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html DVD-Rom 2020

The Crack In The Cosmic Egg German music encyclopedia

Krautrock Kraut Rock The Crack In The Cosmic Egg Kosmische German Progressive Rock Experimental Electronic Psychedelic Underground Audion Music Encyclopedia Amon Duul Can Kraftwerk Embryo Guru Guru Tangerine Dream Ash Ra Tempel Alan Steve Freeman Ultima Thule

new 2020 edition - due sometime soon!

The completely revised new edition contains...
1 x 1.6 GB html DVD-ROM + Digipak cover + souvenir certificate for subscribers

data details: 38,072 files in 2,539 folders, including 29,695 images
multimedia: 79 audio files (over 10 hours), and 12 video files (31 minutes).

groups/artists count

main section entries
The Krautrock Scene [635]
Other bands & soloists [136]
Austria [72]
Cuckoos & Scrambled Eggs [106]
DDR [83]
Switzerland [102]
Beat & Historical [87*]
Classical & Avant-Garde [71]
Folk, Traditional, Ethnic [101*]
Jazz & Fusions [333*]
Neo-Prog, 80s Rock [104*]
Metal [32*]
Neue Deutsche Welle [149*]
Retro, Neo-Psych, etc. [87*]
Sonic Art & Noise [82*]
Synth, New-Age, Instrumental [314*]

That's 2,494 main entries!
+ 952 artists in various "more" sections
& a few hundred more in the Neo-Prog, 80s Rock & Metal "more" section

This means the Jazz & Fusions and Synth, New-Age, Instrumental sections are huge encyclopedias as well, and  the Neue Deutsche Welle and other sections are quite hefty too!

[note: these are approximate counts. * omit duplicates from other sections]

see complete rom contents / artist list file

The Crack In The Cosmic Egg CD-Rom German music encyclopedia probably has everything you needed to know about Krautrock & the wider prog, electronic, experimental music scenes from Germany.

Rear cover notes: The rise of experimental music in Germany since the 1960s is unrivalled and its influence can be found in nearly all forms of modern music. This fertile scene, commonly known as Krautrock, bridged psychedelia, new forms of fusion, world-music, kosmische musik, electronic music, etc., and is full of unexpected surprises.
A veritable cornucopia  of delights, almost every groundbreaking new form of music started in Germany,
and it didn't stop with the 1970s.
In this new DVD-rom we explore the history and all the artists that made this happen. All completely revised and with tons of new features, it’s an engrossing read!

A completely revised DVD-Rom is in preparation, and will be out sometime soon. This is some 3 times bigger than the original rom, and includes all sorts of extras.
Fund donations via PayPal to utle2uk@btconnect.com are welcome. Donations of £30 or more will be eligible for a free copy when the rom is published. So be sure to add a note to your donation with your address. It is planned as a limited edition of 500 copies.
p.s. if you're not in the UK it would be appreciated if you add a few £ to help with shipping costs.

promo video...


best viewed full screen


html CD-Rom 2007

The Crack In The Cosmic Egg German music encyclopedia

Krautrock Kraut Rock The Crack In The Cosmic Egg Kosmische German Progressive Rock Experimental Electronic Psychedelic Underground Audion Music Encyclopedia Amon Duul Can Kraftwerk Embryo Guru Guru Tangerine Dream Ash Ra Tempel Alan Steve Freeman Ultima Thule xxxxxxxxKrautrock Kraut Rock The Crack In The Cosmic Egg Kosmische German Progressive Rock Experimental Electronic Psychedelic Underground Audion Music Encyclopedia Amon Duul Can Kraftwerk Embryo Guru Guru Tangerine Dream Ash Ra Tempel Alan Steve Freeman Ultima Thule

original 2007 editions - now sold-out!

The current standard product contains...
1 x 689 mb, PC html CD-ROM + colour cover + souvenir insert + DVD size case
+ free The Cosmic Auricle & Other Eggshells CDR sampler

The Crack In The Cosmic Egg CD-Rom German music encyclopedia probably has everything you needed to know about Krautrock & the wider prog, electronic, experimental music scenes from Germany. Vastly expanded from the book edition, it's a goldmine of information.
As far as we know, it's compatible with all modern computers on all browsers!
Menu driven (no scripts or flash), 689 mb, and some 3,000+ pages.
To realistically price this project, taking in all the work that was involved, would have meant a crazily high price. But, we are not greedy, so we decided upon pricing it the same as the original book at £20, which I'm sure you'll agree is remarkable value for something that is so mind-bogglingly huge!

Last I checked Green Brain in Germany still had some stocks

all the US distributors we sold to seem to be out of stock


 The Crack In The Cosmic Egg CD-Rom German music encyclopedia

Encyclopedia of Krautrock, Kosmische Musik, & other progressive, experimental & electronic musics from Germany, CD-Rom by Steven Freeman & Alan Freeman


"The Crack In The Cosmic Egg" has been hailed by the musicians as the most informative insight into German rock and related musics, endorsed by Faust's Jean-Hervé Peron, Amon Düül 2's Chris Karrer, really enthused about by Guru Guru's Mani Neumeier, and it so impressed Out Of Focus' Remigius Drechsler that he helped us launch our Krautrock label "Cosmic Egg"! The book version, first published in December 1996, has been out of print for a while now, and is now becoming quite a collectable.

We described the book version as the definitive encyclopedia of Krautrock, Kosmische Musik and all things weird and wonderful from Germany. It contained 1177 entries (Krautrock bands, soloists, etc.), 2500 albums (including musician details), plus non-LP singles, compilation contributions, as well as two 16 page picture sections, including many rare photos, 150+ LP covers. In its pages were histories, biographies, reviews, discographies, articles on major scenes, indexes, etc. Well-over 4,000 copies were sold!

