5 Fun Facts About Krautrock Vet Michael Rother to Play Yugong Yishan Gig on Oct 28 lyrics, song mp3 download
The experimental, eclectic, eccentric genre of krautrock has thrilled music nerds for more than a generation, and now Beijing devotees of that German styling can soon see one of its forefathers perform. Michael Rother, co-founder of the hugely influential krautrock band Neu! and a brief member of the even more heralded outfit Kraftwerk, returns to Beijing following last December’s performance at Tango 3F, this time taking to Yugong Yishan’s stage on October 28.
It’s no easy feat to sum up the 66-year-old vet’s 45-year career, but we have picked some highlights and little known facts ahead his much anticipated Beijing gig. So, without further ado, let’s delve into the Neu! frontman’s varied history.
1. He’s likely your favorite musician’s favorite musician
While he’s by no means a household name, Rother is beloved by many music megastars. Legendary producer Brian Eno, for instance, is among Rother’s collaborators, having recorded together in on the short-lived band Harmonia in 1976. Those recordings were unfortunately lost for a period, but thankfully resurfaced decades later and were released as Tracks and Traces in 1997. What’s more, mega popular arena rockers The Red Hot Chili Peppers invited Rother onstage when they were performing in Hamburg in 2007, resulting in a 25 minute jam session for 35,000 attendees. On top of that, David Bowie, Iggy Pop, Radiohead and more have all cited Neu! as a key influence.
2. Cinefiles are also Neu! devotees
Rother reached a much wider audience than he ever would have imagined with Neu! decades after the band’s first hiatus. This odd bit of exposure can be attributed to none other than top notch director Quentin Tarantino included the song “Super 16” on the soundtrack to the blockbuster 2003 flick Kill Bill Volume 1, because he had first heard the tune used in the 1976 grind house kung fu classic Master of the Flying Guillotine.
3. He turned sloppiness into genius
Neu! was granted a fairly generous budget for their sophomore 1973 album Neu! 2. Unfortunately, Rother and co-founder Klaus Dinger proved to be fiscally irresponsible, splurging much of the funds on a range of new instruments, and leaving them without enough money to record half an album’s worth of material. According to their Wiki page: “To rectify the lack of material, the band filled the second side with manipulated versions of their already-released single ‘Neuschnee”/”Super’, playing back each song at different speeds and sometimes warbling the music by messing with the tape machine or placing the record off center on the turntable.” These experiments would later be cited as pioneering examples of musical remixes.
4. Music isn’t the only thing that he’s cue for
Though he loves to geek out on a wide range of music– everything from Pakistani songs to Lady Gaga – Rother also has various other interests, including watching snooker, of all things. At least all this is according to a 2013 interview where he said: “Yeah, some friends laugh at me. I can watch snooker for hours, because it’s a sort of – for me at least – meditational process, where I can really concentrate, focus … you know, to follow what is happening, to try and imagine which would be the next step, the next ball to focus on … it’s a reductional process to sit and watch snooker.”
5. He’s good with Kraftwerk, except for one member …
Though Rother and Dinger left Kraftwerk early on in that seminal band’s career to form Neu!, Rother has no animosity towards his former group. In fact, he quite graciously said in a 2015 interview, “The musical achievements of Kraftwerk deservedly gave the band a place in music history,” before quickly taking issue solely with their frontman. “I only wish Ralph Hütter would be more relaxed in the way he controls the legacy. I met Ralph at a court hearing in Hamburg in February this year where he was fighting a case against Wolfgang Flür. His intentions to decline the long-time former members the right to even mention their membership in the band in their current activities is in my view a very poor attitude, quite unneccessary and unworthy of the great legacy of Kraftwerk.”
Michael Rother will perform at Yugong Yishan on October 28 at 9pm. The show is being coordinated by Noisey. Tickets are RMB 200 at the door and RMB 150 presale. For more information, click here.
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Photos courtesy of the promoters
This article was originally published on https://www.thebeijinger.com/blog/2016/09/25/5-fun-facts-about-krautrock-vet-michael-rother-playing-yugong-yishan-gig-oct-28