Kraftwerk Set 8 New York Residency Dates to Perform Album Catalog
: February 16, 2012
It’s been nearly 40 years since German electronic pioneers Kraftwerk released their first concept album, Autobahn, and now the group will perform a residency at New York’s Muse ...
Ultra Music Festival Grabs Headliners Avicii, Tiesto, Kraftwerk
: December 26, 2011
Miami’s electronic festival Ultra Music Fest has announced a 2012 lineup that will feature Avicii, Tiesto and Kraftwerk, among others. The three-day festival will be held from Ma ...
The electronic music group Kraftwerk was formed in 1970 in Dusseldorf, Germany by Florian Schneider and Ralf Hutter. They fronted the group until 2008 when Schneider left. Current members of the group include Ralf Hutter (lead vocalist, vocoder, bass guitar, guitar, percussion, drums, organ, keyboards, synthesizers) Fritz Hilpert (sound engineering, keyboards, electronic percussion) and video technician Stefan Pfaffe.
The signature sound of Kraftwerk's combines repetitive, driving rhythms and catchy melodies and Western classical harmonies using electronic instrumentation. The simplified lyrics of the group are either generated using computer speech software or sung via a vocoder. Kraftwerk was a pioneer in helping to make electronic music popular. Kraftwerk's distinctive sound throughout the 1970s to early 1980s was revolutionary. Their contribution has had a major effect on several modern music genres.
Florian Schneider and Ralf Hutter met during the late 1960s while they were students in Dusseldorf. They participated in Germany's experimental music scene. They formed Kraftwerk in 1970 and had a fluctuating lineup from then until 1974, with the pair working with six other musicians while recording three albums as well as making sporadic live appearances. The first three albums of the group were in the style of free-form experimental rock. In 1970 they released their self-title debut album and in 1972 "Kraftwerk 2." In 1973 the group released "Ralf und Florian" and started to rely more heavily on drum machines and synthesizers. They also used the vocoder for the first time, which became one of their musical signatures.
Their 1974 album, "Autohahn," was commercially successful and the group underwent a tour to the UK, Canada and US to promote their album. They released "Radio-Aktivitat" in 1975, "Trans-Europe Express" in 1977 and Die Mensch Maschine" in 1978. After not releasing an album for three years, Kraftwerk released "Computerwelt" in 1981 and "Electric Cafe" in 1986. Their most recent album is "Tour de France Soundtracks" released in 2003.