Financing such a publication wasn't easy, and since then the printers we used closed down and all quotes from elsewhere were far too pricey, which meant it was not at all possible to do a new revised book print, unless someone could work as a partner or finance it for us. That invitation has been out there for a long while now with no takers. So, after sussing out how easily I could do a web-site and html CD-Rom's, I came up with the idea of doing "The Crack In The Cosmic Egg" as an expanded and revised CD-Rom version. The guts of the project were already established, and the Internet meant that revision and research would be a lot easier. I never expected how it would catapult the project in leaps and bounds, snowballing into an amazing monster reference tool!

Over ten years on from the book, and with six or more years of intensive research, the revised PC CD-Rom edition has become an enormous beast. Almost everything you ever wanted to know. An interactive off-line web-site of html pages, with lots of extras, like colour photos of everything we can get our hands on, as well as rare adverts, posters, gig photos, etc. There are even some choice exclusive music samples (3 hours) and videos! Everything that can be revised and updated has been, and there so many additional entries - you wouldn't believe you could fit so much on one disc!

Check Discogs listing of exclusive CD-Rom audio tracks!

Here are some figures: the 2,068 main entries comprise of...
The Krautrock scene [A-Z]: 612 entries
Cuckoos & Scrambled Eggs: 97 entries
Austria: 50 entries
Switzerland: 68 entries
DDR: 61 entries
Beat & Historical: 46 entries
Classical & Avant-Garde: 58 entries
Folk, Traditional, Ethnic: 70 entries
Jazz & Fusions [A-Z]: 205 entries
Neo-Prog & Metal: 59 & 26 entries
Neue Deutsche Welle [A-Z]: 132 entries
Retro, Neo-Psych, etc: 42 entries
Sonic Art & Noise: 67 entries
Synth, New-Age, Instrumental [A-Z]: 207 entries

ISBN 0-9529506-0-CDROM

How to run the CD-Rom...


CD-Rom feedback, reviews, etc...

customer reviews...

In three words.... KRAUTROCKINGLY BL00DY AMAZING! Many thanks to you both, Peter

Hello Alan, today I`ve received the CD ROM. Thank you very much. I would like to let you know my deeply respect on this amazing work. With Cosmic Regards >> Ulrich Klatte

Hi, the CD-Rom arrived last week, many thanks for it - and also for the other CDs. The new Cosmic Egg is great, I think I'll find many unknown bands and disks I never heart about. >> Fridhelm Sappa

hiya alan, just wanted to say thanks that i have received the cdrom. sorry its taken me ages to write as i have been avidly reading it and still not finished! its great - julie

From Synth Music Direct...
We have just obtained a handful of the most amazing reference material for anyone interested in Kraut Rock (and that includes the likes of Tangerine Dream and Klaus Schulze).'The Crack in The Cosmic Egg' CD ROM has illustrated histories and discographies of hundreds of artists and bands that formed part of the Kraut Rock scene. It is a completely revised version of the book of the same name released in 1996 (and long out of print) but updated with a vast amount of additional information. It also has over an album worth of music on the CD ROM (as well as two extra promotional CDs) plus some promotional video material from the likes of Faust (live music from 1971) and Guru Guru. If you are into Kraut Rock this is THE ultimate source of inspiration. It would take days to go through all the information it contains.
The authors have also asked us to point out that it also includes a synth section which contains information on a vast number of electronic music artists - some of which even I hadn't heard of before!

I got your CD-ROM "The Crack In The Cosmic Egg" from my dealer some days ago. Absolutely brilliant! Thanks for your great job! Best Regards -- Barmaleyy

Wow, thanks alot, Great work!!! - Dave Schmidt (Zone 6, Neumeier Genrich Schmidt)

in the press...

^ from Record Collector issue 348, April 2008

Various / The Crack in The Cosmic Egg

CDROM Book with over an albums worth of music plus promo videos

The late 60s to early 70s saw the rise of The Kraut Rock scene in Germany giving birth to such bands and artists as: Amon Duul 2, Agitation Free, Ash Ra Tempel, Can, Faust, Kraftwerk, Neu! Klaus Sculze, Tangerine Dream and loads more. The original book of this name came out in 1996 and really amounted to the repository of a lifetime of knowledge built up by brothers Steve & Alan Freemen, the two people who I certainly think of as the world experts on this scene. This CDROM covers that book with another ten years of research included plus ‘thousands of extra pictures, an albums worth of music samples plus loads and loads of bonus appendices, and lots of other extra features, sections on Austria, Switzerland, the former DDR’ it also covers other related genres such as Avant-Garde, Synth Music plus others. The immensity of this project is mind-boggling and will take you many days to fully go through. What is more you even get two Free additional promo CDs featuring the Kraut Rock inspired ‘Auricle’ and ‘Garden of Delights’ labels.

Many of the features on the bands and artists include pictures, posters plus scans of rare album and single covers. As for the Kraut Rock section, as well as the artists mentioned above you will also find articles on: Birth Control, Eloy, Embryo, Grobschnitt, Harmonia, Guru Guru, Kluster, Kraftwerk, Magma, Mythos, Novalis. Popol Vuh and almost 600 others! Absolutely astonishing!

Also covered is a Synth Section. Now this looks at things from a different angle to SMD. Even though it features articles on the likes of Peter Baumann, Rainer Bloss, Deuter, Chris Franke, Thomas Fanger, Michael Hoenig, Paul Haslinger, Peter Mergener, Pete Namlook, Pyramid Peak, Rainbow Serpent, Roedelius, Johannes Schmoelling, Conrad Schnitzler, Mario Schonwalder, Robert Schroeder, Software, Spyra and Synco PLUS OVER 300 others it looks at things from the German scene so you will not find anything relating to the UK. There is much here however that we have not covered in SMD. It is an interesting read and you are certain to find out things you didn’t know before.

