“Call Kraftwerk’s Radio-Activity the theme song for maybe the best thing I’ve ever done with my time – radio, that is. The creative exploitation of those airwaves I’ve had access to – the chances taken and the activities pursued, all the while never trying to sell anybody anything except perhaps the notion that freedom is real … at least for an hour or four every now and then, late at night, after the normals have gone to bed and the bureaucratic restrictions have been mostly lifted. Not that Radioactivity’s only about that kind of radio. It also concerns the other kind, discovered by Madame Curie (I actually learned this from Kraftwerk). But the one, of course, informs the other, all those mysterious and invisible waves permeating our various spheres and personalities, touching our souls, beaming off into space, alerting who knows what alien entities of our existence … perhaps a hundred million light years from now, when they finally get the message. And the amusing thing would be if the first song they ever heard was title track of Kraftwerk’s 1975 masterpiece – the geniuses from Dusseldorf doing their damnedest to sound like machines, releasing great depths of humanity in the process.” (Philip Random)
Neu! being German for New! Hero being the closest Neu! ever came to a proper song with lyrics and singing and everything. Meanwhile, at pretty much the same moment in time, somewhere across town, their former band mates Kraftwerk were perfecting what would come to be known as techno-music. So maybe call Hero a proto-form of punk. Beat simple and four-to-the-floor, everything else snarling melodically along until screaming to noise at the end. And the world would hear it one way or another, the times would change. And seriously, who better than some malcontent German hippies to call bullshit on the whole notion of heroism? Or whatever it’s about.
“I guess you could say this strange age we still find ourselves in officially landed with Kraftwerk in 1981 — everyday people owning artificial brains, keeping them in their homes next to the TV maybe, playing games on them, writing with them, making music. Not that I was paying it all much attention in 1981. I was mostly confused in 1981, or more to the point I was fighting confusion, because I’m still confused. I just gave up the fight a long, long time ago. Which gets us back to Kraftwerk, Computer World. What an album! Sounded exactly like the future that we all had coming, ready or not. And I guess I was. Ready, that is. In spite of all the confusion.” (Philip Random)
(photo: Kevin Komoda)
The nineteenth of a planned forty-nine movies, each forty-nine minutes long, featuring no particular artist, theme or agenda beyond boldly going … who knows? Or as Werner Von Braun once put it, “Research is what I’m doing when I don’t know what I’m doing.” And we definitely have no idea where all this will take us.
19. knockin’ on heaven’s mirror
Arthur Louis – knockin’ on heaven’s door
Clash – junco partner
Randophonic – a mixed up stew of stuff
Steve Miller Band – macho city 
David Essex – rock on
Procol Harum – song of the dreamer [excerpt]
Kraftwerk – the hall of mirrors [excerpt]
Bill Nelson – transition 6 [the journey]
Handgjort – Kerala
Fred Frith – the relentless landscape
Residents – The Eskimo EDIT
King Crimson – starless + bible black [pieces]
ELO – one summer dream
Michael Rother – katzenmusik-2
Jon Anderson – song of search
Further installments of the Research Series will air most Sundays at approximately 1am (Pacific time) c/o CiTR.FM.101.9, with streaming and download options usually available within twenty-four hours via our Facebook page.
Selections available on this Youtube playlist (not exactly accurate).
The Final Countdown* is Randophonic’s longest and, if we’re doing it right, most relevant countdown yet – the end of result of a rather convoluted process that’s still evolving such is the existential nature of the project question: the 1297 Greatest Records of All Time right now right here. Whatever that means. What it means is dozens of radio programs if all goes to plan, and when has that ever happened?
Installment #19 of The Final Countdown* went like this.
934. Jesus Loves You – bow down mister
933. Horslips – King of the Faries
932. Bob Marley – Mr Brown
931. African Head Charge – Orderliness, Godliness, Discipline And Dignity
930. FM – one o’clock tomorrow
929. Kraftwerk – numbers + computer world 2
928. Michael Rother – Neutronics 98
927. Link Wray – Batman
926. Seeds – pushin’ too hard
925. Blodwyn Pig – variations on Nainos
924. Santana – Oye Como Va
923. JJ Cale – call me the breeze
922. Led Zeppelin – Bron-Y-aur stomp
921. Gentle Giant – wreck
920. Yello – blue green
919. Speedy j – pepper
918. Robert Fripp + David Sylvian – 20th Century dreaming [a shaman’s song]
917. Brian Eno – Over Fire Island
916. Brand X – unorthodox behaviour
Randophonic airs pretty much every Saturday night, starting 11 pm (Pacific time) c/o CiTR.FM.101.9, with streaming and/or download options usually available within twenty-four hours via our Facebook page.
“I first heard Kraftwerk‘s Computer World at Michael’s place. A sort of slimy guy that we used to buy dope from back in the late 70s, early 80s. He lived in a high rise near English Bay, always had the stereo on loud, usually playing shitty soft rock. Except this one time, a beautiful day, sun glowing in off the bay – it was this cool machine music. Kraftwerk, I would’ve guessed, except Kraftwerk weren’t around anymore, were they? A couple of gimmicky robot records back in the mid-70s and then back to Germany. I was right. It was indeed Kraftwerk, still cranking out the future. I was wrong. They were anything but a gimmick. Suddenly, I had a pile of exploring to do.”
Tracks available on this Youtube playlist (not entirely complete or accurate).
The Final Countdown* is our longest, most random and (if we’re doing it right) relevant countdown yet. Which doesn’t mean we’re one hundred percent sure what it’s all about – just the end of result of a long and convoluted process that finally evolved into something halfway tangible by February 2018. The 1297 Greatest Records of All Time (right now right here), if that makes sense. And even if it doesn’t, we’re doing it anyway for as long as it takes, and it will take a while.
Installment #3 of The Final Countdown* went like this:
1255. Avalanches – radio
1254. De La Soul – Me Myself + I (Badmarsh + Shri remix)
1253. The Members – the model
1252. Ohio Players – who’d she coo?
1251. Traffic- medicated goo
1250. Beatles- I’m looking through you
1249. Maggie Bell – I saw him standing there
1248. Wings – wino junko
1247. Pere Ubu – slow walking daddy
1246. Prince Charles + the City Beat Band – move your feet to the beat
1245. David Pritchard – the evil ogre interlude
1244. TV on the Radio- heroes
1243. Mr. David Viner- should I stay or should I go?
1242. Kraftwerk – ruckzuck
1241. Peggy Lee – something strange
1240. Yes – a venture
1239. Bachman Turner Overdrive – blue collar
1238. Ian + Sylvia – some kind of fool
1237. Lalo Schifrin – Dirty Harry title theme
1236. Sir Douglas Quintet (+2) – whole lotta peace of mind
1235. Spirit – aren’t you glad?
Randophonic airs pretty much every Saturday night, starting 11 pm (Pacific time) c/o CiTR.FM.101.9, with streaming and download options usually available within twenty-four hours via our Facebook page.
“In which some showroom dummies animate, hit the town, have some fun messing with the humans. It’s the strange urgency of it that I love, almost punk rock, yet restrained. Which is contradictory, I know. Like considering Kraftwerk‘s cyber explorations soul music, which they are. Which reminds me of something I read a long, long time ago. What do you call a contradiction that works? A paradox. God I love paradox.” (Philip Random)
“If machines have souls, then Kraftwerk would be holy men working the metaphysical grey area between them and us, coaxing forth the magic therein. Or something like that. All I know is Radioland (found on 1975’s Radioactivity) is exactly the kind of music I’d expect to hear in a funeral mass for a much loved machine. Mechanical, mysterious, contemplative, beautiful.” (Philip Random)