Discover innovative clones of Kraftwerk from the recent years

Discover innovative clones of Kraftwerk from the recent years

Kraftwerk – The birth of a music genre

Kraftwerk, elec­tron­ic pion­eers, ran­dom music­al adven­tur­ers or an inflated myth? From whichever per­spect­ive you look at it, the Düsseldorf band has left a clear impres­sion on the music scene since its begin­nings in the 70s and inspired count­less bands. After half a cen­tury, new bands can still be found that indulge in min­im­al elec­tron­ics like Kraftwerk. These clear and cool elec­tron­ics seem to cast a spell over entire gen­er­a­tions. In our art­icle 'Discover innov­at­ive clones of Kraftwerk from the recent years' we will intro­duce you to some of these bands. By the way, the word­ing "clones" is not meant in a derog­at­ory way. Rather, it is to refer to the fact that the role mod­el 'Kraftwerk' is clearly recognisable.

While the genre was called 'Krautrock' in the early years, it later became elec­tro pop or techno pop. In ret­ro­spect, I would cat­egor­ise Kraftwerk more in the genre of min­im­al elec­tro. But there are cer­tainly dif­fer­ent opin­ions on that. I won't list the genres that Kraftwerk influ­enced here, because they would go bey­ond the spec­trum of our scene across all music­al borders.

Soulless machine music or a godlike ignition spark?

My first sig­ni­fic­ant music­al exper­i­ence is also related to Kraftwerk. You can read details about my first con­tact to Kraftwerk on the page 'The story behind the ori­gin of Electrozombies'. This new elec­tron­ic music thrilled me and had a major impact on my per­son­al music­al taste. However, I have to admit that today I am not so much into this min­im­al elec­tro music any­more. Especially instru­ment­al music is soul­less and com­pletely unin­ter­est­ing for me. However, I do not want to betray my roots. They are the found­a­tion of what I love today. In this art­icle I want to cel­eb­rate and intro­duce more the bands that obvi­ously love Kraftwerk as much as I do and want to keep this music alive.

By the way, the list has no rank­ing order. I just want to intro­duce the Kraftwerk fans among us to new or undis­covered Kraftwerk sim­il­ar bands that might suit their music­al taste. Let's start.

Bands like Kraftwerk – The next generation

1. Reakton

I have just dis­covered Reakton myself and pos­ted the music video 'Nano' right away. You can't find much about the Berlin band online. Apparently the first album 'Weltall:Erde:Mensch' was released in 2014. In any case, they pro­duce the finest com­puter music with a min­im­al­ist approach, plus short, crisp lyr­ics and enough pres­sure for the mod­ern age.

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2. Maschine Brennt

Joacim Thenander is the man behind 'Maschine Brennt', a musi­cian with a long his­tory of cre­at­ing com­puter-based music. He was a mem­ber of the EBM / Industrial band 'Systema The Affliction' (1991). In the late 1980s, and later co-foun­ded the fusion duo 'Cultivated Bimbo'. With 'Cultivated Bimbo', the band has graced the 90s with music from the genres EBM / Industrial / Big Beat and Electro. He released more pop­u­lar dance music and remixes in the 1990s, mostly House and Trance, but also oth­er genres. The solo pro­ject 'Maschine Brennt' pays hon­our to the fore­fath­ers of elec­tron­ic music, 'Kraftwerk'.

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3. Kretz

Native of Stockholm, 'Kretz' has a long back­ground of music on the île of Limestone (Gotland). The spark of elec­tron­ic music came into being on the C64, Atari and Amiga for dif­fer­ent hack­er, crack­er and demo scene parties. Since 2012 Jonas Lund has been pro­du­cing Minimal Electro under the name 'Kretz' and has since released a respect­able rep­er­toire of albums, EPs and singles on his Bandcamp page.

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4. Deutsche Bank

'Mats From' is the only mem­ber of 'Deutsche Bank'. Initiated in the early 2009 after cre­at­ing cov­er ver­sions of dif­fer­ent songs in a Kraftwerk style, which led to writ­ing ori­gin­al mater­i­al in that style and con­tinu­ing to grow the pro­ject more ser­i­ously. The first album 'Autopop' was released in October 2013, and it received crit­ic­al acclaim for its fresh take on the genre while stay­ing true to the ori­gin­al sound.

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5. Elecktroids

Although the 'Elecktroids' lineup has been intensely dis­cussed in the elec­tron­ic music com­munity, and it is under­stood that the pro­ject included a mem­ber or mem­bers of Drexciya, the exact mem­ber­ship is unknown. When Warp Records re-lis­ted the CD edi­tion of 'Elektroworld' (1995) on their Warpmart site in July 2008, the pro­mo­tion­al text said: "Produced by Drexciya's late James Stinson.".

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6. Unisonlab

Unfortunately there isn't much to find about Unisonlab in the spheres of the inter­net. Unisonlab is a Machine Pop artist that draws inspir­a­tion from artists such as Kraftwerk, New Order, and Depeche Mode. And Jörgen Erixon from Sweden is the brain behind Unisonlab. But you can find plenty of his releases on his Unisonlab Spotify account.

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7. Datapop

'Datapop' is a Swedish duo formed by Anders Wilhelm and Mikael Larsson who call their style of music 'Düsseldorfian Machinepop-Neo-Kraut'. Besides vari­ous Singles and EPs, the band released their debut album with the rather simple name 'Pop' in 2016.

