Kraftwerk Kover Kollection vols.1-8

  • RELEASED: 2004/5/6/8/9/12/13
  • FORMAT: Radio mix / CD / DL
  • LABEL: N/A
  • CAT NO.: N/A
  • MIXER: Strictly Kev
  • GUESTS: Generous help from Graeme Ross, Ed DMX and many more with sourcing tracks
  • EXTRA ZEN: Listen
KKK1 cover.jpg

Occasionally on the Solid Steel radio show I present another part of an ongoing series I call the Kraftwerk Kover Kollection. This is something I have been doing for several years now, each mix is an hour long collection of cover versions, tributes and songs that heavily sample the German four piece.

Kraftwerk were one of the first electronic groups I got into as a child even though I didn’t know it at the time. My dad had ‘Autobahn’ on tape, recorded from the radio when it was a freak hit for the group in 1974 and it always stood out from the rest and I would wait for it to come on when he played that tape. Although I wasn’t a Dr Who fan it always reminded me of the Cybermen with it’s metallic sounds and it wasn’t until their other freak hit in 1981, ‘The Model’, that I put the two together. When it hit (no.1!) their record company scrambled to reissue their back catalogue and suddenly there were 5 old LPs available to buy from the ‘new’ German group (I was only 11) I picked up ‘Autobahn’ eventually and there it was, the track my dad had on tape, except it was a 20 minute version that took up the whole side of an LP.

Anyway, I loved them then and they remain one of my favourite bands to this day. After the luke warm reception of the ‘Electric Cafe’ album it was another 14 years before they released anything new and then it was only ‘Expo 2000′. This sounded like a rework of ‘Musique Non-Stop’ and ‘The Mix’ doesn’t really count in my book. During these years Electro, Hip Hop, House, Techno and Ambient had happened amongst other things, all of which owed some form of debt to Kraftwerk. Such is their influence and appeal that, over the years, albums of cover versions have appeared in place of any new Kling Klang product to fill the public’s need for more perfect ‘robot pop’ as Ralf Hutter once called it. As well as these, many high profile bands have added a song here or there to albums in tribute or interpolated Kraftwerk’s melodies into their own compositions (Coldplay’s ‘Talk’ single).

What I couldn’t quite believe, when I started seriously researching these cover versions, was quite how many there were and how diverse the bands were who were doing them. I’ve now completed my 6th Kover Kollection mix and each one has an average of 35 tracks in it, that’s 210 covers and they’re just the good / weird ones that I liked enough to use. For every eastern European rendition on woodblocks there are five pumping euro trance versions that sound horrible. What I try to do is filter the best of these and find the weirdest, most left of center covers because Kraftwerk’s songs are so simple that it seems they can be transposed into nearly any style you can think of. Balanese gamelan, country, death metal, classical, rockabilly, even played by an orchestra of instruments made entirely of vegetables (see part 2 for this one). There seems to be no end to their infiltration into today’s musicians.

For those who missed them – go to my downloads page above

Dates the KKK shows aired are:
Part 1: 16/04/04
Part 2: 16/08/04
Part 3: 17/01/05
Part 4: 04/08/06
Part 5: 11/01/08
Part 6: 13/11/09
Part 7: 31/03/12
Part 8: 08/02/13