Krautrock’s 20 Essential Songs

Source: Stereogum.

From 1969 onwards — the release year of the first broadly acknowledged krautrock records — countless bands out of Germany pushed psychedelic music further into experimentation when the more mainstream American and British bands were receding back into straightforward blues-rock, country, or folk influences. And their biggest divergence from their mostly-British prog rock contemporaries was the foregrounding of free-flowing improvisation and rhythmic steadiness over compositional complexity, whether it meant minimalist yet evocative ambient drones or ruthlessly steady (and danceable) 4/4 rhythms. Prog largely aimed for the head, but krautrock worked on both the intellectual and the visceral levels, whether it shook the body or stirred the heart.