Monday, January 25, 2016

Mensch Machine Monday

All right, it's the start of a new week and so far no musical luminaries have passed on! So I get to post a sweet and very beautiful anniversary special on here today, with a birthday twist.
It's appropriate I put this up today, as it's also the 49th birthday of a treasured friend of mine who himself is a current luminary of Electronic Music. His name is Kurt and he is responsible for lots of extraordinary soundshapings dating back to the 1980s, most recently the incredible vintage-synth score for this brilliant and award-winning film. So obviously a very happy birthday to Kurt, whom I know is about as big a fan of the band I am sharing today as anyone currently alive. This post is dedicated to him.
And what a post it is. This one is probably one of the most prized items in the vaults, illustrating as it does a revolution in full progress. This performance dates from around the time that Kraftwerk began to morph from a still-rock-oriented group using electronics into the full-on electro-assault that has them in the Hall Of Fame 40 years later. This is also around the time that their trademark pulsating rhythmic approach really started to take hold. A year later they were wielding the first prototype arpeggiating sequencers and the rest is EDM history.
This show was recorded for German radio back in the day, but no decent tape of it circulated for decades, making it sort of the Holy Grail of these guys. This, until it was rebroadcast in 2014 in Europe and captured direct to digital. The original taper dubbed the 320K stream from the station to an mp2 file, which I split into tracks whilst removing the DJ chatter. I also volume adjusted things a little, as it was a little all over the place in that regard from track to track.
Kraftwerk
Zwischen Pop und Avantgarde
Großer Sendesaal des Hessischen Rundfunk HR1
Frankfurt, Germany
1.25.1974

01 Klingklang
02 Ruckzuck
03 Atem/Tongebirge
04 Tanzmusik
05 Kohoutek/Kometenmelodie I & II

Total time: 49:33

Ralf Hutter - Minimoog synthesizer, Farfisa Professional piano, mixer
Wolfgang Flür - electronic percussion
Florian Schneider-Esleben - Arp Odyssey synthesizer, EMS Synthi AKS, amplified flute, mixer
Klaus Röder - electronic violin & guitar

HR2 rebroadcast from 2014 (320K mp2 stream capture); converted to FLAC, volume adjusted & split into tracks by EN, 2016
(most announcer talking removed)
255 MB FLAC here
This concert is made all the more ethereal and special by the presence of violinist/guitarist Klaus Röder, who joined Kraftwerk for a brief period in 1974... it is thought to be the only recording of them with him sitting in. Anyway it's extraordinarily gorgeous music with all the Kraftwerk trademarks: the childlike melodies, the chugging rhythms, the slowly-transforming compositions, etc etc. So pull it down and enjoy a day on this page when I don't have to lament another marvelous muso's premature demise!--J.