3. Curtis Mayfield – Sweet Exorcist [1974]

The first time I listened to this one, I liked it more than Got to Find a Way. Now I’m not so sure. Again, it’s Curtis Mayfield. He was one of the best song-writers, producers, arrangers of our time. This record, though, sounds a little more like “generic” funk and soul. I’m not sure exactly how to explain it, but it’s very different than his other records (particularly Curtis and Super Fly)

4. Ravi Shankar – Ragas & Talas [1964]

It’s tough to talk about this music because I don’t have the language to do so. I have no references and things to compare it to. In this case I can compare it to Improvisations, so I’ll do that. I think it’s a little more hardcore than Improvisations, just in terms of length and the playing. There’s no jazz band backing him here (even though it was just on the one track), so maybe it can be thought as a little more out there.

At the time of editing this post it’s been a few weeks since I listened to this record. It was a weird time. I got really into Indian music for a few days, listened to these records a few times, and then fell of the wagon. I need to revisit them and listen to more Indian music in general.

 5. David Bowie – Young Americans [1975]

This Bowie’s faux-funk/soul record. It was recorded in Philadelphia with soul and funk musicians, one of them was the drummer for Sly and the Family Stone!

Bowie himself described this record very well by calling it “plastic soul” and saying, “the squashed remains of ethnic music as it survives in the age of Muzak rock, written and sung by a white limey.” Pretty much. It’s not a bad record, but it doesn’t have the same emotional impact as the music it’s trying to imitate. Of course, that’s not a bad thing, and I think that the idea of plastic soul is actually cool, and I like “cold” things that groove (like electronic music), but somehow this doesn’t hit the mark in the way I hoped it would. I think that maybe Bowie didn’t commit enough to either direction. It’s not “plastic” enough to be this cool fusion that I was hoping for, and it’s also not soul enough to be, well, soul.

6. David Bowie – Low [1977]

This is a cool record and in some way it’s more eclectic than his records I’ve listened to thus far. He definitely dropped the “show-tune” sounding songs and moved on to stuff that is pretty weird, like Warszawa, and even the happy, peppy A New Career in a New Town is a departure. I like it, but I think some of the other songs take me a little while longer to warm up to because they don’t sound as fresh now as they probably did back then. What I mean is that so much stuff is still directly influenced by it, so it kind of sounds like something I have heard before, even though I think he was the originator.

7. David Bowie – Lodger [1979]

When I first listened to this record I thought it’s the weakest Bowie record I listened to so far, and it might be the weakest, but it’s still very interesting. He maintained some of the “pop sensibilities” from his glam years, most notably in Fantastic Voyage and African Night Flight, and that made the record start slow for me. Then Move On has some elements that kind of throw you off, like the backwards vocals; they totally make the song for me. Red Sails almost sounds a Neu!, and D.J. sounds like a Talking Heads song, which is probably why I thought it sounded familiar.

The more I think about it compared to Low, I think that he definitely went back to the pop stuff. It’s pop songs an experimental wrap, because there are weird elements all over and no guitar solo is “normal”, but then none of the songs totally commits to weirdness like Warszawa or A New Career in a New Town from Low.

8. David Bowie – Heroes [1977]

The last (for me) in the Berlin trilogy.

A lot of stuff on this record sounds like a precursor to the 80s, and I’m not sure how I feel about it. Some songs are great, like Heroes (check out the NPR interview with Tony Visconti where explains how they got the guitar to sound the way it sounds), V-2 Schneider, Moss Garden, and Neukoln. So basically, half the record is spectacular.

9. Amon Duul II – Phallus Dei [1969]

I listened to Amon Duul II before, but it was maybe 10 years ago and I don’t remember much of it.

Amon Duul (I and II, I think) get labeled as krautrock, and I don’t know if I hear it in the first track, Phallus Dei. It sounds mostly psychedelic with heavy emphasis on improvisation. The next entry about Faust IV has me writing about what I think is krautrock. I didn’t want to move it here, because I didn’t think of it when I was listening to this record and writing about it.

