Wolfgang Flür left a string of technological innovations, but if you need a moment of sublime chill in a chaotic world, look no further to the pastoral sounds that accompanied what was arguably the first electronic drum kit.
Wolfgang himself told the story in an interview with PROG – and if this doesn’t inspire you to grab some wood and a soldering iron to try this yourself, nothing will:
Around 1973, Ralf and Florian needed another drummer to create a modern drum sound for their experimental music. When they asked me to do some sessions in their rehearsal room, they had only a children’s drum set, which was broken in different places and unusable. In a corner of the room I found an automatic rhythm box, which they’d already used on their Ralf & Florian album. The sounds of this Farfisa Rhythm 10 box were terrific when using the frontside knobs one by one. Florian and I thought about how a drummer could use such sounds regularly, playing with sticks. And together we had the idea to build a wooden panel with round metal plates, for a sound-releasing electrical contact. We used it for our first German TV appearance on the culture show Aspekte, in October 1973, when we played Tanzmusik.
Kraftwerk’s Wolfgang Flur on life at the cutting edge of modern music [PROG/loudersound.com]
Scott Wilson did this listicle of tech achievements for FACT – because, truly, the listicle will never die. (Maybe that’s “listciles never forgive.” Not certain.)
Not really an unpopular opinion there, but now there’s proof, I guess.
Seriously, this seems like a great project to attempt to recreate, if someone hasn’t done it already.
Credit to the legendary Robin on this one; I accidentally found it in my backlog from the summer, but it’s a perfect Boxing Day / There Are Five Wars Happening And I’m Trying To Write About Music Tech Anyway Even Though It Seems Pointless moment of zen.