[ Frank Rothkamm Craft Work ]

‘Computer World’ is an album by the German band Kraftwerk which was one of the first bands to exclusively use electronic synthesizers. ‘Computer Welt’ was released in 1981 on vinyl and it ventured into the then emerging world of computers. But only thematically, because the album was entirely made with analog synthesizers, played by custom-made analog sequencers that only Kraftwerk had.

The only true digital diversion was the Texas Instruments handheld computer, marketed under the “Speak & Spell” moniker, which was featured prominently on the track ‘Pocket Calculator’, although it played a minor musical role.

Taken as a whole, the album pretends to be something it is not. It goes to great lengths to sound and even look digital, but it does it the same way in which actors who play robots or play with them: ‘I am a robot - beep beep’.

In 2016 I decided to do a re-enactment of ‘Kraftwerk’s Computer World’, but to reverse the roles played by technology. I took the original record and while listening, re-recorded each instrument one at a time by ear only, including all the vocals. I did not use any modern “error-correction” or quantization methods. Every instrument was played on a keyboard via vintage digital sound modules from my collection, which consists hardware synthesizers from the mid 1980s through the mid 1990s.

This compositional methodology is similar to the Resident’s ‘Third Reich n Roll” album. They took 1950s and 1960s songs, played along with them, and then discarded the originals.

‘Craft Work’ is a work of musical craft, the ability to replicate and improvise variations on musical parts extracted by ear from a recording in real-time. I played along with the ‘Computer World’ record, instrument by instrument, and then I discarded the original. I am a believer in first takes, so this took quite a bit of editing as I took out many notes that were just not ‘right’.

This I put out as ‘Kraftwerk’s Computer World’ with my main distributor Google, on YouTube and Play. To my never ending surprise the album was mostly ignored, except by Google’s automated copyright lawyers. Even though I clearly indicated on the album title and on each song title the Kraftwerk-ian source, only the first song I recorded, ‘Computer World’, was detected, so the album was reduced to one track, a Single, really. To my never ending surprise, the rest of the material was declared original Rothkamm as all lyrics and instrumental parts were supposedly augmented, mutated or varied enough to make up a new species of music. Thus is the wisdom of Google’s robot lawyers.

Re-creation creates a ‘Craft Work’.

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Facebook on my own computer
Twitter myself into the future
WhatsApp on my own computer
Instagram myself into the future


Google Maps on my own computer
YouTube myself into the future
Reddit on my own computer
SnapChat myself into the future


Chrome on my own computer
Safari myself into the future
Edge on my own computer
Firefox myself into the future


Linux on my own computer
Android myself into the future
Windows on my own computer
OSX myself into the future


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It's more time to rebuke
It's more time to rebuke


It's more time to rebuke
It's more time to rebuke


It's more time to rebuke
It's more time to rebuke


Rebuke

It's more time to rebuke
It's more fun to rebuke
More fun to rebuke
It's more fun to rebuke


Rebuke

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Eins, zwei, drei, fier, fünf
Sieben, acht


Eins, zwei, drei, fier, fünf, sechs, sieben, acht
One, two


Uno, due, tre, quattro
Uno, due, tre, quattro
Uno, due, tre, quattro


One, two


Chi, nyi, sum, shi
Tari, tara, tarum

Chi, nyi, sum, shi
Tari, tara, tarum

Chi, nyi, sum, shi
Tari, tara, tarum

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I'm the operator with my mortage calculator
I'm the operator with my mortage calculator
I'm the operator with my mortage calculator


Preapproved
30-year fixed
Ammortization


Compound interest
Maturity
Underwriter


Down payment
Interest rate
Origination fee


And closing


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1, 2, 3
5, 6, 7


1, 2, 3, 4
1, 2, 3, 4, 5


1
8

1, 2, 3, 4, 5
2, 3, 4, 5


1, 3, 4, 5
1, 2, 3, 4, 5


5

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8


1, 2, 3, 4, 5


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Catalog No: FLX119
Title: Craft Work
Sound Artist: Frank Rothkamm
Visual Artist: Holger Rothkamm
Label: Flux Records
Length: 24:18 (1458s)
Composed: 2016-2017
Location: Los Angeles
Instruments: Kurzweil K2500
Qtractor
Roland JV-1080
Williams WP1
Studio Projects C1
Korg M3R
Release Date: 4/17/2017
Format: Virtual Vinyl
File Under: Prog / Pop / Rock



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