Jun 21, 2010

Chosen Words: K is for Kling Klang

a.k.a. World Cup Distraction Exercise: Fat Roland's A-Z guide to the most important words or phrases in electronica and their associated "facts"

Kling Klang ("ringing sound") was the name of the recording studio set up by Kraftwerk in Düsseldorf in 1970.

The band retained creative independence by converting a workshop over several years into a fully-functioning studio, complete with home-made instruments. Famously, they would not accept visitors and wouldn't even answer the phone.

It took a lot of effort in those days to experiment: the tape manipulation methods of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop, for example. These days, studioheads double-click a big purple button marked 'experimental'.

Kraftwerk's influence extends beyond the likes of New Order, Afrika Bambaataa and OMD: the Peatbog Faeries released an album called Croftwork, Senor Coconut is an (excellent) Latin American Kraftwerk tribute guy, while Simple Minds love playing Neon Lights live. I wish that last fact was a joke, but it's not.

Kraftwerk's producer Conny Plank went on to be in Cluster and Moebius And Plank, both significant pre-runners to modern electronica. And he's called Plank. Seriously. Coolest producer ever. He was Marlene Dietrich's soundman for crap's sake.

Plank rocks. He engineered Brian Eno. That's like God begatting God. Yeah, screw Kraftwerk. Plank is where it's at. I can't even believe I started writing about Kraftwerk. Jeez.

Top five bands that you wouldn't expect to record Kraftwerk covers but they did, honestly they did:

- Simple Minds
- Carter The Unstoppable Sex Machine
- Terrorvision
- Ride
- The Cardigans

For more Chosen Words, click the tag at the bottom of this post.
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