Kraftwerk Headlines the Metronome Festival 2019

30 Years of Freedom

Prague’s Metronome Festival 2019 is celebrating “30 Years of Freedom” reminding progressive to pop music lovers of all ages in this country that it is almost 30 years since the Velvet Revolution in 1989.

The festival is two days/evenings with dozens of groups each date on Friday & Saturday, June 21-22.

The highlight of the festival is the headliner on Saturday—Kraftwerk, arguably the most influential musical group of the post-war 20th century. Without this German electronic group, which formed in Dusseldorf in 1970, and its albums “Autobahn” (1974), “Trans-Europe Express” (1977),” The Man Machine” (1978), and “Computer World” (1981), all considered masterworks of experimental electro-synth-pop, the musical landscape internationally could be an altogether different world, i.e. boring.

Just imagine if it had not been for Kraftwerk, by influencing so profoundly not only synth pop and New Wave, but noted underground club DJs and music producers in the early 70s, from New York City to Ibiza, popular taste may not have developed so easily to embrace EDM and EBM, Euro-Disco/Electro-Disco to more significantly Detroit’s Techno, or Chicago’s House, which led to Acid House raves, and to the still growing myriad of UK electro-dance genres including Drum & Bass, etc.

Kraftwerk is uber-alles in comparison to any other electronic-based music group since the 70s, period.

On the same evening, there will be one of the most popular groups of the Acid House era, Primal Scream, from Glasgow, Scotland, known for its danceable psychedelic electro-pop, formed and fueled by the Ecstasy-craze of the 80s and 90s in the UK. Their Prague and Berlin anthems ‘Come Together” and “Loaded” with the line “We wanna be free, to do what we wanna do. We wanna get loaded!” were heard in every Czech club, rock to disco, underground or village pub, throughout the early 90s, and so they should be dubbed the festival’s honorable party masters under this theme “30 Years of Freedom.”

Friday’s headliner, in the same vein as Primal Scream, is Liam Gallagher, co-founder and previous lead singer of Oasis from Manchester, England. Formed in 1991, Oasis further added to psychedelic Brit-Pop at its best with their hugely successful 1995 album “(What’s the Story) Morning Glory,” and so obviously, their music was also influential on the non-electro Czech indie rock scene from the mid-90s.

Another highlight on Friday evening is Morcheeba, from London. They are yet another group that became a huge favorite of the post-revolution era in Prague, and beyond, best known for their mid-90s album “Who Can You Trust?” with vocalist Skye Edwards and the DJ/producers the Godfrey brothers with songs like “Trigger Hippy,” “Moog Island” and “Post Houmous” Morcheeba created some classic electronica, i.e. late night chill out clubber’s gems for trip-hop and downtempo aficionados till this day.

For locals most of all, Friday’s program features the legendary Czech bigbeat/rock group of the 80s, Pražský výběr led by singer/composer Michael Kocáb. This is sure to be a riotous affair for diehard Czech retro rock fans, and should not be missed by any Frank Zappa freaks or non-Czechs seeking vintage high-energy synth-fueled “East European” rock from the Communist era circa early-late 1980s.

Not all of the headliners at Metronome are for old fogies, parents or even grandparents, though. Young acts are also highlights on Saturday, like Jungle (danceable electro-soul from the UK), and Digitalism (a hard pumping German electronic duo). Still young at heart locals Ohm Square on Saturday are also a rare treat for pure mid-late 90s Czech electro-pop/Drum & Bass, with British diva Charlie One, Jan Čechtický (Jan 2), Jan 5, and Dušan Only One. They once ruled Prague, all thanks to Kraftwerk, too.

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