Saturday, 14 August 2010

Kraftwerk - a review

One of the bands that had a deep influence in me while I was in school was Kraftwerk. I just couldn’t get the song “feelin like a robota” outta my head. There was something in that music that sounded futuristic and intriguing at the same time had catchy tunes.

Now, what does Kraftwerk mean? It means "power plant" or "power station"

Kraftwerk is identified as a “pioneering and highly influential electronic music band from Düsseldorf, Germany. The signature Kraftwerk sound combines driving, repetitive rhythms with catchy melodies, mainly following a Western classical style of harmony, with a minimalistic and strictly electronic instrumentation”

The group's simplified lyrics are at times sung through a vocoder or generated by computer-speech software. Kraftwerk was one of the first groups to popularize electronic music. In the 1970s and early 1980s, Kraftwerk's distinctive sound was revolutionary, and has had a lasting effect across many genres of modern music.

Kraftwerk was formed in 1970 by Florian Schneider (flutes, synthesizers, electro-violin) and Ralf Hutter (electronic organ, synthesizers). The two had met as students at the Düsseldorf Conservatory in the late 1960s, participating in the German experimental music scene of the time, which the British music press dubbed "Krautrock". The group was fronted by them until Schneider's departure in 2008

The band’s members over the years consisted of;

• Ralf Hutter – synthesizers, organ, lead vocals, vocoder
• (early works also include: bass guitar, drums and percussion) (1970 - present)
• Fritz Hilpert – electronic percussion, sound engineering (1987 - present)
• Henning Schmitz – electronic percussion, sound engineering, live keyboards (1991 - present)
• Stefan Pfaffe – video technician (2008 - present)
• Florian Schneider –synthesizers, background vocals, computer-generated vocals ( acoustic and electronic flutes, guitars, violin, percussion) (1970–2008)
• Karl Bartos – electronic percussion, live keyboards (1975–1991)
• Wolfgang Flur – electronic percussion (1973–1987)
• Klaus Roder – guitar, electro-violin (1974)
• Klaus Dinger – drums (1970–1971)
• Andreas Hohmann – drums (1970)

In May 1981 Kraftwerk released the album Computer World. Some of the electronic vocals on Computer World were created using a Texas Instruments Language Translator. Kraftwerk’s earlier track "The Model" reached the number one position in the UK making "The Model" Kraftwerk's most successful record in the UK.

Really a craft at work !

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