Kraftwerk have been trailblazers from the very start. Pioneers on earth since the 1970s, they are turning their gaze upward into space for their next place to bring their music. During their closing set at Jazz Open Festvial in Stuttgart over the weekend, Kraftwerk welcomed German astronaut Alexander Gerst to collaborate with them and fittingly play “Spacelab.”
In a video uploaded by the European Space Agency Gerst joined the group about a minute in and told the audience just how badass he is as one of six people in space, 400 kilometers above sea level. He also gave the audience a little lesson on what they are doing there.
“The ISS is a Man-Machine, the most complex and valuable machine humankind has ever built,” he explained. “Here in the European Columbus Laboratory, the successor to the Spacelab, the European Space Agency (ESA) is researching things that will improve daily life on Earth. More than 100 different nations work together peacefully here and achieve things that a single nation could never achieve. We are developing technologies onboard the ISS to grow beyond our current horizons and prepare to take further species into spaces, to the Moon and Mars.”
Then he joined the group in playing “Spacelab” on a tablet synthesizer with sounds pre-loaded. Gerst’s music comes through loud and clear next to Kraftwerk. It is pretty remarkable to have his music coming from space next to the futuristic beings in Kraftwerk on earth.