Let's slip this one in like traffic merging on the Autobahn, in honor of a favorite friend and beloved musical instigator.
He is turning the big 7-0 today, having been at this "major innovator in music" stuff for 50+ years now.
By no means a household name, he still has managed to help start three of electronic music's most formative bands and carry on aspects of the legacies of all three, as well as a robust solo career.
Not too many people can say they had a crucial hand in the beginnings of Kraftwerk, Neu! and Harmonia -- with Tangerine Dream and Cluster, perhaps the absolute pillars of modern German electronic music -- but today's birthday guy is one of them.
He is a chief architect of what became Ambient as well; his serene guitar looping style is a foundation for so much of today's sounds, and married to the chugging Motorik beat of Neu! it forms part of the basis of what is now called EDM.
Michael Rother is also my friend on Facebook, so he might also be reading this and considering hunting and slaying me right now.
To celebrate his new septuagenarian status, I have renovated a great show from 10 years ago that had been circulating from an inferior, horribly distorted web capture, replacing the awful circulating version with a crisp and thoroughly unovermodulated one dubbed directly from the WNYC-FM stream, which 10 years on is still somehow available online.
Michael Rother & Friends
Michael Rother & Friends Play the Music of Neu!
Lincoln Center "Out Of Doors" Festival
New York City, NY USA
01 Hallogallo 2010
02 Neutronics 98 (A Tribute to Conny Plank)
03 Aroma Club B3
05 Veteranissimo/band introductions
Total time: 1:00:50
Michael Rother - guitar & electronics
Steve Shelley - drums
Aaron Mullan - bass
digital capture of a concert streamed live from the "No Cover" audio series on WNYC.org in NYC
345 MB FLAC/September 2020 archive link
I shall return next week with a birthday milestone few reach... but then that cat stands alone in quite a few ways.
But today is the day for the veneration of one of the truly underrated musical heroes of our lifetimes, so we say "alles Gute zum Geburtstag!" to Michael Rother on his big day. May he always stay as fresh as a Neu-born!--J.