NEU! 50! (Grönland)

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NEU!, the legendary Krautrock duo of Michael Rother and the late Klaus Dinger, celebrate the 50th anniversary of their self-titled debut album with the NEU! 50! box set, out September 23rd via Grönland. NEU! 50! includes albums NEU! NEU! 2! and NEU! 75 plus the brand new NEU! Tribute Album, a NEU! stencil and booklet. The Tribute Album features reworkings by The National, Idles, Man Man, Mogwai, Alexis Taylor, and more. Today, Grönland presents two new tracks off the tribute album – “Weissensee (Fink Version)” and “Zum Herz,” a new, NEU!-inspired song by Guerilla Toss.


NEU!’s version of “Weissensee” evokes a majestic river, cascading, waves crashing. Fink honors the beautiful, lapping waterscape of the track. “I have walked around Weissensee many times – a little urban lake in a pretty rundown part of Berlin - particularly beautiful when it’s frozen over. I had to try this one. Stepping up to NEU! and the anniversary of their debut was an honor, a challenge and a joy.”



Guerilla Toss’s “Zum Herz” is a salute from a band whose members were not yet born in NEU!’s heyday. “Zum Herz” draws heavily from the NEU! aesthetic, with an emphasis on the repetitive beat and multi-layer guitar production. The band explains: “NEU! is one of the most important bands of the 20th century, and a personal favorite of GT’s. Their influence on psych, rock, punk, and electronic music is enormous. The lineage of so many great bands can be traced back to NEU!. We are thrilled to be part of this compilation. I like to think that the U.S. / U.K created Rock music, but the Germans made it forever weird. Thanks, NEU!


NEU! are a product of Düsseldorf, Germany, home to Kraftwerk’s Klingklang studios, as well as galleries, graphic designers and advertising agencies. Rother and Dinger drew on all of this and their impeccable musical training to create the overall concept of NEU!. They intended to create a previously unheard new music, aping the processes of commodification while remaining resolutely hostile to the commerciality of the music industry. Like other experimental bands of the late 60s and early 70s gathered under the Krautrock banner, NEU! were driven by a mixture of political and artistic imperatives to reject the clichés and conventions of orthodox, blues-based Anglo-American rock and create a music that was, formally, West German in origin.


NEU! are one of the great, belated success stories of rock music. Their influence continues to be internationally widespread. Since paving their own road ahead, they’ve created a model of forward propulsion away from conventional rock clichés. The NEU! Tribute album shows how much there is for subsequent generations to unpack in NEU!, how much is buried, implied in their sound.