Neu! - Neu! ’75 - Review
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critics' view

Brilliantly, Neu! reconvened in winter ’74-’75 for one last hurrah and this time the inconsistency which plagued previous efforts is nowhere to be seen as these six fully formed nuggets reveal themselves, showing the duo to be equally powerful as ambient progenitors or punk agitators.

Side 1 starts off on familiar territory with the motorik cruiser “Isi”, although the synths share space organically with some lovely piano, giving the piece a different feeling than ’73. It’s not all halligalli though – this is confirmed straight away on “Seeland” – the trance effect remains but we’ve slipped off the autobahn into slow-moving traffic due to roadworks. And it’s raining. Closing side 1 is “Leb Wohl” (“Goodbye”) which slows further down to a dream-like state and comes complete with simple, haunting piano lines, the sound of waves rolling up around your feet, and a vocals which are softly moaned and quietly spoken, as if trapped in a debilitating stupor. “Bye bye” says Klaus, almost sarcastically drawing a line under Michael’s preferred “ambient side” of the record.

Side 2 is wide-awake from the get-go on “Hero” as the trance-inducing repetitive beats are presented in the new style of the day – punk rock is mos def in the air, accentuated all the more by Klaus Dinger’s snarled, incomprehensible drawl. The 10-minute instrumental “Emusik” is next, with seven minutes of up-tempo trance-beat dissipating to reveal a hazy 3 minutes film-score, all the while phased to the max with effects. “After Eight” finishes the set off in glorious fashion – let there be no doubt punk has arrived.

It’s teed up on a plate for the Sex Pistols et al.

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