I hear more krautness in Kanaan, but you know, this doesn’t sound like Neu! and it also doesn’t sound like this next Faust record. The rest of the record sounds to me more like an anomaly to what I consider Krautrock. More in this below.

10. Faust – Faust IV [1973]

Why did no one turn me onto krautrock in my youth?

The first track, Krautrock, sounds to me like the intersection between Can, Cluster or Harmonia, and Neu! There are a lot of similar ideas, like what I like calling the “jet” guitars, and the fuzz-wah on the guitars. There’s some of Can unruly-ness, and the beat, which is a tambourine and slightly percussive and repetitive synthesizer line makes me think of Harmonia and Cluster. Now there’s drums playing a variation of motorik and that’s pretty awesome, too, although I wanted more of the “just” tambourine beat.

Skinhead sounds like it is meant to parody skinheads. It’s obvious from the first few seconds of music and made even more obvious by the lyrics. It’s kind of a joke-y song, but still has interesting elements to it.

Jennifer makes me think of what makes krautrock krautrock, other than being music that was made by German bands. I always see certain elements of the music being used. For instance, people say that it’s the synthesizers and motorik. But a lot of bands of the time had synthesizers, all the prog bands did! And I take motorik to mean a very specific drum beat (snare on the 3, hihat on all four, kick when there’s no snare), or a variation of it, which is what you hear in Neu! but other krautrock doesn’t necessarily have it. The first and most obvious characteristic of krautrock is that they don’t care about traditional song structure. There’s no verse or chorus, they just riff on the same idea for 10 minutes. Then the bigger characteristic is that the music is some form of minimalism. There are a lot of instruments playing – bass, drums, guitars, keyboards, percussion, vocals, but they all play something that is simple and repetitive. For instance, the drums are super stripped down, all simple beats with almost no fills, and when there are fills they too are simple and subdued. So the result is music that is complex and slowly changing, but every element of it is simple. Contrast that with prog where the music is complex, rapidly changing, and every instrument is playing something that is very complicated. Another difference is the way the synthesizers are played. In prog, it’s one sound and the player is playing it like a piano. In krautrock, it’s one note and the player is playing with the sound. And another is that in krautrock they’re not afraid of manipulating stuff after it’s been recorded – editing or messing up with the playback, where in prog everything is supposed to sound like one continuous performance. Lastly, I noticed that a lot of these bands love having two songs in one track. There’s the longer song, which is the main song, and then when it ends, they just tack a slightly weirder, shorter passage to it. Jennifer has it, as well as almost every song on this record. I don’t know if they got that from psychedelic music (I’m mostly thinking of Pink Floyd’s first couple of records), or if it’s unrelated, but yeah.

Taking into account Phallus Dei, I think the best way to describe what krautrock is to say that it’s German experimental rock from the late 60s to the mid 70s.

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David Bowie

I’m feeling pretty low about David Bowie dying. It’s weird, because I wasn’t a Bowie fan. It’s not that I disliked his music, but just that I never fully gotten into it. I knew it was there and that I’ll get to it someday, and I did get to very little of it during this project in the first and second weeks, and liked what I heard. I think I always boxed myself away from Bowie for some reason. Maybe it started when I was a kid and decided that Syd Barrett was the bigger genius, and had to keep defending my position. What a ridiculous declaration, and why does it even matter? I don’t know what I was trying to achieve with it. Maybe more recognition for Syd Barrett’s work?

Now David Bowie is gone and I’m feeling overwhelmed, and I feel bad feeling overwhelmed, because I’m not as big a fan as others. I was talking to my wife about it and she helped me figure out what it is: Seeing how much he meant to so many people is enough to make me sad. And also, maybe I always thought I’ll have my a-ha Bowie moment, and now that he’s gone it’ll be different. I don’t think David Bowie is immortal, but on Saturday I went to his Wikipedia page and saw that his 69, and I figured he has a lot of time left.

