Day Fifteen

Around 9 p.m., V2 Schneider walked to the bar of the .HBC and started to spin some records. It was the closing night of the Berlin Musikfilm Marathon.

Popul Vuh:In den Gärten Pharaohs
Jack Kerouac: ‘American Haikus’
Billie Holiday: ‘I Cover the Waterfront’
Music from the Kling Klang Machine iPhone App
Einstürzende Neubauten:Fiat Lux/Maifestspiele
Bernard Hermann:Diary of a Taxi Driver
Massive Attack w/ Mos Def: ‘I Against I’
Decoder OST:Muzak for Frogs
Frank Sinatra:Strangers in the Night
“Little” Jimmy Scott: ‘Somewhere over the Rainbow’

The general theme for the evening was film music, though Schneider also felt free to experiment with his newly downloaded Kling Klang Machine app. He connected his iPhone with the battle mixer and programmed a slow electro beat that he underlayed with an abstract melody, also from the app. He let the machine repeat the beat endlessly, constantly changing details in the pattern or the melody. Before long, the crowd fell into a meditative mood, listening to the constant, subtly-shifting rhythm. After half an hour, he began to mix in Einstürzende Neubauten’s melancholic love anthem ‘Fiat Lux’. The Kraftwerk beat aesthetic and Neubauten’s urban blues amalgamated perfectly. The climax of his set was, in true Schneider spirit, FM Einheit’s field recordings of the Berlin Labor Day riots from 1987.

But Schneider’s selection was only the overture for a night to truly remember. Einstürzende Neubauten’s guitar player Jochen Arbeit took over and played even more eclectic variety of movie soundtracks. It was beautiful to hear how Arbeit wove in Howard Shore’s (one of Schneider’s favorite soundtrack composers) score for David Cronenberg’s film Crash.

Customers who bought this item by Howard Shore bought also other items by Howard Shore: The Fly (OST), Departed (OST), Videodrome (OST) and Seven (OST).

In fact, Billie Holiday’s haunting rendition of ‘I Cover the Waterfront’, even though not written by Shore (but nonetheless included on the original soundtrack to David Fincher’s movie) was one of the tunes that Schneider was periodically playing when he was regularly DJing.

In the still and the chill of the night
I see the horizon, the great unknown

Next on the bill was Frank Behnke, former guitarist for German doom metal outfit Mutter. Though his former work was distorted and heavy, his DJ performance was rather the opposite.

But the set Schneider was waiting for was the one from Irmin Schmidt, co-founder and keyboard player of the legendary band CAN. Few people know that Schmidt originally studied modern composition under Karlheinz Stockhausen and György Ligeti. He was also one of the first German pianists to play John Cage. Schmidt (who was supported by his friend and techno producer Justus Köhncke) played a couple of unreleased tracks from CAN’s vaults, which are due to be released later this year. One can only use the word ‘magic’ to describe the invisible energy lines that were activated by these previously-unheard sounds. For one hour, time stood still.

Holding a bottle of beer in his hand, Irmin Schmidt whispered to Schneider: “How come you never wanted to talk to me?” “This must be a misunderstanding,” Schneider replied; "I’d love to talk.” Schmidt: “I have a beautiful house in the south of France. Be my guest. Let’s talk there.”

Day Eleven

“Could I please get my burger grilled rare?” Schneider kindly asked the waiter at the Blockhouse restaurant in Karl-Liebknecht-Straße. But the waiter replied: “We always serve our burgers well done. This is according to German hygienic law.” Schneider didn’t understand: “But when I eat a burger at Hasir Burger or at Burgermeister’s, I always can get it rare.” But the German waiter replied: “I told you, this is the law!”

Back home in Berlin Neuköln with some friends, Schneider watched both Walt Disney’s Jungle Book and Andrej Tarkovsky’s Stalker in a row, while they enjoyed a bottle of Arneis. Impressed by the haunting and meditative narrative of Tarkovsky’s masterpiece, he asked himself the question why nobody is shooting films like that anymore.

A word about watching films over and over again: The first time, V2 Schneider had seen Stalker, he was sweet sixteen years old. Back then, he hadn’t understood a word of what the writer, the scientist and the stalker were talking about. He intuitively felt, however, that their discussions were elemental and essential, and that he maybe was too young to understand the problems of pondering adults who live in a permanent state of doubt. Not to mention the visual language of the film, as overwhelming then as it is now.

