Neu! (album)

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Neu!
Studio album by Neu!
Released 1972
Recorded December 1971
Genre Krautrock, electronic music, soundscapes,[1] industrial,[1] noise[2]
Length 45:51
Label Brain Records
United Artists Records (1972 LP)
Grönland
Astralwerks / EMI (2001 CD)
Producer Conny Plank, Neu!
Neu! chronology
Neu!
(1972)
Neu! 2
(1973)
Klaus Dinger chronology
Kraftwerk
(1970)
Neu!
(1972)
Neu! 2
(1973)

Neu! is the debut album by Krautrock band Neu!.

It was recorded in December 1971 at Windrose-Dumont-Time Studios, Hamburg, Germany, mixed at Star-Musik Studio, Hamburg, Germany, and released in 1972 by Brain Records. It was reissued by Grönland on May 29, 2001 and then licenced to Astralwerks for US distribution. This was Rother & Dinger's first recording together after they left Kraftwerk in 1971. They continued to work with Conny Plank, who had been producing the Kraftwerk recording sessions.

History[edit]

Having broken off from Kraftwerk, Rother and Dinger quickly began the recording sessions for what would become Neu!. The band was christened "Neu!" by Dinger (Rother had been against the name, preferring a more "organic" title) and a pop-art style logo created, featuring italic capitals: NEU! Dinger recalls about Neu!'s logo:

"...it was a protest against the consumer society but also against our "colleagues" on the Krautrock scene who had totally different taste/styling if any. I was very well informed about Warhol, Pop Art, Contemporary Art. I had always been very visual in my thinking. Also, during that time, I lived in a commune and in order to get the space that we lived in, I set up an advertising agency which existed mainly on paper. Most of the people that I lived with were trying to break into advertising so I was somehow surrounded by this Neu! all the time."

The pair recorded in Star Studios in Hamburg, with the up-and-coming Krautrock producer Konrad "Conny" Plank, as Dinger had with Kraftwerk. Dinger describes Conny's abilities as a "mediator" between the often disagreeing factions within the band. The band were booked in to the studio for four days in late 1971, according to Dinger, the first two days were unproductive, until Dinger brought his Japanese Banjo to the sessions, a heavily treated version of which can be heard on "Negativland", the first of the album's six tracks to be recorded.

It was during these sessions that Dinger first played his famous "motorik" beat (Two songs on the album, "Hallogallo" and "Negativland", feature Dinger's "Motorik-beat"). Motorik is a repeated 4/4 drumbeat with only occasional interruptions, perhaps best showcased on "Hallogallo". Dinger claims never to have called the beat motorik himself, preferring either "lange gerade" ("long straight") or "endlose gerade" ("endless straight"). He later changed the beat's "name" to the "Apache beat" to coincide with his 1985 solo album Neondian.

Reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4.5/5 stars[1]
Q 4/5 stars[3]
NME 8/10[4]
Pitchfork Media 9.7/10[2]
The Austin Chronicle 3.5/4 stars[5]

Neu! sold well for an underground album at the time, according to Dinger approximately 30,000 copies were sold.

The track Negativland provided the name for a later group of American musical satirists.

Track listing[edit]

Side one
No. Title Length
1. "Hallogallo" (Play on "Halligalli", a German slang term for "wild partying", with the word "hallo" being German for "hello") 10:07
2. "Sonderangebot" ("Special Offer") 4:51
3. "Weissensee" ("White Sea" or "White Lake"; Weißensee is a town in Carinthia, Austria, and a borough of Pankow, Berlin) 6:46
Side two - Jahresübersicht
No. Title Length
4. "Jahresübersicht (Part One): Im Glück" ("Lucky") 6:53
5. "Jahresübersicht (Part Two): Negativland" ("Negative Land") 9:47
6. "Jahresübersicht (Part Three): Lieber Honig" ("Dear Honey" or "Preferably Honey") 7:18

Personnel[edit]

Band members
Additional personnel

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Jurek, Thom. "Neu!". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 27 April 2010. 
  2. ^ a b Sirota, Brent S. "Review: Neu! - Neu!". Pitchfork Media Inc. Retrieved 27 April 2010. 
  3. ^ Q (7/01, p.136) - 4 stars out of 5 - "...Neu! Invented the motorik beat - Krautrock's defining relentless rhythm....influencing both punk and ambient..."
  4. ^ NME (Magazine) (6/2/01, p.39) - 8 out of 10 - "...The album staggers psychotically through metallic scrapings, drifting space musik, unwinding drones, Japanese banjo moments and noise extremism worthy of Pil or Einsturzende Neubauten..."
  5. ^ http://www.austinchronicle.com/music/2001-07-13/82355/