I think I always realized that Bowie was a huge presence, even without knowing his music very well. I never said it out loud to myself or others, but I think I always understood it. He was always in my periphery, and he always seemed so true to himself, and he expressed it in his music, fashion, lifestyle, and everything else he did. His career spanned 49 years and he constantly kept changing and evolving, pushing the envelope and never repeating his steps. I don’t think I can say that about anyone else with such a long and expansive path.

I have a lot of musical heroes, and I always wish I could be like them at the peak of their career. I wish I could be like David Bowie at any point of his career, because it was all peak. So long, you weirdo.

(My apologies for breaking character and not posting about 5 or 10 records I listened to this week).

Second Week: August 23rd – 29th, 2015

Still going through the MCA’s Freedom Principle and the pile of records from my in-laws (edit when finishing this post: I didn’t listen to any of the records from my parents-in-law this week).

1. Hal Russell & Mars Williams – Eftsoons [1984]

Freedom Principle record that starts with two saxophones playing wacky stuff that’s on the border of pitch and noise. On the third track they do that but are backed by a whole band, and I find that easier to digest, probably because of the drums. The drums give me something constant to cling to while the saxophones go wild. The drums give context to the improvisation.

By the way, I didn’t know eftsoons was a word. It means “once again” or “soon after”. Huh.

Favorite track is the third track: A SYNC/SYNC STAT MUX PROLIXTHUX. Although I’m also really liking the title track, and Noise Command: Blast 1 (both also have drums).

2. Derek Bailey, Evan Parker, Han Bennink – The Topography of the Lungs [1970]

Free jazz that was recommend to me by a great bud, Neal Markowski.

I think it’s interesting that this kind of music was done in Europe in 1970. What I mean is that the free jazz I know of and listened to is American and was done in the mid-late 60s. I’d even go as far as saying that free jazz is American more than it is European or anything else, and here are these three guys who were disconnected from the American scene, and were probably only aware of it through records and their own dissatisfaction with “standard” jazz, and this is their interpretation of free jazz. I should say that I know nothing of these three musicians, so it could very well be that they were involved in what was going on in the states.

There’s nothing for me to hold on to with this stuff to find my footing. There are no songs here, you know? The middle-end of Dogmeat makes more sense to me. Right after Han Bennink’s drum solo, when the sax starts playing something that isn’t a series of fast notes and squeals. It’s an actual melody with the drums and guitar making noise behind him. I really dig that. Besides that, I do appreciate that a lot of the record sounds like an avalanche or a train crash. They’re not being heavy in the rock sense of the word, it’s the three of them making obtuse sounds together that is really intense.

I will need to listen to this one a lot more for me to get it (or not), but for now my favorite track is probably Dogmeat.

3. David Bowie – Hunky Dory [1971]

Another musical record! Seriously, everything about it screams “curtains up!”. The song names – “Queen Bitch”, “Song for Bob Dylan”, “Andy Warhol”, “Kooks”, “Life on Mars”, and “Changes” all seem to describe scenes from a Hair-like play from the 60s/70s. The lyrics? “Changes. Turn and face the strange”, “Ooh, look out, you rock’n’rollers!”, “pretty soon now you’re gonna get older”, “Homo-sapiens have outgrown their use”, “You gotta make room for the Homo Superior”. I can go on! It can all be framed as music and lyrics from a musical about hippies facing the world post 1969. The cheeseball piano and vocals are also out of a musical, but don’t get me wrong, I love it! I think I’m mostly just surprised I never noticed these qualities before, because I knew some of these songs (but never listened to the whole record).

Holy shit! “Life on Mars?”? This song is straight out of Broadway or Elton John’s discography! Except he doesn’t do this thing Elton John does where he ruins all of his songs somehow. Good job, Bowie! Ok, I’m probably done writing. If I go on I’ll just keep talking about the pathos of it all and how it’s out of a (you guessed it!) musical. I like this record.

Favorite song is Quicksand, or maybe Andy Warhol? That one sounds like it was written by the Pixies.

4. Alice Coltrane – Journey in Satchidananda [1970]

Another record I don’t get! Not because it’s too out there, but because it’s not all that insane. On Wikipedia it was listed as Avant-garde jazz, but this is a very easy listen for me. This isn’t to say that I’m not enjoying it or that it’s not good; I was just surprised.

