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I(Chris) have been a Kraftwerk fan from when their music was played on the radio  in the 70’s. I have posted a German version of their 1977 international hit – “The Model” and Coldplay’s “Talk” which sampled it, here.

Kraftwerk is usually translated as “power plant,” but  one of the founders Ralf  Hütter said the band’s name can also be pulled apart for meanings: “kraft” is energy and dynamics, “werk” is simply work, or labor, and also (as “werke”) an artist’s oeuvre.

Since we are not living in NYC any more, I did not know until recently that the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) organized a retrospective for the band:  Retrospective 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8  -:

Over eight consecutive nights, MoMA presents a chronological exploration of the sonic and visual experiments of Kraftwerk with a live presentation of their complete repertoire in the Museum’s Marron Atrium. Each evening consists of a live performance and 3-D visualization of one of Kraftwerk’s studio albums—Autobahn(1974), Radio-Activity (1975), Trans-Europe Express (1977), The Man-Machine (1978), Computer World (1981), Techno Pop (1986),The Mix (1991), and Tour de France (2003)—in the order of their release.

I would have loved to see them perform or visit the exhibition in PS1. Here’s a video with hilarious subtitles for non-German speaking folks titled “Hitler reacts to Kraftwerk MoMA ticket limit”:

 

 

Their most “recent” album Tour de France was released almost ten years ago.  The gap between the last two albums (Tour de France 2003 and Electric Cafe 1986) was 17 years while they spent a lot of time touring the world.  I saw them in concert in 2005 (if I remember correctly) and my sis saw them in Hong Kong in 2008?. With industrial quality bass and concert hall acoustics, they sounded awesome! But I cannot wait for a new album to come out once every ten or twenty years.  Please hurry.

On Youtube, there is a video: “Musique Internationale” which was released purportedly by Kraftwerk and the visuals effects look like something they would use in their concerts. Some media has accused it as a fake.

It was uploaded by 2011Klingklang from Romania?!  Klingklang is the name of Kraftwerk’s studio in Dusseldof.

Ralf  Hütter said in an 2011 interview around the time of the MOMA  retrospective that a new album was underway and would be released “soon”.

Another video was released on Youtube in July 2012 – “Electronic Music”  – it also claims to be Kraftwerk’s creation and was uploaded by 2012Klingklang from the US.

Again the fans said that it is a fake.  The video looks a bit like a Windows 8 promo. Neither of these video received much hits on Youtube (180,000 and 33,000).

Overall, both songs are quite pleasant, and listenable –  I would consider both efforts as “Kraftwerk light”.

I wonder how much longer do we fans have to wait for Kraftwerk’s  next release, and when will we find out whether these videos are real or fakes.

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