Music News

Kraftwerk

This is the kind of show that almost never comes to our fair city, or any other midsize burg between the coasts. Kraftwerk, a German ensemble co-founded in 1970 by Ralf Hütter and Florian Schneider, is a legitimate popular-music pioneer, introducing electronic music to the masses with "Autobahn," which hit the Top 40 in 1975. In the years that followed, the group established the template for virtually every popular electro act that's followed, and while its music might seem Teutonic, many tracks are oddly funky, which explains why rap pioneer Afrika Bambaataa used "Trans-Europe Express" as the primary sample for his own groundbreaker, 1982's "Planet Rock." There's no telling why the group decided to stop here — or in Milwaukee and Minneapolis, two other unlikely locales — on the way to a Coachella festival performance that caps a four-city U.S. tour. Perhaps Hütter and Schneider have trouble reading English maps. But New York and Los Angeles's loss is Denver's gain.

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts