Krautrock’s Kosmische Voyagers, The Ambient Mixtape

It’s impossible to imagine ambient music developing as it did without the influence of krautrock. In fact, it’s worth remembering that although Brian Eno’s Ambient 1: Music for Airports was immediately preceded by an extended period in Germany, producing Low and “Heroes” for David Bowie and recording 1977’s Cluster & Eno with krautrock heavies Hans-Joachim Roedelius and Dieter Moebius. Deconstructing western pop down to its most psychedelic gestural properties, German musicians had already struck upon ambient music’s defining characteristics, fashioning a sound as ephemeral as vapor. The “Berlin school,” meanwhile-a loose assemblage that included Tangerine Dream’s Edgar Froese and onetime TG member Klaus Schulze-transformed progressive-rock bombast into increasingly electronic and ethereal shapes, pioneering the glistening timbres and tumbling arpeggios still fashionable in ambient music decades later.