Computer Love

Feeling very affectionate towards my computer this morning, I decided to find a machine readable song that it could groove on, and where else would I turn but Kraftwerk, in particular the album Computer World. So this one is for you computer, for all the hard work you do for me, I “Computer Love” you!

And if there is any doubt, this video of an outrageously cool live performance of “Elektro Cardiogram” proves that Kraftwerk put the “tech” in techno.

Now tell me these crazy Germans don’t rule! Moreover, not only did they define techno, the have one of the most influential tracks in the birth of rap and hip hop. Wow!

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10 Responses to Computer Love

  1. Ed Webb says:

    Kraftwerk were and are outrageously important in bringing electronic music to the masses. Maybe even up there with the BBC Radiophonic Workshop. Because, let’s face it, Stockhausen was one cool cat, but he never achieved mass appeal. I liked it better when they needed a couple of rooms full of equipment, rather than a few laptops, but then I’m just nostalgic/old school that way (I still use hardware synths and samplers – can you believe that?)

    Your computer may also enjoy George Clinton’s Computer Games album.

  2. Brad says:

    Frodus’ “Computer (Love)” is what I was hoping this post was going to be about by the title, but the Kraftwerk songs make infinitely more sense.

    This performance would be a good topic for a post, as well. Why are these things even on Youtube?
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H5-ENXSXVrM

    Gotta love it.

  3. Andrea says:

    Off in a slightly different direction, I was singing Blondie’s “Rapture” half of yesterday. 😀

    (speaking of rap and initial influences)

  4. Luke says:

    @Brad Zapp and Roger bring back memories… their “Computer Love” made a cameo in Menace II Society, and underrated cautionary tale about the dangers of the crack game, malt liquor, and coming across Larenz Tate at the wrong moment:

    Here’s the scene, punctuated by a double-take inducing French dub. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DObWiEg2_n4

    God, how I love the talk box. The Kraftwork song speaks to finding fulfillment in those lonely moments that are illuminated only by the flicker of the screen. I dig that. But, really, those guys need to get out from behind their machines and recognize, like Zapp and Roger clearly did, that the best use of technology is as a means to connect. You can express your love all you want for digits and bits… but a computer will never really love you back!

    😛

  5. Reverend says:

    @Ed,

    You know how I feel about the nostalgia, keep it coming—I would love to have the ENIAC in my basement, and just go down there in my lab coat and pretend I am doing something, anything surrounded by such a structure.

    I have to say that I don;t know Stockhausen at all, but now I have the knowledge so I can’t deny it, same goes for the George Clinton which is get another rock you have let m out from under 🙂

    @Brad,
    Frodus is new to me, do you recommend them? Also, that video is awesome, where do you find this stuff. As to the performance, I agree entirely, those crazy tron outfits and each of them sitting at their own laptop on stage is awesome. I want to do an edtech conference with three other people, wherein we speak abstract ideas, that are projected above our heads, and all to a melodic tune. Or, go the other way, and put one bell bottoms, a fake afro, and a white fur coat and pull a Lucio Battisti, I’m not sure which approach is better.

    @Luke
    I have to disagree with you about the connection/engagement issue with the crowd. Kraftwek are like The Residents, their performance is conceptual, and there stillness and isolation are exactly how they need to perform. An engaging and smooth performance by Kraftwerk in a kind of “The Boss” vein would be creepy and unacceptable.

    @Andrea_r
    Was that your Saturday song? I like that idea by the way, and this might actually be a song I could sing and get away with, I need something simple with very little note variation. Maybe next Saturday I’ll join you 😉

  6. Luke says:

    Jim, you’re totally right… my comment was more about the content/theme of the two songs and their implicit arguments about technology than about the method of presentation. Believe me, I don’t want to see those guys jumping around on a stage.

  7. Andrea says:

    Ah, my sing-along yesterday morning was Heart’s “Crazy on You”. Blondie infiltrated my head in the late afternoon.

    I have Heart’s Dreamboat Annie as well as Fleetwood Mac’s Rumors completely memorized. that;s what I was listening to in the late seventies.

  8. Reverend says:

    Luke,

    And given comments and all these new fangled sites, my computer does love me back, I mean look at you comment. It is like a love letter. I love you though my computer. 🙂

    @Andrea
    “crazy on You” is exactly the kind of song that petrifies me in that regard. I think I am going to go out on a limb and do this on next Saturday, in Italian: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KhsxIpMUqPM

    I might even re-make the music video 🙂

  9. Gerry says:

    I listened to “Computer World” non-stop in college. The austere, two-tone cover was enough to get me interested.

    Of course, “Pocket Calculator” is the standout track (single?) and I adore that song. But delving deeper into that album was just layer after layer of bizarre fun.

    They did the opposite of the mainstream- instead of overproduced bombast, sex appeal, and disco grooves, they gave us simple layered tones, sexual ambiguity, and machine-like metronomic beats. The artifice they presented us with was completely sincere.

  10. Andy Rush says:

    As soon as I heard Computer Love again, thanks to your lovely post, I immediately heard Coldplay. Sure enough, they got permission from Kraftwerk to base the song “Talk” on the riff from Computer Love – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_N9rH2x5KUw

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