The Incalculable Influence of Kraftwerk - Positive Feedback (2023)

Kraftwerk's influence on today's pop music is so pervasive, the band is so historically important, and so much has been written about them already that doing an introduction here almost seems clichéd. But for those who haven't been plugged in: they more or less invented electronic pop music.

As such, they've had an incalculable influence on contemporary pop, with their pioneering use of synthesizers, hypnotic metronomic electronic beats, vocoders (those "robot" vocals of which Auto-Tune might be considered a direct descendant), repetition, sampling, minimalism and electronic sound processing. Not to mention their retro-futuristic visual aesthetic and unifiedgesamtkunstwerk("total artwork") presentation. The sound quality of their albums is uniformly stunning. No other electronic band is aselegantas Kraftwerk.

Every, and I meanevery, techno, house, dance, club music etc. artist owes their existence to Kraftwerk as do bands like New Order, Depeche Mode, Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark, Daft Punk and countless others—a fact most of them have readily admitted. Two Kraftwerk songs alone, "Numbers" and "Trans Europe Express," set the rhythmic template for much of hip-hop. (The 1982 hip-hop smash "Planet Rock" by Afrika Bambaataa and the Soul Sonic Force stole from both, which was later resolved in a settlement.) Their all-electronic sound was radical, literally unheard of in the 1970s in an era when guitars and strutting rock stars dominated rock music.

I thought I'd make this look at Kraftwerk a little more on the personal side. And of course it's tempered by the loss of founding member Florian Schneider on April 21, who as the band's "sound fetishist" must at this point be considered one of the most influential pop musicians of all time.

The band is one of my favorites, but that wasn't always the case. I first heard their unlikely hit "Autobahn" on the radio when it came out in 1974 and thought it was a pleasant-enough almost-novelty song. I remember hearing it in some store in the Smith Haven Mall.

In 1975 I read an interview by Lester Bangs inCreemwhere Kraftwerk founding (and sole original) member Ralf Hütter said he thought Blue Öyster Cult was "funny." What? Howdarehim! At the time I revered BÖC in the way only an adolescent rock-star-worshipping male can. (Of course, Hütter was, in a large respect, right, both bands having a distinct tongue-in-cheek aspect to their respective oeuvres.)

Kraftwerk wasn't on my radar again until the late 1970s when I was at a Halloween party mostly attended by a bunch of computer nerds and their wives and significant others. I was in a bad mood…unemployed, wearing a crappy thrown-together costume, girlfriend-less…when some boring, repetitive music started playing on a crappy stereo. One of the nerds started going on and on about how great this band Kraftwerk was. "The music sounds simple, but it changes over time. Listen to how good those synthesizers sound." (This on an AM-radio-quality stereo.) "It's genius!" Already predisposed to dislike them, the album playing,The Man-Machine,didn't do anything to convince me otherwise.

But…fast forward to 1981. A bunch of friends were driving to a show at the Left Bank, a New Wave club in Mount Vernon, New York. We were listening to WNEW-FM and all of a sudden thisincredibleelectro-pop song came on the radio, filled with bloops and bleeps and otherworldly synth sounds, driven by an irresistible mechano-beat. As the song faded out I yelled out, "Quiet! I have to hear who this is!" The announcer stated, "That was the new single ‘Pocket Calculator' by Kraftwerk."Kraftwerk?That band I turned my nose up at? Wait a minute! I bought the single (a Japanese import 45) immediately thereafter.

Maybe a year later I was at a party. I had been…partying. Around 1 or 2 am I was ready to go to sleep and not about to drive home. A woman friend who lived in the house offered to let me crash on her bed with her. As I was lying there about to drift off in an altered state, she said, "let's listen to some music to go to sleep to." (Put your imaginations to rest—nothing untoward happened.) She put on Computer World, the album with "Pocket Calculator." The first hypnotic synth sounds percolated out of the speakers. I was riveted. It sounded like something from an alien race from another galaxy. That night I finally, really "got" Kraftwerk. What are thesesounds?What is this music?

I soon went on a quest to buy every Kraftwerk album in both English and German-language versions. The more I've listened, the more I've grown to like, then appreciate, then be continually amazed by this band.

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Here's a brief tour of their albums. (We'll skip the early compilation albumsExceller 8andElectro Kinetik.) I prefer the German-language versions; they sound more, well, Kraftwerkian to me.

