<    main menu    news    latest catalogue    UT releases    Audion    retail    mail-order    address    email    gig news


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)


Other editions...

1997 book

2020 DVD-Rom