I w e 143 January 1996 12.50$5.50 ISSN0952-0686 4 5 4 6 Poland S a t - LandonW1V 3DF m W Tal: 0111439 6422 Fax:0111 2814161 e-rnaik L e - ~ . w . a k
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Specialthanks this isweto Joy Lewis and Mattffytche Cover photographof Howie B: T hKent
The February issue of The Wire
Yet more ballistic pages of features, interviews, CD revlews,
books, multimedia, live events, free offers and more. . .
On sale Tuesday 30 January
4 The Wire
Krautrock revisited 1
I'd like to let you know that Kerry Aberhart's pious letter (The Wire 142) condemning me for comments I made concerning the music of Neu!, Can and Faust in The Wire 1 4 0 was based on a complete misinterpretation of what I actually said. At no point did I say that Can sounded dead, dated or irrelevant or that Neu! sounded fossilised. If Kerry wasn't so intent on adopting a piercingly high moral tone t o put his point across, he might have deduced that I, in fact, meant something rather different.
I t is, of course, obvious that the music of these groups is as empoweringand as inherent with future possibilities as any yet created, and i t is for these reasons that Iwould rather not see i t become hermetically sealed into the 'classic' canon and its essence smothered, while trying to preserve the original groups through the formaldehyde nature of historical perspective.
It is the ideas themselves that must be taken forward into different perspectives, new juxtapositions and contexts (yeah! even pop contexts). These are the vital, relevant and living aspem. I t still sounds modern because i t still resonates unforeseen events and actions today, interpretation is entirely open. Neu!, of course, still sound crisp and kicking in the 90s but they recorded in the 70s. Can's PeelSessions sound anything but dead and irrelevant but it was recorded 2 3 years ago. "Welcome back Damo," says Kerry. What is he talking about? That was Damo's voice nearly a quarter of a century ago.
ITo finish, I'd like to say thanks to kerry for his comments about the 'groop' - I've heard them all before from inept journalists. Do you really think we've been doing this music for five years now so at the end of i t we can sit back satisfied in our "effervescent smugness", that we're seen as "stylish" and "cool"? I don't give a fuck about these things and I'm far from being satisfied with our music. I'd just rather not potter around like the curator of some old museum, dusting the exhibits down every five years like some people I could mention.
PS Bowie's Low is a great LP, you berk ri~ane,S- ond don
Krautrock revisited 2
Quite liked Simon Reynolds's article about American post-rock and Rob Young's review of Julian Cope's Krautmksampler (The Wire 14 11. Sorry to share my paranoia with you, but these last few weeks I've been going through a bit of a crisis, wondering whether all these early 70s German groups really were quite as brilliant as we all pretend whenever we self-consciously drop their names into casual conversation. It's just that sometimes I lie awake at 3am and think that perhaps Amon Duul were just a load of hyperventilating hippies who had a penchant for standing too close to their microphones; Amon Duul II were a bunch of Heavy Metal freaks who hadn't quite grasped the joke about Black Sabbath; Can usually sounded as though they'd run out of ideas three minutes into two of their albums (and that includes Tago Mago); Cluster started off making random electronic banging noises but soon got as bored as the rest of us and so started looping everything and striving for a sort of Germanic testcard music; Faust were to rock music what Tony Hancock was to art in his film The Rebel; Neu! were a couple of blokes