Whenever Krautrock is mentioned, the name Faust must also be mentioned. From 1971 onwards, this band created a series of extraordinary albums that remained largely commercially unsuccessful but are all the more artistically valuable. Active again since the 1990s and as innovative as ever, Faust now present the opulent box set "Faust 1971-1974", which, in addition to the first four albums, contains remarkable archive material - including the group's previously unreleased fifth work, recorded in 1974.
"There is no band more mythical than Faust," Julian Cope writes in his book "Krautrocksampler" (1995) about the German band whose works form an indispensable part of the crown jewels of Krautrock - even if they never really got to grips with the term. Werner "Zappi" Diermaier recently replied to the question of whether Faust were Dada or gaga: "Neither. I don't want to name our music anything. Not even Krautrock."
Between Krautrock, Prog and German poetry. It bordered on a small miracle: After almost a quarter of a century, the Kraut and Prog pioneers of HOELDERLIN reunited in December 2005 and celebrated their stage comeback with a concert at WDR's "Rockpalast" in Bonn's Harmonie. Now the concert recording "Live At Rockpalast 2005" has been released on CD and DVD. We talked to longtime bass player Hans Bäär (real name Hans Maahn, brother of Wolf Maahn), who joined Hoelderlin in 1975, about the comeback and the development of the band.
Duisburg, early 70s: Heinz Robert Martin and Claus Rauschenbach founded the duo Kalacakra and released the album "Crawling To Lhasa" in 1972. A krautrock mix of dirty rock-blues-folk and Indian-Tibetan sounds. Right after that, the duo called it a day. In 2002 Martin dared to release a new album and now he is on the road again with Kalacakra
Heinz Robert Martin is 72 by now, but he remained musically active all these years and shows himself as open as ever in the interview.
eclipsed: How did your interest in the Tibetan, Indian and Far Eastern arise?
In 1980, Tangerine Dream became the first West German rock band to perform in the GDR. That it came about was also thanks to East German composer, pianist and singer Reinhard Lakomy. As a result, he was even offered the chance to join the group. This did not happen, but there was a West-East transfer of a Moog synthesizer that had once belonged to Mick Jagger. For East German rock music fans it was a sensation in 1980, for the West German "Spiegel" editors a marginal note: "Tangerine Dream on a GDR trip". The West Berlin electronic band, which had so often "complained about poor performance possibilities at their place of residence", was now allowed to present their synthesizer sounds "optimally" in Berlin for the first time - but in East Berlin: For 31 January 1980, two concerts including a laser show in front of a total of 5800 spectators were planned in the Palace of the Republic, the Hamburg news magazine announced the historic event
Two flute solos simultaneously, one from the right, one from the left stereo channel - this is how the 48-minute track "Huchen 55", spread over LP sides 3 and 4, begins on Out Of Focus' third album "Four Letters Monday Afternoon" (1972, released on the Kuckuck label). As I said, 48 minutes and 1972. That's a minute longer and a year earlier than Mike Oldfield's "Tubular Bells"!
To avoid misunderstandings: Apart from the stringing together of various musical themes, "Huchen 55" has stylistically nothing in common with Oldfield's masterpiece. Out Of Focus were Anglo-American influenced. The band allowed for slight psychedelic influences, but also relied primarily on jazzy, progressive elements and a jam character that was evident in the sprawling solos on guitar, organ, flute and saxophone.
The German band around their mastermind Florian Fricke is counted as Krautrock, but Popol Vuh were always musically an outsider among the outsiders. From 1970 the band released 20 albums for 30 years until Fricke's death in 2001. Five of them - "Affenstunde" (1970), "Hosianna Mantra" (1972), "Einsjäger & Siebenjäger" (1975) as well as the soundtracks for the Werner Herzog films "Aguirre" (1975) and "Nosferatu" (1978) - will now be released individually on CD in a first season (two more will follow in autumn 2019 and spring 2020) and in a 5-player LP box.
Frank Fiedler, founding member and musical mountain guide Frickes for all these years, is not only a musician, but also a filmmaker who has been involved in various films as a cameraman, screenwriter, director and sound designer. He has now remastered the new edition of the Popol Vuh albums.
eclipsed: Frank, why is this new vinyl box and the re-release of the Popol Vuh albums on CD happening?
eclipsed: The album title "Fresh Air" sounds relaxed and light at first. But then it did not become a loose and light album ...
Jean-Hervé Péron: No, it's not that. If you currently look at the world around you, what is happening in Turkey, in the USA and elsewhere, then it stinks enormously. I think a little fresh air would be in order.
Werner "Zappi" Diermaier: Concerning the piece "Fresh Air": We equipped it live with a prelude, with a drone in which the rhythm slowly develops. The intro was long, it was exciting, with different instruments. Then we got into this "Boom Boom Boom Boom Boom Boom." And then it gets better and better. You can play it almost endlessly. Such a piece lives by its length.
eclipsed: On the second part of this track you are more rhythmic than ever or at least not for a long time. And that means something.
"Brain. Some sit on it - we stand on it", is the slogan, thick, big, black on white on top of the very first print advertisement that Brain Records placed in March 1972. "Every album DM 22,- without obligation. Guide price incl. VAT" is very small at the bottom left. 22 DM for "Lonesome Crow" by the Scorpions, "Together" by Jane, for Gomorrah's "I Turned To See Whose Voice It Was", for "Neu!" by Neu! and Spirogyras "St. Radigunds". The covers of these five albums are shown on the advertisement, they are the first ones ever released on Brain Records. They are the beginning of a perhaps non-commercial, but certainly artistic success story.
Where is the beginning of German rock music? When can you really talk about Deutschrock? In the 60s, German beat bands like the Rattles or the Lords still sang in the language of their Anglo-American idols as if they were a matter of course. This is how Wolfgang Niedecken (65) tells eclipsed: "Rock music in my generation has only become interesting in the first place because of the big English bands. If you wanted to do it yourself, you would be strongly connected to the English language. That was hard to separate."
It is noticeable that it is predominantly German artists with whom Bureau B cooperates. Buskies: "With the re-releases we concentrated on Germany. It's not a must. It turned out that way. Contacts are easier because we operate in this environment." The offer may serve a niche, but it has nevertheless expanded. Reihse: "The spectrum has grown. Roedelius, Qluster, Schnitzler, Asmus Tietchens, Pyrolator or the things from the Atatak label. I don't own more records from any other label."
Sysyphus Verlags GmbH
Am Funkhaus 19
Phone: +49 6021 4908-0
Fax: +49 6021 4908-25
The main phone is available
from Mo-Fr 9 - 12:30 am.
eclipsed is a music magazine based in Aschaffenburg and has been on the German market since 2000. It is aimed at friends of sophisticated rock music who want to go on a new acoustic voyage of discovery month after month.
eclipsed deals in detail with the rock greats of the 60s and 70s in the areas of art rock, prog, psychedelic, blues, classic, hard rock and much more as well as with the current scene in these areas.