Kraftwerk – The Man Machine – A Reflection


Kraftwerk's musical influence across popular culture is more prominent than ever, from hip hop to techno Kraftwerk have played a part in shaping just about every genres template. Tickets for their eight night residency at the Tate Modern were as rare as rocking horse sh*t and they could have no doubt sold out venues in London five times the size, however for the lucky ones who did bag a ticket it's safe to say anticipation was at an all time high. This review is understandably bias as both are huge Kraftwerk fans, however if they could have picked holes at the show they would have. It was however without question one of the best live shows both have had the pleasure of seeing. In 2013 Kraftwerk are still looking to the future and testing new methods to take the audience beyond the stratosphere. Where they go from here is anyones guess…

Alex Oxley: Hey Wil
Wil Troup: Hey Alex…
Alex Oxley: so pretty incredible gig hey
Wil Troup: Too good…
Alex Oxley: better than the Brixton show I'd say
Alex Oxley: the 3d sound and visuals made it for me
Wil Troup: Yeah I mean I was completely off my face at the Brixton gig
Wil Troup: An overexcited 20 something
Alex Oxley: haha
Wil Troup: imbibing too much
Alex Oxley: I was at the brixton show on my own
Alex Oxley: had one pint as I remember
Alex Oxley: quite different experiences by the sounds of it
Wil Troup: Yeah I mean Brixton was great, Bestival gig was…
Wil Troup: well the gig was amazing…
Wil Troup: but 'the kids' didn't really get it
Wil Troup: people asking you 'who are these people'?
Wil Troup: not really conducive to an incredible gig…
Wil Troup: but it meant everyone fkkd off
Alex Oxley: I know what your saying, I had the same when I thing ahead of the brixton show
Wil Troup: and you could stand at the front and take in their splendour up close
Alex Oxley: my mates at the time weren't interested
Wil Troup: can you believe people weren't interested at bestival…?
Wil Troup: it was pretty much the reason i went
Wil Troup: it's all cyclical tho
Alex Oxley: when I saw them live in Brixton it was like someone switched a light and I went 'now this is what it's all about Alex…'
Alex Oxley: it was a definite point of change for me musically
Alex Oxley: and Saturday's gig reaffirmed that tenfold
Wil Troup: it was like all the past 10 years of my education into the  electronic all made sense to me… i couldn't believe i was actually seeing them in the flesh
Wil Troup: it made me spend a fortune on ebay for a glow in the neon lights single!!
Alex Oxley: haha yeah I've been looking at that on disogs this week!
Wil Troup: I'd wait now mate… the prices of their records has just gone crazy
Wil Troup: wait a few years and no one'll give a fk aagain! the fickle fkkrs people are.
Alex Oxley: Man Machine was the first Kraftwerk I owned so to see it played front to back was incredible
Alex Oxley: especially 'Metropolis' which I don't think will have played live for sometime
Wil Troup: didn't they miss a track off Man Machine tho?
Alex Oxley: no I'm pretty sure they played it all
Wil Troup: they didn't play it in order tho did they
Wil Troup: they started with man machine
Wil Troup: which makes a lot of sense

Alex Oxley: yes that's right

Alex Oxley: man machine is the last track on the LP

Alex Oxley: it's was the perfect starter

Wil Troup: yeah and then the robots was played later on

Wil Troup: which i thought was weird

Alex Oxley: yeah it wasn't quite as I'd expected

Alex Oxley: what track really stood out for you? during the Man Machine album part of the show

Wil Troup: Well Neon Lights is just an incredible record the second part especially but I have to say I was a little disappointed they didn't draw that bit out a bit

Alex Oxley: I agree, the synth in the second half is floorless. yeah they could have definitely extended it.but I guess for me that's part of Kraftwerk's appeal, they leave you wanting more

Wil Troup: yeah… they make timeless pop records which you know could be extended masterpieces

Wil Troup: but they don't need to…

Alex Oxley: totally with you there, I remember at the Brixton show the 'Neon Lights' visuals stuck in my mind. They'd really built on the neon theme and developed the visuals for Saturday's show

Wil Troup: Spacelab with the visuals was amazing. I think as a piece of visual art that was the one that stood out for me. For fear of sounding like a pretentious wnkr!

Wil Troup: I mean the whole thing for me was flawless. I actually couldn't believe how lucky I was to be there… and that I'd actually managed to get a ticket for it!

Wil Troup: it made you realise that with the things available to people for production of shows…that they're just not taken advantage of enough.

Alex Oxley: Yes, like many of today's live electronic music shows there wasn't one low or 'that's okay' point

Wil Troup: how have we come this far with technology and sound design and yet people still just take the lazy option

Alex Oxley: yes to have ticket was extremely lucky, it's tough that so many people missed out

Wil Troup: It's a shame that they didn't do an almighty gig somewhere so everyone could get in

Wil Troup: and that you have to fly to Barcelona to see them

Alex Oxley: I think they will be back

Alex Oxley: soon

Wil Troup: you think?

