Live Review: Wolfgang Flür

Stereo, 30/09

As the ex-electronic percussionist of German phenomenon Kraftwerk, Wolfgang Flür has been an essential member in shaping the Krautrock genre, an experimental prog rock movement derived from the late 1960s. Performing a one-off gig at Stereo, it was easy to see why this sold-out show was packed with mixed generations of loyal fans.

Descending the stairs to the brimming basement, I am welcomed by the rich, reverberating beats from Glasgow-based support act Ubre Blanca. Their energetic presence is clear; the sweaty sounds of the intense drumming juxtaposed with the synth creating a heavy yet stimulating atmosphere. Speaking to band member Joel after their set, he describes their sound as ‘horror disco’.Their synthy sounds are somewhat reminiscent of Vangelis, a hybrid of classic electronic sound mixed with the Stranger Things vibes of S U R V I V E.

The eagerly anticipated Wolfgang Flür then makes his way on-stage, his genuine presence already palpable to the crowd. As he unlocks his Macbook Pro, he incorrectly enters his password, establishing an honest, bullshit-free environment. It is clear from this moment on that everyone is here to enjoy the music, united in our enthusiasm of the unique experience that tonight will be.

The underground venue sets the scene, echoing the industrial vibes that the German music scene is renowned for. Banging beats are quick to ensue, with the screen displaying visuals of Kraftwerk, presenting a parallel between a vintage aesthetic and a futuristic sound. It also projects the words ‘continuing the past’, as the distinct robot vocals are clearly reminiscent of Flür’s history yet are made distinguishable by his own modern stamp. Playing hits from his album Eloquence: Complete Works, he documents his musical journey from 2002 to the present day, with the cleverly named club hit ‘I Was a Robot’ inducing a halcyon mood.

Flür’s conductor-like stance sets the powerful atmosphere, his exuberant yet wholesome nature awakening every member of the audience as the computerised melodies transport us to higher places. The night is animated yet eloquent, with the intimacy of the venue enhancing the sense of unity. This certainly is an unforgettable event, a rare gem of an evening that isn’t so frequently found on a rainy Saturday night in Glasgow.

[Katie McPeake]


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