This group from Germany played an innovative blend of jazz-rock in the early 1970s. Their one eponymous album is often compared with very early Kraftwerk and Organisation, and their links with Kraftwerk go back to the late 1960s.
Kollektiv's roots begin in the mid-60s when Jogi and Waldemar Karpenkiel, twin brothers, and Jurgen Havix formed the trio The Generals to play pop songs. The group broke up and the three musicians went on to several other bands. Jogi Karpenkiel spent some time in the Phantoms, which later changed their name to Bluesology and which also contained future Kraftwerk co-leader Ralf Hutter, and the jazz saxophonist Klaus Dapper. In 1968 Jogi departed Bluesology (which then became the proto-Kraftwerk band Organisation) and rejoined his brother Waldemar and Havix in the Generals. Bored with Beat music, their influences now ranged from early Zappa and King Crimson to jazz, and they soon coaxed Dapper into the group to help them in these directions. In 1970 the quartet became Kollektiv, with a much stronger emphasis on experimentation and improvisation. By 1971 they were ready to tour and with their first gig 250 miles away, they bought an old VW bus the day before. The next several years the group played many nightclubs and festivals throughout Germany.
In March of 1973 Kollektiv traveled to Hamburg to record their self-titled album with Conny Plank as the engineer, and the record was released on the legendary Brain label. A few months later some material was recorded and aired at the Sudwestfunk Radio Studio. Two years later Jogi Karpenkiel left the band to join Guru Guru for a few years and Havix went on to pursue a solo career. With new guitarist Jochen Schrumpf and bassist Detlef Wiederhoft, Kollektiv slogged along for a few years before disbanding in 1978.
In 1987 Waldemar Karpenkel, Dapper, and Schrumpf reformed the group with famed Swedish bassist Jonas Hellborg and keyboardist Thomas Bettermann and released the album Kollektiv Featuring Jonas Hellborg the next year, though not much has happened since then with the group. ~ Rolf Semprebon, Rovi