(a post Kraftwerkian Reflection)
It’s not everyday you get to see Kraftwerk, the chances of catching them live (although predictably diminishing) are more so than periods past.
I last saw them back in 91, just after The Mix had been released, both Karl and Wolfgang were gone…but it was a gig not to forget.
Ofcourse, seeing Kraftwerk in their Fatherland is a necessity…just because…no other reason…I shouldn't need to explain that further?
The concert…(and it was a concert as the audience were all seated unlike their hero’s) opened with Numbers at which point I was seriously doubting the seating option…..(does anyone breakdance at Kraftwerk gigs anymore??)....did anyone ever breakdance at a Kraftwerk Gig??
The format was simple, 3 tracks per album with a bit of variety thrown in…….during the Radio-Aktivitat section I was suprised at a version of Atherwellen….as we all know, post The Mix has allowed Kraftwerk to play more punchy dance orientated versions of tracks without losing the feel of the original……..Atherwellen did not need to be altered, it has a simplistic HiNRG concept which predated HiNRG by 4 years, but I couldn’t help feeling that this version was poor and very dated…keep the original guys.
The sound was amazing (is that KW’s sound system??)…although a couple of distorted glitches during Musique Non Stop were soon forgotten.
It is clear that Herr Hutter and his operatives are actually doing something other than shopping behind their consoles….you would have to wouldn’t you……..
Kraftwerk is an experience, it is romantic, it is retro-futurist, Kraftwerk predicted the future and it overtook them…..at which point that should have been the end, but what remains is thesimple romanticism of melodies, technology, sound, transport…..
Those that have recently attended Kling Klang live produkts will know that a visual human element adds something special……Planet of Visions visuals took a map of Hamburg and a flying saucer landing outside of Hamburg CCH (the evenings venue)…a simple but nice touch……..add 3D and you’ve got a great show.
Think outside the box and forget the gossipmongering……..it is highly unlikely we will get any new produkts from Kraftwerk. But do we need anything new….?????
I came away thinking that we also have limited time until the live produkt only exists as a document…..once you retire from Kraftwerk the communication fails…the Antenna is broken. Radio-Aktivitat ceases.
Each operative has their role………no other operative (other than Herr Hutter) vocalises, whether that be Vocodered or natural….I couldn’t help thinking that if Vocodered parts were produced by another operative then maybe there could be a future.
Minimum-Maximum and every live gig on Youtube.....it's not the same...I promise you....... you HAVE to experience it...... Don't ever think twice about seeing Kraftwerk…..(thankyou Sooxanne)