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Ulrich Adelt (University of Wyoming)

June 29, 2017, 6 p.m.,  P 106

This talk will engage discourses of popular music and transnationalism to discuss Krautrock, West German electronic music and rock from the 1970s. Groups such as Can, Neu!, Faust and Kraftwerk blended Influences of African American and Anglo-American music with the experimental and electronic music of European composers. The talk situates the music within its particular context of (trans)national identity and globalization. Krautrock and its offshoots have had a tremendous impact on musical production and reception in Britain and the U.S. since the 1970s. Genres such as indie, post-rock, techno and hip hop have drawn heavily on krautrock and have – ironically – connected a music that initially disavowed its European American and African American origins with the lived experience of whites and blacks in the U.S. and Europe. At the same time, while reaching for an imagined cosmic community, Krautrock, not only by its name, remains tied to essentialist notions of national identity and citizenship.
Ulrich Adelt is Associate Professor for American Studies at the University of Wyoming. His publications include Krautrock: German Music in the Seventies (University of Michigan Press 2016) and Blues Music in the Sixties: A Story in Black and White (Rutgers University Press 2010).