Etched on the inside of the cassette’s J-Card reads “But I’ve never been to Germany though.” But after listening to the record, you’ll question the validity of that statement from the Japanese krautrock trio, Minami Deutsch. The band was started by guitarist Kyotaro Miula in 2014, with drummer, Takuya Nozaki, and guitarist Tatsuhiko Rauschenberg joining in on recording sessions.
They are one of the few active bands to possess a sound that has been directly influenced by krautrock, a genre that places emphasis on repetition and poly-rhythms that only the most skilled jazz drummer dared to explore. Their self-titled debut LP (via Guruguru Brain Records) is an anachronism, emulating their heroes, Faust and Neu!, with fervor. The core of the genre is the seamless consistency and bands’ ability to embrace repetition, as members of Minami Deustch profess to be “repetition freaks.”
Mounted on a hypnotic motor, “Vocalization Ai – Takemitsu Forever” (a nod to Japanese composer, Toru Takemitsu) commences with a slurry of hesitant electronics that weave between panting vocals and assertive bass pummels. Progression through the track is subtle, as instrumentation gradually filter in but never eliciting sudden changes.
Locked in what feels like an infinite groove, “Futsu Ni Ikirenai” is a 9-minute drawn out jam that rarely deviates from the band’s psychedelic trance, until the trio administers a cranky dose of fuzz. The midnight-rider, “Terra Recipe,” is laced with warm undulating synth hums and scattered flourishes that play nice with the mechanical rhythmic pattern. The track invokes a sense of great vastness, like taking a ride on a cosmic version Autobahn.
Instilling a sense of vastness and movement “Sunrise, Sunset” is percolating with beady notes and whirling with earthy tones. Sister tracks, “Übergleich Pt. I” and “Übergleich Pt. II” balance each other out as “Pt. I” feels like an improvised space-rock-inspired tirade while the latter closes the record in a smooth stagger with delay riddled guitars, the consistent percussion rattle, and a simple incantation.
While the influence of krautrock isn’t distinguishable or overtly heard in music (as far as I’ve seen), Miniami Deustch’s fixation with the genre has produced a record that could easily be passed off as a Neu! or Faust record.
Cereal Pairing: Muesli while taking a drive on the Autobahn