Apparently most of this record was recorded in Alice Coltrane’s home. That’s awesome! It sounds good! My favorite track was Isis and Orisis.

5. Ambitious Lovers – Envy [1996]

Arto Lindsay is playing Constellation in Chicago soon, so I decided to get acquainted with his stuff. He was in DNA, which I don’t know very much, and after that he was in Ambitious Lovers.

It starts with this awful 80s disco funk whatever song that has all the bad sounds you can get out of a DX7. Terrible stuff. Then it turns around and becomes way better. A lot of Brazilian influences here. I mean, he sings in Portugeese on another song! Too Many Mansions is a really awesome song with some delicate qualities and sounds. Let’s Be Adults has more of the shitty 80s crap. Maybe it’s a joke? I don’t really know, but I do get into it halfway through the song. I guess not over focusing on it helped.

Favorite track would be Too Many Mansions, but I also liked Dora, and Locus Coruleus. I should look up some of Arto Lindsay’s solo stuff.

6. Public Image LTD. – That What is Not [1992]

I bought this record back when I lived in Israel. I knew that PIL took a turn for the worse after Flowers of Romance, but I threw this record on a turntable at the store and listened to 30 second of a random track and thought it sounded alright.

I was wrong. This is a really campy record with forced and forgettable riffs. I think the worst thing about it is that they tried to hit every rock genre of the 20 years prior to it. It’s like they tried to make sure it’ll be marketable to a wide audience. The last song is probably the most offensive of them all. It’s like the whole record was building up to this shitty song. Every song is just a glimpse of what’s to come. That song (“Good Things”) starts like a Ska song with the horns and the congas or whatever those drums are, then there’s this awful funky-funky-let’s-get-groovy guitar playing, then this female singer female is going “whoaaaa whoooa whooaaaaaa whoaaaaaa” all overt the place. I think there are steel drums here? Some cheesy synthesizer along with power chords in the chorus. It’s like someone opened their fridge, took all their leftovers from the past two weeks and threw it into a pot to make one big, disgusting stew. I’m not even trying to be funny here. I think they took the worst RHCP song as a template and worked to make it even more offensive.

It’s just such a crazy contrast considering what PiL used to be. I’d like to think that PIL (the good PIL) looked at the past 20 years of music before them and said, “this is good, but how can we take all that and do something completely different that still hints at it?”, and they totally succeeded at that! This record is the complete 180.

I don’t have a favorite song. I’m just glad this record is over.

7. Duke Ellington, Charles Mingus, Max Roach – Money Jungle [1963]

Probably the world’s greatest supergroup?

Really interesting record. It seems like it gets categorized as post-bop, and I guess that fits some of the songs, but there are also some elements of free improvisation in there. For instance, Money Jungle. Mingus is playing this one note on his bass for the most of it, the Duke seems to be playing fragments of a song, and then at some point Mingus has had it and starts slapping the bass, bending notes, pretty much signaling them for a minute that he’s done. Fleurette Africaine also has some similar elements in it, but the piano is more “traditional”, for a lack of a better word. The next three songs and Solitude do feel like bop. I guess Caravan does too, but Ellington sounds really pissed off there.

Neal told me that the three got in a fight during the recording, and Wikipedia corroborates that and goes on to say that listening to the record in the order it was recorded you can hear the tension building up. I wish it was sequenced this way.

Another thought I had about this is that it’s crazy that they didn’t rehearse (they didn’t want to) and only met for the first time the day before the recording. I can see the not rehearing part, as you might want to capture everyone’s initial reactions to playing together for the first time, but barely knowing the people you play with – that’s kind of crazy!

Favorite track is Money Jungle.

8. Brian Eno, Dieter Moebius, Hans-Joachim Roedelius – After the Heat [1978]

After listening to DAF last week I decided to see what else Konrad Plank worked on and found this record which also has the two dudes from Cluster, so I had to check it out.