Soviet officials were critical of the film when it was released in 1979. On being told that Stalker should be faster and more dynamic, Tarkovsky replied:

“The film needs to be slower and duller at the start so that the viewers who walked into the wrong theater have time to leave before the main action starts.”

The Goskino representatives then explained that they were only trying to give the point of view of the audience. Tarkovsky supposedly retorted:

“I am only interested in the views of two people: one is called Bresson and one called Bergman.”

Watching the film for the seventh time in his life, Schneider was especially moved by the scenes that take place in the bar. The neon tube is jittering. No music is being played. People that gather in this bar to drink beer are negotiating the principal things in life. You might call it an existentialist bar, even though Tarkovsky would certainly disagree, being the religious man that he is.

If V2 Schneider would ever open a bar, he would design it like this imaginary one. Of course, he wouldn’t open his bar in viewing distance of a nuclear power plant.

Day ten

Schneider turned on the huge PA in his office and listened to his field recording from Kraftwerk’s Techno Pop concert at the MoMA at full volume. The bootleg emphasized the high frequencies. To equalize the distortion, Schneider doubled the input in the 150 kHz range and cut some of the peaks. As a result, he went through an interesting listening experience: ‘Musique Non-Stop’ without the high frequencies sounded like an African tribal piece, breathlessly driven by monotonous percussive energy.

For lunch, he cut a Mozzarella di Buffala from Campania into two halves and poured some extra virgin olive oil on it, no tomatoes or basil.

Later during the afternoon, he received an email from Bernard Sumner confirming their interview for the first week of May.

Still suffering from jetlag, Schneider went home early in the evening. As the sky grew dark, he turned on his video projector and watched Lars von Trier’s brilliant film Europa. In this state of the art black-and-white experimental feature from 1991, Barbara Sukowa plays the role of a Nazi femme fatale who seduces, then marries and manipulates a young American (Jean-Marc Barr) who eagerly wants to “show some kindness to the suffering German people”—in 1945, in the aftermath of the Second World War. In a key scene, Barr is confronted with his wife while US military police are arresting her.

Sukowa: “In my eyes, YOU are the criminal.”

Barr: “How can you say that?! I was on neither side, I didn’t take sides.”

Sukowa: “That’s exactly your crime.”

Day nine

Late supper with Holly Woodlawn, Niko Solorio, Nicolas Wackerbarth, Bernd Cailloux and thirty-three drag queens at the Knutbar. In the small kitchen, V2 Schneider prepared 5 kilograms of pasta, using the huge Scottish salmon he had bought wholesale at the fish market for the sauce. In front of his queer audience, he skinned the fish and cut the two filets into symmetrical cubes of 3 centimeters. He then chopped the garlic, the ginger, the chili and the parsley. The sauce he composed of white wine, green and black pepper, lemon leafs, olive oil and some juice from freshly squeezed lemons.

By 11 p.m., Holly was completely drunk.

Holly came from Miami, F.L.A.
Hitchhiked her way across the USA.

Plucked her eyebrows on the way
Shaved her legs and then he was she - she said:

Hey Babe, take a walk on the wild side,
Said hey honey, take a walk on the wild side.

Day Eight

Miles in the sky northeast of Halifax, V2 Schneider fell into a fitful, dreamless sleep. After some turbulence later, though, he was awake again. The map on the small screen located the cruising Boeing 747 somewhere south of Greenland. He imagined the ocean beneath him, cold and dark, and considered that the Titanic sank somewhere around here almost exactly one hundred years ago.

The melody of Kraftwerk’s “Musique Non-Stop” never left his mind. He heard the repetitive, percussive electronic beats of the track as a never-ending loop. Half awake, half sleeping, Schneider flipped through the pages of Human Nature (Dub Version), the book he had received as a gift from Glenn O’Brien the day before. On page 73 he read the poem “The Key”:

In this jar is a key to the Factory.
I don’t remember which key it is.
I don’t remember what any of these keys are.
But one oft hem is a key to the Factory.
No Purple Heart, no Medal of Honor,
just a Mason jar full of keys that used to work.
There is no more Factory.
But in here somewhere is the key.

9:15 a.m. arrival at Heathrow (Int’l Terminal 5)
10:55 a.m. flight BA 0992 to Berlin Tegel
1:45 p.m. arrival at Berlin Tegel

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2:15 p.m. taxi to Berlin Neuköln

Pizza Margherita con Salsiccia and a cold Peroni beer at Masaniello’s. Power nap until 8:45 p.m. Almost ninety minutes later, Mario Gomez scores the 2:1 goal at the Champions League semi-finals in Munich against Real Madrid.

