Kraftwerk are planning to finally put out a new album. Ralf Hütter, band co-founder and the group’s sole remaining original member, recently granted the Guardian a rare interview and revealed that the electronic pioneers are indeed working on a follow-up to 2003’s Tour de France Soundtracks.
“Now this is done, one to eight,” Hütter said, referring to the project’s Catalogue showcase, which features live performances of eight full Kraftwerk records. “Now we can concentrate on number nine.” To be sure, Hütter confirmed, “Oh, yes,” a new full-length is on the way. When asked about a possible timeline, he gave the amusing but totally unhelpful response: “Of course. It’s music non-stop!”
Hütter was similarly vague last year, when he told the New York Times that the next Kraftwerk LP was “underway” and would be out “soon.” He said to the Times in 2012, “We didn’t fall asleep… The 168-hour week is still going on since the beginning, since 1970.”
Talk of the upcoming effort dates even further back, all the way to 2009, when the krautrock innovator told Billboard (via Pitchfork) that the record was “in its embryonic stage.” Whenever the new album does emerge, it will be Kraftwerk’s first without co-founder Florian Schneider, who left the band in 2009, ending a nearly 40-year association with the project.
Referencing his partnership with Schneider, Hütter told the Guardian, “Florian was still working with me at that time [of the idea for the retrospective shows], but when The Catalogue [box set] was finished he decided to concentrate on his research on synthetic speech.” The remainder of the interview deals with Kraftwerk’s live show, their recent ban from performing live in China (via the Guardian), and the development of their game-changing sound.