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Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Kraftwerk- the paradoxical nature of modern urban life


The completion of the 1981 Computer World tour then saw almost a decade-long hiatus in Kraftwerk's live activities. They did not perform again until 1990, by which time Flür had left the band three years earlier in 1987. The next proper tour was in 1991, for the album The Mix. By this time, Bartos also had left the line-up. Hütter and Schneider wished to continue the "electronic quartet" style of presentation, and recruited engineers Fritz Hilpert and, initially, Portuguese Fernando Abrantes, soon replaced by Henning Schmitz, to take to the stage with them.


From this point, the band's equipment increasingly deprecated manual playing, replacing it with interactive control of sequencing equipment. Hütter retains the most manual performance, still playing selected musical lines by hand on a controller keyboard, and singing live vocals and having a repeating Ostinato. Much of Schneider's live vocoding has been replaced by software-controlled speech-synthesis techniques. By 2002, the band were touring using four laptop computers, running all their sequencing, sound generating and visual display software. Back-projected computer-generated video, synchronized with the songs, was an increasingly integral component of the show. The band also continued to develop their "robots", which by now featured computer-controlled mechanical pivoting limbs, allowing them to "dance".
The increased availability and sophistication of portable digital recording equipment means that bootlegs from this period are numerous, despite the band's efforts to prevent such recordings…. Catch me if you can!!!!!


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