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extremely revolutionary. After him there came nothing new for a long time, until Pierre Henry picked up on Ruttmann’s work and developed a new approach from it. But we don’t make a direct reference to Musique Concrète.
DD: The question is to what extent one draws from historical models at all. Much of what we find interesting is created oblivious to history and only later becomes projected onto a specific historical background, perhaps not available at the moment of its creation.
RL: We’re often asked that question: whether we have something to do with «Krautrock,» «Can,» «Cluster,» or early «Kraftwerk» [EL]. And I always say no, because I never listened to such music in private. I grew up with Punk music, not electronic music. Of course, I saw and heard such things; they were on television and the radio. I listened to all kinds of music then, even to early works by Kraftwerk – I don’t think it’s possible to work outside of an historical context, unless you live totally isolated.
DD: So we’re talking more about a cultural zeitgeist and the question of personal preference, and not
about something one refers to explicitly. It exists far below the surface, but during the creative process one frees oneself from it.
RL: Exactly. There never were any models as such. I discovered Punk music when I was eleven, and I always recorded the nightly radio broadcasts of the John Peel Sessions. Then I learned about the electronic-music LPs of the late 1970s and early 1980s, for instance the «Throbbing Gristle» and «Flying Lizzards,» people without any special knowledge, and who started making music just the same. That really shocked and amazed me then. Not so much the art, but rather the courage and audacity of these people. That even gave me the incentive to make music myself.
DD: There was also that island-like situation of the GDR – but through television and radio, and then…
RL: An island! They would have liked that! But it wasn’t possible, thank god. English radio broadcasts like John Peel’s, for instance, were important for many people in the East. There was another great program, a broadcast of the radio station RIAS, the «Broadcasting Network of the American Sector». It was a progressive program, and so a lot reached us quickly. It was hard