The Robots Return: Kraftwerk Goes Back to Its Roots for Concert Series
Electronic sounds are now part of music around the world. But their birthplace was in the western German city of Düsseldorf. Back for the first time in more than two decades, the pioneering electropop band Kraftwerk will hold a concert series in its hometown in January, featuring eight albums over eight nights.
For those of us of a certain generation, German music has very little to do with Bach, Beethoven or Wagner, and much more to do with Nena, the Scorpions and Milli Vanilli. Think: 99 red balloons rocking me like a hurricane, but you can blame it on the rain. (Sorry, commissar. Falco was Austrian.)
Less well-known but exponentially more influential was the pioneering electronic band Kraftwerk, whose revolutionary sounds and technologies in the 1970s would inspire a generation of artists and influence a range of genres stretching from synthpop to techno to hip-hop.
In recent years, the notoriously reclusive band, which now has only one of its four original members, has been making appearances rather than going on tours. But it is has decided to return to its roots and play for the hometown crowd in the western city of Düsseldorf for the first time in 21 years, even though its studio has been based there for decades.
Beginning on Jan. 11, 2013, the band will perform an eight-night concert series entitled "The Catalogue -- 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8" at the city's Kunstsammlung NRW art museum. Each concert will feature a complete album, beginning with Autobahn and ending with Tour de France in the order of the album's release, as well as 3-D background visualizations and additional works from the Kraftwerk catalog.
In April 2012, the band performed a similar concert series at New York's Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) as part of the "Kraftwerk Retrospective 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8," an exhibition showcasing the band's "historical contributions to and contemporary influence on global sound and image culture."
Tickets for the Düsseldorf shows cost 50 per night, and sales begin at 10 a.m. local time on Nov. 11, exclusively at www.kraftwerk.tickets.de. Tickets for the MoMA events sold out within a matter of minutes.
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