Author Topic: Bands that don't need videos e.g. Kraftwerk  (Read 600 times)

NoSleep

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Bands that don't need videos e.g. Kraftwerk
« on: December 01, 2019, 05:34:27 PM »
When I check online there doesn't seem much commitment by Kraftwerk to producing videos for their work other than obligatory ones as it became necessary as part of the machinery of releasing new material.

I don't think they really needed videos in the first place, in fact their music creates its own videos in your head; I think it is the band's intention and an innate quality of their work.


Chriddof

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Re: Bands that don't need videos e.g. Kraftwerk
« Reply #2 on: December 02, 2019, 10:09:02 AM »
I thought that was going to be a link to this Halas & Batchelor animated promo for Autobahn. (Warning: Unexpectedly NSFW stuff in this)

Produced in 1979, it was apparently meant to be an extra on a never-released Kraftwerk laserdisc, which I understand would have mainly been of a live concert (most likely from in-between The Man-Machine and Computer World eras). The director says it was commissioned by EMI, and Kraftwerk never commented on it - not surprising as it's weirdly psychedelic for that period, and very much at odds with both their image and the burgeoning synth pop style. As a result it ended up being sold on to various TV stations around the world as filler. There's a remastered version available on a DVD collection of Halas & Batchelor shorts.

wosl

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Re: Bands that don't need videos e.g. Kraftwerk
« Reply #3 on: December 02, 2019, 03:07:09 PM »
They've been relatively sparing with the singles in any case, haven't they, so that would be one reason.  Another might be that they're one of those acts that purges YouTube of unofficially sanctioned uploads (I can easily imagine Ralf Huetter having eine Biene in his bonnet about that sort of thing), taking down 'inferior' copies, while dragging their feet with regard to putting up good quality/remastered official versions.  They've definitely created a number of promos over the years though, from about the time of the TEE album onwards.  One problem here is how you go about judging any artist's level of commitment to vids above and beyond the obligatory/contractual promo machinery angle.  All involvement in them by any artist might be of the sort that rates from passive to grudging, unless they've said otherwise. 

NoSleep

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Re: Bands that don't need videos e.g. Kraftwerk
« Reply #4 on: December 02, 2019, 03:11:41 PM »
There's a Kraftwerk youtube channel that doesn't seem to have much in the line of videos for their songs apart from some more-recent remixes. I really think the band put their all into making the music complete in itself.

All involvement in them by any artist might be of the sort that rates from passive to grudging, unless they've said otherwise. 

I'm sure there are other bands who have a similar relationship to their music.

wosl

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Re: Bands that don't need videos e.g. Kraftwerk
« Reply #5 on: December 02, 2019, 03:30:02 PM »
As I remember from Tim Barr's book, they were pretty extensively involved with Rebecca Allen in the creation of the Musique Non-Stop video.  One of their as-good-as-stated aims at one point was to take issue with the cult of personality or individualism or whatever, and circumvent the drudge of doing personal appearances and photo-shoots and whatnot, which stretched to/embraced the promo realm, hence the mannequins, and later the robots and the computer animations based on same (e.g. the promo for the Expo 2000 single).

wosl

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Re: Bands that don't need videos e.g. Kraftwerk
« Reply #6 on: December 02, 2019, 03:55:06 PM »
I'm sure there are other bands who have a similar relationship to their music.

I'd have to check the interviews again, but I'm fairly sure that both Wolfgang Fluer and Karl Bartos have claimed that they left Kraftwerk in no small part because they'd developed just such a range of negative emotions in relation to the band's musical direction and (non)development.  One person's selfless and single-minded Musikarbeiter is another person's constrained and bored going-through-the-motions drone.

Crabwalk

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Re: Bands that don't need videos e.g. Kraftwerk
« Reply #7 on: December 02, 2019, 03:55:54 PM »
Sparks. I've never seen a video for a song by Sparks and I'll never need to. Their songs are all so full of images, wordplay, ideas, places, characters...I  can't see how a video made for 10k is going to live up to the records (or their sleeves).

Re: Bands that don't need videos e.g. Kraftwerk
« Reply #8 on: December 02, 2019, 04:05:13 PM »
Sparks. I've never seen a video for a song by Sparks and I'll never need to. Their songs are all so full of images, wordplay, ideas, places, characters...I  can't see how a video made for 10k is going to live up to the records (or their sleeves).

Ah, pity, the one for Edith Piaf is great, and When Do I Get to Sing 'My Way' is very fun. They're not interpretations of the songs so I don't think they'd ruin anything, but I'm not insisting you watch them.

I think music videos are great when they're in their own universe and reference the song itself as little as possible. They Might Be Giants have a load of this sort of thing in their Dial-a-Song series of videos. Basically, I have nothing very relevant to add.

Re: Bands that don't need videos e.g. Kraftwerk
« Reply #9 on: December 02, 2019, 04:15:25 PM »
Kraftwerk DO like videos, you'll notice that they're a very visual bands with the outfits and things like that, so it naturally fits with videos. Yeah, they're a video band who don't put out videos, and they said video killed the radio star ha

NoSleep

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Re: Bands that don't need videos e.g. Kraftwerk
« Reply #10 on: December 02, 2019, 04:18:57 PM »
I agree they're very good at visuals when it comes to album art, etc.

wosl

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Re: Bands that don't need videos e.g. Kraftwerk
« Reply #11 on: December 02, 2019, 04:48:36 PM »
There's a Kraftwerk youtube channel that doesn't seem to have much in the line of videos for their songs apart from some more-recent remixes

You have to go the unofficial route to uncover the older vids, since they don't seem interested in including them on the official channel.  Here, for example, is the promo for The Telephone Call, with Ralf and the boys in matching moody black turtlenecks and leather gloves, turning heads and upping pulse rates.  Eat your hearts out, Ultravox!