Day Seven

On the balcony overlooking Orchard Street, V2 Schneider lit a black and gold Nat Sherman—the world’s most elegant cigarette. Unsurprisingly, the fine natural tobacco blend was beyond reproach.

(SURGEON GENERAL’S WARNING: Quitting Smoking Now Greatly Reduces Serious Risks to Your Health.)

Lunch with LMB at Old Town Bar: a double cheeseburger with fries and a cup of drip coffee. From there, Schneider walked next door to Barnes & Noble to buy some books.

New York Diaries (1609 to 2009) by Teresa Carpenter (Modern Library)
Windblown World—The Journals of Jack Kerouac 1947-1954 (Penguin)
Tarantula by Bob Dylan (Scribner)
Collected Poems 1947-1997 by Allen Ginsberg (Harper Perennial Modern Classics)

While standing in the queue, V2 Schneider’s cellphone rang. On the other end of the line: Glenn O’Brien suggesting a meet-up at his place, undoubtedly involving more coffee. Schneider paid for his books and hopped on the 7 Train to Bleecker Street where he met the former editor-in-chief of Andy Warhol’s Interview Magazine in his studio apartment.

O’Brien wore a sporty greyish suit with a brilliantly contrasting pastel yellow shirt—one end of the collar asymmetrically tucked under the jacket, the other one above the lapel. His comfortable studio was like a small museum, with an equally impressive library. Schneider was most impressed by the countless Basquiat’s hanging on the walls. Opposite to his seat, a small piece by Joseph Kosuth was stood prominently on the bookshelf, brandishing a quote by Fyodor Dostoevsky: “We are all happy if we only knew it.”

Over the course of three espressi, they discussed O’Brien’s substantial art collection, which included several works by Richard Prince, Damien Hirst, Andy Warhol, Christopher Wool et al: “When I worked for Andy, I simply was in the midst of it. I was in the very center of the New York art scene. I became friends with people like Richard Prince or Jean-Michel Basquiat. Instead of writing a bill when I, for instance, wrote an essay for a catalogue, I’d instead suggest to take a painting or a print. For me, these pieces were worth so much more than money. In fact, as time passed and some of the painters I collected became world famous, it turned out that I was right.”

Schneider noticed a series of twelve colorful drawings by Basquiat on one wall. “How long did it take for him to draw a series of a dozen?” O’Brien: “I remember the day when he did them. I was hacking in an article on the typewriter for some magazine, and he was sitting on the same table, drawing one picture after the other. It warms my heart thinking of those days.”

Before he left, O’Brien insisted on giving Schneider a signed copy of his book Human Nature (Dub Version) containing his poems and Richard Prince’s drawings. After saying his goodbyes, Schneider headed towards Grand Street carrying even more valuable stuff. His cup runneth over.

This was his final day in Manhattan. His flight was leaving from Newark Airport at 9:29 p.m. He still had to pack his suitcase and write some postcards. At a downtown toy store, he freed a small, brown stuffed rabbit from its gloomy, dusty confinement.

The April 16 entry of the New York Diaries read as follows:

“1912—absolutely appalling disaster of the Titanic. Sank after four hours. No one is thinking of anything else. Only a 3rd enough life boats though more than required by law. Most of the women & children supposed to be saved on the Carpathia & and a few…fearing over a thousand lost.” - Marjorie Richards Reynolds

He closed the book, poured himself a glass of cold Chardonnay and looked out the window as LMB’s cousin Claire rolled through rush-hour traffic towards Holland Tunnel and then to Newark Airport.

Day Six

At the subway entrance, Schneider picked up a copy of the New York Post.

SWILLARY—Hill knocks back brew as scandal rocks summit!

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton yesterday slugged back a beer and kicked up her heels at a Cuban-themed nightclub in Cartagena, as the brewing Secret Service prostitution scandal stunned the Summit of the Americas in Colombia. America’s top diplomat was all smiles as she… (cont. on page 4)

Next stop: breakfast at Joe’s Coffee (9 East 13th) with Steven Levy. There was music in the café at noon and revolution in the air when Levy mapped out the future of the music on the Internet. “We will soon have live streams of every single concert all over the world. We’ll be able to share not only the live experience but also to browse through endless stream archives. Our perception of time will change, as will our understanding of music. I could even imagine that the format of the album will be replaced by the format of the live show.”