Kraftwerk, Kraftwerk 2, Ralf and Florian (Ralf und Florian 1970 - 1973)

These first three proto-Kraftwerk albums are considered "archaeology" by Hütter, and the first two, with their wandering jams and use of guitars, bass, acoustic drums and other conventional instruments bear little resemblance to the band's future sound. In some parts and more so withRalf and Florian, though, in tracks like "Kristallo" ("Crystals") and "Tansmusik," ("Dance Music") we start to hear elements of the band's later work—drum machines and heavier use of electronic keyboards, though pre-synthesizer. And the album contains one of their most beautiful if incongruous songs: "Ananas Symphonie" ("Pineapple Symphony"), featuring almost 14 minutes of…lap steel guitar.

Autobahn(1974)

The international pop smash breakthrough. The album-side-long title track is one of the most perfectly-realized pieces of program music ever conceived – it reallydoessound like a drive down the motorway with its loping beat, hypnotic "Wir fahren, fahren, fahren auf der Autobahn" vocal chant, Minimoog, ARP Odyssey and EMA Synthi AKS synthesizers mimicking the sounds of cars and trucks, and the use of repeating melodies and phrases, which would later become cemented as Kraftwerk hallmarks. This was the last Kraftwerk album to feature electric guitar, violin, flute and other "standard" instruments.

It's also a sonic blockbuster, one of the first to appear onThe Absolute SoundSuper Disc list (and still there). On a good pressing or mastering, the bass is subterranean, the soundscape vast. There's even a section where Kraftwerk tunes in the car radio to listen to themselves, and on a top-notch system,it sounds like you're in a car listening to a car radiowhile driving with the sounds of the Autobahn surrounding you. The rest ofAutobahnis also sublime.

Radio-Activity (Radio-Aktivität)(1975)

This album about radio waves and radioactivity might be the strangest-sounding of the lineup. It's the first album to feature the "classic" lineup of Hütter, Schneider, Karl Bartos and Wolfgang Flür, the latter two on electronic percussion. There are only a few conventional "songs," interspersed with odd blips, vocoded spoken intervals and other sonic weirdness. Oh, but those songs – "Radioactivity" is an ominous Vako Orchestron-driven warning about the potential dangers of nuclear power. "Airwaves" was the hit that wasn't, maybe because of its simplistic lyrics, another future Kraftwerk hallmark. And the closer, "Ohm Sweet Ohm" is a gorgeous way to fade out the album.

Trans-Europe Express (Trans-Europa Express. 1977)

IfAutobahnwas a breakthrough, this was a landmark, chosen by many as Kraftwerk's best. The influence of the title track cannot be overstated. The group took major strides in refining their sparse, yet multifaceted sonic and rhythmic approach (the title track was about a train, after all). The use of the sequencer appeared as a key propulsive and melodic instrument. This album, perhaps Kraftwerk's "friendliest" and most accessible, has it all—sonic innovation and incredible sound quality, warm, inviting melodies ("Europe Endless," "Showroom Dummies"), more than a touch of that sly humor (although "The Hall of Mirrors" is starkly foreboding), and it's simultaneously nostalgic and light years ahead of its time.

The Man-Machine (Die Mensch-Maschine. 1978)

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Perhaps no album has ever been so appropriately titled. This really does sound like an inevitable collaboration of man and machine. One enhances the other. Here, the band took another evolution into their hallmark mechanistic sound and to becoming even more firmly and unmistakably Kraftwerkian. The song titles: "The Robots," "Spacelab," "The Man-Machine" tell the tale, the latter putting the concept of "cybernetic" into perfectly-realized musical form. And the album yielded a bona-fide hit, "The Model," maybe the closest Kraftwerk would come to conventional pop music. The sound is demonstration-quality rich, warm, extended, textured and compelling.

Computer World (Computerwelt. 1981)

Thirty-nine years later, the album still sounds vastly ahead of its time. Where do I begin? If The Man-Machinewas a major evolution,Computer World is a quantum sonic and musical leap of an almost incomprehensible nature—were it not for the fact that it'sright herefor all to listen to. The sounds are otherworldly, fantastic in the literal sense, mind-blowing. The music and melodies span from regal ("Computer World") to playful ("Pocket Calculator," "Numbers") to wistful ("Computer Love") to almost too much for feeble human minds to comprehend ("Home Computer"). Their use of the sequencer as a rhythmically compelling element can only be described as remarkable.

