Krautrock 514 lives at Zodiak Club
Krautrock was one of Germany’s most important contributions to modern music, having laid groundwork for post-punk, industrial, shoegazing and electronic music. But it’s not a thing of the past.
Montreal’s Tom Jarvis and Nico Braesch of Pachyderm are practitioners of the genre, and are sharing their passion for it with an event series called Zodiak Club. The first edition happened in May at Jackie & Judy, and the second takes place tonight and tomorrow night.
“What we’re trying to do with Zodiak Club is create a scene of sorts by putting these bands together, which we feel represents the essence of that era of music, but with a more contemporary style,” says Jarvis.
Tonight, Zodiak presents Montreal bands Aun and Citofono, while tomorrow has Pachyderm and Ottawa’s the Band Whose Name Is a Symbol, who recently played as the backing band for former Can singer Damo Suzuki. (The Symbol band is led by Jonathan Birdman, a record store-owner and krautrock expert.)
“Tonight is the more electronic side of krautrock, more ambient and abstract, and tomorrow is the psychedelic, swirling guitar noise, 20-minute jams,” Jarvis explains. And if a krautrock primer is what you’re looking for, they’re screening BBC documentary Krautrock: The Rebirth of Germany tomorrow afternoon at 2 p.m. (at Bain St-Michel, where the shows are happening).
“It looks at what was going on in Germany at the time — the Baader Meinhof gang, the Munich stuff at the Olympics and post-war self-analysis — and ties that in with why this music came out,” Jarvis says. “The Germans were ashamed of their recent history, so they wanted to play a music that had no attachment to the past.” ■