Even though the Synth and Kraut Rock sections are maybe those that will attract you most there are also hundreds more (could even be over 1000) write-ups on bands from other interesting and related genres. The scope of this project is quite simply breathtaking!

We haven’t stopped there though. There are audio interviews with Manuel Gottsching (3 of them!), Christian Burchard, Michael Gunther and Chris Karrer as well as written interviews with Klaus Schulze, Florian Fricke, Mario Schonwalder, Lightwave & Paul Haslinger etc. You will also find promo videos of Faust both from 1971 and 2007 as well as Guru Guru, Xhol Caravan and Embryo.

It is one of the most incredible works of love (even obsession?) I have ever read. (DL)

^ Also from Synth Music Direct!

School of Krautrock
John Harris

Friday November 23, 2007
The Guardian

What a week, and where to start? With the Jpeg I just received of EMI's bear-shaped Radiohead USB stick? Or the all-clear just given to Jimmy Page's left little finger, and the fragile anticipation presumably coursing around the veins of the 0.004% (approx) of people who applied for tickets to see Led Zeppelin sans John Bonham?

Neither of those, actually. Over recent days, a few aspects of the human universe have eerily aligned, and sent me back to one of the more inspirational sub-sections of 20th-century music. Yesterday, Radio 4 aired a documentary devoted to Kraftwerk. This month sees the rerelease of a two-CD Best Of by the Cologne-based 1970s musical sorcerers Can. To cap it all, a prosaically named but dizzyingly experimental outfit called Harmonia will reconvene next week for the first time in 31 years - while, thanks to the Guardian's controversial 1000 Albums to Hear Before You Die, people who once settled for Corinne Bailey Rae and Sandi Thom are presumably jacking in their jobs and finding new partners, having been joyously exposed to such cultish talents as Neu! and Tangerine Dream.

I am talking, natürlich, about the far-flung German musical upsurge known as Krautrock, and the increasing suspicion that its influence is now up there with that of such immovable rock shibboleths as the three-chord trick and descending chord sequences à la the Beatles' Dear Prudence and the Kingsmen's Louie Louie. Each time you hear either parping analogue electronica or the propulsive rhythm known by the term "motorik", it is this music you have to thank - so when you next listen to Radiohead, those US avant gardists TV On the Radio, LCD Soundsystem, Wilco's Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, or (by accident) Stereophonics' crassly motorik 2005 single Dakota, you should coolly nod and say: "Yeah - pretty Krauty."

For those who don't know what I'm talking about, a brief explanation. Thanks to the German absorption of Anglo-American rock, the great countercultural convulsion that gripped mainland Europe in 1968 and the fact that Germans born in the wake of the second world war had no option but to symbolically kick against previous generations, West Germany in the early-to-mid-1970s was alive with music that furthered the psychedelic drive to experiment, but at its best, avoided the excesses of prog.

Kraftwerk were part of the initial milieu but soon went wholly electronic, thereby splitting themselves apart, leaving the genre to guitar-playing longhairs. Can and Neu! remain the best place to start, and from there, you may want to progress to Faust, Ash Ra Tempel and Amon Düül II. After that, you'll feel like a confirmed psychonaut, but tread carefully - one wrong turn and you'll end up spending money on, say, Grobschnitt, who were no fun at all.

My immersion in this fascinating world went like this. First, I arrived in the professional company of people far cooler than me. Soon after, myself and some colleagues took a day trip to Leicester to spend money at the British heart of Krautrock-worship: a shop and mail-order mini-empire called Ultima Thule (ultimathulerecords.com). It turned out to be a garden of delights, and still represents thrilling proof that corporate power, Richard "Hard-Fi" Archer and iTunes have yet to quite snuff out the last interesting bits of the pop-cultural firmament.

That day, I ended up with £100 worth of CDs that I still treasure, and a vast Krautrock encyclopedia titled The Crack in the Cosmic Egg (now available on CD-Rom), which contains hundreds of entries devoted to arcane German troupes who may yet be dug out of their historical hole and acclaimed as musical heroes. Take, for example, Weltklang, "the synth project of Munich musician Andreas Merz", who were "notably influenced by Cluster and Kraftwerk". Their sole album, it says here, was cleverly titled Klangwelt. Why it didn't make the Guardian 1000 beats me.


"The Crack in the Cosmic Egg: Encyclopedia of Krautrock, Kosmische Musik, & Other Progressive, Experimental, & Electronic Musics from Germany"

By Steve and Alan Freeman, Audion Publications ISBN 0-9529506-0-CD R0M, 1995/2008

Brothers Alan and Steve Freeman have been long time fans of Krautrock etc. as well as record shop owners specializing in this and similar music, and publishers of Audion magazine. This labor of love started well over 10 years ago to document Germany s musical output. Originally available as a book published in 1996 the additional ten years of work has helped to flesh out a lot of information on German rock and experimental music scenes. There is a version you can access for free on the Ultima Thule web site, but that may not always be a convenient. Due to popular demand the Freemans have now issued this excellent guide as a CD-ROM. All you have to do is copy the CD-ROM to your hard drive and you can access the information at any time. I have it installed 0n my laptop and it is very convenient, especially when researching music I am reviewing for Exposé.

