With the recent passing of founding member of Kraftwerk, Florian Schneider, social media has shown an outpouring of love and admiration from artists and fans across the globe. Arguably the most influential group to emerge from the krautrock scene of the late 60’s and early 70’s, their music composed of modern clicks portraying a synthesized reality became a reference for electronic music. It is a fool’s errand trying to trace the influence of Kraftwerk’s on modern music, but as an homage to Schneider’s legacy we’ve compiled a short list of Latinx and Spanish-language musicians who one way or another have been influenced by them.
Tijuana natives Nortec Collective have been a reference for many modern electronic music fans, especially in Mexico as a fusion of electronica and Norteño music. Not only is kraftwerk’s influence noticeable in use of analog synths and compelling live performances, they’ve actually collaborated with Kraftwerk’s Wolfgan Flur on their record “Motel Baja.”
Madrid’s Aviador Dro whimsical take on minimal synth / pop is cult-classic among fans of Madrid’s rich history of post-punk, techno pop, and experimental electronic music. Their influence and output would require an article of it’s own, but they’re love for Kraftwerk has never been a secret.
Although Uwe Schmidt aka Señor Coconut is a German born musician, his album El Baile Alemán is a Kraftwerk cover / rework using latin rhythms and themes. Jenniffer Chu states “On the surface, El Baile Alemán, (German dances) might appear to be just a gimmicky lampoon of Kraftwerk’s Teutonic veneer and dehumanized, machine-driven aesthetic. However, Schmidt’s border-crossing and genre-bending music might instead be considered a postmodern experiment.”
Not much is known about this Argentinian synthpop act, but Klan X’s “Alarma General (Siglo XXI)” from their self-titled and only album is a fun, energetic, and futuristic, just like Kratwerk.
The Peruvian act Cielo, a reconfiguration of the cult act Silvania, moved to Madrid and experimented with minimal synth and technopop. The act disbanded after Cocó Cielo’s tragic death.
Mexico’s Syntoma, like many other acts, never reached heights of success like other artists, but their output in the 80’s warranted a 2015 reissue on Forced Exposure. A true gem of an album