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General information
origin Dusseldorf , Germany
Genre (s) Krautrock
founding 1971, 1985
resolution 1976, 1986
Founding members
Klaus Dinger
Michael Rother
Studio and live support
Eberhard Kranemann (1972)
Uli Trepte(1972)
Thomas Dinger † (1975)
Hans Lamp (1975)
Konrad Mathieu (1985/86)
Georg Sessenhausen (1985/86)

New! was a German Krautrock band that was founded in 1971 by Michael Rother and Klaus Dinger in Düsseldorf . The duo's experimental rock music had a great influence on subsequent musicians and inspired David Bowie , Radiohead and Sonic Youth , among others .


1971–1975: Active time

New! were founded in 1971 as a kind of offshoot of an early line-up of the style-forming group Kraftwerk , whose early albums were also produced by Conny Plank .

As early as 1971, Dinger and Rother appeared together with Eberhard Kranemann and Florian Schneider-Esleben as a power plant in the Forum Leverkusen. In 1972 Dinger, Rother and Kranemann gave concerts in the factory in Hamburg , the University of Münster , the University of Osnabrück , the Düsseldorf exhibition center and the Audimax of the University of Freiburg .

Drummer Klaus Dinger joined Kraftwerk during the recording of their debut album (1970). Guitarist Michael Rother was recruited as a Kraftwerk member after the album was finished. (Rother previously played in a local band called The Spirits of Sound, whose line-up also included drummer Wolfgang Flür , who two years later would also join Kraftwerk himself.)

Kraftwerk founder Ralf Hütter left the band at this point, and for half a year the group consisted of the trio Rother, Dinger and Florian Schneider . This cast played a few concerts and also appeared on the television show Beatclub . Recording sessions in Conny Plank's studio turned out to be less than fruitful, so that Dinger and Rother parted ways with Schneider and worked with Plank on a new project called Neu! worked. Meanwhile, Hütter teamed up with Schneider again and recorded the second Kraftwerk album with producer Plank.

The self-titled debut album (1972) sold rather poorly by today's standards with around 30,000 copies sold, but is now regarded by many as a masterpiece - including influential artists such as David Bowie , Brian Eno and Thom Yorke , the singer of the Radiohead group . The album contained the two classic motor skills pieces Hallogallo and Negativland (the group Negativland took their name from this piece), but also more experimental material such as special offers .

Your second album, New! 2 , features some of the earliest examples of remixing in popular music. The group decided to use the down payment from their record label to purchase various instruments in order to expand their musical boundaries. The remaining money was only enough to produce enough material for about half an album. The record company refused to give Rother and Dinger any more money because their debut album hadn't sold well and they didn't want to risk paying a lot of money for an album that was likely to be a commercial flop. To remedy the lack of further recordings, the band filled the second page of the album with newly mixed and modified versions of the two tracks from the previously released fresh snow / super single. The Super 16 remix was later used in some movie soundtracks, including by Jimmy Wang Yu and Quentin Tarantino (in Kill Bill ).

Dinger and Rother both had very different approaches to composing and recording music. This found its expression in the last regularly released Neu! Studio album, Neu! '75 . On page 1 of the LP, Rothers found compositions that anticipated the ambient , stylistically similar to the first album, but with more keyboard use. Page 2 (especially the piece Hero ) later became an important influence on the British punk rock seen scene - Dinger often incomprehensible singing met a distorted motor beat and aggressive single chord - guitar riffs .

As a temporary help for the recordings of Neu! In 1975, and especially for live performances, Hans Lampe and Dinger's brother Thomas were hired to be able to play more complex material and present it live. As was the case today, New! '75 at the time of its release as the most diverse album of the Krautrock genre. This was artistically positive, but at the same time it showed the increasing musical differences of the duo Rother / Dinger and also divided the - already small - fan base. After the release of New! In '75 the group broke up.

1975-1984: inactivity

In 1974 Rother had already worked together with the German electronic duo Cluster and recorded an album entitled Musik von Harmonia under the project name Harmonia . In 1975 he recorded a second Harmonia album (Deluxe) and went to the studio with Brian Eno , among others . However, the resulting recordings were only released in 1997 under the band name Harmonia '76 with the title Tracks and Traces .

Together with Lampe, Klaus and Thomas Dinger founded La Düsseldorf , which David Bowie described in an interview in 1979 as being as influential as Harmonia and Neu! were designated.

1985–1986: unsuccessful comeback

Between October 1985 and April 1986, Dinger and Rother tried to create Neu! to reactivate. You went to the studio, worked with a lot more synthesizers and geared the compositions more towards commercial aspects. The new pieces sounded like a cross between the original Neu! and the New Wave of the 1980s. During the recording, Dinger and Rother fell out again due to musical and personal differences of opinion.

Examples of the strong contrast between Dinger and Rother include Crazy , a pop experiment by Rother, and '86 Commercial Trash , a collage made up by Dinger that consisted of dialogues and noises he had taken from German television commercials from 1986.

As a result of the split in the dispute, the recordings made in 1985 and 1986 were not published for a long time. It wasn't until 1995 that things were new! 4 for an official release via Captain Trip Records, according to him in response to the numerous illegal CD versions of the first three Neu! Albums. The fact that he had not previously contacted his former Neu! Partner Rother, who only found out about the publication from the press, caused further resentment between the two. Producer Conny Plank died the year after the recording was stopped.

New! 4 is currently no longer in production and is only available second-hand.

