DARKNESS shrouds the King Tuts Wah Wah Tent. Anthropomorphic silhouettes of the four founding fathers of electronica are carved into a colourful digital backdrop.
This is the digital version of Mt. Rushmore, and German pioneers Kraftwerk are the rolling memorial.
A Kraftwerk performance is an intense, immersive experience, and a spectacular 3D display, with the help of glasses - sees the audience take on the appearance of robots worshipping four mechanical deities. The quartet explore their vast discography, hardly moving behind glowing pulpits. The set tells the story of Kraftwerk, the visuals following the changes in sound that have marked their forty year career. It is relentless, and utterly encapsulating.
For brief spells, the repetitions can become tiresome, and the drone of over-driven organs numbs the brain somewhat, but it is their sheer mastery, with tracks like ‘Tour De France’, ‘Autobahn’ and ‘Automatik’ that make the group so hypnotic. Not a single note is wasted, not a single beat out of place, it’s electronica at its most refined.
Kraftwerk, a surprise addition to T in the Park and in much more primitive surroundings than they are used to, display exactly why they have achieved musical immortality- the songs still sound fresh, their genius still forms the pattern for modern day electronica.
Eventually, the group begin to individually disperse - a layer of sound lasered off as they vacate the pulpit - and each passes off a modest bow and then exit. Eventually all that remains is the android vocal of ‘Musique Non-Stop’.
“Auf wiedersehen,” emits Ralf Hütter, now alone - and with that, they are gone.
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