In this video we see a live demo / rehearsal for the Drew Blanke (Dr Blankenstein) for his presentation for MAKE magazine at Moogfest 2014. The jam is based loosely around the Kraftwerk classic “Pocket Calculator” off their “Computer World” album. Keep in mind this is live, and unedited…. just a raw jam on 4 circuit bent pieces.
The pieces include a Mattel Bee-Gee’s “Rhythm Machine” keyboard, Casio ML-831 Musical “Pocket Calculator”, a built from the ground up custom Stylophone and a prototype for the APC2600 V2.6. All pieces have the ILLUMIRINGER device modification kit installed in them, although most of the demo is featuring the pocket calculator in ILLUMIRINGER mode. Only reverb has been added to the mix via the mixer. The beat was made on an Electribe ER-1 and sampled into a Boss loop pedal.
Sorry about the slightly out of tune Stylophone in the beginning, it’s needs to be left on for a bit to warm up and get into tune (kinda like an old moog). Hey, that’s rock n’ roll. It’s worked into the jam nicely… so why not let it roll.
Stay tuned for individual demos of each piece in this video coming at you THIS MONTH (I promise, I know we have been slacking on the videos:) Thanks for watching, please remember to SUBSCRIBE and follow the twitter link up top to stay up to date on the newest Dr. Blankenstein creations.
Better Living Through Circuitry
From the Rockpalast Archive
Mixed Media Show
3. Heavy Metal Kids
4. Improvisation 1
Used: iPad Mini, Garageband, Amplitube, iRig, Ibanez Mikro, iRig Mic. Music & Lyrics by Kraftwerk Ⓟ
Cover by Alex Agrico
Hello World, the man machine cover using the AtomoSynth KOE modular! all sounds come from the KOE modular (except for the drums) including sound effects and the one used with the electroharmonix vocoder, recorded in cubase.
Well apart from the obvious – this is about time that Kraftwerk gets this recognition, my main question would be will all four original members be there to receive the prize 😉
Or perhaps it would be better to send four robots…
From the Grammy.com website:
(In addition to the GRAMMY Awards, The Recording Academy presents Special Merit Awards recognizing contributions of significance to the recording field, including the Lifetime Achievement Award, Trustees Award and Technical GRAMMY Award. In the days leading up to the 56th GRAMMY Awards, GRAMMY.com will present the tributes to the 2014 Special Merit Awards recipients.)
For those listening to radio in the United States in 1975, it must have come as quite a shock. The country was still emerging from the era of granola and natural fibers, and music was still measured by its soul and authenticity. And along came this music that sounded as mechanized as a Ford assembly plant. It was vaguely rhythmic like a busy signal. It had a melody that never stepped out of order. For mainstream audiences, Teutonic pop was born that year in the form of Kraftwerk’s “Autobahn,” and music would never be the same.
Kraftwerk began devising their “robot pop” in Düsseldorf, Germany, in 1970. Their forefathers were such German experimentalists as Can and Tangerine Dream. Kraftwerk founders Ralf Hütter and Florian Schneider met as classical music students at the Düsseldorf Conservatory, originally forming the group Organisation and releasing the album Tone Float in the UK in 1969. They disbanded the group and reformed as Kraftwerk (German for “power station”), inspired to craft music more influenced by psychedelic art rock than machinery. By 1973’s Ralf And Florian, Kraftwerk were truly staring down the ghost in the machine. With their follow-up, 1974’s Autobahn, Kraftwerk hit on a trancelike, pulsing electronic rhythm that would set the stage for the nearly countless acts that followed, from rock (the Cars, Eurythmics) to new wave (Devo, Thomas Dolby, Joy Division), pop (Giorgio Moroder), electronic/dance (Moby), and even industrial (Throbbing Gristle).
Though he was being influenced by a number of outside forces at the time, David Bowie’s late ’70s period in Berlin found him adopting Kraftwerk’s electronic overtones and droning rhythms for his albums Low and Heroes, highly influential works in their own right, and reportedly making a direct nod to Schneider with the song “V-2 Schneider,” featured on Heroes.
In a January 2013 article in The Telegraph, music critic Neil McCormick posed the question: “Kraftwerk: the most influential group in pop music history?” McCormick referenced the literally hundreds of Kraftwerk samples used by artists ranging from Afrika Bambaataa to Madonna, Jay Z and Coldplay. But in an interview for the piece, Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark’s Andy McCluskey pointed out that Kraftwerk endured the peril of true genius: a lack of appreciation in their own time.
“When [Kraftwerk] started there was a lot of fear of technology,” said McCluskey. “People said, ‘Look at these robot guys making music on computers; this is wrong.’ Well, it turned out that they were absolutely right, not just about music, but in their whole vision of the future man/machine synthesis. And it’s not been scary, we have all embraced it and got on with our lives.”
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 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.
“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
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.
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