1987-2000: dispute

Dinger and Rother did not work together in the 1990s, which was not least due to an increasing personal dislike, which was based on the fact that Dinger released some unpublished Neu! Recordings without informing Rother and obtaining his consent. In 1995 the material of the fourth Neu! Album, which was canceled in 1986, was released by the Japanese record label Captain Trip Records as well as the live album Neu! '72 Live in Düsseldorf (recorded on May 6, 1972). The live album is by far the weakest new release, but it is interesting in that it also features Eberhard Kranemann, who played for Kraftwerk at times . This album is not a recording of a concert, but a recording of a rehearsal session of the band recorded with a cassette recorder, recognizable by the lack of concert atmosphere as well as the mediocre sound quality and various expressions of displeasure by the musicians in the event of mistakes. The label Captain Trip was also responsible for the CD re-release of the albums from Dinger's projects after Neu! responsible. Among other things, La! New? , La Düsseldorf , The Angel of the Lord , hippie punks and Bluepoint Underground in New York City .

2001 to date: CD re-release and Hallogallo 2010 (Live)

Michael Rother 2013

The rights to all Neu! Recordings belong equally to Rother, Dinger and Conny Plank's heirs. For many years, however, there was considerable resentment, including legal proceedings, between Dinger and Rother. For this reason, for a long time it was not possible to agree on licensing terms for a CD release of the Neu! Studio albums. The existing demand was partly met by illegal publications of dubious quality (based on copies of the vinyl editions) - a label that called itself “Germanofon” and allegedly based in Luxembourg was responsible for this.

In 2000, after being mediated by Herbert Grönemeyer , Rother and Dinger were able to put their differences aside and went to the studio together to prepare the three original Neu! Albums based on the original tapes for the official CD release. Allegedly, Rother and Dinger mastered each album three times to make sure that the CDs would sound exactly the way they wanted. The three albums were released simultaneously in 2001 on Grönemeyer's label Grönland Records and were distributed by EMI . In the USA, the EMI subsidiary Astralwerks was entrusted with publication and sales. In addition to the CD version, each album was also released again on vinyl.

Part of the license agreement between Rother and Dinger was that with the CD release of Neu! , New! 2 and new! '75 the Neu! 4 would be withdrawn from the market. This album has not been available since then. Greenland endeavored to release at least some of the Neu! -4 material, including as an add-on for an extensive Neu! -Collector set, but the corresponding negotiations again failed because Dinger and Rother could not agree on the modalities. Rother called this "unfortunate", but did not rule out the possibility that an agreement would be reached in the future and that previously completely unknown material from the 1985/1986 recording sessions would also be released.

New! have not entered a recording studio together since 1986 and with the death of Klaus Dinger in March 2008 it is impossible that new Neu! material will ever be created. 2010 appeared with the album New '86 the final chapter of the band on Herbert Grönemeyer's label at the same time there appeared a four-LP vinyl box (with: New! , ! New 2 , New '75! And New '86! ) And a corresponding new! Digital box .

Of the former Neu! Members / rights holders, only Michael Rother lives today, who writes and produces solo albums. In an interview with Der Spiegel, Rother announced a Hallogallo 2010 tour (quote): “I will implement some of the basic ideas of our music live. For the tour I am supported by colleagues like Steve Shelley, the drummer of Sonic Youth, Aaron Mullan of Tall Firs and Benjamin Curtis of School Of Seven Bells. They are great musicians. They are fans of Neu! But new! there will never be again. New! was Michael Rother and Klaus Dinger. It's over."

Thomas Dinger died on April 9, 2002. Before that, he had released some unsuccessful solo albums.

Christa Fast died on June 1, 2006.

Klaus Dinger died on March 21, 2008. Before his death, he wrote and produced solo albums and archive releases of his former project La Düsseldorf .


The band existed until 1975 and played three albums together with the style-forming producer Conny Plank ( Kraftwerk , Can , Eurythmics , German American Friendship ). Stylistically, the albums are comparable to the early Kraftwerk records. Improvised sounds alienated by electronic effects characterize the long, mainly instrumental pieces. Typical of the music is a special one from New! pulsing rhythm developed with Conny Plank, referred to as " motor skills " by music journalists .


New! exert considerable influence on other musicians to this day. Not only David Bowie and Brian Eno , but also bands from a later generation such as Radiohead , Sonic Youth , Tortoise or Stereolab let and sometimes clearly show this in their music. Many musicians from the field of current electronica are also new! influenced. New! on the third album Neu! '75 elements of punk and new wave anticipated and inspired John Lydon of the Sex Pistols . In 2009 the tribute album Brand Neu! , where groups like Oasis , LCD Soundsystem and Primal Scream are represented.


Studio albums

  • 1972: New! (Brain Records)
  • 1973: New! 2 (Brain Records)
  • 1975: New! '75 (Brain Records)
  • 1995: New! 4 (Captain Trip Records)
  • 1996: New! '72 Live in Düsseldorf (Captain Trip Records)
  • 2010: New! '86 (Revised and expanded new edition of Neu! 4 ) (Greenland)


  • 1980: New! Rock On Brain (Brain Records)

Box sets and collector's editions

  • 2010: New! 4-compartment vinyl box (Greenland)
  • 2010: New! Digital Box (Greenland)


  • Rüdiger Esch: Electri_City. Electronic music from Düsseldorf , Suhrkamp Berlin 2014, ISBN 978-3-518-46464-9 .
  • Alexander Simmeth: Krautrock transnational. The reinvention of pop music in Germany, 1968–1978 , Transcript Verlag, Bielefeld 2016, ISBN 978-3-8376-3424-2


  • Klaus Dinger - the forefather of techno . Documentary by Jacob Frössén. ARTE 2019.

Web links


Individual evidence

  1. Tim Cumming: New! That's what I call music on, accessed July 28, 2017
  2. Walter W. Wacht: Sonic Youth, Oasis, LCD Soundsystem, Cornelius ( Memento from July 28, 2017 in the Internet Archive ) on, accessed on July 28, 2017