Auf Wiedersehen, Florian

(Source: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-52564281)

Without Kraftwerk, we wouldn’t have music as we know it now. Sounds like hyperbole but they were that influential. Everyone from Bowie to Bambaataa, post-punk to hip hop, right up to this week’s chart pop. All music now is electronic music, it’s simply a question of to what degree.

I was lucky enough to see them live in Nottingham three years ago and it was one of the most moving gigs I’ve seen in my entire life. I won’t repeat what I said in my review of that gig – what could I add?

How do you sum up a band that has been an inspiration to you in every way, not just musically but philosophically, aesthetically… bloody everything.

Kraftwerk have had various lineups but I can’t really think of them as being Kraftwerk without Florian. I do hope they carry on but I think Florian’s sense of humour, his playfulness and Death-Valley-dry quips will be missed.

Auf Wiedersehen, Florian. Thank you for changing the world. <3

You Want A 1996-Themed Alternative Music Card? You Got It!

Just in case the tweet disappears, here’s the card that Emma Jackson (yes, THAT Emma Jackson!) found:

I reckon it was compiled from Mark And Lard playlists of 1996 as that’s a pretty wild mixture of bands / styles.

Seeing White Town on it is really very, very strange!

EDIT!!!

This just in from Emma herself:

Which is even better as I swear I don’t remember being in a John Peel Festive Fifty ever… though Crimbo of ’96 is when I was signing to EMI so everything was completely mental back then.

Synthfest UK 2018

This Saturday just gone, I went to Synthfest UK 2018

It’s an annual gathering both of makers of electronic gear and the end users – like a big trade show but with a way more personal touch.

Here’s a little vid I made:

As you can see from the vid, there’s a huge range of stuff to look at but, more importantly, you can twiddle with it all!

When I was a kid and when huge music shops like Turnkey still existed as bricks and mortar emporia, I used to go to London specifically to try out synths that you would never see up in Derby.

Going round Synthfest always reminds me of that feeling. Where the hell do I start? I just want to play and patch EVERYTHING but there simply isn’t enough time. It’s equal parts joy and frustration. 

And then there’s the makers. How wonderful it is to go up to the person who built something you own and give them  actual feedback. Every maker I met was as super-enthusiastic as the punters. They were all proud of their shiny metal babies and loved hearing how we used them. 

There’s only one criticism of Synthfest I can make ~ it’s a very white, middle-aged, male event. It’d be lovely to see more younger people, more female geeks wandering about and the same goes for black and Asian noisemakers. This lack of diversity isn’t specifically because Synthfest excludes groups; it’s more that it just replicates the existing biases within the music scene. What we have to do is actively combat those barriers to entry, to reach out to people who may not feel they’re invited or that it’s for them. After all, how much of contemporary music isn’t electronic? 5%? Less?

I think we could start to address this by tweaking the program to be more inclusive and more attractive to different groups of people.

Anyway, polemic over, here’s my gallery of pics from the day:

Synthfest UK 2018

If you’re an electro music geek, whether you’re a builder or a player or both, please do check out the next Synthfest. I think you’ll love it.