In this environment of independent living- and production-possibilities, one could - liberated from time- and commercial pressure, find the time for all those unusual experiments, which were necessary to transport all those ideas out of the musician's heads onto the magnetic tapes.
It was the time which was used for the research and manipulation of sounds and structures, that one couldn't have payed, had it been spent in a normal recording-studio.
The new possibilities and instruments called for time to explore them in depth. High time for sound-research.
is so much in music that can't be put down in notes, especially the
And here the electronics are offering a whole new range of possibilities.
That is why for me a mixing-board has always been a musical instrument. Listen to the thunder on
'Irrlicht'. On this I had used a built-out Hammond reverb-spring as an instrument of it's own - I've simply plugged it from the upper side."
"Our instrument is really the Kling Klang studio - it existed from the beginning as a part of the group, like a 'mothership' from which everything originates."
Ralf Huetter [Kraftwerk]
An unusual and personal relation with the technology was of great importance - and quite often those never-heard-before sounds, arose from the creative connection of musical knowledge, engineering-art and a talent for improvisation in all these areas. [Once in a while, of course, sheer chance was helping out as well.]
spend a lot of time with inventing and constructing our own instruments
and also on our visual appearance. It is not 'just' about the music,
but about the connection
of engineer's work, art and music."
the beginning there were no instruments
that could repeat sounds. We were working with echo-loops and tape-machine,
we copied sounds a dozen times to achieve repeated rhythms.
We were using everything to create new
sounds and listening-experiences."
These were at first gadgets originally used for measure- and control-engineering, like oscillators, sine- and frequence-generators. Those were hooked up to each other, send through a delay and so forth..."
Kraftwerk were also building a lot of their own instruments. They were doing pioneer's work here
as well. Already in 1976 Florian Schneider was able to trigger and direct his synthesizer via the holes in his transverse flute.
1971 Kraftwerk was still without a drummer, so I bought a cheap drum
machine wich had some preset dance rhythms. By changing the basic
sounds with tape echo and filtering we made the rhythm tracks for
our second album.
Our instrumental sounds came from home-made
oscillators and an old Hammond Organ that gave us various tonal
harmonies with its drawbars. We manipulated the tapes at different
speeds for further effects.
We couldn't have achieved these sounds with a traditional drummer. Later on with our two electronic percussionists, we worked for months to develop that system, and it changed our lives.
The results to be heard on the first Kraftwerk record, like the first track 'Ruckzuck', evoked, through the sound-design and manipulation, the impression of a music driven by machines.
A new phenomenon.