Neu!: Klaus Dinger (guitar, banjo, drums); Michael Rother (guitar, acoustic & electric basses).
Recorded in Germany in 1971.
One of the most influential of the multitudes who flew the Krautrock banner in the early 1970s, Neu! defined their own subgenre, known as "motorik," whose urgent repetitions are redolent of traveling at high speeds down Germany's Autobahn highway. The minimalist structure and unrelenting intensity of their self-titled debut album (also known as NEU! 1) had a direct effect on everyone from the Fall to Stereolab; the Neu! influence in modern rock is so pervasive that it's often taken for granted. But hearing the intersection of the choppy, heavily processed guitars; the monomaniacal, locomotive rhythms; and the Velvet Underground-in-outer-space modal format of the mostly instrumental songs, one realizes that the subsequent decades of rock music would have sounded significantly different if this album had never existed.
Rolling Stone (7/5/01, p.145) - 4 out of 5 stars - "...Bridges the gap between rock and art like no one before or since...with songs that are sparklingly pretty but anarchically noisy..."
Spin (p.87) - "The quiet, floating bits anticipate Brian Eno's ambient music..."
Q (7/01, p.136) - 4 stars out of 5 - "...Neu! Invented the motorik beat - Krautrock's defining relentless rhythm....influencing both punk and ambient..."
Alternative Press (7/01, pp.82-3) - "...Their most listenable expulsion....the perfect sound forever."
Magnet (6-7/01, p.105) - "...Effortlessly swung between serenely pulsing luminous chugathons and more daunting slabs of abrasive psych..."
Q (Magazine) (p.140) - "Neu! were the best aspects of Krautrock incarnate: willfully simple and streamlined, pushing guitar, drums and bass into virgin territory."
Mojo (Publisher) (6/01, p.122) - "...the 11-minute lead track is as perfect a declaration of intent as any band has ever managed. The 2 compnents of archetypal Neu! are in place: Dinger's metronomic drums...and Rother's fleeting guitar figures..."
NME (Magazine) (6/2/01, p.39) - 8 out of 10 - "...The album staggers psychotically through metallic scrapings, drifting space musik, unwinding drones, Japanese banjo moments and noise extremism worthy of Pil or Einsturzende Neubauten..."