If there’s one group that has been influential to the EDM scene, it would have to be Kraftwerk. Some may disagree, but they would be wrong. Before there was Armin Van Buuren, Deadmau5 and Avicii, there was Kraftwerk. The group came out of Germany and has become a significant contributor to electronic music for the last thirty years and has helped in coursing and forming the genre. Even in the recent past Kraftwerk is known for their consistent experimentation and pioneering in music. Over the years, they have influenced and worked with many well-known artists.
Kraftwerk formed in the late seventies and were innovative throughout the eighties and beyond. Their music was created using instruments and many devices they created themselves. Long before electronic music went digital, Kraftwerk was using technology to do something unique and ground-breaking. It was unlike anything that had been done at that point in time.
Even today, Kraftwerk’s popularity is illustrated by how quickly tickets to the Kraftwerk’s Retrospective 12345678 concerts sold out. The eight-day concert series took place at the beginning of April and featured live music from Kraftwerk’s eight albums along with 3-D visual effects which accompanied the music. The experience demonstrated what Kraftwerk is known for; sensory overload of sight and sound. This was a hot ticket in NYC and unsurprisingly didn’t last longer than a few minutes.
Although most people didn’t get to experience this live concert, Kraftwerk and MoMa have made it possible for new and old fans to get a taste of the performances. There’s nothing better than visiting MoMa PS1 in Long Island City on a rainy Sunday afternoon. The museum is a short train ride from Midtown and is housed in a former public school which features unique modern art exhibits. The exclusive exhibit is one of many and takes place inside a white dome which adds to the modern, minimalistic creativity that Kraftwerk is known for.
The dome plays a consistent loop of the Retrospective 12345678 music along with clips from Kraftwerk videos as well as album covers. Guests enter into an empty white dome where music emanates outside and gets louder upon entering. If visiting during the day, visitors will walk into the dome and see the visual effects on the ceiling of the dome as the music plays along with it. However, later in the evening a live DJ actually performs to the visual videos that play on loop. There are limited refreshments and alcoholic beverages served from a convenient cart outside the dome, encouraging visitors to stay a while and really get into the musical experience.
Depending on the time of day (and weather), people filter in and out of the dome to check out the music and videos. There aren’t seats, but many sat on the floor as they watched and listened. Others stood, unsure whether they should be dancing or nodding along to the music. Much like any concert, there was a mix of people, but the nightly DJ performers probably draw in more people than the exhibit alone.
The ticket price varies from $5-$10 for adults and students and includes admission into the museum exhibits as well as the Kraftwerk display in the white dome. The exhibit runs now through May 14th.