From the unorganized power of Organisation emerged the organised Kraftwerk – literally translated meaning Power Station (no relation to the Robert Palmer / Duran Duran supergroup).
Ruckzuck opens the first Kraftwerk album as a statement of intent. Unrelenting rhythms drive the song forward but this time the freak-out is more machine-like. Stuttering patterns echo the machinery around them, as man recreates the sound of the machines. We make no secret here at xxjfg that Ruckzuck is one of our favorite pieces of music of all time.
Stratovarious (a pun on the Stratocaster guitars) with Neu!’s Andreas Hohmann on drums provides a moment at around 6 minutes that gives us the first taste of the legendary motorik rhythm normally associated with Klaus Dinger, the drummer on side 2’s Vom Himmel Hoch.
Vom himmel hoch shows more of Kraftwerks exploration of rhythm with ‘the sound of german funk’ which they would later lend back to Afrika Bambaataa. With the involvement of Dinger, Andreas Homann and Conny Planck as producer, Kraftwerk is a pivotal point in the history of ‘Krautrock’ (a highly derogatory phrase, kraut meaning cabbage).
The title of the track Megaherz (translated as Mega-heart, a wordplay on Megahertz, the unit of frequency) brings in the theme Kraftwerk were to become known for – their obsession with science and specifically energy.
As a whole the album Kraftwerk flows through sonic experiments, as Kraftwerk try and escape the ‘sound’ of traditional instruments, and their salvation was just around the corner.
20jfg will be hosting Kraftwerk uneasy-listening parties throughout December to celebrate.