Kraftwerk Uncovered – A Future Past


Icebreaker performs a reworking of Kraftwerk’s music by J Peter Schwalm, with film by Sophie Clements and Toby Cornish

Following their highly successful, 14 date Apollo tour, Icebreaker turned their focus on another contemporary icon – Kraftwerk. Since their formation in 1970 the group’s output has revolutionised music and influenced scores of musicians.

For this project, composer, producer and sound-scapist J. Peter Schwalm used tracks from a range of Kraftwerk albums to show off the group’s many different sounds – from early acoustic tracks to the by now iconic synthesized tunes.

Visual artist Sophie Clements and Toby Cornish created a new video work for this piece. A purposeful departure ICEBREAKER_KWU copyfrom the high-tech graphics of the current Kraftwerk shows, Clements and Cornish re-present Kraftwerk’s vision in the language of an earlier era of avant garde film that wondered in the new aesthetics of technological and industrial innovation. A nostalgic vision of a ‘future’ now passed, and a modern reworking of a lost utopian dream.

The next performance will be at the Howard Assembly Rooms, Leeds on 23 January 2015.

We first produced this project in association with the Science Museum, London, on 24 January 2014 then toured to:

5 Feb 2014, Liverpool Philharmonic

6 Feb 2014, Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester

8 Feb 2014, Town Hall, Birmingham

12 Feb 2014,  Lakeside Arts Centre, Nottingham

Details and images for the project are available from

A great piece by James Poke (Icebreaker) talking about both our previous Apollo project and about Kraftwerk Uncovered here.

J Peter Schwalm

J Peter Schwalm