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Today, it seems almost passé to riff on the graphic tropes of late-capitalist advertising and to subvert the corporate lexicon for one’s artistic endeavours. But in 1971, it wasn’t. NEU!, taking its name and branding from the culture of advertising agencies of its hometown of Düsseldorf, Germany, was a revolutionary force – both visually and sonically.
Formed by Klaus Dinger and Michael Rother shortly after their split from Kraftwerk, the duo – along with producer Conny Plank – went on to create three albums that would change music irrevocably. Their unique brand of experimental rock ultimately informed genres such as punk, post-punk and Detroit techno. And though the band did not enjoy mainstream commercial success, their work also had a profound effect on artists like David Bowie, Damon Albarn, Brian Eno, Thom Yorke and Sonic Youth.
Dinger is widely recognized as one of the most important drummers of the 20th century, with his signature minimalistic style only rivalled by the likes of Clyde Stubblefield, of James Brown’s band, and Fela Kuti. Rother, meanwhile, remains prolific, releasing music, creating film scores and playing live globally.
For Spring/Summer 2018, Carhartt WIP has created an official NEU! capsule collection, blending the band’s iconic aesthetic with a host of our classic garments. To accent the collection, we also asked Mute Records' founder Daniel Miller to select his favourite NEU! songs for May's Carhartt WIP Radio Show, due out May 1st.