Here’s A Vintage Look At Kraftwerk, ‘The Future Of Music’, From 1975

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The BBC shared this vintage look at Kraftwerk from 1975, when they were the future of music.

The short video profiles Kraftwerk, and captures them doing a live performance of Autobahn. Watch closely and you’ll see them using some classic synths, like the Moog Minimoog and ARP Odyssey. But you’ll also see their custom drum controllers in action.

Video Summary:

Derek Cooper reports on Kraftwerk, a German pop group who are pioneers of a new kind of electronic music. Ralf Hütter, Florian Schneider, Wolfgang Flür and Klaus Röder create and programme sounds at their Dusseldorf laboratory and recreate them on stage using a variety of synthesisers and bespoke electronic instruments.

Here, they perform an excerpt from their most popular track to date, “Autobahn”.

Originally broadcast 25 September, 1975.

New Album Features Prog Synth Gods Covering Synthesizer Classics

Cleopatra Records has introduced a new album, Synthesizer Classics, that features prog synth gods covering classic synth tracks.

The album features Jordan Rudess, Rick Wakeman, Geoff Downes, Patrick Moraz, Larry Fast and others covering tracks like Giorgio Moroder’s Chase and Mike Oldfield’s Tubular Bells.

Here’s Jordan Rudess’s prog’ed up take on Moroder’s Chase:

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Synthesizers Classics is available to pre-order in physical and digital formats.

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“Tubular Bells” – Derek Sherinian
“Magic Fly” – Rick Wakeman
“Pulstar” – Geoff Downes
“Chase” – Jordan Rudess
“Oxygene (Part 4)” – Patrick Moraz
“Escape From New York” – Thijs Van Leer
“Tour De France” – Nyte Jewel
“Visitors” – Larry Fast

Kraftwerk Announces 2022 North America Tour

Following on their induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Kraftwerk has announced plans for a 2022 North America Tour.

Their 3D show features the current lineup performing updated versions of their classic tracks, paired with 3D visuals which are viewed using special glasses.

Kraftwerk 2022 North America Tour Dates:

  • May 27- St. Louis, MO – The Pageant
  • May 29- Cleveland, OH – Connor Palace
  • June 1- Minneapolis, MN – State Theatre
  • June 2- Chicago, IL – Byline Bank Aragon Ballroom
  • June 4- Detroit, MI – Masonic Temple Detroit
  • June 6- Toronto, Ontario – Massey Hall
  • June 8- Montreal, Quebec – Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier
  • June 10- North Adams, MA – MASS MoCA
  • June 11- Boston, MA – Boch Center Wang Theatre
  • June 17- New York, NY – Radio City Music Hall
  • June 18- Philadelphia, PA – The Met
  • June 19- Washington, D.C. – The Anthem
  • June 22- Orlando, FL – Walt Disney Theatre @ Dr. Phillips Center
  • June 24- Nashville, TN – Ryman Auditorium
  • June 25- Memphis, TN – Crosstown Theater
  • June 27- Austin, TX – ACL Live at Moody Theater
  • June 28- Dallas, TX – Music Hall at Fair Park
  • June 30- Morrison, CO – Red Rocks Amphitheatre
  • July 3- San Diego, CA – San Diego Civic Auditorium
  • July 5- Los Angeles, CA – Shrine Auditorium
  • July 6- San Francisco, CA – Bill Graham Civic Auditorium
  • July 8- Portland, OR – Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall
  • July 9- Seattle, WA – Paramount Theatre
  • July 10- Vancouver, British Columbia – Orpheum Theatre

Tickets go on sale on November 5.

Kraftwerk Officially Inducted Into Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame

At the 36th Annual Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, held Saturday, October 30, 2021, German electronic music pioneers Kraftwerk were officially inducted.

The inductees for the band are the classic lineup of Karl Bartos, Wolfgang Flür, Ralf Hütter and Florian Schneider.

“The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame is a very special place,” noted Pharrell in his induction speech. “But I’m going to suggest that we create a new hall within the hall, reserved for artists who actually invented their genre, because Kraftwerk belongs there.”

Pharrell’s speech was followed by a video tribute from several artists, including Depeche Mode’s Martin Gore, LCD Soundsystem’s James Murphy, the Human League’s Philip Oakey and Run-DMC’s Darryl McDaniels.

Other inductees include Tina Turner, The Go-Go’s, Foo Fighters, Todd Rundgren, Billy Preston and others. To be eligible, artists are required to have released their first record 25 years prior to induction.

Kraftwerk Inducted Into Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame

The Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame has announced that seminal electronic pop band Kraftwerk is one of its inductees for 2021.

The inductees for the band are the classic lineup of Karl Bartos, Wolfgang Flür, Ralf Hütter and Florian Schneider.

Here’s what the Hall Of Fame has to say about the group:

Kraftwerk are the foundation upon which all synthesizer-based rock and electronic dance music is built.

