Though I really enjoy reading about music and musicians, and how music was made, sometimes knowing how something was made while you’re forming your initial impressions towards it is a problem. It’s definitely a problem for me with this record.
Because side B of this record was is made up of two songs altered and edited to make up the rest of the side because the band ran out of money. Knowing that, it’s a lot easier to dismiss most of the music on the second side as a joke or an expediency rather than a serious attempt at making music. (Though I will say it’s a lot better than just recording a hum for 15 minutes, or whatever.) Knowing how and why side B was created definitely causes me to think about this album differently, both because they clearly had less material (they could manage to record) than first appears and because I have no idea if I would have been fooled had I not known (Probably?)
Knowing what I know about side B, it’s hard to believe that this isn’t the weakest of the classic Neu! records, which helped establish Motorik and even influenced punk (and played a massive role in post punk). I hope I would have come to that conclusion without that knowledge, but who knows.
There’s some classic Neu! here, particularly the opening track. And the rest of the first side, though it doesn’t live up to the opener, still mostly works, sometimes better than on their debut. And the second side is at least a bit of a lark, knowing that it’s two songs over and over again but not always hearing it – and if you’re going to get goofy in the studio, you might as well accidentally inspire remix culture, right? But the thing is inconsistent because it feels more directionless and artier than the debut and also the next record. I guess what I’m saying is there’s not enough classic Neu! on this record for me to consider it a classic.