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Ebony Steel Band: Pan Machine — the music of Kraftwerk arranged for steel pans

One of those rare musical recreations that sheds new light on the original works

England, U.K. - This looks like a novelty record.  There is a punning title (on The Man-Machine); a cover that mimics the original, with band members arranged on a staircase in red shirts and black ties, all in service of the high concept: the music of Kraftwerk arranged for steel pans.  By all rights, this should be something to be laughed at in a record shop but listened to once, if at all.

But this is one of those rare recreations...that work in their own right and shed a new light on the original. Pan Machine cherry-picks the highlights of the Düsseldorf electronic conceptualists, from “The Model” to “The Robots”, but also finds room for early Ralf und Florian rarity “Tanzmusik.” The pans, with their wobbling timbre, both do and do not duplicate the shimmer of early synthesisers. The arrangements, lacking the deadpan vocals that hovered in an uneasy ironic space (were they serious? Or self-parody?) reveal the beauty of the melodies: the gap between the low basslines and the high patterns on “The Mode,” including the shiver in the last refrain; the way the hook in “Computer Love” — famously appropriated, with permission, by Coldplay for “Talk” — is answered a moment later by a mirror phrase in which the bass pans shift up a joyous third; the clockwork intricacy of “Tour de France.”

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Imagine that the BEST STEELBAND PLAYERS IN THE WORLD are in TRINIDAD (they say) but they CANNOT record ANY MUSIC to get even THE LEAST GLOBAL ACCLAIM!!!

So once again I ask: WHERE IS THE MUSIC?????

Inbox Jukebox Track of the Day: A Steel-Drum-Heavy Cover of Kraftwerk's "Tanzmusik" by Ebony Steel Band


I see this MUSIC PRODUCTION as a HISTORIC LINK that is going to lead to the integration of SYNTHESIZED PAN TONES and NATIVE PAN TONES in PAN MUSIC OF THE FUTURE.



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