Founded in Düsseldorf in 1970 by the band’s two core members, Ralf Hütter and Florian Schneider, the group was part of a new wave of musicians in Germany collectively referred to as “Kosmische Musik” (cosmic music), exploring the intersection of rock & roll and the avant-garde.

Their first three albums capture the sound of an experimental proto-punk jam band riffing on Hawkwind and the Velvet Underground, but their fourth album Autobahn (1974) – created with producer Konrad “Conny” Plank – established the beginning of something new. The 22-minute title track combined the influences of the Beach Boys and Karlheinz Stockhausen into an electronic musical odyssey. It also represented a miraculous use of technology through the amalgamation of Moog synthesizers, multitrack recording, and traditional instrumentation.

Kraftwerk’s 1977 album Trans-Europe Express completed their transformation into a synthesized quartet, featuring some of the funkiest grooves and vocoder melodies ever put on wax. New York City’s burgeoning hip-hop community quickly latched on to the album, and DJ Afrika Bambaataa based his track “Planet Rock” (1982) on Kraftwerk’s beats.

The following years secured Kraftwerk’s place as both musical innovators and master songwriters.

The albums The Man-Machine (1978), Computer World (1981) and Electric Café (1986) established the blueprint for modern electronic music – without them it simply would not exist. Kraftwerk have been sampled widely, from New Order’s use of “Uranium” in their masterpiece “Blue Monday,” to artists as varied as Jay-Z, Sunshine, and Coldplay. The band’s influence can be heard in the synth-pop of Depeche Mode, the electronic-rock integration of U2, the production techniques of Kanye West, and in countless EDM and dubstep artists.

Kraftwerk are entirely unique – they have produced Number One chart success with their song “The Model” and were invited to perform at MOMA and the Tate Modern for their contributions to avant-garde art. Kraftwerk have been, and will always be, “Music Non-Stop.”

Kraftwerk is being recognized with an Early Influence Award, along with Charley Patton & Gil Scott-Heron. Other 2021 inductees include Tina Turner, Jay-Z, Foo Fighters & Todd Rundgren.

To be eligible, artists are required to have released their first record 25 years prior to induction. The 36th Annual Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony will take place on Saturday, October 30, 2021 at 8 p.m. ET.

Kraftwerk – Radioactivity (Cover)

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Synthesist Zvook shared their cover of Kraftwerk‘s Radioactivity, using a Behringer MS-1 (a knockoff of the Roland MS-101), Omnisphere & Emvoice.

Here’s what they shared about the technical details:

Instruments used:

  • Behringer MS-1
  • Choir chorus from Omnisphere 2 VST
  • Emvoice vocal synthesis VST

Effects:

  • Native Instruments Flair flanger effect VST
  • Valhalla VintageVerb reverb effect VST
  • FabFilter Pro-C 2 compressor effect VST

Roland Launches Free 808303.studio, An 808 Drum Machine & 303 Bassline Synth In Your Web Browser

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Roland, along with sound artist Yuri Suzuki and the Design Museum in London, has introduced 808303.studio, a free browser-based studio that features emulations of the classic TR-808 Rhythm Composer Drum Machine and the TB-303 Bass Line Synthesizer.

The Design Museum is currently showing Electronic: From Kraftwerk to the Chemical Brothers, an exhibit on the art and design of electronic music.

808303.studio features a step sequencer interface and emulates the sound of the TR-808 and TB-303. The studio lets you jam, record, download your audio and share your recordings via social media.

Here’s an intro from A Guy Called Gerald:

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808303.studio is available now as a free browser-based app.

Free Sound Library A Tribute To Florian Schneider Of Kraftwerk

Symplesound has released a free sound library, Honoring Florian, as a tribute to the late Florian Schneider of Kraftwerk.

“Kraftwerk was one of my primary influences as a young artist getting into electronic music,” notes SympleSound sound designer Francis Prève. “Florian Schneider helped create the template for much of the electronic music we listen to today, so I wanted to honor his legacy with this free pack for the fans.”

Honoring Florian includes:

  • An Ableton Drum Rack (inside a Live Intro compatible project file);
  • Roland TR-8S kit and pattern (with installation instructions); and
  • A collection of 18 .wav loops, derived from the Ableton and TR-8S patterns, for use in other DAWs.

“What’s most striking about Kraftwerk’s music is that from Autobahn (1974) to Tour De France (1983), nearly all of their drum sounds were created using analog synths and sequencers, not drum machines,” adds Prève. “So the drums in these packs were also synthesized in my studio, then sampled and used to create the libraries.”

Ableton Live Preview:

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Roland TR-8S Preview:

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In addition, Prève let us know that he’s posting regular updates to his Watch+Learn video series, which features mini-tutorials for Phase Plant, Serum, and Ableton Live. The series is aimed at the beginner and intermediate crowd, with one minute tutorials for iconic sounds like 808 basses, supersaw plucks, and 303 acid sounds.

You can view these on Youtube or via the embed below:

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Prève also let us know that he’s permanently lowered the prices for his commercial Symplesound products. See the Symplesound site for details.