ATTENTION: The British/American post-WWII generation saw the development of highly original music played by artists you’re probably familiar with- The Beatles, The Beach Boys, Jefferson Airplane, The Mothers of Invention, and perhaps most importantly, The Velvet Underground. These groups saw incredible innovation in the use of studio techniques, harmony, instrumentation, and timbre in rock music. Unbeknownst to most people, however, a parallel musical revolution was taking place in Germany, which was even more emotionally and culturally crippled by the war. Building upon and transcending the innovation of their previously mentioned peers, these German artists would record music the likes of which remains unparalleled to this day. Groups like Cluster and Kraftwerk pioneered new uses for electronics, while Tangerine Dream explored space with their early rhythmless sonic adventures. Can and Neu! created a form of rock music that was almost completely divorced from the boring, backwards-looking blues-derived state of affairs in the West. The face of music was forever changed. Countless modern artists- Radiohead, Wilco, Deerhoof, Pavement, Tame Impala, Sonic Youth, Daft Punk, Joy Division, Stereolab, The Mars Volta, EVEN TAYLOR SWIFT!!- make/made music that is deeply indebted to the bold German pioneers who when confronted with their terrible history could do nothing but look forwards instead of backwards. These musicians came to be known as KRAUTROCKERS.
Instead of socializing on weekends, Iyas likes to lay in his bed and cry to obscure field recordings of babbling brooks, harsh industrial noise, or childrens records played at the wrong RPM. He got to see Cloud Nothings over the summer at Pitchfork Music Festival, and it was by far the best show he’s ever been to. That is until St. Vincent played a few hours later and his brain was summarily fried by the otherworldly frequencies shooting out of her guitar amplifier. He is still working on getting that fixed.
(BTW, if you caught that Parks and Rec reference, Iyas would like to be your best friend.)