Steve Freeman & Alan Freeman - The Crack in the Cosmic Egg- 2020 edition (CD Rom) [Audion Publications - 2020]The Crack in the Cosmic Egg started life as a print book back in 1996, looking at the Avant-Garde, experimental and progressive rock music that stemmed from Germany, particularly during the 1970s. It was a cornucopia of musical delights, featuring everything from the more well-known stars of the scene like Amon Duul and Tangerine Dream down to some of the less well-known bands like Thirsty Moon or Tomorrow’s Gifts. A chance to brush up your knowledge and discover new and interesting bands. At this time, the book was simply a discography of the Kosmische music scene and in the intervening years, the project has grown exponentially to become what it now is…an all-encompassing, highly detailed and expansive study of German progressive music.
Whilst the hugely comprehensive discography of the krautrock scene remains intact in this latest version of The Crack in the Cosmic Egg, its writers Alan and Steven Freeman have expanded upon that to include a list of their top 200 krautrock albums, which provides a great starting point for those new to the scene and allows them to dip their toe into the manic swirling waters of this genre we all love. Alongside the top 200, there is a list of krautrock singles, a list of releases in year order, and even a section that breaks it down into different scenes via regions/cities. This is an exhaustive study and each band’s page is packed with a biography, press clippings and photographs, as well as a very comprehensive discography that includes compilations and samplers that the bands have featured on. You can really tell that Alan and Steven have put a lot of time, love and effort into this project, it is positively brimming with information.
Looking beyond the Kosmische scene, this expanded edition contains similarly expansive sections on a host of other genres of German music including Jazz and Fusion, Neo-Prog, Neo-Psych and much more. There is also a research section that features information on concerts and tours, TV and radio appearances, record labels and those who worked behind the scenes, such as engineers and producers. The more you look at this, the more you realise what a mammoth undertaking it has been.
The Crack in the Cosmic Egg is a rabbit hole in which to get lost, a veritable smorgasbord of fascinating information about one of my favourite genres of music, with the added bonus that it features information about so many other related genres. The layout is simple but effective and the full version of the CD-Rom features a host of extra features including appendices and a section on women in Krautrock. The whole thing is easy to use and you really can get lost in this for hours. One simple search of your favourite band can lead you down a path previously untraversed and can lead to the discovery of some pretty amazing music along the way. The beauty of this project is that it is so expansive, it’s meticulous in its gathering of information and I don’t for one second believe that Alan and Steven have finished yet. This will continue to expand and grow as more information is unearthed and that really is something to celebrate. Krautrock/Kosmische music has seen a growth of interest in recent years with more books and documentaries seeing the light of day, one simply must always return to The Crack in the Cosmic Egg as the starting point for any serious study of this genre of music. To find out more & order direct head hereDarren Charles