Day 14

July 20th 2015
Death of Dieter Moebius

The com­mu­nal aspects of Krautrock have ensured that most of the great­est out­put of that genre will always be per­ceived as acts of union, as beau­ti­ful col­lec­tive state­ments. It is fit­ting, there­fore, that it is upon the slen­der shoul­ders of Dieter Moe­bius that rep­re­sent­ing all of Krautrock for the SydArthur Fes­ti­val has fall­en. It is right­eous indeed, for like so many of his imme­di­ate con­tem­po­raries, Moe­bius was a mul­ti-task­ing, mul­ti-genre-split­ting high achiev­er of the first order. He always chose his col­lab­o­ra­tors well: Tan­ger­ine Dream’s Con­rad Schnit­zler, Can’s Hol­ger Czukay, Neu’s Michael Rother, leg­endary Krautrock pro­duc­er Con­ny Plank and of course his Clus­ter col­league Hans-Joachim Roedelius. Aspi­ra­tional in every­thing, Moe­bius even gave away his own art cred­its – nev­er lay­ing claim to some of those pop art clas­sics we most adore: Harmonia’s debut and Clus­ter II includ­ed.

It was writ­ten by Wern­er Pieper, for­mer man­ag­er of Amon Düül II, that Krautrock­ers – as the chil­dren of “Adolf Hitler’s foot­folk” – were musi­cians who need­ed to cre­ate music so intense and cleans­ing that it absolved them all of their fore­fa­thers’ sins. This demand for free­dom with­in their art was both right­eous and delib­er­ate: it should nev­er be for­got­ten, for it is at the very heart of what con­sti­tutes “Krautrock”. And out of this need and demand, Krautrock­ers cre­at­ed their own med­i­cines and med­i­ta­tions with which to sooth their tor­tured souls. How this music has endured. Its pop art ingre­di­ents being so all-per­va­sive – indus­tri­al sounds, urban traf­fic noise, west­ern TV, the weath­er itself – has ensured that how­ev­er vis­cer­al the genre became, it has by this time in the 21st cen­tu­ry con­tin­ued to serve the musi­cal under­ground through the sheer pow­er­drive of its exe­cu­tion. Whether soft or hard, Krautrock is always extreme.

The incen­di­ary col­lec­tive pow­er of Krautrock and those involved was achieved only at the expense of Europe’s san­i­ty. For with­out Hitler’s World Fuck Up, there would nev­er have been a need for future Ger­man youth to cre­ate such a vivid musi­cal dance. Unless the world is endur­ing sim­i­lar prob­lems, we can­not there­fore hope to wit­ness artists of such cal­i­bre in the future.

Today we’re lis­ten­ing to the still-futur­is­tic ‘Tio Minut­er’. Mak­ing their music not in the rock’n’roll clubs but from the la-de-da sur­round­ings of Sweden’s Mod­ern Muse­um, the slow-burn­ing career of Pär­son Sound was the result of a mid-60’s col­lab­o­ra­tion between avant-garde com­posers Ter­ry Riley and Bo Anders Pers­son, the lat­ter assem­bling suit­able musi­cians for the project from Stockholm’s under­ground scene. When Riley moved on, Andy Warhol moved in … to his 1967 Swedish exhi­bi­tion, for which he com­mis­sioned Pers­son to pro­vide an appro­pri­ate sound­track. Ear­li­er even than Tokyo’s Taj Mahal Trav­ellers, Pär­son Sound can­ni­bal­ized the tumult of the Vel­vet Underground’s ‘All Tomorrow’s Par­ties’ even more thor­ough­ly than MONSTER MOVIE-peri­od Can. Strung out, burned out, inchoate and stum­bling – Pär­son Sound was a full three decades ahead of their time. How both­er­some for them!

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Sat Saturday
Sun Sunday
Mon Monday
Tue Tuesday
Wed Wednesday
Thu Thursday
Day 1: Friday Jul 7th
Day 2: Saturday Jul 8th
Day 3: Sunday Jul 9th
Day 4: Monday Jul 10th
Day 5: Tuesday Jul 11th
Day 6: Wednesday Jul 12th
Day 7: Thursday Jul 13th
Day 8: Friday Jul 14th
Day 9: Saturday Jul 15th
Day 10: Sunday Jul 16th
Day 11: Monday Jul 17th
Day 12: Tuesday Jul 18th
Day 13: Wednesday Jul 19th
Day 14: Thursday Jul 20th
Day 15: Friday Jul 21st
Day 16: Saturday Jul 22nd
Day 17: Sunday Jul 23rd
Day 18: Monday Jul 24th
Day 19: Tuesday Jul 25th
Day 20: Wednesday Jul 26th
Day 21: Thursday Jul 27th
Day 22: Friday Jul 28th
Day 23: Saturday Jul 29th
Day 24: Sunday Jul 30th
Day 25: Monday Jul 31st
Day 27: Wednesday Aug 2nd
Day 28: Thursday Aug 3rd