A Field Guide to 1970s German Krautrock Goodness

The story of Damo Suzuki’s induction into enduringly amazing 1970s German band Can is a pretty remarkable one — Suzuki, an itinerant Japanese busker who’d spent most of the late 1960s meandering around Europe, was performing in Munich when he caught the eye of Can bassist Holger Czukay. Can needed a singer, Suzuki needed the cash, and the rest was history. And since it’s Damo’s birthday, we thought we’d celebrate with a mixtape of some essential tunes from the astonishingly fertile musical scene that existed in Germany during the 1970s. You’re more than welcome.

Can — “Mushroom”

While “Krautrock” (or, less offensively, “Kosmische”) was to an extent an artificial genre label applied to several scenes that didn’t necessarily share a whole lot in common, there’s no doubt that there was something in the air in 1970s Germany. No one embodied the explosion of creativity more than Can, who recorded a series of albums during the early and mid-1970s that were so without precedent and ahead of their time as to almost defy belief — 40 years later, they still sound startlingly contemporary and innovative.