Label: Bureau B
Fans of krautrock will recognise Grosskopf as a drummer with Klaus Schulze as well as his time with Ashra (13 albums worth of time, actually). Those looking for more would do well to check out his creations as Oceanheart and Synthesist.
As for Kranemann? He was a founder member of Kraftwerk during their more organic period, playing bass and cello. He was also a founder of Neu! playing bass and Hawaiian guitar as well as the experimental outfit Pissoff, back in 1967. This is one serious musician, having collaborated with everyone from Conny Plank, Nurse with Wound, Brian Eno, Lou Reed, David Bowie…need I go on?
The pairing of these two artists is important, therefore, as the chaps combine history with their current ideas. The rhythms of history can be heard within the release Ou Tchi Gah, which is infested with the Kraftwerk track Autobahn, in terms of rhythm but also, in part, content. Innovation, though is also visible when you get to Texas Paris, a noise-fest with industrial percussive rhythms that settles down into an almost pastoral canvas before hitting an electric guitar attack.
The contrast, therefore, with Happy Blue is almost shocking. A meditative beginning with a distinctly groovy, hip shaking, head nodding beat that that speeds up into a fast heart beat rhythm that reminds me a little of Fluke at their best. Kranemann & Grosskopf add underlying, searching tones that add an extra dimension before upping the pace even further to expand the track beyond any hint of the derivative as the soundscape tones reintroduce the music to the meditative again. It’s a tour de force track in terms of this album project and reminds me of some of the very best ‘trance’ of the early 90s (when trance was really trance, unlike the boring copycat templates of today). Lots of ideas on show here, I hope this is the first run on a long ladder for the two krautrock legends.