While others pickTrans-Europe Expressas Kraftwerk's best, for me,Computer Worldis their towering masterwork. And the sound quality is out of this world, a vast, expansive soundscape from the ever-morphing bass to the alien-machine rhythmic clacks. Deceptively simple at first, but the more you listen, the more little sonic details you hear. And yes, the album is as predictive of today's world as everyone says it is, right down to the idea of computer dating years before others could even frame the concept.

Electric Café(later renamedTechno Popwith revised track listing. 1986)

Perhaps Kraftwerk knew that after the astonishing advancement ofComputer Worldthe only other possible course was a musically minimalist detour. Much has been made of the fact that Ralf Hütter was involved in a serious cycling accident at the time, and the fact that the rest of the pop music world from the Human League to Heaven 17 to Donna Summer was catching up to them sonically. In any case, afterComputer World, Electric Caféwas seen as a regression, and I was disappointed with it at first, having expected a continuation of the astonishing sounds of the former.

Yet in the ensuing decades I've come to embrace it andreally dig it, especially the side-long opening suite of "Boing Boom Tschak," "Techno Pop" and the now-classic "Musique Non Stop." (I could live without the "scrolling through the presets" parts of "Techno Pop," but even Kraftwerk revised that down the road.) It draws you through an unhurried musical progression. The sound is more polished-metal, starker (the use of digital instruments like Yamaha FM-synthesis hardware, the LinnDrum, and the E-Mu Emulator II sampler contribute). And "Sex Object," especially in its original German "Sex Objekt," surely must have been tongue-in-cheek, an odd mix of aloof vocal delivery, sinister aura and Ralf's "who, me?" vulnerability. Or maybe you'll just think it's silly. The re-issuedTechno Popoffers a slightly revised track complement, with a remixed "The Telephone Call" and the added "House Phone." The closing "Electric Café" gives us a few minutes of those Kraftwerkian bloops and bleeps and hints at what the rest of the album might have been had they gone that route—and where the band was headed.

The Mix(1991)

This remix album of previous Kraftwerk classics either feels unnecessary, considering the musical and sonic perfection of the previous albums, or prescient, considering that these retooled arrangements formed the basis for their live performances following. (I vote for the latter, seeingThe Mixas a sort of alternate-reality Kraftwerk album.) Karl Bartos and Wolfgang Flür had left, to be replaced by Fritz Hilpert (still with the band today) and Fernando Abrantes. Not strictly a greatest hits album ("The Model" isn't here), it features revamped versions of classic tracks like "The Robots," "Trans-Europe Express," "Computer Love," an amped-up version of "Radioactivity," and "Autobahn." Like every Kraftwerk album, the audio quality is superb, with a myriad of new digitally-precise sounds, beats and musical ideas spread out on an expansive sound field.

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Tour de France Soundtracks(2003, later retitledTour de France)

After more than a decade of wondering whether Kraftwerk would ever release another album cameTour de France Soundtracks. Of course, the expectation level could not have been higher. It was supposed to have coincided with the 100thanniversary of the bike race but did not make the date. And the album is a worthy addition to the canon, with the extended "Prologue" and "Tour de France Étape 1, 2 and 3" suite offering an irresistible mix of the new sounds I was hoping for on "Electric Café" and a rhythmic drive perhaps unequalled by any previous albums, and with Kraftwerk that's saying something. There's a remake of the title track, which for inexplicable reasons had never appeared on an album before, which I wouldn't call better or worse, just different. "La Forme" is Kraftwerk at their most majestic, and "Chrono" and "Titanium" have that otherworldly sound that no other band will ever produce.

Minimum-Maximum(2005, available in English and German)

Finally, an official Kraftwerk live album, available in DVD video as well as audio formats. A double, so it's fairly comprehensive with 22 tracks including most of the "hits." As anyone who's seen the band knows (I've been lucky enough to have seen them eight times including one of the legendary MoMA Kraftwerk-practically-in-your-living-room performances, courtesy of winning a Volkswagen contest), Kraftwerk iscontinually updating and tweaking their sounds, so these are fresh takes on the classics. Need I even mention that the sound quality is exceptional. Oddly, the surround sound is in DTS 5.1 only—I'm guessing that at the time, Dolby Digital wasn't good enough for the sonic perfectionists from Düsseldorf.

