Kraftwerk had their first release in 1970 and ever since they’ve been a pioneering force in electronic music.
Ahead of Kraftwerk’s two shows in the Bord Gais Energy Theatre (June 2/3), we take a look at why they are one of the most influential bands in dance music.
Their forward thinking
Their song ‘Autobahn’ alone is a perfect reference for this. Taking inspiration from cars driving down the Autobahn. You can hear this perfectly as they recreate sweeps on their synths to mimic cars driving by and also sampling cars skidding. This took machine made music to the next level.
Kraftwerk were criticised for their use of technology back when they first started off. “For God’s sake, keep the robots out of music.” said Melody Maker when they made it into the charts.
Their will to turn away from the backlash and continue to make music based around technological advances lead a whole new generation of producers. Now-a-days its almost a given for computer produced dance music.
Still selling out shows
After almost 5 decades of throwing gigs they’re still selling out shows whenever they tour, like their upcoming Dublin shows. It wasn’t always this way for the band, their first English tour got poor reviews and not a lot of people where fond of their “spineless and emotionless” music. But the robots kept producing and touring till now, where they are one of the biggest bands in electronic music.
Producers of all genres sampling their music
From Dr.Dre to Coldplay to Aphex Twin to LCD Soundsystem, Kraftwerk’s music can be sampled for any type of genre. Their unique sound leaves producers with endless opportunities to create what they will from their music. Not a lot of bands can say they’ve influenced at least one major produce from every genre.
Back in 1975 synths weren’t as popular as they are now but Kraftwerk used what they had available. They used to make music in their in a laboratory in Düsseldorf. They were known for not using normal instruments but only synths. No one was doing this around that time, but now-a-days people make homemade synths all of the time. Check out this interview with them where they show off their new homemade drum synth.