Celebrating Düsseldorf’s Musical Heritage: Electri–City Conference Next Month


Gott Im Himmel!!! I was intending to post a little something on the new Heaven 17 Live album today and when I went to the H17 home page to round up data, I saw that Martyn Ware was speaking at this conference to be held in Düsseldorf on the 29-31st of October. And that Heaven 17 were also performing… and that… well. At that point my brain started to melt. Seeing as there is no air conditioning at work today, I feel as though stricken with a case of the vapors [not the band].  Let’s start at the beginning.

rudiger esch - electri_city bookFirst of all, Rüdiger Esch, the bass player for Die Krupps, had written the book “Electri–City: Electronic Music Of Düsseldorf.” Next came the 2014 compilation album of the same name on Groenland Records. Now he is curating this conference on the topic being held in the city that is the home of the “Düsseldorf School,” who balanced out the trippier “Berlin School” of electronic music. A body of  significant players have been invited to the symposium; to speak, spin, and play. Suffice to say, that many, many people who are currently populating my Record Cell will be gathered together there. Attendees may buy into just the academic conference, the cultural events [i.e. shows], or both. Individual shows may also be attended, but the £75 [$112] full weekend pass strikes me as a complete bargain, particularly when taking the attendees into account. To wit:

  • Peter Hook ::: Q+A
  • Daniel Miller ::: DJ set
  • Andy McCluskey/ Wolfgang Flür ::: Panel
  • Martyn Ware ::: Panel
  • Heaven 17 ::: Live
  • Michael Rother [+ guests] ::: Live
  • Rusty Egan ::: Panel/DJ set
  • Metroland ::: Live
  • Wrangler ::: Live
  • Vile Electrodes ::: Live
  • Dr. Stephen Mallinder ::: Panel

Wow! That’s some lineup! I’d go so far as to say that Hooky is a little out of his element here.The panel discussions are enough to want to attend. When one thinks of how many Düsseldorf bands there have been who have given this city a heft that few others can claim in the realm of electronic music, the list gets really long. Of course, Kraftwerk are the elephant in the room here. The Electronic Beatles who made the rest that followed possible. The panels on Friday are almost entirely about them, even if peripherally:

  • On Ralf + Florian: Krautrock + Germany [Prof. David Pattie/Univ. of Chester UK]
  • Beamed Into The Future – “Computerwelt” – Now and Then [Dr. Alexei Monroe/UK]
  • Kalium, Kalzium, Eisen, Magnesium. Uber Kraftwerks Text [Dr. Uwe Schütte /Aston Univ. Birmingham/UK]
  • Media Myth Kraftwerk – Data, Constructions, Illusions [Prof. Cristophe Jacke/Dr. Kristina Flieger/Univ. of Paderborn GER]

While Ralf Hütter is not in attendance, at least Wolfgang Flür will be contributing to Andy McCluskey’s panel [albeit on video]. There’s more fun to be had, but you get the drift. This is like a Moogfest with only things that would interest me! All this and Michael Rother as well! If you reside in Germany, miss this one at your peril.

– 30 –

About postpunkmonk

graphic design | software UI design | remastering vinyl • record collector • satire • non-fiction
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4 Responses to Celebrating Düsseldorf’s Musical Heritage: Electri–City Conference Next Month

  1. Echorich says:

    That’s a crazy, cool event! The best thing that could come out of it would be Benge offering to be involved in a future Heaven 17 project or OMD project! As for Hooky, don’t discount his influence on adding electronics to the early New Order sound…
    As for Kraftwerk, its 3 weeks from today in Miami and I can’t wait! I have friends attending the really cool show in Nashville a location that still boggles the mind and brings a smile to my face.


    • postpunkmonk says:

      Echorich – Yes, this is the sort of thing that really appeals to me! Proximity of Benge to OMD and H17 can only he a wonderful thing that I support vociferously. At the very least I need to read Esch’s book, but it is not yet translated into English, dash-it-all!!!


  2. Never mind the book, pick up a German phrasebook and book a plane ticket for that event! Wow!


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