Following their highly successful Apollo tour, the live version of Brian Eno’s classic album, Icebreaker, one of the UK’s most dynamic contemporary music groups, are turning their focus to another contemporary icon – Kraftwerk. Since their formation in 1970 the German group’s output has revolutionised music and influenced scores of musicians.
For ‘Kraftwerk Uncovered - A Future Past', composer, producer and sound-scapist J. Peter Schwalm re-imagines tracks from a range of Kraftwerk albums paying particular attention to Kraftwerk’s lesser known early recordings, showing off the group’s many different sounds – from the band’s origins in free jazz and a more acoustic sound, to the by now iconic synthesized tunes.
Hard to pigeonhole in any musical sense, Icebreaker are a 12 piece outfit whose unusual instrumentation – a combination of guitars, electric strings, keyboards, pan-pipes, saxes, accordion, drums and percussion – and distinctive amplified sound appeals to rock and alternative music audiences alike.
Visual artists Sophie Clements and Toby Cornish create a new video work for this piece. A purposeful departure from the high-tech graphics of the current Kraftwerk shows, Clements and Cornish re-present Kraftwerk's vision in the language of an earlier era of avant garde film that wondered in the new aesthetics of technological and industrial innovation.
The six date Kraftwerk Uncovered tour opens at London’s Science Museum on Friday 24th January.
Unique to the Science Museum show, Kraftwerk Uncovered - A Future Past also features the Balanescu Quartet’s wonderful re-workings of Kraftwerk’s Man Machine era technopop. Romanian Alexander Balanescu is one of the most visionary and exciting violinist of our time and these pieces reveal the music in a new, humorous light, picking-up on the dry wit of the originals.
The evening also features two talks: musician, journalist and author David Toop explores how Kraftwerk’s music absorbed free jazz and soul, then refracted back into African-American music; with author and musician Richard Witts’s ‘Vorsprung durch Technik – Kraftwerk, Germany and England’, investigating how Kraftwerk were received on their first tour of Britain in the 1970s.
Kraftwerk Uncovered - A Future Past premieres at the Science Museum London on January 24th 2014 then on tour.
Fri 24th Jan LONDON The IMAX Cinema, The Science Museum
0870 870 4868/ www.sciemcemuseum.org.uk
Weds 5th Feb LIVERPOOL Liverpool Philharmonic
0151 7093789 / www.liverpoolphil.com
Thurs 6th Feb MANCHESTER Royal Northern College of Music
0161 907 5200 / www.rncm.ac.uk
Fri 8th Feb BIRMINGHAM Town Hall
0121 345 0600 / ww.thsh.co.uk
Weds 12th Feb NOTTINGHAM Lakeside Arts Centre
0115 846 7777 / www.lakesidearts.org.uk
Fri 2nd May CAMBRIDGE Cambridge Corn Exchange
01223 357851 / www.cornex.co.uk
Produced by Third Ear Music and Icebreaker in association with the Science Museum, London.
For a taster of Icebreaker's Kraftwerk Uncovered - A Future Past see below.