It’s an alright record. I don’t think it’s anywhere close Zuckerzeit, but it’s a fun listen. I enjoy listening and thinking about how they got certain sounds, but the songs themselves don’t do very much to me. Zuckerzeit, on the other hand, has both the awesome tracks and the sounds.

Favorite track would be Tzima N’arki. What? I like those reversed vocals!

9. Joseph Jarman – Song For [1967]

This is a really incredible record that’s part of the Freedom Principle thing. So far this week I’ve listened to five jazz records, and I think this one falls in the sweet spot (for me) between the really hardcore free jazz and the more straightforward stuff. There are songs, but there’s also improvisation that stretches these songs to their limit. They’re always just one step away from it being complete chaos. There’s some recitation going in one or more songs, which at first I thought was goofy, but then I realized that it’s cool. Dude’s trying to express himself in more than one medium, and I’m totally fine with that. Going to listen to this one again soon.

10. Charles Mingus – Mingus Plays Piano [1963]

I guess it’s not surprising, but Mingus is also an extraordinary piano player. I knew he could also play the piano, but you know, I never listened to this record before. These are, for the most part, incredible pieces that he improvised in the studio. I don’t know what else to say about it other than that it’s excellent.

First week: August 16-22, 2015

Apparently my parents-in-law had a bunch of records in their basement that they only told me about now. So some of the records this week would be from this new addition to my collection. Others will be from the MCA’s the Freedom Principle. Some are from neither. If you’re in Chicago, you should go see the Freedom Principle exhibit at the MCA. It’s fantastic!

1. Joe McPhee – Nation Time [1970]

The theme of the title track is very familiar, but I’m not sure where it’s from. Maybe Coltrane? Not a Coltrane song, but a little melody that is repeated in one of his tracks. Anyway, this song starts with a good times jazz feel. Just a cool jam with nothing too crazy going on. I thought that was surprising since this is part of the Freedom Principle where all the records are leaning heavily towards experimental and free improvisation, but then halfway through things started getting hairy. I need to listen to this record more to fully grasp it.

Favorite track is Shakey Jake.

2. Jackson Browne – Jackson Browne [1972]
This record is schmaltz, and he sings like a heartthrob. Also every other song sounds like it played during the slow dances at every prom around the country in the early 1970s, but that didn’t stop me from playing side two again immediately after it ended.

I think my favorite track was Under the Falling Sky.

3. Poco – Poco [1970]

Like Jackson Browne, this one is also from the parents-in-law pile. I took this one because the cover is ridiculous, and I was expecting some goofy band, and instead got this 70s rock cliche. The harmonies, bluesy guitar solos, organ, and I don’t know, the sort of ok but also boring songs? I almost gave up after the first side, but then I saw that the second side has a ~20 minutes song in there, so sure why not. That 20 minute song is pretty boring.

I guess my favorite song would be You Better Think Twice for it’s ultra creepshow vibes.

4. Viet Cong – Viet Cong [2015]

These guys are hot shit right now, so I gave it a listen. There are a lot of moments there that remind me of This Heat, but then there are also moments (the beginning of Continental Shelf) that sound like Interpol. I think something about this band sounds insincere to me, but that might also just be me being jealous I can’t write long songs that remind people of This Heat.

Favorite song might be March of Progress because it sounds like This Heat’s Paper Hats.

5. Kalaparusha Maurice McIntyre – Humility in the Light of the Creator [1969]

Another one is from the MCA/Freedom Principle/AACM pile. I like it because I don’t get it. I don’t get what’s separating this record from other free jazz records. I guess it has the intense, non-verbal vocals that other records don’t necessarily have, but it just sounded like a bunch of really good musicians letting loose. I will definitely need to listen to it more to have any real opinion about it, but like most records I don’t understand, I like it!

6. Charles Mingus – Black Saint and the Sinner Lady [1963]

This record is kind of nuts. It sounds like classical music (what type of classical music, you philistine?) but more “catchy”. Or maybe my listening to more experimental jazz records recently make this one sound catchy. What really attributes to it sounding classical is that it seems like there’s no improvisation. There’s no playing the theme, then everyone plays a solo, then playing the theme again, then go home. There are parts where one instrument plays alone, but it’s not a solo in the conventional jazz sense. I listened to this one while eating dinner so I definitely need to listen to it again.