Levy couldn’t have known that V2 Schneider was eagerly expecting the kick-off of Bob Dylan’s spring tour later that night in Rio de Janeiro—constantly thinking about the patterns of set-lists and how even the slightest changes can mean the world to caring audiences. Just ask any deadhead.

His mind swimming with ideas, Schneider took the Q Train to Queens to meet the inimitable François K. at PS1. At the entrance of the museum, he bumped into Klaus Biesenbach, Hans Ulrich Obrist and Ralf Hütter—the latter wearing his black pants 1940’s style, like Humphrey Bogart in Key Largo. As it turned out, Hütter had chosen this sunny afternoon to do a joint DJ set together with François K. inside the Kraftwerk exhibit’s “Performance Dome”. Hell, this was inspiring. To the matching beats of Kraftwerk’s “Numbers” (manipulated by Kevorkian on laptop), Hütter played melancholic melodies on both a Mini Moog and Korg MS20 and even sang live—his voice treated by a heavy vocoder effect. The crowd went berserk as K. mixed Afrika Bambaataa, Kraftwerk and various obscure electro grooves into a single pulsing entity.

Unfortunately for Schneider, a planned interview with François K. didn’t take place. Schneider wanted to discuss K.’s influence on the mixing of Kraftwerk’s Techno Pop (originally Electric Café) in 1986, but Kevorkian, when asked, simply replied: “I haven’t slept for three days. Please forgive me. I need a bed.”

Later that evening, Schneider and Rainer Calmund went to the MoMA to see Techno Pop live. In light of the fact that the medley “Boing Boom Tschak/Techno Pop/Musique Non-Stop” had been the climax during every single one of the Kraftwerk’s previous shows, both Schneider and Calmund were expecting nothing less than the outstanding. One word about Techno Pop: The album is sparse when it comes to melodies, but this actually is its greatest asset. On the A-side, Kraftwerk had begun experimenting with songs that are rhythmically in-synch, helping to introduce the dawn of a new DJ culture where one beat had to match the next. But this didn’t spare the band from being critiqued for the album’s lack of melody and subjective lyrics when it appeared in the mid-eighties.

While Calmund curiously left the MoMA before the set had even started, Schneider managed to witness the best Kraftwerk show of the retrospective so far. In his gut he could feel the group’s desire to rewrite history. During “The Robots” Ralf Hütter even did the robot – only slightly, but nonetheless.

After the show, Schneider once again found himself on the rooftop terrace of Rockefeller Center, this time surrounded by a swarm of small birds whose chirping seemed to strangely increase the strength of his Wi-Fi signal.

In Rio de Janeiro, Dylan had just finished the first concert of his South American tour. The set-list on his iPhone read as follows:

Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat
It Ain’t Me, Babe
Things Have Changed
Tangled Up In Blue
The Levee’s Gonna Break
Tryin’ to Get to Heaven
Beyond Here Lies Nothin’
Desolation Row
Summer Days
Simple Twist of Fate
Highway 61 Revisited
Forgetful Heart
Thunder on the Mountain
Ballad of a Thin Man
Like a Rolling Stone
All Along the Watchtower

And then: linguine with salmon, ginger and green pepper in the loft on Grand Street.

Day five

V2 Schneider woke up at 8 a.m. sharp. It was a bright and sunny Saturday morning in Chinatown—NYPD sirens were audible in the distance and the people were busy on the city streets. After receiving an appropriately technopop haircut in a Russian barber shop at the Essex Market on Delancey Street, Schneider took a cab to West 3rd and MacDougal to have lunch with LMB at Arbeitersushi’s. They ordered Maguro, Toro, Hamachi, Hirame and Saba sashimi, as well as a miso soup and numerous refills of Japanese green tea. The music being gently piped through the speakers at the restaurant was sublime—a mid-1930s recording of Louis Armstrong, supremely confident in his horn playing ability and bursting with creative energy.

Stepping out of the restaurant, he literally bumped into a beggar in a suit who was selling his self-written poems for a dollar a piece. Schneider bought one.

One day or call
Could wreck it all

In the afternoon, Schneider had a double espresso with Juan Atkins at PS1. The subject of conversation: Batman movies. While Schneider suggested that Arnold Schwarzenegger had played in one, Juan Atkins adamantly denied it.

