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Michael Rother presents the music of Neu! and Harmonia (live at Central Station, Wrexham)

27 April 2013

Out here on the periphery, the phrase ‘sole UK appearance’ instinctively elicits grumpy mutterings about ‘privileged Londoners’… after all, nobody ever does ‘sole UK appearances’ in north Wales!’ But what’s this?… Michael Rother presents the music of Neu! and Harmonia at Helsinki… Tilburg… Krems… St. Petersburg… Wrexham… Wrexham!?!… surely not THAT Wrexham?

It turns out to be true – the recently established Focus Wales festival have eccentrically booked Mr. Rother and Charlotte Church as joint headliners for this year’s festival – I’d wager a decent sum that it’s the first time the two have shared a bill.

Rother’s foray into revisiting his back catalogue a couple of years back as Hallogallo featured an all-star line-up that included Sonic Youth‘s Steve Shelley. I only experienced that via YouTube – it seemed very good stuff, but not exactly Neu! This time around, Rother is touring with a young Berlin

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NEU! – NEU!’86/NEU!’72 Non-Public Test

Groenland

NEU!86New NEU! Releases are by their very nature important events, their three classic albums having grown in stature year on year since their original release back in the early 70s. Most serious fans of the group will have bought NEU!4 when Ken Matsutani’s excellent Captain Trip Records released it briefly back in 1995. The masters used, recorded in 1986 but subsequently aborted, were supplied by drummer Klaus Dinger without the knowledge or consent of his former partner Michael Rother, who subsequently described the release as “a rather painful disaster between Klaus Dinger and myself.”

This disagreement led to the delay of an official re-release of the three classic NEU! albums and an effective end to any potential reunion. Following Dinger’s death in 2008, Rother surprisingly decided that he would return to the aborted 1986 recordings and release them “as they

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NEU! – NEU!/NEU! 2/NEU! 75

Grönland/EMI Electrola/Astralwerks

NEU!

NEU! - sleeve Guitar arches out like twilit sunshadows and the omnipresent beat is there, new dawn, new dawn. Synthesizer languidly moves backwards and forth, the Sunday eveningmorning that holds in rapt attention at the creation of something new. Six crepuscular tracks? Wcka wcka wcka. Wow wow wow. And so on. Then on to the swelling and pitching of the flanged cymbals, split side by side, side-to-side, riding along the hyphens of the moments and all the pop mythos that that entails with its entrails.

And now the rowing of the boat with the Norwegian girl, sad as the icicles dripping their tears across the salted earth. Guitar and tones drift up from beneath the deep, two whales in anticipation of mating, sound travelling as far as it can in the depths of an ocean. Roaddrills attack and in come the

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