DAILY FIX: Live Performance by Hallogallo 2010

by | Aug 13, 2010 | MUSIC

Neu! were a groundbreaking German rock group, active in the early and mid-70s, who have often been credited with the creation of the droning, hypnotic style of music known as Krautrock. Disbanded over 30 years ago, interest in Neu!–never that popular while they existed–built to a fever pitch during the mid-90s, a time when their influence could be seen in such diverse artists as Aphex Twin, Stereolab, and Radiohead. And now, two years after the death of original Neu! member Klaus Dinger, surviving member Michael Rother has launched a wide-ranging project attempting to bring the music of Neu! back into public consciousness. To that end, he formed Hallogallo 2010, featuring Sonic Youth’s Steve Shelley on drums and Tall Firs bassist Aaron Mullan, to tour and perform the music of Neu!


Neu! were a groundbreaking German rock group, active in the early and mid-70s, who have often been credited with the creation of the droning, hypnotic style of music known as Krautrock. Disbanded over 30 years ago, interest in Neu!–never that popular while they existed–built to a fever pitch during the mid-90s, a time when their influence could be seen in such diverse artists as Aphex Twin, Stereolab, and Radiohead. And now, two years after the death of original Neu! member Klaus Dinger, surviving member Michael Rother has launched a wide-ranging project attempting to bring the music of Neu! back into public consciousness. To that end, he formed Hallogallo 2010, featuring Sonic Youth’s Steve Shelley on drums and Tall Firs bassist Aaron Mullan, to tour and perform the music of Neu!

The main reason to listen to this performance, recorded at the Lincoln Center Out Of Doors Festival in New York on August 6, is the opening track, “Hallogallo,” which also began Neu!’s self-titled debut LP, originally released in 1972. That song introduced the world to “motorik,” the steady, driving 4/4 beat that Klaus Dinger made into the rhythmic signature of Neu! and the Krautrock genre in general. Its constant, unchanging repetition could seem monotonous in some circumstances, but Neu! turned it into a hypnotic pulse that was strangely catchy. Overlaid with synth washes and soaring guitar leads, the motorik beat became the bedrock foundation for beautiful soundscapes, and the totality of the music became a metaphor for driving through German countryside on the Autobahn. The psychedelic melodies of the lead instruments described rolling fields and gorgeous sunsets, while the beat kept the musical vehicle speeding down the highway. This sound, as captured on “Hallogallo” and several other important Neu! songs (“Fur Immer,” “Isi,” “Hero”), became an inspiration for a wide variety of musicians over the 35 years following their breakup. David Bowie’s Berlin period, best known for the song “Heroes,” was inspired by Neu! and their compatriots Kraftwerk (in fact, Dinger and Rother first played together in an early lineup of Kraftwerk). He was only the first of many to take similar inspiration from Neu!


Neu! in 1974. Michael Rother (left, with accordion), Klaus Dinger (right, with bass), and friends

Sadly, it seems that it took the death of Klaus Dinger to return Neu! to the public eye. A notorious perfectionist and recluse, Dinger had blocked the release of a fourth Neu! album, recorded in the mid-80s, after the sessions did not meet with his expectations. Throughout the 90s, his disagreements with Rother prevented the Neu! albums from being reissued on CD, despite widespread interest in their being made available again (which was exploited by multiple bootleggers). And not until this year has Neu! 86, the fourth and final Neu! album, seen official release. At around the same time, a 5 LP vinyl box set was also released, including all four original albums plus a 1972 EP that was also never released.

Capping all of this off is the tour by Hallogallo 2010, who, based on the evidence of this live recording, have clearly captured the spirit of Neu!s original sound. In truth, the set relies mostly on music originally performed by Michael Rother either as a solo artist or in his post-Neu! band, Harmonia. Nonetheless, Rother, Shelley and Mullan do an excellent job of summoning the prototypical Krautrock sound, that swirling, psychedelic haze that always managed to stay firmly grounded in the roots of rock n’ roll. Play it loud.

Set list for this performance:

00:01. Hallogallo [Neu!]
12:40. Neutronics 98 (A Tribute to Conny Plank) [Rother solo track from 1997 tribute album “A Homage To Neu!”]
23:07. Aroma Club B3 [Rother solo]
31:01. Deluxe [Harmonia]
40:15. Veteranissimo [Harmonia]
50:27. Dino [Harmonia]

Marilyn Drew Necci

Marilyn Drew Necci

Former GayRVA editor-in-chief, RVA Magazine editor for print and web. Anxiety expert, proud trans woman, happily married.




more in music

The Only Richmond Juneteenth Bash You Need to Be At

This June 19, 2024, in observation of Juneteenth 2024, Cassidy Snider brings together and curates her third annual celebration concert. Sharing the stage with a wide range of Richmond music artists of color each bringing diverse musical styles from Songwriters, MC’s,...

Shagg Carpet: New Villains of Richmond Post Punk

Stopping in before a pre-tour practice, I talked with Richmond hotshots Shagg Carpet. The group formed in the sunny college days of 2022 when high school friends Laurel (guitar), Austyn (keys), and Brett (drums) saw Rook (vocals and mysterious masked figure) lounging...

Photos from the sold out Dale Watson show at Get Tight Lounge

Last week, Get Tight Lounge in Richmond was packed for a sold-out show featuring none other than Dale Watson, the torchbearer of classic honky-tonk. The atmosphere was electric, and the crowd was buzzing as photographer Ben Lahoussine captured an unforgettable...

Finding My Way to Tommy Stinson and Peter Jesperson

As any exciting story begins, it was a Monday night and my plans had just been canceled. With the news of my new availability, I decided to take up a friend on an offer. The scene takes me to a familiar spot, a beautiful home across the river with a small lit sign...

Wave That Flag! Richmond’s Pride 2024 Events Are Here to Slay

We are a little late on this but Virginia Pride has unveiled the schedule for its annual "Endless Summer of Pride" campaign, a celebration of the Richmond region's LGBTQ community. The campaign kicked off on May 31 with a pride flag-raising ceremony at City Hall,...

Mdou Moctar, Los Malcriados & Kendall Street Company: Sound Check

It's a busy time of year, with kids getting out school, vacations being planned who knows what else on the docket, but that doesn't mean you can't time for a little music in your life. All over the city all week long you can find it if you're looking, but let me give...

Topics: