ELECTRO-MUSIC pioneers Kraftwerk come to the New Theatre Oxford on Tuesday, bringing together music and performance theatre in a 3D concert being labelled as ‘Gesamtkunstwerk’ – ‘a total work of art’.

Formed in 1969 by Ralf Hutter and Florian Schneider, the band was influenced by the experimental and electronic sounds of Stockhausen and Tangerine Dream. They had their international breakthrough in 1974 with the album Autobahn, the first side of which was a 22-minute musical journey along German roads.

The album got to number four in the album charts, while a five-minute edit reached number 11 in the singles chart.

Other albums followed: Radioactivity, The Man-Machine, Computer Word and Trans-Europe Express among them. Singles included the chart-topping double-A side Computer Love / The Model, and Tour De France was a hit in 1983, 1999 and in a remixed form in 2003.

Always at the forefront of electronic experimentation, they extended their style to their stage back-drops with computer generated images.

The band has always been reclusive, very rarely giving interviews – including for this tour.

The band’s photos always portray the members as robotic (the archetypical ‘man-machine’) and sometimes the photo-shoots are of mannekins.

Hutter still leads the band, and his fellow musicians: Henning Schmitz, Fritz Hilpert and Falk Grieffenhagen, will be performing selected works from their repertoire.

Tickets are available from atgtickets.com

By Martin Hutchinson