Art For Art’s Sake: Kraftwerk Special – Musique Non-Stop

by Richard Bruton

Florian Schneider died on 21 April 2020. The news came on 6 May. And it was another terrible moment in a year that, sadly, has already seen way too many of them.

For those of you who are not aware, Schneider was a founding member of Kraftwerk, along with Ralf Hütter. And Kraftwerk were/are/always will be one of the most important bands in the history of music. And personally, they’re a band I have always adored. So losing Schneider at the age of 73 was a horrible thing.

If you’ve never heard any Kraftwerk, then I envy you as you have a career’s worth of incredible tunes to experience. Although, in one way, if you’ve never heard of Kraftwerk, you’re probably wrong, as their influence on modern music cannot be underestimated. Modern pop, rap, hip-hop, all of it has a direct lineage to this most German of bands. Frankly, it’s getting so that even if the acts aren’t sampling Kraftwerk directly, they’re sampling or riffing on someone who sampled or riffed on someone who sampled Kraftwerk. Everyone in that early rap/techno/hip-hop scene sampled the German quartet and the sampling continues to this day. You could fill a book just with the artists sampling two tracks; Trans-Europe Express and Numbers. Modern music owes a debt to Kraftwerk, one it can never repay. But we can celebrate them, we should celebrate them, and here – in my own little way, I shall.

Oh, and don’t even get me started on how they’re not in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Nominated six times but never inducted. A travesty.

But how to celebrate one of the world’s most influential musicians? Well, I shall do it the best way I can here, with some artwork…

Dan Lish

Tara McPherson

Tim Doyle

Christopher HutsalA Really Special Summer

Kraftwerk in… The Sonic Man Machine, a comic written by Mike & Michele RosenthalEtsy shop here.

Krent Able Country Kraftwerk

And more Krent Able Kraftwerk… buy his book The Second Coming Of Krent Able!

And John Riordan, from the pages of the wonderful Hitsville comic… another one you should be buying…

And finally, Ed Piskor‘s Hip Hop Family Tree with Afrika Bambaataa and Arthur Baker putting together ‘Planet Rock’… and the reaction to it…

And to end… a fitting track… the music of Kraftwerk, music that will never stop, will always resonate, and will continue to influence….

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