The information contained in this guide is staggering. There are thousands of extra pictures, an album's worth of music samples, tons of bonus appendices, and bonus features (sections on Austria, Switzerland, the former DDR; references to other countries and musicians related to the German scene; and focused information on Beat, Avant-Garde, Folk, New Wave, Synth Music and other related genres). There are promo videos from four Krautrock legends: Embryo, Guru Guru, Faust, and Xhol Caravan. In order to fit on the disc, these are small format videos, and considering the age of most of them (30 years old), the quality is quite good. There is also a Faust video from December 2007 that you can tell is digital, but the volume was so loud that there is a lot of distortion. The music samples available are from Embryo, Ethno Leaders, GAM, Guru Guru, Kontrast, Mythos, Neumeier-Genrich-Schmidt, Orange Peel, 0ut of Focus, Rollkommando, Grinter Schickert, Schickert & Strodthoff, and Xhol Caravan. In addition there are samples from Ultima Thule releases by Aussenminister, Con-Herz, Peter Frohmader, GAM, No Zen Orchestra, Out of Focns, Gunter Schickert, Conrad Schnitzler, and Asmus Tietchens. The non-Audion samples are either live recordings or unreleased material.

And then there are audio interviews in English with Christian Burchard, Manuel Göttsching, Michael Gunther, and Chris Karrer, a video interview with Alan Freeman, and interviews with Brian Barritt, Florian Fricke, Peter Frohmader, Wolfgang Hertz, Lightwave & Paul Haslinger, Mario Schonwalder, Klaus Schulze, and Space Explosion extracted from Audion magazine. From the Home Page you can go directly to a band you want to research by click- ing on the appropriate letter of the alphabet. You then go to a page that contains links to the bands with that letter. Each band page is then linked by keywords to other bands 0r genres. The Home Page also has a panel on the right that links you to References, Related information, 0ther Genres, the index, and the Appendices. It will take me years to fully explore this mountain of information. All that I can say is BRAVO to the Freemans for making this monumental effort to document this extremely important slice of musical history.

And to make this deal even sweeter, there are two CDs included with the CD-R0M package: an Audion sampler titled Ihe Cosmic Auricle & 1ther Eggshells which is only available with the CD-ROM and a Garden of Delights (GOD) sampler Psychedelic Underground 13. The Cosmic Auricle features tracks by Alan Freeman, Endgame, Gunter Schickert, Triax, Extremities, Con-Hertz, Out of Focus, GAM, and Alto Stratus. The GOD sampler includes tracks by Waniyetula, Missus Beastly, Vikings Invasion, Live, Arktis, Level, Emma Myldenberger, Skyline, and Guru Guru. The Cosmic Egg is quite a package and a bargain at twice the price. It is an important resource for anyone even marginally interested in this music. Other resources like Julian Cope's book only pale in comparison.

by Henry Schneider (Exposé)


original book edition reviews...

The Crack In The Cosmic Egg
Encyclopedia of Krautrock, Kosmische Musik, & other Progressive, Experimental & Electronic Musics from Germany
By Steven Freeman & Alan Freeman

Bible, Qur'an and reading book for Krauts! Not that you think I'm completely turned off now, but the book I'd like to draw attention to is actually all in one for the interested Krautrock lover. To lighten the tension: These are The Crack In The Cosmic Egg by Steven and Alan Freeman, now published in the second, revised edition by Audion Publications.

The bitter first: Englishmen, who make a fantastic Krautrock Bible - how sad that in this country such a thing has long been impossible. Although there was an encyclopedia edition of Günter Ehnert, Rock In Germany, many years ago, firstly the three editions have been deleted for a long time; secondly, the research has not been as good as it has been here for a long time. Let's get to the Cosmic Egg:

Even the cover of the book is clearly reminiscent of record covers by Carthage and Gila. Inside, things are well organized: Mr. Freeman starts off with a neat introduction to the Krautrock story, continues to explain the book itself, then gets details about the sound recordings and concludes the 7-page opening with explanations of various styles. That makes us hungry for the following: We find a (subjective) listing of the Top100-Krautrock interpreters with their records, a map of Germany and a list of cities with assignment of the bands coming from there - all kinds, all sorts. Special chapters then deal with the scenes in Berlin, Dusseldorf, Hamburg and Munich, before starting on page 27 with the alphabetical listing of almost all interpreters who had anything to do with this scene: A starts with Abacus, Z ends with Zyma, and in between there are over 180 pages to hundreds of familiar and only insiders common names. For each performer there is a detailed discography with order numbers, the line-ups of the recordings and plenty of other information that really arouse the awe-inspiring work done.

Who now thinks that the book is through, that said: Far from it! On other sites samplers are listed, sometimes really obscure and probably untraceable nowadays. Then the names of deserving producers of the then scene follow; afterwards it's all about label customer, past and current names en masse.

Then comes the well-known chapter Rumors & Mysteries, in which one finds all sorts of artists in which the authors were not completely conclusive on account of the classification or where deeper information was missing.

Behind it follows the absolutely necessary band index, which contains roughly 1,300 names - madness! Afterwards a list of musicians from artists who have worked in several bands. That should be around 2,500 names. Finally, a collection of books and magazines that deal with Krautrock.

Conclusion: An incredible diligence, the total of 288 pages brimming with information. In English, well. Unfortunately, this book in Germany is difficult to get, and cheap it is not exactly, the price is between 65 and 70 marks. In my opinion, this is absolutely justified, such a complex work is truly unparalleled. Indispensable!

