the Afro-American Roots of Kraftwerk

thirdform

Well-known member
I see (on twitter) that some are offended how Kraftwerk were loaded and pretty upper class (Florians father was a very influental modernist architect). I mean if you are loaded with D-marks and end up creating Kraftwerk how the hell is that a problem? That's was I call a solid investment strategy.
sure, but synthesiser music got better when it was democratised and avantproles got hold of it.

1981 mother fuckers! and more futuristic than computerworld

 

chava

Well-known member
sure, but synthesiser music got better when it was democratised and avantproles got hold of it.

1981 mother fuckers! and more futuristic than computerworld
Great act. Heard them live 5 years ago and it was fantastic. Perhaps the best industrial act I've ever seen next to Panasonic if they count as industrial.

No doubt there are a lot of proto-techno hidden in the history of industrial music.
 

thirdform

Well-known member
people forget that Electrifying Mojo didn't just play Kraftwerk as a white European group. he played many new wave acts.

This is more tecno than numbers

 

john eden

male pale and stale
I dig them but I am old.

I remember tunes like The Model and Tour De France being on the radio and not sounding like anything else.

The clunkiness of the future was part of the point I think.
 

thirdform

Well-known member
I dig them but I am old.

I remember tunes like The Model and Tour De France being on the radio and not sounding like anything else.

The clunkiness of the future was part of the point I think.
yeah, see I heard yaz situation and state farm before kraftwerk and they were just so much more futuristic in comparison. But at the time I don't know.
 

john eden

male pale and stale
Everyone I knew had lost interest in them by the time Electric Cafe came out in 1986.

By then you had the early Tackhead + Mark Stewart stuff, Skinny Puppy and the Belgians and Def Jam.
 

Leo

Well-known member
way back, many many years ago, my first roommate in college was a black guy from the bronx who owned only a couple of records, one of which was "Trans-Europe Express."
 

Leo

Well-known member
yeah, see I heard yaz situation and state farm before kraftwerk and they were just so much more futuristic in comparison. But at the time I don't know.
yaz was the advanced, high-tech, clean room production facility; Kraftwerk was the early automotive assembly line.
 

mvuent

Void Dweller
crowley is right, here's someone with a lot of knowledge and firsthand experience weighing in with a similar opinion:
great write ups but unfortunately 80s detroit techno is mostly superfluous to electronic music history. it's just a weird side show that a few resident advisor types have talked very loudly about since. chicago and nyc were where the really important developments occurred.
 

sufi

lala
Penman on Schütte on Kraftwerk's roots,
https://www.lrb.co.uk/the-paper/v42/n17/ian-penman/vorsprung-durch-techno said:
Hütter and Schneider would later talk as if the classic Kraftwerk sound had arrived in one glorious emanation, like some deft sonic refit of Thomas Pynchon’s Gravity’s Rainbow: a perfectly realised vision of eros and thanatos, tech and pastorale, drift and grid. But in fact this ‘new, genuinely autonomous … music’ had to be ‘constructed from scratch’. So, at the same time, did Kraftwerk’s own Kling Klang studio, which they stuffed with vocoders, drum pads and newly available synthesisers like the Minimoog and the suitcase-sized EMS Synthi AKS. On their first three albums (released between 1970 and 1973, and never officially reissued), Kraftwerk were a far more outré, scattershot proposition. There was very portentous organ. There were loooong ‘space jams’. There were extended flute solos. It would be easy to mock such apprentice finger-daubs in light of the duo’s later control-freak tendencies, but Kraftwerk weren’t the only ones exploring tentative bricolage of this sort. Also to be found in that time and place were Can, Cluster, Faust, Neu! and Popol Vuh, some of whom otherwise had such dissimilar outlooks it boggles the mind: you’d be hard-pressed to find any common ground between, say, Faust’s sweaty balls-out commune and Kraftwerk’s spartan, schmutz-free lab. Why was 1970s Germany the seedbed for all this prophetic play, taking in gentle ambient soundscapes, electronic beats, experimental film soundtracks, and the studio used as an instrument in itself? For one unlikely moment, it was as if all the bad neoteric technology of Germany’s war effort had been repurposed to create a vast Apollonian glade.
and influences on techno,
‘Could, for example, techno have emerged from inner-city areas of Detroit without them?’ The link can’t be denied, but it’s something else to claim techno wouldn’t have happened if it weren’t for Kraftwerk. Techno (or something similar) would have emerged from Detroit (or somewhere similar) at some point, no matter what. To claim that Kraftwerk alone triggered this revolution is pushing it a bit, and perhaps even risks cultural imperialism. (In a moment of idle reverie the five early adopters of synth/beat-box tech I personally called to mind weren’t so pale: Timmy Thomas, Shuggie Otis, Sly Stone, Stevie Wonder, Lee Perry.)
he also correctly rates Donna Summer
And I haven’t even mentioned that other great pre-techno German dance classic, ‘I Feel Love’ by Donna Summer (and Giorgio Moroder and Pete Bellotte and Robby Wedel and a Moog Modular 3P synthesiser), which still takes my breath away in ways I can’t honestly say Kraftwerk ever have.
Penman doesnt seem to actually like Kraftwerk though despite being blasé about he saw them live in the 80's. He cites the 2003 bloggers crew and Tomorrow's world and basically suggests the band are straggling modernists
 

luka

Well-known member
Staff member
I read that article and felt sad. He sounds like an old man. Totally clueless. Terrible bit of writing. Aimless lost old man feeding stray cats. Nothing to offer the world any more.
 

craner

Beast of Burden
I haven't read it, but now I know that it annoyed Owen Hatherley and Luke thinks it's terrible, I'm going to have to.
 
Top