If you want to add just one Kraftwerk album to your collection you would not go wrong with this. Also, Florian Schneider left the band after this album, makingMinimum-Maximumthe only release where you'll get to see and hear him "live."

The Catalogue (Der Katalog. 2009)

This limited-edition box set included the first "officially recognized" eight albums fromAutobahnonward, remastered on CD. As Hütter noted a few years earlier, the original tapes needed digital transferring, remastering and restoration. They are presented here with album cover and other artwork that is mostly different from the originals; not surprisingly, more simplified and minimal. The sound quality is as good as CD gets and arguably improved in some cases, maybe not in others, although good original vinyl pressings are also superb. I'm not going to dwell on it here because this set has become out-of-print unobtanium (and mine's not for sale) – at the moment there's a copy on eBay and the seller's asking $1,409.16!

3-D The Catalogue (3-D Der Katalog. 2017)

Another Kraftwerkian move—follow a live album with…another live album, 12 years later. But what a live album—it's available in Blu-ray (video and audio), hi-res download and other formats, and the unabbreviated versions encompass full concert recordings ofall eightprevious studio albums fromAutobahnonward. There's even a surprisingly effective "Headphone Surround 3-D" disc of selected cuts. The Blu-ray packaging is sumptuous and includes a 228-page book.

Since, as noted, Kraftwerk continually re-works their sound, these arrangements have an up-to-the-second modernistic feel about them. This album also features the current lineup of Ralf Hütter, long-time members Fritz Hilpert and Henning Schmitz, and Falk Grieffenhagen. Some of the songs are shorter than the original versions, but this is, after all, the way they were presented in concert.

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While the sound is utterly stunning (and one of the most convincing cases for surround sound music listening you'll ever hear, especially if you're lucky enough to have a Dolby Atmos system), at times—in my opinion and YMMV—I feel like the bass on some tracks is too strong, a trend that seems to permeate much of modern music these days. And since this isn't an attempt to reproduce "real" sounds, it's strictly a matter of taste. Yet the soundis nothing less than incredible, coming from everywhere and anywhere, the sound space ever-changing and morphing. Oh yeah—if you happen to have a 3-D TV or video setup, you can enjoy the same 3-D visuals as a live concert. In fact, at least one review feels that this is the best Kraftwerk disc to have. I say listen to them all.

Header image: Kraftwerk promotional photo.

2022 Update to my article above

Remixes (2020)

In 2020 Kraftwerk released Remixes, a collection of 19 remixes of songs by people like Francois Kevorkian and William Orbit, and the band itself. The big news is twofold: first and foremost, the inclusion of "Non Stop," which is pretty much a new song, since it takes a short melody that was previously only used in an MTV jingle in the 1980s (and largely forgotten) and expands it to an eight-minute-plus track. Considering Kraftwerk's glacial pace of releasing new material, this satisfying if not groundbreaking track is manna for Kraftwerk acolytes. The rest of the album comprises moderate tweaks to almost unrecognizable re-workings of remixes that were originally available only on 12-inch 45s and limited-edition CDs, conveniently gathering them into one accessible album for those who likely missed this material the first time around.

The other major news is that the album, previously available via streaming services only, will be issued on CD and (yes!) a three-LP set on March 25. Kraftwerk fanatic that I am, I think I already have all the tracks on Remixes, but I pre-ordered the CD anyway and I know it's only a matter of time before I break down for the vinyl set. Like all Kraftwerk releases, the sound is out-of-this-world stunning, with every subterranean bass drop and alien spacecraft bleep and blip rendered in pristine, spacious, vast, detailed sound.

Link to "Non Stop" on YouTube:

Link to original article:

https://www.psaudio.com/copper/article/the-incalculable-influence-of-kraftwerk/

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FAQs

How influential were Kraftwerk? ›

During its two decades of prime creativity, Kraftwerk intersected with and influenced a staggering array of genres and phases: progressive rock, glam, krautrock, disco, post-punk, synthpop, industrial, hip-hop, techno, trance.

Why is Kraftwerk so influential? ›

The groundbreaking shift in sound which Kraftwerk introduced not only inspired a legion of synth-pop disciples, it also set in motion the evolution of numerous other genres, among them hip-hop, techno and trance.