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8. Voith

The album 'Wunderland: Linear Monotone Music' (2021) by 'VOITH' is very fresh on the mar­ket, but Lars Voith star­ted mak­ing music in 1997, so he is no stranger to the scene. You can listen to some of his releases on his Spotify chan­nel.

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9. Clicks

I have to admit that 'Clicks' doesn't really fit 100% into this list. Whereas some tunes already con­tain DNS traces of Minimal Electro. There are def­in­itely more real lyr­ics here instead of just the usu­al voice samples. I think if you love Kraftwerk, you should give the band 'Clicks' a chance and listen to it without obligation.

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10. MIT

I actu­ally came across the debut album 'Coda' by chance when it was released in 2008. There I already dis­covered great poten­tial, although the album was rather mediocre. Two years later, the guys from 'MIT' released their second album 'Nanonotes' and there are some real gems on it. The music video 'Pudong' was one of the first music videos I pos­ted on Electrozombies. It makes me nos­tal­gic. Just listen to this fant­ast­ic­ally clear, ana­logue synth sound. It's worth it!

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11. Analoge Stereoide

The band 'Analoge Stereoide' is made up of Cris Frickenschmidt (Alphamay) and Jan Bröhl and is cur­rently more of a side pro­ject. Nevertheless, it's worth a listen. To listen, you can vis­it the Spotify chan­nel of Analoge Stereoide, fur­ther­more there is the pos­sib­il­ity to down­load our com­pil­a­tion 'Undead And Open-Minded: Volume 3'. The band's track 'Freie Fahrt Für Liebe (Early Mix)' is included here and maybe you'll dis­cov­er oth­er songs that might thrill you.

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12. Schwefelgelb

Schwefelgelb is a Berlin-based duo who describe their music­al style as Techno Body Music. This des­cend­ant of Techno-Pop is def­in­itely more dance­able and has a touch of Punk atti­tude. I came across the band in 2012 with their music video 'Alle Sterne' and liked the sound straight away. If you don't know 'Schwefelgelb' yet, just listen to the album 'Das Ende vom Kreis'.

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13. Komputer

I per­son­ally had nev­er heard of 'Komputer' and it was recom­men­ded by our esteemed read­er Patrik E. (see com­ments sec­tion). The album 'The World Of Tomorrow' (1997) is def­in­itely right on this page. Leonard and Baker have been work­ing togeth­er since 1982 and were signed to Mute Records in 1984 under the name 'I Start Counting.' Before the pub­lic­a­tion of Komputer's debut album 'The World of Tomorrow', they star­ted to release music under the ali­as 'Fortran 5' in 1990.

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14. Metroland

Thanks to a name cous­in in the com­ments, I also came across 'Metroland' again. I have to admit that they com­pletely slipped out of my mind, but I remem­ber that there was a lot of hype around the band when they released their debut 'Mind The Gap'. Since the music in gen­er­al doesn't really reflect my per­son­al taste, it was quickly for­got­ten again. The Belgian band made up of the mem­bers Passenger A and Passenger S should not be miss­ing in this list.

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15. Mind-Flux

Another great hint in the com­ments comes from Eric. The German band was espe­cially act­ive in the 90s and pro­duced 6 albums in only 5 years. On Discogs, the music is lis­ted under the genres Trance and Ambient. And I have to admit that most of the titles don't con­vince me at all. Eric has chosen the song 'Kontinuum', which is most sim­il­ar to Kraftwerk.

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Bonus: Famous Kraftwerk fanatics

Martin L. Gore

It's no big secret that Martin L. Gore (Depeche Mode) also has, shall we say, a syn­thes­izer fet­ish. And Kraftwerk were also great role mod­els for the young Brit in the 70s. Together with Vince Clark, he pro­duced the Minimal Techno album 'Ssss' back in 2013. He seems to have enjoyed this so much that he has since pro­duced anoth­er solo album 'MG' (2015) and an EP 'The Third Chimpanzee' (2020) in this genre. Personally, I can't con­nect much with these instru­ment­al sound­scapes, but I think it's import­ant to men­tion this per­son­al­ity with his Kraftwerkesque pas­sion here.

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Apoptygma Berzerk

Stefan Groth from 'Apoptygma Berzerk' is also a great admirer of the Düsseldorf band. They covered the song 'Ohm Sweet Ohm', which appeared on the Kraftwerk trib­ute com­pil­a­tion 'Krafty Move – An Electronic Tribute To Kraftwerk' (1997) and on their own trib­ute col­lec­tion 'Sonic Diary' (2006). He has lived out this pas­sion to per­fec­tion with the album 'Exit Popularity Contest'. A real gem for fans of instru­ment­al Minimal Electro music. We didn't rate the album quite as highly in the art­icle 'What is the best Apoptygma Berzerk album ever?' But read for your­self and tell us what you think of the album in the comments.

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Listen to our Spotify playlist 'Kraftwerk Klones'

May electronic music live forever

If you have reached this point, then you explor­a­tion in our art­icle 'Discover innov­at­ive clones of Kraftwerk from the recent years' seems to be suc­cess­fully. I'd be glad if you would share more bands you might think they would fit in this art­icle in the com­ment sec­tion. From time to time I will expand this art­icle to include new dis­cov­er­ies in this genre of music. Thank you for read­ing and don't for­get: "Sharing is caring!". Cheers, from a loc­a­tion near Düsseldorf.