Krautrock (also called kosmische Musik, German for “cosmic music”) is a broad genre of experimental rock that developed in West Germany in the late 1960s and early 1970s. It originated among artists who blended elements of psychedelic rock, avant-garde composition, and electronic music, among other eclectic sources. Common elements included hypnotic rhythms, extended improvisation, musique concrète techniques, and early synthesizers, while the music generally moved away from the rhythm & blues roots and song structure found in traditional Anglo-American rock music. Prominent groups associated with the krautrock label included Neu!, Can, Faust, Tangerine Dream, Kraftwerk, Cluster, Ash Ra Tempel, Popol Vuh, Amon Düül II and Harmonia.The term “krautrock” was popularized by British music journalists as a humorous umbrella-label for the diverse German scene, and although many so-labeled artists disliked the term, it is no longer considered controversial by German artists in the 21st century, although English-language authors remain critical of it. The movement was partly born out of the radical student protests of 1968, as German youth rebelled against their country’s legacy in World War II and sought a popular music distinct from traditional German music and American pop. The period contributed to the development of ambient music and techno, and influenced subsequent genres such as post-punk, new-age music, and post-rock.

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