Sunday 15 July 2018

A Model's Legacy

El Lissitzky - Flying To Earth From A Distance (1920)

Today's post is going to largely center around one song. Not that I'm going to post it and a bunch of remixes mind, no, today we'll be talking about Kraftwerk's The Model, and the effect its had and will likely continue to have on electronic music. So, for those of you that might not be aware; The Model is from Kraftwerk's 1978 album The Man Machine and would actually go relatively unnoticed until it was released on its own as a single in 1981, then topping a bunch of charts in '82. Chances are you've heard this one before somewhere, either in its original form in in any multitude of covers its had over the years. It, and the album its from (and especially that cover art) have a superb aesthetic, which leads me nicely into my second point.

Ladytron's debut often gets lumped into the elctroclash scene by many, including me. Though I will concede that their debut LP 604 has more of a housey feel to it than your typical electroclash sound, and though the band themselves swears they aren't of the genre it's not hard to see why that they were tagged a such: simple electronics, monotone lyrical delivery, the promotional pictures of the time, which featured them dressed uniform-like against a red background?. But as you've probably noticed by now, all of that aesthetic is pretty much lifted from The Man Machine, and of course so was a lot of electroclash. But Ladytron at least wore their hearts on their sleeves, with He Took Her To A Movie using much of The Model as the basis for its instrumentation, including that iconic melody.

And truth be told I could drag this post out by reeling off more electro/clash examples, I'm fairly sure that Miss Kittin & The Hacker have a tune that works here but I can't remember off the top of my head. So instead I'm going with a much more out there re-incorporation of the Kraftwerk sound that I only came across a few days ago in an incredibly unlikely source. Playing us out is a piece by Hajime Hyakkoku from the soundtrack to K-On!, an anime about an all girls high school band, The music for the show is actually really good for both the OST and the in-show band but I digress. First I chalked this up to just simply aping the Kraftwerk sound, but when that bassy synth comes in at about 11 seconds in it's incredibly clear that The Model's fingerprints are all over this, and the title is actually a nice reference to that (Computer Love being the B-Side to The Model when it was released as a single). I do always like to see that even a good 31 years after its original release, Kraftwerk was still influencing musicians of all kinds and they definitley will continue to do so.

-Claude Van Foxbat

1 comment:

Discotraxx said...

That Ladytron debut album is such a great album. I enjoy listening to every single song from it. Their other 4 albums are great too.