Have you ever heard early Kraftwerk? Way before Autobahn, which was fantastically melodic compared to their earlier creations, were three albums I know about. I have the first two (Kraftwerk and Kraftwerk 2, both available as full albums on YouTube) in a double-album set (they were originally released individually). Then came Ralf und Florian and then, just after Autobahn, a return to proper Kraftwerk with Radioactivity. That last one contains the wonderful track ‘Ohm Sweet Ohm’. There is music (I use the term in a loose sense) on those albums that would make Captain Beefheart wince.
On that first double-album is a track called ‘Klingklang’ which, as titles go, aptly describes the sounds therein contained. I only have it on vinyl so far but I do have a device that can transfer vinyl to CD. It’s a pain to use becasue, like transferring VHS to DVD, there is no quick way. The only way is to play the analogue version in real time. Or, nick it from YouTube and convert to MP3. I would, of course, never do such a terrible thing.
Incidentally, BBC Six radio keep referring to Wolfgang Flur as ‘a founder member of Kraftwerk’. Bollocks. Kraftwerk were Ralf Hutter and Florian Schneider until the other two joined and then it went all pop with red shirts and makeup and tunes that ordinary people like. I lost interest after The Man-Machine although just before that was Trans-Europe Express which is better than drugs. Don’t nod off if listening through headphones – there is a point where the train sounds like it’s coming right at you.
This must be a record digression, even for me. There is a point to this delight in discordancy, I just have to remember what it is.
Ah yes. Tory attitudes to climate change. Boris the Spider (no wait, that was a song by the Who) Boris Johnson, he of the spider-woven hair and, as many women will attest, more arms than the average spider, has come out of the closet as A Climate Heretic.
For more than 20 years now, we have been told that this country was going to get hotter and hotter and hotter, and that global warming was going to change our climate in a fundamental way. Do you remember that?
(sigh) Yes indeed, Man Without a Comb, we do remember it. We remember being villified and compared to flat-earthers by none other than Prime Monster the Brown Gorgon. And by all the high priests of the Green God and by all their mindless little drones.
Where were you then, Tory boy? Where were you when David Bellamy became an unperson for daring to deny the Green Gospel? Where were you when we pointed to the washout summers and three feet of snow in winter and were told ‘weather is not climate’ unless it gets a little bit warm somewhere and then weather is climate. Where were you then?
Boris, you are facing a jaded electorate. We have been lied to and spun so fast most of us have vomited and had to go and have a little lie down. We no longer take any politician’s words at face value and despite the best efforts of the uneducation system, most of us still have the capacity to remember the past. This switch from ‘We will all fry’ to ‘Actually it’s all been a load of hokum from the start’ is a discordancy that would make Ralf und Florian cry in envy.
He who pays the piper calls the tune, the saying goes, but for decades now we have been paying the piper to play whatever tune he likes, under threat of violence. Now the piper sees his end is nigh, he wants to play the tune we wanted him to play in the first place.
Too late to change tunes, piper. We’re not listening any more.
Put the pipes down and back away. You never played them properly anyway.