2012 has been another gala year for Kraftwerk, revered musical pioneers and Dusseldorf's Zen masters of electronic minimalism. Kicking off the year with a mind-blowing performance at Ultra Music Festival in Miami, Kraftwerk landed in New York in April to perform Kraftwerk–Retrospective 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8, a truly auspicious and unique series of concerts that ran April 10 – 17 at New York’s Museum of Modern Art to enormous critical acclaim.
The elaborate staging of the performances combined sound and 3D images to present more than 40 years of musical and technological innovation, with new improvisations and 3D projections. The albums were performed in chronological order: Autobahn (1974), Radio-Activity (1975), Trans Europe Express (1977), The Man-Machine (1978), Computer World (1981), Techno Pop (1986), The Mix (1991), and Tour de France (2003).
Later in July, Kraftwerk performed a special 1-hour set for the No Nukes 2012 festival in Tokyo, sharing the bill with Yellow Magic Orchestra founder Ryuichi Sakamoto.
So it seems fitting that 2012 should end with yet another milestone for a group that has rolled back musical barriers with every forward-thinking phase of their career. Kraftwerk are the first purely electronic recording artist ever to receive a nomination for one of music’s most coveted and prestigious awards, a place in the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall Of Fame.
Having laid the foundations for four decades of computerized pop and dance music, Kraftwerk, led by founder Ralf Hütter, has influenced generations of artists in all genres, mapping musical futures yet to come. From Bowie to Daft Punk, New Order to Depeche Mode, Afrika Bambaataa to Björk, Dr Dre to Jay-Z, Radiohead to LCD Soundsystem and almost everyone in between, the mark of Kraftwerk is seemingly without end.
Kraftwerk’s most recent release was a special limited edition version of the 2009 Digital Masters Boxset The Catalogue released April 10, 2012. Originally released to celebrate the 35th anniversary of their landmark 1974 hit “Autobahn” and the long-awaited digitally remastered versions of their 8 classic albums, the CD Boxset contains 8 remastered CDs in ‘mini-vinyl’ card wallet packaging, plus individual large format booklets. However, this time, the set came packaged in a black box and was made available as an individually numbered, worldwide limited edition of 2,000 copies.
Rolling Stone is hosting the popular vote for the Rock N Roll Hall Of Fame Inductees: Vote for your choice at: http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/vote-for-the-2013-rock-and-roll-hall-of-fame-inductees-20121004
Watch Kraftwerk “Aerodynamik” (Live at the MTV Europe Awards 2003 with introduction by Kylie Minogue): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ov3bXuaCtQA