We have invited you to visit Germany and its cities on many occasions, we have told you about its history, idiosyncrasies, curiosities and anecdotes of this society. But if all that still has not been enough for you, we want to show you a bit of the extensive musical history of this country, of the main artists and exponents of the urban and industrial movements that coexist and, through them, you will be able to continue discovering much more about this culture… and maybe, who knows, many of these suggestions will end up on your playlist (or maybe they already are?). Let’s see… or rather let’s listen!
The 3b’s of German classical music.
We have already told you in our post 20 curious facts about Germany (First Part), about the tradition of classical music in Germany and how this phrase has been coined since the 19th century to attribute the greatest contribution and preponderance within the music scene. world classic of:
- Johann Sebastian Bach,
- Ludwig van Beethoven and
- Johannes Brahms.
We won’t even try to point to the scrolls of these artists, because surely in this article we fall short of everything we could talk about and for that we would need too much space.
On the other hand, despite the fact that we could indicate that it is not really contemporary music, we cannot ignore its contribution to current music and that basically this music is tremendously timeless, there is probably no music studio in Germany that does not take note of its outstanding artists of the century. XVIII and XIX.
So, here are some classics for your moments of relaxation, meditation or concentration… or simply to enjoy.
This scene of German music is one of the best known today, it emerged at the end of the 1960s at a time when the former German Democratic Republic (GDR) and the German Federal Republic (FRG) still coexisted side by side. there the diversity of sounds that we associate with this genre that is characterized by the use of a synthesizer and, on the other hand, its lyrics protest and demand freedom and change in periods of harsh repression.
In addition, this genre strongly influences the emergence of various later forms of more progressive rock and also the well-known electronic and house scene.
In this area, the subgenres of Krautrock (from the west side), Ostrock (from the east side), Punkrock, and Mainstream Rock are very well known and, within these subgenres, the following bands are a classic in all their lyrics in this country :
- Kraftwerk: This band from Düsseldorf is considered the founder of the movement (Krautrock) and has been the first German band to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2021.
- Tangerine Dream (or in German Tangerinentraum): This band from Berlin, together with Kraftwerk, is considered a pioneer and founder of the current electronic movement, on many occasions, even their sounds resemble New Age (where they were nominated for a Grammy) and progressive rock. . His songs have been featured in dozens of movies and were an integral part of the latest movie in the Black Mirror series on Netflix: Bandersnatch.
- Die Ärzte: This Berlin band was founded in 1982 and is one of the main ones on the world punk rock scene, probably one of the most commercial in Germany that remained active without interruption (although with new formations and members) until 2013. Since 2018 They have met again and this 2022 they have made one of the most successful tours in terms of tickets sold in Germany. In addition, this band within its formation in 1993 has a Chilean within its ranks (Rodrigo González).
- Die Toten Hosen: This band from Düsseldorf was formed in 1982 and together with Die Ärzte they are the two big bands of this movement, it has worked uninterruptedly until these days with a lot of support for their hometown in social and political causes. This band doesn’t need many introductions, just let yourself be seduced by their music.
- Nina Hagen: This singer, actress, and political activist is one of the most famous women in Germany today for her prolific career, where she has risen as one of the main exponents of punk rock and the troubled times of the GDR and the RFA, for which it has acquired the name of “Godmother of Punk” (“The godmother of Punk”). If you have followed any German politics you will know that this is Angela Merkel’s favorite artist and it was the song “Du hast den Farbfilm vergessen” (“You forgot the color film”) that was chosen for the official band to play on her Chancellor’s farewell ceremony.
Metal and Alternative
This is another of the German export genres and with the greatest connotation in recent times, its bands are among the most recognized locally and worldwide. Despite the fact that it emerged in the 1980s, without a doubt it was with the subgenre called the “New German Toughness” that it reached its peak in the following decade:
- Blind Guardian: This band from Krefeld is one of the founders of the movement and with the highest sales in history in the country.
- Helloween: This band from Hamburg is one of the founders of the power metal movement that due to various conflicts with its record company has seen its career interrupted at different times and its members have left to form parallel bands, even so, it is a must listen to the German music.
- Rammstein: This Berlin band is the paradigm of the genre known as “New German Toughness” which began to take shape since its founding in 1994. We hardly need an introduction for this band, their fame is international and they are the best-selling local band, with controversies and controversies throughout his life, are a classic of delight. We leave you on our playlist “Mein Teil”, one of his most controversial songs, inspired by the famous case of the “Rothenburg Cannibal”.
Hip hop or rap is breathed in the streets, among the youth and in the parks, it is not difficult to walk listening to the freestyle that has had a great impact on society from the 1990s onwards. As in almost all parts of the world, the lyrics reflect the feelings, uncertainty, frustration and social response of different groups, mainly borders or marginalized, whether due to social or migratory issues. Our favorites are:
- Die Fantastischen Vier: This group from Stuttgart in the late 80s and early 90s opened up the German hip hop scene to the world with their smash hit “Die Da?” (“That?”).
