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By David Rolland
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What else can Miami not expect? New material. In 2009, Hütter told the Guardian that the band would be releasing its next collection of songs "soon." Three years later, 2003's Tour de France Soundtracks is still Kraftwerk's most recent studio effort. When I call Hütter out on his 2009 promise, he says he's working on it. This time, though, he gives a vaguer time frame.
"It's what we've done in between. We've been working on the catalogue. We're putting it into digital format from the old sound sources. We've been contemplating performance and then going into this 3-D [project], which took a lot of time because we're just a very small group of people, engineers, and programmers.
"We're not a Hollywood studio," he adds. "We're just an underground type of unit. So it's taken quite awhile to make it functional. And now it's working and we're back in action, and we definitely have some sounds prepared. But I couldn't give you a date right now."
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The promise of a modern-day Kraftwerk album is exciting. But as his band enters its fifth decade, Hütter says he and his collaborators are just getting started, thanks to advancement in technology.
"We're not so interested in the pathway anymore," he explains. "Kraftwerk is the music for today and tomorrow. In Germany, there's a big cult of music from the 17th and 18th centuries. It's a lot of historical music, which we've always felt is OK. But we're contemporary [and] we have to create the sound of our generation, and that's where the source of inspiration for Kraftwerk comes, looking into the soundtrack of today."
So where is Hütter and crew's technological fantasy taking us next?
"I think it has to do with mobility, for us at least. And easy access. Some combination between man and music machines as well."
All hail the man-machine!