Last night I had the opportunity to photograph one of the first successful pop acts to popularise electronic music, Kraftwerk at New Theatre Oxford. To many people they are the original band that started and influenced synthpop, hip hop, ambient, post-punk, techno, and club music. Their influence is undeniable and arguably the most important in popular music since The Beatles.
Kraftwerk began as part of Germany’s krautrock scene in the early 1970s, releasing three albums in an experimental rock style before embracing electronic instrumentation, including synthesizers, drum machines, vocoders, and self-made instruments, in the middle of the decade. On commercially successful albums such as Autobahn (1974), Trans-Europe Express (1977), and The Man-Machine (1978), they developed a distinctive style of so-called “robot pop” that combined electronic music with pop melodies, sparse arrangements, and repetitive rhythms, while adopting a stylized image which often employed matching suits. Following the releases of Computer World (1981) and Electric Café (1986), member Wolfgang Flür left the group in 1987. They released their final album Tour de France Soundtracks in 2003. Founding member Schneider departed in 2008. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kraftwerk)
From a photographers point of view, they were one of the most difficult bands to photograph due to the strict conditions placed on me. I was only allowed to photograph from the mixing desk, or kneeling down in the aisle, as usual just for the first three tracks, there was less light than I hoped for and the projections were in 3D, impossible to capture with a camera with a single lens.
Here are the photographs. Apologies for the watermark across the middle of the photos, the photographers release form was so restrictive that I’m not sure if I am even allowed to post the photos here: –