Many people have heard of Kraftwerk, such is their influence, without having ever heard their music.
Kraftwerk were formed in Dusseldorf in the early 1970s by Ralf Hutter and Florian Scheider, originally under the name 'Tone Float'. In the early days they were seen to be part of the 'krautrock' movement along with groups such as 'Can' and 'Tangerine Dream'. However they soon outgrew the confines of this tag to become one of the most influential groups of all time.
It can be argued that Kraftwerk invented electronic music and paved the way for all the dance and techno acts of today. They built most of their own equipment. This they had to do because nothing existed to make the kind of noises they wanted to create. They also built their own studio called 'Kling Klang' in which they make all their music. They even take the studio on tour with them so as to replicate their studio sound to perfection.
They have released 11 albums, the last one in 1991. A listen to any one of these reveals the music to still sound modern and fresh. The last five of these were released in both English and German, but purists will only listen to the German versions. The English versions available in the UK are cheaper and just as good.
The band are probably most famous for two things; the song 'The Model', and the way they made themselves look like robots when performing on stage.
The good news is that Kraftwerk, despite having released no new material for nearly a decade, are still active. And if you would like to learn more about them, the albums Autobahn and Radioactivity will provide a wonderful introduction to their uniquely futuristic vision. Both of these are easy to find. Happy listening.