Neu! - Neu! '75

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'Neu! '75' is the third and most essential record from krautrock wunderkinds Neu!- a two-man experimental force that pioneered the rapid, repetitive drum-beat known as motorik, and mapped out the future of music for groups like Sonic Youth, Stereolab, and Spacemen 3. Recorded after a two-year moratorium on the Neu! design, 75 is the sound of a band in a state of disintegration - but it's the simmering tension between the ambient-minded Michael Rother and the fiery Klaus Dinger that makes this an artistic triumph, rather than a cacophonous dissolution of ideas. Neu! handle this fracture by effectively splitting 75 in two very different parts. The first half, featuring the drifting catatonic majesty of 'Seeland' and the tidal ambient lull of 'Leb' Wohl' is very recognizably led by Rother's sense of affecting minimalism. The second half, however, is Dinger's blank canvas, over which he bitterly vents his spleen: 'Hero' surges forward on an aggressive pedal-to-the-metal wave of guitar, Dinger bellowing 'the only crime is money' like an anarchist sloganeer. Suddenly, claims that this record was an influence on the young John Lydon make perfect sense - 'Neu! '75' is a masterpiece of cosmic punk rock, beamed in from a time before punk rock even existed.