Apr 23, 2012

Sasha Frere Jones on Kraftwerk

'Early reactions to Kraftwerk were often hostile, and sometimes verged on xenophobic. In an interview published in Creem, in 1975, the critic Lester Bangs asked the members of Kraftwerk if their machines were “the final solution” for pop music. “No, not the solution. The next step,” Hütter responded, and he was right. Pop’s non-narrative phrases, glittering, brief melodies, and reliance on technology can be traced directly to Kraftwerk’s concept of Mensch-Maschine, or “man-machine,” which was not just the name of the band’s seventh album but also a guiding principle. The sound is rooted in the interaction between computers and people—which, for many of us, is what now fills our waking hours. Kraftwerk’s melding of machines and everyday life is far from eugenic, though; it’s remarkably gentle, even a bit melancholy. The bicycles and cars and computers and radios and calculators that inhabit their albums are a friendly lot. When Bangs tried to provoke the band by citing William Burroughs’s assertion that one could start a riot with two tape recorders, Schneider responded, “A person doing experimental music must be responsible for the results of the experiments. They could be very dangerous emotionally.”' — Sasha Frere Jones on Kraftwerk


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  2. English review…


    How much were those tickets?

    Damn, have you still got that kind of spare cash in New York?

  3. Just read the Sasha Frere Jones piece.

    ‘Their old is still our new.’