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Nobody in the English-language music press seems to be reporting it—even at Pitchfork, which is usually on top of these things—but Klaus Dinger, cofounder of krautrock greats Neu! and La Dusseldorf, died of heart failure on March 21. He was four days shy of his 62nd birthday.
Dinger was a composer and drummer, most responsible for the “motorik” rhythm that defined early Kraftwerk, Neu!, and much of the small “krautrock” movement. He and the other half of Neu!, Michael Rother, also anticipated the remix trend when they ran out of money for their second album and simply filled one side with versions of two previously released songs that they had manipulated by speeding up, slowing down, and warping tape.
Dinger’s second band, La Dusseldorf had a tremendous influence on the work of Brian Eno and David Bowie, particularly their “German” collaborations on Low, Heroes, and Lodger.
Still, Neu! remains Dinger’s definitive work. The below video isn’t terribly interesting to look at, but does feature the band’s signature song, “Hallogallo.”
So long, Klaus.