Edit: I don’t know what I was talking about with the improvisation. There’s a lot of it going on here. I think the “theme” isn’t as clear, but there’s most definitely a ton of improvisation.

7. Joseph Jarman & Anthony Braxton – Together Alone [1974]

Another one from the Freedom Principle. This record is similar to the Mingus record in the sense that it sounds more like modern classical music than jazz. However, I think I can detect when they improvise where I can’t with Mingus. The improvisation was the only jazzy thing I found about Together Alone.

Favorite track is Together Alone. This one has both Jarman and Braxton playing in unison, and then they split and improvise on that melody, or whatever that should be called. The last song, sbn-a-1 66k, is similar, except they play in unison for 15 minutes. There’s no way that’s improvised, but knowing the little I know about Braxton, it probably wasn’t composed in the classical sense of notes written on a staff. I need to read up on this and find out.

8. David Bowie – Diamond Dogs [1974]

Uhh, yes, I never listened to this David Bowie record. I actually never listened to any Bowie record other than The Man Who Sold the World, and I don’t even remember it very well. I always thought of David Bowie as this guy who is really good at surrounding himself with really good producers and musicians. He’s a good songwriter, for sure, but each of his songs that I ever heard was so much more than just a good song. And since I know Bowie doesn’t play every instrument on those songs, I figured most of the credit should go to the musicians and producer(s). So I always saw David Bowie as overrated and a “cheat” because of all the good people he gets to work with him. That’s all nonsense, of course. What matters is that there are a bunch of songs that carry his name that are really good. How many people participated in their making, or who brought what isn’t important to the listening experience. Please keep in mind that my thoughts on David Bowie being a cheat were formulated when I was 12 or something and just stuck with me way into adulthood.

This record is a perfect rock record. There isn’t really much more to say.

Favorite song is probably Rebel Rebel. Could be because I already knew it.

9. David Bowie – The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars [1972]

The first few songs on this one sound like they’re out of a musical. Maybe it’s because this is a concept album? It is, right? I mean, it has a super long name, Bowie dressed up as Ziggy Stardust, and there’s a lot of space talk. I do know and love Starman, although hearing it after the first three songs I’m realized that it’s also a bit of a musical song. There’s nothing wrong with musicals, they’re just a bit over the top. Ok, Lady Stardust must have been written for a musical. How come no one ever turned this whole record into a musical? Hey! I think I know Ziggy Stardust too! I heard that riff before, that’s for sure. I also know Suffragette City! This song is great! My cat thought so too – he started running around the place as soon as it started playing.

Favorite track is probably Suffragette City, or maybe Starman. There are a lot of jams on this one.

10. Deutsch Amerikanische Freundschaft – Alles Ist Gut [1981]

I’m cheating here a little bit. I’ve had this record for a while, and I listened to a couple of songs off it before, but I never listened to the whole thing. So while not technically a record I had never heard before, it’s practically one.

I’m digging this record. I think it has a very “human” feel to it, even though the first reaction to it is to label it as electronic music. I attribute the human-ness to several things (aside from it being made by, you know, humans). First, the synthesizers almost always sound out of tune, and the “lead” melodies always play some notes that aren’t in the scale of the vocals or bass. Then the drums are played by a living drummer, and even though he plays the sort of stuff you’d hear out of a drum machine, it has a different feel to it. This isn’t really about the record sounding human, but the dude’s singing is leaning more towards stuff you’d expect from post punk bands than electronic ones. For instance, it’s very different than the vocals you’d find on a Kraftwerk track.

Speaking of Kraftwerk, I find this record to be a very organic progression from krautrock and German electronic music of the 70s, like the stuff Cluster, Kraftwerk, and Neu! did.

Favorite track is Der Räuber und der Prinz because it’s probably the creepiest on the record.