Rother in concert in November 2007
2 September 1950 |
|Genres||Krautrock, synthpop, proto-punk, art rock, electronica|
|Instruments||Guitar, keyboards, programming|
|Years active||1971 (with Kraftwerk)
1971–1975, 1985–1986 (with Neu!)
1973–1976, 2007 to present (with Harmonia)
1976 to present (solo)
|Labels||Brain, Sky, Polydor, Random|
|Associated acts||Neu!, Harmonia, Kraftwerk, Cluster|
Early life and education
Born in 1950, Rother was educated in Munich, Wilmslow (England), Karachi, and Düsseldorf. He also resided in Pakistan in the early 1960s where he was exposed to Pakistani music that would influence his own music in the late 1960s and early 1970s. From 1965 Rother played in the band Spirits of Sound, from which other members would later go on to join Kraftwerk (Wolfgang Flür) and Wunderbar.
Rother is a multi-instrumentalist (primarily guitar and keyboards) who, along with a catalog of several solo albums starting in 1977, is best known for having co-founded the German group Neu! with drummer Klaus Dinger (five albums between 1971 and 1996), and his collaborative efforts with Hans-Joachim Roedelius and Dieter Moebius (aka Cluster) under the name Harmonia (two albums, one in 1974 and 1975, with later 1976 sessions recorded with Brian Eno; the studio tapes for the latter disappeared but were found by Roedelius two decades later; he remixed the tapes and released the results as Tracks and Traces in 1997; Rother was the main producer for the version re-released in 2009). Rother and Dinger were also in a short-lived version of Kraftwerk in 1971, with Florian Schneider, during a time when founding member Ralf Hütter had temporarily left the band. (This version of the group was filmed during an appearance on the German music show Beat Club, which has been available sporadically on VHS and DVD.)
Beginning in the late 1970s, Rother began issuing LPs under his own name: Flammende Herzen (1977), Sterntaler (1978), and Katzenmusik (1979) all featured drums by Can percussionist Jaki Liebezeit. Further releases included Fernwärme (1982), Lust (1983), Süssherz und Tiefenschärfe (1985) and Traumreisen (1987). Rother regained the rights to these releases in the late 90s, and re-released CD versions of them, all of which contained bonus tracks, usually in the form of then-current remixes of original album tracks. Along with these reissues were a best-of compilation, Radio, and a new release, Esperanza (1996). His most recent album; Remember featured vocals (a first for Rother's solo work) and was released in 2004.
On 1 July 2007 Michael Rother joined the Red Hot Chili Peppers for a live jam at the end of their concert in Hamburg. Together they played for nearly 25 minutes in front of 35,000 people. In November 2007 he toured with Dieter Moebius (another member of Harmonia) as Rother & Moebius. On 27 November 2007, a Harmonia reunion concert was announced for Berlin, where they performed together live for the first time since 1976.
In 2010, Rother played five shows in Europe with Sonic Youth drummer Steve Shelley and Tall Firs guitarist Aaron Mullan (who played bass in the trio). This group, known as Hallogallo, performed the music of Neu! live for the first time in many years. They also played the ATP New York 2010 music festival in Monticello, New York and Incubate 2010 in Tilburg, Netherlands in September 2010. In December 2012 Rother performed the music of Neu! and Harmonia at the ATP festival in Camber Sands, England, accompanied by the Berlin-based band Camera. In November 2013, he performed at the final UK holiday camp edition of ATP.
|Michael Rother discography|
The discography of Michael Rother consists of nine studio albums, three compilations and seven singles.
As a member of Neu! Rother released three studio albums, two albums of studio outtakes (Neu! 4/Neu! '86) and rehearsal recording. As a member of Harmonia, Rother released two studio albums, one live album, a studio out-takes album and a remix album. In 2010 Rother released the "Blinkgürtel" single with his live group Hallogallo 2010.
- Studio albums
|1985||Süssherz & Tiefenschärfe
- Compilation albums
|1993||Radio – Singles, 1977–1993
- "Flammende Herzen" b/w "Karussell" (1977)
- "Sterntaler" b/w "Sonnenrad" (1978)
- "Katzenmusik 9" b/w "Katzenmusik 2" (1979)
- "Silberstreif" b/w "Erlkönig" (1982)
- "Hohe Luft" b/w "Fortuna" (1982)
- "Palmengarten" b/w "Cascadia" (1983)
- "Glitzerglanz" b/w "Rapido" (1985)
- Station 17 (1990, Mercury/Phonogram) – "Morning Sun"
- A Homage To Neu! (1999, Cleopatra) – "Neutronics 98 (A Tribute To Conny Plank)"
- Brand Neu! (2009, Feraltone) – "Neutronics 98"
|2006||K4 – Bremen Radio 1971
|1996||Neu! '72 Live in Dusseldorf
|1974||Musik von Harmonia
|1997||Tracks & Traces (Harmonia '76/Harmonia & Eno '76)
|2010||Tracks and Traces Remixed (Harmonia & Eno '76)
with Hallogallo 2010
- "Blinkgürtel" b/w "Drone Schlager" (December 2010, Vampire Blues)
- From an interview with Michael Rother on Sound Opinions, 4 October 2010.
- Bluefat Issue 6, 2010
- "Michael Rother's official site, news: " Michael Rother jamming with Red Hot Chili Peppers"". 10 July 2007. Retrieved 2007-11-16.
- "Michael Rother's official site, news: "Rother & Moebius concerts in November 2007"". 29 October 2007. Retrieved 2007-10-30.
- "Michael Rother's official site, news: "Harmonia album "Live 1974" out now/Harmonia concert on 27th Nov. 2007"". 25 October 2007. Retrieved 2007-10-30.
- "Worldtronics 2007. Festival of Electronic Music. 27.11.2007 – 01.12.2007". Retrieved 2007-10-30.
- "Michael Rother's official site, news: "Michael Rother/Steve Shelley/Aaron Mullan trio debut in Europe"". Retrieved 2010-05-31.
- "Michael Rother's official site, news: "The film "Die Räuber" (The Robbers) coming in German cinemas"". 16 March 2015. Retrieved 2015-09-20.
- "Michael Rother's official site, news: "The feature film "Houston" to be screened on German tv"". 7 August 2015. Retrieved 2015-09-20.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Michael Rother.|
- Official website (English)
- "Michael Rother Comes to Hoboken" Paris Review Daily essay, August 2010
- Neu! Morning August 2010 Interview by the Village Voice
- KRAUTROCK DELUXE Interview for Blurt magazine, September 2009
- SF-EP-018 – Interview Series: Michael Rother Special Features Podcast, 14 March 2012