Post rock

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Post rock

Development phase: 1980s
Place of origin: United States
Stylistic precursors
Shoegazing , alternative rock , indie rock , krautrock
Bark Psychosis , Disco Inferno , Slint , Talk Talk
Instruments typical of the genre
Electric guitar , electric bass , drums
Stylistic successor

Post-Rock [ pʰəʊstɹɒk ] is a collective term for different types of rock , which on the one hand are very closely related to alternative or indie rock , on the other hand have echoes of the progressive rock and space rock of the 70s and relate to Krautrock . Comparable to other formations with the prefix post- , the hybrid position in which post-rock is to be indicated: On the one hand, this music belongs to the field of rock music, on the other hand, it tries to overcome it at least in its conventional form. Well-known representatives are Tortoise , Stereolab , Mogwai and Godspeed You! Black Emperor . The genre emerged in the early 1980s and continues to this day.

Origins and Development

The shoegazing wave of the 1980s and 90s is seen as a forerunner of post-rock , some of which overlap with post-rock, for example in terms of its representatives. The origin of the term “post-rock” lies in the early 1990s, when English music critics like Simon Reynolds were looking for a new categorization for bands like Bark Psychosis or Disco Inferno . While these two bands sounded very different, it can be observed today that the term post-rock encompasses an enormous number of bands that often have little in common. However, they usually stand out from the “rest” of rock music in that they consciously try to go beyond conventional forms of rock music.

On the one hand, this results in a wide range of musical paths and possibilities, especially since most of these bands consciously seek them, on the other hand, groups of bands have repeatedly formed in certain places that fall back on similar means, are inspired by each other and often also just sound similar. This usually includes the scenes in Chicago and San Francisco , but sometimes also Montreal and Weilheim . But the phenomenon can also be observed worldwide that the initially progressive current seeks refuge in itself and tends to fall back on "tried and tested means" rather than looking for something really new.

Musical means

Unlike reggae or blues , for example, the term denotes less a style within music than a hodgepodge of approaches and ways of perceiving rock, mostly the typical attitude and pose of rock music are negated. The works of the bands in question often sound very different, but they usually use the following elements to varying degrees:

  • Dispensing with the stanza-chorus structure common in traditional rock
  • supporting use of electronic instruments as well as computers, sample technologies and / or various outdoor recordings
  • Sometimes overly long titles, often over 10, sometimes over 20 minutes playing time
  • longer structures than usual in rock, often using themes that develop over several minutes
  • Frequent use of minute-long repetitive sound patterns and structures that connect to ambient music and are therefore often used as film music (e.g. Sigur Rós , Godspeed You! Black Emperor ; both in the Danny Boyle films 127 Hours and 28 Days Later )
  • Use of acoustic instruments (e.g. piano , violin , cello , timpani , xylophone , etc., e.g. Rachel’s , Buddy & the Huddle )
  • Preference for unusual rhythms and "odd" time signatures
  • minimalist or almost orchestral arrangements
  • extensive or complete abandonment of singing, partial abandonment of lyrics when replacing them with onomatopoeic singing ( Sigur Rós ) or strong distortion of the singing (beyond recognition) ( Mogwai )
  • Concentration on the music as such, texts (if available) and statements take a back seat; at Godspeed You! Black Emperor can be found explicit political references and references to reality on the record covers
  • Building bridges between different music concepts, also e.g. B. to chamber music (Rachel's) or to electronic music ( Amp or Stereolab)
  • modest stage shows without much effort, focus on the music

Some major bands

Bark Psychosis , Disco Inferno , Slint and Talk Talk are mostly referred to as the founding fathers of the genre.

Other influential bands are:

See also


  1. Post-Rock Music Genre Overview. AllMusic , accessed July 2, 2017 .
  2. ^ Post-rock. In: Scott Jarrett, Holly Day (Ed.): Music Composition for Dummies For Dummies, 2008 ISBN 0-470-22421-5 p. 285.
  3. Jack Chuter: Storm Static Sleep: A Pathway Through Post-Rock . Function Books, London 2015, ISBN 978-0-9572492-2-6 .
  4. Simon Reynolds: Bark Psychosis: Hex . Mojo . March 1994. Retrieved September 26, 2010.
  5. a b The 30 best post-rock albums of all time. In: FACT Magazine: Music News, New Music. April 20, 2016. Retrieved July 2, 2017 .
  6. Nitsuh Abebe: The Lost Generation (PDF) Pitchfork Media . July 11, 2005. Retrieved July 8, 2008.
  7. a b Dreamlab: The Semantics of Post-Rock. In: Consequence of Sound. April 3, 2012, accessed July 2, 2017 .
  8. Carlos Narziss's answer to What is post-rock? - Quora. Retrieved July 2, 2017 .
  9. What is Post-Rock? The Attempt of an Explanation! Collapse Under the Empire , accessed July 2, 2017 .
  10. Post-rock with Voice Samples & Spoken Word ( Memento from February 16, 2017 in the Internet Archive )