Christmas with Kraftwerk Episode 1 – 3

December 22, 2013 · Posted in Uncategorized · Comment 

Florian gives Ralf a present

From “The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson”, aired on Dec. 10th, 2013
Featuring Josh Robert Thompson

Florian and Ralf exchange gifts

A few Kawai K5000S pads

December 7, 2013 · Posted in Uncategorized · Comment 

A few Kawai K5000S pads from the ASL4 library

About the synth:

The K5000 was Kawai’s top of the line music workstation digital synthesizer when it was released back in 1996. It’s a bold and elegantly designed synth with a large LCD display, realtime controls and incredible sounds! The look and functionality is rivals the competition from the time…the Korg Trinity and Kurzweil K2500

Programming sounds with the K5000 can be a breeze (once you learn how) although it has over 1,000 parameters per patch! That’s plenty to play with. It combines additive synthesis and PCM sampled waveforms for you to layer and combine to design a whole range of sounds. Plenty of LFO modulation, filters and envelope controls allow you to shape and morph your sounds further. On-board multi-effects add the final touch of life to your sounds.

Once you’ve created some sounds, there’s the on-board sequencer (K5000W only) for creating songs or loading Standard Midi File sequences (via disk-drive). It has a 40,000 note capacity and 40 tracks. Real-time record and step-edit modes are available and the sequencer is pretty straight forward.

The K5000S (pictured above) adds 12 dedicated knobs for hands-on control of filter, LFO and envelope parameters. There are 4 user-definable knobs and 2 assignable switches. The K5000S also has a 40-pattern arpeggiator on-board with 8 user-definable patterns too! K5000’s have been used by Kraftwerk.

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Reading: New book “Music from Düsseldorf”

November 30, 2013 · Posted in Uncategorized · Comment 

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“Electri_City – Elektronische Musik aus Duesseldorf” is a brand new book that is being prepped for release on the 10th of March 2014 via Suhrkamp Verlag. Described by the publisher as ‘Das definitive Buch zu Kraftwerk, Neu!, La Düsseldorf, DAF, Die Krupps, Der Plan, Liaisons Dangereuses, Rheingold, Propaganda’ you can expect a detailed background on the Düsseldorf scene. That scene has since the 70s and 80s been considered as the electronic popmusic Mekka (let’s hope Allah and co won’t kill us for using this description).

The book is written by Düsseldorf resident and Die Krupps member Rüdiger Esch. In the book he covers the period from 1970 bis till the end of the ‘analog phase’ in 1986. Expect feedback in the book from Wolfgang Flür (Kraftwerk), Bodo Staiger (Rheingold), Gabi Delgado (DAF), Jürgen Engler (Die Krupps), Ralf Dörper (Propaganda), plus remarks from Giorgio Moroder, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Andy McCluskey (OMD), Martyn Ware (The Human League), Glenn Gregory (Heaven 17) and so on.

Still according to the publisher the book will also talk about reality versus myth regarding the scene.

You can order the book right here on Amazon: http://www.amazon.de/ElectriCity-Elektronische-D%C3%BCsseldorf-suhrkamp-taschenbuch/dp/3518464647/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1374060902&sr=1-1

John Metcalfe’s micro moments: Kraftwerk

November 29, 2013 · Posted in Uncategorized · Comment 

Composer and musician John Metcalfe chooses his favourite ‘micro moments’ in music that changed everything – starting with Kraftwerk’s haunting It’s more fun to compute.

After 8 years Kraftwerk returns to Walt Disney

November 27, 2013 · Posted in Uncategorized · Comment 

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German electronic music pioneers Kraftwerk will play eight 3-D concerts at Walt Disney Concert Hall, March 18-21, 2014 to launch the LA Phil’s Minimalist Jukebox Festival. These will be their first L.A. dates since 2005.

They will perform eight of their albums, spread across eight performances.

KRAFTWERK – THE CATALOGUE 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 is a chronological exploration of their work. Starting with Autobahn, each performance will cover one of Kraftwerk’s studio albums in full and in order of their release:

  • Autobahn (1974), Tuesday, March 18, 7:30 PM
  • Radio-Activity (1975), Tuesday, March 18, 10:30 PM
  • Trans Europe Express (1977), Wednesday, March 19, at 7:30 PM
  • The Man-Machine (1978), Wednesday, March 19, at 10:30 PM
  • Computer World (1981), Thursday, March 20, at 7:30 PM
  • Techno Pop (1986), Thursday, March 20, 10:30 PM
  • The Mix (1991), Friday, March 21, 7:30 PM
  • Tour de France (2003), March 21, 10:30 PM

More info here >>

Contemporary music ensemble Icebreaker will recreate crucial phase in electronic music history – Kraftwerk

November 22, 2013 · Posted in Uncategorized · Comment 

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Popular demand for all things Kraftwerk will continue in the new year, as contemporary music ensemble Icebreaker embark on a live show that aims to recreate the electronic band’s experimental early period. The tour kicks off at the London Science Museum on 24 January and is titled Kraftwerk Uncovered – A Future Past.

