Over at Boogie Woogie Flu, Will Rigby of the dB's reminisces about loving Big Star in the 70s, to the point of making a pilgrimage to Memphis to find the essence of the band. [via Setting the Woods on Fire]
It seems quaint now to have gone 600 miles in search of the secret of a band that had barely existed, got almost no radio play, and had no impact on the marketplace. We didn't want to go to Graceland, or Al Green's church, or the Stax studio; we did try to re-create the photo on the back of Radio City, at its original location, TGI Friday's.... There was no essence to be found.
Lots of obituaries for Klaus Dinger went up around the web yesterday, most of them sounding like they were written by people who have never listened to Neu! but know how to search Wikipedia and YouTube (not that I claim to be an expert). Ned Raggett's post is the exception.
[Michael] Rother’s work deserves its own attention—the sounds he coaxes out of his guitars are breathtaking—but Dinger’s playing is... truly that of a man-machine. It certainly helps that the brilliant Conny Plank's engineering captured it beautifully—Neu! is tactile music, Plank’s clear but warm sound a near womblike cocoon holding it all in—but the point is, it’s Dinger who gets the balance right. The striking thing about his performances—whether the brisk down-the-autobahn rumbles or the slower and steadier songs like "Weissensee"—is how beautifully Dinger is simultaneously man and machine, precise as hell but given to wonderful fills, breaks and other twists on the basic beat that never once disrupt the core flow. It helps to remember that this is in an era of drum machine and rhythm box infancy as well, and in contrast to that relentless focus Dinger showed a way that drumming and percussion could embrace minimal simplicity while still holding some amazing flair.