Freakbeat Frontiers in Germany (1965 / 1970)

An American G.I. band stationed in Germany in the mid-60s, the Monks fused a pioneering sound unto themselves fusing freakbeat, blues, psychedelic rock, and an unfathomably prescient and potent display of proto-punk sovereignty.

Check them out here on Germany’s Radio Bremen TV. A full-on attack of electric discord — all tambourine shouts, Skiffle strut tango and a wicked organ. Radical stuff, and so important. Also: dig the crowd. The music comes completely naturally to them, freaks in arms, dancing into an unknown future with beatnik elegance.

A more divisive German crowd, and a performance we’ve highlighted in the past, comes from Can’s 1970 concert in Soest, captured here in full. The poetically manic presence of front man Damo Suzuki and his seamless place amongst the raw power of Holger Czukay, Irmin Schmidt & co. give the band a foreign feel…as in not of this world. Primal freak-outs, utter confusion, total entrancement, and altered states ahead. If aliens are or ever were hiding in plain sight among us, a group of them once started a band called Can. words / c depasquale