Who were Kraftwerk influenced by? ›

According to English music journalist Simon Reynolds, Kraftwerk were influenced by what he called the "adrenalized insurgency" of Detroit artists of the late '60s MC5 and the Stooges.

How did Kraftwerk influence hip-hop? ›

Kraftwerk “created” hip-hop

“Kraftwerk were a foundation of hip-hop not just because of their music, but they built their own machines and computers,” DMC says. “They were doing the same thing as young boys and girls in the Bronx were doing at the beginning of hip-hop.

How good are Kraftwerk? ›

Kraftwerk should be the most boring live band ever – four, oldish, unanimated German men standing in a row behind their black, faceless synth workstations – yet in reality, they deliver some of the most exciting live multimedia experiences to be had.

What software does Kraftwerk use? ›

Over the years, Kraftwerk replaced the Minimoog with a variety of other hardware and software synths, especially on stage. The band has used the Creamware Minimax ASB and the Studio Electronics SE-1, which came out in the early 1990s.

What does Kraftwerk mean in English? ›

power plant, the ~ Noun. power unit, the ~ Noun. power station, the ~ Noun.

Which hip-hop artist was influenced by Kraftwerk and displays that in the song Planet rock? ›

The record was successful; Baker estimated it sold 30,000 records. Silverman suggested a two-record a follow-up which led to Bambaataa and Baker creating a record based on their love of the band Kraftwerk.

What calculator did Kraftwerk use? ›

To promote the track, Kraftwerk created a special Casio VL-80 calculator to disseminate to its fans. The calculator came with musical annotations on its keys plus a kind of “sheet music” that explained how to play many of the group's hits: “The Model”, “Autobahn”, “Computer Love” and “Neon Lights” were all included.

Which influential Kraftwerk song from the 1970's returned as a UK hit single in 1982? ›

On February 6th, 1982 the Kraftwerk single 'The Model', originally released in Germany already in 1978 as 7” single 'Das Model', reached the Top 1 of the UK Singles Chart.

When was Kraftwerk formed? ›

Kraftwerk is a German band that was formed in Düsseldorf in 1970 by Ralf Hütter and Florian Schneider-Esleben. Widely considered to be the electronic version of The Beatles, it was among the first successful acts to popularize pop-oriented electronic music.

What is Kraftwerk 3D Concert? ›

The immersive Kraftwerk 3-D Concerts are a unique blend of music, visuals, and performance art. Since the 1970s, the innovative German Band from Düsseldorf has had a massive global influence across a wide range of music genres that represent the soundtrack of the digital 21st Century.

How long is a Kraftwerk show? ›

Most Kraftwerk concerts last about 3 hours but can run shorter or longer depending on the opening acts, encore, etc.

Does Kraftwerk have an opener? ›

No opener, a 2+ hour set, lots of deep cuts, and a thoroughly entertaining performance. As is to be expected, Kraftwerk are not particularly visually compelling as humans standing in front of synthesizer stands, but the rich 3D visuals on the screens in addition to the lights gave plenty to accompany the music.

Are Kraftwerk good live? ›

The sound design rendered the band's analog synths and drum machines in glorious hi-fi, and the visuals were nothing short of stunning. Whether you're a hardcore fan or even a casual listener of Kraftwerk's more popular tunes, it's not a date to be missed if the ongoing tour comes near your town.

How long is Kraftwerk 3d set? ›

Over the course of two hours, Kraftwerk performed an extended mix of their greatest hits, from “Numbers,” to “Computer World,” “Tour de France” and “Trans Europe Express.” But they injected their most popular songs with a dash of acid house beats and updated bass lines, making them seem new and contemporary.

Is Kraftwerk New Wave? ›

Though their music may have had little in common, artists from Britain, the United States, and continental Europe were all tagged as new wave. On the continent, German groups, particularly Kraftwerk, were slowly forging a new style of music that was heavily reliant upon synthesizers.

Who covered the model Kraftwerk? ›

'The Model' by Kraftwerk covered by Big Black – Magnificent Cover Version No.

What did Kraftwerk use for drums? ›

Farfisa Rhythm Unit 10 & Vox Percussion King (customised)

On this album Kraftwerk utilised the Farfisa Rhythm Unit 10 and Vox Percussion King which were extremely customised. Creating unique electronic pads, their drummers would play the drum machines in real time on these pads.

