Karl Bartos was a member of the legendary German band Kraftwerk from 1975 until 1990, during their heyday as pioneers of electronic pop music. This illuminating book provides an insider perspective on one of the world’s most influential yet notoriously secretive bands.
The Sound of the Machine evokes the incredibly fertile music scene in 1970s Düsseldorf, from which Kraftwerk emerged. The book has a strong sense of location, charting the cultural topography of this cosmopolitan yet provincial German city on the Rhine. A classically trained musician, Bartos played in several groups and bands before joining Kraftwerk. Here he tells the band’s fascinating story: from setting the record straight about the creative conflicts and power struggles between Bartos and the band’s founding members, Ralf Hütter and Florian Schneider, to insights into the production practices at the famed Kling Klang studio and detailed descriptions of the genesis of such iconic songs as ‘Das Model’, ‘Die Roboter’, ‘Computerwelt’ and ‘Tour de France’.
Kraftwerk are revered in the English-speaking world: recent UK concerts have sold out rapidly and in 2014 the band received a Grammy in the US for their life time achievement. The book’s many references to the UK music scene are the icing on the cake of this ready-made bestseller.