6th Birthday: The Roots of Was Ist Das?

Well, judging by the greetings on facebook, it is now August 19th in Japan, so that means the 6th birthday of Was Ist Das? has begun. It’s also the second anniversary of when Was Ist Das? 2.0 was born, as that’s when the domain name registration was freed and I could start again with a brand new website with a new host & registrar.

To celebrate, here’s a DJ mix exploring the music that inspired & informed my musical tastes. Included are many old favourites and songs used as nuggets in the podcast/video review intro theme:

Soul Jazz Records To Relase Krautrock

Soul Jazz, the record label that first made their name through compiling the best rare tracks from the the genres of funk and jazz, are branching out into the world of krautrock after recent success with their New York Noise and dubstep releases.

The line-up for their debut Krautrock compilation, entitled “Elektronische Musik: Experimental German Rock & Electronic Music 1972-1983” is:

1. Can – Aspectacle (5.39)
2. Between – Devotion (3.46)
3. Harmonia – Dino (3.29)
4. Gila – This Morning (5.45)
5. Kollectiv – Rambo Zambo (11.39)
6. Michael Bundt – La Chasse Aux Microbes (8.30)
7. E.M.A.K. – Filmmuzik (3.15)
8. Popol Vuh – Morgengruss (2.57)
9. Conrad Schnitzler – Auf Dem Schwarzen Canal (3.12)
10. La Dusseldorf – Rheinita (7.37)
11. Harmonia – Veterano (3.55)
12. Faust – It’s A Rainy Day Sunshine Girl (7.26)
13. Neu – Hallo Gallo (10.03)

1. Cluster – Heisse Lippen (2.21)
2. Ibliss – High Life (13.01)
3. Dieter Moebius – Hasenheide (2.36)
4. Amon Duul II – Fly United (3.29)
5. Popol Vuh – Aguirre 1 (6.13)
6. Ash Ra Tempel – Daydream (5.22)
7. Tangerine Dream – No Man’s Land (9.05)
8. Amon Duul II – Wie Der Wind Am Ende Einer Strasse (5.43)
9. Roedelius – Geradewohl (3.31)
10. Can – I Want More (3.30)
11. Deuter – Soham (4.55)

Neu! Box Set Details Confirmed

Michael Rother’s website has confirmed the release date (May 10th) & details for the forthcoming Neu! box set link

Limited edition NEU! Vinyl Box – Released May 2010 on Groenland Records

– 4 vinyl LPs & 1 vinyl maxi-single

– Original studio albums NEU!, NEU! 2, NEU! ’75 and the for the first time, an official release of NEU! ’86

– NEU! ’72 (previously unreleased live maxi-single 18 minutes!)

– 36-page picturebook & NEU! stencil

– Free download code for all albums via www.neu2010.com (coming soon!)

– Free NEU! t-shirt (one of three designs)

Gronland are very proud to announce the forthcoming release of this Limited edition NEU! vinyl box set. The NEU! “Vinyl Box” is a complete retrospective of one of the most influential German bands of the seventies. In addition to the three original NEU! studio albums the package contains two additional vinyls, appearing for the first time officially. The album NEU! `86 contains never before released material, revised by Michael Rother as well as the most recent studio recordings of both musicians. “NEU! ’72 non-public test” is a stunning and previously unheard live recording of the band in Dusseldorf.

Also included is a thirty-six page book with text about the history and the workings of NEU!, illustrated with previously unpublished photographs by Anton Corbijn and Peter Lindbergh, , and a code to allow the buyer to download the digital version of all the albums on the website www.neu2010.com (coming soon!). A free NEU! T-shirt (one of three different designs) and a stencil of the NEU! logo finish off this bumper release.

Klaus Dinger’s and Michael Rother’s music has left its mark on generations of musicians and international influences – bands like Sonic Youth, U2, Radiohead and Primal Scream amongst many others, all owe a creative debt to NEU!, not to mention their impact on the electronic music of the last twenty years.

Michael Rother, February 2010.

“I am very happy to know that with the NEU! vinyl box set our fans will for the first time have the opportunity to hear the whole bandwidth of NEU!. My partner Klaus Dinger sadly passed away in 2008 but he has been in our minds all during the work on this box set and his visual ideas for NEU! were our inspiration.

Apart from the three “classic“ NEU! albums of the 70s the box features – as a new release – our fourth studio album called NEU! ´86 and a 12“ maxi single with over 17 exciting minutes which I edited from a very lo-fi and rough recordings from a 1972 rehearsal and which will appeal to the hardcore fans. A vinyl album sized 36-pages picture book with very interesting texts i.e. by Stephen Iliffe and comments about our music as well as photos and materials that until now have never been made available to the public provide the fan with new insights. Anton Corbijn, Peter Lindbergh and other photographers have contributed exclusive photos of NEU! spanning the years 1972 until 2000 and these are complemented by photos and other documents stemming from our personal archives.

Conny Plank´s amazing contributions as engineer and co-producer of the first three NEU! albums are also highlighted in the picture book. His son Stephan Plank provided us with additional photos. We thankfully remember Conny and remind the fans of the unique qualities of this sound magician.

Most of all I´m thrilled about the release of the album NEU! ´86 which Klaus Dinger and I originally recorded in 1985/86, but left unfinished back then and which led to some unfortunate problems between Klaus and myself in the 90s. I now completely reworked the album from original multitrack and master tapes, and unearthed a few yet unknown tracks which are essential for a full understanding of what Klaus and I focussed on for NEU! in the mid 80s. It was my aim to present Klaus Dinger´s musical strengths and visions just as much as my own ideas. The best musical result was to be my only guideline, not the ego. All during the emotional process of reworking our album Klaus was on my mind and I contemplated what he would think about my decisions. I was very relieved and moved to hear from his heir, Miki Yui, who contributed many valuable ideas to the making of the box set, that she was pleased with the result presented with the album NEU! ´86.”

Miki Yui, February 2010.

“It was always Klaus´ aim to make NEU! (new) music available for the new generations. It´s been a long and winding road for NEU!, therefore it is so precious and we are happy to present this special NEU! Vinyl Box set. The absence of Klaus is enormous, but we’ve tried to keep the original NEU! visual concept for the design, and pushed it forward in a playful way. For the first time NEU! official merchandise will be made, so everyone can enjoy NEU! visually as well. Hope Klaus will like them too! This NEU! Box set will reveal the myth of NEU! and certainly give deeper insight in NEU! music. Along with the release, I will send messages from Klaus Dinger over Internet on our website, www.la-duesseldorf.de. Enjoy! ”