Announcing the concept, German composer, producer and sound-scapist J. Peter Schwalm said: “Our focus is on Kraftwerk’s early, semi-improvised music that combined acoustic and electronic instruments, [and that period's] relationship to their career-defining albums from Trans Europa Express to Computer World.

“Where Kraftwerk’s aesthetic moved ever closer to the ‘man machine’ we aim to adopt a more ‘retro-futurist’ approach to find the ‘human’ inside the machine, beginning with Ralf Hütter and Florian Schneider’s own early albums”.

The tour dates are:

  • Fri 24th Jan – London, The IMAX Cinema at The Science Museum
  • Thurs 6th Feb – Manchester, Royal Northern College of Music
  • Fri 8th Feb – Birmingham, Town Hall
  • Weds 12th Feb – Nottingham, Lakeside Arts Centre

For more info, visit Icebreaker.

Kraftwerk – The Model Deconstructed (Ableton Live 9 Tutorial)

October 31, 2013 · Posted in Uncategorized · Comment 

Ski Oakenfull breaks down one of the best known tracks from electronic music pioneers Kraftwerk. This deconstruction took place at Ableton’s artists meet and greet at Sync Studios, Barcelona.

Buy the digitally remastered version of The Model from Beatport here: http://ow.ly/mqPYh
OR ITunes: http://ow.ly/mqPSe

LIVE REPORT: Kraftwerk

October 30, 2013 · Posted in Uncategorized · Comment 

The Quietus has a nice live report on their site featuring a recent gig by Kraftwerk, the first part can be found below, if you get inspired head over to the main article

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In opener ‘Spacelab’ an image of the Evoluon flies over the heads of the audience. To be honest, the UFO shaped building in the Dutch city of Eindhoven is appropriate for visuals that attempt to express the ultimate challenge of space: being infinite and yet ready to be explored. Incorporating the venue in the opening visuals of the show could easily be mistaken for something that is merely a nice touch; a credit to the remarkable place where the group are playing. Truth is, the Evoluon is the only place where Kraftwerk’s music really makes sense.

Let’s go back to the 50s, the decade of the Marshall Plan, which guaranteed the reconstruction of Europe. In 1952 The European Coal and Steel Community was created, the first step to the federation of Europe that was established after the Treaty of Rome in 1957. The Second World War seemed far away and despite the the Iron Curtain splitting Europe in half, the future looked bright. The optimism cumulated in the World Fair in 1958 (called Expo 58) in Brussels, the new capital of Europe. One of the most, perhaps the most, astonishing contribution was the Philips Pavilion, designed by Le Corbusier. The idea for the building came from Iannis Xenakis, specifically his composition ‘Metastaseis’.

The pavilion turned out to be one of the first real multimedia installations. Within the building, which consists of nine hyperbolic paraboloids, Edgar Varèse’s ‘Poème Électronique’ could be heard through speakers set into the walls. Rapidly changes images of technologic progress and the horrors of mankind were projected on the walls, creating a rich spectacle that the Canadian media theorist Marshall McLuhan would describe as an acoustic space: time and space disappearing in a non-linear story. At the entrance and exit Xenakis’ ‘Concret PH’ was heard.

One of the 41 million visitors of the expo was Ralf Hütter, one of the founding members of Kraftwerk. The Philips Pavilion made quite an impression on the young Hütter, who was twelve at the time. It is not that difficult to the the connection between the naive belief in the future at the end of the 50s and the work of Kraftwerk MK II and MK III – the Kraftwerk of Autobahn, Radio-Aktivität, Trans Europa Express and the Kraftwerk of Die Mensch-Machine and Computerwelt. Although the music sounded astonishingly new and fresh, Kraftwerk was in fact trying to regenerate the future, thus the 50s.

Read the full article here >>

Experimental: Car composes Kraftwerkian music

September 22, 2013 · Posted in Uncategorized · Comment 

http://youtu.be/dj-LJQyGjls

Tom Zimmerman created Project: Autobahn, a generative music system that creates music based on an automobile’s control sensors.

Background video info below:

Tom Zimmerman is one of my favorite hacker/inventors. With over 40 patents awarded, Tom’s the creator of the legendary virtual reality navigation device, the Data Glove, and has written a number of fun DIY projects for MAKE magazine. We invited Tom to participate in the Boing Boing Ingenuity: Data Driven hack day on August 17, 2013, and his creation, called Project: Autobahn, was awarded our coveted “Weirdest Hack” prize. He took home a gift basket from our friends at SpikenzieLabs, and a pair of Audeze audiophile headphones.

Project: Autobahn uses OpenXC data as MIDI data to compose and play Kraftwerkian music that matches the driver’s behavior. As Tom says in the video, the style of music the car generates could be used to provide feedback to the driver on how safely and efficiently she or he is operating the vehicle.

Kraftwerk Pocket Calculator – CUCKOO Stylophone S2 + OP1

August 24, 2013 · Posted in Uncategorized · Comment 

Background video description of this very cuckoo Krfatwerk edition:

Here’s an old favourite played solely on the new Stylophone S2, recorded on the OP1. The video shots are the actual performances.. no fake dubbing. (I had some trouble with the sync though. I’m hoping it’s ok.)

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