Krautrock is a musical genre that is marred with difficulty. It is difficult in the sense that it is a sort of meaningless genre tag. To understand why the term exists though, it would be best to go back to the 1960’s when it was coined.
Krautrock bears the same complications as the term indie because the set of terms that define the actual music are so vague in both cases, that once a list is created of all of the artists belonging to the genre, the artists in this list share very little in common with one another musically. This makes the existence of the term at all fairly pointless.
It was originally coined by magazines as a humorous aside, taking the ethnic slur “kraut” and applying it to the music that was being made by German bands at the time. This is also one of the few musical genres that is specific to a certain area. Even if an artist conforms to all the things that define krautrock, unless they are also German, it is likely they will be categorized as something else related to it, like ambient or Fusion.
Thus, because the term was more ethnically based originally (simply meaning rock that is made by Germans, and in this context, even the use of the word rock is debatable) it is hard to describe what krautrock actually sounds like. Most critics seem to agree that krautrock is not overtly rock music, and that it seems to possess elements of jazz and jazz fusion, experimental music, and is heavily influenced by ambient music as well. It may be hard to define, but the influence of the artists that are said to belong to this genre is heavily respected.