[KRAFTWERK] KRAFTWERK Digest, Vol 84, Issue 4
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Mon Aug 9 21:16:49 CEST 2010
I've been reading the spectrum of opinions expressed by list members with interest. I recognise their validity - I've had similar thoughts at different periods in the years since Minimum Maximum was released. I've finally decided to state my own perspective in response to Jan R.'s intelligently expressed one.
I've been listening to Kraftwerk for 36 years now. They remain my most listened-to group by quite a long way since 2004, according to my last.fm account (http://www.last.fm/user/v11v11v). For me, they remain the most interesting popular music group of all time. This has to do with their primary theme, that of the impact and experience of technology upon our species and the absolutely beautiful way in which they have expressed it. I would be surprised if I were to discover another group that were to engage, enthral and move me as much before I die (hopefully of old age!) As our little planet becomes increasingly - and probably regrettably - globalised, Kraftwerk's relevance I think will only increase. If peak oil impacts on our military industrial/information age civilisation to the extent that we return to localised agrarian societies, then I believe Kraftwerk will be looked back upon as musically/conceptually best representative of our age.
Kraftwerk's admirably succinct oeuvre provides us with an impressive worldview. Tour de France is a for me, entirely satisfying final act which articulates the man/machine interface as a sustainable endeavour and effectively critiques the destructive roar of the autobahn. I have no idea what else Kraftwerk could do now and I have no problem whatsoever with their touring the Minimum Maximum as a career summation. I've seen and loved the concert three times and I only hope they'll perform again. What I absolutely don't want is anything that undermines their achievement to date. I don't think that their tours dilute their impact, I believe they intelligently articulate and subtly modernise the group's work for a new generation. I don't think they should retire and fall silent, their work gradually forgotten except by the hallowed few who might inhabit places such as this list.
As I grow older I find myself listening to a wider range of music - my current passion is for the tango of Astor Piazzolla and a small number of albums by the clarinettist Jimmy Giuffre - but I listen to fewer artists than I used to and I listen to those that interest me more intensely. Less is more or as Kraftwerk restate it, Minimum Maximum. Instead of demanding a new album/product, perhaps there is a responsibility or a possibility - entirely optional of course - to listen more deeply to the albums they have produced. I rarely tire of them and if I do I stop listening for a while and when I return I'm enthused once again. I hope that continues. I'm most grateful for the music, ideas and sheer poetry that Ralf Hutter and Florian Schneider have created. It's a tremendous gift that has inspired my own creative work, enabled a bond both between my father and I and is now a source of shared pleasured with my two children.
All the best,
On 9 Aug 2010, at 18:35, "Jan R." <cosmicpulses at gmail.com> wrote:
> On Sun, Aug 8, 2010 at 3:28 PM, fantomasz <fantomasz at poczta.fm> wrote:
>> None of us, fans, has the right to decide whether Kraftwerk still exists or
>> not, whether its age still lingers or has finally and definitely met its
>> end. The power to decide this lies only with Ralf Huetter. Fans can only
>> buy the new album or decide against it, go to a concert or stay at home.
>> I get the impression that some of the fans here blame Ralf for not
>> retirering after Florian had retired, for still doing what he loves. It
>> seems as if they are cross with him for continuing his concerts, for
>> releasing Katalog. I am at a loss to understand this. Kraftwerk of 2010 is
>> the true
>> Kraftwerk which sounds amazing and engages crowds at concerts.
> I have the feeling here's something going wrong.
> This is a discussion list. If Kraftwerk or Ralf is criticised here,
> it's not lèse-majesté, it's a sign that this band has thinking fans
> who care for what Ralf does. That is a good thing. Of course the power
> to decide lies with Ralf, but Kraftwerk started as a sort of concept
> art project, and if somebody goes public with a project like this, he
> has to be aware that there will be criticism. If you can't stand the
> heat, leave the kitchen. That's the way it works, and be sure: Ralf
> It's not the point that some people here suffer from nostalgia (as
> someone wrote), the point is that Ralf does. At least it's my
> impression that he goes lost in administrating the estate. And it's
> not a question of Ralf leaving behind the 60 (as someone else wrote).
> It's not a question of age. If an artist had something intelligent to
> say when he was twenty, I can see no reason why he shouldn't have to
> say something intelligent when he's in his sixties. Most artists are
> getting better when they get older. And THAT is what I would like to
> hear or see from Ralf. I can't speak for other list members, but
> that's my point. I don't want to have back the "old Kraftwerk" (that
> would never work), I simply want them to take full advantage of their
> artistic potential they still have today (which I'm sure at least Ralf
> It's quite nice that Kraftwerk is still able to engage crowds at
> concerts, but if this is all you want from a concept band like
> Kraftwerk, I recommend you to try the Zillertaler Schürzenjäger as
> well, they are really great in working the crowd. From a guy like Ralf
> I simply expect more than driving his nostalgia train.
> JOE MEEK. Eine Page fuer die Musiklegende. A page for the music legend.
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