Kraftwerk and ‘The Cold Wave’ in Sounds 26.11.77

The now defunct weekly UK music paper, Sounds, had a reputation for championing Rock and Heavy Metal above everything else. Writers Garry Bushell and Jon Savage raved and wrote about Oi and Punk respectively but there was more to the paper. 1977: The Queen’s Jubilee and the height of Punk in the media, right? Not by late November in Sounds it wasn’t, this was also the year ‘Trans Europe Express’ was released.

A stark cover featured Ralf Hutter and Florian Schneider photographed on the banks of the Rhine in their hometown of Dusseldorf by Caroline Coon, a two page interview leading the first part of a look at ‘New Musick: The Cold Wave’. Interviews or pieces on Eno, Throbbing Gristle, The Residents and Devo all appear by Savage, Jane Suck and Hal Synthetic (love these writing pseudonyms). Not very Rock or Punk.

Kraftwerk SOUNDS int. 26-11-77

The Kraftwerk interview is fascinating, with Florian almost adding as much as Hutter and the two finishing each other’s sentences. Hutter mentions the term ‘Electronic Body Music’ and they talk about putting together comics detailing the themes of their music, I wonder what happened to them? Karl Bartos and Wolfgang Flur aren’t even mentioned although they do appear in at least one of the photos in the piece. It’s interesting to note that Ralf and Florian picked the journalist up from the airport and showed him about the city before the interview was conducted inside their Kling Klang studios. That certainly wouldn’t happen today. See more photos from the shoot, including a smiling Ralf & Florian that were not featured in the article, here.

*After numerous requests, here’s the piece, hope you can read it*
KWSOUNDS261177pg1KWSOUNDS261177pg2The Eno piece is typical, well… Eno, he talks and talks about his ideas, just as he always does, with his sideways looks at subjects ranging from dub reggae to Eskimos engineering US Air Force jets in Alaska. There’s no attempt at cross examination and the ‘interview’ is distilled from five hours of chat into two Eno’s: the non-musician and the theorist. Along with Throbbing Gristle refusing to issue forth any kind of manifesto but the paper giving their ‘2nd Annual Report’ a 5 star review and a fairly scathing feature on The Residents, it’s an odd collection. The rest of the paper features things like ads for The Damned’s second album, Kiss’ ‘Kiss Alive II’ and the new Rick Wakeman LP, live reviews of The Jam, Richard Hell and Blondie sit with articles on Pub Rock and The Eaters (no, me neither) and a very early Savage Pencil episode of ‘Rock & Roll Zoo’.

3 thoughts on “Kraftwerk and ‘The Cold Wave’ in Sounds 26.11.77

  1. Dear Mr Food

    Thanks for printing this article. It was my introduction to Kraftwerk and I remember the interview very well, there was a picture of the group in silhouette with their neon name plaques if I remember correctly. Anyway, I’m going to see them in June for the first time and in a rush of juvenile excitement posted this on my blog. https://www.blogger.com/blogger.g?blogID=24845875#editor/target=post;postID=3487232328598244767;onPublishedMenu=allposts;onClosedMenu=allposts;postNum=0;src=postname

    Also, like the previous commenter, could you please put me in touch with the original article by any chance?

    Thanks, in any case, for this one.

  2. I know this may be a shot in the dark, but any chance you would be willing to scan and post (or send) the Kraftwerk interview? I can’t seem to find it in any library databases… Thanks!

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