Google translation of review by Wolfgang Pokall at Musikzirkus

The Crack In The Cosmic Egg

One of the best instruments available to the German progressive rock aficionado, where he can investigate the essential aspects of the German current, better known as "Krautrock". It is undoubtedly this British publication, which is together with "Cosmic Dreams At Play", the indispensable editorial pair for the best knowledge of the most influential scene of contemporary music of the twentieth century. The work, is a compendium of data collected by the authors Alan and Steven Freeman, also publicists of the English magazine Audion, fans and researchers of the progressive and in particular of the Krautrock. In it we can find analysis of the main regional scenarios that settled the main currents of the Krautrock. In the work are detailed: groups, members, biographies, discographies, styles, topics of the musical context and even maps and family trees of the main trends. The list of the hundred best works is offered in the opinion of the authors, without a doubt a basic picture to begin to know by the most select the Teutonic cosmos. The organization of the compendium, has vast indexes and consultative references, as well as color sheets of the most significant covers. The level of knowledge is profound, but its interpretation is very subjective, given the tendency of authors to glorify their favorites and demonize, those who are not. However, the above is an insignificant defect, which does not affect the work can be considered as absolutely essential, even for the amateur novice or just remotely interested in German progressive rock. For the amateur, it is a must to have it in his elementary musical references box.

Google translation of review by Juvenal Aragón Figueroa at progresiva70s.blogspot

Steven Freeman & Alan Freeman
The Crack In The Cosmic Egg

Erscheinungsjahr: 1996 (zweite Auflage Mai 1997)
ISBN: 0-9529506-0-X
Verlag: Audion Publications
Verlagsort: Leicester


Von: Udo Gerhards

It is always amazing how small Krautrock is compared to other countries in Germany himself, what a low level of publicity he "enjoys" in this country. Practically all the more extensive publications on the subject come from fans from other countries, as well as the present work of the two Freeman brothers who publish the British Audion magazine.

"Crack in the Cosmic Egg" tries to be a comprehensive encyclopedia for "Krautrock, Cosmic Music & other progressive, experimental and electronic music from Germany", unlike the rather selective and personal Krautrocksampler by Julian Cope Comparing Dag Erik Asbjørnsen's "Cosmic Dreams At Play", which sets the cut of the recorded albums earlier in time, around 1976, while at the Freemans musically relevant albums can also come from the 80s and 90s.

The Freemans, like Julian Cope, also fall into the fan trap and overestimate the influence and creative richness of their object when it says "Almost every groundbreaking new form of music started in Germany". Well. Such statements can be found again and again, and you have to stop to classify. And even "The Crack In The Cosmic Egg" is not free from factual errors (the legend of Dutch descent Rolf-Ulrich Kaisers mentioned by Ralf JG in his review of the "Krautrocksampler") is repeated here, both written off at the same source Nevertheless, the Freemans have researched more carefully than Cope and Asbjørnsen, have conducted interviews with a number of German musicians and almost all of the albums presented have probably even heard :-)

The main component of the album is an alphabetical list of bands relevant to the above-mentioned claim with short biographies, discographies, music descriptions and staffing lists. This part occupies almost 200 of the total of 288 DIN A4 pages. This is informative, comprehensive and suitable for browsing and browsing. The true strength of the book, however, are the many complementary contents: after a short general introduction, various regional Krautrock scenes with textual description and family tree graphics are presented in more detail. Very helpful is the printed map of Germany, which illustrates not only the foreigners, but also in geography less well-versed locals the situation of the different centers ...

Very useful is also the detailed index, including a cross-reference index, which shows each band for each musician all bands in which the member or at least one recording was involved. Other sections are devoted to the various Krautrock labels, well-known non-musician scene personalities (sound mixers and producers), off-screen, yet noteworthy albums, etc. Another chapter lists legendary albums that nobody knows ... This part is now After more than 7 years since the tape was first published, it has become somewhat obsolete, as some of the aforementioned obscurities such as "Flaming Bess" and "Tricolon" have even found their way onto CD.

Despite the above-mentioned weaknesses here is a very elaborate, lovingly assembled work before, which also contains a pile of information that stimulate at least for their own research and bargain hunting on eBay. Unfortunately "The Crack In The Cosmic Egg" is currently out of print (February 2004) and will probably not be reissued in book form. However, a soon to be reissued in CD-ROM form is planned, a format that lends itself to the many cross-connections within the scene.

Google translation of review by Udo Gerhards at: babyblaue-seiten

Krautrock A to Z, March 11, 2005 - By Robert Carlberg (Seattle) - from Amazon

Between the late 1960s and the mid-1980s, there was a veritable EXPLOSION of creativity on the German rock scene. Fueled by an influx of American ex-pat jazz musicians seeking color neutrality, the new portability of music with cassettes and portable radios, the worldwide spirit of experimentation, new instrument technologies and, yes, the popularity of psychedelics, the resulting body of work has been nobly documented by brothers Steven & Alan Freeman.

Other books cover some of the same ground -- Archie Patterson's "Eurock" and Dag Erik Asbjornsen's "Cosmic Dreams at Play" for two -- but none are more comprehensive or more compulsively readable than "Cosmic Egg." The level of detail and fair, reasonable analysis make this the gold standard against which all others are measured..

