Insomnia (insomnia) wrote,

Hot on the heels of Kraftwerk...

sbisson pointed out an interesting, amusing article on all the secrecy around the band Kraftwerk, one of the world's most reclusive bands (though still less reclusive than The Residents...)

The writer of the article went to Dusseldorf to try and find Kraftwerk and locate the famous Klingklang Studio, whose whereabouts Kraftwerk has never publically revealed. He hunts for the studio based on a description of the building in Pascal Bussy's "Kraftwerk: Man, Machine and Music" -- a "yellowish" building that is near the train station, overlooking a cheap hotel.

So, the reporter trudges all over Dusseldorf and wanders into a building he *thinks* could be Klingklang... only to find a series of empty rooms with nobody home. (Frankly, it sounds like he went to the wrong place.)

But fortunately, we have the internet! No need to trudge all over Dusseldorf, only to go home dejected. With a little searching, I can tell you *exactly* where Klingklang is located, as well as provide some interesting details on the band that the reporter overlooked.

According to a few posts in Usenet, the Klingklang Studios are located at Mintropstrasse 16, Dusseldorf. Interestingly, I also did some searching that discovered that across the street from KlingKlang is the Hotel Acon -- the cheap hotel! -- and if you look at the map for the hotel, you will see that it is conveniently located near the train station.

I checked the whois records for and -- the registrants are listed as
Kraftwerk/Schmitz, Reichel + Partner
Klosterstrasse 34

After examining the registration for, it appears that the main registrant is Klaus Schmitz. Given that Henning Schmitz is a member of the band, it seems likely that Klaus is a relative. Sounds to me like the business-end of Kraftwerk, which is apparently quite seperate from Kraftwerk's very private and meticulous recording process.

Finally, after considerable searching, I found a fansite in Brazil with pictures of the building...

The pictures tell the rest of the story -- go into the grubby center courtyard parking area, and you'll notice an old flight of stairs that lead up to a a single door with a small, non-descript sign. There on the second floor of Mintropstrasse #16 in a 60 meter wide soundproofed loft is where modern electronic music was pretty much created.

...but that was a long time ago. So, why all the buzz about Kraftwerk now? Well, they just released a new recording and a music video ( viewable online in RealPlayer format and in Windows Media Player format.) Kraftwerk doesn't release new material very often -- their last full-length original album was released in 1986 -- so it's not surprising that their fans are making a big deal of it.

There were rumors that Kraftwerk would move studios, but those have been discounted by reliable sources -- too much of what makes the band who they are is tied up into Klingklang. You can't get inside, but you can always peek in the windows, walk along the seedy yet vibrant and artistic street, and wait a few years for the next shoe to drop...

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