Neu!

Negativland

Composed by Klaus Dinger / Michael Rother

Song Review by

One of Neu!'s most popular tracks (and, obviously, where Contra Costa county's premier noise terrorists and anti-copyright pranksters lifted their name), 1972's "Negativland" delves into noisier realms than the rest of their comparatively meditative debut. Opening with a snatch of crowd noise and a serrated, buzzsaw sound of indeterminate origin, the song eventually settles into a jam supported by Michael Rother's almost funky bass line and some Can-style, uncharacteristically loose drumming from Klaus Dinger, overlaid with some free noise-guitar solos and synth drones. Starting about halfway through the nearly ten minute song, the rhythm track suddenly drops out cold and then restarts in an entirely different place several times, as if Rother and Dinger were stopping and fast-forwarding those tracks as the guitar freakouts play on. Two minutes from the end, the rhythm section shifts into a faster and more controlled throb not very far removed from that of the album's opening track, "Hallogallo" (another part of the improvisation that rhythm was lifted from?) as the guitars kick it up into an even more aggressive howl and buzz. And then it just stops. In retrospect, "Negativland" sounds like a dry run for the even more extreme sonic tampering of Neu!'s second album.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
Neu! 1972 Grönland 9:47
No Image 1982 Cherry Red
Vinyl Box 2010 Junketboy / PIAS 9:46
blue highlight denotes editor's pick