Wednesday, July 22, 2009


Apropos of nothing at all, I found myself thinking again about the impact of Kraftwerk. Kraftwerk emerged for me at about the same time as punk rock, and I saw both as doing something that was profoundly subversive of the rock aesthetic of its time (mid-late 70s).

In some respects, Kraftwerk were more subversive because (1) there was always something weirdly compelling about the apparent dullness of the music; and (2) it looked like the attack of the office accountants.

Kraftwerk were also one of two things that shaped my perception of Germany and Germans for some time. The other was German goalkeeper Harald (Toni) Schumacher who famously flattened French forward Patrick Battiston in the 1982 soccer World Cup, in an action for which he was lucky not to face criminal charges, let alone stay on the pitch that day.
If you didn't grow up with Kraftwerk, enjoy both the music and the visual styling of The Robots and Trans Europe Express:

Also enjoy Bill Bailey performing one of Kraftwerk's lesser known hits:

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