How many times have Kraftwerk been sampled? ›

Kraftwerk's Trans Europe Express has been sample by more than 70 tracks. Here are the top 10 hip hop tracks that sample kraftwerk.

What does the German word blast mean? ›

Etymology 1

Cognate with obsolete German Blast (“wind, blowing”), German blasen (“to blow”), Dutch blazen (“to blow”), Danish blæst (“wind”), French blaser (“to blunt, dull”).

What is the meaning of Imperialismo? ›

noun. imperialism [noun] (belief in) the policy of having or extending control over the territory of other nations.

What is the meaning of Logica? ›

n reasoned and reasonable judgment.

Who was influential to both funk and hip-hop? ›

James Brown's Legacy

His rhythmic innovations had a major influence on most popular music styles, including R & B, soul, funk, disco, rock 'n' roll and, of course, rap. If you've heard any number of essential rap albums from the 1980s or 1990s, you've probably encountered a James Brown sample.

Who influenced funk music? ›

James Brown, the Godfather of Soul, created the DNA for funk. Musicians LA Buckner and Nahre Sol explore how he created funk music, as well as how Brown's music influenced hip hop.

Where are to roots of what we know as rap and hip-hop? ›

Hip-hop originated in the predominantly African American economically depressed South Bronx section of New York City in the late 1970s.

Who made the first calculator watch? ›

Calculator watches first appeared in the mid 1970s introduced by Pulsar (1975, then a brand of the Hamilton Watch Company) and Hewlett Packard. Another popular calculator watch was the Time Computer Calculator 901, which could perform basic arithmetic functions.

Who invented the first commercial calculator? ›

Inventor: Charles Xavier Thomas de Colmar

A Brief History: The arithmometer was the first commercially successful calculating machine to complete all four basic operations — addition, subtraction, multiplication and division — according to IBM.

Who did build the first successful automatic calculator? ›

This first automatic calculator was called Pascal's calculator, the Pascaline, and the Arithmetique. Pascal invented it when he was just 18 years old.

Where is Kraftwerk located? ›

At the centre of Berlin, on the Köpenicker Straße, is the former power station Mitte –a piece of Berlin's industrial history. Built approximately at the same time as the Berlin Wall during the years 1960-1964, its purpose was to power the former East German regions of Berlin.

What is Kraftwerk most famous song? ›

Improbably, “Autobahn” became the group's lone Hot 100 top 40 hit, with its No. 25-peaking single edit.

What kind of music does Kraftwerk play? ›

Kraftwerk, German experimental group widely regarded as the godfathers of electronic pop music. The original members were Ralf Hütter (b. 1946, Krefeld, West Germany) and Florian Schneider (b. 1947, Düsseldorf, West Germany—d.

Who sold the most singles in the UK in 1974? ›

Mud had the best-selling single of 1974 with "Tiger Feet", which spent four weeks at number-one. The glam-rock group had three other top 10 hits this year, including the year's Christmas number-one single, "Lonely This Christmas", which also topped the chart for four weeks.

What was the No 1 song in 1974 UK? ›

Best-selling singles
No.TitleArtist
1"Tiger Feet"Mud
2"Seasons in the Sun"Terry Jacks
3"Billy Don't Be a Hero"Paper Lace
4"When Will I See You Again"The Three Degrees
46 more rows

What was the biggest selling single in the UK in the 1970s? ›

The biggest-selling single of the decade was "Mull of Kintyre" by the British band Wings. Released in November 1977, the song became Christmas number one and the first single ever to sell more than two million copies in the UK.

Is Kraftwerk industrial? ›

In the book Interrogation Machine: Laibach and NSK, Alexei Monroe argues that Kraftwerk were particularly significant in the development of industrial music, as the "first successful artists to incorporate representations of industrial sounds into nonacademic electronic music." Industrial music was created originally ...

Who invented electronic music? ›

EDGARD VARÈSE, whom many refer to as the father of electronic music, was born in 1883 in Paris, France. He spent the first ten years of his life in Paris and Burgundy. Family pressures led him to prepare for a career as an engineer by studying mathematics and science.

Who created pop music? ›

The first stirrings of popular or pop music—any genre of music that appeals to a wide audience or subculture—began in the late 19th century, with discoveries by Thomas Edison and Emile Berliner.

