Geoff Winston previews a six-date UK tour involving Leeds pianist marking the 40th anniversary of the Kraftwerk album “Radio- Activity”:
Virtuoso pianist, Matthew Bourne is getting together with Franck Vigroux (electronics) and Antoine Schmitt (installation artist) to re-imagine Kraftwerk’s highly influential 1975 Radio-Activity album on its 40th anniversary. Their Anglo-French Radioland project hits Brighton, London, Bristol, Exeter and Milton Keynes in an intense 5 day UK tour from 19-23 March with a first date in Leeds on 13 March.
Bourne will be known to readers of London Jazz News as a remarkable, award winning jazz pianist, composer and contemporary music collaborator. Like Brad Mehldau he is very comfortable moving in to the worlds of 70s analogue and digital, the environment at the core of the Radioland project.
Vigroux is an electronics and multi-instrumentalist improvisor and composer much in demand in club and festival scenes as a noise / electroacoustic / industrial performer, and has worked with the likes of Elliott Sharp and Zeena Parkins.
Schmitt is an award-winning installation artist working the field of programmed art in a broad range of media, taking in dance, cinema, literature, music and architecture. With a background in computers, he worked for a time with Steve Jobs.
Andy McClusky of OMD summed up the importance of the Kraftwerk album: “… the Radioactivity album would become our bible, hymn book and manifesto all in one. This was a new type of popular music: no longer based in Anglo American blues tradition or guitar hero cliches. It was a conceptual art project in the form of a pop record.”
Bourne has promised that this will be a radical reworking of the original album. Bourne explains that he and Vigroux came up with the idea of exploring, “something a little more relevant to where we’ve found ourselves; both technologically and musically.” With its 40th anniversary coming up, Radio-Activity was the ideal subject. They then got talking to Schmitt and decided “against replication of the music, in favour of reworking the material; bringing all of our creative approaches to bear on the original titles.”
All sorts of analogue equipment will be commandeered by Bourne and Vigroux, including a Linotronics Memorymoog and Bourne’s own “well-loved, and very well-used” Roland Space Echo RE-201, while Schmitt will be programming all the visuals live. An all-embracing sound installation experience taking 70s retro well in to the 21st century will be the result!
13 – LEEDS, Belgrave Music Hall
19 – BRIGHTON, Komedia
20 – LONDON, Village Underground
21 – BRISTOL, Colston Hall
22 – EXETER, Phoenix
23 – MILTON KEYNES, The Stables
Produced by: sounduk. Funded by: Arts Council England.