Cyberpunk Review » Electronic music pioneers rock out

February 16, 2008

Electronic music pioneers rock out

The Internet is like a box of chocolates; You never know what you’re going to find.

…So there I was, using Songbird to find some good music to load onto my Creative Zen player. On a whim, I searched for songs with “Heavy Metal” in the title as I was looking for Sammy Hagar’s “Heavy Metal Noise.” Never found that tune, but another tune jumped out at me. It was called “Heavy Metal Kids.” Take a listen to it.

First time I listened to it, I would have sworn upon Satan’s testicles that the tune was from Black Sabbath; It certainly sounded like Sabbath. But NO! It was from Kraftwerk!

Ralf Hütter & Florian Schneider of Kraftwerk
Yes! THAT Kraftwerk!


Behind the music. Ralf and Florian formed Kraftwerk in 1970, working with other musicians at the time. Their big breakthrough was the 1974 album “Autobahn,” which would set the standard for their future albums… and the electronic/dance music to come. Before “Autobahn,” Kraftwerk was a “krautrock” band; A band that experimented with various music styles and even some electronics at the time. Two members of Kraftwerk at the time were guitarist Michael Rother and drummer Klaus Dinger, both of whom would form Neu!. “Heavy Metal Kids” features Rother and Dinger along with Ralf and Florian, but it’s not the only tune they play on. There’s a rare album on the net where Kraftwerk rocks out to challenge Sabbath.

Bremen Radio 1971

K4: Bremen Radio 1971. Live at Gondel Kino, Bremen, Germany, June 25, 1971. This is an apparently rare live recording of the band that hasn’t been released… until now.
From BigO Worldwide:

“There isn’t any extra information about this unofficial release either in the liner notes or on the interweb thing - however, as you listen it becomes obvious that this is indeed a recording of the rather short-lived lineup of Kraftwerk that includes Michael Rother and Klaus Dinger in its ranks! That’s right - Neu! as part of Kraftwerk!!!

“It’s basically a whole CD of extended “side-long” jams in the style of the first Kraftwerk albums performed in front of a small but enthusiastic audience and broadcast on Bremen Radio in 1971. The members of Neu! really take a forward role here, with Rother’s guitar driving things for most of the time and sounding quite rocking, with glimpses of his future soaring melodic sound in the extended jam passages. The guitar and drums are backed up by synth and I believe organ bass, with notable exceptions of flute taking the forefront on the great version of Ruckzack (from the first Kraftwerk LP) and is it distorted electric violin on K4? Maybe just Rother taking a violin bow to his guitar strings! Proto-Kraftwerk and proto-Neu! It’s exciting stuff, and on top of that the sound quality is excellent - a professional radio recording.

“How has this recording not become better known over the past 35 years since it was made?! I don’t know. It appears to be a newly released CDR edition with good-quality (but privately printed) packaging. Maybe it has stayed in the Radio Bremen archives until now? If you’re sceptical about the authenticity I’m sure a listen will persuade you… and hearing someone in the crowd shout “Michael!” in the last second of the recording is the icing on the cake.” - Little Bear [who shared the recording on the internet]

Proto-Kraftwerk and proto-Neu? After hearing parts of the tunes, I was thinking “proto-industrial metal.” Knowing how Kraftwerk pioneered electronic music, hearing what could be the prototype of industrial metal bands like KMFDM, Nine Inch Nails, and Orgy is just… WOAH!!!!!!


February 16, 2008

Gigabyte Eschaton said:

Are those two twins? The one on the left sitting down looks like the one on the right, but with a hair extension & glasses.


The first minute and half (before the guitar kicks in) sounds like noise from robotic machinery forming a rhythm by pure coincidence. Great find, thx ^_^

Node of Server said:

>> After hearing parts of the tunes, I was thinking “proto-industrial metal.”

Node of Server said:

Have you ever heard about british band Throbbing Gristle (late 70’s)? There WAS SOMETHING before Ministry, KMFDM or what have you.

Klaw said:

Definitely check out Neu! if you get a chance, as well as the band CAN. Krautrock was incredibly influential on electronic, industrial and punk rock.

February 18, 2008

KJR said:

Cool jam.

April 5, 2008

Horstfred said:

this is a concert with only dinger/rother/schneider … it was the period when ralf left kraftwerk and they played as a trio with rother on guitar, dinger on drums and schneider on flute/synth … there is also footage from the tv-show “beat club” with this three guys …

April 11, 2008

Sabbatized said:

Good jam. Not one of Kraftwerk’s finest though. I can see why it went unreleased for so long.

October 5, 2008

jjw said:

In the same time, at the begining of 70’s Tangerine Dream started. I like both bands, however first TD LP, are more psychosis… “SORCER” - guitar and synth…

December 28, 2008


anyone know´s about a kraftwerk´s live utrecht from 1982.the name´s recording is. COMPUTER TOUR .also in this concert the band.played THE HALL OF MIRRORS “O” SPIGEL SALL

June 23, 2009

Josh K said:

Thank you for good information

Tim F-W said:

Thank you for good information

August 30, 2009

The Sage Gateshead said:

I call them artists who have revolutionized their genre.its true that electronic music would never have existed if there would be no innovation from Kraftwerk. there would be no Dick Hyman or Tomita if Kraftwreck never experimented the music.

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