WOLFGANG FLUR – THE HAUNT, BRIGHTON 29.9.18
Saturday 29th September saw electronic music pioneer and true legend Wolfgang Flür put on a terrific live show at Brighton’s soon-to-be-relocated ‘Haunt’ venue in Pool Valley.
Electronic music lovers in and around Brighton excitedly gathered as one of the four members from the heyday line-up of the godfathers of modern electronic music, Kraftwerk, brought his ‘Musik Soldat’ show to the City.
Flür was a member of the influential group from their international breakthrough with the brilliant album ‘Autobahn’ (1974), and remained as they experimented with proto-techno on Kraftwerk’s following five albums – ‘Radioactivity’ (1975), ‘Trans-Europe Express’ (1977), ‘The Man Machine’ (1978), ‘Computer World’ (1981) and ‘Electric Cafe’ (1986).
Frustrated with the half-decade it took to produce ‘Electric Cafe’, he left the band after the LP’s release. It wouldn’t be until a 2009 reissue that Flür received an artist credit on the album.
In 1997, he launched his solo career under the name ‘Yamo’ and released ‘Time Pie’, an album that featured work with the experimental duo Mouse on Mars. In 2000, he published his memoir ‘I Was a Robot’ but the book was pulled momentarily, and re-released with revisions after a lawsuit from the remaining members of Kraftwerk.
A 12″ single named after the book appeared in 2004, and it was included on the 2015 release ‘Eloquence:Total Works’, a collection of unreleased Flür tracks dating back to 2002.
Now aged 71 and still flying solo, Flür continued to prove he is still very much at music’s cutting edge as he showcased his electronic wizardry on-stage in Brighton. What was interesting to observe was the broad-section of ages in the audience, from students keen to see someone who helped lay the foundation for current modern music, to older Kraftwerk fans who would have purchased their music back-in-the-day.
‘Musik Soldat’ is described by Flür as a ‘musical presentation’. This translated to what was essentially a DJ set of rhythmic beat-heavy techno and electro aligned with an impressive backdrop of abstract films and evocative images from both his and Kraftwerk’s long and distinguished career. There were some real classics interspersed throughout the set too such as ‘Pocket Calculator’ and ‘Neon Lights’. Much of the footage featured Wolfgang mischievously marching up and down with his trademark first world war German helmet on, as he did in person at the end of the show.
It’s impressive to note just how much Flür enjoys putting on these events, he was very animated throughout – constantly gesticulating in time to the music, dancing and generally enthusing the appreciative crowd. It’s wonderful to see that a septuagenarian can still exude as much energy and genuine passion for what he does as if it were the start of his career. I can imagine him, god willing, still putting on these shows in 20 years time when he’s in his nineties!
All in all a thoroughly enjoyable and fun evening and a privilege to watch a master of his craft in action.