As a member of Kraftwerk during their most musically rich period, Wolfgang Flür played a helping hand in creating the iconic beats that lay the foundations for their robotic/man-made sound; so much so that in 1973 he (alongside band member Florian Shneider) invented the world’s first electric drum pads.
It may come as no surprise then that Eloquence comprises industrial electronic tracks, sounding not unlike his former band but focussing on something a little more radio/dancefloor friendly. In his own words: ““If Kraftwerk played ‘minimal electro’, then I now play ‘maximum electro’”.
The majority of the numbers carry an autobiographical, unsubtle story, from the word play of opener ‘I Was A Robot’ (“Coming from the Autobahn, I was the radioactive man / I slipped into a showroom dummy, robot play was quite funny”) to ‘The Model’’s unofficial sequel, ‘Cover Girl’. Often angsty, there’s a strong impression that the relationship between both parties isn’t a happy one, with ‘Staying In The Shadows’ hinting at uncertainty (“Am I human? I’m a ‘bot”) and the surprisingly gritty guitar of ‘Axis Of Envy’ paired with lines regarding control and payments, presumably within the band.
Throughout the collection there’s a hint of fellow pioneer Giorgio Moroder’s disco-synth patterns, while maintaining the clinical structure of Ralf Hutter and co, but as a collection Eloquence fails to show much diversity, with hints of europop and hispanic influences laying a repetitive rhythm for Flür’s poetic performances. ‘Golden Light’ may be the exception – a more gentle approach to his genre, telling a story of someone else.
Eloquence: The Complete Works is out now via Cherry Red Records.