Kraftwerk: 'Beach Boys with machines'


For eight nights, the pioneering band Kraftwerk are playing sold out shows - not at a concert hall, but at New York's Museum of Modern Art (Moma) in the museums' tall and relatively narrow atrium, covered with 3D video and robotic installations. Moma is hosting a complete retrospective of Kraftwerk's music and art.

The Düsseldorf band are widely considered the pioneer of electronic music. They started composing minimalist synthetic melodies crossed with catchy tunes in the late 60s and got their international breakthrough in 1974 with the song Autobahn.

Kraftwerk are also notorious for their reclusive nature - no phone calls, no interviews - and for sending robots instead of the band members to press conferences. They allowed a selected group of press to film just three minutes of their Moma shows.

The BBC filmed the beginning of the Kraftwerk song Radioactivity, and discussed the influence of the band with Klaus Biesenbach, the curator of the Moma retrospective, and David Fricke, the senior editor of Rolling Stone magazine.

Mr Fricke defines the band as "the Beach Boys with machines" and calls the Kraftwerk performance "probably the hottest show of the year".

Produced by Anna Bressanin, Camera by Daniel Marraccino and Ilya Shnitser

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