When it comes to krautrock, it’s impossible not to mention the war

In recent years, sensitive music critics have attempted to replace krautrock with kosmiche as the consensus term for the wild and wonderful music that exploded out of West Germany during the 1970s: Can, Neu!, Cluster, Faust. A word that literally translates as herb-rock, cooked up by glib Brits who had read too many war comics, lacks a certain gravitas, and nobody would describe Tangerine Dream or Kraftwerk as rock anyway. The Hamburg journalist Christoph Dallach opens his invigorating oral history with a spirited argument about the label, but sticks with it anyway. So krautrock it remains. In this story, it is impossible not to mention the war because no country