Get Electric with Kraftwerk

Get Electric with Kraftwerk 



This week’s blog begins with the study of electronic music. This particular genre of music was the signature sound for the electronic music band, Kraftwerk, which is from Dusseldorf, Germany.  Kraftwerk were one of the first electric bands to combine recurring rhythms, captivating melodies, and a Western Classical style of harmony with electronic instrumentation.  There music also consisted of lyrics that were produced by computer-speech software or either sung through a vocoder. 

During the 1970s and early 1980s, Kraftwerk’s electronic sound was groundbreaking, and really made its mark across many genres of contemporary music.  In 1974, Kraftwerk released the album Autobahn.  This album showed sounds from newer technology such as the EMS Synthi AKS and the Minimoog, which is a monophonic analog synthesizer.  This particular album was a success and peaked at number five on the Billboard top 200.  After touring to promote the album Radio-Activity, Kraftwerk began recording Trans-Europe Express, which was released in March 1977.  In 1981, Kraftwerk produced the album Computer World. Using a Texas instruments Language Translator, which is very interesting to have learned, created the electronic vocals on this particular album. 

Kraftwerk’s music aesthetic definitely earned them the position of the biggest influence in electronic music.  On their albums Ralf und Florian, and as I mention earlier, Autobahn, Kraftwerk used a custom built Vocoder that constructed by P. Leunig and K.Obermayer of the PTB Braunschweig. The band also holds patents for invention instruments that are now used in the genre of electronic music as well as other genres. The founders of the band, Ralf Hutter and Florian Schneider, hold a patent for an electronic drum kit with sensor pads. 

The impact of Kraftwerks electronic music is great and has inspired many different styles, genres, as well as artists, which to name one in particular, David Bowie.  This electronic music group has indeed taught me to not place a statue of limitation on the art of creating music.  Kraftwerk, to me, believe in stretching their creativity of sound and instrumentation to the max, and I, on the musical journey, intend to do the same.



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