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I heard the German band Kraftwerk for the very first time in the early 1980s, mesmerized by the pulsing hypnotic beats of Ralf Hütter and Florian Schneider.

I have no idea how my older brother discovered the landmark album Computer World from the isolated confines of our central Ohio home, but I’m sure glad he did.

Now, the electronic music pioneers — formed in 1970 in Düsseldorf, Germany —are bringing their unique act to Seattle.

Computer World was listed by Pitchfork Media as the forty-fourth best album of the 1980s. Image via Wikipedia.
Computer World was listed by Pitchfork Media as the forty-fourth best album of the 1980s. Image via Wikipedia.

The Paramount will host a 3-D concert by Kraftwerk on Tuesday night, one which should have old-school electronic music fans swaying as if they were speeding down the autobahn at 120 miles per hour or perhaps floating in a spacelab.

Not everyone knows Kraftwerk. In fact, I was shocked to learn that several of my GeekWire colleagues had never encountered them, insisting a trivia question I had written for our pub quiz night last week about the band was too hard. (More than half of the teams got it right).

It doesn’t look like I’ll be able to make the show tomorrow night, so any of you geek rockers who love songs about robots, neon lights and pocket calculators, let me know how it goes. I’ll be wishing I was there.

Here’s more about Kraftwerk from the description on the Paramount Web site:

The Kraftwerk project started in 1970 at the Kling Klang Studio in Düsseldorf, Germany. Within a few years Kraftwerk had achieved international recognition for their revolutionary electronic “sound paintings” and musical experimentation with tapes and synthesizers. With their visions of the future, Kraftwerk created the soundtrack for the digital age. Their compositions, using innovative looping techniques and computerised rhythms, have had a major international influence across a entire range of music genres. Their use of robotics and other technical innovations in live performance illustrates Kraftwerk’s belief in the respective contributions of both man and machine in creating art.

The Kraftwerk live experience is a perfectly synchronised audio-visual spectacle complete with pristine digital sound and 3-D projections. It is a pure electronic art-rave.

Here’s a short overview of Kraftwerk’s music:

Even better is this amazing Kraftwerk concert from the Latitude Festival in the U.K. last year. Yes, it’s both bizarre and beautiful. Enjoy!

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