A Crack In The Cosmic Egg Steven Freeman & Alan Freeman AUDION £23

When shown a book such as this, one can any doff the old topper in admiration.
Similar in size, scope and intent to Vernon Joynson's encyclopaedias of British and American psychedelia, this is the brothers Freeman's repository for their vast knowledge of German rock, Kosmiche music, prog and its myriad, often indefinable offshoots - knowledge amassed over 20 years of absorption in the subject.
The main, alphabetical tranch covers the bands everyone knows: Tangerine Dream, Faust, Kraftwerk, Can, Neu, through aficionados' favourites like Guru Guru, Cluster, Frumpy and Cosmic Jokers to mare obscure German proggers, the electronic "classical" avant garde, jazz-rock fusers, heavy bands from other countries who touched the scene, punk and synth bands of the '80s who took up the baton, and many names that are dimly recalled or may have only ever cropped up once on a sampler - come on down Eilliff, Floh De Cologne, lkarus, Janus, Thirsty Moon and Hairy Chapter. All entries carry as complete a discography as the Freemans deem appropriate.
Then there are family trees for each of the major German cities, brief guides to the most active labels and some notable compilations, many pages of sleeve reproductions, and the Freemans' personal selection of the 100 best Krautrock albums ever made. It's an amazing feat of information-gathering, only let down, like Joynson's books, by the rather unappetising design and the detail-biased writing - the uberfan's concerns being markedly different from that of the casually curious. One or two more yarns to round out the histories would have helped propel the novice towards the music, as evinced by Julian Cope's brief, breathless but inspiring Krautrocksampler.
Nevertheless, there is much to enjoy and explore here and anyone with mare than a passing interest in European rock history will want a copy. (It should be available at good rock book stockists but you can order it by post for £25 from Audion Publications, c/a Ultima Thule, 1 Conduit Street, Leicester, LE2 OJN.) Jim Irvin [Mojo 40, 3/97]

STEVEN & ALAN FREEMAN: "The Crack In The Cosmic Egg ~ Encyclopaedia Of Krautrock, Kosmische Musik, & Other Progressive, Experimental & Electronic Musics From Germany" (£20+P&P £5 U.K., £8 Euro, £17 U.S., £20 elsewhere to Ultima Thule, 1 Conduit St., Leicester LE2 OJN.)
Obviously modelled on Vernon Joynson's Borderline Productions series of specialist rock books, this is an obvious rival to Borderline's own look at the genre last year, Cosmic Dreams At Play. As I can't find the office copy, I'm afraid I cannot give you a detailed comparison. But the Freemans' long-standing interest in the field is enough to guarantee that the book's accuracy and insight ought not to be in dispute. Over 1,177 artists are featured here, covering some 2,500 albums and a mere 180 singles (Krautrock wasn't tailored towards the single format). It's illustrated with 150 album sleeves, including a section of colour plates, and the whole beguiling caboodle is prefaced by charts, definitions and a Krautrock Top 100. (MP) [Record Collector]

Krautrock feature
...the absolutely indispensable encyclopaedia of Krautrock, The Crack In The Cosmic Egg. The latter was written by Steven and Alan Freeman, the owners of Leicester' s Ultima Thule record shop and the undisputed authorities on anything Kraut and Kosmische. There is more in their book than you could ever hope to digest, and it's your best possible guide to navigating the plethora of re-releases and finer points of detail concerning the originals (as well as admiring their many wacky sleeves). [Record Collector 254, Oct 2000]

The Crack In The Cosmic Egg: Encyclopedia Of Krautrock, Kosmische Musik & Other Progressive, Experimental & Electronic Musics From Germany
By Steven Freeman and Alan Freeman AUDION (PBK £20)

Bypassing the entry on Velvet Universe, consider this summary of Vinegar: "Reputedly pre-Electric Sandwich, Vinegar played a much more spiced psychedelic rock in the realms of Tractor or Elias Hulk." That summary is this encyclopedia in microcosm (mikrokosm?); the detail is astonishing and the list of ludicrous group names would fill this review. Try Tanned Leather, Hairy Chapter and Steak, for starters.
Authors Steven and Alan Freeman run the Ultima Thule record shop in Leicester. The shop has a reputation as a haven for Kraut arcana, but there are no less than 1177 artist entries here. Comprehensive, certainly. The two brothers have edited the shop's Audion magazine for a decade, so they are steeped in this stuff. They reckon that any non-appearance of groups is due to their being stylistically inappropriate, not good enough, or so obscure they haven't heard of them -which they feel is unlikely (although the authors did initially dispute the authenticity of the recently reissued music credited to 70s groups Cozmic Corridors, Galactic Explorers and Golem).
Their coverage of Neue Deutsche Welle (German New Wave in the 70s is less successful as it's based on a subjective assessment as to whether the group falls into the book's remit. So Xmal Deutschland are not included, presumably because they are not deemed good enough, neither are Material Schlakte: too obscure? Not good enough?
To keep things manageable there is a 1985 cut-off point. But older groups' discographies extend beyond if, in the authors opinion, they remained relevant. This gives rise to debatable appraisals of Kraftwerk's canon, post-1978: "Mainstream techno pop." And Einsturzende Neubauten's discography extends only as far as 1 984 because, "as usual, international recognition resulted in compromise to gain a wider appeal that naturally backfired." Really? But credit to the Freemans for ignoring their own rules by including Caspar Brötzmann Massaker as a modern-day keeper of the flame. Elements of taste don't figure quite so strongly in connection with the older groups, although if you want to check on Spliff or Elephant, go to the "Rejects And Misfits" category at the end of the book.
The hideousness of most of the 180 pictured record sleeves is astonishing. Many guilelessly combined the formidable ugliness of Expressionists Georg Grosz and Otto Dix with Warhol's modernist tackiness, but without the style of either: some achievement. One of the reproduced sleeves originally graced Cross Collateral, an album by 70s jazz fusion group Passport, which has lain unplayed in my own collection for a decade or more. Heartened by the Freemans' positive write up, I played it. It didn't sound bad at all. Finally it felt that the purchase had been vindicated. MIKE BARNES [The Wire]

C. Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Cosmic Dream sand Cracked Eggs (but were afraid to ask of a German)
Along with the growing number of vinyl and CD reissues (both legal and boot) of Krautrock albums and the general rising interest in Germany's alternative rock history came the cry for a decent book listing all those wonderful artists, bands and records, and if possible providing some background info. Up to a few months ago nothing really 'serious' was available about the European continent's largest producer of psychedelic and progressive music but in a short period of time two books have become available, both dealing in detail with the aforementioned very extensive subject. What luxury!...
Both books were released in 1996. The first one is called "Cosmic Dreams At Play" and written by the well known Norwegian record collector Dag Erik Asbjornsen who subtitled it "A Guide to German Progressive and Electronic Music". This glossy-papered, A4-sized book starts with a short intro and a three-page index of all the bands and artists featured (485 in total). The next 189 pages are devoted to those 485 acts, ordered alphabetically. Dag tells the story of each band or artist in brief (varying from one line of text to several pages) and lists their releases (only LPs)....
The other book, "The Crack In The Cosmic Egg", is also A4 and glossy papered and carries the subtitle "Encyclopedia of Krautrock, Kosmische Musik & Other Progressive, Experimental & Electronic Musics from Germany". It was written by Steven and Alan Freeman, contributors to the quality collectors' magazine Audion. Their book has a somewhat larger musical scope and deals with more artists and bands than the "Cosmic Dreams" volume. Steven and Alan incorporate a few worthwhile East-German (don't forget: the Krautrock. thing happened mainly in West-Germany), Austrian and Swiss bands into the review, which is an intelligent idea since musical styles are not stopped by borders (and most people outside of the European continent hardly know the difference anyway). A big, well appreciated extra in this book is the inclusion of 10 pages of historical notes about the various local scenes in Berlin, München, Düsseldorf and Hamburg (an approach I favour, since 'no man is an island', or in this case 'no band is an island'). Other valuable extras here are a few pages devoted to the 'people behind the scenes', meaning a short biography of the most important producers and sound engineers (Konrad Plank, Dieter Dierks, etc.), a list with the catalogues of 63 important German labels (both old and more recent ones), a 16-page section "Rumours and Mysteries" that looks like a list of bands and records the Freeman Brothers don't know a lot about, and 16 pages of "Rejects and Misfits" with a list of bands considered to be of only marginal historic and/or musical interest (again, according to the authors). It's a list of pretty obscure acts ~ but I for one don't understand why the names of The Blizzards or Dirk Steffens are included here.
What's the verdict? Difficult to say because these 'hard' facts don't tell us the whole story. Let me first point out that the quality of the historical notes is excellent in both volumes. The size of an individual band biography can differ between books due to differences in appreciation. When Dag Erik Asbjørnsen wrote his "Cosmic Dreams At Play" he took the point of view of an experienced collector so his comments on individual albums (and tracks!) are sometimes quite detailed. The book only deals with acts between 1968+/69 up to 1980, however. "The Crack In The Cosmic Egg" by Steven and Alan Freeman has a wider scope (1968/1969 up to 1985) and also incorporates worthwhile releases in the late 70s/early 80s experimental, weird new wave/industrial genre (I even found a few decent 'neue Deutsche Welle' bands) which makes sense to me. This also partly explains the considerable difference in the number of acts reviewed (552 vs 1179). "Partly" - I said: the Freeman brothers work more like 'historians' and found more material to include (although I found acts in the "Cosmic Dreams" book that were unknown or neglected in the other one). Another thing allowing for the difference in numbers is that "Cracked Egg" uses a smaller letter type and has no illustrations between the band biographies and reviews, while "Cosmic Dreams" features 180 black & white repros of album sleeves in between the text, making for lighter and more entertaining reading. A thing worthy of note is that neither of the two books tells a lot about the intense, blooming 60s mod/beat/R&R scene in Germany. Isn't this a challenge for anybody in Germany interested in this material to write an encyclopedia about this era. It would complete the picture of German rock!
Final conclusion: I think that both books are valuable and beautiful encyclopedia that will please anybody interested in the subject. Most of the time, my personal preference goes to "The Crack in the Cosmic Egg" because it provides me with more names and historical background data (very useful for articles or radio programs). But there's a wealth of info to be found is "Cosmic Dreams at Play" as well, and if you're dealing with an unknown band or album it's nice to have a second opinion. So my advice is: buy both books and compare, it will only make the picture more complete (and give the economy a boost as well, L.).
Kapellmeister Markus von Pilzenstein [Crohinga Well 13, April 1997]

The Crack In The Cosmic Egg

Steven & Alan Freeman, Audion Publications, 1996, 288 pages

The subtitle of this book is perhaps a better descriptor than its title: Encyclopedia of Krautrock, Kosmische Musik, & Other Progressive, Experimental & Electronic Musics from Germany. The authors are of course, the same Freeman Brothers who have produced Audion Magazine since the mid-1980s, and have an excellent track record for coverage of German 'progressive' music, whatever that may mean. One of the highlights of this volume, and what sets it apart from others (most notably "Cosmic Dreams at Play")that have attempted to document the German scene is the well-researched section early in the volume ("A Short Guided Tour") that documents the five major 'scenes' of early German rock (Berlin, Dusseldorf, Koln, Hamburg, and Munich). These ten or so pages, complete with diagrams and maps go far to explain the setting within which all German rock from the late sixties grew, and provide an excellent springboard to understanding the bigger picture' Indeed, this writer has been listening to much of the German music in this book for many years, but this is the first time I've read a good overview where all of the dots are connected. There is also a solid introduction with general information on the format that is followed throughout the book. And of course there is a 'Krautrock Top 100' though one has to question how useful list like this is when only slightly better than mediocre releases like Amon Duul's "Psychedelic Underground", "Planeten Sit-ln" and Mythos' "Dreamlab" are included, but classics like Hoelderlin's "Traumstadt" and SFF's "symphonic Pictures" or "Ammerland" are completely ignored.

