Thursday, October 22, 2009


The Kraftwerk live experience is quite unlike anything else on Earth. In contrast with other more conventional gigs by the likes of similar contemporary rock giants, a Kraftwerk concert does not rely on visceral showmanship, instrumental pyrotechnics or hazardous stage diving. Instead, the four unflappable German pioneers of synth-pop would stand stoically at their Korg polyphonic synthesisers, Yamaha Midi keyboard controllers or modified Sony Vaio laptops, and strike the appropriate keys or depress the correct buttons, all done with no discernible passion or facial expressions. It’s just Teutonic accuracy and austereness at its best.

The real attraction in any Kraftwerk concert, as any devotee would tell you, is the visual accompaniment to the music. The focus here is not on those four German gentlemen playing in splendid isolation; instead, the primary appeal lies in is the complementary imagery. As each track plays, fitting images would be projected on the giant screens behind them. Check out a stellar example of this visual artistic aesthetic at work, when Kraftwerk performed the sleek, streamlined 'Aérodynamik' at the European Music Awards in 2003, with projected computerised grid patterns appropriately embodying the futuristic vigour and drive of the track.


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