KRAFTWERK (RIP Florian)
edited May 2020
We lost a great one today.
I can not understate how important Kraftwerk is to Electronic music. Give us some Kraftwerk memories / songs / videos / images.
Robots never die. Their software just becomes data to build on towards the singularity.
When I grew up in Germany Kraftwerk records were dime a dozen and while I had seen them all in shops, I had only superficially heard them as none of my peers in our pre teens were into this kind of synthesizer based stuff. Most of them were into Rock and Pop, while I liked Soul and Reggae. Then came 1982 and I went on a coach vacation to Turkey. I was 14 and had taped George Benson's Give Me The Night and Luther Vandross' Never Too Much for the journey (I didn't own a Walkman...) but the other people on the trip seemed to hate Soul music. During our 3000km journey to Istanbul a lot of Neue Deutsche Welle was being played on the stereo but in particular the 1000km long "autoput" from Austria to Greece through Yugoslavia seemed to be dominated by two topical tracks: Markus "Ich will Spass" (German lyrics: "Mein Maserati faehrt 210, schwups, die Polizei hat's nicht gesehen..." / translation: "My Maserati does 210km/h, whoops, the police didn't see that...") and Kraftwerk's twenty+ minutes long "Autobahn". After a few hundred kilometers with this on heavy rotation, I started to like it, though I remember thinking it was rather gimmicky.
At the end of the vacation I asked the older guy whose tape had been playing on the bus to make a copy for me. Instead of copying it he gave me a cassette filled with a slightly different track selection, which also included Trans Europa Express. When school started again somebody brought in a portal stereo or Ghetto Blaster as we used to call them. When I put my tape in and TEE played, a Spanish boy said "wait a minute, I visited my cousin in New York over the summer and a version of this track was constantly being played at his house". I told him that I couldn't imagine some Latino family having a German record which was by then a few years old on repeat. He said that his cousin had given him a tape of his favourite radio show which included the track he was talking about and that he would bring it to school the next day. The next day I heard Planet Rock for the first time and couldn't believe my ears.
Warmly booming riffs
Aw, that's sad. Their music is so dependable. I got to see them at the Greek Theatre in 2005 and it was great.
Has anyone seen a statement by Ralf?
Makes we want to read a book about them. (Any good ones out there?)
Another older one:
And one more that's a person fav from the later "classics":
Haut de la Garenne
Difficult to say just how influential Kraftwerk were... but I quite like how Jeremy Deller says they were prophets as much as musicians: