Friday, February 10, 2012
The Apache Beat of the Motorik Neon Indian: Klaus Dinger- Neondian (1985)
Here's a shiny treasure of latter-day krautrock, perfect plastic optimism for charging upwards and outwards into that chilly winter on warm jets of sound.
Anyone familiar with Dinger's work, post-Neu!, particularly La Düsseldorf, probably has a keen idea of how this one will sound. Düsseldorf's efforts, as well as ex-Neu!-mate Rother's solo albums and any of the various Neu! reunions, seem to follow a similar trajectory of increasing positivity, world-iness, and huge sweeping synths, but to varying degrees of success. So, how does Néondian turn out? Rather well. That 80's sound is wholly in control, but with a punkiness and undercurrent of anger that nicely offsets the bubbly synth-pop plasticity. And of course, it's motorik as hell, in its own way. (A quick, obligatory note to krautrock beginners: don't start here- start with Neu!.)
This isn't a formless dick-around session like some of the Neu! reunions, either (as much as I think those are pretty worthwhile, actually- and as similar in tone as this is to Neu! 86), or Düsseldorf's own Viva! (which I also like). It may not be perfect, but this record has a sense of purpose that makes it feel like an album, in the classic sense. I could go deeper into this, and I was about to, but then I ran into this review (by Serotonin) on Julian Cope's site, which does a pretty good job of going into detail regarding the record. I find some of his assertions a bit spurious (I'm not sure the track "America" is nearly incendiary enough to result in Dinger being effectively blackballed in the States- more likely, there just wasn't any interest to begin with in this fringe, very German practitioner of an offshoot of rock that was never, ever popular in the U.S.), but his passion for the record is nonetheless winning and informative. Check it out, read it up.
This record was originally billed to "Klaus Dinger + Rheinita Bella Düsseldorf", despite being, more or less, the next La Düsseldorf album following Individuellos. Adding to the confusion, it was later released on the Captain Trip label under the Düsseldorf name, with different tracklisting (and extras), and the title Mon Amour. The material in this download may well have originated from that reissue, as those bonus tracks are included, but I have restored the original sequencing and artwork etc., and repositioned the extras at the end (they're good-to-great). Please enjoy.
Speaking of krautrock in the 80's, does anyone have a hot tip on Michael Karoli's Bit/s EP? I've only heard one track and I'm dying for more.