NEU! have today shared a brand new remix of ‘Im Glück’ from The National. It’s the latest preview of their highly anticipated upcoming boxset Tribute, which marks the 50th anniversary of their trailblazing debut album. Released on September 23rd via Berlin label Grönland Records, Tribute also features contributions from the likes of Idles, Alexis Taylor (Hot Chip), Mogwai, Stephen Morris (New Order) & more.
The opening track of Tribute, ‘Im Glück’ is thrown into bold new light by The National, with the seminal US band pulling back the German group’s innovative original to reveal its latent colours and rhythmic potential.
As evident across upcoming project Tribute, NEU!’s influence is undeniable. Klaus Dinger and Michael Rother, who had both previously been members of Kraftwerk, are a product not only of West Germany but of Düsseldorf. Like other experimental bands of the late 60s and early 70s gathered under the banner of Krautrock, they 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. The pair were yin and yang-like in their temperamental dissimilarity, and yet, there was between the duo what both Rother and Dinger’s widow described as a “blind understanding”. They were in sync, in lockstep from the beginning. They never argued over music, they simply rolled it out, mostly wordless, mostly instrumental, perfectly complementary.
Today, NEU! are one of the great, belated success stories of rock music. Their influence is widespread, international, and continues. Ian Curtis (Joy Division) played the rest of the group NEU! as part of their weekly education classes, David Bowie often spoke of his love for the duo and called them “Kraftwerk’s wayward, anarchistic brothers”; in the 1990s Stereolab paid NEU! homage in their Franco-Germanic avant-Europop, and further co-signs come from Damon Albarn, Brian Eno, Thom Yorke, Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Sonic Youth and Placebo.
The NEU! anniversary boxset is made up of CD and vinyl boxsets, each of which containing the first three albums – NEU!, NEU! 2 and NEU! 75, as well as the double album Tribute. NEU! paved the road ahead, created a model of forward propulsion away from hidebound rock cliches. Which is why the NEU! Tribute volume is especially appropriate; NEU! showed how much there is for subsequent generations to unpack in NEU!, how much is buried, implied in their sound.