Song of the Day: Kraftwerk “Computer Love”
“Computer Love” finds German electronic pioneers, Kraftwerk, at their shimmering, slinky, techno-organic best. Appearing on their 1981 album, Computer World, the track does an incredible job of matching floating synths and punchy sequencers with a gentle but subtle electric organ melody. That haunting melody is what really captures you when listing to this. The words only add to the melancholy. The song is one of the many highlights from Kraftwerk‘s incredible career and really highlights the beating heart that lurked behind the band’s icy exterior and embrace of techno-futurism. A triumph on all fronts that barely feels its 7-minute plus run time.
Kraftwerk were founded Düsseldorf, Germany in 1970 by Ralf Hütter and Florian Schneide. The early line-up of the band included both guitarist Michael Rother and (notably difficult to work with) drummer Klaus Dinger – the pair of whom would leave the group in order to form Neu!. The band would undergo numerous line-up shifts in their early years before settling on core ensemble that featured Hütter and Schneide alongside electronic percussionists Karl Bartos and Wolfgang Flür. The band also benefited from the input of producer and engineer Conny Plank, who went on to a musical career of his own (often working alongside Dieter Moebius). The group proved to be incredibly important in popularizing electronic music and, alongside fellow early electronic pop act, Yellow Magic Orchestra, have been cited as important influences upon early hip-hop.
While the band largely stopped making records and touring following their 1990 remix LP, The Mix, they returned in 2003 with their cycling themed full-length, Tour de France Soundtracks and have periodically toured since then. The group puts on an incredible multimedia stage show that merges music, technology and performance art. Kraftwerk‘s influence over modern pop music remains incalculable.