Anyone stuck for 2010 Christmas present ideas? Continuum have just published a rather excellent edited volume on the German electronic music enigma that is Kraftwerk, edited by David Pattie and Sean Albiez. Yes, this is a shameless plug: I have a chapter on the racial politics of the group. I also genuinely think that more work needs to be done on the difference made by this outfit to dance music, post-punk and everything beyond.
With their unique blend of nostalgic futurism Kraftwerk caught the imagination of a generation. The music world might have been a different place without them. In Foucault’s sense, they were therefore “transdiscursive authors”, people who caused an avalanche of cultural activity in their wake. As we acquiess towards a strangely bloodless world of coke machines, sat navs and talking elevators – where computers monitor our every movement and soothing robotic voices steer us towards synthetic good behaviour – I can hear their echo: in a calm, teutonic voice it says, “Told you so.”