Motorik is a term coined by music journalists to describe the 4/4 beat often used by "Krautrock" bands such as Can, Neu! and Kraftwerk (promoting the official CD release of Neu!'s back-catalogue, Klaus Dinger stated he called it the "Apache-beat"). The word "Motorik" means "motor skill" in German, although the word's use in music journalism may be derived from a punning modification of "motoric", a term long used by music critics to describe relentless ostinato rhythm, or simply from a combination of "motor" and the German "Musik".
The name perhaps derives from the repetitive yet forward-flowing feel of the rhythm, which has been compared to the experience of motorway driving – indeed, the motorik beat is in one section of Kraftwerk's "Autobahn", a song designed to celebrate exactly this experience. While The Velvet Underground's influence on Krautrock is often mentioned, Moe Tucker's drumming has specifically been characterized as "proto-motorik."
The motorik beat is in 4/4 time and of moderate pace. The pattern is repeated each bar throughout the song. A splash or crash cymbal is often hit at the beginning bar of a verse or chorus.
- Klaus Dinger (2002). Interview with UK music magazine The Wire.
- Allmusic: Neu! biography: http://www.allmusic.com/album/neu%21-mw0000004284
- Chris Jones (21 June 2007). Review of "The Velvet Underground & Nico" for the BBC. Retrieved 20 October 2007.
- Sick Mouthy blog: Top ten songs with the Motorik Beat: http://sickmouthy.com/2012/06/19/top-ten-songs-with-the-motorik-beat/