INTERVIEWS, REVIEWS & RELATED ARTICLES
Rolling Stone AUGUST 13, 2015 - by Will Hermes
INSIDE THE KRAUTROCK REVOLUTION
A history of a freaky, hugely influential '70s music scene
A pivotal influence on hip-hop, EDM and synth-pop, not to mention David Bowie and Brian Eno, the mysterious '60s and '70s German music dubbed krautrock has mainly remained a hipster reference point in the U.S. British music writer David Stubbs may change that with Future Days: Krautrock And The Building Of Modern Germany. The hefty volume maps a freaky but fierce scene defined by radical beats and futuristic electronic soundscapes - a musical attempt at nothing less than a complete "re-establishment of cultural identity" after the horrors of World War II.
Among the book's stars are Kraftwerk, the only band of the era to break through in the U.S. (inspiring hip-hop pioneer Afrika Bambaataa, among others), and Can, committed to collective improvisation ("No one was allowed to become Führer!" the band's beat mastermind Jaki Liebezeit stresses).
Stubbs was especially surprised to find that even in its homeland, krautrock remains a secret history. "It was remarkable to walk around Cologne with [Liebezeit] - no one recognises him," says the author. "They should erect a statue of the man."