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Baker's Dozen

I Hear New Worlds: Chris Carter's Favourite Albums
The Quietus , August 4th, 2021 08:57

From a clandestine love of ABBA to a mind-expanding teenage encounter with Pink Floyd, via Joe Meek, Wendy Carlos and Tangerine Dream, Chris Carter of Throbbing Gristle writes on the music that changed his life


Kraftwerk – The Man Machine

Before Autobahn and Radio-Activity Kraftwerk didn’t sound very different from Neu!, not one of my fave bands. But those two albums introduced the world to a completely new sound and I used to play those to death, loved them. For me though The Man Machine put Kraftwerk into a different league. The sound and production was so finely tuned, like nothing else at all. Minimal yet powerful and danceable, a superb album. I must have played it hundreds of times. Sleazy, ever the conspiracy theorist, was convinced they’d ripped off the style and colour scheme from Throbbing Gristle. I’m pretty sure they didn’t but that cover is very, very Throbbing Gristle. Fast forward 28 years… while Throbbing Gristle were recording in Berlin in 2006 and our manager took us to see this enormous dilapidated old power station that was being converted into a new music venue, it was to become the Kraftwerk, which is German for power station. A plan was hatched between our Throbbing Gristle manager and our former Chris & Cosey tour manager, who is also Kraftwerk's (the band) manager, to have a triple bill of Kraftwerk, Aphex Twin and Throbbing Gristle play on the opening night at Kraftwerk (the venue). The problem was that Genesis detested Kraftwerk (the band) and Aphex Twin. His favourite insult was to snarl “they’re nothing more than a laptop band”, it tiresomely became one of Gen’s favourite put-downs for electronic bands, well that and “they’re just knob twiddlers". It would've been an awesome night but Gen hated the notion of ’supporting’ Kraftwerk and Aphex Twin and completely nixed the idea and refused to be involved.