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Werk In Progress
Kraftwerk's road trip through pop history
- Jeff Salamon

In Spin, August 1998. Excerpt - conclusion of Kraftwerk timeline.

Detour No. 12: Oakland, California, 1997

Terre Thaemlitz, Die Roboter Rubato (Mille Plateaux, 1997)
Probably the only techno musician to perform in drag, Terre Thaemlitz records this album of classical piano interpretations of Kraftwerk tunes, complete with liner notes that critique Kraftwerk's misogyny.
     Thaemlitz: "I always thought there was something homoerotic about The Man-Machine. As a child, I was always on the outside as a fag. My relationship with electronic music was involved with that social exclusion, and with Kraftwerk I projected a deeper homoerotic intent to their music than their actually was. Homoerotic content is there, but not homoerotic intent. Just because something is homoerotic doesn't mean it's queer-positive - there's something homoerotic about football players snapping towels at each others' bottoms.

     "So 'Tour De France' is supposed to be two men riding a bike but sounds like two men fucking. Then you notice that the whole world of Kraftwerk is about men and machines - there's no room for women. Even 'The Model,' where they do talk about a woman, is totally sexist. For Kraftwerk, technology was an extension of masculinity, man using technology to conquer a feminized nature. Rubato is about converting the idea of the man-machine to a transgenderized femme machine. The idea is that the piano, which is acoustic rather than electronic, is considered a 'domestic' instrument. So you have Mother Nature - organic, acoustic - versus the patriarchal Man-Machine."