Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Krautrockobit: Klaus Dinger

Co-founder of Neu!, Klaus Dinger, has been buried in a private ceremony in Germany.

Briefly taking the drummer role in Kraftwerk in 1970, he appeared on debut album Kraftwerk before leaving to concentrate on other projects. With fellow Kraftwerk escapee Michael Rother he founded krautrock touchstone Neu! and with it, the Motorik sound. Although considered the creator of the genre, Dinger never succeeded in getting his preferred term, Apache Beat, to stick.

By the time of Neu! 75, the very different approaches of Dinger and Rother was tearing the band apart - in effect, the album was a shared record by two separate bands. A hiatus became, in effect, a split disc by two separate groups, and Dinger set off to create a band in which he would hold more sway.

The result, La Dusseldorf, carried much of the Neu fanbase with them, and although not perhaps causing the McCartneys and Bonos much concern in terms of competition, the band managed sales into seven figures.

An attempt at a Neu! reunion in 1985 managed to reignite the creative spark of the band, but also regenerated many of the conflicts; the band fell apart again after a few months, although they had recorded enough for an album's worth of material, Neu! 4, which wouldn't see a release for almost a decade.

After the failure of Neu!, Dinger moved on to what was almost a Krautrock version of the Bucks Fizz/Dollar hybrid - La Neu, fusing Neu with La Dusseldorf; he was given a sub-label by Captain Trip record to try out ideas which saw about eight albums of varying invention and quality. The label, Dingerland, and La Neu both ceased to work in 2001.

Dinger suffered a fatal heart failure on March 20th.