There was a time in our history, when Kraftwerk were considered so obscure to the majority of people, that today it's sometimes hard to imagine how over the years the group has gone on to affect the evolution of music as a whole, in a much bigger way than even perhaps The Beatles. German quartet Kraftwerk have been not just key pioneers of the Electronic Music genre, but also consistent innovators; always staying ahead of the curve while somehow keeping themselves grounded in the warm and soulful music that once propelled them to international fame. Over recent years, they have captivated crowds the world over with their infamous "Kraftwerk 3D" performances; a spectacle of wild visual 3D entertainment to the backdrop of Kraftwerk's rich analog musicality, redefining Pop performances in a way only they could have done.
So perhaps it isn't too surprising then to think there had to be a next step in their evolution of performing, if at least not one giant fateful leap of adventurism to bring together who we are down here on earth, with where we come from and will ultimately be going again...space! The Final Frontier.
On July 20th, 2018, Kraftwerk performed live at the Jazz Open Festival in Stuttgart, Germany, where they featured a very special collaboration with Astronaut Alexander Gerst, who happens to be aboard the International Space Station, and equipped with a virtual synthesizer on his iPad. He not only played a synthesizer duet with Ralf Hütter on the intro to the classic Kraftwerk track "Spacelab", but also took charge of visual control as the band performed for the crowds at the Schlossplatz venue, to 3D recordings of the cameras outside of the Space Station, as well as Gerst traveling through it in weightlessness; adding a nice touch at the end that was very heartwarming and very Kraftwerkian indeed!
Check out the video below: