In the world of electronic music, Kraftwerk are truly visionary artists, and have been since the 70s when their sonic experimentation bore fruit in the Kling Klang studios. Founder members Schneider and Hutter met while studying classical music, and the influence of 20th century composers Steve Reich and Karlheinz Stockhausen is at its keenest through their early productions. As the duo and their many associates mastered their craft a steady stream of era-defining albums was issued – perhaps none more so than 1974's Autobahn. Yet where most acts have one masterpiece Kraftwerk refused to let up. Trans-Europe Express continued their themes of travel and motion, taking them onto ever larger scales and structures, while The Man Machine and Computer World recognised the onset of music driven by process and technology. After a reclothed best of in 1991 the band were silent for nearly a decade, but resurfaced to perform live. Their influence on dance music, electro and techno in particular, is almost beyond calculation – indeed, neither of the three genres would properly exist without the band’s pioneering productions. Seemingly every producer worth their salt, since then, has had a 'Kraftwerk moment', and the band continue to delight their many diehard fans on the live circuit.
Followers: New Order, Daft Punk, KLF, The Art Of Noise, Depeche Mode
Influenced By: Velvet Underground, Steve Reich, Karlheinz Stockhausen, Pierre Henry, Edgard Varese...