This Week in the Mercury


Friday, June 19, 2009

"Hütter Talks!"

Posted by Andrew Stout on Fri, Jun 19, 2009 at 1:49 PM

be6a/1245442589-ralf.jpg

Okay, by using the headline to play off the famous tagline to Greta Garbo's first talkie, I'm actually playing up this self-perpetuating myth: that Kraftwerk's Ralf Hütter typically doesn't do interviews—an assertion proved wrong by this exhaustive archive. But given my obsession with the tiny catalog of albums the legendary proto-synth group have released since 1970, a new Hütter interview is always good cause for a retro-futuristic freak-out.

Today, the Guardian printed a long interview with Hütter in which he discussed Kraftwerk's new UK 3-D tour (glasses required) and the upcoming deluxe re-releases of their first eight albums (we've heard that one before).

Despite, journalist John Harris' best efforts, Hütter doesn't talk about co-founder Florian Schneider's 2008 retirement from the group or what in hell he and his bandmates actually do all day, given the infamously long lag-times between releases of new Kraftwerk material. This "droll summary of his average day" is a classic spin on Hütter's long running "journo, please!" number, a routine he dusts off when interviewers get too cozy:

"I wake up in the morning, I brush my teeth, I go to the studio, I work, I go back home, I eat, I sleep."

Anyway, to help come down from these new yet familiar provocations, I'm going to take a minute to watch this 1973 German TV performance of "Tanzmusik," a key track in their evolution from prog-hippies to man-machines. It's all in the homemade drum pads.

Ralf is the Rowlf-looking dude on electric piano. Play us out, boys!

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