- Miss Platnum: She is one of the few exponents within a genre that has been characterized worldwide for being tremendously masculine. Of German-Romanian origin, his music is characterized by its fusion with other rhythms such as soul or R&B, for example.
- Sido: You are probably one of the best-known Berlin artists today and enjoys the most prestige in the music scene, forming several other collectives with parallel musical projects and interacting with various other musical styles.
This is probably one of the most experimental sounds and the greatest freedom is allowed to interact with other sounds such as disco, house, euro disco or techno itself, using electric sounds with generators and speakers is a common rhythm of local parties and from day to day. Of course, this sound goes hand in hand with its interesting aesthetic proposal, which is reflected in the lights, the scenery, the audiovisual projections, the costumes, among others.
Among our favorites we highlight:
- Laserkraft 3D: A multi-platinum band or collective from the local scene that is actually made up of only two members (DJs and producers) who became very famous in 2010 for the song “Nein, Mann!” (“No man!”).
- Klaus Schulze: he was one of the greatest exponents and architects of the movement, founding various collectives and producing several other artists from the local and urban scene.
Likewise, in this scene we cannot fail to mention the same influence that bands like Kraftwerk or Tangerine Dream have had, which we already mentioned in the rock section, but which we bring back to comments due to the impact they have had on German culture in their more diverse musical styles.
At this point, once again we have to go back to Techno, which we already mentioned in the post 5 clubs to visit in Berlin.
Techno certainly wasn’t created in Germany, but it’s where it’s had its heyday, and it seems obvious with the combination of circumstances that occurred in the late 80s and early 90s in Berlin and, in Germany in general. If we think back to the time of German reunification, about a third of the population of the former German Democratic Republic (GDR) left their homes to move west of the city, to what is now the new German Federal Republic (FRG), encouraged by the new opportunities, which unfortunately did not come as quickly as thought. In this way, many empty places were left for the “squatter” culture of these homes to spread in the city and techno parties (Partys) could be held there, where the young people of the time, finally dissatisfied with the lack of opportunities, felt Welcomed by this atmosphere that would be a distraction from real life.
We will leave you some of our favorite techno tracks, their most danceable, hard or industrial electronic sounds, for various options with artists/DJs/Producers such as:
- Alter Ego,
- Anthony Rother,
- Oliver Koletzki,
- Hardfloor y,
- Thomas P. Heckmann.
Finally, with all the variety of musical styles, it is not surprising that the pop industry also has a significant presence in Germany and that there are exponents of international fame. We will mention the two most recent arrivals:
- Sarah Connor: she is the best-selling singer in this millennium, her songs have been translated into various languages and, at the beginning of the millennium, she was the ambassador of Germany in the world par excellence. If you can imagine her singing on official occasions like the opening of the Bayern München soccer stadiums or the 2006 Soccer World Cup, of course.
- Tokio Hotel: This was the quintessential teen band of the last decade (mainly between 2002 and 2016) in Germany, their peculiar styles captured the attention of an audience little attended to that date with unbridled lyrics that became known worldwide and they catapulted their fame. Despite the fact that it is currently on hiatus, it is one of the best sellers in recent times.
We have left you an interesting and eclectic list of German hit songs, many are surely in your head and others perhaps not, but we invite you to listen to them and let yourself be surprised by the great variety of styles and the great local exponents. Music really lives day by day and almost anywhere you visit, of course in our tours, we invite you to learn and enjoy much more and everything that this country offers you, where we will delve much deeper into its idiosyncrasies and culture.
- Brandenburgischen Konzerte – Johann Sebastian Bach
- Sinphony nº 3 bemol mayor, op. 55. – Ludwig van Beethoven
- Concert for violin en re mayor Op. 77. 1878 – Johannes Brahms
- Das Model – Kraftwerk
- The robots – Kraftwerk
- Love on a real Train – Tangerine Dream
- We were set up – Tangerine Dream
- Junge – Die Ärzte
- Lasse redn – Die Ärzte
- Tage wie diese – Die Toten Hosen
- Alles aus Liebe – Die Toten Hosen
- Bonnie & Clyde – Die Toten Hosen
- Du hast den Farbfilm vergessen – Nina Hegen
- Garota de Berlim – Nina Hegen
- African Reggae – Nina Hegen
- Valhalla – Blind Guardian
- I want out – Helloween
- Armee der Tristen – Rammstein
- Deutschland – Rammstein
- Mein Teil – Rammstein
- Die Da? – Die Fantastischen Vier
- Lila Wolken – Miss Platnum
- Mein Block – Sido
- Nein, Mann! – Laserkraft 3D
- Ruis – Klaus Schulze
- Rocker – Alter Ego
- Father – Anthony Rother
- Mückenschwarm – Oliver Koletzki
- Acperience – Hardfloor
- Amphetamine (Original 94 Version) – Thomas P. Heckmann
- Wie schön du bist – Sarah Connor
- Vincent – Sarah Connor
- White Lies – Tokio Hotel
- Monsoon – Tokio Hotel