Schneider: “Yes he did!”
Atkins: “No he didn’t!”
Schneider: “Yes he did!”
Atkins: “No he didn’t. Maybe in some Japanese Batman rip-off but not in the real Batman.”

At the museum bookstore, Schneider bought issues #21 and #22 of the handmade, xeroxed and socio-politically oriented e-flux journal. He soon became engrossed in a contribution by Gregg Bordowitz:

Poems explore every condition
Physical, political, mystical

They confound reason with core emotions
They expand what we think is reasonable

But the chief purpose is not expression
The purpose is simple—fundamental

Two hours later, across East river in Midtown, Kraftwerk’s fifth performance of their retrospective was about to start. Computerworld. Oh yes. From the very beginning, the show was so much louder and kicked so much harder than the previous nights. And for the first time, the MoMA’s atrium was packed. Grinning from all the vodka, V2 Schneider started to truly grok Ralf Hütter’s bizarre humor. During “Pocket Calculator”—arguably one of the most influential songs for Detroit techno—the visuals showed a calculator failing to compute the most basic arithmetic. But perhaps the funniest detail was in the visuals for “Radio-Activity”: Here, the symbol for radioactivity emitted symmetrical black beams from its yellow ground, all the while pumping like a bass speaker.

Schneider attended the show with German architect Daniel Schuetz. During “The Robots”, Schuetz took notice of the robots’ melancholy expressions, almost lyrical in nature. Schneider immediately began to see it that way too. This was a desperate sadness the robots emanated, one signifying the need to be human. They reached out with their arms into the audience, as if crying for help in silence.

After the concert was over, Schneider and Schuetz walked a few blocks to Rockefeller Center and took the elevator to the rooftop terrace on the building’s 70th floor, where they gazed at the vibrating ocean of lights before them.

Vodka at the Old Town Bar.

Day four

“The country I grew up in doesn’t exist anymore”, remembers Klaus Biesenbach, curator at large at the MoMA in New York City. “The Bundesrepublik Deutschland vanished with the fall of the mauer. The FRG was the country of Joseph Beuys, Sigmar Polke, Gerhard Richter and Kraftwerk. When I listen to Kraftwerk today, a part of me always travels through time, back into the disappeared Bundesrepublik. The other part of me understands that Kraftwerk are a present day enterprise. They are not only part of our present time, they also foresee the future.”

V2 Schneider had taken the M train to Queens, where he was warmly received by Klaus Biesenbach at the PS1 exhibition site for an in-depth interview and a cup of excellent Italian coffee with foamed milk. As it turned out, the coffee machine that produced the coffee was of the same brand as his own, a shiny, shiny Faema E-61.

The PS1 is the Queens outlet of the MoMA with a focus on communal integration. In the spirit of this idea, the PS1 performance dome, a circular white tent of immense dimensions, offers the experience of listening to Kraftwerk’s music in a crisp, clear surround sound while watching the stunning visuals laying on a huge black mattress. Immediately, he understood that this multimedia presentation and the eight shows for the chosen few were like two sides of a coin. He felt the urge to say this because on the international scale, everybody seemed to stress the fact that Kraftwerk were giving a series of hyper-exclusive shows, but forgot to mention the impressive PS1 set-up.

At a small Queens fish market, Schneider bought a plastic bag full of fresh tiger king prawns and a similar bag filled with clam shells for tonight’s aftershow dinner at Grand Street. To cool the seafood he asked for a third bag filled with dry ice. Thus equipped, he took the 7 train back to Manhattan and arrived just in time for the start of the fourth consecutive night of Kraftwerk shows at the MoMA—leaving the seafood in good hands at the reception desk.

He obeyed Biesenbach’s advice to see the show from right in front of the mixing desk—only here, at the very back of the atrium, the 3D visuals would unfold their effect in full. This was good counsel because the graphic narrative of the Man-Machine visuals was nothing less than state of the art. The track ‘Spacelab’ was a stellar experience in the true sense of the word: The camera perspective was out the window of an imagined space station onto the surface of the earth. In one sequence of the 3D installation, you could clearly recognize the northern part of the Italian peninsular—the Po delta, Milan, Bologna and Venice. The audience applauded when a satellite literally flew into the crowd. But the other sights were impressive as well.