Why Kraftwerk are still the world's most influential band? ›

Kraftwerk's beats laid the foundations for club music: for hip-hop, synth-pop, techno and house. The sounds they invented have been sampled by hundreds of artists, from Madonna to R.E.M, from Missy Elliott to Fergie.

How did Kraftwerk influence techno? ›

Kraftwerk's pioneering approach, using synthesisers and sequenced drum arrangements to evoke robotic or industrial rhythms, became the blueprint for Detroit musicians such as Juan Atkins, who coined the term “techno”.

Which Kraftwerk track featured a vocoder of their own design? ›

Kraftwerk used a custom built Vocoder on their albums Ralf und Florian and Autobahn; the device was constructed by electronic engineers P. Leunig and K. Obermayer of the PTB Braunschweig.

How important is Kraftwerk? ›

Kraftwerk's influence on today's pop music is so pervasive, the band is so historically important, and so much has been written about them already that doing an introduction here almost seems clichéd. But for those who haven't been plugged in: they more or less invented electronic pop music.

Is Kraftwerk the most influential band? ›

Kraftwerk, alongside the Beatles, are one of the two most influential bands in the history of postwar popular music. That is a big claim to make, but the facts back it up. In the mid-seventies, Kraftwerk single-handedly introduced the idea of purely electronic music into the pop landscape.

How did Kraftwerk influence electronic music? ›

Style. Kraftwerk have been recognized as pioneers of electronic music as well as subgenres such as electropop, art pop, house music, synth-pop and electronic rock. In its early incarnation, the band pursued an avant-garde, experimental rock style inspired by the compositions of Karlheinz Stockhausen.

Is Kraftwerk in the Hall of Fame? ›

The induction was announced in May this year after the band were nominated six times for the award, and were denied on every occasion. “Welcome Kraftwerk to the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame,” said Pharrell in a pre-recorded video screened at the induction ceremony. “It was truly a seismic moment for music as we know it.

Did Coldplay sampled Kraftwerk? ›

Coldplay, “Talk”

The opening moment of Coldplay's baby-let's-talk-it-out love song from their 2005 LP X&Y is a note-for-note sample of Kraftwerk's 1981 hit “Computer Love.” The simple but sweetly enduring melody is interpolated throughout the Coldplay hit, which hit No. 86 on the Billboard Hot 100 in March of 2006.

How do you get inducted into rock N Roll Hall of Fame? ›

In order to be inducted, an artist must be nominated by a committee that selects a number of candidates, the highest being 16 for the 2020 class. Ballots are then sent to more than 1,000 "rock experts" who evaluate the candidates and vote on who should be inducted.

How long is the Kraftwerk 3D show? ›

From the complex to the simple and repetitive, the display solidified the band's long standing commitment to experimental media. Over the course of two hours, Kraftwerk performed an extended mix of their greatest hits, from “Numbers,” to “Computer World,” “Tour de France” and “Trans Europe Express.”

What drum machine did Kraftwerk use? ›

The drums themselves didn't make sound, but were believed to have been triggering a modified Maestro Rhythm King, a '60s drum machine that was typically used to play pre-programmed rhythms.

Who is the most sampled group of all time? ›

The Most Sampled Artists of All Time
  • Source: Heinrich Klaffs. ...
  • WhoSampled's database covers over 200,000 songs, keeping track of who's sampling whom. ...
  • In fact, you might have heard of his most sampled song. ...
  • The Beatles handily beat out some other big names like Bob Dylan and Frank Sinatra.
7 Feb 2014

What Kraftwerk song is in the Simpsons? ›

The "Land of Chocolate" sequence was set to a song based on music from the film Tucker: The Man and His Dream. Composed by Alf Clausen, the song was later included in the 1999 compilation album Go Simpsonic with The Simpsons.

What is the meaning of Coldplay? ›

From Longman Dictionary of Contemporary EnglishCold‧play /ˈkəʊldpleɪ/ a British rock group best-known for producing songs that express strong personal emotions and have a serious message.

What is Kraftwerk 3D tour? ›

And they were all there to witness Kraftwerk's “3D Tour” — an illustrious audio-visual experience commemorating the group's 50th anniversary (get tickets here). Upon entering the venue, everyone was handed a pair of white Kraftwerk-branded 3D glasses.

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