Neu! - Neu! 2 LP


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Label: Groenland

After the considerable success of their self-titled debut album, Klaus Dinger and Michael Rother set out ambitiously to record a follow-up. Virtually everything went wrong. The first of the artistic and personal differences that existed between them not only began to surface, but to flourish in the face of a nearly impossible studio deadline and overly tight budget. While the basic Neu! sound was not an issue, how to augment it was.

As both a guitarist and a composer, Rother had already begun moving in the direction he would end up in with Moebius and Rodelius in Harmonia, and on his later solo recordings: a more unified, melodic, airy, and soaring sound that was full of light and yearning. Dinger, on the other hand, was looking for more anarchy, more chaos, and rock & roll dynamics. He wanted music that was as dramatic and confrontational as he was. It's amazing this album turned out as well as it did.

On top of all this, Neu! ran out of money in the middle of the project. Their plight was met by total indifference from the record company, who wouldn't advance them another mark. So they did what any normal self-respecting band would do: they simply re-edited and remixed two singles off the album and put them on side two to fill up the time. The end result is a perverse and controversial album, one that gives the middle finger to the label, and perhaps to the record-buying public as well. That said, the disc is a very worthy one as a whole; it's a beautiful bridge between the start repetition of the debut and the lush melodic textures of '75.

Over time, this great big middle finger to the music biz has weathered the storm very well. In fact, it now sounds as if it were recorded this way based on aesthetics rather than anger. This is essential Krautrock.