Neu! (album)

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Neu!
Neu albumcover.jpg
Studio album by
Released1972
RecordedDecember 1971
StudioStar Studios, Hamburg
Genre
Length45:51
LabelBrain
Producer
Neu! chronology
Neu!
(1972)
Neu! 2
(1973)
Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic4.5/5 stars[2]
Q4/5 stars[3]
NME8/10[4]
Pitchfork9.7/10[5]
The Austin Chronicle3.5/4 stars[6]

Neu! is the debut album by German krautrock band Neu!. It was released in 1972 by Brain Records. It was the first album recorded by the duo of Michael Rother and Klaus Dinger after leaving Kraftwerk in 1971. They continued to work with producer Konrad "Conny" Plank, who had also worked on the Kraftwerk recording sessions.

Upon release, the album was largely ignored internationally but did well in West Germany,[7] selling 35,000 copies.[8] In 2001, the album was reissued by Grönland and then licensed to Astralwerks for US distribution. In 2014, Fact named it the 36th best album of the 1970s.[9]

History[edit]

Having broken off from an early incarnation of Kraftwerk, Michael Rother and Klaus Dinger quickly began the recording sessions for what would become Neu!. The pair recorded the album in four nights in December 1971[10] in Star Studios in Hamburg, with the up-and-coming Krautrock producer Conny Plank, as Dinger had with Kraftwerk. Dinger noted that Plank served as a "mediator" between the often disagreeing factions within the band.

According to Dinger, the first two days were unproductive until he brought his shamisen ("Japanese banjo")[11] 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 this beat. Motorik is a repeated 4
4
drumbeat with only occasional interruptions, perhaps best showcased on "Hallogallo". Dinger claimed never to have used the term "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.

The band was christened by Dinger (Rother had been against the name, preferring a more "organic" title) and a pop-art style logo was created, featuring italic capitals. Dinger recalled 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.

Reception[edit]

Neu! sold well for an underground album at the time. Approximately 35,000 copies were sold.[8]

In 2001, Q described the album's motorik beat as "krautrock's defining relentless rhythm" and an influence on ambient music and punk.[12] In 2008, Ben Sisario of The New York Times described the album and its successors as "landmarks of German experimental rock."[1]

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

Track listing[edit]

All tracks are written by Klaus Dinger and Michael Rother.

Side one
No.TitleLength
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 Lake"; Weißensee is a town in Carinthia, Austria, and a borough of Pankow, Berlin)6:46
Side two - Jahresübersicht ("Year Overview")
No.TitleLength
4."Im Glück" ("Lucky")6:53
5."Negativland" ("Negative Land")9:47
6."Lieber Honig" ("Dear Honey" or "Preferably Honey")7:18

Personnel[edit]

Band members[edit]

Additional personnel[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Sisario, Ben. "Klaus Dinger, Drummer of Influential German Beat, Dies at 61". The New York Times. Retrieved 25 January 2020.
  2. ^ Jurek, Thom. "Neu!". AllMusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 27 April 2010.
  3. ^ "Neu! review". Q. July 2001. p. 136. ...Neu! Invented the motorik beat - Krautrock's defining relentless rhythm....influencing both punk and ambient...
  4. ^ "Neu! review". NME. 2 June 2001. p. 39. ...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. ^ Sirota, Brent S. (5 June 2001). "Review: Neu! - Neu!". Pitchfork. Retrieved 27 April 2010.
  6. ^ Chamy, Michael (13 July 2001). "Neu!, Neu! 2, and Neu! 75 (Astralwerks)". The Austin Chronicle. Retrieved 14 June 2019.
  7. ^ "Neu! | Biography & History | AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 2017-01-05.
  8. ^ a b Adelt, Ulricht (2016). Krautrock: German Music in the Seventies. University of Michigan Press. Retrieved 18 August 2017.
  9. ^ Kelly, Chris; Lea, Tom; Muggs, Joe; Morpurgo, Joseph; Beatnik, Mr; Ravens, Chal; Twells, John (July 14, 2014). "The 100 best albums of the 1970s". Fact. Retrieved September 21, 2016.
  10. ^ "Neu! | Biography & History | AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 2017-01-05.
  11. ^ Male, Andrew (February 2016). "Michael Rother Interview". Mojo. Retrieved 14 June 2019 – via moredarkthanshark.org.
  12. ^ "Neu! review". Q. July 2001. p. 136. ...Neu! Invented the motorik beat - Krautrock's defining relentless rhythm....influencing both punk and ambient...

External links[edit]