Song of the Day: Kraftwerk – “Europe Endless”

Hey, just who is Ralf Hütter anyway? Good question, all of you in unison. Ralf Hütter (along with Florian Schneider) formed the German electronic group Kraftwerk in 1969, and he turns 70 years old on August 20th. Let’s all take a moment to appreciate this enormously influential group that combined repetitive drones with catchy, pop-style hooks in truly unique way. It would be quicker to list the post-punk groups that don’t cite Kraftwerk as an influence, but a short sample would include Joy Division, Depeche Mode and Radiohead. The group helped to bring electronic music into the mainstream, but they did so without compromising anything. With their 1977 landmark record Trans-Europe Express, they provided droning grooves (which would be later incorporated into several hip-hip records, including Afrika Bambaataa’s “Planet Rock”) and memorable melodies that perfectly captured the intersection of kraut-rock and post-punk. The direction of music for the next 20 years would be forever changed, and mainstream electronica artists of today like Aphex Twin have Kraftwerk to thank for bringing this music to a wider audience. Fun fact: the German electronica group “Autobahn,” featured in the film The Big Lebowski, is a direct reference to Kraftwerk. “Autobahn” is even the name of one of their albums. So that’s fun. Take a few minutes to introduce yourself to Ralf Hütter and Kraftwerk via the track “Europe Endless.” You might not regret it, or at least not as much as the rest of your life.

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    By: Jordan Posner

    Jordan Posner is a writer, musician, attorney, rock music fan, wine enthusiast, American history buff and dog lover. He is originally from Centerville, Ohio and went to school at The Ohio State University and Loyola University Chicago. Here is a list of more things about him:

    1. Jordan currently lives in Chicago with his girlfriend and dog, both adorable.
    2. His favorite bands of all time include Husker Du, R.E.M, Ween, Pink Floyd and Guided by Voices
    3. His favorite U.S. President is either Theodore Roosevelt or Lyndon Johnson (domestic policy only).
    4. His favorite song very well might be “Nightswimming” by R.E.M.
    5. He currently sells wine, unless you can offer him a better job.

    Check him out on Twitter, because he usually says a lot of funny things : @FlackSabbath

    You can email him your thoughts on 1980’s American hardcore music. Or just skip right to the death threats:

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