Electronic music pioneers Kraftwerk, who were both inspired by the music of the Motor City and also influenced it, perform in Detroit on Saturday

Staff pick

Jun 1, 2022 at 1:25 pm
click to enlarge We are the robots: German band Kraftwerk returns to Detroit. - Peter Boettcher
Peter Boettcher
We are the robots: German band Kraftwerk returns to Detroit.

An argument that comes up over and over again is who should be credited with creating electronic music writ large: the German synth-driven band Kraftwerk, formed in 1970, or Detroit techno producers like the Belleville Three.

In reality, both were heavily inspired by what The Guardian described as “a feedback loop between Germany and Detroit.” Kraftwerk said they were influenced by Motown, and Kraftwerk were in turn amplified in Detroit on the Soul Train-inspired TV show The Scene and on the influential radio show by The Electrifying Mojo, inspiring a new wave of local artists. Even the Detroit DJ Moodymann once admitted, “Hell, I thought Kraftwerk was four niggas. I ain’t going to lie to you.” The fact is that those Germans pretending to be robots could be pretty damn funky, and the music of Kraftwerk looms over the Motor City to this day — fitting for a group with a hit called “Autobahn.” The band makes a Detroit stop on this postponed tour, which is enhanced by 3-D effects that utilize those 3-D glasses made all the rage by that Avatar movie years ago.

Starts at 7 p.m. on Saturday, June 4 at the Masonic Temple Theatre; 500 Temple St., Detroit; themasonic.com. Tickets start at $49.

Stay connected with Detroit Metro Times. Subscribe to our newsletters, and follow us on Google News, Apple News, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Reddit, or TikTok.