All Points East’s announcements continue with a special celebration of one of the most innovative, influential and groundbreaking pioneers in musical history.
Kraftwerk will celebrate 50 years since their debut release at East London’s Victoria Parkon May 29, a UK exclusive and another unmissable show after Tame Impala were announced as the first headliner for May 23.
The multi-media project Kraftwerk was started in 1970 by Ralf Hütter and Florian Schneider in Düsseldorf, Germany. They set up their legendary electronic Kling Klang Studio where they composed produced and recorded all their Kraftwerk concept albums.
Since the late 60s they have been closely connected with the Düsseldorf Contemporary Art Scene and after an early experimental phase, Kraftwerk achieved international recognition in 1975 with their first concept album ‘Autobahn’.
With their futuristic music and technical innovations Kraftwerk created the soundtrack for the digital age of the 21st century. Over five decades their compositions, using new studio techniques, pristine melodies and synthetic voices, computer sounds and robotic rhythms, have had a global influence across an entire range of music genres and musicians. From electro to hip hop, house to techno, synth pop to industrial and ambient to EDM, it is hard to ignore just how much impact Kraftwerk’s music has had.
The man-machine Kraftwerk will present their legendary live show from the main East Stage combining digital surround sound with breathtaking 3-D animations and robotics. And in true All Points East style, a stellar bill of acts will accompany them on the day in Iggy Pop, Johnny Marr, The Orb, Chromatics, Anna Calvi, Kim Gordon, Grandmaster Flash, Jehnny Beth and John Maus with more to be announced.
Iggy Pop was making music in the same Berlin studio with David Bowie where the latter recorded that tribute to Kraftwerk. Soaking up German music, and especially Kraftwerk’s Radio-Activity, Iggy produced his debut solo album ’The Idiot’, then ‘Lust For Life’, with Bowie and Tony Visconti.
Originally associated with garage rock from industrial Detroit, Iggy’s identification with Kraftwerk’s Düsseldorf modernist music perhaps made sense. From Iggy and the Stooges’ ’Raw Power’ laying the groundwork for punk, to his latest jazz influenced record, ‘Free’, released this year, Iggy has become a cultural touchstone as famous for his acclaimed BBC6 Music radio show as he is for his incendiary live shows.
Johnny Marr is among the most influential and greatest guitarists ever produced by the UK. His work as songwriter and chief sonic architect with The Smiths has cemented his place in music history while his solo career goes from strength to strength (he released ’Call The Comet’ in 2018). He has been a member of the Pretenders, The The, The Cribs and formed Electronic with New Order’s Bernard Sumner – with the latter mentioned group even collaborating with former Kraftwerk member Karl Bartos on their 1996 album, ‘Raise The Pressure’.
One group whose sonic influence from Kraftwerk is easy to hear is The Orb. Their debut LP, ‘Adventures Beyond The Ultraworld’, (in particular hit single ‘Little Fluffy Clouds’) provided the soundtrack for the ambient alcoves of 90’s clubbing – with their psychedelic live shows combining downtempo melodies with a dazzling array of kaleidoscopic visuals. Their recent release ‘No Sounds Are Out Of Bounds’ was the duo’s fifteenth studio album no less, a gorgeous myriad of electronic, dub and ambient styles.
Chromatics returned this year with ‘Closer To Grey’, their first studio album since 2012’s ‘Kill For Love’. Described as “darkly glamorous pop” by The Guardian, it was another fine example of the band’s distinctive Italo disco-influence sound that has garnered them widespread support from both critics and fans alike. Their recent UK show (their first for 6 years) was similarly unmissable, a multi-sensory masterclass led by American record producer, composer, visual artist and multi-instrumentalist Johnny Jewel.
Anna Calvi is quickly gaining the fans and reputation to put her in the conversation of great British artists. With 3 Mercury Prize nominations, including for 2018 album ‘Hunter’, she was asked to score the latest series of Peaky Blinders and recently released ‘You’re Not God’, an original song she wrote for it. Now, she returns to Victoria Park after offering one of the standout performances in 2018.
With a career spanning almost four decades, Kim Gordon is one of the few who can match the longevity of Kraftwerk. Originally the bassist, guitarist, and vocalist in the alternative rock band Sonic Youth, Kim has gone on to shine in both the fashion and acting world. It was only this year however that she released her debut solo LP, ‘No Home Record’, described by Pitchfork as an“ingenious fusion of sound and idea”.
Also featuring is Grandmaster Flash, legendary American hip hop artist and DJ extraordinaire. He is widely considered one of the founding fathers of hip hop, and in 2007, Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five were inducted in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame – becoming the first hip hop act to be honoured. His DJ setup has remained the same since the 80’s, two turntables and a load of records. Yet despite this, none can match the innovator’s ability and energy behind the decks.
Jehnny Beth is one of the most exciting and unpredictable musicians of the modern day. As the fierce and unfiltered frontwomen for Savages, they released one of 2016’s standout releases in ‘Adore Life’, receiving 5 stars from several publications such as The Telegraph. The French singer has continued her fine form with a stirring selection of solo material. Most recently she joined fellow act Anna Calvi on the Peaky Blinder’s soundtrack with ‘I’m The Man’ – a dark, brooding, punk-tinged song that offers the perfect snapshot into her enthralling sonic world.
John Maus will also be joining the bill, whose music combines elements of 1980s synth-pop, post-punk, and Medieval music. His 2018 record, ‘Addendum’ (released via Domino) was described by Crack Magazine as “a surprising collage of not-quite-disparate influences and a whole that nearly sums up Maus’ eclecticism, esotericism and singular vision”.
Eligible American Express® Cardmembers can take advantage of priority booking from 10am Tuesday 3 December until 9.30am Friday 6 December. Visit axs.com/apeamexpresale to book. T&Cs apply.