NoSleep

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Re: Bands that don't need videos e.g. Kraftwerk
« Reply #12 on: December 02, 2019, 05:54:06 PM »
I doubt that they could have spent less on that if they tried (not that it's technically naff in any way).

Isn't Ralf the vocalist? You see the shadow of somebody singing then it pans to one of "the other two".

wosl

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Re: Bands that don't need videos e.g. Kraftwerk
« Reply #13 on: December 02, 2019, 06:07:52 PM »
It's a very nicely done video, restrained and stark and simple, posted just in order to show that they were quite willing to get involved with the making of promos, to the point of appearing in person and dressing up and posing (it also features a Kraftwerk promo trademark: the inclusion of a bit of vintage newsreel-type footage).  It's always said that Karl did the vocals for The Telephone Call, although his and Ralf's voices are very similar.


Egyptian Feast

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Re: Bands that don't need videos e.g. Kraftwerk
« Reply #15 on: December 02, 2019, 06:24:55 PM »
I thought that was going to be a link to this Halas & Batchelor animated promo for Autobahn. (Warning: Unexpectedly NSFW stuff in this)

They used to show this on RTE in the 1980s whenever they had a few minutes to fill (along with other Halas & Batchelor cartoons and Butterfly Ball). I still see little naked green men in my mind's eye whenever I hear the track.

NoSleep

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Re: Bands that don't need videos e.g. Kraftwerk
« Reply #16 on: December 02, 2019, 06:31:00 PM »
It doesn't have anything to do with the song, does it? Like they gave the song to somebody who had never heard it before (or understood the meaning of the words).

wosl

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Re: Bands that don't need videos e.g. Kraftwerk
« Reply #17 on: December 02, 2019, 06:36:53 PM »
Quote
None of the band members are seen singing the song in the video except for a silhouette Karl Bartos, but when the camera pans around it is revealed to in fact be Wolfgang Flür. He is also seen at a typewriter typing "You're so close, but far away".

Yeah, I noticed it was the silhouette of  Flür mouthing the words.  Just a bit of playful subterfuge I think, to chime with the shadowy, noir-ish style of the vid, because it's certainly not him singing on the record.  Flür's voice is distinctly different, quite unlike Bartos's, which, as can be heard on this solo Elektric Music track, is really quite close in sound to Hütter's.

buzby

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Re: Bands that don't need videos e.g. Kraftwerk
« Reply #18 on: December 02, 2019, 11:45:23 PM »
As I remember from Tim Barr's book, they were pretty extensively involved with Rebecca Allen in the creation of the Musique Non-Stop video.
Well Ralf was, at least. The delay in releasing Electric Cafe meant that Allen had to archive the 3D rendering program she had written and the model data of the band form 1984 until the album was ready for release (as the software had moved on so much in those 2 years). While Hutter was in New York remixing the album with François Kevorkian in 1986 he also visited Allen to finalise the album artwork the video for Musique Non-Stop. When she started working with them in 1984, she was one of the few outsiders allowed into Kling Klang. Florian recorded her saying "Musique nonstop, techno pop", and ended up using it (in treated form) on the track.

In the late 70s-early 80s they collaborated very closely with Dusseldorf-based artist, photographer and filmmaker Günther Fröhling for the artwork and promo films for Trans Europe Express, The Man Machine and Computer World. He did the cover photography for the albums and singles and directed the videos for Trans Europe Express (he and his assistants also built the miniature Metropolis-style set and model rail layout), Showroom Dummies, Neon Lights and The Robots, and they brought him back to do the aforementioned video for The Telephone Call in 1987

Cuntbeaks

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Re: Bands that don't need videos e.g. Kraftwerk
« Reply #19 on: December 03, 2019, 07:50:09 PM »
I would love to see the whole set they did for Beat Club, with the incredible line up of Michael Rother, Klaus Dinger and Florian Schneider. More NEU! than Kraftwerk I suppose, but all the better for it.

https://youtu.be/O8Y_-ZLGW1o 

Brundle-Fly

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Re: Bands that don't need videos e.g. Kraftwerk
« Reply #20 on: December 03, 2019, 08:37:52 PM »
You could argue that no artist should need a video except Ok Go who entirely needed them.

NoSleep

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Re: Bands that don't need videos e.g. Kraftwerk
« Reply #21 on: December 03, 2019, 09:15:37 PM »
I think The Residents' Commercial Album was predesigned to have a video per track and they did buy advertising time on TV channels and showed (some of?) the videos as bizarre one-off ads. I'm sure some of their other work is similarly tied to the accompanying videos as they did start out as filmmakers in need of a soundtrack (which led them to musicmaking). Their DVDs are something else.

Brundle-Fly

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Re: Bands that don't need videos e.g. Kraftwerk
« Reply #22 on: December 03, 2019, 09:35:07 PM »
I think The Residents' Commercial Album was predesigned to have a video per track and they did buy advertising time on TV channels and showed (some of?) the videos as bizarre one-off ads. I'm sure some of their other work is similarly tied to the accompanying videos as they did start out as filmmakers in need of a soundtrack (which led them to musicmaking). Their DVDs are something else.

It's how I discovered them. The Act Of Being Polite video on C4's The Tube.