Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Inside the Crazy World of Kraftwerk ? Machine Messiahs

Here's another edition in this weeks focus on Krautrock.

Kraftwerk (translation: power plant) are probably the best known of the 'krautrock' bands, producing electronic music in the mid 1970's that was ten years ahead of it's time. The were the direct musical descendants of Karlheinz Stockhausen, although they also have a punk attitude inherited from Velvet Underground, The Stooges and The Ramones.

The band certainly worked hard to maintain their image as distant machine-like characters.

1. Their studio, aptlyly named Kling-Klang, was off-limits to any visitors. They claim that noone has ever seen it.

2. They were recluses who often used manequins or robots for press conferences

3. Contacting them was always notoriuosly difficult: Johnny Marr of The Smiths has recalled how he was told that the studio telephone did not have a ringer. Instead, callers were told to phone the studio precisely at a certain time and they would pick it up in synchrony with the caller.

4. Chris Martin (Coldplay) has also recalled how, when seeking to sample "Computer Love" he was told to write them a letter through the lawyers of the respective parties. Several weeks later he received an envelope containing a handwritten reply that simply said yes.

5. They turned down requests for collaboration by David Bowie, Elton John and Michael Jackson

While the band is still active today, their most popular albums are Autobahn (1974), Radio-Activity (1975), Trans-Europe Express (1977), The Man-Machine (1978), and Computer World (1981).

Kraftwerk have to be one of the most influential bands there has ever been: from New Wave to house music, hip-hop to drum and bass...........Kratwerk were the Machine Messiahs

Autobahn - Kraftwerk

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