[KRAFTWERK] live aesthetic

Nicolau Centola nicolau at polipress.com.br
Fri Feb 4 18:12:59 CET 2005

Well, KW live aesthetic is a mix of a string quartet and a rock band. 

You have to consider they are in a row just since 1997. Before this, they used a V shape format, with bass and drums in the middle, just like a regular rock band (far from audience and not on focus). The headliners (R+F) were at the vortices of the V, closer to the audience, more in evidence, just like keyboard player, guitarrist or even vocalist in a rock band. In a two vocalists rock band, they never fit in the middle (because they are two) but in opposite places at stage.

Except for the line row or V shape positions, there´s no function similarities with a string quartet, because for classical aesthetic, the common is (from left to right): violin + violin + bass + cello or changing a violin for a viola. No similarities with KW players (keys + bass + drums + synth vocal). Well, now Henning is much more a keys than a bass player.

Actually I finished a paper for my master degree just about the aesthetic of Kraftwerk live performance. Just in portuguese, sorry, but if someone would be interested, I can send it in PVT. Sorry, I can not translate 20 pages for english now. At the paper, I talk about the electronic equipment aesthetic and even the laptop aesthetic in live performance. KW were not the first, but of course one of the best, to move to laptops, were the audience have no more connection between the origin of the sound and the sound itself. It´s a lack of "aura", bring back by visuals. There´s a lot of interesting academic references about this topic.




Message: 11
Date: Fri, 4 Feb 2005 15:06:08 -0000
From: "Toby Frith" <Toby.Frith at telegraph.co.uk>
Subject: RE: [KRAFTWERK] revisionism?
To: <kraftwerk at activerecord.com>, <Klaus.Zaepke at gmx.net>

You can see further proof of this in the Kraftwerk live set up. One could argue that there is a hierarchy in trad. rock bands through the placing of various band members (i.e the singer at the front in the middle) and in the instruments themselves. Unless a bass guitarist is the singer, he's always going to be less of a focus than a lead guitarist for example.

With Kraftwerk all musicians are in a row, with the prominent founders to the sides, more like a string quartet. The musical equipment itself is also nondescript in appearance, thus removing this fascination with the details of instrumentation. There's a great dichotomy in that because as we all know, Kraftwerk are the masters of nerd-like fascination with equipment.

More information about the KRAFTWERK mailing list