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Lecture

Krautrock and Austropop.docx

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Department
German
Course Code
GER 100
Professor
Paul Malone

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7 November 2012 Krautrock and Austropop  1965: rise of far-right NDP  Nov. 30, 1966: “Grand Coalition” – CDU/SPD under Kurt Georg Kiesinger o Was a previous Nazi  From 1967 on: student unrest and rise of left-wing APO (Extra-parliamentary Opposition) o The time of youth movement/”Hippies”/”68-ers”  June 2,, 1967: killing of Benno Ohnesorg during anti-Shah protest o Many youth didn’t believe that democratic nations should be supporting a dictator in Iran o Benno Ohnesorg was shot by an officer, who wasn’t even on patrol o Similar situation to Kent State University in 1970 in opposition to Nixon’s decision to go to Cambodia.  1968: unpopular emergency laws  Sept – Oct 1969: steep decline of NDP; end of “Grand Coalition” – move to left with SPD/FDP coalition under Willy Brandt “As *Andreas] Huyssen has pointed out, the development of German pop culture has to be understood within the context of the reconstruction of postwar Germany in which the omnipresence of American pop culture combined with a concerted effort to resurrect pre-war avant-garde modernism to the status of official German culture…. It was in this atmosphere that German artists such as Joseph Beuys, Gerhard Richter, Sigmar Polke and Anselm [Kiefer] as well as filmmakers such as Wim Wenders and Rainer Werner Fassbinder attempted to recapture a sense of post-war German identity. This was also the climate in which a new generation of young musicians turned their back on the US rock ‘n’ roll that had been so eagerly embraced by the West German version of the notorious British Teddy Boys, the leather-jacketed Halbstarke of the late 1950s and early 1960s, in an attempt to develop a rock aesthetic which was at once indigenous and distinctly European.”  1970: Willy Brandt at Warsaw Ghetto memorial  1972: Basic Treaty between FRG and GDR to acknowledge that exist and have their own rights  1974: Brandt’s surprise resignation as Chancellor  Replaced by Helmut Schmidt (continuing SPD/FDP coalition) “As Masse and Poiger have indicated, an understanding of the development of the West German rock scene in the 1960s involves an appreciation of the ways in which traditional and modern jazz, rock ‘n’ roll and mainstream pop were assimilated into a peculiarly West German set of traditions, patterns of perception and evaluation, signs and references for patterns of distinction in which they acquired new meanings as elements of German culture…. “Emphasising change, progress, novelty and the cultural ‘shock tactics’ that had once been the touchstones of pre-war Central European modernism and combining this with an emphasis upon the collective improvisation that stands at the heart of modern jazz … Krautrock came to stand for a specific cluster of values, for ‘freedom from conventions, tolerance, cosmopolitanism, civility, opposition to all that seemed conformist’…. Can’s first recordings of improvised sessions in June 1968, for example, included ‘free’ sound samples of the riots that had brought Paris to a standstill during the preceding month. As the group’s keyboard player, Irmin Schmidt, has remarked, ‘*t+he 1960s generation in Germany had to begin with a tabula rasa; we had to construct a completely new thing. In Germany we had no global metropolis like New York or London, we only had 7 November 2012 our own provincial capitals in which we were trying to reconstruct a new, cosmopolitan, distinctly European aesthetic’.” Tangerine Dream  “Ashes to Ashes” (1969) Amon Düül II (God’s Dick)  “Eye-Shaking King” (1970 Popol Vuh  Improvisation (1971) Can  Experimental band formed in Cologne  At one time, had a Japanese frontman  Was notorious for drugs, “heroin”, more so than others  “Bring Me Coffee or Tea” (1972) Faust  Archetypal band of Krautrock  “Krautrock” (1973)  One of the staple bands signed to the Virgin records, that started the empire Kraftwerk (Powerplant)  Another archetypal band for Krautrock  “Autobahn” (1974) o Takes some Beach Boys’ songs and makes them electro-rock  “Airwaves” (1975)  “Die Roboter” (1978) o Theme of dehumanization  “Musique Non-Stop” (1986) o Most techno album ever!! Sounds similar to Benny Benassi “Ralf Hütter declared that the band was proud of its country and language, emphasizing how they sang in German: “‘After the war,’ explains Ralf, ‘German entertainment was destroyed. The German people were robbed of their culture, putting an American head on it. I think we are the first generation born after the war to shake this off, and know where to feel American music and where to feel ourselves. We are the first German group to record in our own language, use our electronic background, and create a Central European identity for ourselves. So you see another group like Tangerine Dream, although they are German they have an English name, so they create onstage an Anglo-American identity, which we completely deny. We want the whole world to know our background. We cannot deny we are from Germany, because the German mentality, which is more advanced, will always be part of our behavior. We create out of the German language, the mother language.’” 7 November 2012 “In 1981, Hütter stated: ‘We woke up in the late ’60s and realised that Germany had become an American colony. ... There was no German culture, no German music, nothing. It was like living in a vacuum. The young people were into the American way of living ... Germany had lost its identity’ (qtd in Barr 74). Flür notes that ‘*i+n the middle of this identity-free cultural vacuum, the musical experimentalism of Kraftwerk suddenly appeared on the scene and did everything completely differently. We presented ourselves as German and fashionable, sang German lyrics and defiantly gave our group a German name’ NEU! (New, pronounced NOY)  “E-Musik” (1975)  Early 1970s: Baader-Meinhof Gang/Red Army Faction (RAF)  1972: Munich Olympics – PLO terrorism against Israeli athletes o Partly responsible for it, but not entirely  Sept. 1977: (“German autumn”) – RAF kidnappings and hostage-taking o Victims were former Nazis who were still active in the business world o Rational was that why should there be mercy or forgiveness for those involved in crimes in Auschwitz? “The process of turning its eyes to an international market has left a lasting impression on at least one member of Kraftwerk. In Ralf Hütter’s 2005 interview with Stephen Dalton, the reporter reveals to readers how much Hütter’s opinion of his own identity has changed: ‘Being born in Germany, Hütter’s shrugs, is simply a “biological fact.” But he stresses that growing up in Dusseldorf, a cosmopoli
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