By Alex HudsonKrautrock pioneer Klaus Dinger sadly passed away in 2008, but we haven't heard the last of the former Kraftwerk member/Neu! co-founder/La Düsseldorf leader. In his later years, Dinger worked on a collaborative project under his La Düsseldorf banner that spawned the album Japandorf, which will see release through Grönland on March 25.
This is the third of a trilogy of post-millennial albums that Dinger recorded with Japanese artists living in Düsseldorf, Germany, as Klaus Dinger & Japandorf. The other albums — which remain unreleased — are called pre-Japandorf and VIVA Rimix 2010.
According to the label, "Klaus' basic idea for these recordings was to be working together with a collective of collaborators who would have a background in fine arts rather than being technically skilled instrumentalists."
The sessions largely took place in Düsseldorf and in the Netherlands between 2000 and 2006, with a few more sessions in early 2008 prior to Dinger's death, making this his last-ever recording. The near-complete album was eventually finished in 2010 by Japandorf collaborator Kazuyuki Onouchi and Dinger's partner/heiress Miki Yui.
Scroll to the bottom of the page to preview the album by checking out the video for "Immermannstrasse."
This is said to be "a uniquely magical, optimistic, refreshing and beautiful album. Definitely another manifest of Klaus Dinger." We'll leave you with a lengthy quote from Yui about the album:
As Klaus started new La Düsseldorf productions in 2000, he aimed to make fresh music together with non-musically-trained artists, which resulted in a long process of creation. Three of us especially, Klaus, Kazu and me, were devotedly working on this album.
I took part in the production from late 2000, took over the production after Klaus' passing in 2008 and finished mixing the album together with Kazuyuki in 2010. It was a long and winding road, and now, finally, the time has come for its release. Dreams come true! It was our dream to release the album and, while we were practicing for the world tour, without Klaus, sadly it is not possible any more, it is still a big pleasure to bring our music to listeners all over the world.
The album contains songs which Klaus had in his mind for a long time but were previously unreleased, as well as totally new songs which emerged through the process of working together. Not only because of these songs, but rather because of the process we went through during the production (the process of growing music from the seeds), I am sure that this album meant a lot to Klaus, as well as for me and for Kazu. Klaus worked seriously but joyfully, patiently and carefully on the album, because he knew that such extraordinary experience and challenge enriched the Japandorf artists' lives and the results; the music is for the future generations of listeners to enjoy.
"We need to change, 'quantum leap' is necessary," Klaus often said. He was an artist who worked to create music and artworks "for the future." Exactly as he sings, "dance to the future with me" in his song "Cha Cha 2000."