Throughout this volume one will find well researched entries for almost any German artist one can think of: A concise history of the artist or band (or as concise as possible given the obscurity of some of these entries) is followed by a discography listing all major releases - both the original release, and the CD reissue if one exists, each with a personnel listing. One complaint, however is that sometimes the discographies cut off at some arbitrary point where the authors interests cut off; Kraftwerk is a good example: the discography stops at 1978 and completely ignores anything after "The Man Machine". Most will agree that the band's output in the eighties was less than stellar from a 'progressive' perspective and would be better off ignored, but it is still necessary from a discographical standpoint to document these releases, even if they are crappy. Samplers and "Festival" releases are covered in a separate section. A section of black and white photos includes some album covers and band/artist photos, and a color section includes a number of album/single covers. The back-of-the-book discographies by label are well researched and comprehensive in the areas where most readers will be interested (perhaps in 20 years maybe someone will care about WMMS, Germanophon, Lost Pipe Dreams, and others but they are handled here with a quickie paragraph and no listings). Two additional sections "Rumors & Mysteries" (artists that the authors have heard of, but never actually heard...) and "Rejects and Misfits" (basically, a section of items of marginal interest or stinkers that should be avoided) round out the text nicely.

In all this is probably the best-researched volume on German rock this writer has seen, and while I'm not quite ready to toss all my old copies of Eurock and other books on German rock, this one has now become my primary reference. Highly Recommended.

Peter Thelen (Exposé)

A tip: Google "The Crack In The Cosmic Egg" "Audion Publications" to learn more!

Interesting mentions...
Julian Cope's Head Heritage
Google Books
Analogy band page
Fast 'n' Bulbous


Other editions & special publications...

The Crack In The Cosmic Egg - book

Encyclopedia of Krautrock, Kosmische Musik, & other progressive, experimental & electronic musics from Germany
The definitive encyclopedia of Krautrock, Kosmische Musik and all things weird and wonderful from Germany. A huge comprehensive 1kg book with an awesome 1177 entries, 2500 albums, plus non-LP singles, compilation contributions, as well as two 16 page picture sections, including many rare photos, 150+ LP covers.
Praised by the media & Krautrock musicians, see above!
Well-over 4,000 copies sold! 1st print run December 1996 (2000), 2nd print run May 1997 (2400 approx).
Out of print. Now rare & collectable! Worth $500

The Crack In The Cosmic Egg - revised 2008 magazine

A printed version of the CD-Rom in magazine form.
24 x A4 magazines, with a colour cover, 60 pages total.
Edition of approximately 200 copies. Retail was £60.00
Part 1: Introduction & Behind The Scenes, Part 2-7: Krautrock Scene,
Part 8: Cuckoos & Scrambled Eggs, Part 9: Austria & Switzerland,
Part 10: DDR [East Germany], Part 11: Beat & Historical / Retro & Neo-Psych,
Part 12: Avant-Garde / Sonic Art & Noise, Part 13-14: Jazz & Fusions,
Part 15: Folk & Ethnic / Neo-Prog / Metal, Part 16: Neue Deutsche Welle,
Part 17-18: Synth & New-Age, Part 19: Rumours & Mysteries,
Part 20: Rejects & Misfits / Reformations, Part 21-22: Samplers / Festivals etc.,
Part 23-24: Labels & Distributors

Out of print. Now rare & collectable! Worth $100

The Crack In The Cosmic Egg - special 2013 edition

You wanted a printed version of the CD-Rom for easy reference? The 24 magazine edition was too expensive? A new leaner version, in the original book cover is now available!
This is the main "The Krautrock Scene" section, with abridged intro and key collectable labels. All solid text, revised info from the CD-Rom edition and with many artists not in the original book! 607 artist entries. In all, a hefty condensed and very informative read.
A4 128pp, bargain limited numbered edition of (2x20) 40 copies!
4 x 36pp magazines in the original book cover!
Economical postage: 500g in mail package
Out of print. Now rare & collectable!

Of Cuckoos And Scrambled Eggs

This "Of Cuckoos And Scrambled Eggs" was a special A4, 36pp magazine supplement to The Crack In The Cosmic Egg - special 2013 edition, published by special request.
Basically this is a  condensed reprint from the revised CD-Rom
(or the 24 magazine set pages: sections 8 to 10).
Including: foreigners in the Krautrock scene, Austria, Switzerland, DDR, this is where you'll find the likes of Brainticket, Eela Craig, Krokodil, McChurch Soundroom, Nektar, Paternoster, etc.
Available as a 20 copy limited numbered edition!
Out of print. Now rare & collectable!


Notes, revised 14/2/2020...
Next edition Due to some confusion on this matter, I'll clarify. The current "The Crack In The Cosmic Egg" CD-Rom edition is edition 1a (a very slightly revised version with some errors corrected) it is not a second edition! We are currently working on a revised/expanded edition, which will be a DVD-Rom set, released in 2020. There is also the possibility of a new book edition, published on our behalf by a foreign company.
Keep your disc set! When we publish the revised edition of the CD-Rom we may do a special offer for those that already have either edition 1 or edition 1a. To qualify you will need to still have your original disc and be able to answer a simple question.
Errors & omissions Anyone noticing errors or missing info, we'd really like to hear from you. We'd love to be able to eradicate the "Rumours & Mysteries" section for instance, fill in the gaps of concert listings (tickets & posters too) and get any missing or better album cover or group pictures.
Music & video We'd also like to hear from anyone able to supply rare music samples and videos.
Every little bit helps We cannot pay for any such assistance, as it is all a labour of love that we've done purely for the music. We haven't even paid ourselves for the 12+ years of intensive work involved!
Any criticisms or advice? We won't be offended! By the way, if you wanted something flashier than how The Crack In The Cosmic Egg looks, we did toy with such ideas, but decided to go with the simplest option that should work on all possible systems. No scripts, no flash. We're told it even works fine on modern Macs, some smartphones and other html enabled devices!