To the sounds and words of ‘Neon Lights’, 3D animated films of noir-drenched, nostalgic neon advertisements slowly hovered through the transfixed audience. The motion of the neon lights kept floating slowly through the people even when there was a major break within the music. This is wonderfully anti-cyclic, Schneider thought, as Hütter sang the famous words with caring tenderness, for once leaving behind his robot alter ego: “Shimmering neon lights / And at the fall of night / This city’s made of light.” For a moment, Schneider felt that he was standing at the very center of the world—in New York City. When he stepped out of the museum he saw himself surrounded by the huge midtown high-rises, listening to the city’s constant bass drone in his ears.

Dinner around midnight at Grand Street. Pasta with clams and king prawns and chili.

Day three

Blind with unrest, he grew aware: The city was in full bloom and the heavy scent of flowers wafted through the open window of the loft in Grand Street. V2 Schneider sat at the kitchen table checking his emails. He was pleased to learn that the Electronic Beats Magazine had won three Astrid Design Awards. Immediately he called LMB and made plans to meet her at the Old Town Bar in East 18th Street for a late lunch.

But before that, he took a cab to Times Square to meet film critic at The New Yorker Richard Brody on the 20th floor of the Condé Nast Building for a coffee and some conversation. The view from Brody’s office was terrific. Schneider felt the intense density of the city and noticed a chapel adorning the top of a nearby skyscraper.

Brody and Schneider discussed Claude Lanzmann’s Shoah and how it changed the world—and more importantly, how it will do so even more drastically when rereleased in America on DVD.

Schneider: “This means the American people will be able to buy Lanzmann’s recently published memoirs, The Patagonian Hare, but could not see Shoah?”

Brody: “Of course they could always see Shoah on YouTube, but it’s a different experience.”

Schneider: “The poetic quality of the film, the dissonance created by the beauty of the Polish forests near the death camps—you probably wouldn’t notice it when you watch it on a screen the size of a laptop.”

Brody: “I think you would, but the poetic quality certainly wouldnt be as present because of interruptions. Still, I consider YouTube to be the cinematographic library of the future.”

Later that afternoon Schneider and LMB met at the Old Town Bar, wolfing down two cheeseburgers with fries and a bottle of Veuve Cliquot Ponsardin. They spoke at length about statistical probability and Sudoku and then took a cab to the MoMA to attend Kraftwerk’s Trans-Europe Express performance. The driver asked Schneider what kind of taxis they had in Germany. Schneider told him mostly E Class and C Class Mercedes. Arriving at the MoMA he was flattered to once again find a beautiful woman greeting him at the main entrance: “Mr. Schneider! Nice to see you again! You are on the list - enjoy the show.”

Back in the atrium, he took in the performance space’s Bauhaus design, eventually realizing that the proportions seemed slightly out of alignment. He went to the information desk of the museum to inquire and was soon presented with a floor plan of the building. Bingo! The atrium had been rebuilt for Kraftwerk shows. Schneider had assumed that this was part of the stage design and thus defined the whole concert series; not as just a sophisticated musical event but as a hyper complex conceptual art installation that unified sound, space, performance, moving images and time into a larger, more dynamic Gesamtkunstwerk. Browsing his iPhone he stumbled upon a Huffington Post post by MoMA curator Klaus Biesenbach in which he describes the stage set-up as an attempt to copy and paste Kraftwerk’s Düsseldorf Kling Klang studio into the museum.
Schneider smiled the whole time as Kraftwerk’s asymmetrical hymns were piped through hidden speakers. The band had changed the set list.

Trans-Europe Express
Metal on Metal
Franz Schubert
Europe Endless
The Hall of Mirrors
Showroom Dummies
The Robots
The Model
The Man-Machine
Computer World
Computer Love
Home Computer
Tour de France
Planet of Vision
Boing Boom Tschak
Techno Pop
Musique Non Stop

For the first time, the New York audience—including Afrika Bambaataa, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Matthias Mühling and Michael Stipe—seemed to unabashedly celebrate Kraftwerk’s music. After every song, applause rumbled through the white cube like thunder. Standing directly in front of Ralf Hütter’s console, Schneider could clearly see every expression on the bandleader’s face. For a split-second, the 66-year old smiled following the performance of “The Hall of Mirrors”.

Even the greatest stars find their face in the looking glass / He made up the person he wanted to be / And changed into a new personality.

“It’s all about the details”, Schneider wrote into his sketchbook.