Alex Oxley: yes for sure

Alex Oxley: wasn't there rumours of a new album

Wil Troup: yeah

Alex Oxley: I remember reading around the NYC series that Ralf said there would be a new album 'soon'

Alex Oxley: how soon who knows

Alex Oxley: to backtrack on the show everything was top class, the sound was one of the best I'd heard in a long time some seriously on point live engineers

Wil Troup: Yeah I was literally astounded at how good tho whole thing was…

Alex Oxley: and they'd really gone to town on the sound proofing

Wil Troup: absolutely flawless… bar the 5 quid cans of magners!

Alex Oxley: arr yes the booze prices…

Alex Oxley: bit of a rip off

Wil Troup: my brother was just going "yeah but that's just standard these days"

Wil Troup: when did it become acceptable to charge a fiver for a can of cider…?

Wil Troup: anyway, don't get me started on that

Wil Troup: it won't end nicely… and it'll bore you to tears

Wil Troup: wil's rant on the price of booze these days

Alex Oxley: haha I hear you

Alex Oxley: it's just the tate over charging

Alex Oxley: but back to the show, yes it was £60 but you can see where the money went

Alex Oxley: the sound proofing alone would have cost thousands

Wil Troup: yeah completely. 800 people too.

Wil Troup: it's not like they over filled it

Alex Oxley: wow only 800

Wil Troup: prob the best 60 quid i've ever spent on a gig

Wil Troup: for that amount of people

Alex Oxley: apprantly there was around 500 at the NYC shows

Alex Oxley: mental

Alex Oxley: yes money well spent for sure

Wil Troup: fk me… i would've flown there

Wil Troup: Fkking hell tho, people with their fkkin iphones

Wil Troup: in the air

Wil Troup: that pissed me off

Wil Troup: i got pretty shirty with the guy in front of me

Alex Oxley: I'm totally with you

Alex Oxley: there was someone talking next to us at the beginning

Alex Oxley: I was close to kicking off but they piped down

Wil Troup: I did kick off at this guy in front of me…

Wil Troup: the gig started and he started holding his iphone in the air videoing

Wil Troup: it

Wil Troup: so i tapped him on the shoulder and said come on man

Alex Oxley: it's not a bloody cold play concert mate!

Wil Troup: he put it down briefly and hten starting holding it up again videoing it

Wil Troup: so i really kicked off

Alex Oxley: damn

Wil Troup: said look i didn't pay 60 quid to watch your fkkin iphone… if you want to video it fk off and stand at the side of room

Wil Troup: what's happened to the world?!

Wil Troup: i appreciate it was a very exclusive gig

Wil Troup: but don't spend your whole time with your phone in the air

Wil Troup: go home and watch it on youtube if that's your vibe…

Wil Troup: anyway

Alex Oxley: I didn't take one photo at the gig

Alex Oxley: I'd much rather have the memories, you know what I mean?

Wil Troup: yeah completley.

Wil Troup: this is the one photo i did take…

(On an iphone, we might add! – ED)

Alex Oxley: pretty trippy

Wil Troup: But yeah I mean, for all the furore surrounding Sonar relocating the day part out of hte city I don't think I've ever looked forward as much to a sonar by night as i am this year…

Alex Oxley: The new daytime location looks pretty special

Alex Oxley: I'm not totally sure if I'll be there yet

Alex Oxley: I've never made to Sonar, have been trying for around 6 or 7 years but never got there

Wil Troup: It does look very special… but the mere fact in the old location meant you could head out for some food in the centre, get back to your appt etc was what made the daytime so special

Wil Troup: but yeah i'm all up for being convinced otherwise that this location will work too.

Alex Oxley: ah I see

Wil Troup: you should try to make it out if you can mate… it's a pretty bloody great week in barca

Alex Oxley: I've never nothing but good things about sonar

Alex Oxley: in the second half of Saturday's show, which track really jumped out for you and why?

Wil Troup: numbers into computer world

Wil Troup: my favourite segueway ever i think!

Wil Troup: and you?

Alex Oxley: I thought Home Computer was incredible

Alex Oxley: worked amazingly on that sound system and the visuals really tripped me out too

Wil Troup: yeah that was heavy too

Alex Oxley: numbers/computer world stud out as well for sure

Wil Troup: just amazing… all round. it's really hard to be critical about any of it bar iphones in the air and booze prices

Alex Oxley: and trans europe express

Wil Troup: yeah that was incredible

Alex Oxley: haha

Alex Oxley: can't pick at a near perfect gig

Wil Troup: you can't.

Wil Troup: 22 tracks… felt like 15 mins but was in actual fact 2 hours!

The Man Machine 
The Model 
Neon Lights 
The Robots 
Geiger Counter 
Trans-Europe Express 
Computer World 
Computer Love 
Home Computer 
Tour de France 1983 
Tour de France 2003 
Aéro Dynamik 
Expo2000 (Underground Resistance Mix) 
Boing Boom Tschak 
Techno Pop 
Musique Non Stop
Wil Troup: it doesn't really come any better than that
Wil Troup: 5 1/2 out of 5 for me