It's Neu To Me

A couple of years ago I walked into my favourite indie hipster CD shop and as was often the case, something cool was playing. Of course, I had to ask and pretty soon I was the proud owner of a Manual by Appliance. The track that grabbed my ear was Food Music. Didn't think too much about it, just liked it.

Fast forward to earlier this month, when I recently watched a documentary called Krautrock: The Rebirth of Germany. I hear this band from the early 70s called Neu! and I'm hooked. One of the tracks the documentarians used was Hallogallo. There's that sound again. And it hits me. This was one of the roots of much of the music I've been listening to since I was a teen! David Bowie (from his Low period), Sonic Youth, Iggy Pop, Pere Ubu, Joy Division (the list goes on) have all drunk from this well.

You've probably heard somewhere that rock music has its roots in the blues. But a lot of modern music has no blues. How did that happen? We've been fed this stuff about young punks rejecting the big established acts. As is often true, it's probably not quite that simple. In their attempt to sound neither American nor British, the young German bands of the 70s forged a new sound. And in hindsight, that influence on the rest of "modern rock" seems profound.

So now I'm busily filling this massive gap in my music "education" and wonder about the numerous forces that have kept me ignorant all these years. Probably was just the force between my ears.

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