Event Title

'Krautrock' and the Transnationalization of Popular Culture

Location

Panel 20: Kearney 317

Start Date

27-10-2012 1:15 PM

End Date

27-10-2012 2:45 PM

Description

Globally, the history of popular music during the last 25 years is an account of just three nations: the United States, the United Kingdom and, well, Germany“. (Mark Jenkins, The Washington Post, January 21, 1996)

The “Americanization” of (West-)German popular culture since the 1920s also affected the artistic development of Krautrock’s protagonists. Coevally, the distinction from the dominant Anglo-American influence and a search for a “new” and “own” cultural identity were two of it’s main characteristics. Coming from and influenced by varying aesthetic backgrounds and musical styles as different as Jazz, Blues, Rock’n’Roll, British Beat, Musique concrète or Neue Musik (mainly Karlheinz Stockhausen), the first groups started to perform in the late 1960s.

In the early 1970s, the reception of West-German experimental Rock und Pop Music increased rapidly in the United Kingdom. Half a decade later, Krautrock had arrived in the United States and widely gained recognition as something new, exotic, and, especially in the case of electronic pioneers like Kraftwerk or Tangerine Dream, as futuristic. By the end of the 1970s, the media attention began to fade – until 15 years later, when a new wave of reception began. It has stayed ever since; meanwhile, Krautrock has become part of the academic discourse, and a broad consensus across different fields of academics as well as across popular media continues to highlight its enormous influence on the threshold from an Anglo-American dominated towards an increasingly transnational popular culture.

This paper pinpoints the role of Krautrock in the process of the transnationalization of popular culture, and the mutual impacts of transnational influences on both sides of the Atlantic. The main focus will be on aspects such as transatlantic connections of the protagonists and multipliers, and on reception history, especially the perpetuation or generation of national stereotypes.

Embargo Date

2012

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Oct 27th, 1:15 PM Oct 27th, 2:45 PM

'Krautrock' and the Transnationalization of Popular Culture

Panel 20: Kearney 317

Globally, the history of popular music during the last 25 years is an account of just three nations: the United States, the United Kingdom and, well, Germany“. (Mark Jenkins, The Washington Post, January 21, 1996)

The “Americanization” of (West-)German popular culture since the 1920s also affected the artistic development of Krautrock’s protagonists. Coevally, the distinction from the dominant Anglo-American influence and a search for a “new” and “own” cultural identity were two of it’s main characteristics. Coming from and influenced by varying aesthetic backgrounds and musical styles as different as Jazz, Blues, Rock’n’Roll, British Beat, Musique concrète or Neue Musik (mainly Karlheinz Stockhausen), the first groups started to perform in the late 1960s.

In the early 1970s, the reception of West-German experimental Rock und Pop Music increased rapidly in the United Kingdom. Half a decade later, Krautrock had arrived in the United States and widely gained recognition as something new, exotic, and, especially in the case of electronic pioneers like Kraftwerk or Tangerine Dream, as futuristic. By the end of the 1970s, the media attention began to fade – until 15 years later, when a new wave of reception began. It has stayed ever since; meanwhile, Krautrock has become part of the academic discourse, and a broad consensus across different fields of academics as well as across popular media continues to highlight its enormous influence on the threshold from an Anglo-American dominated towards an increasingly transnational popular culture.

This paper pinpoints the role of Krautrock in the process of the transnationalization of popular culture, and the mutual impacts of transnational influences on both sides of the Atlantic. The main focus will be on aspects such as transatlantic connections of the protagonists and multipliers, and on reception history, especially the perpetuation or generation of national stereotypes.