Michael Rother Be Solo

A great and rather open interview with Michael Rother in Uncut magazine, exploring his music career, focusing on his time working with Klaus Dinger on Neu! – a rather fractious and strained musical partnership by Rother’s own account, moving on to Harmonia and finally working solo.

It has given me more musical off shoots to explore…

Mars By 1980 – David Stubbs

Another book I am about to download onto my Kindle. I must have about 200 unread books on there now. As slow a reader as I am, I used to read regularly. At least 10/12 books a year. That’s not a lot for you speedy reading types, but that was a good pace for me…and MUCH better than current stats, which will be lucky if they equate to just a solitary book per year. Shameful! I need to change that!

Anyway, this extract was in last month’s Electronic Sound magazine. The book is written by one of the magazine’s contributors. Below is the extract from within the magazine, about the lasting legacy of Kraftwerk.

As a side note, Kometenmelodie 2 is now my absolute new fave piece of instrumental music. It never fails to make a massive emotional impact on me. It brings me to tears with its beauty. Electronic music emotionaless and devoid of anything visceral?! Utter fucking hogwash!

Inverted Snobbery of The Power Plant?

Last night, as I picked up tools to begin working on the design for This Fear Of Gods, I thought, “You know, I never really listen to much Kraftwerk, as much as I like what I hear…I don’t take the time to just…sit and listen”. So, I decided to play Autobahn.

And can I just take a moment again, right here, to say to the Spotify haters…here’s the thing…the desire to listen to Kraftwerk took hold as suddenly as I have just described. I have absolutely NO money. My Spotify account is on subscription. It allows me to access MILLIONS of tracks for a small monthly fee (I choose to pay it!). The stream is of great quality, and there are absolutely no ads. So, even though I was skint…should I have bought from iTunes instead? Or Amazon? And waited two days for a CD to show up? And, well, Apple and Amazon are just as insidious as Spotify is meant to be, am I right?

Do I go to YouTube and try and get every individual track and play them one by one? Feasible, I guess…but again…we have Google in charge…full of adverts and half the clips won’t play on my mobile device, so I better sit at a desktop *rolls eyes*.

Perhaps I’ll ask my local library if they have a copy? Yes, except *MY* local library closed down two years ago, and my nearest library is two miles away. Well, I’ll see anyway, they may have it in the central libraries’ stock pile and I’ll wait a week for it to become available. Yes…that’s surely the answer.

Well, it was when I was a teen. No choice! I can remember it being how I got my Grace Jones and Simple Minds fixes for quite a few years. But now, Spotify does that job rather wonderfully in my eyes. Once again, without it being around, I’d not be the Simple Minds fan I am now…and that is fact! I wonder if Jim ever says a little prayer to Spotify now and then? Lol. For me coming along, of course. Lol. I’M KIDDING! And being a prized idiot!

But I digress…

Back to Kraftwerk. Usually when I am in a “Kraut rock” mood, I tend to listen to Neu! and La Dusseldorf. Or, to one of my favourite “new” band discoveries in recent years (thanks again Spotify!), Warm Digits. I just, never really thought about listening to Kraftwerk. Perhaps because they are so established and so well known compared to the others? And I have absorbed aspects of their music over the years. But, last night, it dawned I hadn’t really listened to them much at all, and it felt like an almost “inverted snobbery”. As if I had been deliberately…albeit inadvertently so…sidestepping them.

So last night this feeling was rectified. I started with Autobahn and was enjoying it immensely. The title track is melodic beyond measure and multi-faceted. An absolute aural treat. Treasure, even. But it was when we got to the track below (yes, I’ll use YouTube for individual tracks and to get the Spotify haters and non-users off my back) that I really got that feeling of the neglect I had given Kraftwerk and the true sense of what I had been missing. I had to play the track several times over because it just took hold of me so.

This track is beyond beautiful. Thank you, Kraftwerk, for such wonderful musical imaginings.

Computer (Bag) Love

Kraftwerk’s Computer Love has been playing in my head DAILY since Sir chose it as one of his tracks to play on his most recent radio show. Today, a fan I follow on Facebook shared one of my favourite pictures of him…and well, I then looked down at my laptop bag thinking, “Yes…there is my Compter Love!”

Here is said laptop bag (which doubled as my onboard luggage bag when travelling to and back from Oz)…